Savings at Nassau hotels and resorts

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beach signs-nassau paradise islandNassau, Bahamas – Renowned for its powder white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise waters, Nassau Paradise Island is a tropical, well, paradise. This spring and summer, visitors can save money with remarkable deals at some of the destination’s most popular hotels and resorts.

Book a minimum four-night stay at any of Nassau Paradise Island’s participating hotels, see below, by May 20, 2014 and receive $250 credit on air-inclusive packages. Travel can take place now through Dec. 23, 2014.

The following participating hotels offer accommodation options for every budget and style:

o    Atlantis, Paradise Island

o    Best Western Bay View Suites

o    British Colonial Hilton Nassau

o    Comfort Suites Paradise Island

o    The Cove Atlantis

o    Graycliff Hotel

o    Harborside Resort at Atlantis

o    Meliá Nassau Beach Resort

o    One & Only Ocean Club

o    Paradise Harbour Club & Marina

o    Paradise Island Beach Club

o    Paradise Island Harbour Resort All-Inclusive

o    The Reef Atlantis

o    Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island

o    Sunrise Beach Club & Villas

 

This offer is valid for travel originating in the U.S. and Canada.  For more information on these resorts, additional packages, or to book: www.NassauParadiseIsland.com

Sofitel New York, New York, NY USA

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Location Sitting in Midtown Manhattan, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues at West 44th Street, Sofitel New York is perfectly placed for business, arts and culture, and shopping. Bustling Times Square and Broadway’s brilliant theaters are all within easy walking distance. There is no better way to see Manhattan than to walk. Though Sofitel New York is located in noisy Midtown, it’s on a quiet cross street also housing the famed Algonquin Hotel. Just a block away, Bryant Park is a relaxing spot handy to the Sofitel. This outdoor space has a restaurant and cafe, and amusements—including an old carousel. It forms a traditional square in the European style, echoing Sofitel’s French roots.

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Lodging Sofitel New York opened in 2000, bringing a touch of ooh-la-la  to Midtown. Many staff members are French and you are as likely to be greeting with “bonjour” as you are “good morning.”  It is certainly a home away from home for French visitors to the city. For anyone, it is a calm, elegant oasis with a welcoming lobby lounge with marble  flooring and a green marble fireplace. French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon interpreted the 30-story, limestone and glass tower’s interiors in an Art Deco style. The building landed architect Brennan Beer Gorman with an Emporis Skyscraper Award for Best New Skyscraper for Design and Functionality. In all, Sofitel New York has 398 rooms on 30 floors, including dozens of suites, such as four Terrace Suites, and one Presidential Suite. The 1,200-square-foot Imperial Suite features a spacious living area, a separate office with desk and fax, and a king bedroom.

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View of a Room: 2520 Look out of the window of this junior suite for a second and take in views of the Chrysler building. Surely theSofitel New York’s designer did and found Art Deco inspiration during his work on the hotel’s interior . Most rooms feature similar custom, three-paneled maple or rosewood full-wallheadboards, complete with a recessed niche displaying artwork from Paris and New York. Spacious marble baths are outfitted with a separate tub and rain shower, wood-framed beveled mirrors, and marble vanities.  Best of all,toiletries are by Hermès, which is common to all suites. The beds are super comfortable and include Sofitel’s signature feather-top and duvet–dubbedSoBeds. A comfy chair add to the relaxation in what is, for Midtown, a very spacious room.  One caveat: one of those fully stocked minibars, which leave no room for guests own nibbles or bottles. And while chocolate is nice and all,  the nightly turn-down service includes a much more useful bottle Evian water.

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Restaurants and Bars  Gaby Brasserie Française is a beautiful restaurant serving modern French cuisine  by Executive Chef Sylvain Harribey. The bar is delightful for drinks and the food is excellent. Room service also delivers what Hotel Junkie has to say is among the best breakfasts: boast cheese and veggie omelet with fingerlings, a basket of pastries, and fresh fruit. Really fresh fruit.

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Fitness The complimentary Fitness Center is accessible 24-hours per day.

