The Benefits of Having a World-Class Concierge in Your Condo

Having a concierge at your beck and call is something that we’ve come to associate with staying in high-end hotels―a perk that’s only experienced when on business or vacation. This is no longer the case. More and more luxury residential condominiums and combo hotel/apartment residences are offering concierge services in order to ensure that their residents have easy access to information related to transportation, reservations, delivery services, and much, much more.

One future building that will offer concierge services to its residents will be Boston’s own One Dalton. This service perhaps comes as a more obvious benefit considering that the residences at One Dalton will sit atop a gorgeous Four Seasons-managed hotel and spa. Even so, this perk will come in especially handy during the season’s busiest streaks such as baseball season, when the Red Sox play at legendary Fenway Park, which is located just a short cab or public transit commute away. New York City’s up-and-coming 100 East 53rd street will also be designed to put its residents’ needs above all else. Upon completion in 2017, this stunning condominium will offer premium access to concierge service and luxury amenities such as a spa, wellness facility and a swimming pool.

So just why is access to an on-call concierge so important? Here are some reasons why concierge services are invaluable in Boston, New York, and many other cities.

1.) You can finally get reservations at that popular new restaurant. – When you’re living in the lap of luxury, chances are you prefer dining at high-profile restaurants. While many such eateries boast award-winning chefs, impeccable menus, and elite-crowds, they also usually have long waiting lists for reservations. A concierge takes the guesswork out of finding that perfect time to dine. Having someone who’s in the know about the area’s best restaurants means you never have to experience a disappointing meal, and having a concierge with credentials calling on your behalf certainly can’t hurt your chances of getting your name listed a few spaces higher on that coveted list.

2.) Taking a vacation has never been easier. – Having a resident concierge on hand means that typical at-home hassles that often come up when you’re out of town are eliminated. Concierge staff ensures that packages are received and signed for, even when you’re not home, and they can help arrange pet-sitting and other services. Finally you can go on vacation and actually leave your worries behind.

3.) You don’t have to worry about long lines at the grocery store. – Simply create your grocery list and drop it off with your concierge for prompt grocery pick-up and delivery to your door. No more endless grocery store lines. No more lugging bags up to your apartment. And no more dinners delayed because you got caught in traffic on the way home from the store. This is a huge help for those who work long or unusual hours. Of course, these kinds of personal shopping services can be extended to include clothing, personal care items, and much more.

4.) Hailing a taxi is a task of the past. – Anyone who lives in a large city will tell you how frustrating it can be to hail a cab during a shift change or late-night hours. A concierge can take all the guesswork out of your transportation needs, getting you picked up at point A and dropped off at point B in record time.

5.) You’ll finally remember to get your favorite suit dry cleaned. – We’re all guilty of stretching that dry clean-only garment over a few more business trips than we probably should. With resident concierge services, you can drop off all your dry clean-only clothing and pick it up from the front desk when it’s ready. This is an invaluable service, especially for people with busy travel schedules who may not have time to take care of this task on the go.

The days of having to do it all on your own are over. Regardless of the lifestyle you keep, having a concierge on call can greatly improve your quality of life by helping you keep a more manageable schedule and allowing you to make the most efficient use of your time.

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A New Hotel Condominium Comes to Miami

In 2017, South Beach’s Art Deco district will welcome back a classic: the Shore Club will be reborn as the Fasano Hotel and Residences at Shore Club, with a new design by acclaimed Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld, and innovative landscaping by Enzo Enea. The new two-tower development will include 75 luxury residences, as well as 100 five-star hotel suites for visitors. In August, HFZ Capital Group, the New York-based developer leading the transformation, released new imagery of the re-design.

The Shore Club’s revamped look is a jaw-dropper: a magnificent example of what has been described as “tropical modernism,” Weinfeld’s signature aesthetic is a mix of stone and glass, exotic hardwoods from Brazil, and elegant, geometric forms. Enea’s landscape design brings tropical plants, sand and stone to the walkways and grounds. Situated on three acres of oceanfront property, the Club’s idyllic setting will retain all its classic charm. The Shore Club is Weinfeld’s first hospitality project in the United States. Inspired by Brazilian modernist Oscar Niemeyer, Weinfeld has worked extensively in his native Brazil, and his work is the subject of a recent book by Raul Barreneche.

