Posts Tagged ‘suite’

A Stay at the Dorchester in London

4V1C3464

 Classic luxury is the vibe at the Dorchester

On my recent trip to London, my husband and I decided to go the classic luxury route and booked a stay at The Dorchester when we found a “pay for two nights, stay for three” deal in the Offers section of their website.  I’m a fan of the brand and am particularly fond of The Hotel Eden in Rome and had a great experience at their sister London property 45 Park Lane.

4V1C3552

Flowers in the lobby

The Dorchester oozes serious classic luxury. From the oversized floral arrangements in the lobby to the butler delivering a spot of tea from room service, this hotel has all old school London trademarks, without being boring or stuffy. The service is top notch, and friendly. The doorman even entertained me with stories from when he lived in L.A. for a few years during the 80s.

4V1C3491

The living area of room 810

We were upgraded to Park Suite and to say the room was large is an understatement. The living area was huge, with a dining table that worked as a desk for two, and a large seating area with overstuffed couches and chairs. It was clear the room could be joined to the adjacent room, so the suite was suitable for families, or executives traveling with assistants that want both proximity and privacy.

4V1C3515

The fire exit map at the Dorchester

The fire exit route map on the door was unlike one I’ve ever seen before. It lacked room distinctions, because the property can combine rooms various ways to accommodate guests, whatever their clients needs may be.

Photo Mar 19, 2 22 46 PM

Left: This Asian cabinet housed the minibar Right: a bold mix of patterns

The bedroom was also generously sized. Suite 810 was also blissfully quiet, thanks to double-paned windows. The dreamy bed was easy to sink into and hard to get out of since it was so comfortable. Maybe that’s why I never made it to the hotel’s gym during my stay?

4V1C3520

Succulent centerpiece on the table of Suite 810

The Suite overlooked Hyde Park and had an enormous dining and living area that closed off entirely from the hallway leading to the bedroom. There was a powder room off the hall next to the living room, so the master bathroom still had privacy.

4V1C3528

Oversized comfy couches in the living area of a Park Suite at the Dorchester

The Dorchester knows that it’s the little things that make a hotel feel like your home away from home. From the Champagne welcome amenity to the delicious shortbread biscuits in the minibar, I never wanted for much during my stay.

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

Orchids in the London morning light

4V1C34114V1C3451

The gleaming marble master bathroom

The master bathroom had loads of marble, dual sinks, great light for getting ready and a fabulously deep soaking tub.

4V1C3432

A peek inside the minibar- filled with with British classics

4V1C3538

Fresh roses in the suite area

4V1C3930

The gorgeous fruit basket (and Champagne) were the welcome amenity

My husband and I found our favorite feature of the hotel was the sleek and contemporary Bar at the Dorchester. The space was cool and felt casual and sexy, and had a large list of classic cocktails.

IMG_8769

The Bar is a great spot for variety of cocktails, including an inspired Gin & Tonic

I went for an unusual gin & tonic suggested by my waitress. The Bar also had a nice menu and the succulent olives were some of the best I’ve had outside of Italy. The bread pudding was a standout.

 IMG_8777

The bread pudding served in the Bar at the Dorchester

IMG_8786

Royal Salute on display at the Bar at the Dorchester

High end whisky, including Royal Salute Scotch, makes it feel like a lot of very big business deals get done (or at least celebrated) in this bar.

Photo Mar 19, 1 28 52 PMFullSizeRender

Left: Salmon at lunch at the The Grill Right: A spot of tea from Room Service for breakfast

The Dorchester has newly renovated The Grill restaurant and it’s gorgeous. Filled with Murano glass chandeliers and fine cuisine, it was a joy to just sit in the room during lunch and breakfast. I did not try the hotel’s more formal three star Michelin Alain Ducasse restaurant or China Tang.

Photo Mar 19, 2 02 24 PM (2)

Champagne in the gorgeously renovated Grill

If you’re interested in a prime Mayfair location and classic luxury, the Dorchester is a classic for a reason. If you can’t stay overnight, come check out the flower-filled promenade for high tea or have a drink at the Bar.

My husband feels more comfortable at the more sleek and contemporary 45 Park Lane next door, which is closer to our own personal aesthetic, but he very much enjoyed a few days at this London Classic.

The Dorchester
Park Lane, Mayfair
London, W1K 1QA

Suites and Rooms Reservations: +44 (0) 20 7317 6530
Fax  +44 (0) 20 7629 8080

Rates from $650.38

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Stay at The Prince Hotel St. Kilda, Melbourne

4V1C4005

The sunny reception area at the Prince

I first stayed at The Prince Hotel on a trip to Melbourne over a decade ago. I immediately fell in love both the Aussie chic boutique property and the St. Kilda neighborhood.