Info The Sofitel New York, 45th West on 44th Street

New York, NY 10036

+1212.354.8844

www.sofitel.com/NewYorkCity

 

It’s amazing who you bump into at Foxwoods Resort Casino: Part Two

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Mashantucket, CT – Hotel Junkie followers will recall our recent expose of some rather strange guests in the vicinity of Foxwoods Resort Casino. Namely, very large and magnificent bugs! They are part of the Backyard Monsters: The World of Insects exhibit at the adjacent Mashantucket Pequot Museum. Here’s another interesting fellow we found in the museum. No, it’s not Marilyn Manson. This is the Pequot’s elder statesman: the powwow, a tribal savant, much revered, despite his over-the-top Goth eyeliner.

Kennebunkport’s Lodge on the Cove drops room rate for May

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Lodge (1)Kennebunkport, ME — Kennebunkport’s Lodge on the Cove has a super offer for guests who book a (minimum) two-night stay: they will receive a Thursday night rate of $79 (plus resort fee and tax). Standard rates start at $169and the special pricing is available May 1 through June 27.

Resort amenities include complimentary breakfast daily, free bike rentals and use of kayaks, ping pong, board games, ice cream socials for kids of all ages, and bonfires every night. The social hub of the resort is the stylish octagonal-shaped main lodge and The Dory, Lodge on the Cove’s on-site restaurant that features light bites and specialty cocktails. While vibrant guest rooms, measuring 300-square feet, are outfitted with refrigerators, microwaves and semi-private, furnished decks.

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For more info: 800-879-5778, lodgeonthecove.com.

The Bohemian’s Champagne Cobbler is the best spring drink ever

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Savannah, GA —  Take the Bohemian Hotel‘s lift up to the rooftop bar, Rocks on the Roof, and order the long, sparkly, fruity Champagne Cobbler. It’s made with Lillet blanc, Cointreau, raspberries, and sparkling white wine, and finished off with fresh blackberries and raspberries dusted in powdered sugar. It’s the best thing to hit spring since daffodils. Actually, this could be the best summer drink as well.

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Cape Cod’s Sage Inn & Lounge hosts the Beekman Boys

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Provincetown, MA – Cape Cod’s Sage Inn & Lounge hosts the Beekman Boys, stars of the The Cooking Channel’s The Fabulous Beekman Boys and winners of The Amazing Race Season 21, April 25 – 26.

Starting on Friday, April 25, the Boys showcase their line dancing skills during the Gays for Patsy Annual Provincetown Spring Stomp. On Saturday, starting at noon, there’s How to Make the Most of the Spring/Summer Bounty during which the Boys will sign copies of their books and share their little-known tips and tricks for creating simple, delicious vegetable dishes. Starting at 3 pm, mixologist Corey Sievers will show how Sage uses herbs and other garden ingredients to create their award-winning cocktails.

The weekend festivities will conclude on the Saturday night with a limited seating Tomatoes Four Ways Dinner highlighting Cape Cod grown tomatoes. Sage Chef Lucio Garnica and Luscious Greens in Bourne team up to create four -course dinner with dishes such as braised spring lamb with heirloom tomato and tarragon demi lacé with porcini mushroom ravioli.

The weekend’s events range from free to $75 per person for the dinner. Hotel rooms are also available starting at $100 per night. For more info: sageinnptown.com/data/uploads/beekman_april.pdf

Florida Keys’ Underwater Easter Egg Hunt

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Islamorada, Florida Keys — Fancy becoming a deep-sea “egg-splorer”? Well, the Islamorada annual Underwater Easter Egg Hunt is open to divers and snorkelers, courtesy of event  host, Captain Spencer Slate, who recently renamed his Atlantis Dive Center as Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventures. Slate also is known for staging offbeat dive events such as the Easter “egg-stravaganza.” Each year participants in this popular underwater game of hide and seek are awarded prizes, including a particularly valuable goodie basket for the fortunate finder of a “golden egg.”

