Tag Archives: United States

White Barn Inn & Spa, Kennebunkport, Maine

Standard

 

Location Kennebunk’s more visited neighbour, Kennebunkport, lies across the Kennebunk River on Maine’s beautiful rocky coastline, just a couple of hours drive north from Boston. It is famously the ancestral home of the political Bush family, who still own an ocean side property at Walker’s Point. The Kennebunks, as the twin villages are known, also includes the Lower Village, and once away from the beaches and coastline, art galleries, restaurants, and craft shops are set in old Colonial buildings, immersing visitors in a traditional New England townscape. All of which is close to the White Barn Inn, which is set on tall tree-lined Beach Road, just a few minutes from the sea.

Lodging Originally, the White Barn Inn’s main building was a farmhouse and its storied restaurant is made up of two barns, which were moved to adjoin the farmhouse. Reputedly the farmhouse has been an inn since the Civil War era, when it was the Boothby Guest House. In 1937, by which time it was known the Forest Hill House, an annex was built, and shortly after more guest rooms were added via the bungalow “Garden Cottages,” and May’s Cottage, a cute standalone suite, which overlooks the outdoor heated pool. The are also two riverside cottages nearby. But in total, there are just 26 rooms. Being Maine, the pool is seasonal, but the inn is year-round, basically, and only closes for a couple of weeks in January. That’s good news because it means the fireplace in the cozy living room can be throughly enjoyed during the colder months. The living room has several couches and a decanter of port and one of brandy are thoughtfully provided for guests to help themselves to. Afternoon “High Tea” is also provided there, as are coffee and teas. White Barn Inn is a Relais et Chateaux member, a luxury hotel collection with a strong culinary focus.

View of a Room: 19 Room 19 is on the second floor of the annex, just across the driveway from the main inn. The large airy room is understated classic, with a fireplace and two wonderfully comfortable armchairs. The king size bed is positioned in front of the TV and a French style dresser. The only other furniture is a desk and chair — giving the room all the necessary comforts while maintaining its spaciousness. The  en suite bathroom is equally grand in size, with a double vanity, a large shower with twin shower heads, separate loo, and an enormous tub. Its marbled floor has radiant heat and, like the bedroom, there is lots of natural light.

Restaurants and Bars The White Barn Inn’s restaurant is widely acclaimed, both for its food and the setting in this subtle, low lit old barn — or rather barns. Created in 1973, it is quite unique. The menu is prix fixe with a choice of a lengthy multi course tasting menu, or a more standard three courses. But with the chef’s wonderful tidbits, including an array of after dinner petit fours, even that option is a full tasting experience. Everything is made in-house and local produce is highlighted — even butter comes from a local dairy. Needless to say, the wine list holds treasures, and cocktails are superbly crafted — enjoy a drink at the cocktail bar, where a pianist plays standards. The expert staff deliver a classic dining experience in an evocative atmosphere. Adjacent to the dining room is the bistro, a more casual a la carte experience, where breakfast is served. In the summer, tables are set up on its porch. There is also a wine cellar where private dining can be arranged.

Info The White Barn Inn & Spa, 37 Beach Rd., Kennebunkport, Maine 04046. 207-967-2321. http://www.whitebarninn.com

Photo credit: Hotel Junkie

The Bernic opens in New York

Standard
bernic-exterior
New York, New York — The Bernic, a 96 room, 22-story newly-built hotel, is now open on 145 East 47th Street, with a new restaurant and sky lounge in tow. The property lies just blocks away from the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center and Times Square.
Floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies in almost every room offer a view of the city’s iconic skyline. Blind contour artist Ian Sklarsky added works to the lobby, public areas and in every guest room, inspired by the nearby United Nations building.
 
Rooms feature radiant floor heating, bath amenities by Beekman 1802, complimentary coffee via an en-suite Nespresso machine, Apple TV, luxury linens and terry, Sterns and Foster luxury bed, turndown service via Chocolat Moderne and a book collection curated by Strand Bookstore.
 
The restaurant, Allora, features house-made pastas, grilled whole fish and throwback tableside preparations like Steak Diane and Zabaione. The Bernic’s sky lounge is due to open this coming Spring, 2017.

For more info: thebernichotel.com

Photo credit: BabiloniaFoto

Dinner at BLT in the Ritz-Carlton Westchester

Standard

IMG_3214

White Plains, NY — The Ritz-Carlton Westchester, located in the heart of White Plains, includes a BLT outpost, which offers inside dining, an elegant experience to be sure, and also al fresco service on its street side patio.

IMG_3218

 

Inside or out, the meal begins with BLT’s customary popover, a batter bun popular in old school Northeast steak houses and restaurants of note.

IMG_3222

Summery dishes at BLT include a beet salad and bass with leeks, each tender and tasty.

IMG_3229

Harborview Nantucket, Nantucket MA USA

Standard

IMG_6567

Location Nantucket sits in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Cod and is accessed by ferry. The quickest is the Hy Line passenger ferry, which departs from Hyannis. Located just two blocks from the town of Nantucket, the Harborview’s position just out of town gives it both seclusion from summer crowds and access to all of Main Street’s shopping and dining — everything, including the delightful Starlite cinema, Whaling Museum, the Boat Basin and Straight Wharf, is only a few minutes walk away. Cars are a bit of a hassle on Nantucket’s tiny roads and streets. Explore the rest of the island by bus, bicycle, or motor scooter and check out the dunes and beaches, as well Sankaty Head Light, which dates to 1850 and is located near the village of Siasconset, which is pronounced Sconset, on the eastern part of the island.

