Santa Monica

There’s something about boutique hotels that make them sexier than your average getaway: Smaller spaces and dark corners, personalized service, and often diligent attention to detail make them well-suited for the romantically-inclined. We picked our favorite boutiques that have all the necessary trappings for romance.

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One of the most important brand names a hotel can boast is that of its designer. A famous hotel designer such as Philippe Starck can help ensure a hotel’s hot spot status, so new hotels are wise to invest heavily in their interior style. And it’s not only traditional hotel designers that can add to a hotel’s cachet; there is a trend of fashion designers or celebrities turning their talents to hotels, which always creates plenty of buzz. These nine hotels are some of the most devastatingly stylish we’ve found anywhere.

Hotel Le Notre Dame, Paris

Hotel Le Notre Dame, ParisMany guests choose this charming boutique hotel for its proximity to Notre Dame Cathedral, which is a two-minute walk away. But this hotel is notable for more than its location: Its 26 funky, eclectic rooms were designed by none other than fashion powerhouse Christian Lacroix. They feature bold patterns and prints, as well as natural materials such as wood and stone. Read More »

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Summer is (unofficially) here, and tons of travelers will be heading coast to coast to visit some of the most iconic city spots in the country. From the Brooklyn Bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge, from the Santa Monica Pier to the Atlantic City Boardwalk, we’ll give you the dish on our favorite landmarks (and hotels!) along the way. So grab your cameras and fill up on gas, we’ve got plenty of great photo-ops ahead!

Visit: The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City

The Brooklyn Bridge turned 130 years old this month.

New York is filled with plenty of must-see attractions, but this year it’s all about the Brooklyn Bridge. The iconic structure has appeared in countless movies, TV shows, and books, and this May it celebrated its 130th birthday. Once the longest suspension bridges in the world, this National Historic Landmark stands as a modern wonder of engineering and architecture.

Stay: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge

While most Manhattanites snicker at the thought of tourists staying in Brooklyn, this spacious Marriott is conveniently located a few blocks from the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as within walking distance of nine subway lines that lead right through the heart of the city. Read More »

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Who doesn’t love a beach vacation? The sun, the sand, and the ocean all come together to make for a relaxing getaway that, when complete, will send you home rested and relaxed – and hopefully with a tan! Where you stay, however, can make a big difference on just how fabulous your beach trip is. That’s why we’ve found the 15 most decadent hotels on the sand to ensure that you enjoy the ultimate beachfront luxury.

Eden Roc at Cap Cana, Dominican Republic

Eden Roc at Cap Cana

The Eden Roc, opened in 2012, is one of the most high-tech properties in the Dominican Republic, and is located in the gated Cap Cana community — which has a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, marina, and beach club. The 34 colorful suites are clustered around a small, man-made lagoon and feature elegant decor (picture four-poster beds, intricate floor tiling, and spacious bathrooms). Up-to-date amenities include iPad-controlled lights, sound systems, and TVs with numerous channels in Spanish and English. Suites also come with small pools and golf carts for getting around the property.
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Getting fit doesn’t have to be on your to-do list after you travel. While many hotels offer state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment, we know that treadmills can get downright boring after a while. So we’ve found the hotels that have one-of-a-kind fitness amenities that will add a little spice to your workouts while you travel and below we’ll tell you where to find them.

The Fitness Feature: Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayaks at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes

The Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes

Plenty of beach and lakeside hotels offer kayak and canoe rentals, but few offer as many options for your paddling session. For those who prefer a trained professional to accompany them, guided tours at this Ritz include two-hour eco-tours along Shingle Creek ($60 for adults; $30 for children) and excursions on Grande Lake where paddlers can watch the sun rise and set ($20/hour for adults; $10/hour for children).

Other hotels with similar offerings: Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

The upscale Terranea Resort offers myriad activities, including two-hour ocean kayaking tours along the Catalina Channel, where paddlers can spot bottlenose dolphins, sea lions, leopard sharks, and bat rays ($89 per person). Or guests can opt for “kayorkle” — a two-hour excursion where guests snorkel and kayak, also for $89 per person.

