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Chill

Maroma Resort – Mayan Riviera

April 20, 2012

Taking a little break to daydream about my next vacation, although with a two-week-old baby I have no idea when that will happen.  I can’t wait to plan a trip back to this resort, Maroma, one of the stops on our honeymoon several years ago.  Great food, luxurious spa and accommodations, plus a perfect beach.  Quiet and peaceful and romantic.  About an hour outside of Cancun, so an easy and quick escape from Texas.  Here’s hoping we make it back soon…

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Viceroy Anguilla

July 10, 2011

This one is from my friend Bart, who just visited Anguilla. I’ve always been a fan of the Viceroy Santa Monica, but the pictures of Viceroy Anguilla look 1000 times more heavenly.  Just as Bart mentioned–The art! The architecture! The view!  You are going to want to check out the entire photo gallery on the website.  It’s officially on my getaway wish list.

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The Cloister – Sea Island, Georgia

June 20, 2011

I love my friend Casey’s taste in travel even though our tastes sometimes differ. She loves old world elegance, which I can certainly appreciate and enjoy, even though I usually opt for venues that are more hip and modern. It’s her passion for the classics that has led to my dream of visiting Villa D’este–I have vivid images in my head of a magical trip there just from hearing her talk about it. She and her husband recently vacationed at The Cloister in Sea Island, Georgia with their young children and another family, and once again her recaps have me romanticizing my own trip. So for those of you who like historic, luxury resorts, and are looking for a great family vacation on the beach, The Cloister is highly recommended by my friend, and trust me she knows her stuff. www.seaisland.com

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La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club

March 23, 2011

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I know a lot of us are constantly on the hunt for cool places to vacation with kids that allows both the kids and the adults to have a good time.  For me that means a beach, a pool, and food and drink service.  Two of my good friends highly recommend staying with kids at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.  While the rooms and suites are not over the top luxurious, they are right on the beach and come with all the perks of being a member of the exclusive club.  That means you have access to the kids’ club, restaurant, tennis, swim, workout facility, playground and more.  With the beach plus all the charming beach towns and the San Diego zoo and Sea World nearby, you have the makings of a great family vacation any time of year.  www.ljbtc.com

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Coral Sands – Harbour Island

February 3, 2011

At least the power is back on here, but we are still a city blanketed in ice with more snow on the way.  A beach vacation is sounding particularly good.  A friend of mine who goes to Harbour Island every year just recommended Coral Sands Hotel as a great spot for a family vacation.  While Pink Sands is the high-end resort there that you usually hear about, she says Coral Sands is just as good if you are looking for something family friendly and a little less expensive, plus it is right next store and on the same pink sands beach (which is where you’ll be all day anyway, right?)

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Encantado Resort – Santa Fe

June 17, 2010

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Looks peaceful, doesn’t it?  Cary Pierce, who is researching Santa Fe for a Jackopierce destination concert, reports that Encantado is the place to stay if you don’t mind an incredible sprawling ranch, fine dining, a deluxe spa, and 65 elegant casitas and suites.  Not surprisingly, Encantado is a member of my favorite club: The Leading Small Hotels of the World.  It is 12 minutes from Santa Fe, but provides daily chauffeur service to the heart of downtown.  Here’s hoping this is where the concert will be. I’ll keep you posted.  www.encantadoresort.com

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Ace Hotel – Palm Springs

June 6, 2010

I love conversations that start like this: “I just stayed at a hip little bohemian hotel that totally made me think of you.”   This was from my friend Gamze, who always sends me great content from the West Coast, as she was driving home from a weekend at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. After hearing her description and checking out Ace Hotels online, I’m convinced that Ace Hotels are the soulmates of Liz Lambert’s Austin hotels (Hotel San Jose and Saint Cecilia) that I adore.  All are laid back and creative with great style.

As for rooms at Ace, the ones by the pool are not surprisingly louder than those more secluded elsewhere on the property.  Second floor rooms are possibly quieter, but first floor rooms come with super cool patios.  With the patios come the advantage of a great entertaining space, and apparently the hotel will prepare a private BBQ on your patio for you and your friends.  They’ll also set up a taco bar with all the fixins for a minimum of 6 people at $19 per person.  The restaurant (King’s Highway) and bar (The Amigo Room) are both great venues to visit even if you aren’t staying at the hotel.  The food is apparently really good and well-priced and the bar has a fun vibe with DJs on the weekends.  There is also a spa and an event space for weddings and parties.  And, just like at Lambert’s havens, your dogs are welcome too.   www.acehotel.com/palmsprings

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Are any of my architect friends reading this?  I want a space like this at my house, please.

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Sunset Drinks at Mission Ranch – Carmel

May 30, 2010

Lucky for me I have a best friend who lives in Carmel, so over the years I’ve experienced all the best places with the help of the ideal local tour guide.  One of the most relaxing and romantic things to do is enjoy sunset drinks at Mission Ranch, a 31-room historic inn owned by Clint Eastwood.  If you are in the area this should be at the top of your must do list.  Your view from the cozy outdoor dining area?  Sheep filled pastures and the sun setting over the ocean.    There’s also a nightly piano bar.  I’ll be there in August and am counting the days…  www.missionranchcarmel.com

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Cayo Espanto – A Private Island

May 7, 2010

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Johnny Depp has one and you should too.  I first heard about this private island from my glamorous and incredibly fun friend Brett, who invited 18 of her nearest and dearest for a weekend celebration at Cayo Espanto. Located near Belize, this small island is available for rent (the whole island or the individual villas).  Another friend has now also highly recommended this destination for celebrating a milestone with friends or for checking out from life for awhile.  The rates include all meals and almost all drinks, as well as a full staff. Activities other than cocktails on the beach include snorkeling, scuba, fly fishing and more, although the first sounds good enough for me.    www.aprivateisland.com

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Esalen – Big Sur

March 31, 2010

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Big Sur is one of the most gorgeous places on the planet, with some of the most interesting places to visit.  Take for example, Esalen.  We have two sets of friends who have now confirmed it’s a great place to soak in the hot springs above the Pacific and then totally chill out with an open air massage.  (No need for relaxing music when you’ve actually got real waves crashing on the surf beneath you.)  But there is a lot more to this place.  Here is what the website has to say….

Esalen is a non-profit organization that has been devoted to the exploration of human potential since the 1960’s. Historical luminaries like Aldous Huxley, Joseph Campbell, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Joan Baez, and countless others have gathered here to develop revolutionary ideas, transformative practices, and innovative art forms. Today Esalen is a retreat center where people live and work in a communal setting. Residents and guests participate in an incredible variety of alternative education and personal growth programs in subjects ranging from meditation to massage, yoga, psychology, ecology, spirituality, art, music, and much more.

Esalen Institute, renowned for its healing natural hot springs, has long been recognized as a world leader in alternative and experiential education. Dramatically situated on the Big Sur cliffs over the Pacific Ocean, the sacred beauty of the land—clear air, pulsing sea, garden path and waterfall, steaming mineral water bubbling up from deep within the earth—is itself transformative. Now in its fifth decade, Esalen offers more than 500 public workshops and seminars a year, accenting personal growth and social change, in areas traditionally neglected by mainstream institutions. A non-profit educational foundation, Esalen is also known for its research initiatives, invitational conferences, residential work-study programs, and long-term internships. Part pioneering lab and college for alternative practices, magical restorative retreat, and creative think-tank for the emerging world culture, Esalen is dedicated to exploring work in the humanities and sciences that furthers the full realization of the human potential.

This place is obviously a bit on the hippie side so not for everyone.  Excuse me while I go to the website and sign up.  www.esalen.org

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