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There are so many top-of-the-line luxury hotels in
The Alex Hotel
205 East 45th Street
Hotel Burnham is a landmark luxury hotel in
Dining: The Atwood Café serves all-American comfort food under soaring 18-foot ceilings. Comfort food emphasizes fresh seasonal global ingredients. Try long-time favorites, such as butternut squash risotto, pan-seared duck breast or a big bowl of mussels.
Spa: Fully equipped fitness room, including treadmills, stationary and recumbent bikes, stair machines and free weights.
Deluxe Touch: There's a special pillow menu, offering eight different choices to provide sweet dreams!
1 West Washington Street
Beverly Wilshire is a Four Seasons Hotel with 395 guest rooms, many with spectacular views of Rodeo Drive, the city skyline and the Hollywood Hills. You couldn't ask for a better location. Being a Four Seasons, service and luxury are guaranteed.
Dining: At CUT, Wolfgang Puck's celebrated cuisine is matched by the interior designed by Richard Meier, acclaimed architect of
Spa: Designed around a curved water wall embracing a majestic amethyst crystal geode, The Spa at Beverly Wilshire is something to see. Luxurious treatments are based upon Western and Eastern philosophies, using natural ingredients, including aromatherapy oils and marine and plant extracts.
Deluxe Touch: Book the Red Carpet Ready package, which includes a free Neiman Marcus make-up consultation and a personal assistant for all your shopping needs.
9500 Wilshire Boulevard
The Hay Adams, located in Lafayette Square across from the White House, is a landmark luxury hotel in
Dining: The Lafayette Room, where power brokers meet, serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Fittingly, it overlooks Lafayette Square and the White House.
Spa: No spa.
Deluxe Touch: Stay in the penthouse suite, with its own separate living room and one-and-a-half bathrooms. The living room overlooks the White House,
16th and H Streets NW
An Orient Express Hotel, Charleston Place evokes the feeling of a grand, 17th century residence. Look at the Italian marble lobby with its signature Georgian Open Arm staircase and 12-foot crystal chandelier for an example. Celebrities, princes and politicians, including Richard Gere, Prince Charles, Mel Gibson, Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Streisand have all stayed at this luxury hotel.
Dining: The Charleston Grill is a Mobil Four-Star restaurant and has received the AAA Four-Diamond award and Distinguished Restaurants of North America Award.
Spa: There is a comprehensive health club, equipped with an indoor/outdoor pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, steam room and children's splash pool. Massage service, manicure, pedicure, facials and other treatments and spa packages are available.
Deluxe Touch: The Presidential & Spoleto Suite, located on the 7th or 8th floor, on the private club level, features a living room, a wet bar, dining table, a pantry, an entertainment armoire, The suite is approximately 1,200 square feet.
205 Meeting Street ,
Tel: +1 843 722 4900
The White Barn Inn & Spa was constructed from the original boarding house built in Kennebunkport, Maine in 1820. It opened in its current form in 1973. The 25-room inn has a AAA Four Diamond lodging rating and is a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux, Relais Gourmand.
Dining: The only AAA Five Diamond, Mobil 5 Star restaurant northeast of New York is located at the inn. Contemporary New England and Maine cuisine are served with a European flair. The menu changes weekly, highlighting seafood as well as native game and poultry.
Spa: Spa and skincare products are from the Thalgo and Sonya Dakar line. Thalgo treatments draw their richness and efficiency from the marine universe; skin care products from Sonya Dakar refine the skin's texture, sooth irritation and combat aging.
Deluxe Touch: Book the Loft Suite, which is adjacent to the main house. It has a private entrance, with a fireplace and oversized marble bath with separate steam shower and two person whirlpool. A private deck overlooks the inn's grounds.
37 Beach Avenue
Two major and respected
The American Automobile Association, or AAA, uses diamonds to rate properties. First a hotel must apply to be rated, then inspectors secretly come to evaluate the property. Diamond ratings, from one to five, are given depending on the service and amenities. A 1-diamond hotel would be a basic, clean accommodation, but a 5-star is described like this: Properties reflect the characteristics of the ultimate in luxury and sophistication. Accommodations are first class. The physical attributes are extraordinary in every manner. The fundamental hallmarks at this level are providing meticulous service, exceeding guest expectations, and maintaining impeccable standards of excellence. Many personalized services and amenities provide an unmatched level of comfort.
The Mobil Travel Guide, which has rated properties since 1958, uses a star system, from one to five. Mobil inspectors come incognito to rate each hotel or property they plan to review and have a stringent list of requirements properties must meet to rate a star. Very few make the five-star rating.
Of course, there are many websites and mangazines that also rank luxury hotels. Choose a source you trust and do your research. Here are a few suggestions spanning the country.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|