Giant bed with great linens at the Marriott Napa Valley!
Two things are high on my must have list for hotel rooms:
- plentiful and easy to access outlets so I can plug in my traveling library of electronic devices
- good light in the bathroom so I can accurately apply my “too much for daytime, but perfect for me” eyeliner
You might think luxury hotels would always have these two oh-so simple features, but you’d be wrong. It’s hotels that cater to business travelers that always seem to come through for me.
I’m pleased to say that the magical place where you can find all of these delights is in my backyard: the Marriott Napa Valley Hotel and Spa.
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It had been more than 15 years since I had stayed at a Ritz when The Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach Resort invited me to be their guest for an evening. Because the resort has earned the prestigious AAA Five Diamond and Mobil Five Star awards, I knew I was in for a treat. But I was also apprehensive. When I abandoned my corporate life to become a travel writer three years ago, I traded my stressed-out life of luxury for a happier, albeit poorer existence. My wardrobe these days consists mostly of khakis and, since a laptop is an absolute necessity, I carry a backpack rather than a purse. Although I eagerly accepted the resort’s gracious offer, as the date approached I began to worry about being under-dressed, unaccepted, and judged.
Oceanfront pool at the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach
Perhaps more than any other hotel group, Ritz-Carlton has a tradition of unparalleled guest service that dates from its original Boston hotel, built in 1927. The Boston Ritz-Carlton, which was regarded as a private club for the very wealthy, was not shy about serving up a side of ostentation with its pampering. Up until the 1960s, the hotel was very formal. Guests were regularly checked to see if they were in the Social Register or Who’s Who and the hotel sometimes went so far as to examine the quality of writing paper on which the guests wrote to the hotel requesting reservations (if it wasn’t of high enough quality, they were refused). Dress codes were enforced for all guests, in great part due to the formality of Boston society. Read More »