Category Archives: Destination Travel

5 U.S. Hotels with Museum Grade Artwork

 

On a business or leisure trip without much time to spare yet wanting to take in some arts and culture? Some hotels in popular travel destinations are home to very extensive art collections worthy of top museums.

Here are Five U.S. Hotels with Museum Grade Artwork.

Photo Credit: Boca Raton Resort

Boca Raton Resort and Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort – Boca Raton, FL

The Boca Raton Resort and Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, in partnership with the Baker Sponder Gallery, established a collection of museum-quality sculptures by internationally renowned artists.  Works by artists like Fernando Botero, Lynn Chadwick, Jim Dine, Claude Lalanne, George Segal, Manolo Valdes, Boaz Vaadia and Bernar Venet can be viewed throughout the property. Each sculpture features a sign with interesting facts about the artists and with a telephone number that guests can dial to listen to additional information. Sculptures are continuously-rotated and are available for purchase.

Conrad New York – New York, NY

Photo Credit: Conrad New York

The Conrad New York, in downtown Manhattan, features over 2,000 works of art throughout its public spaces and in over 463 luxury guest suites. From commissions such as Sol LeWitt’s amazing Loopy Doopy (Blue and Purple) in the Atrium and Pat Steir’s Topsy Turvy at the Gallery Ballroom, to the more intimate, specially commissioned Mary Heilmann, Elizabeth Peyton and Sara Sosnowy lithographs in the guest suites, the Conrad New York exhibits a remarkably diverse collection by some of the world’s most prominent contemporary artists.

Hilton Anatole Dallas – Dallas, TX

Photo Credit: Hilton Anatole Dallas

Hilton Anatole Dallas is known for its extensive collection of art and antiques – the largest ever assembled in an American hotel. This unique collection includes pieces that have graced the palaces of kings, emperors and czars. Guests can plug into AnatoleArt.com on their cellphone or tablet to enjoy a variety of art exploration activities like a walking tour of the hotel’s 100 most iconic pieces, including the kinetic sculpture Nebula. The hotel also offers a new dining experience called The Anatole Art Dine-Around where 15 of the hotels’ most iconic art pieces have been paired with savory food and beverage items from their country of origin.

The Curtis – Denver. CO

Photo Credit: The Curtis

The Curtis, a Doubletree by Hilton in Denver is a vibrant destination for pop art with an eclectic mix of artworks created by local Colorado and nationally renowned artists. Guests are treated to pop art throughout the lobby and the halls. There are fun guest rooms themed after TV Mania, Sci-Fi, One Hit Wonders or Perfect Pair. All Together Now is a 42-foot high sculpture by nationally renowned artists Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt. Inspired by the famous Beatles song, the piece is a stack of steel 3-dimensional building blocks in a variety of vibrant colors spelling out “All Together Now.”

Hilton Cleveland Downtown – Cleveland, OH

Photo Credit: Hilton Cleveland Downtown

The Hilton Cleveland Downtown features artwork throughout its public spaces, specifically, nearly 200 original works from mostly all local artists. Highlights include pieces from Cleveland native and Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Michael Cartellone, along with the metal sculptures in the lobby. There’s also what’s thought to be the first crowd-sourced hotel mural composed of 2,800 selfies depicting all that’s great about Cleveland.

Do you have favorite US hotels with museum grade artwork to tell us about today?

Safe travels,

Veronique

I’m a travel industry veteran currently employed by Hilton. The views and contents of this post are my own and in no way in partnership with my employer. I wasn’t compensated for writing about this subject.

Our Summerlin Vacation Rental Home

 

We just went on a family vacation to the Las Vegas area. Since we were 7 guests and had two kids ages 11 and 13, we didn’t want to stay on The Strip, so we opted for a vacation rental home in nearby Summerlin. Here’s a link to the house we rented for a week.

There are several things we loved about this rental, including:

  1. We liked that it was near enough to The Strip but far enough from it also. The neighborhood was quiet but near major highways. It was also close to tennis courts and great golf courses. For me, it was near a renowned spa where I took a $6 Uber to get a massage.
  2. The backyard was ideal for a large family getaway. The pool is super with its diving board and slide – kids loved it. At night, there were lights that changed colors in the pool and hot tub that were so relaxing! The kids are avid basketball fans and the court was the greatest for them. My golf-crazed hubby practiced his putting on the brand new putting green. There were plenty of pool toys, basketballs, putters and golf balls also.
  3. The kitchen was huge and included everything this cooking aficionado could have dreamed of. From pantry items like spices, coffee and paper goods to small appliances like a crockpot, a blender and even a toaster oven, this was a dream kitchen and I enjoyed cooking and grilling almost every night (there are numerous restaurants nearby and delivery menus if cooking on vacay isn’t your thing).
  4. The amenities were super like premium bedding, plenty of towels – both bath and pool, tons of pillows and more. There was laundry detergent and we did a bit of laundry during our stay.
  5. There is a double car garage with a remote door opener where we could park our car to keep it cool(er).