IMG_6577

Lodging Harborview Nantucket is the sister hotel to Martha’s Vineyards Harbor View Hotel, and the likeness is easily seen in the architecture’s classic Cape look paired with modern, simple, but elegant interiors. Harborview Nantucket, however, comprises 11 cedar-shingled self-catering vacation cottages, plus a reception, set around a lawn, which leads to a beach. Sounds idyllic? It is. The cottages range from a cozy, romantic studio styled like a fisherman’s shack, to a four-bedroom renovated barn. Each has a fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, TVs in the lounge and bedrooms. Harborview Nantucket operates like a hotel, but without a restaurant or bar. There’s daily housekeeping; the hotel’s concierge will shop and fill your ‘fridge. Most cottages have decks and outdoor showers, and there is a SunFish sailboat, kayaks, and paddle boards for guest’s use. A set of complimentary local Cisco beers and Nantucket wines await in your cottage’s ‘fridge, and vacation begins… 

IMG_6584

View of a Room Fair Wind — This two-bedroom, two-bathroom, thoroughly spacious so-called cottage is set on two levels. The master bed, which has a closet and TV, and an enormous bathroom, is on the top floor. The adjacent landing has a sofa-bed that can be used for extra children or guests.

IMG_6602

Downstairs the open-plan living room, kitchen, and dining room includes a dining table and seating for six, and a wonderful big couch to laze on. The kitchen includes everything you need to cook a meal or make snacks (you buy the food), right down to a set of herbs and spices. There is a brick fireplace, but the hearth sits unused for most of the year, of course. The ground level bedroom has its own TV and bathroom. Oh, and there are robes hanging in the closet, just to add to the at-home coziness.

IMG_6587

To the rear of the cottage is the utility room, which houses the washer and dryer. Fair Wind is next to the reception and overlooks the lawn, with the beach and sea directly in front of its deck.

IMG_6571

Information

24 Washington St, Nantucket, MA 02554

508-709-9328

http://www.harborviewnantucket.com

Aloft Manhattan Downtown – Financial District

Standard

IMG_6440

Location Set in Lower Manhattan, New York’s Financial District can be an overwhelming place filled with looming buildings and ominous financial institutions. One World Trade Center towers over everything of course, marking a new chapter in the area. There is the other side: the historic part defined by narrow winding streets, old churches like St Paul’s Chapel, and artfully crafted buildings made of stone and brick. The Aloft Manhattan Downtown – Financial District is on Ann Street, a short stretch, which dates to 1728 and is one of the oldest streets in all of the five boroughs. It was named for the wife of a merchant and developer, Captain Thomas White. Barnum’s American Museum, operated by P.T. Barnum, was located on the corner of Ann Street. It’s a largely forgotten little street nowadays, which makes it a quiet bolthole from the FiDi hullabaloo.

IMG_6441

Lodgings Conveniently located adjacent to a parking garage, the Aloft Manhattan Downtown – Financial District is an easily negotiated hotel in a city where negotiating most tasks can be exhausting. The lobby lounge and check-in are is small, but open plan. There’s a cafe offering everything from coffee to juices, and from healthy snacks to breakfast sandwiches. The hotel now offers a room service menu (pastas, salads, sandwiches, and desserts), which arrives delivery style in a bag of boxes. Still, the food is well prepared.The W XYZ Bar to the rear leads to a courtyard for al fresco drinking and bites during warm weather. It’s a hidden gem in a city of few comfortable boltholes.

IMG_6446

View of a Room: 1101 Aloft is known for compact accommodations and in a city of tiny homes, this room serves as normal. Everything is on hand: HD TV, desk for working, and an empty wine fridge, which if you jiggle the shelving serves to keep anything cool. Comfy bed and roomy shower provide not only the basics but a level of luxury. Still, Aloft doesn’t purport to be a luxury chain: your room is where you sleep, shower, but otherwise drop your stuff and go.

IMG_6451

 

Aloft Manhattan Downtown – Financial District

49-53 Ann St

New York, NY 1003

212-513-0003

aloftmanhattandowntown.com

 

Boston’s Liberty Hotel renovates to the tune of $11 million

Standard

 

IMG_5717

Boston, MA — The already remarkable Liberty Hotel, set in the city’s former Charles Street Jail, just became more dashing. An $11 million refurbishment of the guest rooms has elevated this Starwood Luxury Collection member to another level of comfort — and fun: the design riffs on the jailhouse theme, and include safes as bedside tables in each room. Guess what? That’s where you’ll find the real safe!

IMG_5718

Take a tour of the newly renovated Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common’s Presidential Suite

Standard

IMG_5155

Boston, MA — Just in time for Lincoln and Washington’s birthdays, the Ritz-Carlton gave Hotel Junkie a tour of its reimagined Presidential Suite. Firstly, there is the amazing view, complete with a new coat of snow (above). Then there is a chandelier made of mock bi-focals, recalling the suite’s muse: Benjamin Franklin. (True, Franklin was never a president.)

IMG_5150

Many such fittings are bespoke, including a reading chair and daybed, which is placed for maximum views by the window.

