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Accommodations • Attractions • Events • Destinations

Cirque du Soleil

Majesty and More Awaits

Inside:

• Mardi Gras in Galveston • Park City - Beaver Creek • The Hotel Modern - New Orleans • Harlingen, Texas Feature • Hotel Guide “Experiences” First Edition 2012

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Cirque du Soleil


History and Elegance.

Contents Like Texas, the Crockett Hotel is well-located, independent, spacious, and comfortable, has a great history, and is friendly and personable. • • • • • • •

138 beautifully-appointed guest rooms Outdoor pool & landscaped fountain Complimentary continental breakfast Free Wi-Fi in guest rooms Meeting facilities on property Complete full-service spa Across from the Alamo and Rivercenter Mall “Like” us on Facebook

Colorado

San Antonio Cocktail Conference 6

Natural Bridge Caverns

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Cirque du Soleil Feature

Park Hyatt Beaver Creak - CO

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Four Seasons Hotel - Houston, Tx

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Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort - NM

Aldaco’s Stone Oak - San Antonio, Tx

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Carmel-by-the-Sea Feature

Houston, Tx Feature

320 Bonham San Antonio, Texas 78205 (888) 450-8436 www.crocketthotel.com

Park Hyatt - Beaver Creek

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The Hotel Modern - New Orleans

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Harlingen, Tx Feature 14

The Palace Hotel - San Francisco 31

Embassy Suites Outdoor World 18

Hotel Gansevoort Park Avenue -NY

Mardi Gras - Galveston, Tx 20

Hotel Andaluz- NM 34 Experiences - Jacqueline Gonzalez

About the Cover:

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Mysterious and alluring. Cirque du Soleil has been mesmerizing audiences for years and an upcoming production of “Quidam” invades Texas. (Photo: Cirque du Soleil)


...beautiful ...magical ...memorable www.riosanantonio.com

Ride the Rio

River Taxi • Private Charters • Special Events

Connect. Share.Engage

(210) 244-5700 (800) 417-4139

@riosanantonio

A Word From

the Publisher...

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he New Year always brings resolutions, goals and meaningful reflection. Well, we have done that at The Hotel Guide and storm into 2012 on a high note. For one, we are expanding our reach and now being sent to 12 million travelers yearly. As well, you can expect to see our new and vastly-improved corporate website and blog ready for your travel needs. But, don’t forget the basis of all of this - The Hotel Guide itself. This year we plan on bringing you more incredible features on some of the area’s top hotels, destinations, attractions and events. This issue is no exception. In it you will find great pieces on Cirque du Soleil and the upcoming San Antonio Cocktail Conference. With Mardi Gras right around the corner, venture down to one of the biggest party places in the country for Mardi Gras in Galveston, Texas. Life is so very good when you visit the Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel in the Big Apple. Heck, they even have their own Porsche rentals. Wow! Not to be outdone, consider visiting the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, or the Hotel Andaluz in New Mexico or even the Hotel Modern in New Orleans. If you are in the Colorado area, don’t miss our feature on the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek hotel and resort by Jennifer Broome of Swept Away with Jennifer Broome. Book Your Travel... Remember, our comprehensive travel website allows you to book ALL your travel needs - including Accommodations, Car Rental, Airlines and even, Cruises. We are your one-stop shop for traveling in Texas and beyond! For great story ideas or to be a part of our “Experiences” section, send me a personal e-mail by clicking here.

Edward R. Leos Publisher

Jennifer Leos

Associate Publisher

Vianni Busquets

Senior Travel Writer

Daniel Leos Illustrator

Jordan Apodaca Deanna Barrett Jennifer Broome Lyndsey Huggins Chriselda Pacheco Contributors

Contact Information:

The Hotel Guide P.O. Box 592418 San Antonio, TX 78259

Toll-free

(877) HTL-GDE1 phone (210) 857-2003 info@thehotelguide.com www.thehotelguide.com

Special Thanks to:

• Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority • Denver Convention & Visitor’s Bureau • Texas Department of Tourism • Texas Department of Transportation • Texas Hotel and Lodging Association • Texas Travel Industry Association • Las Vegas CVB • Austin CVB • Tyler CVB •GalvestonCVB • Houston CVB • Corpus Christi CVB • New Braunfels CVB • El Paso CVB • Lubbock CVB • Institute of Texan Cultures • Amarillo CVB •Fredericksburg CVB • Arlington CVB Copyright 2012 The Hotel Guide. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted in whole or without written permission from the publisher. The Hotel Guide does not assume any liability for errors in advertisements or editorial which may appear in this magazine.


