Home & Design

Indulgences- Travel

Live out a Florentine fantasy ensconced in a 15th century palazzo filled with renaissance art and painted frescoes at the newly opened Four Seasons Firenze. No two of the 117 rooms are alike, but the primo dwelling is the Royal Suite (pictured), with its vaulted ceilings, marble bathrooms and French doors opening to garden vistas. And, uncommon in Italian lodging but standard in Four Seasons hotels: wireless internet and a spa. Rates for the Royal Suite start at $17,040 per night. www.fourseasons.com

The venerable 154-year-old Claridge's, beloved by everyone from Queen Victoria to Yul Brenner, has recently refreshed its look, including 11 redesigned suites by Lord David Linley. The update honors the hotel's Art Deco heyday; original pieces are mixed in with signature marquetry work and custom furniture, including "tub" chairs. Order a 1930s-style fizzy at the renovated Fumoir bar. Suites start at $4,538 per night. www.claridges.co.uk

The 120-year-old Hotel del Coronado is looking spritely again after a $150 million renovation that gave the Victorian resort new restaurants, shops and a spa. Authoring the new development are 78 luxury oceanfront rooms and suites, each with gourmet kitchens, spa-style baths and luxe amenities such as ipod docking stations and 400-thread-count bedding. A spa, private pools and concierge service are also available. Oenophiles, take note of the new Eno Wine room, with its 500 varieties of wine paired with artisanal cheeses and chocolates. From $395 per night. www.hoteldel.com

Indulgences- Travel

A private villa on the island of Santa Cruz

ultimate galapagos
Most people see these islands from a cruise ship. Nice, but there’s a better way. Luxury tour operator Cox & Kings USA ensconces you in your own villa on the island of Santa Cruz. From this exclusive base camp, you’ll make forays to nearby islands on a private yacht, accompanied by a naturalist. Expect to view a wonderful panoply of fauna, including giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies. The four-bedroom villa comes with everything, including a laptop with wireless Internet. From $5,290 per person for four days; www.coxandkingsusa.comteen dream
What to do with tweens and teens who have aged out of most hotel children’s programs? Well, in New York they can track the economy and attend the opening bell at NASDAQ. In Nashville they meet musicians for song-writing sessions. And in San Diego they learn to surf on their very own custom-designed surfboard. Loews Hotels’ “Edu-cations” packages start at $600 and include one or two nights’ lodging. www.loewshotels.com Private Bahamian Isle
Families and groups of friends would happily strand themselves on this desert island, if only they knew about it. Little Whale Cay, in the Berry Islands of the Bahamas, is a short flight but a world away from bustling Nassau. The 93-acre idyll ringed by a white-sand beach offers three luxuriously appointed villas housing up to 12 guests, a pool (above), tennis court and full staff. A mini flotilla of boats takes you to local watering holes on neighboring islands. From $9,500 per day; www.littlewhalecay.com

Little Whale Cay in the Berry Island

Through Loews Hotels' "Edu-cations", teens can learn to
surf on their very own custom-designed surfboard.
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