Welcome to New York!

Taylor Swift wrote us a song–Welcome to New York–and it was the soundtrack of our visit there recently. In that vein, I thought I’d write a melody of my own to sum up our weekend there. Maestro, if you please…

New York is Cold
A Melody by S. Bates

Brrr! Brr! Wear your scarf.
Freeze freeze…with hat and gloves!
The 9/11 Memorial is profoundly gorgeous
And filled with thoughts of love.

Subway to Soho; get your Metro card.
Stop in Prada en route to warm up…
Meet friends from college over brunch
at Hundred Acres over bub(bles).

Head uptown down the avenue;
Ignore the freezing wind (freezing wind!)
Stroll hand-and-hand in Central Park
Before spotting the Plaza and going in!

A glass of Malbec at the bar
Will warm you like nothing can.
Head down Fifth Avenue to experience
The deliciousness that is Bergdorf Goodman.

Here the cafe is a dream–
The best to celebrate…
Friends, family, art deco, impeccable service,
And your fiance’s birthday.

Bundle up…bundle up!
The rest of the trip is a whirl.
Dining at Vice Versa and A Voce
Makes you ready to get on a diet, girl!

Check out of the fabulous W Downtown;
Hop an Uber and head to JFK.
You avoided the winter storm.
Go home, warm up, hurray!

I knew I was an global business traveler and an amateur photographer, but until I wrote the above (possibly Grammy-winning) ballad, I had no idea that songwriting was in my future. (Insert sarcasm here.) Even with my lack of musical talent, I hope you’ll agree with me that a trip to cold NYC is the perfect thing to do in January, provided one has a fabulous winter coat. Welcome to New York!

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The Best Hotels in the World

Travel + Leisure recently debuted its annual list of the world’s best hotels, and I scoured the list of the top 100 to see if I had stayed at any of these top ranked properties. The travel Twitterverse was abuzz with all of this news, and it made me think of some of my favorite stays. From overlooking the tallest building in the world to my favorite New York City boutique hotel, I’ve had the opportunity to have stayed at some incredible places. Here are my top five hotels:

  • JW Marriott Phuket: right on the water, this incredible property is stunningly gorgeous, has an incredible staff, and is the perfect place to get away from it all.

    Beachside in Phuket

    Beachside in Phuket

  • The Palmer House: my absolute favorite place to stay in Chicago, this now Hilton property was rebuilt several times during its history. The lobby ceilings are absolutely exquisite!
  • The Address: one can see the tallest building in the world, as well as walk to the Mall of Dubai, from this elegant urban hotel.
  • On the Avenue: a darling boutique hotel in the heart of Manhattan (which is currently being transformed into a NYLO property), On the Ave is located on Broadway and West 77th. 
  • A three-way tie: as I’m hoping that one of the places that I’m going to stay during my upcoming vacation makes my top 5 list. In Athens, we will be within walking distance of the Acropolis at the King George. Kontokali Bay Resort and Spa will be our home away from home in the Ionian Island town of Corfu, and the Hilton Imperial will welcome us within the historic city walls of Dubrovnik.

What hotels did I–or the experienced team at T&L–miss? What hotels or resorts would make your list?

The Great American City

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In honor of the upcoming quintessential American holiday–the 4th of July–I decided to blog about my favorite US cities. This week’s theme is not rooftop bars, but it could be. Join me on a tour of some of my favorite urban … Continue reading