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Pouring Their Hearts Out

San Antonio Cocktail Conference

odeled on the wildly popular Manhattan Cocktail Classic and New Orleans’ Tales of the Cocktail event. San Antonio’s own Cocktail Conference is the first of its kind in Texas. It is bringing together top bartenders for four days of education seminars, guided tastings and cocktail parties. Conference proceeds will benefit HeartGift San Antonio. Cocktail Brainchild The San Antonio Cocktail Conference is the brainchild of local San Antonio restauranteur, Chef Mark Bohanan. As part of that dedication and love for the city, Bohanan has taken on the task of creating, planning and executing the firstever San Antonio Cocktail Conference, to be held Thursday, Jan. 26, through Sunday, Jan. 29. The event will feature educational seminars, classes, tastings and more, with expert bartenders flying in from across the United States and even as far away as Australia. As the leader and innovator of the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, Bohanan wants to remind locals of what is available to them right in their own backyards, show tourists why San Antonio is a major destination for both the leisure and business traveler, and showcase the art of classic cocktails. Great Events The conference has a myriad of great events and unique conference breakouts over the course of the fourday event. Highlighting the events include: Thursday, Jan. 26 – Bohanan’s 7 p.m. – Midnight, Opening Night Soiree Bohanan’s Restaurant & Bar 6

Friday, Jan. 27 Classes throughout the day beginning at 11 a.m., Tasting Rooms open from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Noon – 7 p.m., $5 cocktails in Bohanan’s Courtyard 7 p.m. – Midnight, Party at Soho, downtown’s original Craft Cocktail Bar and Ocho Lounge at Havana Hotel; complimentary Rio Taxi between two parties provided to ticket holders by Rio San Antonio Cruises Saturday, Jan. 28 Classes throughout the day beginning at 10 a.m., Tasting Rooms open from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Noon – 7 p.m., $5 cocktails in Bohanan’s Courtyard 7 p.m. – Midnight, Closing Celebration The Esquire Tavern Sunday, Jan. 29 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., CINCO Vodka Bloody Mary Brunch at Sheraton Gunter Hotel For a Good Cause HeartGift San Antonio is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that provides life-saving heart surgery to children from countries where the care they need is either unavailable or inaccessible. A team of volunteers, nurses, physicians, hospital staff and donors work together to fulfill the dreams and hopes of families from Mexico to Africa that their child will grow up to live a long and healthy life. More information Planning on attending the First Annual San Antonio Cocktail Conference, just visit their corporate website at www.sanantoniococktailconference.com. There you can find all event details, schedules and fees for each on. Cheers! www.thehotelguide.com

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Quidam coming to Texas

Cirque du Soleil

irque du Soleil is pleased to announce that its newest arena show, Quidam, will be performing in three Texas cities, including Frisco, Austin and San Antonio beginning February 29th thru March 18th, 2012. City Stops This incredible presentation begins in Austin, Texas from February 29th - March 4th at the Cedar Park Center. Following that the show heads North to Frisco where it will be seen at the Dr. Pepper Arena from March 7-11th. The show finishes its Texas Tour in San Antonio at the Freeman Coliseum and runs March 14-18. Quidam...The Show Quidam had its world premiere in Montreal under the Big Top in April 1996. Since that time, the production has toured on five continents and been experienced by millions of people. In December 2010, Quidam embarked on a new journey, performing the same captivating production, but now in arenas throughout North America. The international cast features 52 world-class acrobats, musicians, singers and characters. Young Zoé is bored; her parents, distant and apathetic, ignore her. Her life has lost all meaning. Seeking to fill the void of her existence, she slides into an imaginary world—the world of Quidam—where she meets characters who encourage her to free her soul. Cirque Club Advance discounted tickets for Quidam are available now online exclusively to Cirque Club members. Cirque 8

Club membership is free and benefits includes access to advance tickets, special offers and exclusive behind the scenes information. To join, go to www.cirqueclub.com. Tickets for the general public are available at www.cirquedusoleil.com/quidam or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Ticket Information • Adults: From $40 to $80 • Children (12 & under): From $32 to $65 • Military, Seniors & Students: From $36 to $67.50 A limited number of Premium tickets are also available for all performances. Show Info For show and ticket information, please visit www. cirquedusoleil.com/quidam. About Cirque du Soleil From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from more than 50 different countries. Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities on six continents. For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com. www.thehotelguide.com

dIReCted by FRANCO dRAGONe

Feb. 29 – MAR. 4 | CeDAR PARK CenteR Cedar Park

MAR. 7 – 11 | DR PePPeR ARenA Frisco

MAR. 14 – 18 | FReeMAn ColiseuM San Antonio

cirquedusoleil.com OFFICIAL SPONSORS

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Four Seasons - Houston Texas Luxury at it’s Finest