Money raised during the annual undersea hunt benefits Kids In Special Situations, providing gifts and holiday cheer throughout the year to the area’s needy children.
Captain Slate is easy to spot: he’s the one in the giant bunny suit.
Event information: http://www.captainslate.com 

Islamorada visitor information: http://www.fla-keys.com/islamorada 

Sofitel New York’s Gaby Brasserie Française’s Easter brunch

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New  York, NY — Midtown’s swanky Sofitel New York hosts a classic Easter brunch in its gorgeously Parisian styled, Art Deco inspired Gaby Brasserie Française, April 20. Gaby’s award-winning Executive Chef Sylvain Harribey, who won first place on Food Network’s Chopped, three-course feast begins with a very American-like  Mimosa. Dig into smoked salmon Benedict, Belgian waffles, blueberry pancakes, and a savory French toast served with ham and provolone cheese, and an egg over-easy.  On lunch side, Gaby’s signature salmon roulade stuffed with spinach, vegetable julienne, and purple potatoes with beurre blanc and duck confit, which is served with potato forestière and haricots verts, is also available for a small supplement. For dessert, guests can indulge in a holiday treat of Easter egg with a raspberry white chocolate mousse and fresh strawberries.

Gaby Brasserie Française’s Easter Brunch will be available from 12 to 3 p.m. and is priced at $49 per person and $19 for children, exclusive of tax and gratuity. For reservations or more information, call (212) 782-3091 or visit www.gabynyrestaurant.com.

 

Two Trees Inn, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Connecticut, USA

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Location Foxwoods Resort Casino on the Mashantucket-Pequot tribal land is a world unto itself. The complex is massive: its towers rising up past the tree canopy and clearly visible off the Norwich-Westerly Road in Ledyard, Connecticut. The casino opened in February 1992 and has since grown to become the largest casino in the Western Hemisphere. At around 6.7 million square feet, it’s larger than the Pentagon. Surrounding the resort is the gentle Connecticut countryside. Mostly, the area was traditionally farmland. Nearby Mystic was a busy ship building and whaling port, but is now a tourist destination. Jonathan Edwards Winery is worth a visit. Also, Stonington village, a quiet, moneyed coastal town where wealthy New Yorkers like to weekend. Foxwoods is just 2.5 hours from New York City, less than two hours from Boston, and within an hour of Providence and Hartford.

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Lodging The Two Tress Inn is located just a few minutes drive off the main Foxwoods Resort Casino campus. That means it’s away from the hubbub and pizzazz of this 24-hour casino, and its hotels and restaurants. Depending on how much  hubbub and pizzazz you need during a stay, that’s either a good or bad thing.  But with trolley buses stop every 10-20 minutes ferrying guests to and from the various locations, so the distance isn’t a big deal. It’s actually nice to take and break in what feels is more like a small hotel than a casino adjunct.

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View of a Room: 197 has an elegant modern design and an enormous super king size bed, which takes up most of the room. But there’s a desk and dresser, and a lounge chair, too. The pale blue opalescent wallpaper looks like mini mosaic tile. The pale wood furniture looks like birch and echoes the silver birches growing outside in the courtyard. Beige marble tops the bedside tables and a paler beige plaid patterned wallpaper accents two other walls. It’s a very subtle, soothing color scheme. The room has a small empty fridge for guests use, and a coffee maker. The bathroom has G Spa amenities and echoes the bedroom’s delicate palette with pale blue paint. Blue can make a room cold, but here it adds a sense of serenity and calm. Overall, the thoughtful color scheme turns what is a basic and ordinary room into a wonderfully calm habitat. Ad that really is one of the biggest beds Hotel Junkie has ever seen.

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Restaurants and Bars Two Trees has its own full service restaurant and bar. Foxwoods Resort has an array of restaurants; everything from fast food to the AAA Four Diamond awarded Paragon. David Burke Prime Steakhouse, Red Lantern, and Paragon offer three different atmospheres — smart steakhouse, clubby sushi and Asian, and super fine dining — all well worth trying.

Info 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, CT. 800-369-9663. www.foxwoods.com

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Photo credit: Hotel Junkie

Three seats you don’t expect to find in the Henry Ford

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Detroit, MI — The magnificent Henry Ford museum doesn’t like to be called a museum. It prefers to be an archive of American life. There are lots of car seats in the Henry Ford, but Hotel Junkie found  three unexpected ones there.

