Orlando

Unfortunately, business trips sometimes take all the pleasure out of traveling. You may be in an awesome destination, but you’re either cooped up in a conference room catching a presentation or burning the midnight oil, polishing up some sort of contract. But why should these trips be all work and no play just because they’re designated as the former? As avid travelers across the board, we say you might as well take advantage of your company-paid airfare and at least stay through the weekend. After all, you’ll need some R&R after those heated boardroom discussions. So we scoured U.S. cities to find the best hotels suited for mixing some business with pleasure. Because doesn’t everyone deserve even a little bit of playtime?

Where You’re Doing Business: New York City

Lobby at the Millennium UN Plaza

Lobby at the Millennium UN Plaza

Where You Should Stay: Millennium UN Plaza

Top Business Perks:

  • With a business-friendly, Midtown East address, the hotel is right next to the U.N. and is within walking distance of over 30 consulates. Plus, with U.N. offices housed in the hotel’s building, security is among the tightest in the city and a bomb-sniffing canine is permanently on-site.
  • Its 7,500 square feet of meeting space offers varying views of the East River, the Empire State Building, and the Chrysler Building.
  • All rooms have a printer, fax, and copier.

Leisurely Studies: The only hotel in the city with both an indoor pool and an indoor tennis court, the Millennium offers plenty of on-site fun for those hoping to unwind after a long business trip. Plus, with a sleek bar, the hotel is a nice spot for after-work or pre-partying drinks, and there are plenty of upscale bars and restaurants within walking distance.

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The Peabody, with locations in Orlando, Little Rock, and Memphis, hold twice-daily Duck Marches, where the hotel’s resident birds make their way to lobby fountain in the morning, and then back to their “Royal Duck Palace” in the evening.  The charming tradition, which started as drunken joke by Tennessee hunters in the 1860′s, draw guests to the lobby’s red carpet, making these pampered ducks just as synonymous with The Peabody as Elvis is Vegas.

Check out our caption after the jump, then add your own in the comments section below!

 

Duck March in The Lobby of The Peabody Orlando

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We just booked our next vacation — and although we’re bona fide adults, we’re super-stoked to be heading to Disney World for their annual Marathon Weekend in January 2013. But in order to get motivated, we figured browsing the attractions we’d see while running couldn’t hurt. And what’s more exciting than Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom? Um, nothing! [Ed. note: In fact, I'll be running through the castle come January 13.] Oh, and in case you’re wondering, we booked the Waldorf Astoria Orlando for our stay.

Cinderella's Castle attracts millions of visitors every year, and I get to run through it!

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Matzoh for Passover

Credit: iStock Photo

 

 

Passover means the Jewish population is ditching bread — or anything leavened with yeast — for eight days starting next week. And for many, this requires completely cleaning out one’s kitchen, or, spending a week away from their non-Kosher-for-Passover home in favor of a holiday-friendly hotel. Luckily, some seriously luxurious spots are offering Parve fare along with a week’s worth of R&R. Check out our choices for Passover vacations after the jump!

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Credit: Kyle Rover/startraksphoto/AP

Credit: Kyle Rover/startraksphoto/AP

Season 5 of MTV’s Jersey Shore premiered last week, and it’s nice to seem them back in Jerz, with the boardwalk, the beach, and plenty of — or in some cases, too much — booze. But now that each of ‘em rakes in $100,000 per episode, our favorite Guidos and Guidettes can afford to get drunk and trash a place that’s way more luxe than their current Shore digs, so we found hotels where the cast can GTL (for non viewers, that means “gym-tan-laundry”) and enjoy a whole slew of Jersey-approved amenities. After all, you can take Snooki out of the Jersey Shore, but you can’t take the Jersey Shore out of Snooki. 

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There’s nothing like water parks during summertime. The kids are ecstatic, the weather is hot, and the energy is soaring. The fun never ends at these aquatic playgrounds, so let the games begin at these 8 magical water parks. Check out our full list of water parks your kids will love >>

Nickelodeon Suites Resort  Lake Buena Vista, Orlando

Guests at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort, one of Orlando’s best options for families outside of a theme park, have free access to two on-site water parks. The Oasis water park, seen here, has an Olympic-size pool, waterslides, and a kids’ play area (just note that this pool might be closed during the off season). The Lagoon water park, seen here, has a zero-depth entry pool, a four-story water tower, waterslides, two Jacuzzis, and a 400-gallon “dunk tank.”

Nickelodean Suites Resort Orlando, Florida

Nickelodean Suites Resort Orlando, Florida

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House ricotta and crab cavatelli

House ricotta and crab cavatelli

I like food. A lot.

I like food that is fresh, exciting and innovative. I like food that surprises me with it’s complexity of flavors in the same bite. Food that goes well with wine. And beer. Food that is bright and colorful. And fun. Food that is slow, and moseys to my plate without having to ride cross country with an Amtrak ticket in it’s back pocket.

So when I’m able to experience all of this, I jump at both the opportunity and the chance to tell others. Napa is a new restaurant located in The Peabody Orlando and describes itself as “drawing on inspiration from Wine Country” while having a menu that is”comprised of organic, sustainable farm-to-fork selections”. Intrigued, my friends and I enjoyed a fantastic lunch over at Napa a few weeks ago.

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Sea Of Trees at SeaWorld in Orlando

Sea Of Trees at SeaWorld, Orlando

If you’ll be in Orlando this hoilday season, I can recommend two wonderful holiday events to check out, both at theme parks. Both “SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration” and “Holidays at Universal Studios” have numerous attractions that are special for the season. There are two that I particularly enjoyed, that I believe are can’t miss experiences.

Universal Studios Orlando has an extra special treat in store this year. Mannheim Steamroller are the masters of Christmas music. Their music is powerful and compelling. On December 11th and 18th they will be performing your instrumental favorites and also providing the music for a The Grinch Who Stole Christmas reading. Actual actors from the Grinchmas show (currently on stage at Universal Islands of Adventure) provide their voices (out of costume) for a heartwarming show that people of all ages are sure to love. Read More »

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Sea World Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular

Sea World Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular

Sea World’s Halloween Spooktacular is a fun Halloween event geared towards young children. Special candy stands are set up throughout the park, and children are given a map to help find all of the Treasure Stations, each offering a different type of goody. Read More »

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Crepes at Brio Tuscan Grille

Trivia Question:
Where can you get a good Italian meal, a nice glass of wine, partake in some good people watching, and do a little window shopping at some of the swankiest stores in Orlando?

Answer: Brio Tuscan Grille at the Mall at Millenia

The setting: Brio has multiple locations around Florida, and while I’ve been to two of them, I think I’ve officially decided on the Mall at Millenia location being my favorite. The ambiance is, well, perfect in many different aspects. The dining room is large and open, but segmented into different dining areas with half walls and a variety of seating options. Read More »

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