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n the heart of downtown Houston’s financial and business districts and just steps from many internationally renowned cultural destinations, Four Seasons resonates with the cosmopolitan elegance and refined Southern charm that characterize Houston. A $25 Million Facelift In June 2010, Four Seasons Hotel Houston completed a three-year, $25-million renovation project that encompassed four areas of the hotel – guest rooms, the pool, the lobby, and the hotel’s exclusive apartments, Four Seasons Place. The 20-story tower of the Five-star Four Seasons Hotel Houston features 404 well-appointed guest rooms, including 103 luxury suites and 12 specialty suites. The residential atmosphere mixes traditional and contemporary décor to reflect the urban elegance and easy Southern charm of the city. Extra-large bay windows showcase city and pool views. Designed to ensure complete peace of mind, all luxury accommodations feature comfortable furnishings, a signature Four Seasons bed, a flat-panel television and a CD/DVD player. Pampering marble bathrooms include a tub and shower combination. To ensure maximum productivity, all rooms are equipped with a spacious executive desk, wireless Internet access, dual-line telephones, and connections for a fax machine and computer equipment. Leave the bustle of the city behind and begin a journey to relaxation and rejuvenation. Relax at the Spa... The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Houston features a variety of massages, body treatments and facials to help nurture the body, melt away tension and calm the spirit. Get whisked away to a relaxing place. The Spa features a private couple’s suite, as well as men’s and women’s locker rooms. Before or after your treatment, enjoy our dry saunas or whirlpool, or simply take advantage of our complimentary amenities that are available for our guests. 10

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     

Vinoteca Quattro Located on the third floor, this exciting new wine bar offers a comfortable respite from the hotel’s bustling downtown location. Adjoining Quattro restaurant, Vinoteca Quattro features vivid lighting, red leather banquette seating and more than 50 feet of solid granite bar top. The restaurant’s signature floor-to-ceiling silver beads create a secluded retreat for guests. Contact Information For more information on this incredible Houston property, visit their website at www.fourseasons.com/houston. www.thehotelguide.com

  

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Aldaco’s Stone Oak

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margaritas lunch & dinner

an Antonio has long been known for incredible Mexican food and for the past 20 years, Aldaco’s has kept up the tradition. Founded by it’s namesake, Blanca Aldaco, the restaurant has won many awards for their food, delectable desserts, tasty margaritas and unforgettable ambiance. After launching the original Aldaco’s near Sunset Station and subsequently moving into the facility adjacent to the Alamodome, the restaurant has earned local, regional and national acclaim. Appetizers with a Flare If you are looking for little bit everything then you must try “La Botana” which comes with two quesadillas al carbòn, three flautas, four fried cream jalapeños, four bean & cheese nachos,guacamole and sour cream. As you gear up for dinner, the choices range from incredi-

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ble enchiladas to steaks to freshly-prepared seafood. Try the incomparable, Chile Relleno or their scrumptious Fish Tacos. Aldaco’s also offers a Gluten-Free and Celiac menu for their guests. Delectable Desserts Your dining experience isn’t complete without a serving of Blanca’s famous Original Pastel Tres Leches dessert. It is sinfully delicious and melts in your mouth. Another “dessert” that Aldaco’s is known for are their award-winning margaritas. You have to try the infamous Avacado Margarita or the Margarita Pour Off winner. Either way, if you love these tasty treats, Aldaco’s has the answer. Groups The restaurant also has a private dining room that holds up to 100 guests for those intimate gatherings. For more info, visit www.aldacos-stoneoak.com.

patio dining

Free shuttle after 5 pm 100 Hoefgen @ Sunset Station San Antonio, TX 78205 www.aldacos.net 210.222.0561 A San Antonio Tradition for 20 Years.

20079 Stone Oak Parkway San Antonio, Texas 78258 (210) 494-0561 www.aldacos-stoneoak.com Delicious Food• Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner • Award-Winning Drinks • Delectable Desserts 12

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Diversity Abounds in this City

Houston, Texas

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ome to a respected and energetic cultural arts scene, celebrated restaurants featuring flavors from 35 countries, world-renowned theater groups and the brains behind U.S. space exploration, Houston is a diverse metropolis brimming with personality. Revitalized... With a revitalized Downtown and expanded meeting facilities, Houston offers a cosmopolitan setting for all conventions and meetings. From Downtown’s George R. Brown Convention Center and adjacent Hilton Americas-Houston to the multi-building Reliant Park campus, Houston offers superior meeting venues. Plus, the convenient METRORail connects Downtown with the Museum District, the Texas Medical Center and Reliant Park, making it easy to travel within the city. Plenty to Do With nearly 21,000 concerts, plays, exhibitions and other arts programs presented in Houston annually, residents and visitors have access to a wide variety of cultural programs. On any given night, it’s a safe bet that there’s a show somewhere in Houston’s Theater District. More than 2 million people visit the Downtown area each year to attend one of the city’s world-class performances. The 17-block area is home to Houston’s year-round resident companies including the symphony, opera, drama and ballet. Tucked between the bustling Midtown and Medical Center areas, rests Houston’s leafy, parklike Museum District. Eighteen world-class institutions, including the Menil Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Houston Museum of Natural Science are clustered in this area, drawing a reported seven www.thehotelguide.com