The bus seat that Rosa Parks sat on

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The chair that President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in

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The Wright Brothers’ plane seat (Well, not quite a seat and this is a mock-up of that famous first flight, which looks about as comfortable as Aeroflot’s coach class!)

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Sea Crest Beach Hotel serves up an Easter brunch

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image003North Falmouth, MA – Sea Crest Beach Hotel is serving up an Easter brunch featuring Hotel Junkie approved classic Cape fare created by Executive Chef Daniel Kenney. With Buzzard’s Bay and the hotel’s Old SIlver Beach as a backdrop, diners will enjoy Red’s restaurant’s award winning clam chowder, Sea Crest eggs benedict with oven roasted tomatoes and lemon chive hollandaise, Belgian waffles with fresh strawberries, wood-grilled East Coast salmon with spring beets and Yukon Gold potato hash, Colorado spring lamb stew with spring dug parsnips– do we need to go on? Isn’t that mouth-watering? There’s more!

Brunch is available from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Easter Sunday, April 20,  priced at $49 per person and $19  for children 12 and under.

For more info: 800-225-3110/508-356-2111.  www.seacrestbeachhotel.com.

Ready for the Boston Marathon, Revere Hotel Boston Common partners with RightOnLeftOn

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Boston MA — In anticipation of the 118th Boston Marathon, Revere Hotel Boston Common has partnered with local Boston active-wear line, Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston, to bring a pop-up shop to the hotel’s lobby. Available March 25-April 30, this unique Boston-based brand references the iconic race’s final two turns, a right onto Hereford, then a left onto Boylston Street, where the finish line lies ahead. The com[any features an eclectic mix of Marathon-centric apparel and merchandise, ranging from t-shirts and sweatshirts to cow-bells, teddy bears, and stadium-safe tote bags. Founded in 2008 by Massachusetts native and dedicated Marathon runner John Stoller, RightOnLeftOn merchandise can be purchased directly from the front desk and is available in various colors and sizes for both men and women.

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Photo credit: Revere Hotel Boston Common

Ticket to Twerk Package at Kimpton’s Onyx Hotel

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Boston, MA — This has to be one of the most unusual hotel packages, but consider that Kimpton’s Onyx Hotel is located two blocks from the TD Banknorth Garden, where Miley Cyrus plays April 2, then the Ticket to Twerk Package makes perfect sense! The package includes:

· Overnight stay for two people
· Two Foam Fingers
· Big Stuffed Bear
· How to Twerk DVD (whaaat?)
· Munchies gift basket
· Fun surprise for guests who book

Rates start at $419. Book online at onyxhotel.com or call 1-866-660-6699.

Photo credit: Onyx Hotel

Castle Hill Inn’s unique underwear package

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Newport, RI –  The beautiful waterside Castle Hill Inn has teamed with Journelle, the luxury lingerie retailer in New York City, for a romance inspired travel experience – the Journelle Getaway.

Journelle also created a lingerie collection inspired by Castle Hill Inn!

The Journelle Getaway at Castle Hill Inn includes a complimentary visit to the Atelier at Journelle in New York City for a private lingerie appointment and fitting to prepare for the romantic getaway. Plus, all guests receive 15% off their purchase during their atelier fitting. Sip champagne and tea while shopping a highly-curated selection of both basics and high-fashion pieces, tailored to guests’ personal requests. Then, with gorgeous knickers in hand, enjoy a two-night stay at Castle Hill Inn with champagne upon arrival, complimentary gourmet breakfast, and afternoon tea daily.  A three-course dinner for two and two tickets to any Newport Preservation Society mansion is included. Rates start at $800 (tax not included). The package is available through December 31, 2014. www.castlehillinn.com

Photo credit: Journelle

Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta adds luxurious pet program

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Atlanta, GA — The Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta has added luxurious — what else? It’s the Mandarin Oriental — new pet program, including customized pet-friendly amenities and a special ‘MOpup’ in-room dining.

Pets are welcomed with organic bone-shaped cookies prepared by the hotel’s pastry team. In the guest room, pets are treated to a cozy bed, water bowl, doggie dental kit, and toys. The in-room ‘MOpup’ dining program offers a selection of special pet-friendly dishes, such as Grilled Steelhead Salmon with Roasted Asparagus and Glazed Carrots, and Dry Aged Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes and Peanut Butter Biscuits. SOund good enough for you to eat? It’s doubtful that pup will share, you know that.

