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The Luxury Hotel Insider:Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance.

Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.


Situated in the heart of the historic district, Belmond Charleston Place evokes the feel of a 17th century villa with an enchanting Georgian staircase that welcomes guests to the lobby, Italian marble floors, and a glistening chandelier. Providing an urban setting with a chic and serene environment inside its walls, the luxury hotel recently unveiled the Elysian Salon and completed renovations at The Spa at Belmond Place. Learn more about what's new at the hotel below the photo of the Elysian Salon. 

Elysium Salon at Belmond Charleston Place

Focused on creating a unique style for every client, the Elysium Salon is located in the East Gallery of The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place. Featuring a luxurious setting for haircuts, coloring, specialty treatments, wedding and special occasion hair, as well as makeup applications and lessons, the salon adds to Belmond Charleston Place's exclusive amenities. Since launching her career in the hair and makeup industry in 2001, Salon Director of Elysium at Charleston Place, Charlotte Belk--a South Carolina native, has been focusing on traditional cuts, natural & dimensional hair color, as well as specialty services. Read more below the Elysium Salon photo. 

Elysium Salon at Belmond Charleston Place

In addition to the Elysium Salon, The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place recently completed renovations. The newly transformed environment offers a tranquil setting with a clean and crisp color palette, and a more seamless connection to the mineral swimming pool. The men's and women's locker rooms were refreshed to provide a more relaxing mood, and there's a variety of new products and treatments available for guests including TaTa Harper's 100% natural line of beauty products from Vermont, anti-aging hand and feet products by Margaret Dabbs, Lafco Reed diffusers and candles, and FarmHouseFresh goods. Read more below The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place photo. 

The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place

Belmond Charleston Place mixes Southern charm with timeless elegance, steps from the city's historic sites, shopping, and restaurants. There's award-winning cuisine at the Charleston Grill, modern gastronomy at Palmetto Cafe, and gourmet pub fare in Meeting at Market. Plus, there's upscale shopping boutiques within the hotel and a rooftop pool. 

Check availability at Belmond Charleston Place


Destination Spotlight: San Antonio

Mixing the cultures of Mexican settlers with Texas ranchers, San Antonio is a unique Southwestern destination offering historic attractions, a vibrant art scene, and distinctive "Tex-Mex" cuisine. Celebrating its 300th birthday in 2018, this city with a confluence of cultures is hosting commemorative events the week of May 1-6, including special events at each of San Antonio's five missions, along with an array of festivities throughout the year. To mark its 300th anniversary year, San Antonio recently unveiled a variety of new developments, such as the Bottling Department (the city's first food hall), the iconic barges along the River Walk were upgraded with electric models, and San Pedro Creek Culture Park transformed an old drainage ditch into a waterfront promenade with performance and art spaces.

Known for The Alamo (Spanish mission where one of the city's important battles took place), as well as the historic River Walk lined with shops, restaurants, hotels, and entertainment, visitors can stroll the street and plaza's to learn about the city's iconic Western past. In addition to The Alamo, the city is home to four additional missions, which are part of the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park, there's traditional Southwestern shopping vendors at La Villita, and Alamo Heights offers trendy shopping and high-end Western wear. 

Foodies will want to sip an icy margarita along the River Walk and try some award-winning Tex-Mex cuisine. There's restaurants specializing in fresh seafood from the nearby Gulf Coast, a variety of iconic Texas steakhouses serving thick, Texas-sized steaks, plus German restaurants that pay tribute to the city's German heritage. For wine and golf enthusiasts, venture beyond the downtown to Texas Hill Country with an array of vineyards and tasting rooms, as well as championship golf courses. 

Here are 5 Top San Antonio Luxury Hotels

1. Omni La Mansion del Rio

Omni La Mansion del Rio River View Ambassador Room

Originally built as a Catholic School by the Society of Mary in 1852, the Omni La Mansion del Rio was transformed into a luxury hotel in 1968 for the the World's Fair. Set along the River Walk, the property blends Spanish colonial architecture with gourmet dining at Las Canarias known for hand-made margaritas and Sunday Brunch on the River Walk, as well as a courtyard heated swimming pool. Plus, guests have access to the Forbes Four-Star Mokara Spa at the hotel's sister property, Mokara Hotel & Spa. 