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million visitors to the district each year. Consulates and More Home to 90 consulates—the thirdlargest consular corps in the nation—Houston radiates with diversity, giving the city one of the most vivid cultural scenes in the country. Project Row Houses, The Ensemble Theatre and The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum are all devoted to showcasing AfricanAmerican history and culture in the community. Talento Bilingue de Houston is one of the largest Latino cultural centers in the United States, and the Chinatown area showcases Houston’s growing Asian community. Love to Eat? Houston’s restaurant scene is as ethnically diverse as its 4 million residents. ForbesTraveler.com ranked Houston as one of the best restaurant cities in America. The city is jam-packed with more than 8,000 tempting eateries that feature culinary flavors from more than 35 countries. CityPASS Fast track your way through Houston’s top five mustsee attractions like Space Center Houston, Downtown Aquarium and the Museum of Fine Arts with an oh-sohelpful CityPASS. Offering discounted admission to a diverse mix of attractions, plus helpful hints and reviews, CityPASS is your passport to fun. Parks Galore With 56,405 acres of total park space, Houston rates first among the nation’s 10 most populous cities in total acreage of park land. The 165 public and private golf courses around the city and teams in nearly every major professional sport keep sports fever high yearround. Contact Us For more info, www.visithoustontexas.com. 13


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Harlingen, Texas

Rich in Culture and Tradition

ocated in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley, Harlingen, Texas offers historic sites, family fun and outdoor adventures. Near the southern tip of Texas, at the lower end of the Rio Grande Valley, the city of Harlingen is an exciting blend of South Texas hospitality and the rich, colorful traditions of Mexico. With landscapes edged by palm trees and flaming bougainvillea, Harlingen is home to everything tropical, from red crowned parrots to palm trees and bougainvilleas that dominate the landscape. The beautiful beaches of South Padre Island are also only minutes away. Downtown Harlingen Downtown Harlingen is situated along the picturesque palm-lined Jackson Street that has served as Harlingen’s “Main Street” for more than a century. Downtown Harlingen features a variety of unique shops that specialize in home decor, apparel, original Texas and Mexican artwork, hand-made jewelry, gifts, antiques, and collectibles. A vintage vinyl shop , 100-year-old seed store and garden center, and authentic army surplus store are just a few of the reasons that locals and visitors alike flock to the area. Jackson Street is the site of many community festivals and events, Market Days on the first Saturday of every month and the annual Christmas Parade. Harlingen Murals Harlingen, the mural capital of South Texas, has more than a dozen interesting and colorful artworks on display. Drive through Downtown Harlingen and enjoy the beautiful murals that describe Harlingen’s history as a major city in the development of the Rio Grande Valley.

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From the old cinema downtown to the historic Route 77, murals can be found on the outside and inside of many Harlingen buildings that tell the story of Harlingen’s heritage. Original Iwo Jima Memorial Monument & Museum Harlingen’s Marine Military Academy is home to the original working model of the famous bronze statue at Arlington National Cemetery. This stunning outdoor sculpture was donated to the school by sculptor Dr. Felix W. de Weldon. It depicts the raising of the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima during World War II. The museum features Marine Corps Memorabilia, a video about the battle, and a veteran’s Hall of Fame. Birding The city is known worldwide as a tropical birder’s paradise because of its location on the convergence of two major flyways. Birders flock to Harlingen year round to spot exotic and migratory birds. Harlingen is home to one of nine World Birding Centers in the Rio Grande Valley, Ramsey Nature Park. Pick up a birding checklist at the Harlingen Convention and Visitors Bureau and see how many species you can identify. Visitors can expect to see a wide variety of birds and peak at some of the more uncommon species including Green Jays, Great Kiskadees, Buff-Bellied Hummingbirds and the Altamira Oriole. Harlingen is also home to the famous Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival. Each November birders from across the globe come to explore our region and it’s unique tropical birds. Bass Pro Shop Harlingen is home to Bass Pro Shop’s newest descontinued on page 16 www.thehotelguide.com

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TEXAS tination outdoor superstore that includes a restaurant, bowling alley and archery range. Outdoor enthusiasts will discover their next great South Texas adventure begins at the new Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Harlingen. While you’ll find a huge selection of outdoor gear, Bass Pro Shops stores are also part museum, art gallery, antique store and an aquarium, education, conservation and entertainment center. Bowling like you’ve never seen before will be offered at the Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl and Grill. This 15,000 square-foot nautical-themed entity, located within the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store, features a truly unique atmosphere and design geared for family fun and dining. Dock wood lanes feature beautiful under-water scenery of sea turtles, sharks, stingrays and other saltwater species which will also glow in the dark during cosmic bowling. Handpainted murals depicting oceanic life line the walls and fish, like a 16’ long giant squid, hang suspended from the ceiling. More than a hunting and fishing store, visitors will also find items perfect for camping, hiking, outdoor cooking, bird watching or whatever your outdoor pleasures

may be.

