KA MAGAZINE PICKS FOR HOT HOTELS :::

KUBE — ST. TROPEZ

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If I was wishing to have the perfect word to replace “best of both worlds” that word would be KUBE. The Kube St. Tropez is that rare  place where you get to have your cake and eat it too. Situated close enough to the night life of St. Tropez (for those times that you wish to take in that side of the French Riviera) and yet, it is far enough from the nightlife to give you that mini-resort feel.

Kube is the latest offering from the operators of the Murano hotels and sister to the Kube Paris. Located on the edge of town in Gassin, near the Villa Marie and the Villa Belrose, the Kube has done something not seen on this side of the French Riviera. It has taken the old and made it new. Kube has taken what was the former Caesar Domus and recreated it into a thing of beauty.

The hotel is a bit of urban zen, right smack in the middle of “old money” St. Tropez. The rooftop bar is actually more of a bay view lounge, where you will feel that much closer to heaven as DJs play for guests until the early morning.

This hotel could be considered style with space. The choice of room sizes range from S,M,L,–XXL, and guests actually have a chance to stay in something larger than a closet, while enjoying the magic of the French Riviera. The location of this hotel makes it a perfect choice for those wishing to have a break from the stress of the city while still having an urban experience.

The Perks: Sky Bar, beautiful design, Djs, beautiful people, private chef.

Jet Set cool: 13 Chemin de Rogon de la Valette St. Tropez- Gassin 83580 France (33) 1 42 05 20 00

THE SETAI — MIAMI

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Living in Montreal sort of makes you a bit on the “hard to impress” side. Being from a city of beautiful bars and restaurants as a given, makes it even that much harder to be moved, shaken or stirred by the offerings of a less than amazing experience.

The bar at the Setai is one such experience that even to a jaded Montrealer, will leave you amazed by it’s clear beauty. The bar, on the roof top of the Setai, is set partially inside of the hotel with a lounge area (on the roof ) set up along side. The thing that is amazing with this area, and the Setai for that matter, is the “minimal, with feeling” décor — You are left feeling deserving of the time spent here.  Unlike most recent builds, where you wonder if you (the client) were an after-thought — the Setai makes you feel that you were the only one they thought of.

The word “ultra luxurious” has been used by so many, that it has become an anti-climax. The Setai is deserving of another word, but for now we will have to use this one knowing that you will not be disappointed. The Setai is one of those hotels that have managed to do the difficult well, and without effort.

The rooms have everything that you can imagine and some you might not have even thought about as standard fare. King size bed, plasma screen TV, espresso machine, surround-sound CD and DVD system, rainfall shower – and much more.

The décor is Asian influenced, but not cliché. The walls are teak wood, the decorations are real jade, and the larger suites come with a sitting area, full kitchen, and jacuzzi. There are three pools with different temperature settings. A full service spa, two full service restaurants, one Asian and the other a more casual Grill.

The Perks: Perfect crisp white linens, the concierge service that contacts you before you even arrive in Miami to help plan your stay, a penthouse suite fit for royalty (would need it’s own separate review), perfect sunshine for a week.

True luxury: 2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (305) 520-6100

ATLANTIS — DUBAI

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I have been to the Atlantis in Bahamas and the experience was one to remember. I could not help myself in thinking if they would do another one somewhere else. With the Atlantis Dubai, my question has been answered. The sister hotel to the Atlantis (now we have to put Bahamas behind the word to be sure of which one we are speaking), details in geography aside… we get to focus on details in destination. The Atlantis Dubai has plenty.

Located on the Palm Dubai in the center of the Palm’s crescent, this hotel is definitely one with a view. Continuing a reoccurring theme in these reviews, the Atlantis features so many water themes, that one begins to feel like they are truly in the lost city of Atlantis. The hotel even has guests suites with wall sized aquariums. The lost Chambers Suites are exclusive to the Atlantis, with both bedroom and bath views directly into the Ambassador Lagoon with over 65,000 species of marine animals. If that wasn’t impressive enough, they have thrown in a personal butler for good measure.

Something that was of special interest to me, was The Dolphin Bay Lagoon with it’s seven interconnected pools, offering possibly the only dolphin rescue and rehabilitation center for stranded dolphins in the Arabian Gulf.

The Atlantis is so full of aquatic attractions that we tend to over look that it also is a 5 star hotel with great food and rooms. The rooms are perfect, the food is perfect, and the service is perfect. Now, lets get back to the Ambassador Lagoon shall we…?

The Perks: 24 hour room service, butler service, rooms with a view, water sports, spa.

Lost City Found Paradise:  Atlantis The Palm, Jumeirah Dubai. UAE  (+971) 4 426 2000

HALF MOON — MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA

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Question: When is a vacation, not just a vacation?

Answer: When that vacation becomes an experience.

The Half Moon Jamaica is just that, an experience. Something that leaves you smiling and feeling good from beginning to end. With a list of features that would take this whole article to write about, (we might just have to do a full review to give you the complete picture) it is truly a trip to paradise.

Situated on it’s own private beach, the resort is one of my favorites in Jamaica. Private butlers, horse back riding, parasailing, jacuzzis, saunas, and a full service spa are just a few of it’s features. This is one of those resorts that you would have to take two trips just to get started.

The sunset is breathtaking and the sound of the ocean stays with you for weeks after you have left this tropical paradise. With all of this, the one thing that stuck with me the most were the golf carts. It was so much fun to drive around on these electric golf carts that I felt like a kid again and I look forward to this. The Half Moon is so large, that to get around, guests either take the long walks from area to area, or use these golf carts.

The villas make you feel like you are in your own home, and leaving this “experience” was one of the few times that I actually felt like I was leaving home. But I know that I will be back again.

The Perks: Beautiful beaches, verandas overlooking the ocean, ocean breeze, spa, stress free luxury, championship golf course.

Ocean Luxury:  Rose Hall  Montego Bay, Jamaica W.I. (876) 953-2211