We could not be happier with our stay in this ultra-clean home. The host was there to greet us, even with our flight being 2 hours late. She walked us through how things work (TVs, pool, hot tub, etc…) and was great at communicating with us during our stay.

We highly-recommend this house and look forward to staying here again.

Cheers,

Veronique

JadeWaters Resort Pool Complex at Hilton Anatole

 

View from Conference Room

I recently stayed at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, TX where I learned of the recent opening of its $20 million JadeWaters Resort Pool Complex. Since I was at a business function, this was my view of the amazing-looking complex!

About JadeWaters at the Anatole

Exclusive to hotel guests, JadeWaters features:

  • 4,000 sq. ft. Leisure Cove Pool (adults only on weekends)
  • Beach entry family pool
  • Splash zone for kids
  • 630-foot long lazy river
  • Two 180-foot winding water slides
  • Private cabanas and daybeds
  • 23-seat swim-up bar
  • JadeWaters Grill & Bar

JadeWaters offers scheduled activities for families on the weekends, such as cooking experiences, duck races, gold plunges, family movies on Friday and Saturday nights and s’mores parties.

Hours of Operations

2017 Summer Season — May 26 – Sep 4, 2017 (Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day)

JadeWaters Resort Pool Complex: Open daily from 9:00am – 9:00pm

JadeWaters Grill & Bar: Open daily from 11:00am – 8:00pm

Visiting JadeWaters

JadeWaters Resort Pool Complex is an exclusive amenity for Hilton Anatole guests. Per reservation, guests receive:

  • Up to two wristbands per King guest room
  • Up to four wristbands per Queen double-bed rooms or guest rooms with King and sofa bed

*Guests will receive wristbands at the hotel, which will be required for daily entrance into JadeWaters.

*Up to an additional two wristbands per room are available for purchase for $25 each per day.

Cabana and Daybed Rental

Cabanas and daybeds are available to hotel guests for daily rental at JadeWaters during the summer season.

Cabanas — $325 per day and include:

  • 4 reserved chaise lounges
  • Table and chairs
  • 55-inch TV
  • Mini-fridge
  • 8 bottles of water
  • Locking drawer
  • Ceiling fan
  • 8 towels
  • Tropical fruit platter

Note: $425/day Friday – Monday on following holiday weekends: Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day

Daybeds — $195/day, with seating for 2-4 guests.

Hilton Anatole – 2201 North Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207.

Happy travels,

Veronique

I’m a travel industry veteran currently employed by Hilton. The views and contents of this post are my own and in no way in partnership with my employer. I wasn’t compensated for writing about this subject.

Eerily Watch Jaws While Floating on a Lake

 

Creepy!!

You can now watch one of the most epic thrillers, Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, while floating on a tube in the dark waters of Lake Travis in Austin, TX. Austin’s popular Alamo Drafthouse is reintroducing its Jaws on the Water viewings where the audience floats on inner tubes on the lake while watching the shark cult classic.

I’m not 100% sold on this idea…you?

5 Kid Friendly Hotels on the Las Vegas Strip

 

I’ve traveled to Las Vegas for work more times than I could ever count. Before this year, I’d never thought about taking kids to Sin City, but with family coming to visit from Europe and yearning to visit the west coast, Vegas ended up on the itinerary.

In researching family-friendly hotels in Las Vegas, I found that there were many great options – surprise! There are multi-room accommodations, kid-friendly shows, amazing pool complexes and various activities perfect for the little ones.

We were looking for hotels on the Strip, and found everything from lazy river pools to shark aquariums to giant circus-tents to knights jousting.

Regarding price, there are options ranging from budget-friendly to break-the-bank luxurious, so travelers with any size wallets will find the right property for their families.

Circus Circus

Circus Circus is an iconic Las Vegas hotel has been one of the most family-friendly properties for decades. There is a wide variety of accommodations available from the most basic room to luxury suites to even an RV park. What really attracts families at Circus Circus are the attractions. Adventuredome, a five-acre indoor theme park, offers everything from rides to clown shows to arcade games and will keep kids busy for hours. There is a midway with over 200 games and the popular daily free circus with its daring acts.

Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club Hotel

Photo courtesy of Elara

Elara, a sleek 52-story glass tower offers spacious studios, plus 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom suites and is a member of the Hilton family. The non-gaming hotel is set back a bit from the Strip and offers adjoining access to the Miracle Mile, which has 21 restaurants and bars and 100 retail shops, and is adjacent to the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino complex featuring a renowned casino, nine restaurants and the Mandara Spa. For families, perhaps the best part of staying at Elara is access to kitchenettes in studios and full kitchens and separate living and sleeping spaces in larger units. That means cost savings through breakfast and snacks in the units and adult beverages in the fridge for the parents.

Excalibur Hotel & Casino

It’s hard to miss Excalibur with its center-Strip giant King Arthur themed castle. Accommodations range from standard rooms to 2-bedroom suites, perfect for families. Fun Dungeon, the Excalibur arcade, is a favorite with the kids. The resort has four pools with 30,000 square feet of deck space making it easy to find seating for the whole family. There are also a water slide and 19 well-stocked cabanas with all the essentials to keep cool. The ultimate family dinner adventure awaits at the medieval Tournament of Kings dinner show where guests sit in an arena style theater and watch and cheer on the knights as they battle with sword fights and jousting.

Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

Mandalay Bay is a fantastic property for families on so many levels. First, there’s Mandalay Bay Beach, the hotel’s pool area that features a quarter mile lazy river, a gigantic wave pool and a beach area with real sand. Another must-visit attraction is the 1.6 million gallon Shark Reef Aquarium with 15 species of sharks, Piranhas, stingrays eels and many other fish numbering over 2,000 animals. Room types vary from a standard room to multi-bedroom suites and there are dozens of restaurants to choose from for families.

Mirage Las Vegas

The Mirage is perhaps best known for its volcano with waterfalls and palm trees. Kids are fascinated by the volcano show that erupts nightly starting at 8 p.m. complete with a sound effects, 150 fireshooters and a giant eruption finale shooting 60 feet into the air. Children will also enjoy the 20,000-gallon saltwater aquarium and the tropical rainforest atrium that has waterfalls, a lagoon and lush foliage. Another must-attend exhibit at The Mirage is the Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat where guests can explore, learn and play in an enchanting world of bottlenose dolphins, white tigers, white lions and leopards. Accommodations are very wide ranging from standard rooms to three-bedroom villas with their own yards and pools.

Happy travels!

Veronique

Veronique Deblois is a travel industry veteran who’s currently employed by Hilton. The views and contents of this post are my own and in no way in partnership with my employer. I wasn’t compensated for writing about this subject.

Cheap Family-Friendly Vacation in San Diego

 

San Diego

Balboa Park Mini Train. Photo by Balboa Park.

San Diego, with its nearly perfect weather and tons of family activities, is an ideal place to bring the kids. A must-visit spot is Balboa Park with its renowned San Diego Zoo, miniature train, 14 museums and beautiful gardens – check out the kid-friendly itineraries. TheNAT, San Diego Natural History Museum, offers an Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibit where kids can meet new and exotic dinosaurs and for the first time outside Washington, DC., Photo Ark a multimedia exhibition that showcases National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore’s project documenting the world’s animal species. Visit TheNAT website for info on monthly family days. The New Children’s Museum is filled with various art installations to keep kids and their families entertained for hours. While not the most wallet-friendly activity in San Diego, SeaWorld San Diego with its coasters, rides and sea creature exhibits is a popular option. Know what is affordable? San Diego’s pristine beaches for a day of surf and sand.

Where to stay: Hilton San Diego Bayfront has a toddler pool and kids-only water slide. Embassy Suites San Diego Bay – Downtown modern suites include separate living rooms with pull-out sofas plus free amenities like made-to-order breakfast and evening appetizers and drinks – near kid-friendly activities.

 

Happy travels!

Veronique

Veronique Deblois is a travel industry veteran who currently works for Hilton. The views and contents on this post are my own and in no way in partnership with my employer.

Wentworth Mansion – Charleston’s Grand Dame

 

Wentworth Mansion

The Wentworth Mansion, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is a historic hotel in downtown Charleston. Through my social media efforts, I won a three-night stay at this illustrious property and our stay was simply perfect on all levels: luxurious accommodations, gracious hospitality, an award-winning restaurant and exclusive amenities.