Golf Harlingen is the perfect destination for golf. In fact, according to a poll by the National Golf Foundation, the Rio Grande Valley has more playable days of golf per year than anywhere else in the United States. Our tropical climate makes us a great destination to enjoy a game of golf year round. The city has four public golf courses and one private course. Just down the road are two 18 hole championship courses at Rancho Viejo Resort and a picturesque 18 hole course along the Laguna Madre Bay at the South Padre Island Golf Club.Whether you are a beginner or pro, Harlingen and the surrounding area has a course for you showcasing the natural beauty of South Texas. Contact Us For more information on visiting this incredible Texas city, go to www.visitharlingentexas.com

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Embassy Suites Outdoor World True Texas Charm in Grapevine

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rapevine, Texas is known for great wines, dining options, shopping, golf and even some of the state’s best hotels. You can certainly add the Embassy Suites Outdoor World to that list of accomplished area hotels. Roomy and More... This AAA Four Diamond, Award-Winning property is minutes from the DFW Airport and perfect for the business traveler or group and leisure traveler. All of the spacious hotel suites contain a variety amenities that ensure that whether you’re working or relaxing, you’ll have everything you need to hand. Things such as high-speed Internet access, two televisions and two telephones with voicemail. Guests can also choose from OnDemand® movies and video games to keep you entertained; and when you work up an appetite you can make use of the refrigerator, microwave oven, wet bar and coffee maker so you can snack or dine in your hotel suite. Hungry? Every morning starts with the Embassy Suite’s full cooked-to-order breakfast to get your day started. Looking for lunch and dinner options, then the Sportsman’s Club Bar & Grill is certainly the answer. It offers an American fair menu with daily lunch and dinner specials. We have 16 TV’s including four big screens and twelve High Definition LCD flat screens. We broadcast the popular sporting events daily. We maintain the Direct TV NFL and NCAA College Football Packages in addition to the full NCAA March Madness 18

One for you, one for the kids. You’re welcome. When you stay with Embassy Suites, you get more. Like a spacious tworoom suite, complimentary beverages at our evening Manager’s Reception* and complimentary full Cooked-to-Order breakfast. It all adds up to more reasons to stay.

package annually. The full menu is available until 10pm and we offer a late night sandwich and appetizer menu through closing. Also, don’t forget about the complimentary Manager’s Reception that offers cold beverages and a myriad of snacks for the entire family. Meeting Space Looking for a great venue for your next meeting or function? Then the Embassy Suites is the answer. This is the ideal place to meet for business meetings & social groups such as wedding receptions and family reunions. With 20,000 square- feet of meeting & event space,the property has a variety of meeting space options. Contact Us For more information on pricing, advance reservations, etc....please call 972-724-2600 or visit them here. www.thehotelguide.com

MORE REASONS TO STAY®

For reservations, call 972-724-2600 or visit www.outdoorworld.embassysuites.com. *Service of alcoholic beverages subject to state and local laws. Must be of legal drinking age. ™ indicates a trademark of Hilton Worldwide. ©2011 Hilton Worldwide.

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Mardi Gras

A Galveston Tradition

isitors to Texas’ largest Mardi Gras celebration, Mardi Gras! Galveston, are expected to throw more than 3 million beads Feb. 1021, 2012, while celebrating the feasting and merriment of headliner music performances, parades, family events and other festivities that come with hosting an island style Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras! Galveston 2012 will feature 26 concerts, 24 parades, 19 balcony parties and five elegant masked balls. Due to the revival of a ticketed entertainment district, last year’s event saw an increased attendance and a 50 percent drop in police calls, making it one of the largest and safest Mardi Gras events on record. The 2012 event will be even bigger than 2011, and include a plethora of new features and reasons to be among the over 300,000 people expected to “bead” there! Hot Chelle Rae to Headline Live Performances The American Music Award’s Sprint New Artist of the Year, Hot Chelle Rae, will be the headline entertainer at Mardi Gras! Galveston 2012. Hot Chelle Rae exploded onto the national music scene earlier this year with their single “Tonight, Tonight.” Hot Chelle Rae will perform in front of thousands of fans and Mardi Gras attendees at 10 p.m. on Saturday, February 11. The concert will be held at Saengerfest Park, located at 23rd and Strand St, in Galveston. New Parades The first of the 24 parades to take place at Mardi Gras! Galveston 2012 will be the second annual “A Salute to George Mitchell Parade” honoring award recipients Doug and Joan McLeod, held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10. Additional new parades include the Zaniest Golf Cart Parade, the Gloworama Art Car Parade, the Danny Weber Memorial Fire Truck Parade and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Parade, benefiting the Shriners Hospitals. There will also be new faces among the parade floats as the public begin to participate in “Build Your Own 20