The hotel’s English Garden has a dedicated pet-friendly seating area, perfect for relaxing and enjoying cocktails. Pets can explore all of the hidden nooks in the English Garden and also try a non-alcoholic peach flavored ‘MOcktail’ or a coconut water-infused ‘Melon Puptail.’ Pet owners also receive an ‘Explore FANtastic Atlanta’ map to discover the best pet-friendly places in the city, including the popular walking trails in nearby Chastain Park. The hotel’s concierge team can provide recommendations on Atlanta’s top dog-sitters, grooming services, 24-hour veterinary services, pet hot spots and pet retailers. Available for purchase are ‘MOpup’ Hoodies designed with the slogan, ‘Keep Calm and Carry Treats.’ Pet turndown service is also available upon request.

Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta’s pet program costs USD 100 per pet stay. However, the hotel only accepts tiny dogs! Boo, says Shadow, below (he is 120lbs!). For more info:  +1 (404) 995 7500.

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Hotels celebrate MLB’s Opening Day

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Boston, MA, and New York City, NY — Two hotels celebrate Major League Baseball’s Opening Day, March 31, with overnight packages. Just one thing, these two hotels are in two cities embroiled in baseball’s most legendary rivalries: Boston and New York.

  • The secluded and picturesque Gramercy Park Hotel holds memories of “The Great Bambino,” AKA Babe Ruth tossing back a cold brew after hitting one of his many home runs for the New York Yankees. With a location in the heart of New York City, the iconic baseball star was a regular at the hotel bar. Today, the hotel can secure tickets for any guest to catch the Yankees, Babe’s former team play in the Bronx or the Mets play in Queens. The hotel can also arrange guests’ private transportation to the game and pre-or post-game reservations at their on-site restaurant Maialino. If you’d prefer to take part in Babe’s favorite post-game tradition, hotel room service can deliver craft beers to your room upon request. Selections change monthly.
  • As the Boston Red Sox gear up for the 2014 season, XV Beacon has a special package for the ultimate baseball fan. Experience the fun and excitement of watching the World-Series winning team on its home field, the historic Fenway Park. Enjoy a one night stay in the hotel’s Beacon Hill Studio, hot pretzels and local beer as an arrival amenity, a tour of Fenway Park and transfers to and from Fenway in a hotel Lexus courtesy car. Guests will also have the option to  add on/purchase of two baseball game tickets ($200-$450 in addition to package rate). Opening day tickets and Yankee game tickets are more expensive and require one week advance purchase and non-refundable. Rates starting at $595.

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Photo credit: XV Beacon/Gramercy Park

Detroit hits the sweet spot!

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Detroit, MI — The famed Astoria pastry shop shows the Motor City’s sweet side. Every kind of pastry and cake you can think of is lined up next to the ice cream cabinet.

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What to choose? How about chocolate covered strawberries or a chocolate eclair filled with creme patisserie? D is for delicious!

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It’s amazing who you bump into at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Part One

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Mashantucket, CT – It’s amazing who you bump into at Foxwoods Resort Casino. It’s not everyday you see a giant insect-mad scientist wandering around a casino complex, for instance. Actually,this fellow is part of an exhibit at the adjacent Mashantucket Pequot Museum. The exhibit, Backyard Monsters, features larger… Much larger than life sized insects, all to teach children their importance in our ecosystem.

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Did we mention they move and, in the professor’s case, speak? The interactive exhibit includes an 11-foot-tall, 22-foot-long tarantula; a 19-foot-wide monarch butterfly; and a pair of giant fighting beetles.

Backyard Monsters: The World of Insects runs now through May 17. The museum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

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Seven reasons why everyone should take an inaugural flight at some point in their lives

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Detroit, MI —  If the above photo doesn’t look like the usual mid-morning airport concourse scene, that’s because it isn’t. The Motown tribute trio, Sweet Dreams, welcomed passengers on the first JetBlue flight from Boston to Detroit.