Check availability at Omni La Mansion del Rio

2. Mokara Hotel and Spa

Mokara Hotel and Spa San Antonio

In the heart of the city's famous River Walk, the Mokara Hotel and Spa provides a soothing oasis with a full-service, Forbes Four Star Spa and world-class fitness center. There's a year-round rooftop pool with panoramic city views, as well as the Rooftop Cafe with salads, sandwiches, and cocktails. Plus, dining at Ostra, a AAA Four Diamond Restaurant with a romantic riverfront location and a menu specializing in sustainable seafood. 

Check availability at Omni La Mansion del Rio

3. Grand Hyatt San Antonio

Rooftop Pool at Grand Hyatt San Antonio

Adjacent to the San Antonio Convention Center, Grand Hyatt San Antonio offers a contemporary setting in the heart of the city. Across the street from the Rivercenter Mall, the 24-story towers over San Antonio with River Walk views, more than 1,000 rooms, a Ruth's Chris Steak House with prime steaks, and handcrafted cocktails at Bar Rojo. There's also a rooftop pool, YogaAway classes via in-room TVs, state-of-the-art fitness center, and meeting spaces with audiovisual equipment and versatile seating options. Five Star Alliance Perk: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive, based on availability, a complimentary room upgrade and a 2 pm late check out.

Check availability at Grand Hyatt San Antonio

4. The St. Anthony Hotel

The St. Anthony Hotel Master Suite

Recently restored to its 1909 grandeur, The St. Anthony Hotel provides an opulent setting overlooking Travis Park. Situated three blocks from both the River Walk and the Alamo, the hotel has multiple on-site dining options each with a unique dining experience, including Loggia serving traditional American classics with a twist. There's a rooftop bar, as well as an outdoor heated pool with private cabanas, fitness center, and state-of-the-art meeting venues. 

Check availability at The St. Anthony Hotel

5. La Cantera Resort and Spa

La Cantera Resort and Spa View

For those seeking a resort setting overlooking Texas Hill Country, La Cantera Resort and Spa recently completed a major renovation, with furnishings inspired by the area's ranch heritage. Located about 30 minutes from downtown, the property is less than two miles from Six Flags Fiesta Texas, with two championship golf courses and five pools. The Loma de Vida Spa & Wellness Center provides an array of treatments, plus a grotto with a saline pool, outdoor gathering place with acoustic music, and outdoor cowboy tubs for relaxation. There are nine on-site dining options including the open-air exhibition-style SweetFire Kitchen, and the Palmer Grille at the Clubhouse, as well as the adults-only level on the property's highest floor. 

Check availability at La Cantera Resort and Spa

Explore more San Antonio luxury hotels


Soaring 30 stories over the city, Hilton San Diego Bayfront offers a modern downtown retreat with a sun and sea-inspired design. Adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center, the luxury hotel is across the street from Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. Providing a convenient location in the heart of the city, the hotel is located on 4.3 acres of land with bay and skyline views. Within walking distance of the Gaslamp Quarter's dining and entertainment venues, the property has six on-site dining venues ranging from casual eateries to fine dining. Continue reading below the photo of the Pool Club Lounge. 

Pool Club at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Providing a convenient setting for business travelers, the property has meeting rooms, Notary Public, office rentals, and The UPS Store. In addition, the property has an array of amenities focused on leisure travel needs including children's activities, cribs, and family packages. While there's a variety of fitness and recreation options such as an outdoor pool with bay views, fitness room, and a walking and jogging track. Plus, the hotel has the full-service Eforea Spa with a focus on providing services and treatments focused on wellness and balance. Read more below the pool photo.

Waterfront pool at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Overlooking San Diego Bay and downtown, the hotel's guestrooms feature coastal chic furnishings, Serenity beds, 55-inch flat-screen TVs, and work spaces. While suites have both bay and city views, separate bedrooms, and living rooms with 65-inch flat-panel TVs. 

