United States Travel Guide
The small town of Ojai often gets lost in the shadows of destinations such as Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, and Big Sur along California's central coast, but after a recent visit to the "Valley of the Moon," we began to understand what has made it a long-time getaway for those looking to escape L.A. and refresh in the powerful, healing aura that our bro Jaunted discovered.
Something that initially seems like a drawback is what turns out to be one of Ojai's best attributes: The fact that it is not located on the coast. Tourists coming to California understandably want to be near the ocean, yet same-state travelers (aka Cali locals) appreciate the change in scenery, change of pace, and the rejuvenating properties that live in the orchard-heavy landscape of Ojai.
Virgin Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Hype / Sir Richard Branson / Raul Leal / Nashville Hotels / → All Tags
You can probably thank Taylor Swift for the latest announcement from Virgin Hotels. The burgeoning hotel brand has just revealed they will open a new hotel in Nashville in 2016 in a pretty prime location--One Music Row.
Virgin Hotels Nashville will have 240 guest rooms, multiple "concept" suites, along with food and beverage outlets and perhaps most necessary of all, a cutting edge recording studio.
“Based on its nonstop cultural and live events, food and beverage scene, and its ability to inspire both talented artists and TV viewers, Nashville’s time is now – and we’d like to be part of that excitement,” said Sir Richard Branson. “Virgin Hotels will be our first venture in Nashville, and we’ll look at other opportunities for our US and international customers to enjoy the southern hospitality that Nashville is known for.”
Meanwhile, Virgin Hotels Chicago is apparently just "months away from opening" according to Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels. After that, Virgin has its eyes set on NYC, Boston, Dallas, LA, Miami, San Fran, DC and London.
We don't think we need to say it again but it bears repeating, "Hurry up because we can't hardly wait."
[Photo: Nashville CVB]
Hotel Deals / Hotel Suites / Hotel Promotions / Starwood Hotels / W Hotels / Westin Hotels / St Regis Hotels / → All Tags
Restaurant Week, Broadway Week et al are now all old hat. Courtesy of Starwood Hotels, we now have a new sweet promotion to spend our money on: Suite Week.
From now through April 29th, you can book a future stay (through March 31st, 2015) in a suite at any Starwood property in the New York City area for 30 percent off best available rate. Just book as normal through the hotels' websites.
Each hotel will also be creating its own package that comes with early check-in, late check-out, complimentary WiFi, complimentary parking and then three unique amenities that are specific to each hotel. Here's the rundown:
Admit, it. You've probably thought about what it's like to actually live in a hotel. The thought is totally normal, especially when you think about the daily housekeeping, trendy design and staff often responding to most every want. Well, this idea can be a reality with a trip to the desert of Palm Springs and your own little slice of the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Hard Rock is looking for people, regular people like yourself, to invest in the luxury 163-room resort in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. With a little professional help from RealtyMogul.com, interested (and cashed-up) parties will register their desire to be part of the America's first fully online crowd-funded hotels.
Benefits for signing a check with a few more decimals than a night's stay extend way beyond bragging rights. Individual investors in the hotel will receive VIP benefits ranging from free use of the hotel owner poolside cabana, 25% discounts off the best available room rates and free room upgrades. Even if you're not a regular to Coachella Valley Music Festival, this might be a good reason to get away to the desert more often.
East & West, a new dining and lounge concept from China Grill Management, opened in the hotel last week and features a menu by Executive Chef Bradley Day that features shareable small and large plates and pays homage to the best of the eastern and western worlds -- kinda like the hotel itself.
Hotel Events / Denver Hotels / Colorado Hotels / Marriott Hotels / JW Marriott Cherry Creek / → All Tags
If you live in the area or plan to pass through Denver next week, the JW Marriott Cherry Creek is going to be the temporary home for an exclusive showing of Impressionist & Modern paintings, American art, 19th Century European art, and luxury timepieces on April 22rd through 24th.
It promises to be a pretty impressive exhibit, featuring more than 15 pieces that include paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Thomas Moran, Camille Pissarro, and Norman Rockwell, plus sculptures by Edgar Degas and Henry Moore.
Put on in a partnership with Christie’s Fine Art, the collection is making a stop in Denver on its way to be auctioned off in New York City later this year. Believe it or not, the painting shown below by Thomas Moran, entitled "The Grand Canyon of the Colorado," was painted in 1904 and is expected to sell for $8 million. $8 million!