IMG_5153

IMG_5159

IMG_5154IMG_5156

IMG_5144

 

And get the TV over the tub — every home should have one!

For more information: Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common

See in 2016 at Boston’s Envoy Hotel

Standard

envoy_rooftop-7b

Boston, Massachusetts — This New Year’s Eve, The Envoy Hotel offers the best seats in the house — twice over. Start the final evening of 2015 in Outlook Kitchen and Bar, enjoying a three-course chef’s tasting menu from Executive Chef David Verdo. Follow it by a festive Champagne toast at the top floor Lookout Rooftop Bar while watching the fireworks burst over the city.

Highlights from the New Year’s Eve Chef’s Tasting menu include:

  • Butter Poached Lobsterwith caviar, Moët & Chandon Granita
  • Sunchoke Soupwith morels, candied hazelnuts & melted leeks
  • Pineland Farms Filetwith oxtail ragout, chanterelle mushrooms, enoki, black truffle & pomme puree
  • Peppermint Patty Gateau with chocolate cake, peppermint cream, dark chocolate glaze & pomegranate seeds

Complete the New Year’s Eve experience with an overnight package including overnight accommodations for two, a bottle of Champagne upon arrival, dinner for two at Outlook Kitchen and Bar featuring the chef’s tasting menu, Perrier Jouet Champagne toast at Lookout Rooftop Bar, New Year’s Day brunch for two at Outlook Kitchen and Bar. The package also includes overnight, valet parking and a late check-out at 2 p.m. Pricing starts at $629.

For more information: The Envoy Hotel

IMG_3625

Photo credit: Eric Levin/The Envoy Hotel/Hotel Junkie

The Ritz-Carlton Westchester, White Plains, NY, USA

Standard

IMG_3214

Location Flanked by the Hudson River on the West and the Long Island Sound to the Southeast, Westchester County lies a short drive or train ride just north Manhattan. White Plains is ideally situated in the middle of southern Westchester, an area known for historic Hudson River estates like the Rockefeller’s Kykuit, author Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, Van Cortlandt Manor, Lyndhurst, and Montgomery Place. By the Hudson, Tarrytown’s Philipsburg Manor is a family-friendly educational representation of 18th century farming, milling and trading. Nearby, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, the setting for Irving’s tale of Ichabod Crane’s run-in with the Headless Horseman, is a beautiful place to walk. The adjacent Old Dutch Church is New York’s oldest standing church and dates back to 1685. Over by Long Island Sound, Rye Playland, the 1928 Art Deco amusement park designated a historic landmark and the spot where the Tom Hanks movie “Big” was filmed, is a unique experience. White Plains is a city with lots of good dining and lively bars, and its central location makes driving to most locations easy.

Untitled

The Hotel  The Ritz-Carlton Westchester is a luxury hotel with a sleek grandeur. The marbled lobby has a dining area and lounge, and modern fireplace, which is central to the area. There are two inhouse restaurants: the signature space, 42 The Restaurant, and BLT Steak , an outpost of Manhattan’s BLT Steak, which offers a menu of superlative steaks and seafood. If the weather is warm BLT Steak’s patio offers dining en plain air, and overlooks White Plains’s fun musical fountains in Renaissance Square. The hotel has an indoor rooftop pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The Ritz-Carlton’s signature spa offers extensive treatments and is the largest spa in Westchester County. There is valet parking.

IMG_3190

Room 404 This one-bedroom suite echoes the hotel’s calm, elegant decor. It is extremely spacious with an entrance hallway leading to a large lounge with sofa, armchair, and coffee table. The suite has a DVD player, iPod docking station, WiFi, a fully-stocked honor bar, and coffee and tea facility, A large flatscreen TV completes the comforts. The Ritz-Carlton’s decor harkens to classic American art deco, but with a modern simplicity.

IMG_3193

A perfectly appointed work desk is off to the side.

IMG_3198

 

The bedroom leads to a closet where robes and slipper await.

IMG_3205

The bathroom is lined with a warm, toffee colored marble. It has a luxurious tub and shower, and double washbasins. The beautiful amenities include Asprey toiletries — it’s all very relaxing and comforting. Everything you would want from a hotel and more.

IMG_3206

Info

Ritz-Carlton Westchester

3 Renaissance Square,

White Plains,

New York 10601 USA

914-946-5500

ritzcarlton.com/Westchester

Nu Hotel’s Cyber Monday Sale

Standard

MBiernat_NuHotel_IMG_6604

New York, New York — A deal at a New York City hotel at this time of year? Better get on it!

Now through Tuesday, save on select premium rooms at Brooklyn’s Nu Hotel with a fabulous Cyber Monday Preview Sale with  discounts of up to 30% off!

