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After flying First Class on a transatlantic flight or just spent a week in the premier stateroom on the Q2, Rich Journey knows the lodging accommodations at your final destination is important.  We have reviewed a number of hotels and chalets for our select group of readers.

See Manhattan In Style the Alex

I have just returned from a brief trip to New York and had the good fortune to stay at the Alex Hotel in midtown Manhattan , and can recommend it highly to the readers of Nitedine. New York is an expensive place to stay, and in the past I have even advised readers on a budget to go to Jersey City and catch the train in to avoid the high cost of hotel rooms in Manhattan.

Luxury Pampering at L'Auberge Del Mar

Following a $25 million face lift the popular L’Auberge Del Mar is now up and running, even though the new restaurant under the eye of James Beard Chef Paul McCabe won’t be open till November, and a brand new separate spa is due early next year. Location of the hotel is the key here, with the Pacific Ocean on one side of the hotel, and Del Mar Village on the other side. The accolades that the hotel has received are far too numerous to mention her, but needless to say they can expect a bunch more once the new restaurant and spa get into gear.

Bernadus Lodge- a Real Standout in Carmel, the Perfect Getaway

The Bernardus Lodge Hotel in the Carmel Valley in California is owned by a former  Grand Prix driver and Olympic Clay Pigeon Shooter, and an all round gourmet and bon vivant. That spirit is reflected in this terrific 57 room hideaway hotel, where the ratio of staff to guests is almost 2 to 1, and where rules and restrictions are virtually non existent. I have been to the hotel twice recently, once in February and the other time in May, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how the mood at the hotel changes from season to season.   I loved staying here both times, and it is no surprise either to find out that the hotel is invariably fully booked each weekend. 

Beau Rivage Hotel Keeps Biloxi Scene Alive

Biloxi in Mississippi was badly hit by Hurricane Katrina, and as you drive along the expansive beachfront area of this charming Southern Oasis it is obvious that it will take at least ten years for the area to recover. There are several bright spots however, and the Beau Rivage Hotel is definitely one of them, with the gambling scene down there alive and kicking at the 1740 room hotel, that include 95 suites.

Crown Plaza in Ventura and the Dogs of Summer

Ventura is a great place to go for a break from Los Angeles, and one of the best places to stay now in the seaside town is the newly renovated Crowne Plaza Hotel, situated right on the beach close to Surfer’s Point. After 18 months and about $15 million of work, the hotel is now eager to welcome old and new guests who knew the place as the Holiday Inn. The highlight of the renovations to me has to be the stylish looking Aqua Bar, with great ocean views and an outside patio overlooking the beach and Ventura Pier. The feel of the lobby is very minimalist with warm earth tones of rust, chocolate, ochre and beige, and the cream walls are a nice contrast for the ebony tables and upholstered armchairs.

San Rafael Four Points Sheraton, A Good Value for a Weekend Getaway

San Rafael , just about 15 miles North of San Francisco is an ideal place to stay when visiting the city giving its local access to Sausalito and the Napa Valley wine region.  A recent visit there saw us staying at the San Rafael Four Points by Sheraton, a perfect place to stay in the area, and really good value. 

Baseball, Apple Martini and Creme Brulee

Where can you find good weather, beautiful people, rock roll music with no crowds- how about the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego.  In the past, it was baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet.  Today its baseball, apple martini and crème brulee.  Nestled at the entrance to the Gas Lamp District across from the Convention Center and near the new professional baseball field Petco Park , I felt like I was part of the new fabric of the new downtown scene. 

Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach in California is known as the Surf Capital of the world, and it is also home to the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort. The hotel is very popular with locals and wedding planners in particular, but the recession has taken its toll, so the 290 guest rooms have recently been remodeled at a cost of $10 million, with all of them having an ocean view in order to attract more business.

Island Hotel Opens Up in Newport Beach

Formerly known as the Four Seasons, Newport Beach , the property has been re-named Islands Hotel, and continues to bring five-star luxury to the affluent Newport Beach area, home to basketball superstar Kobe Bryant and other wealthy businessmen and celebrities. Newport Beach is an excellent place for a weekend break from the city, and a new team has been put in place since the opening on November 1, and the 295-room property, which includes 54 suites, is becoming one of the places to be.

Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel - Classy Living in London

The Jumeirah Group based out of Dubai are determined to become a major player in the International market and not just Dubai , where their flagship Hotel is the amazing Burj Al Arab Hotel.  With expansions already in New York and London, and with up to fifty new hotels/resorts in the planning, their future ascendancy looks assured. 

La Cantera Resort in San Antonio for a Texas Getaway

La Cantera Resort in San Antonio is located about 15 miles from downtown San Antonio, and this luxurious resort will pamper all your needs for a weekend or longer getaway in real Texas style.  Even though it is part of a large chain with 508 rooms, there is still something of a unique feel to the property, thanks to the staff who know how to roll out the hospitality, Texas style.

Moraine Lake Lodge- A Jewel in the Canadian Rockies

Located in Banff National Park and Yoho National Park, the Lake Louise area really is one of the most breathtaking spots in the world, and a must visit if you have never been to the region. However I have discovered a lodge in the area that is a little off the beaten track called Moraine Lake Lodge, but well worth checking out.

Palazzo Resort Set to Open in January  

The first resort to open in Las Vegas in almost three years will debut on January 18th next year, and The Palazzo looks like it is something special. The sister hotel to the Venetian will actually have a “soft’ opening on December 20th, but a lot of the high end stores and restaurants will debut in January.

Shangri-La Opens Up in Santa Monica After Massive Facelift

Author James Hilton of Shangri-La and Goodbye Mr. Chips fame would have loved this place during his time in Hollywood after he moved here from England in the forties. Since the hotel opened in 1939, maybe he did spend some time here, but now in 2009 and $30 million later the hotel is ready for some serious action.

Skibo Castle Membership Nearly Full, A Living Memory to Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie

At the turn of the century in 1900 Andrew Carnegie, the celebrated steel magnate and philanthropist was the richest man in the world and worth about $850 million. In the subsequent years he gave most of it away, but he still managed to buy and develop Skibo Castle in the Highlands of Scotland, famous most recently for hosting the high profile wedding of Madonna, as well as that of Ashley Judd. The Castle, which is situated in 7,500 acres of impressive looking Scottish scenery, is located in Sutherland, a few miles from the village of Dornoch, famous not only for the visit of Madonna to the local church, but also as being the site of the Witches Stone. That is where one of the last witches in Scotland was put to death.

US Grant Hotel- The Place to Stay in San Diego

The US Grant Hotel is absolutely the place to stay in San Diego if you are looking to be in an “ Art Gallery with rooms”.  The 270 room and 47 suites hotel recently underwent a $56 million refurbishment, and re-opened in October 2006 after a two-year closure.

W Hotel in Washington DC- Renovation Now Complete

According to those who know these things, when George W. Bush was President the town used to close down at 9 pm , apparently the time the former President used to go to bed. I don’t really know if that was a broad generalization, but with a new crowd in town the place is now really jumping, and at the forefront of that change from traditional to hip is the W-Hotel on the site of the historic Hotel Washington. 



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