AN IRISH CASTLE CELEBRATES GAY MARRIAGES
Ireland’s voters approved gay marriage last week, and to celebrate, the 800-year-old Ashford Castle, a 350-acre, 82-room property in the countryside in County Mayo, has created a “Gay Castle Honeymoon” package welcoming the LGBT community. The offer includes two nights’ accommodation in a suite, an Irish breakfast, an archery lesson for two, a movie night with handmade chocolates, a five-course dinner in the formal restaurant and a late checkout. Prices from $1,600. Ashford can also accommodate weddings for up to 160 guests.
A FRESH LOOK FOR THE FOUR SEASONS
The Four Seasons Hotel New York, owned by the toy manufacturer and businessman Ty Warner — best known for Beanie Babies — is in the midst of a $60 million face-lift to give it a more contemporary look. First came a redo of the Ty Bar in the lobby, which was unveiled in February. Fifty7, the glass-enclosed event space on the lobby level in the former restaurant and bar area, was completed last month.
Now Mr. Warner is turning his attention to the 368 rooms: They are being freshened with whitewashed custom-designed wood furniture, hand-woven upholstery in chocolate and gray tones and tech upgrades including 55-inch curved flat-screen televisions and several additional electrical outlets in every room. Most of the changes will be completed by the end of this year, and it’s the first major renovation of the hotel since it opened in 1993; there was a “soft goods makeover” in 2004.
DEALS ON PRIVATE FLIGHTS
Private jet travel shouldn’t just be for millionaires. At least that’s the motto of JetSuite an Irvine, Calif.-based company that is often referred to as the Southwest Airlines of private aviation because it offers competitive charter pricing as well as daily online empty leg “SuiteDeal” sales.
Fares for the latter range from $536 to $1,499 for one leg of a trip on either a Phenom 100 plane, which seats four, or on a JetSuite Edition Citation CJ3 meant for six passengers. The cost is per aircraft, not per person, and the fleet of 18 Wi-Fi-equipped planes flies to more than 2,600 airports in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The low prices result from unsold empty leg flights, according to the chief executive, Alex Wilcox, who said he would rather sell them at a discount than have them fly empty.
A NEW CLUB FOR KIDS IN CANCÚN
Hotels with lavish kids’ amenities are nothing new, but the all-suite, 602-room Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun Resort & Spa in Cancún, Mexico, is being especially attentive to the junior set with a $2 million kids’ club scheduled to open in July.
The 50,000-square-foot space, designed for children between the ages of 3 and 15, will have more than 40 activities and several recreational areas: There will be a theater where children can dress up in costumes and perform shows, a kitchen with cooking classes, a high-tech section with video games, an arts and crafts studio, a library stocked with popular children’s books and a sprawling outdoor park with water activities. Admission is free in July and August; pricing thereafter is being determined.