Luxury Briefs: The Lanesborough staffs room with a brew with tea sommeliers

The Lanesborough in London has appointed its first-ever "tea sommeliers." A tea sommelier welcomes guests upon their arrival in the hotel's conservatory, displays a tea box and explains various tea blends available. Blends include black, green, fruit, herbal, decaffeinated, South African rooibos and rare white teas. Sommeliers also present guests with a gift sampling of teas tasted that day.


Each guest room and suite at the Lanesborough, a St. Regis property, is outfitted in both handcrafted period furnishings and 21st century technology.

The hotel's amenities include private butler service, personal business cards, private telephone lines and mobile phone use.

To book, call (800) 999-1828. For more information, visit

Ritzy spa

A $16.4 million spa complex will open at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island near Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 22.

Housed in a new wing featuring 27,500 square feet of indoor space and 5,000 square feet outdoors, the Spa at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island will have unique features such as hammocks, for use during treatments; opening and closing rituals during signature spa treatments; and spa butlers.

The facility will have 26 treatment rooms, including two couples massage rooms -- one a wet room -- and two spa suites (the Ocean Suite and Seaside Suite) with a private lounge and four treatment rooms each.

Other facilities include fitness and movement studios; men's and women's wet areas, with a steam room, sauna, cascade whirlpool and lounge; and an indoor swimming pool.

For more information on the spa and the resort, visit or call (800) 241-3333.

Guerlain in Italy

In other spa news, a Guerlain Spa opened at the Carlton Hotel Baglioni in Milan. The spa is Guerlain's first facility in Italy and its third in all of Europe. The other Guerlain Spas are in Gstaad, Switzerland, and Paris.

The spa has seven treatment rooms, a foot bath and relaxation lounge and hydrotherapy and Vichy shower facilities. Spa guests have access to the hotel's gym, steam room and sauna.

For more on the Carlton Hotel Baglioni, and the Guerlain Spa, visit

Hacienda hideaway

Hacienda Petac, a five-bedroom, luxury estate outside the colonial-era city of Merida in the Mexican state of Yucatan, is offering a package that combines a five-night countryside getaway at a staffed hacienda with a two-night seaside stay at the Casa Dogre or Casa Roche resorts at Chicxulub, on the Gulf of Mexico.

Hacienda Petac is a 17th century hacienda, restored to luxury standards and with a staff of 20, on 80 private acres a half-hour's drive from Merida.

The offer includes five nights at the hacienda and two nights at the beach for up to 10 guests; full-service staff of 20 (including concierge/manager at both locations); all meals and nonalcoholic beverages; all government taxes; roundtrip van transfers between Merida, Hacienda Petac and Chicxulub; and an evening serenade by traditional Yucatecan trova musicians.

Pricing is $11,000 for family groups of up to 10, based on double occupancy, and $9,000 for individual groups of five, based on single occupancy. Extra beach nights cost $350 per night.

For more information on the Hacienda Petac, visit To book, call (800) 225-4255 or (203) 602-0300.

Five stars in the Keys 

A new resort billed as the only five-star luxury hotel in the Florida Keys is under construction at Mile Marker 84 on the Overseas Highway in Islamorada.

Inspired by the Greek isles, the Ocanos Resort & Marina is set to open in early 2008. The 12-acre resort will offer 151 large condo-hotel suites, a beach and an oceanfront infinity pool.

Other facilities will be an 11,000-square-foot spa and wellness center, tennis courts, shops, indoor and outdoor dining venues, meetings facilities and a marina that can accommodate vessels up to 100 feet long.

A green resort, Ocanos will use natural materials in its construction, recycle water on-site for irrigation and use plants indigenous to the Florida Keys for landscaping.

A Web site at was under construction at press time.

New frontier

Luxury log cabins are the latest hotel options in Branson, Mo. The Cabins at Grand Mountain, affiliated with Thousand Hills Resort, is nearing completion.

The cabins, steps from Country Music Boulevard (Highway 76), are fully furnished and outfitted with central heating and air conditioning, full kitchens, gas fireplaces, Jacuzzi tubs, cable TV, private decks and high-speed Internet. Cabins range in size from one to four bedrooms.

Visit or call (800) 864-4145.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].

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