Check availability at Hilton San Diego Bayfront


Set in the heart of Manhattan along 44th Street, The Chatwal New York is an iconic luxury hotel designed by Standford White with 1930s Empire Art Deco architecture. Recently reimagined by Thierry Despont, the hotel's guestrooms and suites are furnished in rich hues of ruby, saffron, and sepia. Complimented with custom amenities, handmade Shifman mattresses, and Frette linens, accomodations have state-of-the-art technology, including iPod docking stations and Blu-ray/DVD players (upon request). Continue reading below the photo of the Producer Suite Rooftop Patio. 

The Chatwal New York Producer Suite Rooftop Patio

For an exclusive retreat within the hotel, the Producer One Bedroom Suite with Rooftop Terrace evokes the glamour of the Art Deco period while incorporating state-of-the-art technology and modern style. The 700-square-foot suite has a spacious living room with a fireplace, flat-screen TV, chic sitting area, and access to the outdoor terrace. There's a winding staircase leading to the upper floor, and a roof deck on the 10th floor. Read more below the living room photo.

The Chatwal New York Producer Suite Living Room

Adjacent to the living room is a dining room with modern furnishings, minibar, and additional flat-screen TV. Guests of the suite designed by Thierry Despont receive butler service, and there's also a two king beds, and a safe within the suite. In addition, guests booking "5 Star Signature Rates" for suites at The Chatwal receive exclusive amenities including continental breakfast for two, and Mercedes drop off service within a 20-block radius. Read more about the hotel below the Producer Suite photo.

The Chatwal New York Producer Suite Living & Dining Rooms

Steps from Broadway Theaters, Times Square, and Bryant Park, The Chatwal New York provides a historic setting with luxury amenities and modern-infused style. For dining, The Lambs Club serves Modern American cuisine by Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. Built in 1905, the 90-seat restaurant features Empire Deco design in a venue that was the home of The Lambs, the first professional theater club in America with a membership list that included Charlie Chaplin, Spencer Tracy, and Fred Astair. 

Check availability at The Chatwal New York


Destination Spotlight: Nashville

Known as "Music City, U.S.A." Nashville is the home of Country Music. The famous honky-tonks along Broadway are known for live music from morning until late at night by talented performers with big dreams, along with surprise appearances of some of the music industry's biggest names. The Ryman Auditorium, known as the "Mother Church of Country Music" is an iconic red building just off Broadway that originally opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892. Later, it was the original home of the "Grand Ole Opry" and today it is a destination for intimate performance in a one-of-a-kind setting known for out-of-this-world acoustics. Throughout the city there's a number of museums and attractions dedicated to preserving the history of the city's music industry including the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, RCA's Studio B, The Johnny Cash Museum, and the Patsy Cline Museum. 

But there's much more to Nashville beyond the music industry. History enthusiasts can explore a variety of sites including Belle Meade Plantation (complete with a winery), Civil War Battlefields near Franklin, and Andrew Jackson's Hermitage provides guests the experience to go back in time to visit the former president's entire estate. Love wine? There's vineyards and tasting rooms nearby. Interested in seeing a full-size replica of the Parthenon? There's one right in the Nashville city limits.

And of course there's the food scene in Nashville. As the city expands, so does the choice of restaurants. From long-time local favorites like the Loveless Cafe and Puckett's serving classic Southern dishes, to new Southern cuisine at The Southern, to fusion dining options and culinary experiences, Nashville offers foodies a one-of-a-kind destination.

When visiting Nashville, there's a variety of luxury hotels throughout the city. For those attending events at the Bridgestone or Music City Center, or looking to take in live music at Broadway's honky-tonks, downtown and SoBro hotels offer ideal locations. If the food scene and luxury boutiques is of interest, The Gulch is a prime location situated right between downtown and Music Row. While the Vanderbilt area is close to Music Row's publishing houses and recording studios, as well as multiple universities and Vanderbilt Hospital.