Fo more info on the Hu Hotel, click here. For the Cyber Monday sale click here and use access code: CYBERM

IMG_3660

Omni Grove Park Inn’s National Gingerbread Competition has winners

Standard
2 Grand Prize Adult, Team Jengerbread, Chapel Hill, NC.2015
Asheville, N.C.– In mid November, the winners of the 23rd annual National Gingerbread House Competition, hosted by The Omni Grove Park Inn, were announced. With the requirement of being made of at least 75 percent gingerbread, each holiday display was judged on overall appearance, originality/creativity, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme. Here are the delicious winning Gingerbread Houses.
Child 1st Place, Team Spirit Girls, China Grove, NC 2015
Teen 1st Place, Team Courtland High School German Program, Spotsylvania, VA 2015
Youth 1st Place, Coilin Anderson, Conover, NC 2015

Duane Street Hotel, New York, New York USA

Standard

 

IMG_3748

Location Situated on the western side of Lower Manhattan in Tribeca, the Duane Street Hotel is in one of the city’s most interesting neighborhoods. Tribeca is packed with boutique bars, restaurants, and stores, and lined with daycares and other indicators of the area being home to many young families. There’s so much within walking distance, particularly the new One World Trade with its Observatory and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. A couple of blocks south of Duane, just across Broadway, is City Hall, and just further down Broadway is the wonderful neo-Gothic Woolworth Building, which is open for tours. The Brooklyn Bridge and Midtown, and the East Village are minutes away, too. The Duane Hotel’s location offers easy access to much of Manhattan, but with the benefit of feeling like you’re in a less commercial area, and in a real neighborhood where people live at a marginally slower pace.

IMG_3680

The Hotel The Duane Street Hotel is a small property with just 43 rooms. It is part of the Independent Collection and like many IC hotels, there are bicycles available for guest use to explore the neighborhoods nearby, or to get some exercise riding along the banks of the Hudson River. The lobby is small, but has comfy window-side seating. Most of the ground floor is taken up by Mehtaphor, a casual, but colorful restaurant, which serves modern eclectic cuisine inspired by Asian and Indian flavors. It is overseen by Chef Jehangir Mehta, an Iron Chef America and Next Iron Chef contestant, and owner of the East Village’s noted Graffiti restaurant. The Duane has valet parking and the hotel has a free parking package — a huge boost for visitors who drive in the city. There is also complimentary Wi-Fi and iPad loan.

IMG_3734

View of a Room 405 This room packs a lot of comfort and conveniences into a small, L-shaped space. Big windows give gritty downtown city views and lots of natural light. Chocolate brown and black are signature colors and the white linen lined bed dominates the space — sure it’s cramped, but visitors can get a taste of New York City’s legendary tight living space first-hand.

IMG_3737

A desk gives adequate work space. Like all Independent Collection hotels, the bathroom is stocked with L’Occitane toiletries from Provence. There is a book nook stocked with select titles.

IMG_3739

Info

Duane Street Hotel

130 Duane Street

New York, NY 10013

Telephone: 212.964.4600

Website: duanestreethotel.com

Sofitel New York celebrates Thanksgiving with a French twist

Standard

4 R

New York, New York — Gaby Brasserie Francaise, the signature restaurant at the stylish Sofitel New York, will celebrate America’s annual Thanksgiving Day meal with a French twist. Gaby’s Executive Chef Sylvain Harribey will offer an elegant plat du jour — what else but turkey, of course,  slow-roasted tturkey breast with sweet potato gnocchi and mushroom leek bread pudding, accompanied by balsamic-roasted Brussels sprouts and a cranberry Sauce with pinot and figs. Pumpkin crème brûlée will be offered for dessert.

Thanksgiving Day service is from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Gaby’s à la carte menu will also be available.

For reservations or more information, call 212-782-3040 or visit www.gabynyrestaurant.com.

Photo credit: Sofitel New York

Nu Hotel, Brooklyn, New York City, NY USA

Standard

MBiernat_NuHotel_IMG_6604

Location Talk about being in the right place and ahead of time, the Nu Hotel opened in 2008 in Downtown Brooklyn, beating the post recession development fever. Of course, the Barclays Center was on its way and Smith Street was on its way up as a dining boîte hotspot, but the area was considerably less trafficked back then. Located on Smith Street, the hotel is in a perfect situation for a walk to eat and drink, and shop. But if you fancy a longer hike, the Brooklyn Bridge is nearby for walking into Manhattan, and also the Brooklyn Heights promenade with its beautiful view of Lower Manhattan is very close by. The Brooklyn Bridge Park offers an open space to play or find some peace. Check out Jane’s Carousel, a vintage carousel right by the river.

MBiernat_NuHotel_IMG_6208.2

The Hotel Nu Hotel is part of the Independent Collection of boutique properties and each hotel is uniquely designed and furnished. At the Nu Hotel, parking is obtained right next door in what has to be the friendliest garage in the city. Outside the hotel are bicycles for guests to get around on, and take that once in a lifetime ride over the Brooklyn Bridge. Misdemeanor is the hotel’s lobby lounge and bar, and its name is inspired by the New York City corrections facility across the street. Here you can enjoy local Brooklyn brews and spirits, and small bites. The hotel is jumping on the Brooklyn brand (sigh, is everything a brand?) and also going for locally-produced beer and spirits, and snacks for the in-room mini bars. Whether it’s trend-jumping or not, hotels choosing to support local purveyors cuts down on transportation and helps the planet. The hotel’s reasoning is likely that it gives local character, something the Independent Collection aims for with its properties. Other on-site amenities include an incredibly — for a small space — well-stocked fitness center in its basement. Nu Hotel is pet-friendly.

