The Exterior of the Hotel Monaco Alexandria
Do you believe guest and staff rumors that ghosts haunt the sixth floor of the historic Hotel Monaco in Alexandria, Virginia? Want to add a little spookiness to your family vacation this October/November? Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco, in Alexandria, Virginia, is the location where two martyrs, Union Colonel Elmer Ellsworth and secessionist innkeeper James Jackson were killed in a battle that is often considered the unofficial beginning to the Civil War.
This October and November, the Hotel Monaco Alexandria is offering a Ghosts of Alexandria Family Package, which includes the following:
- Deluxe accommodations in a King or Double Room on the “haunted” sixth floor
- Two tickets to the “Ghosts and Graveyards” tour of Old Town Alexandria, where you’ll follow an 18th century costumed guide by lantern light through Alexandria’s historic district – with ghost stories and tales of the Civil War
- Complimentary valet parking at the Hotel Monaco
- A “Key to the City” Pass featuring special discounts on historic sites throughout Alexandria
The Ghosts of Alexandria package starts at $150 and is based upon availability through November 20, 2011. To book the package, call (703) 549-6080 locally or (800) 368-5047 toll free. You can also book online using the rate code GHOST.
Hotel Monaco Alexandria
480 King Street, Alexandria 22314
Photo credit: David Phelps
Relax with a view of the sun and surf at the Shorebreak Hotel
The beach is perfect for just about anybody, and art lovers heading to Huntington Beach should take special note of two packages being offered by the Shorebreak Hotel. You’ll be able to enjoy your Southern California beach time and take home an amazing photograph as a souvenir.
World-renowned ocean photographer Aaron Chang (who has a pop-up gallery in the Shorebreak lobby) has over 100 magazine covers to his credit. One of Chang’s photographs makes an amazing souvenir to commemorate a trip to Huntington Beach, where he frequently draws inspiration.
The Hidden Gem, Aaron Chang Art Piece Package includes room accommodations, one small piece from the Aaron Chang Ocean Art Gallery to keep (size 16”x24”), a daily newspaper, evening wine hour and access to the 24-hour fitness studio. Rates for this package start at $399 per night.
The On a Mission for Art, Aaron Chang Tour Package includes room accommodations, a private town car ride to Solana Beach where you’ll get an exclusive tour of the Aaron Chang Ocean Art Gallery, one large piece from the gallery to keep (size 40”x60”), a daily newspaper, evening wine hour and access to the 24-hour fitness studio. Rates start at $2,085 per night.
Both packages require a one-day advance purchase. Start looking around your house for the perfect place for your soon-to-be new Aaron Chang piece, and pick the perfect beach weekend to go to the Shorebreak Hotel.
Shorebreak Hotel, (714) 861-4470
500 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Photo courtesy of the Shorebreak Hotel
Beach Music Series: Jan and Dean’s Surf City
The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston
I love hitting up the midnight madness sales on Black Friday, but I’m just not all that excited to drive to the malls and park in all of that craziness. In the end, laziness usually wins out. But, I really wish I could find a way to get motivated to do all of my holiday shopping on Black Friday!
Here’s one way that I would do it. This year, the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston and the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets are banding together to offer an ultimate Black Friday experience package. The Midnight Madness Shopping Adventure includes:
- Overnight accommodations
- Private transportation to and from Wrentham Village Premium Outlets (which, in my opinion, is the biggest perk!)
- An energy-boosting midnight picnic to get you ready for your shopping adventures (including turkey sandwiches and energy drinks)
- Hearty breakfast upon your return to the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel
- A late check-out
For additional information, or to make a reservation, please visit www.fairmont.com/copleyplaza or call (800) 441-1414.
The Wrentham Village Premium Outlets offers over wonderful 170 outlet stores including Banana Republic, Burberry, Coach, Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth, Barney’s New York Outlet, Ed Hardy, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade New York, and Vera Bradley. There are also several stores opening soon, including Bloomingdales – The Outlet Store, crewcuts, Ted Baker London, and Tory Burch.
The Fairmont Copley Plaza
138 St. James Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Photo credit: The Fairmont Copley Plaza
A trip to New York City is a never-ending choose-your-own adventure opportunity. Everything from your ride into Manhattan to your choice between street cart or world-famous restaurant is a a chance to enjoy a uniquely Big Apple experience. Your hotel is the backdrop that sets the tone for your New York story. Should you begin your tale in a chic boutique or at a respected chain?
Be a Native New Yorker at New Boutiques
If my inbox is any indication, developers are snapping up abandoned retail and office spaces and converting them into guestrooms faster than you can say “late checkout, please.” New hotels with amenities as hip as their names (you can borrow a skateboard from The Nolitan) appeal to a wannabe-urban clientele and provide a chance to live like a New Yorker for a weekend without any risk or roommate hunting.
The decor tends to be contemporary to the extreme, as much a design decision as an attempt to disguise the painfully small size of a typical room; tiny rooms seem to add authenticity to the New Yorker experience. Instead of offering state-of-the-art fitness centers, boutiques like The Library in Midtown provide guests with complimentary day passes to nearby private fitness clubs where tourists can break a sweat next to real live Manhattanites. You won’t find a boutique hotel within 2 blocks of Central Park, but you can find properties like Hotel Giraffe boasting easy access to Chelsea. If your must-do list for your next NYC vacation includes deli bagels for breakfast and an afternoon of people watching in Union Square, check into a Manhattan boutique hotel to set the scene.
Stay as a Welcomed Guest with Familiar Names
Do your big city fantasies involve a show on Broadway and a carriage ride through Central Park? Are you more interested in Barney’s than bagels? New York City welcomes more than 40 million tourists each year, and there’s no shame in happily being one of them. Be pampered like a guest at hotel chains that long ago secured the best locations in town.
The Ritz-Carlton Central Park sits directly across the street from Central Park and a few short blocks from the most popular Midtown tourist attractions. You can’t rent a skateboard here, but you will have room to spread out in large guest rooms and views worthy of a postcard mailed home. While you certainly can grab a bagel from a deli around the corner, you can also indulge in a gourmet snack in the Club Lounge at any time of day. No one here is new to the game, so expect expert touches like a crystal ring holder beside the bathroom sink. Similarly, The Hilton New York won’t get you into the NY Sports Club, but you can host a meeting onsite; you can also hit the in-house fitness center without traveling farther than the fifth floor.
When you visit a boutique hotel in New York City, you get the feeling that you’re staying with a friend who’s showing off their new Manhattan apartment. If you’re lucky, you can imagine yourself moving in with that friend after a night or two. The big chain hotels don’t have the hip edge or the competitive pricing of the new kids on the island. Instead, they offer a sense of security that comes from staying with the people who set the standards for New York luxury in the first place.