Here are 5 Top Nashville Luxury Hotels:

1. Thompson Nashville

Suite 701 at Thompson Nashville

Located in "The Gulch", the trendy and upscale neighborhood set between downtown and Music Row, Thompson Nashville is a modern boutique hotel. Offering guestrooms and suites that mix contemporary, industrial, and classic design, the hotel provides a residential feel. Steps from some of the city's top restaurants, boutiques, and condominiums, the chic retreat is around the corner from the iconic Station Inn. The Marsh House Restaurant serves Southern-infused seafood specialties for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus the rooftop L.A. Jackson has small plates, crafted cocktails, indoor and outdoor seating, and a see-and-be-seen environment.

For an insider's perspective, checkout our Content Manager's article Residential Retreat at Thompson Nashville

Check availability at Thompson Nashville

 

2. Omni Nashville

Suite at the Omni Nashville

Situated in SoBro, the Omni Nashville is connected via an indoor walkway to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Throughout the hotel there is an array of locally-produced artwork, guestrooms and suites have Nashville-infused decor, and the heated outdoor pool is open year-round with stunning skyline views. There's three on-site dining options ranging from the casual Kitchen Notes with modern Southern cuisine, Bob's Steak and Chop House with a music-infused classic steakhouse setting, and Barlines with live music, gourmet bar foods, and a cocktail menu highlighting Tennessee libations. 

For an insider's perspective, checkout our Content Manager's article Music City Views at Omni Nashville

Check availability at Omni Nashville

 

3. The Hermitage

The Hermitage Nashville

Since opening in 1910, The Hermitage (named in honor of Andrew Jackson's estate) has been an iconic destination in downtown Nashville for traditions, weddings, political, and social events. Offering elegant Southern style, guestrooms and suites have an average of 500 square feet, as well as traditional furnishings with dark woods and gold accents. The hotel's Capitol Grille is a destination restaurant known for creative interpretations of Southern specialties, while the adjacent Oak Bar has Nashville's largest collection of bourbons. 

Check availability at The Hermitage

 

4. Hutton Hotel

Hutton Hotel Analog Music & Cocktail Lounge

Offering fully-equipped Writer's Rooms and creative spaces, Hutton Hotel is a boutique hotel in Nashville's West End neighborhood. Close too Music Row and Vanderbilt University, the property provides guests with an immersive journey into the city's music industry with the 5,000-square-foot Analog music and cocktail lounge (shown above). For dining, the WestEnd bar and restaurant serves innovative Southern cuisine, and recently redesigned guestrooms and suites have residential styling, granite bathrooms, and Triumph & Disaster bath amenities. 

Check availability at The Hutton

 

5. 21c Museum Hotel Nashville

21c Museum Hotel Nashville

Situated within the historic Gray & Dudley building, 21c Museum Hotel Nashville offers reimagined spaces with contemporary guestrooms and suites, including rooftop suites with outdoor terraces. Located along 2nd Avenue in downtown, the property is set amidst dining and nightlife destinations, including Broadway's honky-tonks. There's a contemporary art museum within the common areas of the hotel, providing more than 10,500 square feet of exhibition and event space, plus the Gray & Dudley restaurant and bar by executive chef Levon Wallace. 

Check availability at 21c Museum Hotel Nashville

 

Explore all Nashville Luxury Hotels

 


Recently I had the opportunity to stay at the Omni Nashville. Offering an ideal location in downtown's "SoBro" (South of Broadway) neighborhood, the luxury hotel is connected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and directly across the street from the Music City Center. Read more below the photo of the view from the Omni Nashville.

Omni Nashville View

From the moment I arrived, I felt welcomed by the reception staff and the luxurious, yet approachable feel of the spacious lobby with multiple lounge areas, including one cozy space with a gas fireplace. Check-in was fast, and I was immediately wowed by the view of downtown when I walked into my room (1929). Read more below the photo of the in-room view.

View from room 1929 at the Omni Nashville

My guestroom on the 19th floor provided a Nashville-infused retreat with local artwork throughout the room, a spacious work desk, and sitting area with panoramic city views. Throughout the entire room there were electrical plug-ins, making it easy to charge a phone or electric device whether on the couch, in the plush king bed, or at the desk. Continue reading below the photos of room 1929.

Room 1929 at the Omni Nashville

Desk area in room 1929 at the Omni Nashville

The bathroom was spacious with a vanity, large mirror, illuminated makeup mirror (ideal for getting ready for a night out in Music City) and a combination shower and bathtub. Read more below the photos of the bathroom.