IMG_3647

View of a Room 304  Oh heavenly: this room has windows overlooking a tree lined courtyard. The window is not in direct view of the surrounding apartments and the room feels private even with the curtains wide open. What’s more, the windows open just enough to let in fresh air — for people who dislike the chemically cleaner smell of hotel rooms, this is a huge plus. The natural light is also very soothing. Most rooms in the Nu Hotel feature massive murals, each painted by a Brooklyn artist, who had free range with what they painted. This room has an odd sort of texan feel, or at least it looks like a desert scape with an oil rig. Besides a king size bed, armchair and coffee table, there is long desk and chair, which creates a great, uncluttered work space.

IMG_3660

The bathroom is stocked with French made L’Occitaine toiletries and robes are provided.

Info

NU Hotel

85 Smith Street

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Telephone: 718-852-8585

Website: nuhotelbrooklyn.com

Photo credits: M. Biernat/Hotel Junkie

Aha! moment at the Envoy Hotel

Standard

IMG_3484

Boston, Massachusetts — The brand spanking new Envoy Hotel doesn’t stint on room amenities. But you might have to hunt out some stuff, like the safe and ironing board. Both are neatly hidden: the former in the bathroom drawer and the second in the closet cupboard! It’s all part of the hotel’s clever Mod, minimal design.

IMG_3486

 

Just steps away… From the Charles Hotel

Standard

IMG_3397

Cambridge, MA — Just steps away from the Charles Hotel, tucked away down a hidden lane off Cambridge’s genteel Harvard Square, sits Harvest. This restaurant of considerable renown celebrates its 40th anniversary this fall and because its past chefs reads like a who’s who of Boston cooking elite — Barbara Lynch, Chris Schlesinger, Lydia Shire, and Gordon Hamersley, to name but a few — current Executive Chef Tyler Kinnett and Executive Pastry Chef Brian Mercury have created a special Anniversary Tasting Menu that will be offered throughout November, inspired by the celebrated chefs signature dishes cooked up during their time at the restaurant.

IMG_3403

Because Harvest was one of Julia Child’s favorite restaurants — she lived nearby — Mercury has out his elegant spin on some of Julia’s classic desserts.

IMG_3420

Also, from November 1 through November 30, 2015, guests are invited to celebrate Harvest’s 40th Anniversary with a series of in-restaurant programming:

A three-course menu compris: Two savory courses, one sweet; $48; $68 with wine pairing; or a  six-course menu: Four savory, two sweet; $68; $88 with wine pairing

Each guest who chooses the Anniversary Tasting Menu is given a special birthday takeaway gift created by Executive Pastry Chef Brian Mercury. Potential delicacies include homemade cashew brittle, goat’s milk fudge and chocolate chip meringue.

Harvest is offering “throwback” specialty cocktails priced at 1970s prices, including the “Harvest Wallbanger” at $2.95.  The Harvest Wallbanger is the restaurant’s take on the classic drink made popular in the mid-70s.

All guests who celebrate a birthday or wedding anniversary at Harvest restaurant throughout the month of November will receive a special “anniversary rate” of 15% off their total bill (excluding alcohol, tip and gratuity). To redeem, guests must note celebration at time of making reservation and mention to their server.

Guests who share their past and present Harvest memories and photos on Instagram throughout the month of November using #HarvestThenandNow and @DineatHarvest will earn the chance to win one of three prizes, including:

o    Brunch for four at Harvest

o    Dinner for two at Harvest

o    $50 Gift Card

IMG_3407

For more information on Harvest’s 40th anniversary, visit www.harvestcambridge.com. To track the conversation on social media and share both memories old and new, use hashtag #HarvestThenandNow and tag @DineatHarvest. To make a reservation, guests can call 617-868-2255 or visit www.harvestcambridge.com.

Quirky Quirk Hotel opens in Richmond

Standard

Model room with bed 2

Richmond, Va. – Richmond welcomed the design-driven boutique Quirk Hotel, which, according to a press release is a “new immersive hotel concept that showcases the world of local creatives.” Sounds fun. The pretty pink bedroom palette looks it too.

The hotel’s opening in September adds momentum to downtown Broad Street’s revitalization and brings a new eatery and bar to the area: the lobby-located restaurant Maple & Pine led by Chef David Dunlap, and the rooftop terrace bar and lounge, adjacent to the Quirk Gallery.

In celebration of the opening of Quirk Hotel, the property has partnered with local favorite, The Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre, to offer a special, limited time package. The November Theatre originally opened in 1911 and featured stars like Lucille LaVerne and John Bunny until a fire damaged the space in 1927, after which it lay dark for several years and then reopened to feature films and vaudeville performances. After various usage, in 2012 the Empire Theatre opened after a $2 million renovation and was renamed the Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre.

