Best Places to Stay in California (III)

Tag: Accommodation

Best Places to Stay in California (III)

Best Places to Stay in California: American River Inn – Historic B&B in Gold Country


For a fun overnight in Gold Country's Georgetown, check out this historic miner's boarding house turned B&B.


Though the original building dates back to 1853, it burned in 1897 and was quickly reconstructed — later becoming a sanitarium, brothel and grand hotel.


Today, this bed-and-breakfast is a popular spot for touring Gold Country, hosting stars including David Hasselhoff and Carol Channing. Choose from 13 guest rooms and suites, decorated with old antiques, dolls and Victorian furnishings. Your stay includes afternoon hors d'oeuvres and wine, along with a delicious full breakfast of quiche, ham, muffins, bagels, coffee and fruit salad in the morning.


Oscar (described as a romantic and friendly spirit) is known to hang out at the top of the stairs. He is said to be fond of honeymooners in Room 5 — shaking the bed, switching on the lights or tearing off the sheets.



Best Places to Stay in California: Carter House Inn – Luxury lodging in Eureka


Tucked along Eureka's historic Victorian Row, this luxury B&B — a replica of Newsom & Newsom's 1884 Murphy House — is one of the nicest places to stay on the Northern coast.


Boasting eight rooms and three separate floors, the B&B was rebuilt in 1982 after Mark Carter found the historic plans of Murphy House (which was destroyed during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake) inside a Eureka antique store. Today, the Eureka hotel is best known for its award-winning Restaurant 301, which has received countless awards for its 3,800-bottle wine list (including a Wine Spectator Grand Award) and gourmet farm-to-table dining. View menu.


In addition to the Carter House building, the B&B also operates Annie's House (417 M. Street), Carter Cottage, Bell Cottage and Hotel Carter. Each suite is decorated with classic yet modern touches — from the all-white bedspreads to in-room whirlpool tubs, flat screen TVs, MP3 docking stations and fireplaces. Wine, hors d'oeuvres and bedtime cookies and tea are included with your stay.


Best Places to Stay in California: Carter House Inn – Looking for something to do while you're here?


The B&B can set up dozens of activities, ranging from Redwood canopy tours, to fishing trips, rock climbing tours and Humboldt Bay harbor cruises on the 1910 ferry Madaket. A romantic choice is the Old Town carriage ride, which includes a horse-drawn narrated tour of the city followed by wine and appetizers, dinner for two in Restaurant 301, and a two-course breakfast the next day.


Where to Stay on the Mayan Riviera (VI)

With the hundreds of destinations that line the 80-mile stretch of this white-powder Caribbean sand, how do you decide where to stay on the Mayan Riviera? Whether your goal is to party all night long with friends, learn how to scuba dive and swim in the cenotes, discover the fascinating world of the Maya or simply relax and become one with the sun and the sand, we've picked a few of our favorite places…knowing that more will be added to the list with each visit…


Where to Stay on the Mayan Riviera:

Eco-friendly / Secluded

Casa de las Olas


A little oasis of alternate-energy luxury on the south end of Tulum beach, Casa de las Olas is tranquil and serene, yet close to all the bistros and beach restaurants in Tulum. Whether your sensibilities lean toward massage and meditation, or tours and adventure, ifs all here. The suites feature private ocean view balconies, four post beds, crisp linens, native hand-painted tile, tropical hardwoods and a mix of Mexican and Indonesian furnishings. Four of the five oceanfront suites have either a kitchen or kitchenette giving you the flexibility to venture out or stay in. Guests can take satisfaction in knowing that the shampoo, conditioners and soaps provided by the facility are all biodegradable. The water filtration systems reuse the water in the gardens. Biodegradable wet garbage is composted. All power for Casa de las Olas is generated by solar panels.


Where to Stay on the Mayan Riviera:

Cultural Immersion / Eco-friendly

Maroma Resort and Spa by Orient Express


Located on the Riviera Maya, Maroma Resort and Spain bringing a touch of authentic Mayan culture to guests by recreating an Aldea Maya (Mayan Village) on its grounds. The Aldea Maya will offer toadies a truly cultural experience by giving them a chance to sample genuine Mayan cuisine which will be produced both traditionally and sustainably. Mayan dinner menus are based entirely on regional specialties such as black bean stew with sour cactus fruit salsa, and banana leaf cooked lionfish with mint and tomatillo. Traditional Mayan methods of cooking over an open fire in clay pans will create the exotic Mayan flavorings and 100% of the ingredients will be sourced locally from organic farmers and from the hotel’s own milpa-style farm. A portion of the Aldea Maya proceeds will benefit the local Mayan communities.