Bathroom photos at the Omni Nashville

There was also a coffee bar area with coffee and tea making essentials, as well as a minifridge for snacks and leftovers. Continue below the photo below.

Coffee bar and minifridge at the Omni Nashville

Throughout my stay, I found the sitting area in the room to be one of my favorite features. In the morning, it was the perfect spot to sit and enjoy coffee (delivered complimentary to my room as part of the Omni Select Guest Program). After a day of exploring the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and downtown, the sitting area was a comfortable place to relax and sip a glass of wine while enjoying the Nashville view. Read more below the photos.

Views from 1929 at the Omni Nashville

Beyond guestrooms and suites, the Omni Nashville offers an array of on-site amenities. On the first floor of the hotel there's direct indoor access to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, as well as the Five & TENN boutique with jewelry, fashions, and accessories crafted by local artisans, plus local food products and sundries. Lining the cooridor between the hotel and museum, there are large display cases with Music City-related displays from museums like the Patsy Cline Museum, as well as Hatch Show Print--a working letterpress shop that creates hundreds of posters and signs per year, where guests can take a tour, watch the artists in action through large windows, or purchase a poster to take home. Feeling lost? Throughout the entire property there are interactive digital screens to guide guests in the right direction. Continue reading below the photo of Five & TENN boutique. 

Five & TENN Boutique at the Omni Nashville

Care for a swim? There's an outdoor heated rooftop pool that is open year-round with stunning city views and lounge chairs. During the warmer months there's a full-service bar and restaurant on the pool deck, and in the cooler months there's a firepit where guests can gather round. Read more below the pool photo. 

Omni Nashville Pool

Just inside the doors from the pool area, there is a large fitness center with floor-to-ceiling windows, along with a variety of cardio machines and strength training equipment. Down the hall on the same floor is the Mokara Spa providing a variety of massages, treaments, salon, and beauty services.

There's also a variety of dining options within the hotel, including Kitchen Notes, serving three meals a day with a modern Southern menu and comfortable atmosphere. I started my day with Brunch at Kitchen Notes, which offered a delicious meal featuring made-to-order omelettes, Biscuit Bar, waffles, yogurt, fruit, ham, and more. There was also an a la carte menu option, as well as signature cocktails available. Read more below the Biscuit Bar photo.

Omni Nashville Biscuit Bar at Kitchen Notes

For an afternoon pick-me-up, Bongo Java is the hotel's coffee shop with a stylish setting, locally-roasted espresso, handcrafted beverages, baked items, and snacks. Continue reading below the photo.

Bongo Java

Ready for a special dinner? Bob's Steak & Chop House offers a discreet setting tucked behind doors just off the lobby with round booths, classic steakhouse fare, and extensive wine list (with an impressive glass-enclosed cellar in the center of the dining room). Read more below the photo.

Bob's Steak & Chop House, Omni Nashville

But one of my favorite features of the hotel is Barlines. Mixing aspects of a honky-tonk and a sports bar, Barlines offers live music seven nights a week, along with large screens for watching big games, a menu of Southern-infused comfort foods, and a drink list highlighting Tennessee libations. During the warmer months, the doors to the patio open letting breezes in, and the outdoor patio along 5th Avenue provides a unique setting for listening to the live music inside Barlines while looking at the lights of Music City.

Steps from Bridgestone Arena, and two blocks from Broadway's famous honky-tonks, the Omni Nashville is an ideal location for travelers wanting to be within walking distance of major attractions like the Ryman Auditorium, The Johnny Cash Museum & Cafe, and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. It's also right across the street from the Music City Center, and the property has 80,000 square feet of meeting and event space (including a theater) on two dedicated floors, making it a centralized location for business travelers as well. 

Check availability at the Omni Nashville

 

 


Set within a former church, The LINE DC is a luxury boutique hotel with a community radio station broadcasting live from the lobby, two unique bars with eclectic nightlife experiences, and three restaurants serving dishes infused with flavors from around the world. Located in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, guestrooms and suites have sweeping views of Washington, D.C., while the hotel's rooftop has panoramas of the Washington National Cathedral and Washington Monument. Continue reading below the photo.

