Category: Places to Stay

Hotel Vintage Park Seattle

The Hotel Vintage Park in downtown Seattle is on the list of Best 500 Hotels Around the World, and I can see why. This boutique hotel is a good location for a romantic getaway, or for a serious wine lover. As usual, this Kimpton owned property had charming, knowledgeable staff,  ready to give you recommendations and help with your bags.

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Each hotel room is named after a Washington winery. (Mine was named after the McCrea Cellars!)

 

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When we checked in, we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted with a flight of red wine. Yum! Perfect for unwinding after packing.

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The room was very warm and plush, done up in dark reds and oranges. I liked the wall hanging at the head of the bed! Of course, the bed was incredibly comfortable and the room was spotless.

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The bathroom featured Gilchrist & Soames toiletries in handy pumps in the shower. I love how they had a small glass jar filled with things that I usually forget. (Q-tips & cotton balls)

Amazing Kimpton Perks!

– Free bicycle rentals for guests (and the bikes have been specially designed for Kimpton)

Free coffee and tea in the lobby in the morning. Free iced tea and water in the evening!

Free WiFi and snacks if you join their free rewards program Kimpton InTouch

Raid the Mini Bar: Kimpton InTouch members get to sneak  treats for up to $10! It’s such a great idea, and something that I haven’t seen any other hotel do before. The mini bar is particularly awesome– filled with local, gourmet and handy items (like a razor or a mini first aid kit)

And my favourite perk at this hotel….

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Hosted Wine Hour! Almost all Kimpton Hotels have hosted wine hour between 5pm – 6pm. We enjoyed refreshing Mimosas and white wine at the in the beautiful wood paneled Vintage Park lobby. The drinks were served with smoked salmon appetizers, yum!

The hotel is near many shops, restaurants and you can walk to Pike Place Market. If you are looking for an upscale, romantic hotel to stay at during your visit to Seattle (especially if you are a wine lover), then be sure to stay at the Vintage Park Hotel!

The Vintage Park is located on 1100 Fifth Avenue Seattle, WA 98101 .

The Alexis Hotel in Seattle

Sometimes the best part of the journey isn’t even arriving at your destination. It’s the first time you walk into your hotel and take in where you’ll be staying during your trip. For many, a hotel is a place to rest your head and quickly leave.

For me, it’s way more. It’s where you relax after wandering around a new city, and where you return to get ready for dinner. It should be comfortable, stylish and above all, no beige walls. (that’s my thing, okay? Despise plain beige walls.)

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When you walk into the Alexis Hotel in Seattle, you know that you’ll be taken good care of.  From the valet driver to the front desk- the staff is friendly and ready to help.

Everything is meticulously designed, from the large comfy chairs scattered throughout the lobby area to the Rorschach ink blots prints hanging on the wall in your room. (Spoiler alert: This kind of awesome is Kimpton wide. The Alexis Hotel kick started my Kimpton love affair.)

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The room comes with some great amenities. After you shower with the provided CO & Bigelow  shower gel, slip into a funky animal print robe and nibble on some gourmet salted caramel popcorn from the mini bar.  Forgot your yoga mat? There’s one in the closet.

The bed is incredibly comfortable, and the location can’t be beat. The Alexis is located on bustling 1st Avenue with tons of shops and restaurants. Best of all, you can walk to Pike Place Market and the Waterfront within 10 minutes.

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Amazing Kimpton Perks!

– Free bicycle rentals for guests (and the bikes have been specially designed for Kimpton)

Hosted Wine Hour- Yes, you heard correctly. At almost all Kimpton Hotels, you can enjoy free wine hand-picked by their master sommelier.

Free WiFi and snacks if you join their free rewards program Kimpton InTouch

Raid the Mini Bar: Kimpton InTouch members get to sneak  treats for up to $10! It’s such a great idea, and something that I haven’t seen any other hotel do before. The mini bar is particularly awesome– filled with local, gourmet and handy items (like a razor or a mini first aid kit)

The best perk for the heat?

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Free beverages in the lobby! Free flavoured water and lemonade/iced tea in the lobby in the afternoon, and free coffee and Mighty Leaf Tea (yes!)  in the morning. This is a lifesaver in the summer time when you return all tired from exploring!

Visiting Seattle anytime soon? Check out this package!

The Kimpton has an awesome package available from June 15-September 22 2013. It includes tickets to the fab EMP museum, where you can take in the Women Who Rock exhibit.

The Women Who Rock Package includes:

  • Discounted tickets to EMP
  • 2 Barracuda cocktails in the Bookstore Bar
  • Town car ride TO the EMP (at Seattle Center)
  • 1 Night accommodation at the Kimpton (request their EMP suite!)

Interested? Use the rate code: “PWWR” at  www.alexishotel.com

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The Alexis Hotel is at 1007 1st Ave  Seattle, WA 98104.

Hôtel de Glace in Quebec City

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If you are looking for a totally unique accommodation experience while in Quebec, look no further. The Hôtel de Glace (Just outside of Quebec City)  is made completely out of snow and ice. It takes 500 tons of ice to create the walls, sculptures and furniture. Everything is carved using chainsaws, and is finished off with a torch. To make surfaces completely smooth, they use an iron.

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Basic room starting at $199 per person
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Deluxe room with custom furniture and carvings.

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Each room has a mattress on a block of ice and it has been specially made to withstand cold and won’t freeze. Before sleeping at the hotel you have to attend a mandatory briefing. You are only allowed to have one person per sleeping bag. The sleeping bag zips up to your neck and creates a cocoon of warmth.