The Fasano Hotel and Residences at Shore Club is also the first foray by the Fasano family into North America, after many decades as the leading name in luxury hospitality in Brazil. Currently helmed by Rogério Fasano, the company group runs three acclaimed hotels in Brazil: the Fasano São Paulo, in the city’s historic Jardim Europa district, the Fasano Boa Vista, and Fasano Punta del Este. They also run the idyylic Las Piedras resort in Uruguay, and fifteen restaurants.

The new design of the Shore Club will reduce the total number of rooms, making both more exclusive and more spacious inside. Rather than echoing the pastel pink Art Deco landmarks of South Beach, Weinfeld’s design will be sophisticated and warm, with a cosmopolitan sophistication that suits Miami’s growing profile as an international cultural mecca.

The new residences will range from one to three-bedrooms, as well as two-story poolside bungalows with full kitchens and bathrooms. The amenities are what you’d expect from a luxury hotel: a 24-hour concierge, a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa, on-site fine dining, a beachside pool, and cabana service. Enzo Enea’s thoughtfully designed outdoor areas are ideal settings in which to relax, too. All residents enjoy spectacular ocean views, and close proximity to the food, shopping, and culture that South Beach has to offer.

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A Walk-in Paradise

While some trends arrive with a shouting boom, others seamlessly work their way into our lives until we consider them mainstream necessities. The walk-in closet did both. It made a flashy appearance on the scene in Sex and the City: The Movie when Carrie Bradshaw ogled over her new Manhattan penthouse walk-in closet. But years before, the trend was bubbling and forming around its pure necessity and functionality in the hands of designers who knew the true value of this ultra-private sanctuary.

Decades ago, home buying revolved around a functional layout. As tastes and trends evolved, however, soon men began to require a “man cave” when building or buying a new home. It did not take long for women to realize that they, too, needed a sanctuary away from the everyday functions of the rest of the household. In the luxury home and condo market, residences are now being built, as well as remodeled, with this key room as a central focus.

Fortunately for New York home buyers, the walk-in closet trend has become a standard for luxury developments in most high-end neighborhoods. New condominium residences like 551 West 21st Street represented by Christie’s International Real Estate and these exquisite penthouses at 21 West 20th Street, are setting the standard for lavish living spaces in a city known for extravagance.

And walk-in closets aren’t just for women’s heels, handbags, makeup, and jewelry. As more designers tailor closets to each of their client’s wardrobe and wishes, more hotel condominiums like The Fasano Hotel and Residences in Miami are following suit, coming equipped with a pair of walk-in closets. Men are increasingly demanding their own walk-in storage spaces due in part to their increased pride in their wardrobes and the draw of unique lighting options and technology-driven extras now available for closets. Some lavish walk-ins for men and women include multiple floors separating daywear and eveningwear, security technology that only accepts entry from the assigned owner, and recessed TVs.

The walk-in closet is now one of the most sophisticated, and expensive, rooms in every luxury residence. Designers and architects often bring the walk-in closet to the table early on in a new construction project by keeping the buyer’s unique tastes, and possessions, in mind. With a person’s wardrobe and personal possessions now among their most lavish assets, there is no question that the holding space for such items should be equally as precious.

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Luxury Hotel Condominiums Partner with Superstar Chefs

Luxury hotel residences are already appealing given their superior level of service. Layer in delectable food by all-star chefs and the combination is irresistible. The following world-class hotels offer residential condominiums, where homeowners will enjoy the food of famed restaurants and equally renowned chefs on their own properties.

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Why You Can’t Miss Staying at Four Seasons Private Residences Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica

If you’re looking to spend your precious hours away from the office in a location that offers great weather, beautiful sights, and more than enough entertainment for adults and children alike, look no further than the Four Seasons Private Residences Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo. This hotel condominium has lured many travelers from theconfines of their own homes and offices to this gorgeous Central American paradise, offering both unparalleled excitement when you want it and unmatched relaxation when you need it.

It may be far away, but it will feel like home: The Four Seasons hotel condominiums Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo are designed to make you feel at home, regardless of how far you’ve traveled. In addition to luxurious private hotel condominiums, the Four Seasons property has all of the amenities residents are used to in their daily lives, including a teen center for the younger members, conference facilities to enable you to keep up with the office, and a golf course where you can perfect your backswing.

