Tag: Lena KatzView All Tags
For those of you who aren’t National Parks-savvy, we must formally announce that January is a Big Deal, event-wise, for the West Coast’s biggest NPS hotel name. Northern California's famous Yosemite National Park, and in specific the iconic Ahwahnee Hotel on the Yosemite Valley floor, has been drawing ever-bigger crowds and marquee-name chefs with its annual Yosemite’s Chefs' Holidays series, which runs for eight sessions in 2013. JustLuxe.com got a peek at the first session, which ran January 6-8, and there are seven more to go including the finale January 30-31. Look for the complete schedule on the Ahwahnee page.
The Ahwahnee, for those not familiar, was finished in 1927, and is a masterpiece of grandiose traditional Arts & Crafts architecture, with some Native American elements, plus vast sweeping interior lines that reflect the vast mountain outside. It's a Historic Hotel of America, and management company Delaware North has taken every measure to preserve that "You just stepped back 90 years in time" feeling. In the wintertime, this translates to traditional recreation activities like the Curry Village Ice Rink (opened November in 2012) and guided full moon snowshoe walks (starting January 23rd in 2013--rates around $415 per night).
We, however, prefer the newer tradition of Chefs' Holidays, in which chefs and winemakers and foodies from coast to coast get cozy and chatty, sipping all kinds of wine and whipping up delicious morsels and enjoying those chilly wintertime Glacier Point views through the window.
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This month, our friend JustLuxe covered a Yankee Christmas, guest gifts, holiday teas and more, and a simple theme ties it all together: Sugar. If you thought we'd say loving kindness, sorry! We're hopped up on the stuff.
It’s bliss and torture the way every hotel, inn, business and home puts out a spread of their finest cookies and cakes this time of year, promising, “Oh, holiday calories don’t count,” as though you’re gullible enough to believe in fairy tales. Because when you’re face-to-face with The New York Palace's Eggnog Cheesecake, you kinda do believe.
Read on for more sweet treats at these sugar-fueled spots
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The Riu Punta Canta's adults-only swimming pool promises no Marco Polo
In a somewhat shocking move, Riu Hotels & Resorts–one of the biggest and most traditional of the big-box all-inclusive resort chains–is suddenly introducing a slew of new and thoughtful brand-wide amenities boldly aimed toward getting their Americas properties into the 21st century.
After spending lots of time in many all-inclusives, we though many brands would never change their buffet-lined, screaming-kid, non-Internet-having ways. Bargain rates? They haz ‘em. But innovates? They never.
Except now, RIU is.
The Bardessono in Yountville, Calif.
As part of our Summer Reading List for Hotel Geeks, once a week, we will review a book about hotels whether it be fiction, non-fiction, historical, auto-biographical or even just a cool coffee table book with incredible photos. These could be the perfect books to kick back with while laying poolside, or while working the late-night shift at the front desk or while entertaining friends with your high-falutin' aspiring hotelier schemes. Our latest read is of the travel guide variety but we loved these California hotel picks.
As a former long-time California resident, we were excited to learn about fellow travel writer Lena Katz’ new Travel Temptations series of books, SNOW, SIP and SUN – especially SUN: California: Delicious Destinations, Secret Hideaways, Expert Sources , since this HotelChatter contributor moved to the land of Vitamin D deficiencies, a.k.a. Seattle.
We asked Katz to dish on her fave summer vacay destinations in the Golden State. She shared with us four Northern California picks, all known for their emphasis on nature – not artificial materials.