Tuesday, May 4, 2010


My most recent posts can be found here:

I found it a better way to get recognized for contributions, and more of a following! If you like my stuff feel free to add me as a favorite.

Here are some of the most recent reviews!

The Marriott Marquis- Times Square, NYC:

Gaylord National, National Harbor, MD:

And stay tuned for a review of the Warwick hotel in Denver, coming soon!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kelly's Landing- a taste of New England!

Kelly's Landing, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

My first night in Fort Lauderdale, eating outside of the hotel, I asked our young valets where we could get some good local seafood, with a good vibe, and they sent us here. Imagine our surprise when, being from Maine, we see a sign that says “home of the Boston Red Sox!”
We enjoyed lobster, scallops and beer, all for a great price, and the staff was very kind and called us a cab with no question when we were ready to go back to the hotel! Wonderful food and experience, but for something different that didn’t feel like home, we would go somewhere else!

Sushi Samba- Awesome 24th Birthday!

Sushi Samba, Lincoln Rd. Miami, Florida

I ate here on my birthday, when I decided to rent a car and drive from Fort Lauderdale (which proved to be less than festive)We were recommended to eat here by a makeup artist at the MAC pro store on South Beach and decided to give it a try.

Our waiter was outstanding, and as soon as I informed him it was my birthday, he said "I'm bringing you a shot on the house!" The shot proved to be the size of a five oz glass of wine so I sipped it through dinner, but it was lovely. I went on to tell him about the mediocre tourist trap lunch we had on south beach where I got trapped into paying for a $31 drink, so he made it his agenda to make sure we had an amazing dinner to counteract our crappy time at lunch.
and oh man we did. Our waiter kept our waters topped off and cold, the food was delicious and came in very reasonable time, but the best part was when he brought out our dessert platter with a sparkler in it and explained, "well it's your birthday!" We also observed on the bill, my dessert (which was over $10) had been discounted!
We were also allowed to sit and relax as long as we wanted and did not feel pressured to leave so they could get new patrons.
Although we ate outside (which was so cool to just relax and people watch) we did go inside to use the bathroom and although the music was loud, it had a very cool, trendy vibe and it was obvious this place is a hot spot!
It was a wonderful, fun, delicious experience, and probably my best birthday to date. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a NON-TOURIST TRAP Miami dinner experience!!

Overall: **** (4 out of 5)
Loved: the atmosphere, the service, beverages
Not so much: I've had better sushi, and menu seemed limited

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Embassy Suites, Fort Lauderdale- far from luxury

Overall I enjoyed my stay at this hotel, but I definitely would not consider it luxury.
Upon check in, everyone was very friendly, but we were not assisted with our bags or getting to our room, we did everything
ourselves. Granted, I am sure we could’ve asked someone but there did not look to be many bellmen around and we just wanted to get to our room.
Having never stayed at an Embassy Suites before, I was pleasantly surprised to find out we did have an actual suite with a living room, kitchenette and very accessible bathroom! The layout of the hotel was very fun too; similar to a Marriott I stayed at in NYC, but with a tropical vibe.
The free cocktail hour was wonderful as was the wait staff at the E spot restaurant in the hotel,

where we ate several times without tiring of the food! When you look with a closer eye this hotel does need some updating (cracked tiles, peeling paint, etc), and the $10 a day wifi is spotty, but the service was wonderful and I had a lovely time. I would probably stay here again if I were in the area on a tight budget!

Overall: *** (3 out of 5)
Loved: beachy vibe, nice people, free cocktail hour!!!!
Not so much: needs maintenance, not much in the area

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn
Waterville, Maine


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

Marriott Wardman Park,
Washington DC

I recently stayed at the Marriott Wardman for a conference (as it is mostly a convention hotel) and must ay I was not disappointed. However, for such an extravagent establishment, I found it odd that it was missing some of the simple basics.

I believe my room may have been upgraded, or was just an accessible room. Originally I was supposed to only stay for 2 days then move in with a colleague for a meeting that occurred after the original conference, due to availability, but after talking to the kind people at check in, they assured me everything had been taken care of and I was escorted to a large room in the Park Tower.

I must give this hotel kudos, for it's ACTUAL accessibility. I have been in "accessible rooms" before that simply had a bar in the bathroom, but the size was hardly substantial enough for a wheelchair! This room had a large tiled foyer with a kitchenette, that was perfect to park my motorized scooter I use when I travel! the bathroom was also very accessible. It was very large, and had a hand held shower head that could be lowered.

