Thursday, June 18, 2015

Boutique Hotels in Sonoma Wine Country, Santa Monica, Chicago & Miami

Half the fun in going somewhere is finding a great hotel to enjoy with all the amenities, spa, pool, beach and accommodations to meet my budget for that trip.  Friends ask, "where .... what do you think ... and of course I try to suggest a few.  But, what I have found in this conversation is the underlying fact - some people want large hotels with 3 or 4 restaurants, gift shops, golf courses etc. while others want small luxury boutique hotels with all those amenities.  Well we have been scouting out some that are very romantic boutique hotels with many extras.

We found the Miami. Florida hotel in the South Beach region will fit most of the criteria in a grand and luxury way. The happy colors, inspiring palm tree-shaded lawn, sun deck and very nice stretch of sunny Atlantic beach is a definite YES at the Betsy Hotel South Beach.  The restaurant has raves as Miami's best steak house - yet the menus are varied and they also offer sushi. Lunch, dinner or dessert, this is a happy face for indulgent eating and splendid relaxation.  61 guest rooms, not far from the nightclub action and tons of to dos in this beautiful area.
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What do you go to the Sonoma wine country for?  The vineyards!!  So why book a hotel that does not have views of the vineyards.  The Vintner's Inn has rooms and a restaurant that look out over the beautiful vineyards, as well as a spa. It is adjacent to the famous chef's restaurant JOHN ASH on the grounds.
You have immediate access to the Russian River Vineyard region, the Healdsburg wine regions and glorious
hilltop vineyards of Paradise Ridge.  Just east in 20 minutes is the Valley of the Moon vineyards.... and with Napa Valley just a half hour away.

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I am sooooo in love with Shutters on The Beach in Santa Monica, California - because it continues with great service, good food at three restaurants, a breakfast included each day and extra fun activities.  The beach is where it happens during the day and the nearby pier (a block away) at night.  Enjoy the bicycles, the surf boards and maybe the Tesla house car while there.

This is a retreat with the sound of the ocean, warm sand, inspiring ocean views up and down the coast ... in crisp, clean luxury setting. Years ago I was a So. California sun bunny and do understand the importance of this iconic setting.
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For many, romance is frills, hearts, gifts, lace, silky things, music, perfume, beaches and breathtaking views ... while others indulge in romantic history.  

If  romantic history is your thing, you will love the quite elegant, and very historic, Knickerbocker Hotel in Chicago on the "Magnificent Mile". It offers excellent Lake views has a lot to offer those visiting this large city.  History is what we are talking here.  Opening in 1927 rumor has it - they had a speakeasy during prohibition.  It used to be the "Playboy Hotel" during the 70's. The "cocktail" was first created here.  
Always refurbished in the newest trends, the rooms range from standard to large luxury suites.  This Chicago hotel is close to the Observatory, and the Navy Pier with tons of shopping. 

They have one of Chicago's most elegant ballrooms.


If you desire more hotels, resorts, b & b's or vacation rental links - please go to or
and search your region.

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