Located in the Nob Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins proved to be a solid hotel choice on my recent San Francisco vacation. The hotel itself is in of the quieter areas of the city, so if you’re looking for something more removed from the crowds and lights of Union Square but still in a convenient location, this is a great option. It’s a short cable car ride (or hilly walk) to Chinatown, Union Square, and the Ferry Building, among other hot spots. (more…)
Sometimes, it feels like the recession hasn’t really affected the chic set. My inbox has been bustling throughout the last year of with news of luxury hotels opening around the world and here in New York City, newly opened hotels (The Standard, The Jane, The Crosby St Hotel) have been some of the most indemand hotspots and event spaces.
News of the latest hotel slotted to open in the city popped into my email this morning- The Strand, situated on 37th St between 5th and 6th, making it an easy stop for midtown business-doing fashionistas. The hotel decor is a throwback to the Bogart Era with vintage fashion illustrations of the 50s and 60s decorating the guestrooms and common areas. (more…)
Since I was a child, I’ve always enjoyed staying in hotels. Something about the fresh, crisp turned down corners of the bed, the decadence of ordering room service, and being able to order anything with a simple phone call at the drop of a hat thrilled me. With my fond memories of traveling as a family with my parents all across the US, I’ve loved reading about different hotels in far away locales (specifically when I am frustrated at work and I need to some travel daydreaming.) My favorite discovery that I’ve been using as my source of solace during periods of high stress? Aman Resorts, a luxury, intimate small chain of hotels focused primarily on the southeast Asia region. (more…)
Ever since I was a child, I’ve traveled to the Pacific Northwest at least once a year to visit my grandparents in Vancouver, WA, a suburb just north of the Oregon/Washington border. While Vancouver is nothing to rave about, visiting them has afforded me the opportunities to travel to other areas in Washington and Oregon. On this trip, I decided to spend a few days in Portland by myself; exploring, dining, wandering, and learning all about the city on my own! (more…)
I’m pretty certain there’s no better way to unwind, relax, and celebrate a decade-old friendship than with a beach vacation. While we’d ALL love to be able to splurge on top-notch accommodations, food, and service, sometimes it’s just not possible (grad school? Boston rent?! Eeek!) However, ever since we were in sixth grade, my best friend Karen and I have always talked about going away to tropical destination together. Well, a few weeks ago, we finally made our fantasy a reality with a week-long, all-inclusive stay at the Majestic Colonial in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic!
I’m a girl who speaks the truth, so I’m going to be honest; this was not my ideal vacation. Typically when I visit foreign countries, I like to immerse myself in the local culture as much as possible. Obviously, staying at an all-inclusive isn’t really conducive to my desire of hanging out at corner bodegas, learning salsa and the meringue late-night in local discos, and chowing on authentic, well-made Dominican food. But for $1000 each including airfare, this was a great budget friendly, worry-free beach vacation. (more…)
Italian hotelier Valeriano Antonioli certainly knows a thing or two about style. As the Managing Director of the InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa in Paradise Valley, Arizona, Antonioli’s discerning taste has made the InterContinental brand’s first US resort one of the most fashionable luxury destinations in the country. Having spent 23 years managing hotels and resorts in Italy, Germany, Russia, England and the United States, Antonioli brings a certain international flair to Montelucia.
Prior to joining the InterContinental Hotels, Antonioli managed another one of TDO editors’ favorite places- the W Westwood in Los Angeles. He was also the force behind the Diana Majestic in Milan, Italy, the go-to destination for the fashionable jet set. When I was on property at Montelucia earlier this year, I had to chance to meet and chat with Antonioli and learn a bit more about his favorite things and personal style that brings so much sophistication to the hotel. (more…)
I love going to wine bars around the city, so imagine my happiness when I recently found a great one right on Michigan Ave. ENO is the wine bar at the InterContinental Chicago, serving up unique wine flights, cheese, chocolates, and newly introduced artisanal sandwiches. On summer days like these, you can even enjoy everything on their outdoor patio.
While I was at ENO, I met wine director Scott Harney and he poured me a glass of very blackberryish zinfandel that they distribute exclusively. I also tried the most delicious goat cheese with a peppercorn brine. The bar recently added small artisanal sandwiches to the menu, which are delicious and a great accompaniment to all the wine and cheese. I had a great time, and was happy to end the night with a truffle for dessert. Yum!
I think ENO would be a great place to bring a date, or even a group of girl friends. ENO is different from what you’d imagine most wine bars to be–it has a relaxed ambiance and is completely unpretentious. It can be as romantic or fun as you want it to be, and the wine list is unique and long enough for even the pickiest wino. Check it out at the InterContinental hotel at 505 N. Michigan Ave.
Happy Friday! I feel like I’ve been out to the Hamptons more in the past three weeks than the last three years combined! I was recently telling some of my editor friends that I feel as if one in two party invites these days take place out East – not that it’s a bad thing – I love myself some sun, beach, and clean air!
But I’ve been avoiding the clubbing scene. Seeing that I haven’t even been to Pink Elephant in the City in years, I’ve had very little desire to hit up their Southampton location. Partying in the Hamptons can be as sceney and attitude ridden (if not more) than your typical Friday night in Manhattan, so there’s really no reason for me to log an additional 6 hours total of travel time to get there. So last weekend when my best friend was visiting, I chose to take her out to Montauk instead for a weekend at the Yacht Club to experience the East End as it’s meant to be – posh, pristine, comfortable, with friendly service and a guaranteed relaxing time. (more…)
When I told people that I was staying in Ocho Rios for a few nights during my trip to Jamaica, most were already somewhat familiar with the city. It is a popular stop for many Caribbean cruises, so a lot of people tend to roam the town for a day and then leave at night. That’s too bad for them, because there is so much more to Ocho Rios than being a cruise stop. Ochi, as it’s called, has a distinctive culture and character all its own and is just 2 to 2.5 hours away from the airport in Montego Bay. I spent an amazing 4 nights there and now I’ve got the low down on everything you should do during your own visit.
WHERE TO STAY:
If you want a unique, exclusive experience, then there’s only 1 place to stay: the Jamaica Inn. We wanted to avoid large, generic all-inclusives, so the Jamaica Inn was perfect. It is a hotel that is steeped in history, with past guests like the glamorous icon Marilyn Monroe, and even British dignitaries (including Winston Churchill). It’s absolutely amazing that they saw the same, virtually unchanged, beautiful view that you see above of a lush lawn and gorgeous sandy beach. There are employees here that have worked at the Jamaica Inn for over 40 years, and guests know them by name. It’s truly a classic, romantic destination. (more…)
Now that summer is here in Chicago, I pretty much want to spend all my time outdoors. The weather is finally nice, and I don’t think there is anything better than hanging out with friends, drinking wine up on a roof under the stars. Chicago’s rooftop bar scene is definitely getting better and better, and these are the places that are on my radar this summer:
Vertigo Sky Lounge, pictured above, is located atop the Dana Hotel at 2 W. Erie St. and opened late last year. The outdoor lounge area is about 1000 sq ft and wraps around the building with 12 ft high glass and amazing views of State St. Vertigo serves its own specialty cocktails, like the delicious-sounding Honey Bee (Flor de Caña dark rum, lime juice, and Acacia honey) and Peach Pussycat (Maker’s Mark whisky, peach schnapps, pineapple juice, and cherry). And if you’re hungry, light bites from the Dana Hotel’s ajasteak restaurant like sashimi and Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches are available. DJs spin an eclectic mix of music on the weekends, so be sure to hit it up (Wed.-Sun., 5pm-2am). (more…)