The package includes:

  • Overnight stay in a suite
  • Dinner for two at the hotel’s on-site restaurant Maple & Pine
  • Tickets for two to the latest show at November Theater with a choice of:

o   A personal guided tour of The November Theater including a complete history of the theater scene in Richmond, backstage access and meet-and-greet with the actors

o   A personal guided tour of The Props and Costume Archives including time to “play”

  • Prices start at $599

For more info: www.destinationhotels.com

Photo credit: Destination Hotels

 

 

Millenium Hilton, New York, NY

Standard

Millenium HIlton - exterior

Location Lower Manhattan is where modern, bustling, commercially driven New York City began in the 1600s — firstly as a Dutch Colony, before the British finally took control in 1664 — and it remains the city’s financial center, and that of America, too. It is the home of the notorious Wall Street and the World Trade Center site. Within steps of the hotel is One World Trade Center, which was initially dubbed Freedom Tower, and is the tallest building in the western hemisphere. The reflecting pools and 9/11 memorial are also on hand. Lower Manhattan is also home to Columbia University, which was founded in 1754, and the first Congress of the United States sat at Federal Hall on Wall Street, circa 1789, while New York City was the nation’s short-lived capital. To the south, towards New York Harbor, lies both the new-built community of Battery Park City and the historic South Street Seaport. Northwards, the SoHo, Meatpacking District, West Village, Greenwich Village, Little Italy, Nolita, and the East Village offer a myriad of bars, restaurants, and shopping, much of it boutique and individual to the city — if you get off the main, more subscribed streets, that is. Lower Manhattan is referred to as Downtown and since the 1950s offered lower rents and became the home and work space for artists and musicians. The massive development has threatened the area culturally, pushing artists over the Brooklyn Bridge, which connects Manhattan and Long Islands in Lower Manhattan.

Lobby

The Hotel Millenium Hilton opened in the Fiancial District in 1992 after two years of construction. Rather childishly, the developers chose to deliberately misspell the name, leaving off one n and perhaps rendering its title meaningless. Nevertheless, the hotel’s 55 stories and monolithic smoked black exterior have a late-20th century grandeur, both modern and minimal. The hotel has 569-rooms and suites. Less than a decade after its opening, the Millenium Hilton was severely damaged by the events of 9/11, which unfolded right in front of the hotel, right before some guests’ eyes. The flag that flew outside the entrance up until that day was recovered by some staff members. It now hangs discreetly in the lobby. The lobby is a bright area with a corner bar and lots of seating.  Check in and the concierge desk, as well as a small shop, complete the ground floor space. Notably, by the Fulton Street entrance, the hotel’s American flag, which was rescued by staff after the 9/11 blasts tore up the hotel’s frontage, hangs, framed on a wall.

IMG_3086

View of a Room: 4711 This corner suite offers views far up the west side of Manhattan — construction, ever ongoing, has blocked off some of the magnificent city vistas, though. The bedroom has views over the Hudosn to New Jersey, too, but the sights are dominated by One World Trade Center, whihc is smack bang in front of the picture window. Look down from that window and the North Pool, part of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, glistens below, surrounded by dozens of fledgling trees. It’s an oasis of calm, and a much vivisted one.

IMG_3066

Besides astounding views, the bedroom also offers an amazingly comfortable king bed with a large flatscreen on the dresser. The bathroom has Philip Thomas Roth toiletries, and robes and slippers await in the closet. The separate living room has a couch, a work desk, coffee/tea station, mini bar, and another TV. The decor is muted: beige, caramel, and brown. The art work is understated, too. This stylish, but neutral interior contrasts well with the complex city backdrop all around the room. At the night, the city lights never cease to astound.

IMG_3057

Restaurant and bars The first floor lobby bar, Liquid Assets, the title a nod to the hotel’s location, is accented by sunshine yellow and has views to the bustling street. There’s complimentary WiFi in the lobby area. Church & Dey Restaurant, the hotel’s signature restaurant, is located on the third floor. Both the restaurant and lobby were renovated in 2012.

Exterior

Fitness, pool There is a fitness center and an indoor pool.

Parking There is valet only parking at the Fulton Street garage, but no in-out privileges.

Info

55 Church St, New York, NY 10007

Phone: 212-693-2001
Photo credit: Hilton Hotel Group/Hotel Junkie

Have a Perfect Day at the Hilton Westchester, Starting with Breakfast

Standard

IMG_3099

Rye Brook, New York — Wandering through acres of wooded grounds, swimming in the outdoor or indoor pools, a game of tennis perhaps? These are a few of the things to do at the Hilton Westchester.

IMG_3093

There’s also this wonderful thing called doing nothing, so about simply relaxing on the terrace adjacent to Härth restaurant?

Harth Restaurant (outdoor patio area)

There’s lunch and dinner to be had at Härth, of course: locally made creamy burrata tops an arugula salad and is served with pillow-y flatbread; pan roasted salmon is glazed with white wine; and the succulent succotash has butter beans. It’s all very tasty. Then, later, curling up with a glass of wine or a cocktail and a cheese plate, and sitting by the fireplace in the lobby lounge, well, that’s a dose of bliss.

IMG_3175

Can there be anything as pleasurable than starting the day with a wonderful breakfast in the privacy of your room? The breakfast menu includes what has to be the best Eggs Benedict ever. Yes, the eggs are nicely poached and perch on a bed of fresh, wilted spinach. For meat lovers, there’s a generous layer of ham, omit that if you like. And the hollandaise is lovely and lemony, and the color of marigolds. But the secret weapon is a brioche bread pudding “bun”underneath it all. Beats a muffin any day of the week.