Best Places to Stay in California (II)

Best Places to Stay in California: Amargosa Opera House – Historic Old Hotel in Death Valley


Dancer Marta Becket, a former Broadway showgirl, purchased the crumbling Amargosa Opera House in 1967, opening a live theater, hotel and diner in the heart of Death Valley Junction. Although Marta no longer performs (her final performance was on Feb. 12, 2012), the hotel itself is a huge draw — especially for German and Japanese tourists.


Much of the hotel and opera house is decorated with Marta's murals of ballerinas, clowns and circus performers — an effort that took almost four years to complete. Rooms are bare bones basic, with dated furniture and decor. In fact, many travelers have complained about the "sagging beds" and "derelict rooms." It's definitely in need of an update. 


A documentary about Marta, titled Amargosa, was a finalist for best documentary feature at the 72nd annual Academy Awards. It was also featured as the Lost Highway Hotel in David Lynch's 1997 thriller, Lost Highway.


The Amargosa Cafe — which has spotty hours — serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.



Best Places to Stay in California: Ahwahnee Hotel – Yosemite’s grand dame


Named for the Ahwahneechee Indians who once inhabited Yosemite, this historic hotel combines Native American, Art Deco, and Arts & Crafts styles. Opened on July 14, 1927, the Ahwahnee is certainly the most luxurious Yosemite lodging. Its grand public rooms have hosted presidents and royalty, and today it remains one of the valley's top attractions. 


Most of the Ahwahnee's hotel rooms, suites and cottages have stunning views of the valley — and WiFi is free for hotel guests. For a true splurge, book one of their private cabins along the Merced River, or a luxurious suite — just like Queen Elizabeth II did during her visit in 1983. Also, be sure to dine at least once in the grand Ahwahnee Dining Room. The Ahwahnee Bar is the perfect place to relax with a martini and cheese plate while admiring the sunset over Half Dome.


Best Places to Stay in California: Ahwahnee Hotel – Tips


The hotel is located just one mile from Yosemite Village. A free shuttle departs from the hotel parking lot every 10-20 minutes, stopping at the Visitor Center, historic Curry Village, Yosemite Lodge and Yosemite Falls. Reservations should be made at least 5 months, and up to one year in advance. Historic walking tours are offered daily through the concierge.


Best Places to Stay in California (I)

Best Places to Stay in California: Andaz West Hollywood – Vacation like a rock star


Famous in the 1970s for hosting LA's most riotous rockers and parties, the Andaz hotel is West Hollywood's newest darling. Elegantly remodeled in 2009, the 14-story, 238-room hotel is the perfect base for touring Hollywood, with a cornucopia of A-list attractions nearby, including the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.


The Andaz Lounge, with its golden-berry psychedelic patterned carpet, has a nice gallery of local art and photography. Upstairs, the Andaz sundeck — the highest rooftop pool in Los Angeles — is home to a heated pool, cozy chaise lounges and private cabanas. Check out the latest hotel deals and offers.



Best Places to Stay in California: Avia Napa Valley – Your own personal tipster


This boutique chain, centrally located in downtown Napa, has 141 rooms and suites, just steps from wine country's top tasting rooms. What sets it apart is its personalized Tastemaker concierge services and insider itineraries, featuring the advice of in-the-know locals.


By day, explore the Napa Valley wineries and Oxbow Public Market, or take a tour on the Napa Valley Wine Train. By night, watch a show at the 1870s Napa Valley Opera House, or tour the area's salons and bars. The hotel's AVIA Kitchen and Wine Bar serves up small plates, craft beers and small-production wines from California and the Northwest. Check out the latest hotel specials and packages.

Where to Stay on the Mayan Riviera (V)

With the hundreds of destinations that line the 80-mile stretch of this white-powder Caribbean sand, how do you decide where to stay on the Mayan Riviera? Whether your goal is to party all night long with friends, learn how to scuba dive and swim in the cenotes, discover the fascinating world of the Maya or simply relax and become one with the sun and the sand, we've picked a few of our favorite places…knowing that more will be added to the list with each visit…


Where to Stay on the Mayan Riviera:

Adults Only / All-Inclusive

Live Aqua Cancun


This extravagant 4-star beach spa and resort is located across the road from La Isla Shopping Mall and at very short distance from some of the best restaurants and shopping malls in the city. The Live Aqua Cancun All-Inclusive is a place of luxury designed to pamper you, and create a memorable experience. Live Aqua Cancun's 371 elegant lodgings feature plush bedding with Egyptian cotton sheets, flat-screen Television, Home Theaters and DVD players, aromatherapy supplies, high-speed Internet access, marble bathrooms with separate showers and tubs and private balconies with beautiful views. Visitors will love the magnificent beachfront with secluded cabanas (surcharge on Deluxe Rooms), eight enormous pools overlooking the Caribbean Sea, spa, state of the art fitness center, three exquisite diners, five taverns featuring signature liquors and conference facilities for up to 1,000 visitors.


