Tags: Puerto | Vallarta

Luxe Travel: Puerto Vallarta, Lavish Doggy Treatments, Central Park at Sea

Friday, 06 Jun 2008 09:50 AM

By Karen T. Bartlett

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Liquid Gold Indulgence in Puerto Vallarta

Royal Xocolat, the “liquid gold” cacao-based drink served only to Huichol royals of ancient Mexico, has become the stuff of spa indulgence at the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa.

If you’re a princess to the core, you deserve the royal chocolate treatment in the decadent Ohtli Spa’s 280-square-foot Grand Luxury Suite, including Chocolate Indulgence, the Chocolate Soak, and two other Aztec-influenced signature spa treatments.

Condé Nast Traveler calls CasaMagna, on a sandy beach between the Sierra Madre Mountains and Banderas Bay, one of the 100 top hotels in the world. The "Girlfriends Getaway" for two includes a three night, four-day stay in a deluxe ocean view room.

Daily breakfasts, saunas, Swiss showers, and other resort facilities, and the romantic ambience of Old Puerto Vallarta are all included in the bargain price of $1,153.

Prefer to skip the chocolate and go straight for the Tequila? Your new best friend at CasaMagna is the resident tequila sommelier, certified by Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council.

The AAA 4-Diamond beachfront hotel in the heart of Jalisco grows agave azul on the property, and produces its own proprietary label of the liquid gold. And yes, while the girls are soaking in chocolate, the guys can be slathered head to toe in tequila at the sumptuous Ohtli Spa.

The Tequila Reposado package involves a satisfying number of tastings and a bottle to take home. Presidential Suite: about $2,000 per night. Check out both packages and more at www.puertovallartamarriott.com.

Pamper Your Dog in Santa Monica

Is your pampered pooch getting married? Do check out the designer white satin dog wedding gown, embroidered with white roses, pearls, and sequins. The glam New Beginnings designer gown, complete with detachable train, is just $299 at www.myuptownpooch.com.

For her (and his) honeymoon, your darling will just love the Sexy Beast 3-Step Travel Set. Adorably packaged in a compact, flight-friendly travel case, it starts with a botanical water infusion of chamomile, lavender and rosemary to cleanse, deodorize, and refresh the coat. Step two is a talc-free powder to absorb oil and leave a subtle shimmer.

The final step — the gloss, dahling! — is a lightweight finishing mist that hydrates the coat, restores luster and adds shine. All products are hypo-allergenic and 100 percent vegan. Get it at Harrod’s of London, Tia’s Pet Boutique and Spa near Toronto, or the elite Fred Segal Studio in Santa Monica, California. Also available online at www.sexybeast.com.

Seattle Lures Dog’s Best Friend

According to statistics, Seattle has more dogs than children, and the luxe Pan Pacific Seattle knows how to indulge them to the max.

Each precious canine gets a personal amenity on arrival, a map of pet-friendly walking tours and attractions, a pet-friendly guest room to share with its humans, and referral to the oh-so-chic Barking Lounge for pedicures, camp play or extended doggy daycare.

The stylish Pan-Pacific Seattle features 160 classy Hirsch Bedner-designed high-tech guest rooms with 24-hour private dining and upscale amenities. Scraps, the upscale bakery for dogs only, is located in the Plaza.

If your pooch deserves the grrrrreatest Dog’s Best Friend Package, with extra goodies, book the Denny Suite, the best room in the house, for $1,600. (Regular rooms are $254 and up.) Go to www.panpacific.com.

Central Park at Sea

If you were thinking you’ve seen every amenity at sea, you’d be wrong. About a year from now, in late 2009, Royal Caribbean Cruises will unveil Central Park, a lush city-park-like environment the length of a football field, fringed with boutiques, an art gallery and stunning bars — on a boat.

There will be strolling paths and green spaces, with continuous concerts and street performances. And that’s just one of the seven “neighborhoods” in the works for the $1 billion mega-ship, Oasis of the Seas, now under construction in Finland. It is slated to be the largest and most revolutionary ship in the world.

Details have been under wraps for several years under the top-secret code name Project Genesis. The other neighborhoods have yet to be revealed. The awe-inspiring, 5,400-passenger ship, with its 16 decks, will sail from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. No rates are set yet. More at www.oasisoftheseas.com.

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