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
For a hotel located across the street from a hospital, you’d think that that the DoubleTree Hilton Boston would have had a facelift sooner. But this month the property announced the completion of an $8.6 million renovation that gave the 267 guest rooms a much needed new look. That's the "Before" picture above. Now brace yourself for the "After" shot below.
Hot Springs Hotels / Colorado Hotels / Springs Resort / Pagosa Springs Hotels / Mountain Hotels / → All Tags
Colorado takes its hot springs culture pretty seriously. They come in all shapes and sizes, and you can find them all over the Rocky Mountains. Some are family friendly, and some are clothing optional, as our bro Jaunted experienced.
At the tail end of the ski season, we took a swing down to Pagosa Springs in South Colorado. The area is known for getting the most snow in the state, and we made our home at the Springs Resort in the center of town. The 79-room hotel gives guests 24-hour access to 23 pools that have been built along the San Juan River which runs through the town.
There is always a risk that such development can lead to feelings of phoniness, but the Springs Resort did a good job of creating a spa-like atmosphere while retaining the scenic, natural beauty of the setting. You can see the river from almost every pool, and separate adult and family sections accommodate all. A soak in the natural sulfur water does a body good, and if you want to take it to the next level, you can get a spa treatment that incorporates the rich mineral water.
Denver Hotels / Colorado Hotels / Hotel News / Bed and Breakfasts / Bud and Breakfasts / Marijuana / Pot-Friendly Hotels / → All Tags
Back in January, we asked the question, "When will the first Denver hotel openly allow pot smoking?" now that the state has legalized marijuana and today, we find out that a hotel is already in the works.
Except it's not a traditional hotel. But rather, a bed and breakfast which will be turned into a...wait for it...bud and breakfast.
Eater reports that a company called...wait for it... The MaryJane Group, Inc. has bought the Adagio Bed and Breakfast with the hopes of turning it into a "pilot project in the marijuana-friendly lodging industry." And...wait for it...the B&B will be all-inclusive!
Guests will have "unlimited food, drink and, of course, the best marijuana and marijuana edibles Colorado has to offer." There will also be an on-site chef available to cook meals to order as well as unlimited luxury transportation within Denver city with...wait for it...24 hour security. Here's the full press release if you're interested.
If this pilot project is successful, The MaryJane Group hopes to expand to other B&Bs.
So we gotta ask--Would you stay at a Bud and Breakfast? Sound off in comments below!
[Photo: Adagio B&B]
Daryl Hannah would be so proud to tie the knot at Sheraton Forth Lauderdale Beach Hotel with their newest wedding package that's fit for those with fins. While we might be over underwater hotels, we can really get behind a picture-perfect, underwater-wedding day.
The Mermaid Wedding package offers love-dovey couples the opportunity to say their "I Do's" under water with an "actual" mermaid while up to 50 of their closest friends watch from the dry deck of The Wreck Bar, the hotel's nautical-themed bar. (See a photo of a vow-renewal here.) From portholes and picture windows, your guests have a view under the surface of the hotel pool for the bride and groom's 10-minute ceremony. Something tells us there wont be a dry eye in the house.
Once the happy couple dries off, a 90-minute reception in the bar for toasts and mingling with your guests. The package includes a choreography session prior to the ceremony so neither the bride or groom look like a dead fish and mermaid tails will be on offer for photo-ops.
The Sanderling Resort in the Outer Banks of North Carolina has some rather clever culinary presentations that they do for wedding receptions and other events at their beachfront property (check out the I Love Bacon station here.) But with everyone else but us (or it seems like) kicking back on Spring Break this week, we're really loving this Beer Canoe.
Yup, a canoe filled with bottles of beer. So simple and yet so right. The hotel will also do a seafood buffet out of a canoe too. Hello there, lobsters!
More pics below!
And even though we'd normally stay away from the humidity of Orlando in August, we find ourselves practically crossing the days off on the calendar. Here are five reasons why we're hoping the Four Seasons Orlando will make all our dreams come true.
1. The Adult Pool. The adult pool (separated from the family pool) will have cabanas, cocktail servers and specialty services like "sunglass cleanings." We hope massages are on that list too. #serenitynow
2. Firework Chandeliers in the Lobby. Night time is ruled by fireworks at Disney World but we're loving this cool chandelier of "fireworks" above the lobby's grand staircase.