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Before going to bed, you are encouraged to take a dip in the hot tub featured on site. The sleeping bag will maintain whatever body temperature you go into it with. It’s important to wear what you normally wear to bed. If you layer up, you can sweat and become uncomfortable. The average temperature in the hotel is -3C to -5C , no matter how cold it gets outside.

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Not ready for bed? Hang out in the bar and drink delicious cocktails out of a carved ice glass.

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The hotel is famous for weddings. Above is a picture of the wedding chapel. Can you imagine getting married there? Gorgeous!

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Slide down the ice slide.

The hotel is in business for 3 months, from January to the end of March. When it’s time to take down the hotel,  they don’t just abandon it and let it melt. The hotel is taken apart piece by piece.  If you want to stay here, be sure to book early. The average rate of occupancy is 90%. The day I visited, they were fully booked for the next two nights.

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Whether it’s a romantic getaway or a family adventure, the Ice Hotel is a perfect winter getaway. Just want to visit? Daily tours are offered for $17.50 a person.

Hôtel de Glace Québec-Canada
9530, rue de la Faune

Hilton Quebec: Room with a View

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When we first step foot into our hotel room in Quebec City at the Hilton, the first thing that we saw was the view. It was mesmerizing! We were on the 18th floor and when we weren’t exploring the city or Carnival, we were hanging out and looking out of the window.

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The room is in a typical traditional style. It was very clean and comfortable. As for amenities, the room comes with a small coffee maker and toiletries. The room does not have a fridge.

The Hilton is located on the top of Parliament Hill, and only a ten minute walk from Old Quebec. The Eco Bus also has a stop right outside the hotel. The hotel has two restaurants. The more casual of the two is Allegro, offering buffet breakfast and dinners, as well as a la cart. If you want to dine with a view, head to the 23rd floor to enjoy dining at Restaurant 23.

All in all, I had a pleasant stay. This is a good place to stay if you want to be close to the heart of the city. It’s also excellent for families!

Hilton Québec
1100, boulevard René-Lévesque Est
Quebec City, Quebec
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Mosaic House in Prague


The Mosaic House is a hostel in Prague, and the nicest hostel that I have stayed in to date. It’s well designed, super affordable and basically feels like a hotel. I checked into a Classic Twin Room for $50. (You have to pay an extra 2 euros for a key card, but it’s a refundable deposit.) The room had two super comfy single beds, free WiFi, a mini fridge, an iPhone dock and a very modern and clean bathroom. The room was also nicely designed, with quirky features such as painted branches on the walls and an interesting curtain on the window.

Not only is it well designed, but it’s good for the environment too! This is the first hotel in the Czech Republic to use 100% electricity from renewable sources. The rooms have automatic lights and electric window shutters. The coolest thing is that the sink and shower ‘grey’ water is purified into ‘green’ water and recycled back to the building’s toilets. Awesome!

Chocolate on the pillow!

Branches in the closet…

We were on the third floor, which was very quiet. On the first two floors I think it would have been quite loud, because in the evening on the weekend it turns into a club/party area. You can choose to have breakfast in the cafe downstairs, or you can wander around to the many little cafes on the streets and grab something from there.

This hostel is located in the New Town district in Prague. It’s pretty central, and you can walk to the Old Town Square in about 10 minutes. You can stay in a more traditional hostel style room with bunks for up to 16 people or even book a private room with one bed.

I would stay here again in a heartbeat! If only all hostels could be this conscientious and stylish. Five stars!

Mosaic House,
Odboru 4,
120 00 Praha 2,
Czech Republic

New York’s Sohotel


I went to New York last month, and stayed at the Sohotel in the Bowery. The Sohotel is a small, but hip hotel. The rooms have exposed brick walls, and SUPER comfy beds and pillows. There’s a flat screen TV and a radio ipod dock. The bathrooms are tiny, but with a nice shower head and comes stocked with yummy smellingC.O Bigelow Apothecaries lotion, shampoo, body wash and conditioner.


The lobby is pretty classy, with free coffee and tea offered in the mornings and afternoons. It has lots of pretty chandeliers and comfy chairs. The location wasn’t bad, only 1 subway stop away from SoHo, where there is tons of shopping. The hotel is clean and the staff is efficient. They also let us store our luggage before check-in, and after we checked out, which was great.

Some of the downsides are:

  • It bills itself as a “cheap” hotel, but at $250 a night, I disagree.
  • There aren’t any restaurants around to grab dinner or breakfast. The hotel doesn’t have one, but if you walk for about 7 minutes, you’ll find some cafes and Little Italy.
  • It is LOUD. You can hear the traffic and street noises like you are out there. I DID have a good sleep while I was there, but if you are sensitive you might want to take note.
  • Only the lobby has WiFi. That really shocked me! You can get a faint WiFi signal in some rooms, but it’s hard.
  • There aren’t any phones in the room. If you need to call front desk you have to walk
  • There isn’t an elevator, and we stayed on the 4th floor. It wasn’t that bad though.

    The Sohotel is located at 341 Broome Street and the nearest metros are Bowery and Grand station.

  • Hotel Chez Swann

    Montreal has a snazzy new boutique hotel. The best part? Rooms start at $95 a night! Each Hotel Chez Swann room comes equipped with a flat screen television, free wifi and peek-a-boo showers with double rain shower heads and massage jets. Plus, the design is edgy and chic! I know where I’ll be staying the next time I visit Montreal!

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