The Lowell NYC – holiday season 2019

A landmark luxury hotel, near central park, The Lowell rises 17-floors above an iconic residential neighborhood , a stone’s throw from the celebrated fashion houses of Madison Avenue and footsteps from Fifth Avenue and the vast oasis of Central Park .

Established in 1927, this gorgeous boutique hotel in NYC reflects the timeless elegance and soul of the Upper East Side . This time of year, The Lowell epitomizes holiday warmth, with its wood-burning fireplaces, landscaped terraces and sun-filled rooms and suites….and the below events!

  • A Very Lowell Holiday: The holidays at The Lowell continue with this exclusive offering for those staying in one of the beautifully appointed suites. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with: a bottle of champagne and holiday treats, a welcome letter from Santa Claus, milk and cookies to place out for Santa and carrots for the reindeer, tickets to Wollman Skating Rink, complimentary Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day lunch, and more.
  • Holiday Afternoon Tea in the Pembroke Room: Beginning November 20 and running through January 12, 2020, experience signature afternoon tea service with a festive twist. Enjoy a holiday themed selection of loose-leaf teas by Dammann Freres, as well as savories and sweets alongside the pairing of holiday scones with specialty preserves.
  • A Chef-Curated Christmas Feast: This Christmas Eve and Day, enjoy a delicious feast for lunch, dinner, or both! Guests can choose from the special festive menu at Majorelle, the three-course prix-fixe holiday menu in The Pembroke Room and bar specials in the Club Room and Jacques.
  • Treat Yourself to Warmth & Wine: Escape from the cold with this special offering and revel in the romantic experience of the crackling wood while enjoying a perfectly sliced charcuterie plate and bottle of wine. To complement, each guest is presented with an array of essential oils, courtesy of their own Fireplace Butler, in calming scents for an enhanced sensory experience.

The Envoy Hotel, Autograph Collection

The city of Boston is on the rise with a flourishing scene in hospitality. Hotels like The Envoy prove just the spectacular possibilities Boston is capable of. Located in the heart of Boston’s innovation district, discover a hotel with a pretty unique set up. Bold interiors, interesting art pieces and easy style are set in contrast to the city’s New England traditions.

Modern and stylish, yet efficient, rooms are oriented to the water, and have a quintessentially urban view of Boston. Simple layouts that provide floor to ceiling windows, give you the sense you are floating over the harborfront. Perhaps the most unique aspect is the rooftop of the hotel, where you will find The LOOKOUT Bar & Grill boasting views of Boston. In the summer this is obviously one action packed spot, but it does not compromise its location in winter either, when unique bubble tents are erected, so you can still sip, savor and keep warm.

Downstairs in the lobby level of the hotel, you will find The OUTLOOK Kitchen + Bar American, which draws its inspiration for cuisine from the unique Boston landscape. There are of course seasonal variations to dishes, locally sourced food, all resulting in a “one of a kind” approach to their food and drink. Highlights include sharing dishes like the Blue Bay Hill Muscles (in thia curry with cilatro, served with fresh sourdough bread) or the Grilled Italian Eggplant (sprinkled with sunflower and pomegranate seeds and served with Green Goddess naan bread.) Mains vary from seafood dishes like the Seared Atlantic Halibut (served with grilled baby bok choy, barley and mushroom broth) to their Kurobuta Pork Chop (served with sunchokes, carrot puree and warm baby greens.)  Dine away all while overlooking the wondrous waterscape the hotel sits on.

The bar highlights hand made craft cocktails, infusions and micro brews including a special beer brewed specifically for OUTLOOK Kitchen + Bar, small batch bourbons, single malt scotches an interesting, carefully selected wine program. Cocktails like Elevation (New Amsterdam Gin, Limoncello, White and Vine, topped with soda and watermelon) prove the bar’s unique mixology menu. Even if you just come for the food and drink, be sure to stay to experience the live entertainment offered at least 5 nights a week.

All in all, The Envoy raises the bar of exciting things to come in this ever growing city.

AmaWaterways – Paris & Normandy

This summer I tried something I had never tried before, a river cruise. Not just any river cruise, but one aboard AmaWaterways, along the River Seine from Paris to Normandy and back. Europe in itself over summer months is a magical experience, but seeing it from the waterways is something altogether different.

Embarking on this kind of trip is always different for everyone, but that I think is what makes it so unique. I truly didn’t know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised but so many aspects of this voyage.

