Posts Tagged ‘luxury hotels’

Where to Stay in New York City: 1 Brooklyn Bridge

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A view of the Brooklyn Bridge from my Bridge View King room

I recently went to New York City for a quick trip and wanted to try staying someplace new. I’d heard good buzz about the new eco-luxury property 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, the third property from from the chic brand, 1 Hotels.

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Exterior of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

The 1 Hotels brand has the right kind of buzzwords attached to it… including a mission to be “nature led” and a core philosophy that states “The world around us is beautiful, and we want to keep it that way.” Sometimes having so many on point keywords can make a place feel “too Gwyneth” and preachy.

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The lobby cocktail area

I was pleasantly surprised to discover the vibe of the place is pretty chill. It’s only when you pay attention to the details that you discover how thoughtful they are.

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The 25 foot green wall in the lobby

Not to be shallow, but 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is a stunner. The property, which is the first ground up build from the brand, looks industrial chic and blends in perfectly with it’s DUMBO neighbors. The lobby features an impressive 25 food vertical garden and rustic yet warm eco-conscious design. But you’re not sacrificing comfort for style. All the small things work in this hotel. The upcycled wood chip room keys are clever and feel fresh. But when you discover to the repurposed pine flooring originally came from the Old Crow Distillery in Kentucky, you get the sense that 1 Hotels is the real deal. It’s chic, it’s cool… and it’s confidently laid back.

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A communal table in the lobby

Many NYC hotels have impressive lobbies and shoebox sized guest rooms. Fortunately that’s not the case at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. My Bridge View King Room was large enough to be comfortable for two people, and well-designed so that there was no wasted space. It also had a cool triple water filter so that guests can have tasty and clean water at their disposal without the clutter of plastic bottles. and the built-in dining area served double duty as a desk when it wasn’t occupied with a room service tray.

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Smart storage above the built-in dining area

The hotel also has a complimentary shuttle. It’s a Tesla that will drop guests off within a three mile radius and is available on a first-come, first served basis.

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Comfortable bed, excellent storage in the nightstand

Guest rooms are designed with comfort and usability in mind. The design packs a lot of storage punch, with enough closet space for a couple and bonus coat hooks.

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Fabulous robes at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

My stay was quick but I look forward to coming back to 1 Brooklyn Bridge to check out the hotel’s spa and 10th floor lounge, both set to open this summer. In the meantime, the cocktail service in the lobby was top-notch and included small plates from Neighbors, the minimalist chic Brooklyn-centric cafe off the lobby.

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Interior of Neighbors

Most guests might won’t notice that the property operates on 100% wind power energy or that the edgy/cool sculpture by Jarrod Beck was created from pieces of salvaged roofing found in aftermath of a tornado. But learning these details don’t make you like the property any less. They draw you in deeper. I’m curious what I’ll learn about the hotel on my next visit.

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Delicious crostini with lovely presentation in the hotel lobby

In addition to be comfortable, stylish, and well situated at Pier 1, 1 Brooklyn Bridge goes out of it’s way to be good with the ‘hood. I enjoyed getting my morning coffee at Neighbors next to locals using their neighborhood discount. The cafe’s menu had all sorts of locally sourced artisanal Brooklyn goodness one would expect. Mixing with the locals definitely added to the home-away-from-home attitude of the property, and added to the organic sensibility of the hotel.

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Cheers to 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Wifi was speedy and easy to connect. Service was great and devoid of attitude.

My biggest complaint? The property doesn’t have gift shop and the fluffy terry robes were so comfy I wanted to take one home.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Address: 60 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA
Phone: +1 347-696-2500

Rates from $509 per night (I paid a media rate).

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Sydney Harbour Sunrise Time Lapse Videos from The Park Hyatt

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Cloudy morning view from the Park Hyatt Sydney, looking towards the Opera House

Traveling to Australia, where it’s currently the middle of winter, during what is one of the longest weeks of daylight in the USA is really strange. While Sydney’s weather is temperate year round, winter’s shorter days can be kind of cloudy and rainy. Much like Los Angeles (during a non-drought year), it’s pleasant, but not the stuff postcard views are made of.

The Park Hyatt Sydney has amazing views of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the iconic Sydney Opera House. My room, an Opera King, had two small balconies overlooking the Opera House. I shot one time lapse from each of the room’s balconies.

Sydney Harbour awakens at Sunrise  (iPhoneonly video)

The moody winter clouds made for some dramatic, if not particularly colorful skies. I love watching the color temperature shift as the sun rose. I also like how this video has the jogging path in the foreground for some additional interest on the ground. Both time lapse videos in this post were shot using the native camera on my iPhone 6.

I travel with a portable clamp called an In Your Face Viewbase which I use as tripod. It’s small enough that it fits into my bag or purse and is easy to travel with. It works as a tripod if you can clamp it to something.

Winter Sydney Sunrise overlooking the Opera House

The second morning there was a little more action on Sydney Harbour, so while the colors still don’t massively pop, the boats are fun to watch. I can’t resist shooting time lapse videos wherever I’m staying here. It’s so much fun watching Sydney Harbour come to life in the morning, even if the weather isn’t the greatest.

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Enjoying a flat white on a winter morning at the Park Hyatt Sydney

My favorite Sydney time lapse video I’ve shot from this location was shot in October 2013, when the weather was better and my room was a floor lower. It’s located in this previous post.

7 Hickson Road, The Rocks
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2000

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Four Hotel Bathrooms to Crush On This Valentine’s Day

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 Clawfoot tub and a chandelier = yes, please!

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I couldn’t help but look back at some of the hotel bathrooms that I’ve met and fallen in love with the past year. Here’s a look at four sexy hotel bathrooms that are guaranteed to put you in the mood for romance.