Guestroom at The LINE DC

Providing an ideal destination for foodies, The LINE DC's restaurants are led by two James Beard-recognized chefs, Spike Gjerde of Baltimore's Woodberry Kitchen and Erik-Bruner-Yang of Maketto. At A Rake's Progress, guests can experience Spike Gjerde's mix of Southern cuisine paired with locally-sourced Chesapeake ingredients. While just off the lobby at Brothers and Sisters, visitors can select from an all-day menu of Erik Bruner-Yang's American classics prepared with Taiwanese and Japanese style, or try a reimagined high tea experience in the East Parlour Tea. For an intimate exprience, Spoken English by Erik Bruner-Yang is a 10-seat venue with an Asian-inspired tasting menu served family style. Read more below the photo.

Guest lounge at The LINE DC

For entertainment the community radio station, Full Service Radio (created by Jack Inslee the world's pioneer food radio station) broadcasts live from the lobby. Covering a range of topics including politics, food, comedy, art, and music, the radio station has about three dozen local hosts. In the evenings the hotel offers live music nightly, and guests have two bar options within the hotel: A Rake's Bar serves cocktails infused innovative with ingredients curated from innovative distillers, and Brothers and Sisters Bar is led by a celebrated bartender and sommelier with a menu of classic American and International cocktails. 

Check availability at The LINE DC


Recently I had the opportunity to spend two nights at the Thompson Nashville. Located in "The Gulch" the city's trendy new neighborhood set between downtown and Music Row with upscale apartments, condominiums, shops, and restaurants, the Thompson Nashville offers a convenient location for both business and leisure travelers. 

From the moment I arrived at the Thompson Nashville, I felt like I had my own private residence in the city. Set amidst modern apartments and condominiums, the Thompson offers a warm and inviting atmosphere with a lobby that feels like a chic living room with seating areas, a large table for working remotely or a casual meeting, the Marsh House Restaurant, and Killebrew Coffee with crafted espresso drinks and fresh-baked treats. Continue reading below the lobby photo.

Thompson Nashville Lobby

The cordial staff at the reception desk offered welcoming greetings from the moment I stepped through the revolving doors, check-in was quick, and I soon found myself at ease in my suite (701) with floor-to-ceiing windows on two sides overlooking The Gulch. Read more below the photo.

Suite 701 Living Room at Thompson Nashville

In the entry there was a closet, table, and bench, providing a residential-like feel. The spacious living room had wood floors, chic velvet couch and chair, wet bar, custom honor bar with Thompson signature items and locally-curated snacks. There was also an industrial-style shelf with a Marshall Bluetooth Speaker, bistro table with two chairs, and a 55-inch flat-screen TV. An added bonus...there were plug-ins throughout the suite, including in the floor making it easy to charge an array of electronic devices. Read more below the living room and wet bar photos.

Living room at Thompson Nashville

Living Room at Thompson Nashville

Beyond the living room area was the bedroom with a plush king bed topped with SFERRA linens and a tall wood headboard with built-in individual reading lights. There was also a modern chair to sit by the window, flat-screen TV, and a large closet with a laptop-size safe and oversized Thompson signature bathrobes. Continue reading below the bedroom photo.

Bedroom at the Thompson Nashville

But perhaps my favorite part of the suite was just off the bedroom through sliding barn doors...an extra-large master bathroom with a claw foot bathtub--complete with a wooden tray for a glass of wine and bath salts! 

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There was also separate state-of-the-art double rain shower, exclusive DS&DURGA bath amenities, and a double vanity. The brushed brass fixtures as well as the wood vanity and accent wall added a warmth to the beautifully tiled space, making it an idyllic sanctuary for relaxing after a day of exploring Music City. 

Suite 701 Bathtub at the Thompson Nashville

Another highlight at the Thompson the Marsh House Restaurant. Offering Southern cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood, breakfast at the Marsh House was an ideal start to a day in Music City, complete with buttery, flaky, biscuits! The restaurant also serves chef-prepared lunch and dinner, as well as crafted cocktails and an extensive wine list in a modern setting with bronze hardware and plush seating spaces. 