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Hotel bars are often a convenient spot for a nightcap or a quick after-work drink (anything to take the edge off!) while on a business trip — but not all have the right vibe and noise level to help free your mind of all the stress after a long day of work. Whether you have been working all day in your office, or running from meeting to meeting while on the road, these great hotel bars are a safe bet for some after-work fun.

Red Owl Tavern at Hotel Monaco Philadelphia

The Red Owl offers Independence Mall views and great drinks.

The Red Owl offers Independence Hall views and great drinks.

The Red Owl Tavern is a hip spot located off the lobby at Hotel Monaco. It offers a fantastic wine list (put together by Kimpton Hotels master sommelier Emily Wines), and hand-crafted cocktails. With huge windows overlooking Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, a couple of cool industrial-inspired details, and house-cured charcuterie board specials, the bar attracts a varied crowd of professionals.

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Pups deserve a little pampering too.

The Westminster Dog Show kicks off on Monday and even though our pooch may not be in the show, it’s a good enough excuse to pamper our ‘lil pup! Anyone who’s seen the Christopher Guest classic Best in Show knows that some people really love their pets, and will go to any lengths to keep them happy. And the current pet-friendly hotel trend means that it’s never been easier to spoil your dog rotten on the road.

 

Check out five of the most extravagant pet services we’ve encountered here »

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A picturesque scene at the beach at the Huntley Hotel.

A picturesque scene at the beach at the Huntley Hotel.

Though it’s about a 15-minute walk away, the beach by the Huntley Hotel is well worth the stroll. Over 100 yards wide, it’s an ideal spot for swimming and boogie-boarding, as well as snapping breathtaking shots like the one above. Beachgoers can also bike along the 22-mile beachside path, or play volleyball at one of the many nets. And after a long day in the sun, the Huntley’s gorgeous Penthouse restaurant is the perfect place to unwind with a glass of wine — surrounded by 360-degree views, no less. So as we say every week: sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is The Huntley Hotel Santa Monica Beach.

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Soaring Sunset at the Huntley Hotel Santa Monica Beach

Soaring Sunset at the Huntley Hotel Santa Monica Beach

This week, amid NYC’s honking horns and grey days, we couldn’t help but indulge in a little California dreamin’. Peace, quiet, and a tan, oh my — it sounds pretty nice — and we think a stroll down the Santa Monica Pier is just what the doctor ordered. At the Huntley Hotel, the focus is certainly on strolling and shopping in the hotel’s quirky neighborhood. Plus, the hotel’s top-notch restaurant boasts gorgeous views of the sunset that you — and the birds, apparently — will be drawn to.

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Summer’s in full swing — can’t you just hear the beach calling your name? But while some of us are happy with just a patch of sand and a salty sea breeze, others hit the beach with a little something specific in mind. Maybe you want to go surfing, indulge in some late-night partying, or take full advantage of a clothing-optional zone. So no matter the kind of beach scene you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered. Check out our list to find the beach that suites your style this summer. Get ready to hit the sand!

If You’re Looking For: A Crazy Party

Hit This Beach: Medano Beach; Cabo San Lucas

Medano Beach at the Cabo Villas Beach Resort and Spa

Medano Beach at the Cabo Villas Beach Resort and Spa

Why Partiers Love It: It’s Cabo, baby! The infamous line associated with the town of Cabo San Lucas reflects its hard-partying atmosphere which makes it a popular choice among college-aged spring breakers. But Medano Beach has something for revelers of all ages — as long as you’re down to get in on the fun, of course. The soft, sandy beach is lined by bars — everything from inexpensive dives to upscale cocktail lounges. And no shirt, no problem!

Where to Stay: Almost all 142 units of the Cabo Villas are romantic, airy and bright — with modern décor, stylish fixtures, and spacious balconies with stunning views. The ocean-side location is convenient for party people — Medano Beach’s shores may be teeming with vendors and tourists, yet guests can find a bit of a reprieve (if they choose) at the hotel’s beach bar and sushi joint, Baja Cantina.

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