Archive for the Uncategorized Category

On The Road Again.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 19, 2008 by travelwizard

I’ve always been a serious fan of the road trip. No matter where I may travel, I’ve always made it a priority to spend a good portion of the trip driving from place to place. I really do believe it’s the best way to explore and fully experience an unknown destination. It offers a certain freedom that trains or planes just can not afford. Never regretted the decision to travel by car, I’ve driven across England, France, Italy and the U.S. I’m quite aware that I’m not the first person to celebrate the joys of the open road, as the road trip has been historically romanticized in books, movies and through song. Whether it is Jack Kerouac, Thelma and Louise or Simon and Garfunkel, the open road has always been the subject of many tales.

I’d like to focus on my road trip across America. In recent years, the good ol’ U.S. has gotten a pretty bad rap for which we certainly all know why. Despite foreign policy blunders, economic meltdowns and mortgage crisis, there is an aesthetic flip-side to all of this that warrants taking note. I’ve assembled a collection of photos from my recent journey which highlight a few places I thoroughly enjoyed.

 

When my best friend Jessica and I travelled the US, we didn’t choose to follow a guidebook. We loosely compiled a list of places we wanted to see, then just “winged it” in terms of our places of stay. What we learned is that it is possible to combine spontaneity with comfort when it comes to choosing a hotel. With the exception of Moab, Utah (our first stop), all of our hotels were booked day of stay. With a little ingenuity, the internet and patience, we were able to stay at great places along the way. Some were fantastic (The Rusty Parrot in Jackson Hole, Wyoming), some more unique than lux (The Canterbury Apartments in Madison, Wisconsin) but all of them were booked on the fly- but isn’t adventure and exploration the centerpiece of a good road trip? An added bonus of booking day of stay is that the rates are generally cheaper than if you were to book online. Most hotels will actually even negotiate based on your budget. Particularly if you book in person. Next month I drive across Spain, I can’t wait!

Travel Tip:

The price of gas can really get a girl down. If you are going to set off on the road and you want to rent a car rather than use your own, check out Fox Rentals. They rent Hybrids for around 25 dollars a day and have locations in many major cities along the west coast.

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Hot child in the..er…desert.

Posted in Hotels, Uncategorized with tags , , on July 14, 2008 by travelwizard

It might seem like an odd choice to promote heading to Palm Springs in the dead of summer. After all, the desert is so hot this time of year that you would have better luck frying your breakfast on the sidewalk than trying to last an entire afternoon under the sun’s intense rays. Despite the heat, Palm Springs continues to be one of my favorite weekend summer getaways. The reason for this is that you can stay in the lap of luxury for a fraction of the cost you would pay at any other time of year. And really, what else would you do in Palm Springs besides sit by the pool and drink copious amounts of fabulous cocktails? I guess you could ride that crazy Gondola thing, or take in the early bird special with the over 60 set that resides there year round, but I prefer good old relaxation. I have stayed in a bunch of places over the years but here are my top five recommendations for a cheap, enjoyable couple of days:

The Parker Palm Springs

This is the sister hotel of Le Meridian in NYC but it has about ten times more pizazz. Perfectly decorated in uber retro design ( courtesy of our friend Jonathan Adler), this oasis has two saline pools, sheepskin and a gorgeous spa. Rooms here are normally priced north of 300 but during the summer season, you can get them as low as 189 a night.

 

The Horizon Hotel

This 50’s glamour relic has ben completely renovated in the last few years and they have updated all the things you would want to be updated (bathrooms, bedding etc) but remained faithful to the classic Mid-Century design that is so distinctive of Palm springs. Although not as showy as the Parker, this is a great alternative. With rooms starting as low at 99 dollars, you have no good reason not to try it out.

 

The Orbit Inn

 

Another Mid Century Modern Gem, this hotel also owns an enormous house that is perfect for parties of four or more. Rates here begin at 129 a  night during summer months.

 

Colony Palms Hotel

For those who favor a more exotic decor, the Colony Palms Hotel is a great choice. As the story goes, this hotel was built by Detroit Mobster Al Wertheimer as a front for other, more seedy exploit ..ho hum!. It underwent a sixteen million dollar renovation and the result is roadside hotel meets Moroccan Chic. Rates her start as low at 119 a night during the Summer months.

 

The Korakia Pensiona

A friend of mine proposed to his wife here. A self -proclaimed “experimental” resort, this cozy hideaway has beautifully appointed rooms, a spa and yoga. I would recommend this for people who want to escape completely from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Although they have Wi-fi, the rooms are devoid of television and telephones. Gulp! Book now and receive deeply discounted rates!

 

Bonus Tip:

Finally, if you ever find yourself wanting to rent a house in Palm Springs and stay the week, check out the amazing house rentals at Beau Monde Villas. Every house is some fantastic relic from the mid-century modern period. They even rent Frank Sinatra’s Estate! They are a little pricey however, during the summer, you can get a five bedroom house for around 1600 a night. That is 160 a night per person!!! 

 

ok..now go.

Big Surprise in Big Sur..

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on June 2, 2008 by travelwizard

I have lived in California for twenty years and I have been to Big Sur a total of one time. There is a reason for this and that reason is that there are so few places to stay in Big Sur that are remotely affordable. Sure, if I had six hundred dollars, I could splurge at Post Ranch Inn (Amazing)..but I don’t. Even semi shabby places in Big Sur are over two hundred dollars. Well, I think I have found a place. Finally, something in Big Sur that doesn’t conjure up images of Friday the 13th. And doesn’t cost a ton of money. Glen Oaks Inn. It might be slightly early to blog about it since I haven’t actually stayed there yet but I was just so excited that I found it I had to share. I will report back once I finish my stay!

Bored at work?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 28, 2008 by travelwizard

My friend Carianne turned my on to a great website today. It’s called Concierge.com. It comes to us from the fine people at Conde Nast and it has tons of great features and travel ideas. Instead of feeling blue that the three day weekend is over, browse the site to make plans for July 4th weekend. It’s on a Friday this year…

In the Beginning

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 25, 2008 by travelwizard

Well hello, welcome to my blog! I am a self proclaimed travel nerd. Planning flights, choosing hotels, finding the perfect restaurant- I am all too happy to jump online and spend hours planning real and fantasy trips. Hence, I’ve decided to start this blog. It will serve as a place for me to share my experience, general musings and tips for fellow traveling mankind. For this first post I thought that I would begin, at the er… beginning, where all good travel planning starts: the Internet. Here is a list of my top five travel sites:

www.tripadvisor.com

Nothing has the power to turn me off quite like the opinion of a fellow global nomad. Honest and uncompromised, this site is a must-visit when choosing a hotel.

www.specialplacestostay.com

Alistair Sawdays is the man behind the series of travel books turned website which has never lead me astray. A great site to find unique lodging in destinations in Europe and beyond.

www.tablethotels.com

This site is dedicated to a very specific brand of hotels: hip, minimal and maybe even sometimes cold, but I always love to use this site as a jumping-off point. It gets serious bonus points for having suggestions for anywhere in the globe, from Butan to Tanzania.

www.kayak.com

Simply the best flight aggregator out there. Type in your destination and instantly get fares on almost every airline. You can also use the site to book hotels.

www.globorati.com

Perhaps a tad fancy for my meager earnings but hey, a girl can dream. This is my go-to site when I plan my fantasy trips.

Happy Trails!