If you are traveling for peace and tranquility, relaxation is just a phone call away: The properties world-renowned spa can easily melt away your stress. From massages and facials to salon beautification services, you can get back to feeling like your best self. If it is action that you seek, adventure is just steps from the front door: Whether you’re into catching waves on your surfboard or catching your own dinner from a chartered boat, activities surround you both on land and in the water. Activities in the area include horseback riding, scuba diving, and hiking, not to mention the beautiful wildlife thats at your fingertips. Peninsula Papagayo’s tropical landscape is home to a whopping five percent of the earth’s total wildlife, with everything from howler monkeys to parrots. These majestic creatures are easily and safely spotted on the area’s nature walks and forest tours.

Whether it’s relaxing or constant movement, amazing service is right at your fingertips: The Four Seasons is world famous for its incredible talent the brand’s flawless image attracts. From the first-class instructors and staff at Peninsula Papagayo to the top-rated chefs who create the four star cuisine at Four Seasons 30 Park Place in New York, you can count on babysitters, golf instructors, and meals delivered to your room.

Make us jealous, go and relax….. team.

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Why DC is a Must for a Long Weekend with the Kids

Washington D.C. is compelling for visitors of all ages, but a long weekend voyage with school-aged children is an absolute must. In addition to the eye-appealing monuments and rich historical offerings of the National Mall, there are several lesser known treasures in the city such as the Residences at Ritz-Carlton.

The Residences at Ritz-Carlton provide the perfect home away from home on your exploratory vacation. Located near the Golden Commercial Triangle in D.C.’s West End neighborhood, the hotel condominiums at 1111 and 1155 23rd St. NW offer one to four bedroom apartments ranging from 900 to 2,700 square feet, ensuring enough space for everyone. All visitors get access to the nearby LA Fitness Sports Center as well as the top-notch services and staff for which Ritz-Carlton is world-renowned. Those looking to stay closer to the Georgetown area will be similarly pleased with the Residences at The Ritz Carlton Georgetown located at 3150 South St. NW which is a converted pre-war factory building featuring a beautiful 130-ft smokestack. The 28 hotel condominium residences all feature high ceilings, spacious layouts and stunning views of the Potomac River.

Now that you’ve arranged your accommodations, let’s talk about the best spots to take the kids.

1.) Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum:  Conveniently located on the National Mall and within walking distance to other sought-after attractions, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum provides the opportunity to get close to life-size airplane models, satellites and space artifacts. Inspire your little astronaut with a visit to the Apollo to the Moon and Lunar Exploration Vehicle exhibits.

2.) National Building Museum:  Located near DC’s famed Chinatown District is the National Building Museum, an institution dedicated to sharing America’s greatest accomplishments in architecture, engineering and design. This museum is geared towards interactive learning, giving children and adults hands-on experience with scale models, robotics and much more. Festivals like Discover Engineering Family Day (in February 2015) give families a chance to learn together.

3.) Smithsonian Zoological Park:  Considering “the nation’s zoo” admission to the Smithsonian Zoological Park is complimentary every day, visit the American Bison exhibit to learn about how species have influenced history, or visit Panda cub Bao Bao who’s now on exhibit on the Asia Trail. A trip to the zoo also provides an opportunity to explore the lesser frequented, yet scenic, neighborhoods of Adams Morgan, Cleveland Park, and Upper Dupont.

4.) Bureau of Engraving and Printing:  Teach your children the real value of the dollar with a trip to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. With tours taking place every 15 minutes, you’ll get a chance to see where the nation’s currency is printed, stacked and examined for imperfections.

5.) Discovery Theatre at the S. Dillon Ripley Center:  Geared toward children ages two to 16, the Discovery Theatre features live performances daily at 10 AM and 11:30 AM that spotlight American culture, living history and science as well as math-related programming to entertain and engage young minds.

Safe Travels….. team.

Image Courtesy of Shurbert Ciencia

Summer Escape: July in The Hamptons

While “summer in the city” may be a popular refrain in songs, when the temperatures begin to rise in Manhattan, the city’s residents find themselves in a fast and furious search for  more temperate climes. Luckily, just a few miles off Manhattan’s eastern coast lie the Hamptons, the quintessential summer retreat for New York’s most stylish who escape to their million dollar beach homes and condominiums. As the heat in the city reaches a boiling point come July, the events calendar in the Hamptons is likewise heating up.

