Even the road to Maroma is a sight to see- bright tropical blossoms and birds scattered among the lush mangroves that line a unpaved path to the resort. Make sure to pay attention on the drive in- as there are multiple forks in the road- but only one will lead you to the the seaside paradise. Set upon a spectacular private beach, Maroma is nothing like many of the other resorts in the Riviera Maya. Though owned and operated by luxury hotel group Orient-Express, in many ways Maroma still feels like the private property that architect Jose Luiz and his wife Sally called their home for years. It’s a place where I left my room door open as I milled around and where I could be happy just spending hours on my private porch. Every morning I walked the forty steps or so to the pristine beach, coffee in hand, to watch the sun rise accompanied only by my thoughts and the soothing crash of the Caribbean waves. This was the magic of Maroma- a place that lets you unwind, relax, and feel as if the entire property was there just for you alone. As an Orient-Express hotel, Maroma offers best in class service- what they call “homemade hospitality.” Each guest is taken care of on an individual and tailored basis- where every need is met in a very behind-the-scenes way. You’ll never see the effort that goes into making each moment perfect- just that when you wake up- a steaming hot pot of coffee is already waiting on your porch table, that the beach is free of debris any time you want to lay out, and when you come back from an evening excursion, hundreds of candles will guide you back to your room.
Before I visited Maroma, I had read so many reviews from travelers telling me how special the property is- but I realized that it’s a place where words and even pictures can’t do it justice (though I will try). It’s just one of those sanctuaries you’ll have to visit. (more…)
Perched right over the water on Newport’s Easton Beach, The Chanler at Cliff Walk, a warm and luxurious boutique hotel, gives travelers a reason to visit the city all year round. In fact, for some, like myself, The Chanler is in itself the destination- a magnificent chateau that embodies all the history and graces of Newport, Rhode Island. Originally built in the 1860s as the summer mansion of New York Congressman John Winthrop Chanler and his wife Margaret Astor Ward (of the Astor fame), the home served as the socialite couple’s entertaining hub for almost 50 years, welcoming noteworthy guests such as poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and president Theodore Roosevelt. Since leaving the Chanler family, the mansion has served a multitude of purposes from being a girls school to housing Navel officers. In it’s latest reincarnation, the mansion underwent an extensive renovation and reopened in 2003 as the preeminent hotel property in Newport. And outstanding it is- The Chanler was ranked first this year in Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards in the “United States Small Hotel Category” and and number 54 in “Top 100 Properties in the World.”
Say bye-bye to inconvenient hair appointments! Last night, I got a taste of the new Blowout Bar at the Argyle Salon & Spa (located inside L.A.’s landmark Sunset Tower Hotel), where hours are being extended to accommodate clients in the morning and evening.
I stopped by the salon after work to check out their blowout menu, which features four types of blowouts: the Argyle Signature ($40), the Hollywood Blowout (glam volume!, $40), the Beachwaves Babe (finished with a curling iron, $50), and the Polished (finished with a flatiron, $50). (more…)
Recently, I took a ill-timed, direct red-eye flight from Los Angeles to New Orleans for a wild wedding weekend, only to regret not taking a nap before the three-and-a-half-hour trip. (Anyone who was there during Halloween/Voodoo Fest weekend might know that it was practically impossible to check in to your hotel early.) Unfortunately, this was my first time in The Big Easy, and wandering sleep-deprived through the French Quarter at 8 a.m., fueled only by a cup of chicory coffee and a plate of beignets, was — well, not so easy.
Imagine my elation when I literally stumbled upon the charming Kinetix Spa and Salon (formerly Ofadean). On a whim, I asked owner Michael Mikolajewski if there was a “quiet room.” He smiled and gently said the prettiest word I’d heard all morning, “Yes.” I then asked if he could accommodate me and my delirious husband, despite the fact that the salon was bustling with some of what must have been 100 bridal parties in town that weekend. Again he said, “Yes.” (He really had that southern hospitality thing down.)
In New York City, time goes by too quickly. Whether it’s time before a deadline, the time you get to spend sleeping, or time for a work day lunch- the truth is, a New York minute really does go by in the blink of an eye. That’s why a few weekends ago, I decided to head to The Lodge at Woodloch, one of the Northeast’s premiere resorts where time is meant to be savored and enjoyed and cherished with a loved one- a best friend, a significant other, a parent.
The Lodge at Woodloch, located in Hawley Pennsylvania, is only a short bus ride but worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. It’s the distinctively “grown up” arm of the Woodloch family- an adults only resort which focuses on food, spa, health and wellness. The focal point of the resort is a 27 room indoor spa and salon which offers an extensive range of hair, body and facial treatments. The spa is open from 7am to 10pm on weekends, ensuring that all guests have ample time to experience the treatment they want. My personal recommendation? Book a massage the night you arrive. It’s a wonderful way to wind down after a long day and will immediately put you in the right mindset for the rest of your stay. (more…)
Travelers to San Francisco looking for accommodation have no doubt come across the Personality Hotels, a quartet of boutique properties located in downtown Union Square. On my last trip out there, I popped into Hotel Diva for a night to check it out and found it to be a great option for those (especially for a girls trip) who want the convenience of being right in the center of it all, at an affordable price. (more…)
A couple months ago my boyfriend, a former resident of San Francisco, took me to some of his favorite places in the city and surrounding areas. Despite having traveled to SF a few times, I always find new favorite discoveries every time I visit. This time, it was even better having a (once) local show me the non-touristy spots. (more…)
There are few things more refreshing after a long flight than to walk into a luxurious hotel suite that feels like it could be home. Well, that is, if my home were a swanky pad furnished with custom Italian furniture, floor-to-ceiling stone wall spa bathrooms, Brazilian walnut hardwood floors, and the most luxurious bed adorned with fine linens and down pillows. That’s how I felt last Friday night- as if I had walked into a chic dream apartment, when I checked into the Sè San Diego after a six hour flight from New York City.
Located right in the heart of downtown, the Sè San Diego is just a few minutes away from the airport and within walking distance to most of the city’s attractions, restaurants, clubs and shops. The building is rather unassuming on the outside, but the moment you walk through the 9000 lb bronze pivot door, you’re transported into a luxurious world of art, design, comfort and decadence. If I were to pick one word to describe the hotel it would be sensual- as the entire experience is designed to envelope all five senses. (more…)
In all the years I lived in Seattle and on all my subsequent trips, I always thought that the city was getting younger, trendier, and less “sleepy.” Certainly in the past few years as more and more young professionals, taste makers, and trend setters have moved to Seattle, I feel like I’ve watched the city evolve to keep up with the demand to stay fresh and sophisticated. On my recent visit, I decided to check out (and check into) Hotel 1000, a relatively new boutique hotel, that to me, really embodied the newer, younger, Seattle- sleek and modern ambiance meets luxurious and uncompromising service. (more…)