However- although the bathroom was huge, the one thing it lacked was HOOKS. there was absolutely NOWHERE to even hang a towel. I happen to have hanging toiletry bags, and I couldn't put them anywhere. I ended up setting them on a counter, and things kept falling out and on to the floor. Very annoying.

Also, the fact that internet was $13 a day and was NOT wireless was very frustrating. Clearly when you travel on business you are going to need to access your email and the internet, and it was irritating to say the least to be tied to the desk to access the internet. Very circa 1999.
Either have it wired, and have it FREE, or have wifi and charge a little less...but still there is no need to pay such a rate daily to sit at a desk.
Room service was also out of this world expensive. We ended up paying $80 for breakfast for 2, and all we got was eggs benedict and coffee. A carafe of coffee for 2 was $17, and of course the delivery fee is ridiculous. The quality of the food was decent, but nowhere near $80 worth of amazing! The 2nd day we ordered breakfast, we noted there were 2 diners, and we did not receive a table. One of us had to dine at the desk, while the other just sat in a chair with their tray on the ottoman....not an ideal situation, especially for the cost.

Although the on site coffee was Starbucks brand, there was not a Starbucks location in the hotel, which I found to be disappointing, especially for the size of the establishment.

The size was definitely exquisite, and although it took me about our entire stay to start learning where things were (the entire hotel is like a maze, with 2 different towers) the hotel staff is very accommodating and helpful. there are staff members at every high traffic area to answer questions of where to go, so I didn't waste too much time getting lost after the first day.

The conference facilities were nice, but after the third luncheon I began to get sick of the typical salad, chicken and rolls. Luckily, both restaurants were wonderful with great food and service! For a nice change on the last couple of days. For our last dinner, the concierge also referred us to a delicious japanese restaurant that was within walking distance. The hotel was very close to lots of great places to eat and shop!

Overall not a bad place, in a great location, but I am not sure that I would stay here if I had my choice of hotels in the DC area...it misses the mark on simple things, and the $13 a day internet is definitely not conducive to teleworking.

Overall: *** (3 out of 5)

Loved: location, spacious room, good service, ACCESSIBILITY
Not so much: Very expensive WIRED internet, hard to navigate, no towel hooks!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Point Lookout! Breathtaking

Point Lookout!
Northport, Maine

The last weekend in January, my agency held a conference at Point Lookout in northern Maine. In years prior, this annual event had been held at the Samoset, but it was time for a change, and we thought this would provide a wonder retreat experience, while providing sufficient accommodations and services for a conference.

We were not let down!
Getting there was quite a drive, but it went quickly since the scenery got increasingly beautiful as we got closer to Northport.

At first the facility was a little difficult to navigate since everything is spread out over the mountain in different buildings, but it got easier as the conference progressed.
We checked into our "luxury 2 bedroom cabin" and really would've been content to just stay there for the weekend. The bedrooms both had large, comfortable queen beds and their own adjoining bathroom (each with a shower).

There was also a spacious kitchen area with a dining room table large enough for an entire family to have a meal together.

The hardwood floors started off chilly, but warmed up quickly when we turned on the heat and the small gas fireplace in the living room.

Such a different setting from a classic hotel room, but still definitely luxury and oh so cozy during the winter!

The conference facilities were just as lovely. The keynote speakers took place in a gorgeous ballroom with a surrounding glass window with a view of the mountain. It was absolutely breathtaking when the sun was just peaking over the horizon. The other rooms had wonderfully comfortable chairs and great tables that made me feel like I was at a big city exec meeting. The lobbies all had cozy fireplaces and large comfortable chairs. Every room had atmosphere and provided such a great vibe of warmth.

In addition to the fabulous accomodations, all of the food was wonderful. The breakfast was very filling (I've had some terrible conference "breakfasts") with fresh fruit and several kinds of bagels, croissants and pasteries. The lunches, cocktail hours and dinners we had also exceeded my expectations and I never left a meal still feeling hungry! It was clear that great was put into every aspect of this resort

My one only small gripe was that the lodging was down the mountain from the actual location of the conference events (which were at the top of the mountain in the "summit" We ended up driving back and forth a lot, which was a little frustrating since it was very cold and windy. Beyon that however, I would definitely return to Point Lookout, either for a conference or just a relaxing weekend get away. No matter the season, this place could definitely provide a wonderful retreat!

I give it: **** (4 out of 5 stars)

Liked: great food, great accommodations
Not so much: It's definitely a trick to make mountain layout user friendly and accessible!