|Vice President—Content/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero|
Here, in chronological order are some of my recommendations from my 2012 ventures. I fully endorse them for your personal bucket list or for your clients’.
In February, I visited The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay in Northern California. This is the iconic hotel set on a cliff above the Pacific. It does not disappoint in scenery or in service. We then headed over to The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco where the Club Lounge has a very exciting vibe with locals dropping in to visit with relatives staying at the hotel, which is right above China Town. We spent a day in Sonoma with Lyn Durling, owner of Artisan Wine Tours, an excellent local destination management company. Durling knows all the vintners so you’ll always get a luxury, insider experience with him.
In March, I visited Berlin for the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF), where I discovered the remarkable department store, KaDeWe. A Berlin tradition, it gives you a great insight on local luxury in the city. Be sure to visit its top floor for its fascinating food markets. Do not miss the toy department where you’ll find stunning dolls that you’ll want to take back home with you.
Also in March, I sailed on the Disney Fantasy, which is an amazing experience for children, of course, but its onboard offerings in an adults-only environment are extremely impressive as well.
In April, I sailed out of Rome on the posh Regent Mariner for the Virtuoso Symposium at Sea. We stayed at the Regina Hotel Baglioni on the Via Veneto, which is uniquely European and chic all at once. We disembarked in Monte Carlo, where we toured the super luxurious Hotel de Paris. We stayed at its sister hotel, Hotel Hermitage and dined upstairs at Le Vistamar, where you can enjoy gourmet fare amongst the Monte Carlo elite, all with views of one of my favorite harbors in the world.
In May, I was back to Monte Carlo to board Oceania’s Riviera for its inaugural cruise. This new ship offers a truly luxurious experience even though it positions itself as upper premium. The cuisine is fantastic as are its bars and public spaces, which are all elegantly contemporary. Disembarking in Barcelona, we stayed at the upper midscale Hotel Condes, a modern hotel in a great location on the Passeig de Gracia. Don’t miss the rooftop bar for a great local scene. We also raced over to Hotel Arts where we dined at Arola for wine and tapas. We love that it opens up to a terrace with amazing views.
In May I also joined our 30Under30 fam in Barbados. It was great to spend time with the group; we all got to stay at The Crane, arguably the top resort on the island. The views are to die for as are the villas with their own private pools.
In July, I headed to the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago. This residential-style hotel is a haven in a city of amazing hotels. Be sure to have drinks at The Terrace at Trump.
In September, I was off to London to visit The Savoy, where I stayed in Suite No. 326, a remarkable River View Deluxe Suite with close-up views of the London Eye over the Thames and Big Ben. I also tried out the brand-new Bulgari hotel, which is just around the corner from Harrods. The fledgling brand is very contemporary but still very luxurious. It’s really creating a unique niche in the world of top-end hotels.
I’ve written most recently about my visit to New Delhi, where I found the Leela Palace to surpass the five-star mark for its uber-luxe offerings and absolutely stellar service.
On to 2013, which will be difficult to top considering these experiences, but we’ll give it a try!