Though Omni hotels have stubbornly chosen to stage their own festivities on a different day from everyone else (Tuesday July 19), we don't really mind. It just gives us another opportunity to pig out! Starting at 4pm, Omni lobbies will host complimentary build-your-own Häagen-Dazs sundae bars, where you can top off your treats with marshmallows, brownie chunks, whipped cream, M&Ms, and—of course—a cherry. A special flavor, inspired by Boston Cream Pie (above), will be handed out from 3:30 to 5:30pm at the Boston Omni Parker House—delish!
The ice cream pop-up shop inside the James Chicago is always a safe bet, and this week's flavors don't disappoint. Tiramisu combines mascarpone ice cream, espresso sorbet, espresso and amaretto soaked ladyfingers, while Chocolate-Covered Strawberry (yes, please!) is a thick blend of white chocolate ice cream, strawberry ice cream, chocolate covered strawberry pieces. Sadly, these aren't free ($5 per cone), but we'd still try both.
Over in New York, we'll be treating ourselves to a bowlful of Baci Gelato, the local brand served by Nios restaurant inside the Muse. Made with all-natural ingredients imported from Italy, this ice cream is mind-blowingly good. Choose between chocolate, vanilla and hazelnut—or try all three ($8)! At least you know your moment of indulgence won't be interrupted by any unpleasant whistle blasts.
HOTEL MONACO PORTLAND
It's not just cute furry faces attracting guests to the Hotel Monaco Portland. The hotel's adjacent restaurant, Red Star Tavern, is known for their delicious house-made ice cream, which changes daily. As of today, the current flavor is strawberry, though a staff member suspected that would probably change by Sunday. Can we suggest cookies 'n' cream? That's always a winner.
· Not all hotels are lucky enough to have top-quality ice cream right on their properties. Here are two extra destinations worth making the trek from your room.
Hilton Cincinnatti Netherland Plaza lies directly across from one of Graeter's fifteen locations throughout Cincinnatti. Show up on Sunday for a promotional $1.41 single-scoop sugar cone (the number represents the shop's 141-year history)—black raspberry chocolate chip is the signature flavor.
Head to New Jersey on Saturday for the New Jersey State Ice Cream Festival (11:30am–5pm, free admission). Guests at the Holiday Inn Toms River only have a five-minute walk down to Washington Street, which is where the festival takes place. This distance will come in handy after the festival's ice cream eating contest, when you're ready to retreat back to your room.
[Photos: Jorge Gera, Sleepy~Steve, HotelChatter]