IMG_3162

For more info: HIlton Westchester

DoubleTree by Hilton Boston’s Stay with the Kennedys package celebrates two Kennedys

Standard

Boston, Massachusetts — The DoubleTree by Hilton Boston’s “Stay with the Kennedys” package, giving access to the life and legacies of both John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his younger brother, Ted. Both served their country and community as President of the United States and Senator, respectively.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Boston’s package includes:

  • Overnight accommodations in a standard guest room at either the DoubleTree by Hilton Boston – Downtown OR the DoubleTree Club by Hilton Boston Bayside
  • Two adult admission tickets to the new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate
  • Two adult admission tickets to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

The package is available through July 31, 2016, but guests must book one week in advance. For rates and to book:

DoubleTree Club by Hilton Boston Bayside

DoubleTree by Hilton Boston – Downtown

Sleeping next to the tallest building in the western hemisphere… at the Millenium Hilton

Standard

IMG_3067

New York, NY — As another year passes and another day of remembrance for the victims of 9/11 is marked in Lower Manhattan, the evening brings calm to the area where throngs visited earlier in the day. The barricaded streets are now open and life returns to normal. It’s not often the average person sleeps within view of One World Trade Center, aka the Freedom Tower, its cobalt blue spire lit up and spectacular against the black night sky. But, by sheer chance, the Millenium Hilton was built adjacent to the World Trade Centers twin towers. So, by inheritance, views from some rooms look over the reflecting pools and right smack at the tower. But this hotel sustained considerable damage from that horrifying day and it took millions to restore its structure. So, this hotel has a 9/11 connection like no other.

IMG_3079

 

 

 

 

Save up to 40% with Nantucket Island Resorts’ Summer for Less offer

Standard

image001Nantucket, MA — It might be the height of summer, but there are deals to be had on the exclusive island of Nantucket. Nantucket Island Resorts’ “Summer for Less” offer means nightly rates start at $295 on select dates this season at all its properties.

Jared Coffin House from $295 A former Whaling Captain’s mansion, the landmark is located in the heart of Town and steps away from Nantucket’s top restaurants, shops and museums.

image002

The Cottages & Lofts at the Boat Basin from $475No yacht? No problem. Enjoy all the benefits of staying on Nantucket’s Boat Basin. Furry first mates are welcome at the pet-friendly Woof Cottages.

image003

The Wauwinet from $595 | For romance and relaxation, escape to the northeast end of the island and enjoy the The Wauwinet’s two private beaches.

White Elephant from $625 Sip Brant Point Grill’s famous Lobster Bloody Mary, throwback freshly shucked oysters, and take in the sparkling harbor view from Nantucket’s most iconic hotel.

White Elephant Village Residences & Inn from $1295| Steps from Town, the multi-bedroom accommodations are ideal for families. Little ones will love Children’s Beach located across the street, while the hotel’s complimentary bikes are perfect to explore nearby beaches, like Steps Beach and Jetties Beach.

For more information about travel dates and rates, visit, https://www.nantucketislandresorts.com/hotel-deals or call 800 475 2637.

Twin Farms and CorePower Yoga collaborate

Standard

aviary_dusk_exterior

 

Barnard, Vermont —  Twin Farms and CorePower Yoga have reunited for a woodland yoga retreat, August 28-29. Twin Farms, which is an all-inclusive Relais & Chateaux property and the only five-star resort in Vermont, and CorePower Yoga first collaborated to  launch Twin Farms’ new yoga pavilion this spring.

During the woodland retreat, guests can experience tailored stream-side yoga classes led by CorePower Yoga’s expert instructors, cooking demonstrations with award winning Executive Chef Nathan Rich, a breakfast juice bar, and healthy in-room amenities. All-inclusive rates start at $1,650/night based on double occupancy.
IMG_1150-b 3

 

Win win win: Hilton Westchester’s private NYC helicopter package

Standard

Hilton Westchester - Main Entrance - NEW Rye Brook, New York — See New York City without the heat and hustle: the Hilton Westchester’s special NYC helicopter package deal adds a birds-eye view of the city and, this summer, the hotel has a contest for a lucky prize winner to enjoy the ride. The prize includes:

  • One night stay for two at the Hilton Westchester hotel
  • Transportation to and from the Port Chester and Rye train stations
  • Buffet Breakfast for two
  • 30-minute private Helicopter Tour of NYC for two compliments of Wings Air Helicopters
  • Transportation to and from the hanger from the Hilton Westchester
  • Bottle of Champagne upon your return to the hotel

To enter, go to the hotel’s Facebook page. The winner announced on Facebook on August 16, 2015.

The 443-room Hilton Westchester is nestled on 37 naturally landscaped acres in the suburban town of Rye Brook and has two pools (indoor/outdoor), the Harth restaurant and bar, and is close to many popular historic and recreational Westchester County attractions including the following: Rye Playland (the 1928 Art Deco amusement park designated a historic NYS landmark and where the Tom Hanks movie “BIG” was filmed); Rye/Oakland Beach located on Long Island Sound; Port Chester – home to many hip and trendy ethnic restaurants from Peruvian to Italian (including Mario Batali/Joe Bastianich’s Tarry Lodge); Historic Hudson Valley tourist attractions including Sleepy Hollow, Sunnyside (Washington Irving’s ancestral estate), Kykuit, the historic home of the Rockefeller family located in Pocantico Hills, and the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers. The package costs $899 for two and includes the following:

For more info: Hilton Westchester

Harth Restaurant (Hilton Westchester)

Sofitel New York extends its New York City Restaurant Week lunch and dinner menus through to August 14

Standard

Exterior at night

New York City, New York — Gaby Brasserie Française, the charming restaurant at the decidedly French Sofitel New York, extends its New York City Restaurant Week lunch and dinner menus through to August 14. Offered Sunday-Friday only, wine pairings are available for an additional charge.

