Arrival/Check-in: After an all-night flight to Madrid and short hop to Málaga, I could be forgiven for not noticing where I finally dropped my head onto a pillow. But Villa Padierna is an attention-grabber, a pink palazzo (think Tuscan villa sired by Biarritz grand hotel) set on a brilliant green golf course. I was greeted by name and registered quickly. No one accompanied me to my room, but with one small rolling bag, I clearly didn’t need help. (28/30)
Guest Quarters: My junior suite was flooded with sunlight, and its big Palladian windows overlooked the rolling golf course (with real Roman columns and statuary from the owner’s collection) to the Mediterranean — and beyond to North Africa’s Atlas Mountains. A welcome plate of elegant tapas set on the glass-topped table between the king-size bed and attractive sitting area was a pleasant surprise. The roomy bath had a long marble vanity with two sinks, a make-up mirror and French bath amenities. The large tub filled one end of the room, with a separate glass-enclosed shower at the other. Plush towels were within reach everywhere. Bright reading lights illuminated both sides of the bed, where a down duvet allowed me to leave the window open as I slept that December night. Closets were large enough for luggage and equipped with plenty of removable wooden hangers. The desk offered ample workspace, but I thought the $30 daily Internet fee excessive for a hotel of this caliber. On a later tour of other rooms, I saw an executive suite, bigger, but much like my own — although I did gaze enviously at the inroom espresso machine. (29/30)
Services/Amenities: After an excellent lunch of local dishes in La Loggia, I set out to tour the resort. Guestrooms surround an airy, bright atrium that rises to a glass dome. Arcaded corridors lined with more antiquities lead to a Moorish garden with soothing fountains, pools and cooling greenery. Beyond is an opulent — and enormous — spa. Along with a full menu of ESPA treatments, it features a series of baths, including a Turkish hammam. (40/40)
The Experience: The hotel’s owner recently chose Ritz- Carlton management, assuring a continuation of the high level of service I enjoyed. This is a resort worthy of a few days’ stay to savor the spa, private Mediterranean beach (with clubhouse and complimentary shuttle), golf and daily excursions offered to Seville, Tangier, Gibraltar or the surrounding mountains.
Total Score: (97/100)
Ctra. de Cadiz, Km. 166
29679 Marbella, Spain
tel 34 952 889 150
Since Cheval Blanc, an extraordinary, newly designed and refurbished 72-room hotel owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, launched in September 2021, it has been the talk of the town. Le Tout-Paris remarks about its WOW factor … and the hard-to-get reservations for the 30 seats at Plenitude, the intimate, first-floor gastronomic outlet headed by chef Arnaud Donckele, who earned three Michelin stars at Cheval Blanc Saint Tropez. Reservations are also recommended for Limbar, the ground-floor bakery/café/tea shop/bar where we watched Pastry Chef Maxime Frédéric preparing desserts and an absolute must-have for dinner at Le Tout-Paris, the 7th-floor, all-day brasserie. This brightly colored space, with its raised seating and Fauve-like floor tiles and the adjacent Milanese restaurant, Langosteria, both have access to terraces facing the Seine River, with amazing views encompassing Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower.
IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs for a smarter way to manage travel
Nevada-based The Spa at Green Valley by Well & Being and The Spa at Red Rock by Well & Being celebrate the start of 2022 with new health, wellness and spa treatments available through March 31. Both spas offer an array of treatments for guests wanting to relax and unwind before 2022 kicks into full gear.
To allow visitors to safely and responsibly enjoy their trip to Barbados, the island announced streamlined port entry protocols. Barbados’ Ministry of Health and Wellness released the following protocols for all travelers planning on coming to the island.
Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.
Mar Del Cabo launched a new luxury beach fishing experience with an interactive paella workshop for guests. The Los Cabos-based hotel offers guests an immersive experience that takes them through the journey of creating paella, starting with a fishing session.
COJE Management Group raised the bar when it comes to cuisine and cocktails. The Boston-based group, founded by Chris Jamison and Mark Malatesta, offers guests the ultimate dining experience with old-world hospitality and an array of cuisines for every guest to enjoy. With culinary director Tom Berry incorporating the cuisines he encountered during his travels to South America, Cuba, Japan, Southeast Asia and France, each restaurant has distinguished itself as a must for anyone visiting Boston and each is designed exclusively in-house using inspiration from different regions and countries around the world.
Go ahead, take a nice, deep breath. Because a Seabourn voyage is all about this moment you’ve come so far in life to embrace. It’s not an escape, it’s an arrival.