Richard Widman purchased The Wentworth Mansion in 1997 and proceeded with an extensive $7 million renovation that preserved and restored historic features including the original staircase, the inlaid floors, and Tiffany glass while adding modern conveniences.

Wentworth Sunroom

We loved that the property, which had been a private residence, was not in a commercial and bustling part of Charleston, yet, it was just steps from award-winning dining, art, history and shopping.

The property’s grounds are lush with green lawns, century-old trees and flowers. There is a private, complimentary parking lot that was welcoming as street parking is common in the neighborhood. A bell person is available to gather belongings from the car and transport them to guest rooms.

All guests receive a complimentary house-made breakfast and nightly chocolates from the restaurant in the mansion’s original carriage house.

When I hear that my room comes with complimentary breakfast, I am not often excited but at Wentworth Mansion, breakfast is an absolute treat. More on Circa 1886 in a bit.

In proper southern hospitality, the property offers afternoon hors d’oeuvres & wine in the Charleston Parlor. There, we had an opportunity to meet other guests and unwind before heading out for the evening. Upon returning from our evenings out, we were greeted by evening port, sherry and brandy.

The Accommodations

Each of the 21 guest rooms has a unique size, shape and architectural features. The property offers pet-friendly guest rooms for patrons with pets have easy access to the lawn and homemade dog biscuits.

Our room was one of the Mansion Rooms, once the bedrooms of the family that built the Mansion. The elegant guest room is spacious (averaging about 475 square feet) and beautifully appointed with a king-size bed with premium linens, an expansive bathroom with oversized whirlpool tub, a walk-in shower and luxurious bath products and a gas fireplace. There was a sitting area where I enjoyed reading a book and a desk where we could have worked comfortably, but did not. There is nightly turndown service.

Rooms also feature refrigerators with complimentary soft drinks and bottled water, flat screen televisions, DVD players, hair dryers, irons and ironing boards, cozy robes and safety deposit box. Rooms and common areas offer complimentary internet access.

Wentworth Lobby

The Food

Tucked away in the gardens behind Wentworth Mansion in the original carriage house, Circa 1886 Chef Marc Collins honors Charleston traditions while creating contemporary cuisine beautifully crafted with the finest, locally-sourced ingredients from the area’s fields, pastures and waters.

The delicious breakfast that comes with stays at Wentworth Mansion features homemade pastries, delectable coffee and local favorite dishes. Service is friendly and polished but not stuffy and the setting is beautifully appointed.

We also enjoyed dinner at Circa 1886. We opted for the five-course Chef’s Tasting Dinner. The typical cost of this $75 dinner is reduced for hotel guests. It is a considerable value for food that is so fabulous.

More about Circa 1886 in an upcoming post.

The Spa

Originally the Mansion’s stables, The Spa provides everything guests needs to rejuvenate and replenish amid 14-foot vaulted ceilings, exposed beams and rustic beauty.

A stay at Wentworth Mansion is an absolute treat and pampering experience and I look forward to returning.

Address: 149 Wentworth St, Charleston, SC 29401.

Happy travels,

Veronique

Cheap Family-Friendly Vacation in Washington DC

 

Washington, D.C.

National Air and Space Museum. Photo by The Smithsonian Institution.

In Washington, D.C., most of the family-friendly attractions are free making this popular city a bargain for families. Three stops on the National Mall that are must-visit are part of the Smithsonian Institution:  the National Air and Space Museum, the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of American History. The National Air and Space Museum offers many educational opportunities for children and adults and features thousands of objects on display, including the 1903 Wright Flyer, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia and a lunar rock kids can touch. The National Museum of National History has a compelling display of dinosaur bones and artifacts and also features the wildly-popular Butterfly Pavilion, which is a paid exhibit. At the National Museum of American History, families will be able to view the Star Spangled Banner and visit hands-on kid-friendly exhibits. A short metro ride away is the National Zoo with its more than 2,000 animals and many informative educational classes.

Where to stay: The Embassy Suites Washington DC Convention Center is within walking distance to the Smithsonian museums and White House and has an indoor pool. Hampton Inn Washington, D.C./White House has an indoor pool and offers complimentary breakfast and internet. The District by Hilton Club offers a touch of luxury with family-friendly amenities like free hot breakfast and an indoor pool.

Happy travels!

Veronique

Veronique Deblois is a travel industry veteran who currently works for Hilton. The views and contents on this post are my own and in no way in partnership with my employer.