4V1C3948-2

The living room of the Prince Premier Suite

But boutique hotels age in dog years– and a lot can change (or needs to change) over the years. While I still adore the property, and particularly the it’s pleasant staff, the hotel is really in need of a makeover. Design details which seemed so innovative when the hotel opened now feel stale.

IMG_9491

The bedroom area of the Prince’s Premier Suite

My room- the Prince Premier Suite- was well maintained and still had a great bathroom with a fabulous free-standing tub and gorgeous light. The balcony off the bathroom felt a tad neglected and in need of some “freshening up.” The carpet in the hallways is visibly showing the wear and tear. The bright pink chair in the hallway, which once seemed like a bright and bold choice, made me think, “Wow. You’re still here.”

4V1C39354V1C3941

Left: The large soaking tub and Right: natural light fills the contemporary bathroom

The light-filled bathroom with it’s huge soaking tub was my favorite feature of my suite at the Prince. It’s definitely stood the test of time and provides enough space and light for a couple to share, although the sink and shower area are a bit cramped in comparison.

4V1C3945

REN amenities in the bathroom

One of the hotel’s best features is it’s Aurora Spa, which I did not have a chance to visit this trip. The Prince also has a great dining option, Circa. The public spaces are beautifully maintained and breakfast was delicious and included in my room rate.

DSCF3088

The breakfast room at The Prince

One of the hotel’s prime features is it’s location, just above St. Kilda’s gay friendly Prince of Wales Public Bar (this means both Kylie and Danni Minogue are in heavy rotation when the jukebox is working). The Prince of Wales also has a Bandroom which is staple of Melbourne’s music scene featuring both local acts and international ones– Michael Franti and Spearhead played here earlier this month.

I still love the Prince and recommend it for those who want a pleasant place to stay in the area. But boutique hotel connoisseurs won’t find anything edgy or innovative here.

The Prince

2 Acland Street, St Kilda
Melbourne, Australia
thedesk@theprince.com.au
+61 (0) 3 9536 1111

Rates start at $133 USD

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Stay at the Andaz Maui at Wailea

The adults-only pool at the Andaz Maui lit up at night

I recently visited the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort in Hawaii for the first time. The Andaz definitely caters to a younger/hipper crowd than some of the other high end hotels in the area. If you’re looking for in-your-face Hawaiiana, look elsewhere. The Andaz Maui has warm, zen minimalist vibe.

The Modern Facade of the Andaz Maui

My husband and I arrived before check in time, and our room (we booked a suite) was not yet ready. The Andaz host suggested we head the Bumbye Beach Bar to wait until she came to escort us to the room. The bar had wifi access (no password required), great views of the lagoon pool and Mokapu Beach, and particularly delicious Mai Tais. After two rounds, our host showed us to our suite, room 640.

The resort’s open and airy entry

The staff at the Andaz was friendly and top notch. I was particularly impressed with the concierge. She remembered my food allergies and made sure they were passed on to restaurants, even when we changed restaurant picks or re-scheduled reservations.

The seating area in living room of suite 640

Suite 640 was spacious, well laid out, and technology friendly– great for a modern day couple who both work remotely. 

Left: the work desk in room 640 Right: The dining room table in 640

There were several pools, including an adult/no kids one and several cabanas for hire, which was nice. Loved the wifi access (even at the beach) and I always appreciate the no password required. Every hotel should be this tech friendly.

The welcome amenity and lei

If I had to nitpick, I thought the ukelele player in the Lehua Lounge could have bothered to wear an aloha shirt. I also noticed a few room service trays lingered in the hallways a bit longer than the should have. Minor complaints for an otherwise fabulous stay.

The patio was filled with modern furniture and comfortable

One of the Andaz’s most amazing features is Morimoto Maui restaurant, which is FANTASTIC. My husband and I almost always get tired of every hotel’s restaurants after three days. Not so with Morimoto. We dined there four times during our stay and I’ve been missing it since I got back. Even if you choose to stay somewhere else in Wailea, don’t miss heading to the Andaz Maui for dinner at Morimoto Maui.

Left: the window seat in room 640 Right: a reading nook in the bedroom

The room’s king sized bed has sliding doors that can open to the shower windows

The walk-thru shower and soaker tub in Suite 640

My husband thought the furniture in our suite could have been more comfortable, however I had no issues with it. I LOVED the bathroom’s huge shower and soaker tub. The room was quiet and I slept well in the king bed.