Entrance to the Marsh House at Thompson Nashville

During my stay I found myself visiting the Killebrew Coffee shop multiple times for crafted lattes (complete with foam art), and a few sweat treats. Read more below the photo of the Thompson's Killebrew Coffee.

Killebrew Coffee at the Thompson NashvilleI found the Thompson's rooftop bar, L.A. Jackson to be a stylish way to end a wonderful day in Nashville. The venue had large windows with skyline views, as well as a spacious outdoor patio. There was a grand bar in the center to see-and-be-seen, as well as cozy seating areas for crafted cocktails, small plates, and intimate conversation. Continue reading below the photo of the rooftop patio.

L.A. Jackson's Rooftop Patio

In addition to my inviting suite and multiple dining options, the luxury boutique hotel offered a second floor event space with stylish meeting venues and a fitness center. Just outside the Thompson was an array of upscale boutiques, and restaurants such as the popular Biscuit Love, and the iconic Station Inn with live Bluegrass music. The property is about a 20-minute walk to the Music City Center, Country Music Hall of Fame, and Broadway's legendary Honky Tonks. Or the Music City Circuit bus stops less than one block from the hotel with complimentary transportation throughout downtown. 

Check availability at the Thompson Nashville


Perched on the 21st floor, the Performer Suite at the Loews Minneapolis Hotel offers panoramic views of downtown Minneapolis. Designed for rock stars and VIPs, the suite has a circular, acoustically correct Corinthian Leather alcove with a baby grand piano, as well as three plasma TVs and a sound system. There's an office, living room with artwork featuring Minnesota-born Prince, and dining room with a wet bar, plus a private in-suite fitness center. The bedroom has a custom-made King Bed, and the bathroom has a double vanity and 5-head massage shower. Read more about the hotel below the photo of the Performer Suite. 

Performer Suite at the Loews Minneapolis

Connected to the Target Center via skyway, Loews Minneapolis Hotel offers a central location in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, steps from Target Field, the entertainment district, and corporate offices. (Editor's note: Loews is an ideal location for guests going to concerts or games at either Target Center or Target Field, as the skyway provides indoor, climate-controlled access to both venues.) The luxury hotel has award-winning dining at Cosmos, the Apothecary Bar & Lounge with crafted cocktails and small plates, as well as the Relevé Champagne and wine bar. Guestrooms and suites were recently renovated, and the Embury Spa provides a range of treatments. 

Check availability at Loews Minneapolis Hotel

 


Destination Spotlight: MinneapolisProviding Midwestern charm infused with outdoorsy activities, Minneapolis, Minnesota has foodie-focused dining, award-winning sports stadiums, as well as an array of museums and cultural experiences. While commonly known for harsh, cold winters, Minneapolis is a destination offering four distinct seasons of activities. Situated in the most populated area of the state, Minneapolis is usually referred to as one of the Twin Cities, that also includes the capital city of St. Paul. Separated by the Mississippi River, these two cities are surrounded by sprawling suburbs with rivers, lakes (Minnesota is referred to as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes"), biking trails, parks, and of course the Mall of America, in Bloomington, right by the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Locals are known for their "Minnesota Nice" demeanor, as well as their ability to embrace the cold of the "North" with the St. Paul Winter Carnival (January 25 to February 11, 2018) which this year includes an ice castle, and popular winter activities like cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing--the practice of going on a frozen lake, drilling a hole in the ice, putting a line in, and seeing what the day's catch will be. For hearty locals, they may sit out in the elements on the lake, or many have portable fish houses with TVs, beds, couches, and homey comforts.

Prefer warmer weather? Spring, summer, and fall in Minneapolis offer mild temperatures. From late April to October, the weather provides distinctively changing seasons, ideal for biking the Midtown Greenway, a 5.5-mile walking and biking trail along the former railroad corridor. There's also the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes: Lake Harriet, Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun), and Lake of the Isles with walking and biking paths along the shoreline, and plenty of opportunities for kayaking, sailing, and water-related activities. 