1) The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana

Montana has all kinds of rugged and sexy landscape, and a few upscale resorts that really go next level in terms of service and luxury.

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 Gold foot clawed tub in a barn at the Ranch at Rock Creek

The Ranch at Rock Creek wins my award for outstanding bathroom design because every single room I saw during my stay in March had a incredible bathtub– not just the biggest suite on the property.

2) Most Unexpected Sauna- The Greenwich Hotel NYC

The Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca has become my favorite NYC hotel property because of it’s elegant, understated and cozy vibe. It feels livable.

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Tub fills in 60 seconds + a sauna

There’s a swanky Japanese spa in the basement and a state-of-the-art fitness room, where I’ve found myself next to a movie star on the treadmill, which are nice perks too. But what really blew me away about the Greenwich Hotel? The in-room sauna of the studio suites and freestanding bathtubs that fill in 60 seconds. This being New York, you forsake a walk-in closet for the sauna but it’s only for a few days… you can deal with it.

3) Best View from an Outdoor Shower- Maia Luxury Resort, Seychelles

The view of the Indian Ocean from the villas at Maia Luxury Resort are enough to inspire you to linger and rinse, lather, and repeat again.

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Maia Luxury Resort’s Outdoor Shower, Seychelles

Note: I did not try out the bathtub. It seemed like overkill with the surrounding infinity pool.

4) Best Indoor/Outdoor Bathroom Concept: Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

Everything about the hippie chic Post Ranch Inn is about indoor/outdoor living… including the free form shower and the killer soaking tub on the patio of the Pacific Suite overlooking, aptly, the Pacific.

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The Indoor shower at the Post Ranch Inn

What makes the soaker tub even more heavenly? Enjoying a glass of California Pinot Noir from the minibar while soaking in it.

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Pinot Noir on the patio of the Pacific Suite

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A perfect Post Ranch Inn sunset

Have you come across an extremely sexy hotel bathroom recently? Let me know in the comments section.

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A Stay at Maia Luxury Resort on Mahe Island, Seychelles

Panorama of the view from villa 218

I visited the Seychelles for the first time in December, 2014 and stayed at Maia Luxury Resort using free nights my husband earned as member of LHW’s Leaders Club Unlimited program. Maia Luxury resort is small and intimate, with just 10 oceanfront villas and 20 panoramic villas.

A fountain in the private plunge pool of villa 218

We were picked up at the Seychelles International Airport by chauffeured car and driven the 40 minutes to the resort (we arranged the car transfers directly with the hotel for € 100 each way). Upon arrival, we were quickly checked in before being taken to Villa 218 by golf cart.

Left: views of the Indian Ocean from Maia Right: Plantains as an in-room amenity

Villa 218 is a panoramic villa which has incredible 180 degree views of the resort’s stunning peninsula location and the Indian Ocean below.

Maia’s luxurious bungalows and personalized butler service mean there is very little reason to leave your room, although it’s worth doing. I was glad I lured beyond the confines of my villa to check out Maia’s award-winning Balinese style spa and the hotel’s main restaurant, pool, and beach area.

Floating flowers at Maia Luxury Resort

The restaurant serves Asian, Indian, and Creole food with focus on fresh seafood and tropical flavors. The Indonesian dishes were standouts. We also had a memorable dinner in the resort’s Wine Boutique where the hotel’s sommelier showed us some of the resort’s most interesting wine bottles.

Left: chaises in the pool of villa 218 Right: Maia Resort’s main pool area

The resort has a high staff to guest ratio and focuses on personalized service. At first I found the service a bit intrusive, but once we spoke to the management we were able to step it back to a more comfortable level.

Pastel sunsets are the norm at Maia

The food was great from both room service as well as in the hotel’s main restaurant. I was impressed with my massage treatment at the spa and was glad I left to room to get it.

I still can’t get over this outdoor bath & shower at Maia

Maia’s away-from-it-all vibe reminded me a bit of Imanta Punta Mita.

A Balinese style daybed in Villa 218

The in-room amenities are Bulgari and the addition of sunscreen was appreciated.

I loved the tropical, elegant and zen decor in the rooms

The king sized bed was comfy, and wifi worked throughout the villa and in most of the public areas. It was hassle-free.

The fan helped keep things cool and the mosquito netting went mostly unused during our stay

The Sunset Pool Bar

Maia has an impressive collection of Cognac

Room service sushi at Maia

The front door of villa 218

There were other guests at the resort during our stay but we did not see or interact with them much. The resort seems geared towards privacy. This spot is great for couples or honeymooners who enjoy luxury and privacy.

Views of Maia Luxury Resort’s private stretch of beach

Watching a pastel sunset from the beach at Maia

Obligatory toes-in-the-sand selfie

This was the closest I got to other guests at Maia Luxury Resort

Villa rates start at $2,313.53 USD per night (making this property an excellent choice for free nights redemption as part of the LHW Leaders Club program.)

Maia Luxury Resort

Address: 5th June Ave, Anse Boileau, Seychelles

Phone:+248 4 390 000

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March Giveaway: a 3-Night Getaway at The Broadmoor Colorado Springs

Behold The Broadmoor

Due to my hectic travel schedule this month (which includes visiting 6 different countries), I’m unable to use a Getaway Package I won at a charity auction from The Broadmoor, considered to be the Grand Dame of  Colorado luxury hotels. This historic property is nestled at the foot of the Colorado Rockies. This getaway package must be used by March 30th, 2013.

Since I’m unable to use it,  I’m giving the package away to a lucky blog reader who can use it!

Here’s what the prize package (an approximate $600 value) includes:

Standard accommodations (one room) for two people for a three night stay, on a space available basis (Sunday through Thursday) including the cost of the room and applicable taxes (incidental service fee not included). This offer expires March 30th, 2013

Here’s how you enter to win:

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