Krewe,” purchasing space in new processions such as the Houston Chronicle 2012 Parade. A Funky World Record Attempt During the 2011 Uptown Funky Umbrella Bridage parade more than 500 participants performed the Hokey Pokey to claim the title of the largest umbrella dance in the Guinness Book of World Records. With a pending challenge set by another country, the 2012 Uptown Funky Umbrella Brigade will need to increase its presence to hold the reigning title. Join the brigade at 20th Street between Mechanic & Strand on Feb. 10 at 8:30 p.m. to march throughout the district. Family Friendly Events On Sunday, Feb. 12, Mardi Gras! will transform into Family Gras! for one special day. Family Gras! is set to host kid-friendly events throughout the day. Presented by Moody National Bank, Family Gras! will open their gates at 11 a.m. featuring two parades, live entertainment and grant free admission to the public. Donations will be taken at the gate to benefit the Sunshine Kids and Shriners Hospitals for Children. Mardi Gras with an Ocean View Located on a 32-mile-long island, not only is Mardi Gras! Galveston the nation’s third largest Mardi Gras celebration, it comes with an ocean. Each year, in addition to the parades offered in the downtown entertainment district, krewes from around the region host elaborate parades along Seawall Boulevard that are free, open to the public and complemented by an oceanfront carnival with amusement rides and games. Beachfront festivities include a children’s parade, pet parade, a Battle of the Bands, fireworks and several additional parades hosted by the island’s largest and oldest krewes. A Bead-Dazzling Time If you’re looking to catch any of the 3 million colorful beads to be thrown from parade floats and downtown balconies, you don’t have to stand in the streets to do it. Mardi Gras! Galveston’s elegant side will feature five masked balls where black-tie attire, lavish buffets, live performers, dancing and parade viewing invoke the evening festivities. Popular events include the Tremont House’s annual Mardi Gras Ball and Parade Viewing www.thehotelguide.com

Party and the San Luis Salute hosted by Tilman and Paige Fertitta. About Mardi Gras! Galveston Mardi Gras, the traditional festival of feasting and merrymaking that precedes the season of Lent, was first publicly observed on Galveston Island in 1867. Following a sabbatical imposed in 1941 by war and challenging times, Mardi Gras! Galveston was revived in 1985 by Galveston-born preservationist and developer George P. Mitchell. The largest celebration of its kind in Texas, and the third largest in the nation, the event has grown in cultural creativity and imagination, showcasing lavish parades, galas worthy of royalty, original artwork, children’s activities and delicious Gulf Coast cuisine.

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TEXAS Still led by Galvestonians and their respective krewes, the grandeur is evident in the dueling parades that range from whimsical daytime processionals to elaborate night parades offering dramatic flair. The streets come to life with parade viewers shouting for beads, lively tunes played by the colorful marching bands, and the infectious merriment that dominates the island for two full weeks. During Mardi Gras! Galveston, hotel availability is limited and guests should reserve rooms at the earliest convenience. Visit www.mardigrasgalveston.com for a complete schedule of events and more information.

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Natural Bridge Caverns A True State of Attraction

CONROE, TEXAS Urban Jewel in the Piney Woods

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here is always something fun for everyone epitomizes your trip to Natural Bridge Caverns. This family-owned attraction is an opportunity to combine education and fun all into one magical journey. Situated minutes from San Antonio, Texas, this state historical site has an array of things to do for everyone. The Discovery Tour Here you can discover incredible underground chambers that are filled with spectacular formations on a guided tour along paved, lighted pathways. On your journey, expect temperatures in the Cavern to be 70 degrees with high humidity. Illuminations Tour This unique tour combines the essence of light and dark as you explore two huge underground chambers that are dramatically illuminated by a state-ofthe-art lighting system. On your tour, you will see some of the most rare formations found in Natural Bridge Caverns. Experience the sensation of total darkness on this 70-minute tour. Adventure Tours This is the perfect opportunity for all adventure-seekers out there. Guests can partake in one of two unique Adventure Tours - the Discovery Adventure Tour or the Hidden Passages Adventure Tour. Both of these unique tours offer guests the ultimate in being real-life explorers. You get to experience the same path created by the original explorers. The paths wind across the floor of the cave and are covered with loose rocks, mud and some formations. The tour includes walking, climbing and crawling. 22

Natural Bridge Caverns provides all the necessities to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, including all caving gear, harness, helmet, headlamp, rappelling gear, spare batteries, spare light and water. Advance reservations are required for both Adventure Tours. Natural Bridge Mining Company This new addition to the attraction gives guests the opportunity to pan for gems and minerals just as miners once did in their search for gold at Texas’ largest sluice. Once guests pan for gems and minerals, they also identify their finds at one of the assay stations, or by using an identification chart. Watchtower Challenge The new climbing tower named after the tallest formation in the Caverns, The Watchtower, stands 50 feet tall and features two climbing surfaces along with two 350-foot zip lines. The zip lines allow guests to glide from the top of the structure in a matter of seconds. Contact Us For more information on pricing, advance reservations, etc....please call (210) 651-6101 or visit them at www.naturalbridgecaverns.com. www.thehotelguide.com

We are a delightful blend of nature, history, arts and recreation nestled in the Piney Woods of East Texas. Visit our Website and print a Visitors Guide, Visi call us or order one online and we’ll mail it to you.

1-877-426-6763

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destinations

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CO.

Park Hyatt - Beaver Creek

World-Class Skiing, Food & Spa

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eaver Creek Resort’s slogan is “Not Exactly Roughing It.” It’s definitely not roughing it when you stay at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek. From adventure to just soaking up the scenery, you truly escape the ordinary and submerse yourself in extraordinary at this chateau-style Vail resort that is nestled in an idyllic Colorado Rocky Mountain setting. Beaver Creek When you enter the gates of Beaver Creek, you trade in the hustle and bustle of regular life for the intimate, cozy, and unhurried life of an Alpine village. It’s the consummate kid-friendly resort and some of the best skiing in the world. Beaver Creek is home to the only men’s World Cup stop in the United States. It is also the home of the World Alpine Ski Championships in February 2015. That will feature two weeks of men’s and women’s racing. Culinary Exploits Beaver Creek is quickly becoming one of Colorado’s top culinary destinations. The resort is partnering with FOOD & WINE for the winter culinary festival January 26-28th. Some of the highlights: Snowshoe & Gourmet Lunch; Winter Wonderland Wine Seminar; Apres-Ski Burgers and Beers; Dinners with guest chefs John Besh, 26

slopes, enjoy some relaxation by taking the heated patio and walkways to the outdoor Jacuzzis. Heated towels and robes make it the ultimate luxury experience. The Allegria Spa is debuting several new treatments this ski season. The Javanese Lulur is a royal Indian body treatment that was originally performed to prepare Javanese princesses for their wedding day. It includes a purifying rice and jasmine scrub, a nourishing honey yogurt treatment, and a hot bath infused with jasmine and frangipani followed by cool violet compresses and a jasmine shea butter massage. Another new treatment is the High Altitude Adjustment Treatment using acupuncture to stimulate oxygen-rich blood flow through the body, a vitamin B-12 shot, and Chinese herbal medicine. Before your treatments, step into the Aqua Sanitas water sanctuary. It is modeled on ancient Roman baths with the Aqua Sanitas, or healing waters, being the origins of spa. This is a timeless tradition of hydrotherapy alternating hot and cold temperatures to regenerate your spirit and promote wellness and inner peace.

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Great Menu With Executive Chef Christian Apetz at the helm in the kitchen of 8100 Mountainside Bar and Grill, you are bound to be blow away with the new, locallythemed menu specializing in natural and organic dishes including elk loin, pancetta braised Brussels sprouts, bleu cheese grits, and pan-seared river trout. Enjoy a before or after dinner cocktail in Antler Hall, with large windows overlooking Beaver Creek Mountain. Don’t miss the special afternoon treats. Complimentary warm chocolate chip cookies are served daily at 3 p.m and enjoy Park Hyatt Beaver Creek’s exclusive s’moresgasbord of fun around a warm, crackling fire at 4pm. It’s fun for the kids, and you will love the little indulgence too. Awesome Savings Take advantage of their sunshine on sale and stay that extra night for free. Stay 3 nights, get the 4th night free February 27th - March 8th or stay 5 nights, get the 6th night free March 9th - April 7th. If you would like to get Swept Away on a ski vacation to the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, contact Rennert Travel, leisure travel division of Corporate Travel Planners, at 210-524-3300. Make sure you say, “Jennifer said I should get Swept Away!”

Marc Murphy, and Stephanie Izard; First Tracks Breakfast; and Grand Tasting. The Suite Life With 190 rooms, the suite-style accommodations at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek are warm and gracious. It’s luxury, yet comfortable. Most rooms have private balconies and the granite and marble bathrooms with Allegria Spa amenities add that extra touch of class and elegance. Perfect Location The Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is in the heart of Beaver Creek Village, nestled amongst the shops and restaurants. It has the mountain’s only true ski-in, ski-out access. There’s no need to lug your ski gear through the hotel. The Park Hyatt Beaver Creek ski concierge is first-class service. It is also the first dog-friendly luxury hotel in Beaver Creek. Your pooch will be pampered with special amenities including a plush dog bed. The trails, paths, and dog-friendly parks will give your dog endless outdoor recreation options. Amenities Galore The chateau-style property offers many luxurious amenities including the 30,000-square-foot Allegria Spa featuring 23 treatment rooms, full-service fitness center, and slope-side pool and hot tubs. After a day on the www.thehotelguide.com

