It’s almost a bit of a tradition here at TDO to pay a visit to the US Grant every time any of us are in San Diego. The glamourous hotel is one of our favorites in the city, thanks to its prime location, delicious drinks and cuisine, spacious guest-rooms complete with French modern artwork, opulent decor, and now exclusive personal training fitness programs. When I was in San Diego last month, I of course, spent a couple nights at the US Grant and took the opportunity to try out the new Work It Lifestyle Program, complete with my own personal Pilates class! (more…)
We have a longstanding love affair with the Ritz-Carlton here at TDO, and the latest property we ventured to, Hong Kong, is no exception. Opened in 2011, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is not only one of the newest properties in the portfolio, but it’s also the highest — and not just among other Ritz-Carltons, but of all the hotels in the world. Soaring 118 stories above the ground, the property provides a view –and guest experience –unlike any other. Needless to say, prepare to be wowed.
Located on the Kowloon side of the city, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong sits atop the International Commerce Centre (ICC), a notable office, commercial, and residential building that came up in 2010. Not only do hotel guests have fine dining and the best shopping right at their fingertips, (more importantly) the ICC is also one of the stops made by Hong Kong’s Airport Express Service. Now, if you live in the States like me, you’ll think that an airport shuttle is nothing to be impressed with, but in Hong Kong, it’s quite a different story. Finding transportation after arriving in a foreign land is one of the most annoying parts of traveling — but guests at the Ritz Carlton won’t have to worry: a twenty minute high speed train service will take travelers from airport straight to the hotel. Departing the property is even easier (though much sadder!) — simply board the Airport Express again, but this time, don’t even worry about carrying your luggage. You can simply check in and send your bags ahead of time directly onto the flight and enjoy a leisurely trip to the airport hands free. Mind blown? So was mine.
There are fewer places more relaxing to me in this country than that beachy/resort area around San Diego. The city is apparently the birthplace of California, and the best representation of that that sunny, active, free-spirited, life-is-good vibe that I always associate with The Golden State. So it was not only appreciated, but much needed after a particularly stressful beginning to summer (and some travel plan hiccups), that I started my first vacation of the year right in the midst of that beautiful Southern California landscape. Last week, I finally checked out of crazy New York City and checked into Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa, just north of San Diego. (more…)
I have a deep-rooted sentimental love for Boston, the city where I met my hubby in school, courted, and went to the chapel to get married! The picturesque city holds such historic charm and beauty that a nostalgic sheen seems to embrace the whole city. Every time we go back for a visit, we gleefully revisit old favorites and discover new ones to add to the list. This past visit brought us to the refined and elegant XV Beacon Hotel, which won us over with how well it nestled its way into our perfect Boston experience. The location could not be better for exploring the city and its best neighborhoods, and is an easy ride from the airport on the T. Within minutes of checking in, we were walking (skipping, almost) down the hill to Charles Street for shopping and coffee. (more…)
The moment my husband and I stepped into the stunning open-air atrium of the Rosewood Mayakoba, we knew we had just entered not just a resort, but a fantasy. As we were greeted with a freshly blended green mojito welcome drink as we overlooked the lagoon and pool, I felt the stress of city life getting left far behind. The warm, breezy air invited us to shed layers both literally and figuratively (work projects begone!) as we took in the staff’s warm welcome which would follow us throughout our visit. The contemporary luxe style of the resort complemented the natural surroundings so well and mirrored the property’s attitude of respect for the local Mayan culture and traditions. (more…)
I sunk deep into a plush brocade love chair in the lobby of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, a fresh cappuccino in hand, and sighed. Outside, the late afternoon sun warmed the pristine blue waters of Lake Como and I watched, transfixed, as it danced in sprite-like patterns across the surface ripples. Hotel lobbies are not my usual venues of choice for relaxation or inspiration, but there I was, sitting in one, in complete awe of the moment and willing time to pass just a little bit slower.