The hanging chair on the patio was a great place to watch the Wailea sunset

The Lagoon Pool at the Andaz Maui

How fun is this indoor sandbox in the reception area of the Andaz Maui?

Yogurt with granola on the breakfast buffet at Ka’ana Kitchen

The breakfast spread served at Ka’ana Kitchen was amazing. Since my husband is a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Member member, our breakfast was included. The staff went out of there way to clarify which menu items were not included so there were no surprises on the bill. (Note: The Breakfast Amenity for Diamond Gold Passport members was recently downgraded.) The mimosa made with passionfruit and guava is not to be missed.

Delicious Mai Tai served at Lehua Lounge

The view from Bumbye Beach Bar

Obligatory selfie in sunglasses of the Andaz Beach Crew

The Andaz Beach Crew was very helpful and also has a great instagram account @andazbeachcrew.

Gorgeous sunset as seen from room 640 at Andaz Maui

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort

3550 Wailea Alanui Drive

Wailea, Hawaii, USA, 96753

Tel: +1 808 573 1234

Rates start at $423.00

Andaz Maui on Twitter

Andaz Maui on Instagram

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Best Kind of Hotel California: a Stay a the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur

The Post Ranch Inn is all about indoor/outdoor living

One of the things I love most about living in California is that there are so many places I travel to within state lines– the desert, the mountains, vibrant cities and cute coastal towns are all just a few hours drive away. The spot I find most beautiful and special is Big Sur, California.

The view from the living area of my Pacific Suite at the Post Ranch Inn

Located on a curvy and stunning section of the Pacific Coast Highway, Big Sur is part California is part hippie strong hold and part high end dream destination. I recently spent a night at the Post Ranch Inn, and remain convinced it’s my favorite hotel in all of California, because in so many ways it represents what I love most about the Golden State.

The steel hot tub is kept at 104 degrees

The Post Ranch Inn was designed by architect Mickey Muennig, who studied and embraced the concepts of organic architecture and limiting the impact on the environment. The result is stunning. The Post Ranch Inn’s 39 rooms are hardly “rooms.” They are collection of unique structures– tree houses and curvy buildings that cling to the Pacific Coast. The result is serene and high end zen.

Magic Hour light in the bathroom of my Pacific Suite

The result is all about enjoying the surrounding environment, be it the majestic Redwoods on the property or the stunning coast below. Cell signals are dicey in Big Sur and that’s half the charm. There are no televisions in the rooms at the Post Ranch Inn and you really don’t miss them.

The chocolate chip cookies in the included minibar might ruin your appetite for dinner

Each suite has an easy to work fireplace and some sort of outdoor patio. There is really no reason to leave your wifi equipped room– unless you want to. The property is fun to explore with all sorts of special hidden hang out spots, including benches and even a Spirit Nest (a human-sized birds nest) if you want to chill out in nature.

Left: the hot tub on the balcony of the Pacific Suite is kept at 104 degrees Right: the fireplace makes the suite super cozy

There are two heated infinity pools on the property– one lined with jade (which I’m told has “healing qualities”) as well as a heated lap pool. There is also fitness center and complementary yoga and meditation classes in a yurt. There is a full spa menu and treatments are offered in the spa facilities or in your suite.

I loved how the desk was so organic to the room

The Post Ranch Inn does not allow pets or guests under the age of 18, making it an ideal choice for a romantic couples getaway. They offer wedding, elopement  and celebration packages should you wish to take your relationship to the next level in inspired and spectacular surroundings. Honeymoon packages are also available.

The Pinot Noir welcome amenity was nice to enjoy in the stainless steel hot tub

The Post Ranch Inn was one of the first pioneers in the green movement. You drive past solar panels on your drive up to reception (in the summer, solar panels provide 100% of the resort’s power– and they contribute back to the grid.) Once on the property, a fleet of Hybrid Lexus vehicles are available to chauffeur you around.

Left: the guard gate at the Post Ranch Inn Right: the curvy and awesome exterior of Mountain House

While all this luxury doesn’t come cheap (room rates start at $675) the service is top notch and the resort does not nickel and dime you. The minibar could feed a family of four and is included in the room rates, as is an impressive breakfast spread in Sierra Mar Restaurant (which I’ll cover in depth in a future post).

Left: Lounge chairs on the deck of a Tree House Right: the deck of a Mountain House

Nature walks, yoga in a yurt, and meditation classes are also complementary for guests.

The exterior of Sierra Mar restaurant

Be advised: if you want to stay at the Post Ranch Inn, book early! The intimate scale of the property means it books up way in advance, especially during weekends.