Not every inaugural flight gets Sweet Dreams; this is Detroit, home of Motown and the birthplace of modern pop music, after all. But, generally, here are the traditional welcomes that inaugural flights give to passengers:

Free food at the gate. The balloons are quite nice too.

A goodie bag on each passenger’s seat on board the aircraft. (Come on, you know you need yet another plastic reusable water bottle to cut down on bottled water’s plastic waste.)

Executives and ground staff standing on the tarmac waving you off. You are compelled to wave back.

Giveaways such as vacation packages either at the gate or on board the plane. (It passes the time.)

Oh, and there’s that pioneer spirit that seems to briefly unite passengers. Briefly.

The pomp and ceremony remind you of something we take for granted: Flying is an amazing feat.

Seven? If you’re lucky, you might just get Sweet Dreams too.

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Draycott Hotel celebrates Four Weddings and a Funeral’s 20th anniversary

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London, UK – To celebrate the upcoming twentieth anniversary of the classic British rom-com, Four Weddings and a Funeralthe Draycott Hotel has a romance package running through March. The Four Weddings and a Funeral promotion includes a two-night stay in a double room or suite. A welcome bouquet of flowers, handmade chocolates, a bottle of chilled pink Champagne, and handmade candles await the lucky couple. A romance kit and bubble bath amenities are provided. According to hotel reps, lovebirds can cuddle up by their personal fireplace and watch the classic romantic film with en suite dining and a glass of Scotch whisky, as seen in a scene in the film. (It’s been a while, we forget, but it sounds familiar!)

The Draycott Hotel is set in three Edwardian town houses, near to Chelsea’s Sloane Square. For more info: +44 (0) 20 7730 6466, www.draycotthotel.com

Photo credit: Draycott Hotel

Harbor View Hotel celebrates Easter

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Edgartown, MA —  On Sunday, April 20, Harbor View Hotel on Martha’s Vineyard will celebrate Easter with Sunday brunch and an Easter egg hunt.

The annual Easter egg hunt will begin at 10 a.m. on Lighthouse Beach and Harbor View’s grounds, with a special appearance by the Easter Bunny. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the hotel’s signature restaurant, Water Street, opens its doors for a brunch created by Executive Chef Nathan Gould. Brunch is priced at $55 per person and $25 for children 12 and under. Peruse the menu below.

All activities are open to islanders and hotel guests alike. Visitors seeking a last-minute spring retreat can enjoy 50 percent off room rates on one-, two- and three-bedroom Captain’s Cottage suites. For more info: 800-225-6005, www.harbor-view.com

Easter Brunch Menu

 Raw Bar Display

Honeysuckle Oysters

Mussels

Little Necks

Spring Onion Mignonette With Bloody Mary Cocktail and Citrus

Duck Trap Smoked Salmon With Lemon and Grain Mustard Crema

Local Cheese and Charcuterie

Selection of Vermont and Massachusetts Cheeses

Rabbit Pâté and Cured Meats

Lavosh and Honey

Preserves and Mustards

Chef’s Brunch Station

Waffles and Omelets Made to Order

Carving Station

Slow-Roasted Good Farm and Cleveland Farm Chicken With Five-Spice Chicken Au Jus

Marcho Farms Lamb Leg With Peppercorn-and-Cognac Hunter’s Sauce

Cold Selections

Thimble Farm Greens With Hazelnuts, Tangerine, Fennel and Vinaigrette

Roasted Baby Spring Vegetables With Kale and Buttermilk Dressing

Lumachine Pasta, Olives, Feta, Radish, Cucumber and Roasted-Tomato Dressing

 

Hot Selections

Harbor View Hash Browns

Homemade Sausage

Applewood Bacon

Slow-Cooked Eggs

Vineyard Spring Stew With Quahogs, Wild Mussels and Cod in a Fennel Broth

Photo credit: Harbor View Hotel

Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA

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Location Hilton Head Island sits off South Carolina’s coast, just north of southeastern Georgia. Savannah is the nearest city. Hilton Head Island was once a remote collection of working plantations, whose main crop was cotton — Sea Island Cotton. In the 1950s, it was developed as a retreat rather than a tourist destination, and became known for its planned, neat communities, and for its golf courses. The discreet gated communities still dominate. Fortunately, much of its natural flora and fauna was left in tact, and forest and salt marshes maintain much native wildlife. Hilton Head’s Sea Pines Plantation is the closest thing the island has to a real “downtown” scene. The Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is situated 45 miles from Savannah-Hilton Head International airport and seven miles from Hilton Head Island airport.

