Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City
Finding a hotel that is both family and pet-friendly is no easy task!  But we stumbled upon the perfect hotel on our recent trip to Salt Lake City, Utah – The Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City.  Located in downtown Salt Lake, the Monaco is walking distance from many of the top tourist sites.  It was love at first sight.   The hotel not only allows dogs, it welcomes them!  The first thing that you find in the entry is a water bowl and this sign.  Our golden retriever, Oso was delighted by the dog-loving valet and the bowl of fresh water.  We’d just driven from Moab, and he was dog tired! Our teen was drawn to the bright lobby full of comfy sofas and board games.  They even have bikes you can borrow to explore the town.   The Kimpton offers coffee, tea and hot chocolate in the morning and a hosted wine reception…Continue Reading
Looking for a fantastic resort in Taos, New Mexico?  El Monte Sagrado is the perfect place!  The resort is only 3 blocks from Taos Plaza, but feels so private and peaceful.  From the moment we arrived, we felt relaxed and everything was taken care of. The staff at El Monte Sagrado welcomed us and invited us to sit down in the reception area while they checked us into our room.  We were offered a drink and they answered any questions we had about the property.  They were ready to help with any activity or plan we wanted to make. Our suite was perfect and spacious: a quiet 2 bedroom suite with a large living room/dining room area and a private back patio.  We were there in between the winter and summer seasons, so it was rather quiet.  It was one of their international suites, designed in a Japanese style.  El Monte…Continue Reading
Santa Barbara must be one of the most beautiful cities in the United States.  We love the Spanish revival architecture, beaches lined with palm trees, amazing cuisine, and of course the laid-back California vibe.  We lived in Santa Barbara in the 1990s and we still have family there, so we get to return regularly.  It’s always exciting to visit and so very hard to leave. We spent a week there this winter, which is out of the peak tourist season in summer, but the weather was very moderate.  There were no crowds and getting into restaurants was easy. We stayed at The Fess Parker: A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, which is a wonderful family (and pet) friendly hotel.  Located across the street from the beach and within walking distance from the pier, it’s in a perfect spot.  The resort has some great restaurants and relaxing pools! ” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]  Running through the middle of Santa…Continue Reading
Nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa is a gem of a hotel.  Built in 1865, the Grand Resort operated as a hotel for 122 years, but had fallen into disrepair in the 1980s.  In 1998 it was purchased out of bankruptcy and completely remodeled by 2002 as a 4 star destination hotel and spa.  We spent 4 glorious days at the Mountain View Grand Resort and our only disappointment was that we were unable to stay longer.  It’s a very special place.     ” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]   The Resort is situated on a rise in the middle of a valley near the town of Whitefield, NH, with unobstructed views of the White Mountains, including Mt. Washington.  The grounds are gorgeous! ” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]   The resort offers plush, spacious rooms, with modern appointments and excellent room service.  Our family of 5…Continue Reading
[Note: This is an unsolicited review and we did not receive payment, free food or accommodations from the Peace Lodge.] Sometimes you find a really special resort.  One that exceeds your expectations and makes you wish you didn’t have to go home.  We found that at the Peace Lodge, just north of San José, Costa Rica. The Peace Lodge is about a 90 minute drive north of San José, which makes it a great place to begin or end your tour of Costa Rica.  Located in the mountains between two national parks: the Poás Volcano National Park and the Braulio Carillo National Park, the Peace Lodge has both cloud forest and rain forest vegetation, due to its elevation at 5000 feet.  The site is simply stunning.   All access to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens was included in our stay. The resort The resort is part of the overall area of La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park (click…Continue Reading
[Note: This is an unsolicited review and we did not receive payment, free food or accommodations from Dreams.] Our boys have stayed in a lot of hotels, but their favorite is Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort.  We spent a fantastic week there that left our boys dying to return.   The resort sits on a beautiful stretch of coast between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.  The sand is white and the water is warm and clear.   This was our first all-inclusive hotel experience and we really enjoyed it. Included in the price: Limitless à-la-carte dining, including 24 hour room service All drinks, including alcoholic beverages Mini bar in room Many activities at the pool and beach, including snorkeling, kayaking, sailing and introductory scuba-diving lessons in the pool Shows and parties Kids club Kids activities, including climbing wall, water trampoline, and mini golf Wi-fi all over the resort The hotel is really…Continue Reading
We tend to stay in vacation rentals on our travels.  Hotels are expensive and many hotels will not allow a family of 5 to share one room.  Vacation rentals through VRBO or HomeAway are a great alternative.  They fit our family and our budget.  The only thing they don’t have is that relaxing resort feeling.  Sometimes, I just want to lay in a hammock on a white sand beach and sip Piña Coladas, while my kids zip down water slides.  So I was overjoyed when I discovered the secret of The Resort Day Pass. Many resorts, especially in the Mexican Riviera, sell a pass to use the resort for the day, just like a nightly guest.  The passes aren’t cheap, but they include so many amenities that we have never regretted paying for one. These all-inclusive hotels allow use of the entire property for the day including pools, beach chairs, snorkel equipment, kayaks, kids’ clubs and…Continue Reading
Bacalar Lagoon is a long turquoise lake about 15 miles from the state capital of Chetumal.  The lake is fed by freshwater underground rivers and is known for its beautiful clear water.  The Maya referred to Bacalar Lagoon as The Lake of Seven Colors, and it is still called that by the locals. The town of Bacalar is quiet and less touristy than its counterparts on the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s about 3 hours from Playa del Carmen and is easily accessible by taking an ADO bus. We decided to visit Bacalar on our journey from Belize to Playa del Carmen.  We chose to stay at an adorable secluded resort just outside of town: Bacalar Lagoon Resort. This remote resort is a hidden gem. So peaceful and relaxing! The resort is made up of 7 cute casitas facing the lagoon separated by lush lawns and bougainvillea-lined pathways. Our casita had 2 bedrooms and slept 5. Our room was…Continue Reading