Left: Solar panels provide the property’s energy  Right: funky fountain on the grounds of the Post Ranch Inn

The Post Ranch Inn epitomizes everything I adore about California– the rugged beauty of the Pacific Coast, the responsible green philosophy, the unpretentious luxury, and the high end hippy vibe.

The view from the Spirit Nest overlooks the pond (which is more scenic when California isn’t in a drought)

For all of these reasons, and the stunning location, the Post Ranch Inn is my favorite hotel in California. If you’re a bucket list type, this is a property worth adding. A two to three night stay is all you need, but one night is not really enough to truly savor all the Post Ranch Inn has to offer and to fully relax.


With only 39 rooms, reservations at the Post Ranch Inn are essential. No guests under the age of 18 or pets are allowed. Tip: stay here with someone special who you can chill with. This is a very special and memorable place.

Post Ranch Inn

Address: 47900 State Highway 1,
Big Sur, CA 93920, United States
Phone:+1 831-667-2200
www.postranchinn.com

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Luxury and Whimsy Meet at the Saint James Paris

The Saint James is the only hotel in Paris with official Chateau status

What could make a trip to Paris more magical? Staying at the Saint James, the only hotel in Paris that has official “chateau” status. Located in the upscale 16th arrondissement, the Saint James is unlike any place else I’ve stayed in Paris… and I really, really liked it.

Visually stunning staircase at the Saint James Paris

With bold yet whimsical interiors by Bambi Sloan, the Saint James is a stunner, but not at all stuffy. There is a hot air balloon motif through the property that pays homage to days when the grounds were used as an air field.

Left: Hot air Balloon Lamps Right: Zebra taxidermy is so Paris

The rooms and suites are very large by Parisian (or any major European city standards) which more than makes up for the property’s location in the upscale residential 16th  (it’s a 10 minute taxi ride to L’Arc de Triomphe and right near the the Porte Dauphine metro stop).

The timeless dining room at the Saint James

The location wasn’t an issue for me, because my stay was over a bank holiday in January and the property was so fabulous, my husband and I did not want to leave. With a restaurant and bar on the property, there wasn’t a need to when the weather got nasty.

Classically elegant details at the Saint James: a chandelier and an antique clock

The Saint James is part private club, part hotel, which gives the place a nice, understated buzz in the communal areas like the dining room and the bar.

The bedroom of suite 311 at the Saint James was carpeted with a hardwood design

The Saint James is a great choice for a sophisticated romantic getaway, or for those who love luxury and value for money (the basic rooms here are half the price as some of Paris’ most famous hotels).

Left: Nespresso Still Life Right: Fabulous bathroom with great tile & tub

While the Saint James is visually stunning, it’s also functional and comfortable and has a great staff. They are helpful and not overly formal. The concierge helped with dinner reservations and arranging transportation. Wifi is free and works throughout the property.

I loved this particularly bold room inspired by the Last King of Scotland

With only 48 rooms (20 of them suites), the Saint James makes you want to return to have a different experience in another room. So it’s not much of a shocker that the fashion crowd loves this boutique hotel property.

Some flamboyant touches at the Saint James

The bathrooms are definite stand outs both for design and practicality. Suite 311 had a claw foot tub that filled quickly and a separate shower with excellent water pressure that didn’t soak the entire bathroom. The amenities were Lanvin (so not mad at that)!

crazy good bathtub

Room rates include an impressive breakfast spread complete with Mariage Freres tea (my personal favorite).

The beds are comfortable at the Saint James

There is an outdoor garden with a terrace bar shaped like a hot air balloon that I’d like to visit again when the weather is pleasant.

A comfortable seating area in a suite at the Saint James

My stay at the Saint James Paris was a top notch boutique hotel experience.

Left: Hot air balloon wallpaper Right: a lighting fixture shaped like a hot air balloon

There is a fitness room and spa on the property, as well as loaner bikes if you’d like to explore Paris on two wheels.

The Spa Pavilion

The Saint James is a member of Relais & Chateaux.

Left: Love these striped pillows

:

Leopard carpet makes the classic dining room feel modern

The breakfast bread basket at the Saint James

The impressive breakfast spread

The Library Bar had a Hogwarts like charm

Room rates at the Saint James start at about $400 USD.

Saint James Paris

Address: 43 Avenue Bugeaud, 75116 Paris, France
Phone:+33 1 44 05 81 81
Email: contact@saint-james-paris.com

Much thanks to Jon Makmaltchi of  JMak Hospitality, Nicolas Egloff and the staff at the Saint James for arranging my stay and hosting me at the Saint James. Without them this post would not be possible.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Facebook YouTubeTwitterSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSS