Chicago Athletic Association Hotel – Michigan Avenue

Chicago Athletic Hotel Michigan Avenue

Built in 1890 as an athletic club, now a popular hotel and home to one of the best rooftop terrace views at Cindy’s, Cherry Circle Room restaurant, a huge game room and 8-seat bar Milk Room there is no shortage of things to do. Shake Shack is on the first floor as well.

Here’s Your Lunch Deal of the Week – Cherry Circle Room | The Loop, Chicago

Cherry Circle Room Chicago Wild Sausage Sandwich

Step back in time to a private old school club with rich leather booths, wood paneling, and an air of exclusivity at the Cherry Circle Room in the renovated Chicago Athletic Club Association Hotel. Pickelhaube helmets, framed crest banners and rabbits with swords and shields on the dinnerware lend an air of military/secret society mystery.

The best way to get a delicious meal at a fraction of the regular cost is during Restaurant Week – through Thursday, February 4th. The 3-course $22 lunch menu is a bargain, the lunches below come in at $43 and about $37 ordered a la cart any other time.

Cherry Circle Room Chicago Chicory Salad

Cherry Circle Room Chicago Chicory Salad

Drawing inspiration from the Chicago Athletic Club menus as far back as 1890 yet keeping with seasonal ingredients, Cherry Circle Room serves Continue reading

Must-Stay Hotel: Cotton House in Barcelona, Spain

The unassuming entrance gives no hint to the gorgeous history meets modern design behind the giant carved wood doors in the Cotton House, a luxury 83 room boutique hotel in the heart of Barcelona. Built in 1879 for a Spanish family before being sold to the Cotton Textile Foundation, the first two floors retain their original design and are full of color and ornate detail. From the giant wall of framed mirrors that meets the marble floor of the reception, the calming effect of dining among the dozens of cotton bolts in different white hues in the Batuar restaurant to the rooftop pool and my personal favorite, the suspended spiral staircase – the Cotton House is one of the most beautiful and visually interesting hotels in Barcelona.

I arrived at 9:30am with no expectation of checking in but simply to store my luggage while I spent the day touring. However, between being offered bites of the chocolate-covered strawberries, the staff apologized for not having the room ready and offered to upgrade the room.

There are eight room grades and I ended up getting upgraded twice to the Cotton Room level complete with a balcony facing the terrace, king-size bed and huge walk-in shower and full bathtub. In contrast to the colorful opulence of the public areas the hotel room is elegantly simple with warm white tones covering the room, soft white leather chairs and headboard, impossibly soft bedding and backlit drawings of cotton that line the wall giving the room a warm feel.

You can sneak a peek here:

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Spiral Staircase – Cotton House Hotel, Barcelona Spain

Cotton House Hotel Barcelona Staircase 1

The only hotel I took the stairs instead of the elevator every day. It was a joy winding my way around and looking up at the beautiful yellow globes of light that changed with the sun.

The staircase in the Cotton House Hotel is protected by the city of Barcelona as a historical architectural feat. Built in the 1960s it’s the first of its kind –  a hanging spiral staircase suspended by cables.

Panamanian Classics at Las Clementinas, Casco Viejo, Panama

Image via cdn.c.photoshelter.com

Image via cdn.c.photoshelter.com

casco-closer

Image via thebalboainn.com

Established in 1673, Casco Viejo is the historical heart of Panama City. Churches, plazas, crumbling houses and restored buildings turned boutique hotels share space in a very noticeable rapid transformation since my first visit in 2004. A decade ago I contemplated buying real estate in Casco Viejo falling in love with the architecture and history of the neighborhood. I am kicking myself for not following through as it is not surprise that so many other people saw what a beautiful area it is. I just hope all the families living there will be able to stay in their homes.

Las Clementinas Hotel RestaurantTucked away in Casco Viejo Las Clementinas is a hotel and café built in the 1930s by Clementina Herrera and her daughter Clementina Jaén. According to their website: Continue reading

Love Letter To The Perfect Hotel: Sa Pedrissa, Deià Mallorca

Sa Pedrissa View From BBQ Area

Sa Pedrissa will ruin you. It will raise the bar so high that other hotels and travel destinations pale in comparison.  Located in the small town Deià known for its famous resident Robert Graves, Se Pedrissa is steps from the Mediterranean with a unforgettable view of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains. Absolute perfection.

I was in Spain for a family vacation and my wedding so expectations were high. I chose Sa Pedrissa because of its location, size and commitment to organic food as an agrotourism hotel. After a scenic thirty-minute winding drive from the Palma de Mallorca Airport we arrived to a warm greeting from the manager Carlos with champagne in hand.

The first thing I noticed was Continue reading