Starting with the first week of July, the Hamptons’ party schedule kicks into high gear, with Fourth of July celebrations — and their requisite fireworks displays — exploding across the sky in areas including Montauk, Southampton, and Westhampton. As the city swelters, cool off with some culture at Bridgehampton’s Fine Art and Craft Show, taking place on July 5. For those looking for a bit of high-stakes fun, the Hamptons’ Poker Championship, celebrating its second year, is a great way to indulge a competitive spirit while raising money for charity. And, of course, no summer in this cultural capital would be complete without a celebration fit for royalty, with folks clamoring to strut their stuff at Shelter Island’s famed Black and White Ball.
While events are tailored for adult audiences abound in these beachfront communities, there’s still more than enough family-friendly fun available to keep both parents and children entertained, like milling demonstrations at the Water Mill Museum and drip painting workshops at the home of famed artist Jackson Pollock. After working up an appetite swimming and sandcastle-building, families can enjoy an Italian feast at Southampton’s La Parmigiana, a favorite for both kids and adults alike with offerings ranging from gluten-free pizza to lobster ravioli.
For Southamptoners on the go, the recent addition of a new branch of Manhattan favorite Citarella is the perfect spot to pick up both picnic rations and grown-up fare. When the kids become weary of browsing the store’s inimitable selection of fresh produce and pre-made treats, let them cool their heels at the newly-minted Pottery Barn Kids right across the street, where they can design their dream room for their dream condominium, and, if they’re well-behaved, maybe even earn a toy or two.
As Manhattan gets muggy during the dog days of summer, the Hamptons’ non-stop entertainment schedule and stunning natural beauty make the city’s humid hustle and bustle seem to pale in comparison. Whether your trip to the Hamptons comes via Jitney or private jet, there’s no better place to escape the city summer than this Long Island locale.

Father’s Day Spas in British Columbia

He’s the guy who always checked for monsters under your bed, taught you how to throw a baseball, and helped you buy your first car. Whether your dad is a big tough guy or a big softie, you’d be hard-pressed to find a father who couldn’t use a little TLC. We’ve rounded up our favorite spas that are perfect for pampering Pops this Father’s Day.

Sapphire Day Spa: For the father who isn’t afraid to try something new, head on over to Sapphire Day Spa. Whether your dad is in the mood for a massage, or adventurous enough to try some of the spa’s traditional Ayurvedic treatments, everything on offer at this Victorian spa is a surefire hit.

Trump International Hotel & Tower
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Dads aren’t exactly known for their cutting edge styles, but one trip to the spa Mar-a-Lago can change that. The world-renowned spa, located in Vancouver’s Trump International Hotel & Tower, boasts a staff of experts who can do everything from cleaning up your cuticles to performing a complete hair transformation, making moms everywhere jealous along the way.

Magnolia Hotel & Spa: Is your dad sporting some funky feet? While his toes may terrify you, the highly trained professionals at Victoria’s Spa Magnolia can turn them into pedicured piggies without batting an eye. If a massage is more his speed, the spa’s staff can shiatsu the stress out of even the most bothersome backs.

Shangri-La Residences
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
While a trip to the salon is a treat for most, a lucky few get to experience the luxury of a world-class spa without setting foot outside their building. The Shangri-La, a mixed-use hotel and condominium, offers up not only peerless luxury inside each unit for those lucky enough to call the 62-story tower home, but also a stunning spa experience, with services ranging from body wraps to massages.

Whether you’re young or old, working in a corner office or a corner store, there will never be a guy in your life who loves you and supports you like your dad, so show him the feeling is mutual with a little R&R – and some much-needed catching-up time — this Father’s Day.

Have a great pampered Father’s Day….. the team

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New York City Hotels Going Green

As the city at the forefront of American culture, New York is home to the best of everything, from food and finance to art and architecture. With innovators from around the world looking to leave their mark on this iconic city, developers are rapidly evolving their brands to make the newest additions to New York represent a more sustainable world to come. From green building materials to rooftop gardens, these hotel condominiums prove that you don’t have to sacrifice luxury to build a better future.

Baccarat Residences:  Midtown’s Baccarat Residences delivers peerless luxury to the building’s guests and residents alike. Just steps away from the Museum of Modern Art and within walking distance to some of the city’s best shopping, this 46-story hotel condominium is home to unrivaled amenities, from a full-service fitness center and pool to the five-star restaurant and bars located in the hotel portion of the complex. Along the building’s exterior, reflective glass has been used to keep the residences cool and comfortable, lowering residents’ electricity dependence and cutting down on the use of ozone-depleting Freon from air conditioners.

Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park:  Brooklyn has always been on the cutting edge of design, and new hotel condominium Pierhouse is leading the charge. Located on the beautiful Dumbo waterfront, Pierhouse is a celebration of the natural world while showcasing the best in urban design. Opening out onto beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre nature lover’s paradise, the building also encompasses countless aspects of green design within its walls. The developer Toll Brothers’ other property 1 Hotel is a testament to its commitment to the environment, using sustainable building materials and design elements throughout the hotel as well as offering local, organic farm-to-table cuisine in the building’s restaurant.

30 Park Place:  Downtown Manhattan’s luxury market is about to get a major facelift, thanks to 30 Park Place’s unique blend of functionality and environmentally-friendly construction. The 82-story Four Seasons managed hotel condominium, developed by world-renowned Silverstein Properties, has all the amenities guests have come to expect from the iconic Four Seasons brand, with the addition of eco-conscious features throughout. While residents will undoubtedly enjoy the building’s lounges, fitness center, children’s playroom, and private dining, they’ll also feel good about their investment, thanks to the building’s LEED certification and landscaped green space, which makes use of the brilliant sunlight that shines upon this limestone marvel’s elegant face.

With environmentalism becoming a common goal around the world, countless individuals and companies are contributing what they can to make a more sustainable Mother Earth for generations to come. In New York, the trailblazers spearheading this movement are bringing their talents to the hotel condominium industry, where form, fashion, and eco-friendliness are all seamlessly blending together into a new breed of a luxury building that delivers as much punch for its guests and residents as it does for the world at large.

Happy Luxury Living….. team.

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The Appeal and Beauty of Panama What to see, where to relax

With eternally blissful weather, gorgeous coastlines on the Caribbean and the North Pacific, and relatively inexpensive prices, Panama is a Central American vacation destination that offers the works. Here, we have identified some great destinations in Panama.

Panama City

The country’s capital is a contrast of sleek high-rises and historic architecture, surrounded by a verdant belt of tropical rainforest. You can see crumbling colonial ruins in Casco Viejo and Panama Viejo (where you’ll find the remainder of the city razed by Henry Morgan in the 17th century) as well as eat great Panamanian dishes (tortillas, bollos, lots of arroz). Dominating the city is the Panama Canal, the huge watery thoroughfare through which millions of tons of cargo passes each year. It’s a stunning sight, best enjoyed from a well-located hotel. One such hotel is the Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis, a 66 story tower with panoramic views of the city and the Panama Bay. The hotel is classy but has swagger too; it boasts 11 bars, a nightclub and a rooftop pool. And for the morning after, there’s always the Rock Spa.

La Amistad International Park

Panama’s La Amistad International Park is shared with Costa Rica, and is the largest nature reserve in Central America. When the sights and sounds of Panama City have worn you out, head here to explore a cornucopia of lush vegetation (1,000 fern species, 500 tree species and 130 types of orchid), and consider camping out for a night or two. La Amistad is huge, thus much of it remains unexplored (although the Natural History Museum in London, INBio and the University of Panama have made headway into its depths in recent years). Don’t go wandering off the beaten track alone though: you may well come up against pumas, ocelots, and jaguars.

Pearl Islands

Panama’s beauty extends well beyond the mainland. The Pearl Islands is a string of about 200 islands located in the Gulf of Panama – just a 45 minute flight from Panama City. Contadora Island is probably where you’ll end up landing (two ferries sail to and from here, too). But from here, the Pearl Islands are your oyster. Board a sailing charter and weave through the other islands. Go fishing for wahoo, yellow tail tuna, sailfish and marlin. Stroll through virgin forests and over white sand beaches. The Pearl Islands is where they filmed three seasons of the TV show Survivor. But don’t worry – the cameras are long gone, and peace reigns here.

Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriquí

More secluded islands can be found at Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriquí – 36,400 acres of coral reef, mangroves and marine meadows. In the past, the park has been called  “one of Panama’s best kept secrets”, and although people are now wiser to its charms, the area still offers pockets of true tropical bliss. Scuba diving is a favorite pastime around the Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriquí, and if you head further out to sea on a charter, you’ll have the chance to marvel at humpback whales, dolphins and green iguanas. Stay a few nights in the fishing village of Boca Chica on the nearby mainland; the fish restaurants here are exceptional.

Safe Travels…. team

Image Courtesy of Marc Serarols