Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Inspiring Your Next Vacation (Part 1)

It's hard not to think about getting away now that the holidays are behind us and temperatures have dipped into the single digits. While we love a new fashion collection few things are more thrilling than visiting a brand new luxury hotel.

The fresh linens, plush towels, eager staff and bragging rights are just a few aspects that make visiting a new hotel extra special. Good thing that the luxury boom has lead to a great crop of properties that just opened or are slated to open in 2016.

In a multi-part series we will highlight some of the most exciting new destinations in the world. For more information about these properties or any other travel related assistance email

Hotel Le Toiny (St. Barths, FWI)

Small and private is what you'll find at the newly renovated Hotel Le Toiny, in St. Barths. The resort, which reopened in November, has just 14 one-bedroom suites and one three-bedroom villa. All have wide-open water views, kitchens, and 10-by-20-foot private pools.

The renovations were overseen by London-based interior designer, Lady Bee Osborn. Le Toiny’s original French-inspired décor has been transformed into a clean ocean front aesthetic, which includes a muted palette of neutral tones, petrified wood, mother-of-pearl and sun-bleached teak. The design is accented with pops of Caribbean blue.

Also new is the Toiny Beach Club, which is surrounded by groves and orchards and is noted for its barfoot-chic atmosphere. New softer sand was added to to the beach but doesn't interrupt Toiny Bay’s natural rocky shoreline. The club is opened to hotel guests and to the public by reservation. Rates at the hotel are about $2000 a night (plus tax) in February.

Faena Hotel Miami Beach (Miami Beach, USA)

The highly anticipated Faena Hotel Miami Beach didn't open in time for Art Basel but we have a good excuse to go back to Miami. The Faena officially opened in December after gutting the  historic Saxony Hotel, which was originally built in 1947. The hotel opening marks the public debut of the Faena Arts District, a $1 billion neighborhood rooted in art and culture.

The Faena Miami Beach has 169 rooms and suites and 13 penthouse residences that span the top two floors. Guest rooms combine classic Miami Beach touches with Art Deco motifs. The result is a plethora of contemporary art and plush red details, like the fringed red couches that look as if they are straight out of a hacienda.

The Faena values personalized service. Each floor is assigned a Faena Butler, which offers guests personalized service throughout their stay. The hotel also offers 'Experience Managers', who can assist in designing the overall experience from pre-arrival planning to departure arrangements.

Upon entrance, guests are greeted by a 30-foot-long red carpet that leads into a Cathedral-like lobby that's lined with massive gold-leafed columns and edged with elaborate floor-to-ceiling murals depicting lush tropical scenes. The Terre Sante spa is 22,000 square feet and includes a hammam, ice chamber and couples treatment suite with ocean views. Rates start at about $900 a night (plus tax) in February.

The Beekman (New York, USA)

Coming soon to Lower Downtown is The Beekman, which is slated to open early this year. (We are hoping for February but no final date has been announced.) This highly anticipated historic renovation showcases a soaring nine-story Victorian atrium and a majestic skylight.

Operated by Thompson Hotels, The Beekman will have 287 rooms, including 45 suites and two signature penthouses with private rooftop terraces overlooking One World Trade Center, the Woolworth Building and City Hall Park. Keith McNally and Tom Colicchio will both have restaurants in the hotel. Keith McNally — of famed Balthazar and Minetta Tavern — will open a 94-seat eatery called Augustine, serving French bistro fare. Colicchio will run the lounge, to be called the Living Room, which will provide room service to guests and catering venues.

This is the first new luxury hotel to strategically land in the middle of Fulton Center, Brookfield Place and Westfield World Trade Center. Between the new restaurants, the shopping and the financial center, The Beekman is destined to become one of  Downtown's hottest destinations for tourists and New Yorkers alike. Rates in June start at $530 a night (plus tax).

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