Gaby

Photo Credit: Sofitel New York

Veuve Clicquot Summer Brunch Series at The Nantucket

Standard

Entrance- Nantucket

Nantucket, Massachusetts — Summer treats come in all shapes and sizes, and if you’re lucky it comes with bubbles. The Nantucket’s bubbles and brunch series at the Breeze Bar & Café adds a splash of Veuve Clicquot. Launching July 26, the bubbly brunch is available August 9 and August 26, too.

Executive Chef Josh Schoen’s New England seasonal menu includes oysters with rose vinegar and ginger, Maine lobster bisque, smoked salmon salad and a signature Nantucket omelet, all to be paired with chilled Veuve Clicquot brut.

A la carte brunch for two plus a 750ml bottle of the signature Veuve Clicquot Brut starts at $100. To book, call the Breeze Bar & Café: 508.228.4730, thenantuckethotel.com.

 

Photo credit: The Nantucket

Never underestimate a bottle top at the Red Lion Inn

Standard

RLI 3

Stockbridge, Massachusetts — We make no apologies, but Hotel Junkie just loves this little guy. He lives at the Red Lion Inn, waving at guests from a bookshelf. His legs and arms are made of bottle tops. Nearby, this chair is another example of human waste as art. Bottle tops transform an old chair into a mighty throne!

rli 7

The Colonnade Hotel’s Brasserie JO takes a tour de France

Standard

Colonnade Boston Exterior

 

Boston, Massachusetts — It’s not too late to enjoy Brasserie JO’s Tour de France menu. This wonderful French bistro inside The Colonnade Hotel will offer Executive Chef Nick Calias’s changing plat du jours inspired by  the regions of France the riders cycle through.

 

Here are the menus for rest of the month:

Normandy July 7th-9th

Watercress Soup, Mussels—10.95

Sole Meuniere—22.95

Clafoutis aux pommes á la normande—9.95

 

Brittany July 10th-12th

Oysters, Cider Mignonette—14.95

Monkfish in Sauce Armoricaine—23.95

Crepes, Hazelnut Chocolate Sauce, Strawberries—8.95

 

Midi-Pyrenees July 14th-18th

Pan Seared Duck, Foie Gras, Currents—27.95

Pan Seared Scallops, Piperade, Spinach—23.95

Basque Torte -8.95

 

Rhone, Alps July 19th -22nd

Fondue, Baguette, Apple, Potato, Broccoli—14.95

Eggs Meurette, cooked in red wine—13.95

Chicken Fricassee, Aged Vinegar—22.95

Mille-feuille, Walnut Verona Chocolate Mousse –10.95

 

Paris July 23rd -26th

Chicken Liver Mousse Pate-12.95

Entrecôte, Pommes Frites, Béarnaise—37.95

Sole Bercy-24.95

Assorted French Macarons—9.95

Brasserie JO Boston Entrance

 

The Commoner dazzles Pittsburgh’s dining scene

Standard

Sign1

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania–Since opening last winter, The Commoner, tucked below street level in the new Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh, has brought boutique tavern dining to Downtown Pittsburgh. Set inside the turn of the twentieth century built former Duquesne building near Mellon Square Park, the menu is inspired by heartland America but with coastal flair, and the ambiance is retro modern, with the building’s industrial heart displayed in exposed girders. This is, after all, the city that steel built. Chef Dennis Marron and his team labor in the open-plan kitchen, which is dominated by a massive wood fired oven. The alleyway behind the hotel is filled with the smell of BBQ smoke, and a pile of wood stands there, ready for the kitchen fire. IMG_0685 This being a Kimpton hotel, one of the most pet friendly of hostelries, Marron does not neglect those most delightful of visitors: the guest in-room dining menu includes grilled Amish chicken breast with gravy, or an Astro burger with dog treat fries; and a Garfield tuna sandwich, or Sylvester’s salmon for kitties–or pups! On the Commoner’s menu items is a speciality for human diners: Marron’s Scotch deviled egg, which is the usual deviled egg, but wrapped with sausage meat and deep-fried, and served with the wonderful in-house made hot sauce. There’s also charred cauliflower with a sage and walnut pesto, and a wonderful grain and veggie salad, rightly dubbed Hearty Greens. It’s a toss of bitter radicchio, shaved Brussels sprouts. avocado, barley, and pickled pine nuts in a light but creamy lemon vinaigrette. It’s topped with a sheaf of crisped, fried kale. Of the main dishes, a de-constructed seafood chowder might raise eyebrows in New England, but it’s a dish that works out lighter and brighter than heavy real chowder. A pan-roasted striped bass steak is topped with clams, mussels, ham, corn, and potatoes, and a smoky, creamy “chowder” sauce is served in a jug, to be added to taste. As for the onion soup burger, well, this is an absolute innovation: the beef patty is topped with onion soup, including a slice of Gruyere cheese, which soaks into an onion bun. A full compliment of desserts, local beers, and an astutely curated wine list complement the menu. Desserts are irresistible: the Whitepot is a bread and butter pudding, made with raisin brioche and lemony custard. A grand finale indeed.

IMG_0686

For more info: The Commoner/Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh

Photo credit to Adam Milliron/Hotel Junkie