In February, our good friends, Joe and Jewel, joined us on a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona. We stayed at the Four Seasons Residence Club which is right beside the Troon North Golf Course.
We really liked our villa which had signs of quality throughout, like wooden shutters, full kitchen, dining room, living room, complimentary L’Occitane En Provence toiletries (we’re suckers for quality freebies!), etc. It was also ideal as they had a shuttle that took us to the golf course for our round where I almost broke a multi-million dollar home with my slice. Service was top notch as one night, when we wanted to use the BBQ grill, front desk asked me when I would like to use it and what tools I required. By the time I got to the grill, it was cleaned and fired up and the cooking utensils I had requested were already waiting for me. As a family resort, there are many amenities and activities (eg. Pool, tennis courts, hiking trails, kids camps, etc.). This place would be a great long-term getaway for a relaxing vacation. The style of this resort reminds me of Mexico, or as I like to call it, “hacienda-style” architecture. Ooh, now I feel like a Corona & some hot weather!
In our most recent trip to San Francisco, we stayed at the InterContinental Hotel – Mark Hopkins on Nob Hill. We stayed there because of our previous excellent experiences with the other Intercontinental Hotels as well as its vicinity to the shopping on Union Square.
Our hotel in Napa Valley was fabulous. We stayed at the Westin Verasa Napa which is located in downtown Napa Valley. It had complimentary valet and the service was top notch. Upon check-in, our room wasn’t quite ready but the service staff was so friendly and apologetic that we felt better right away. They let us sit in the sleek and modern lobby area/lounge and gave us complimentary beverages while we waited for our room to be ready. Our travelling companions, who prefer contemporary design, were fond of this hotel that was built only 3 years ago. Furnished with modern finishings and technology, our rooms were amazing. Just like in Scottsdale, we rented a large 2 bedroom villa with a full kitchen. We really liked the look of the hotel and the amenities which included an open concept exercise room (to work off all the delicious food and wine) as well as the pool that had many shaded cabanas. Yountville, where all the wonderful restaurants are located, was a 10-15 minute drive away. Word to the wise, there are hardly any taxi cabs in Napa Valley (which we thought was very strange, does everyone just drink and drive?!) so a rental car is a necessity ~ and a designated driver helps, who wants to draw straws?! Otherwise, there are limo services available as well which apparently would cost roughly the same as a taxi if you managed to find one, especially if you are commuting to and from various areas within the valley (eg. Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, etc.) ~ which is inevitable as the wineries are fairly spread out.
On the last leg of our trip, my best friend, Jordan, and soon to be fiancé (ahem…time is ticking), Mable, joined us in Vegas. We rented a spacious 3 bedroom villa at the Marriott Grand Chateau that boasted of 2100 square feet. We had a key that opened up to a tiny foyer that had separate doors to two units: the two-bedroom-two-bathroom-suite and a one-bedroom-suite, each with its own kitchen. The location was great as it was directly across the street from the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood and less than 5 min walk from the new City Centre and the wonderful shops at Crystals. They also had complimentary valet service which was excellent as do all the hotels on the Strip (a little known fact!). The one downside (some may see it as positive) to this hotel is that they do NOT have a casino and it is strictly a hotel. We were very relieved to find out that Planet Hollywood was only a 2 min walk. I like to roam the craps & blackjack tables in my pjs at any given hour and I like to stumble back to my room with the ching-ching sound of the slots so the lack of casino was a bit of an issue at first BUT I must say, it was kind of nice to have a smoke-free “oasis” to escape to each night (especially since it is so close to PH anyway).