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Lodging  Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island, located in It is located in the Shipyard area, is an AAA Four Diamond resort with 340 guest rooms and suites. There is an expansive pool and recreation area and, beyond that, a lovely, natural beach.  The tropical vegetation and lagoon are dotted with cabanas and hammocks, allowing for private relaxation (crowds willing). 

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The hotel’s interior, however, is quite the opposite: it’s urbane and fresh, with a mid-century to third-quarter modernist design. A soaring atrium sets off the lobby and many of the furnishings are inspired by early 1970s post-psychedelic chic.  

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View of a Room: 4009 Guest rooms are spacious and echo the resort’s general design with a Mod orange and white backdrop, warmed by ochre carpeting and deep beige upholstery. There’s a couch in the sitting area, and a huge desk and workspace. The bedside tables have light and motion sensitive sensors that turn on floor lights at night. (Very useful for middle of the night trips to the ‘loo.) A small balcony overlooks the pool and palmetto trees, with the ocean visible in the distance.

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Restaurants and Bars The resort features several dining options, including a lobby bar. Breakfast is recommended in the restaurant adjacent to the lobby.

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Spa and Sports The resort’s renovation in 2012 added a full-service spa.

Info 130 Shipyard Drive, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928 USA. 843-842-2400. www.sonesta.com/HiltonHeadIsland

Photo credit: Hotel Junkie

Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island celebrates one-year anniversary with an amazing anniversary deal

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IMG_0608Hilton Head Island, S.C. – Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island celebrates its one-year anniversary with an anniversary rate of $111.11. That’s right, less than 112 bucks per night. The only catch is that the deal runs only until March 20, 2014.
Sonesta took over the beach resort and undertook a $30 million renovation last year that included all guest rooms and public space, and added a new heated lagoon style pool, plus a variety of dining options. There’s  a full-service spa, fitness room, and indoor and outdoor meeting space. 

For more info: 843-842-2400, www.sonesta.com/HiltonHeadIsland

Photo credit: Hotel Junkie

Happy Birthday Nashoba Valley Ski Area

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Westford, MA — Nashoba Valley Ski Area celebrated its 50th birthday with lift tickets priced at $2.50! A sunny sky and surprisingly soft snow made for great skiing for much of the day. About an hour’s drive west of Boston, the family owned ski area has spawned one Olympian, Team USA and gold medal winner Pam Fletcher. But then, it was her father, Allen Fletcher Sr., who opened Nashoba Valley Ski Area in 1964. Apparently, unlike this bitter New England winter, that first season lasted just 14 days, because the weather was too warm and wet. Happy Birthday Nashoba Valley Ski Area!

The Cheeca Lodge, Florida Keys, USA

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Location The Cheeca Lodge is located in Islamorada on the Florida Keys, and is part of the Upper Keys, nearest the mainland, a few miles south of Key Largo, and just north of Marathon. Compared to much of the sleepy Keys – outside of the outré Key West, that is – Islamorada has more to offer in the way of good restaurants (Chef Michael’s is a must) and street life, which is almost absent on the Keys. Still, this is island life, not city life. Islamorada encompasses six islands including Plantation Key, Windley Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Lower Matecumbe Key, and the offshore islands of Indian Key and Lignumvitae Key. The Florida Straits and the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico flank Islamorada.