Sporting events are a big part of the local scene, with Target Field hosting the MLB's Minnesota Twins, Target Center is home to the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Basketball Team & the Minnesota Lynx WNBA Team, and of course, U.S. Bank Stadium is home to the NFL's Minnesota Vikings (and the Big Game on February 4, 2018). Head across the river and the Excel Center is home to NHL's Minnesota Wild, and the Minnesota United Soccer team will play at Allianz Field, set to open in 2019. While the stadium's and the teams are part of the draw, the food offerings at each of the stadiums are infused with local flavors from the region's top restaurants and local breweries. 

For cultural events, Minneapolis and St. Paul both offer multiple venues for touring Broadway Shows, orchestra performances, and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis has new and locally-produced shows. Recognized for a strong food scene, some highlights include Nordic cuisine at the Bachelor Farmer, and the famous Juicy Lucy (cheese-stuffed hamburgers), which can be found at a variety of local restaurants with Matt's Bar and the 5-8 Club vying as the creators of the popular Minnesota-born burger. While in town, visitors will want to be sure to try some dishes infused with wild rice, and maybe try a "hotdish" (the Minnesota name for a casserole). For a one-of-a-kind food experience, the Minnesota State Fair (August 23 to September 3, 2018) is known for an array of items (many deep fried) served on sticks. 

Here are 5 Top Minneapolis Hotels:

1. W Hotel Minneapolis - The Foshay

Fabulous King Room at the W Hotel Minneapolis - The Foshay

Occupying the historic Foshay Tower, the W Hotel Minneapolis - The Foshay is an Art Deco landmark. Built in 1929, the Foshay Tower was the tallest building in Minneapolis until 1972 when the IDS was built. Today, the property is home to the luxury hotel and offers fine dining at Manny's Steakhouse, cocktails in the Prohibition Bar overlooking the city in what was once Wilbur Foshay's Boardroom, and the Keys Cafe with casual dining.

Check availability at W Hotel Minneapolis - The Foshay

2. Kimpton Grand Hotel Minneapolis

Guestroom at the Kimpton Grand Hotel Minneapolis

Connected to the city's extensive skyway system, Kimpton Grand Hotel Minneapolis offers historic architecture mixed with masculine-inspired modern style. Originally built in 1912, the luxury boutique hotel has the SIX15 Room with a stylish lounge atmosphere, small plates, and creative cocktails. There's an indoor pool, and guests have accesss to the adjoining 60,000-square-foot Lifetime Athletic Club with an array of cardio machines, strength traiining equipment, exercise classes, and spa services. 

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3. Hotel Ivy Minneapolis

Guestroom at the Hotel Ivy Minneapolis

Set in a historic Ziggurat style tower, the Hotel Ivy Minneapolis has the Ivy Spa Club with a salon and array of treatments, as well as the Ivy Fitness Club with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, small class sizes, personal trainers, and indulgent amenities. For dining, Morello provides an upscale setting for coastal Italian cuisine, Constantine has a subterranean setting for crafted cocktails, and the property is steps from the Minneapolis Convention Center. 

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4. Loews Minneapolis Hotel

Loews Minneapolis Hotel

Steps from Target Field and Target Center, Loews Minneapolis Hotel soars 22 stories above the city. Offering recently renovated guestrooms and suites, the hotel is connected to Fortune 500 companies and attractions via the skyway system. Embury Spa provides an array of rejuvenating treatments, and Cosmos features a sophisticated retreat for fine dining. There's also the  Relevé Champagne and wine bar, and the Apothecary Bar & Lounge for cocktails and small plates. 

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5. The Marquette Hotel

The Marquette Hotel

Featuring newly renovated guestrooms, The Marquette Hotel is located within the Crystal Court of the IDS Center. Steps from the shops and restaurants along Nicollet Mal, the hotel has accommodations with floor-to-ceiling windows, and custom furnishings for a residential feel. The Light Rail is two blocks away with access to the airport and the Mall of America, and Jacques Restaurant & Bar has small plates and cocktails. Planning an event? The hotel's Windows on Minnesota event space is located on the 50th floor of the IDS with 360-degree city views. 

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