At first glance, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo seems so spectacular, so ornate, that it left me feeling a little breathless as I took in the lavish tableau before me. Built as an Art Nouveau palace, the hotel is richly furnished in period décor, its soaring rooms painted in regal shades of red, blue, and gold, housing a wealth of antique art and artifacts. It didn’t take long however, before I oddly began to feel at home (the nicest one I could imagine having, that is) as I wandered into the more private and intimate areas of the property. A reading room, located right off the lobby, had an eclectic mix of brightly hued sofas positioned around coffee tables that gave it a residential feel. A little further down, a cozy game room, housing an authentic 1800s billiards table, beckoned as I walked past. Unable to resist, I completely ignored the fact that I didn’t even know how to play ball, and challenged my travel partner to a game of pool. (more…)
Most travelers to Portugal no doubt have Lisbon on their list of must-visit cities. But it’s actually in Lisbon’s outskirts that lies the real gem of the country. Sintra, located just forty minutes or so away, has long been the summer and vacation destination of centuries of Portugal’s monarchs- and for good reason. Nestled between the Sintra Mountains and the Atlantic Coast, this colorful city- also a UNESCO World Heritage site- boasts a charming downtown and centuries of rich culture and history all set amongst a lush natural setting. And it’s this jewel that Penha Longa Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort calls home.
I’ve totally been bitten by the travel bug again lately- but sadly have been grounded in NYC. So I invited my jet setting friend Andria Mitsakos, otherwise known as the Wanderlista, to share her recent travels to Milan with us. Read carefully and take notes for her chic tips on where to go and what to do in this fashionable Italian city. We’re dying to go already!
Most people don’t fall for Milan. I’m one of the exceptions, drawn to its nexus of style.
On a recent weeklong trip to work on the Spring/Summer 2012 collection for Dea Rosa, I visited two hotels, The Gray and Hotel Straf. Both are precisely central, with the Duomo at the end of the street, La Scala and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele round the corner. My favorite gelateria, Grom, is a stone’s throw away, and, the central location of both properties affords you the opportunity to fall through the front door of the city’s top department store, Rinascente. I had met my perfect accommodations.
The Gray hotel looks glossy, with a solid, mirrored rectangle as an awning. On the left as you enter is a small cocktail lounge, boudoirish, with velvet banquettes; the reception area is replete with a giant fuchsia-upholstered swing. My suite was a triplex and twice the size of my TriBeCa apartment. The foyer featured a sauna, the mid-level was the bedroom, sitting area and desk, and the loft was home to the walk-in closet and bathroom. This place could easily doubly as my Milanese pied-à-terre. Beds were super comfortable, lighting perfect and the staff lovely and gracious. (more…)
Travel and PR guru Sarah Evans is one of the most worldly and savviest people we know. As the managing partner of J Public Relations, Sarah represents amazing hospitality clients from global luxury brands like Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to special boutique properties like Windham Hill Inn. She’s also incredibly stylish to boot- a product of being both an avid world traveler and sophisticated New Yorker. We sat down with Sarah to get the deets on her latest obsessions: (more…)
Big Sur, California is one of the most amazing, awe inspiring places I’ve ever been to and a must visit for anyone traveling to San Francisco, Los Angeles or anywhere in between. I’ve been meaning to visit ever since my best friend from college did the drive down Highway 1 years ago- so when I was in California earlier this year, I decided to plan my entire trip around the same route. At the advice of one of my friends, I decided to check out Ventana Inn & Spa, an iconic property located right above the waters of Big Sur.
In so many ways, I feel that Ventana Inn embodies the rugged, organic grandeur of the town in which it resides. There is a certain authenticity to the property- from the way the buildings coexists with nature, to the genuine love of the area that their employees have, to the local ingredients used not only in their dinner menu but also in their spa menu, to the overall ambiance of wellness and peace. There is nothing engineered or over the top about this place- but rather a resort that is truly in line with their motto- the essence of Big Sur. (more…)