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Lodging The Cheeca Lodge has a lot of history and it has housed many famous guests. That history began in 1946, when Mrs. Clara Mae Downey from Olney, Maryland, opened the Olney Inn. Mrs. Downey’s first guest was President Harry Truman. It became The Cheeca Lodge in the 1960s, when Cynthia, whose nickname was Chee, and Carl Twitchell took over. The name simply, and cutely, combines Chee and Ca. The Cheeca Lodge soon gained its own nickname as the “Queen of the Keys” and hosted movie and sports stars, and its own presidential guests. The resort is set on 27 acres and includes the largest private beach in the Keys. There are 212 rooms in 17 different configurations, from standard to private bungalow. On New year’s Eve 2009, a reveler in the upstairs bar, the Chart Room, dropped a cigar, which sparked a fire that destroyed the main lodge. The rebuild was the perfect excuse to modern and expanding the original lodge, and it reopened in 2011. The hotel is currently owned by Northwood Hospitality, which carries on the hotel’s traditions. The décor throughout the hotel is old plantation style, with heavy woods and warm rich colors. It feels lavish and cosseting.

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View of a Room:308  There’s spacious and then there’s this enormous suite, with full couches and coffee table for that main Keys pursuit: relaxation.

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This ocean view room’s bathroom is also very grand, with a double sink and a double sized shower, whose glass door opens up onto the balcony, where a Jacuzzi tub sits concealed from prying eyes, but allows views over the palm trees and sea. That is what you call luxury, baby. Or good design and planning. The balcony continues with seating for more of that relaxing. This room brings to mind the Eagles’ lyric in Hotel California, only reworded to, “Once you check in, you’ll never want to leave.”

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Restaurants and Bars Cheeca Lodge has three restaurants: the main and signature Atlantic’s Edge, which has a spacious patio with beach and sea views. There are two newer niche spots: Nikai, a specialist sushi restaurant, and Limoncello, an Italian themed restaurant. On the second floor, the Chart Room is a former private bar, which is now open to all. Adjacent to the Chart Room, There’s a balcony bar and a modern clubby rooftop lounge complete with AstroTurf. A  beach tiki bar completes the entertainment.

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Sports and Spa The Spa at the Cheeca Lodge is an extensive facility with its own pool and relaxation station with loungers, which is accurately dubbed Spa Island. This is a no-kids spot, shaded from the rest of the resort by palms. The idea is relaxation, which should not be too difficult to achieve. There is also a Jack Nicklaus-designed 9-hole par 3 golf course, six tennis courts, beach sports, and water sports, including fishing, by arrangement.

Tech WiFi is easily accessed and complimentary.

Info  Cheeca Spa & Lodge, 81801 Overseas Highway, Marker 82, Islamorada, Florida 33036. 800-327-2888. www.cheeca.com

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Photo credit: The Cheeca Lodge/Hotel Junkie

Relaxing at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe

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Stowe, VT — Perhaps we should take a leaf out of this wise teddy’s book and just relax. Sure, it’s cold outside and the snow just won’t make way for spring, not yet. But, as the locals say, that’s New England for you. Teddy was found realizing in the cafe at the Trapp Family Lodge — yes, the Von Trapp Family Lodge. Those Von Trapps, made famous in the Sound of Music.

 

Prettying-up at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport

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Savannah, GA – They say that girls in the south like to “pretty-up” more than others.  You know, get a little southern belle and Scarlett O’Hara on us. Well, on arrival at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, any belle, southern or otherwise, who’s in need of prettying-up can get on board the Benefit bus.

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This cute pink bus-shaped vending machine houses just about everything in the cosmetics range. So, if you’ve forgotten something, or have time to kill between flights, it’s not only fun, but handy, too. Bring it on, Jezebel! (PS That’s a movie, not an insult.)

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Painted windows at Foxwoods Resort

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Ledyard, CT — Hotel Junkie has a sneaking suspicion that Two Trees Inn general manager, Michael, is a dog lover. Here’s an example of his handiwork, an homage to four-legged friends, painted on a window at the Two Trees Inn on Foxwoods’ extensive grounds. (Though this work of art looks suspiciously like the hotel’s canine lobby ambassador, Cian.)

 

 

The Stuffed Pig in Marathon, Florida, celebrates 30 years

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Marathon, FL — The Stuffed Pig celebrates its 30th birthday this year. This diner opened in 1984 and plays up its name with loads of cute toy pigs dotted around the place. 

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Outside eating is tiki style on a fun, palm shaded patio.The Stuffed Pig’s Garden Tiki is available for parties, events, and weddings, but it’s definitely the best spot to start the day. At least this ginger cat thought so.

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For more info: 305-743-4059, thestuffedpig.com