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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Make It A Double: How They Say It In Scotland

While small batch and craft bourbons are gaining popularity, premium Scotch remains a staple for The Luxurist.

Buying them online is one thing,  but ordering in a bar can be a challenge. Do you know how to  pronounce  Bruichladdich without sounding like a complete dunderheed, as they say in the Old Country? Now you can, along with the names of some 40 others, thanks to Esquire and the Scottish actor Brian Cox.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Trend Watch: In Las Vegas, Smaller May Be Better

The opening last year of the 181-room Nobu Hotel within Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas appears to have ushered in a new Sin City lodging concept: the boutique resort. Two other new small luxury properties are about to open in the coming months.

Asian-inspired luxury at The Nobu, Las Vegas

While it occupies one of six existing Caesar's towers, the Nobu is a serene, completely contained unit with its own dedicated staff, room service, bell service, lobby, security elevators, and more.

The tower was gutted to make way for contemporary Asian-inspired rooms (think sleek black lacquered furniture, Japanese woodblock prints, teak stools in the over-sized showers) that are larger than usual.

With a bathroom this big, you don't need a room

The mini-bars are stocked with sakes, Japanese beers, and exotic juices. Guests receive preferred seating at Nobu's highly rated restaurant. And that's not all. Caesar's luxurious QUA spa has developed special treatments just for the Nobu.

Walk out of the peaceful lobby and you are steps away from the action and gourmet dining you also came to Vegas for: Cleopatra’s Barge bar, Restaurant Guy Savoy, Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, the new Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill, Payard Patisserie, the Forum Shops, showrooms, casinos, and race and sports book.

The new Cromwell, opening soon on the former site of Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon

Next month Caesar's opens a second boutique hotel next to The Flamingo Hotel. The 181-room Cromwell boasts Parisian-inspired decor, a restaurant by celebrity chef Giada DeLaurentiis, a 65,000 square foot roof-top beach club operated by Victor Drai, and a chic basement-level after-hours bar, also run by Drai, that promises to be a Vegas hotspot for the young and good-looking or the old and ridiculously wealthy.

(Incidentally and seemingly without reason, Caesar's claims that The Cromwell is the Strip's first luxury boutique hotel. So what does that make its own Nobu Hotel, a gussied-up Travel Lodge? But I digress.)

The Delano: Miami Beach meets Las Vegas

Finally, later this year Miami's trendy Delano hotel launches a 190-room sister property in the part of the Mandalay Bay tower that used house The Hotel (an earlier attempt to bring the small luxury concept to Vegas). The hotel's press agents have been hard at work, promising that the "Delano Las Vegas will bring the effortless style and unparalleled service of the original Delano South Beach to the energy and buzz of the Las Vegas Strip."

(Effortless? In excessive, over-the-top Las Vegas? That we hope we live long enough to see. But, again, I digress.)

As for other Las Vegas trends, the leisure industry publication Travel Pulse reports that the Palm Hotel is following The Peninsula Beverly Hills in making its rooms available on a 24-hour basis. That is, you can check in at any time you prefer and check out at the same time 24 hours later.

Now there's a privilege that all travelers would like to see implemented around the globe.