Where to Stay on the Mayan Riviera:

Adults Only / Secluded / Intimate

Viceroy Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen


Upon arrival, a Mayan Blessing is performed for guests by an authentic in-house shaman. This blessing releases visitors from their cares and worries into a new beginning at the resort. The 41 villas each have a private plunge pool and terrace and outdoor shower. Mayan healing techniques and traditions infuse every aspect of the spa concept, and one-of-a-kind experiences are enjoyed in an Herbal Steam Room, Jungle Spa Suite for Two, Outdoor Rain Room, Fertility Spa Suite and traditional Mayan Temazcal sweat lodge. Located on a sea-view loft, La Marea accents time-honored traditional recipes with innovative ingredients to create a tableau of flavors. The seaside Coral Grill features a Mexican-Mediterranean menu cooked on wood-burning grills and a bar know for its creative mixology. Among the amenities are a lagoon pool, a fitness center offering a variety of classes, day beds at the beach, and a pier where guests enjoy massages and savor private dinners. 

Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy (II)

Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy: De Las Letras Hotel – A beautiful Neoclassical hotel on the Gran Via


This was one of the delightful, grandeur-filled early 20th century buildings along the Gran Vía during its heyday. 


Built in 1917, the De Las Letras Hotel, has been declared a part of the historic heritage of the city. 


The Neoclassical exterior and beautiful marble and ironwork staircases are preserved. 


The rooms are modern and comfortable.



Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy: Hotel Casa de Madrid – 18th century Madrid reincarnated


Hotel Casa de Madrid is owned by Marta Medina who renovated her own apartment in this 18th century structure to house this lovely little hotel. 


Made to feel like a home away from home, the Hotel Casa de Madrid is near the royal palace and the opera house, the Teatro Real. Staying here enhances one’s imagination for the feel of 18th century Bourbon Madrid.



Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy: Hotel Ritz Madrid – Hotel built by and fit for a king


The Hotel Ritz Madrid is near the Thyssen Bornemisza and Prado Museums. It was built in 1910 by King Alfonso XIII when he wanted to create the perfect guest space from which to show off his city to distinguished visitors.

Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy (I)

Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy: AC Hotel Santo Mauro – Swank, expensive and graced by David Beckwity


The neoclassical Santo Mauro Hotel, near the Paseo de la Castellana, was a 19th century French Palace. It then housed the Canadian Embassy before being converted into a hotel. 


David Beckwith made this hotel home for six months. Its location is in a swank residential part of town. 


The Duque de Santo Mauro's 19th century library is now the dining room and his ballrooms are now conference rooms.



Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy: Antigua Posada del Pez Hotel – Modern era enlightenment with chic modern


The Antigua Posada del Pez Hotel is in the heart of downtown Madrid and is among the buildings of the 18th and 19th century that line the boulevards of Madrid’s main avenues, such as Gran Via. 


Though the building is historic, the interior is modern and aims for comfort and simplicity.



Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy: Best Western Atlantico Madrid – French Belle Epoque on the grand Via


The Atlantico Madrid is in a French-styled Belle Époque building from 1921. It was part of the enthusiastic mood of the early 20th century Gran Vía, adding its elegance and grandeur to the long line of buildings beautifying the boulevard.


The rooms are spacious, comfortable, and uphold the global standard set for Best Western hotels. The location is central.



Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy: Chueca Pension – Clean, comfy and in the heart of happening Madrid


This pension, less than one block away from the colorful Plaza de Chueca, is basic, clean, and moderately priced. 


It is in a typical 100-year old Madrileño building in a residential area in this artsy Belle Époque neighborhood, a stone's throw from the Gran Vía.


It's also a great place to stay if you are on a budget but still want a clean, convenient, and well-run accommodation. 


Staying in Chueca neighborhood also offers a more local perspective of the artsy-edgy side of Madrid, especially if you grab a front-row seat and drink at one of the outdoor cafe tables on the Plaza de Chueca.


Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy (II)

Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Daphne Inn – Budget B&B near Veneto and Trevi


Daphne Inn’s two locations, near the Trevi Fountain and Via Veneto, are both stylish small B&B’s that are affordable and friendly. Cheerfully decorated rooms are each designed with individual touches, and are warm and cozy. There is free Wi-Fi and laptops available for use and guests receive pay-as-you-go mobile phones if they need them. Even though this is a budget hotel, the breakfast is pretty good, with fresh fruit, cold cuts, yogurt and muesli. A great choice for a budget hotel in the center of Rome. Friendly service, and most of the staff (and the owners) speak English.



Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Forty Seven – Modern Hotel near Circo Massimo


Modernity is juxtaposed with antiquity at Hotel Forty Seven. Forty Seven’s location—adjacent to the Forum and far from the chaos of the shopping district—and more affordable rates make this a good choice. Near the quaint neighborhoods of Trastevere and The Ghetto, which are filled with restaurants, wine bars and bakeries, just a block from Campidoglio Hill, the hotel has sixty-one rooms, including some suites with private balconies. There’s also a rooftop terrace that overlooks the piazza below, with the Temple of Vesta. And while guests have access to the hotel’s gym, the nearby Circo Massimo is perfect for a morning run.



Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Hotel Apollo – Affordable family-run hotel, great location 


I’m hesitant to include The Apollo in this guide, since I consider it my little secret. This small, clean, affordable hotel in one of Rome’s best neighborhoods is where I put my friends and family when there is overflow from my own home. 


This 3-star hotel has been run by the Pontecorvi family since 1935, with great warmth and charm. All of the rooms have been refurbished and are clean, elegant and comfortable. They aren’t huge, but did I mention how affordable they are? Breakfast is served on the top floor, with a view out over Rome’s rooftops. Step out of the front door and you are in the Monti neighborhood, with a wealth of restaurants and a view of the Coliseum. There are only 24 rooms, so it is often booked solid.

Where to Stay on the Mayan Riviera (IV)

With the hundreds of destinations that line the 80-mile stretch of this white-powder Caribbean sand, how do you decide where to stay on the Mayan Riviera? Whether your goal is to party all night long with friends, learn how to scuba dive and swim in the cenotes, discover the fascinating world of the Maya or simply relax and become one with the sun and the sand, we've picked a few of our favorite places…knowing that more will be added to the list with each visit…


Where to Stay on the Mayan Riviera:

Banyan Tree Mayecoba


Banyan Tree Mayakoba brings Asian hospitality to the Riviera Maya The resort is situated within the resort development of Mayakoba. Banyan Tree sought to conserve the natural landscape of low jungles, dunes, mangroves and reefs, while developing a modern design which uses indigenous materials when possible. Banyan Tree Mayakoba introduced an All-Pool villa resort concept infused with Asian hospitality and architecture. All 107 villas, Banyan Tree Spa, signature restaurants and Gallery will provide guests a sanctuary for the senses. All villas are freestanding units on land or above water. Banyan Tree has also used the existing flora and fauna to function as a natural shield between neighboring villas. The Banyan Tree Spa features intimate outdoor spa pavilions located in the lagoon, where guests can enjoy Asian-inspired spa treatments.


Where to Stay on the Mayan Riviera:

Adults Only / Romantic / Intimate

Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun


Situated on 71 tropical oceanfront acres, Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun provides an Unlimited-Luxury® getaway that includes active lifestyle activities, cultural experiences and healthful eating. This AAA Four Diamond resort is the only all Preferred Club resort, where guests enjoy personalized concierge service, pool and beach wait service, 24-hour concierge service and complimentary internet access. Designed to reflect the charm of a Mediterranean villa, Secrets Capri features 291 luxury suites and guest rooms that include four-poster canopy beds, private balconies and patios, full Italian marble bathrooms with a jetted whirlpool and 24-hour room service. Guests can also indulge during breakfast, lunch and dinner at six distinctly different gourmet restaurants; five full service a la carte and one buffet style. The dining experience also includes chef’s table invitations, and wine and tequila tasting events. The Secrets Spa by Pevonia offers more than 30 restorative services, treatments and hydrotherapies.

Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy (I)

Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Arco del Lauro B&B – Cozy B&B in the heart of Trastevere


This charming B&B is located in the quite part of Trastevere, far from the chaos of the bars and clubs, but close enough to cafes and restaurants to make it the perfect location. All four rooms are located on the ground floor of a 18th-century palazzo and are sleek, modern and clean. A common area has a wifi point. The hostess, Lorenza, is always happy to help with suggestions. 


Breakfast is served in the form a voucher which you cash in at the lovely café around the corner. The perfect place to sip your cappuccino as your plan your day. 



Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Casa Howard – Boutique Design Hotel


This small boutique B&B is as heavy on style as service. Each room has a different theme which can play out in anything from plaid to zebra. You’re as likely to find antiques as satin covered modernity.


The hotel actually has two locations, both near the Spanish steps. Each take up floors of historic palaces, and each has five rooms. Some rooms are small, some are quite large. The feel is more akin to being in a private apartment than a hotel. Although most rooms have their own bath, not all do (so make sure which you are getting). But it’s not a youth hostel situation: you’ll get a kimono and slippers to make your way around. Breakfast is served in room, and there is always a maid on duty.



Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Caesar House – Boutique luxury hotel


This small boutique hotel feels like a private home. Located on a top floor of a palazzo on Via Cavour, it’s right near the Colliseum, the Roman Forum and the trendy Monti neighbourhood.


Each room is spacious and individually decorated. There is always someone on staff willing to help with anything from museum tickets to dry cleaning.