Tag Archives: Hotel Review

Spa Life: Park Hyatt Tokyo

spa

Konichiwa! I’m back from Tokyo!

I had a bit of time to kill this month while I was waiting for some documents to be renewed, so I took a last-minute solo trip to Tokyo. With about 2 weeks notice, I was able to book myself on a flight, hotel (including the Park Hyatt Tokyo) and activities for a 10 day trip to just Tokyo this time. I tried to convince Paul and my sister to go, but no one could take the time off work with such short notice.

So I decided to go anyway! Tokyo is a city I’ve always wanted to return to – so here was my chance to enjoy it and explore it on my own. 10 days was perfect because I started to get lonely (not being able to speak Japanese) and I missed Paul and BINGO terribly.

I chose to do a city vacation with a jam-packed itinerary where I was seeing and doing a lot of stuff. It’s easy to burnout this way, so I am all about booking in downtime and unique spa visits into my travel plans. (more…)

Hotel Vintage Portland, Oregon

Portland

Hello from Hotel Vintage!

It’s been a whirlwind of travel these past few weeks with visits to Austin, Texas and Lake Arrowhead. Paul and I landed in Portland, Oregon this past weekend for my second visit and his first. We LOVE it. It reminds us a bit of our hometown of Toronto and enjoyed the walkability of the downtown core. It’s definitely what’s missing for us in LA. If you’ve never been, you should go.

Portland is ranked the number one city in the US for beer, coffee, bike lanes and dogs. There’s also a bustling food cart scene, lots of great artisans, local shops and unique restaurants to explore.

We had the chance to stay at the newly renovated Hotel Vintage right in the heart of downtown Portland. Nothing was more than a 15-minute walk away or a quick uber ride across the river.  (more…)

The Eaton Chelsea Hotel – Toronto

Club-Level-Room-Eaton-Chelsea

I’ve had a couple friends ask me recently for an affordable hotel option for Toronto and I have been stumped about where to direct them. I recently stayed at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel – a revamp of the old Delta Chelsea and it was a pretty decent value for those looking to come to Toronto for a shopping or family weekend. The hotel is in central downtown, within walking distance to two subway stations and shopping at The Toronto Eaton Centre.

Eaton-Chelsea-Hotel-Room-Toronto

The Eaton Chelsea Hotel features 1095 rooms and recently underwent a $16 million dollar face lift. The lobby, market garden take-out restaurant, expresso bar and green wall have all been been given a bright white and modern face lift. The drabby wood-paneled decor of the 80s is now gone and it was likely about time.

Dim-Sum

Club level guests receive a complimentary continental buffet breakfast and hor’s d’oeurves (above) in the evening at the recently renovated E-Club Lounge. Free WiFi is also included in your room rate. Yes, it is a little bit more to book a club level room – but the added amenities definitely make up for it. Which is an even greater value if you’re traveling with a family of four and don’t want to think about where to have breakfast every morning. (more…)

My Fresh Ceviche + Sashimi Lesson

Fresh Fish

Love fresh ceviche?

Up until this point, I was almost convinced that fish came in those perfect cut squares packaged in plastic and styrofoam at the grocery store. Ok – not really. But I had never been up close and personal with my fish before or seen one cleaned for that matter

During my recent trip to the Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita, Mexico I watched the whole ocean to plate process!  Three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the resort hosts a presentation featuring ‘The Catch of the Day’. Local fisherman go out the night before or in the early morning to catch local fish and brings their bounty right up to the beaches of the Four Seasons Punta Mita. The chef will purchase the fish and guests can inform the staff of which fish they would like to eat for lunch or dinner and how they would like it prepared. Chef Ramon Bramasco (above) walked us through the different types of fish caught that day.

Catch-of-the-Day

For villa guests who have access to a full-kitchen, the resort can clean the fish for you and send it to your room for you to prepare at home. It’s a pretty impressive service. The rest of the fish will be integrated into the menus of the resort’s three on-site restaurants. As the hungry journalists that we are, our group was treated to a fish cleaning presentation by Chef Jesus Medina with fresh sashimi and ceviche for lunch. The sashimi lesson occurs on Thursdays only at the resort. (more…)

Travel Guide: Dallas, Texas

Dallas-Arboretum-Pumpkins

Have you been to Dallas before?

I had no idea what to expect during my recent visit to Dallas, Texas. I was imagining cowboys and football but what I got was a culturally-rich city with a vibrant food scene, award-winning architecture with thoughtful green spaces.

Getting There – I flew into Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and caught a cab into the downtown core. Luckily, my hotel at Homewood Suites Downtown featured a complimentary shuttle service which took me anywhere less than 15 minutes away and a DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) stop was located just outside my door. (more…)