Walking onboard the ship from day one, I was immediately taken aback by the warmth of the ship aesthetically and in terms of hospitality. Every need was catered for one what was essentially a 5* hotel on the water, from a champagne arrival to luggage that awaited me in my cabin.

The cabins themselves were quaint, like the ship; comfortable with floor to ceiling windows on one wall that gave me my own breathtaking view of the river and all the sites we would pass on the upcoming week. It was hard to believe that so many of these rooms could fit on a boutique hotel sized vessel. Incredibly, despite traveling with the same people for one week, not once did I feel my privacy was compromised; far form that I felt a sense of calm and relaxation in the luxury of my cabin.

Onboard the ship we embarked form Paris, one of the most romantic cities in the world, as guests savored an exceptional meal at one of the two restaurants on board, serving locally inspired dishes that changes each day, paired with incredible wines each night. After dinner, there was the gorgeous bar and front terrace to take a cocktail out and wade away the night gazing at the glittering Eiffel Tower.

Over the coming days, tours allowed guests to discover the picturesque landscape of Normandy, each day awaking at a new breathtaking destination. Tours embarked from the boat, guiding guests to historic spots and towns where we could browse local markets, try the wine or bike along the River Seine.

A gourmet breakfast buffet, and light lunch was always served with the option in the evening between the main restaurant and the infamous Chef’s Table, where course after course the chef would suprise you with cuisine from freshly prepared meats and fish to a range of cheeses, wines and pastries. In the evenings entertainment from classical violinists to Edith Piaf performers would take to the stage on ship, and bring you an unforgettable end to the night.

Destinations over the week included Giverny and the enchanting home and gardens of Impressionist master Claude Monet, as well as the Impressionist Museum. There was also a stop at the old fishing village of Caudebec, where you could visit Honfleur (famous for being the subject of Courbet’s, Boudin’s and Monet’s paintings) as well as the Normandy Beaches, where guests were able to visit the landing spots of WW2 soldiers. Rouen was a particular personal favorite – a gorgeous medieval town rich in history to bike around, before we headed to the picturesque Les Andelys, with it’s dramatic cliffs to hike up and the former stronghold of Richard the Lionheart crowning the peak.

On my last day back in Paris, with the options including a visit to Château Malmaison, “Artists’ Walk” tour or just to explore all the magic Paris has to offer, I found myself saddened at the prospect of leaving this unforgettable experience and all the people I had met behind.

It didn’t matter, who you were or what you decided to do, being aboard the Amalyra through Normandy, had it’s own impression on everyone. The world class service and hospitality I had received from the team onboard, the friends I had made, and the places I had seen, all created memories to last a lifetime. I may have just have become a river cruiser. So where to next?






UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya

Set on the stunning white beaches of Riviera Maya, UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya combines local culture with cutting edge hospitality and chic modernity. Inspired by the region, guests arrive to be greeted with locally influenced cocktails, and a sense of ‘luxury-at-ease.’

As an adults only resort, UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya offers a property that is both understated yet palatial, with three unique pools, palm tree lined fountained walkways and swim up bars – all located overlooking a stretch of divine sandy beach. Rooms are filled with local inspiration, from the art on the wall, to the patterns of the upholstery, to the handcrafted details throughout. Features such as as balcony bathtubs and marble rain showers, add opulence to the resort suites, while understated color and rustic fabrics bring warmth to the decor.

Dining in the resort is not overwhelming yet diverse, with five exceptional restaurants to choose from, ranging from Japanese to Italian. While locally-sourced ingredients are a staple at every restaurant and bar, the offerings are a diverse mix of international flavors, varying from elevated fine dining to casual beachside buffet. In terms of Mexican cuisine, a rotating chef program has been implemented at the resort’s Cueva Siete, where current chef Christian Bravo serves up modern twists on classical dishes like tamales or enchiladas, utilizing local produce and flavor. Perhaps the most unique feature of the resort is the mixologist-driven cocktail program, that focuses on the art of the drink and the savor of the sip, with naturally infused margaritas and more on offer throughout the property.

Wellness is taken very seriously at the resort too. Esencia Wellness is an immersive experience for the self featuring signature spa treatments, a full-service beauty salon & barber shop, and a state-of-the-art fitness facility featuring classes from ‘Spin’ to ‘HIT’ (great for a bit of detox before any daytime retox.) The spa itself boasts a range of top notch massages and more. It is in itself a piece of heaven, offering a hydrotherapy experience of plunge pools and a deck with floating beds to match.

At UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya you might just find yourself asking how long you can extend your trip for, especially when it feel like a blissful slice of how the Gods might live.