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Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort Great property steeped in tradition

he Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa is considered one of the nation’s top resorts by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines. It is steeped in centuries of Native American and New Mexican traditions making it a special cultural and educational experience for travelers and families. Beautiful Location Located on more than 500 acres of the Pueblo of Santa Ana, the Hyatt Regency Tamaya is one of the largest properties ever developed on Native American land and offers an authentic and traditional Native American experience for guests. From architectural design and décor to events and activities honoring Native American culture, the resort encompasses the history, culture, and tradition of the Tamayame (people of Tamaya) who settled on the Pueblo of Santa Ana more than one thousand years ago. “The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa is dedicated to providing guests from throughout the world with an authentic Pueblo experience of cultural activities and educational programs,” said Jena Marquez, public relations and marketing manager for the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa. “We want to provide an opportunity for guests to experience Native American culture, preserve the traditions of the Pueblo of Santa Ana, and learn about the history of the Tamayame. A stay at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya is a great educational opportunity for the entire family to better understand the Native American culturethrough activities such as listening to stories by the fire from a tribal member, to art, pottery and jewelry making classes, to archery lessons and Native American bread baking. I feel that there is no better way for guests and families to learn about Native American traditions than to experience them first hand.” Traditional Holiday Feasts The Hyatt Regency Tamaya offers guests the opportunity to take part in traditional holiday feasts with Native American dance and music performances. In addition, each year, the resort celebrates the annual Pueblo of Santa Ana Feast Day in which a ceremonial corn dance will be held in honor of the Pueblo’s patron saint, Saint Ann. Taking place on July 26, the Feast Day celebration

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allows members of the public and resort guests to take part in traditional events conducted by members of the Santa Ana Pueblo to renew its culture, language, and religion. The Feast Day showcases traditional cuisine, dance, music, and members of the tribe dressed in traditional Native American regalia including feathers, bells, jingles, and fringes. Great Family Programs In addition to the Feast Day celebration, the resort offers its “Srai-Wi” (My Children) family program between April and November for families and guests to take part and learn about Native American culture firsthand with several unique classes and activities. They include Pueblo pottery making classes using the traditional pinch pot and coil methods, traditional Native American bread baking in the resort’s outdoor Huruna ovens, jewelry making lessons from a traditional Navajo jeweler, beading classes to learn what it takes to create a beaded rosette, an archery course taught by a Native American archer to learn about the history and techniques of basic archery, gourd painting with a Native American gourd artist, and more. Along with the Native American culture, the Hyatt Regency Tamaya also incorporates New Mexico traditions into the resort with its unique guest packages. Contact Info For reservations or more information, please call reservations at (800) 55-HYATT (800-554-9288) or visit www.tamaya.hyatt.com. www.thehotelguide.com

Carmel-by-the-Sea Olympic-Sized Luxury

armel-bythe-Sea’s attraction as a romantic destination is well documented, from the days of poet Robinson Jeffers handbuilt Hawk Tower, that he fashioned stone-by-stone for his bride. This season, put romance on the front burner and turn up the heat—fairytale poet style. The Ultimate Getaway Carmel-by-the-Sea is the spot for visitors seeking an ultimate getaway with the many options from superior shopping, restaurants, wine tasting and beachfront walks, complete with bonfires and a backdrop of the Pacific Ocean; rose petals included. A haven for romantics, artists and Hollywood “A” listers, Carmel also has a reserve of activities and inns that accommodate on many levels. Remaining in the Top 10 Conde Nast Travel Readers Choice Awards, Carmel continues to be the go-to option for travelers in-the-know. Luxuriously romantic, upon arrival guests can relax, rejuvenate and nurture relationships—the perfect escape getaway. History Lesson Once a Bohemian playground, drawing the likes of Ansel Adams, Jack London, Sinclair Lewis and Upton Sinclair, today visitors might run into ex-mayor Clint Eastwood (1986-1990), or pro golfers, players, and celebrities on a break from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, (February 6-12, 2012) in the quest of relaxation. Twist through secret pathways, hidden courtyards, award-winning gardens and enchanting fairytale cottages or tour Robinson Jeffers’ hand-hewn Tor House or a wine tasting room along the Carmel Wine Walk by-theSea. Travelers can step back in time over two centuries at one of California’s oldest Missions, the Carmel Mission Basilica, or partake in dog-friendly happy hour at Doris Day’s Cypress Inn. Tons of Lodging Choices www.thehotelguide.com

From historical treasures to quaint seaside inns, Carmel has a multitude of lodging choices. The inventive line-up of hotel packages includes options for lover’s, families, pampered pets and singles. Dotting the landscape amidst oceans of flowers and Cypress trees, and bathed in Pacific breezes; the village’s hotels and inns provide an unparalleled sense of discovery. Each is the landing place for a wholly unique vacation with a host of Carmel hotel and inn romantic special offers available at www. carmelcalifornia.com. The Innkeepers of Carmel-by-the-Sea are ready to assist guests with their plans; some indulgent selections include: - Fan the flames with a bonfire at Carmel Beach; no permits required - From vine to wine, visit more than a dozen tasting rooms within walking distance - Cruise the lush landscapes and national marine sanctuary along Scenic Road - Scout out one of more than 100 art galleries in one square mile - Stroll along Carmel’s top-rated, white sand beach during sunset - Attend a first-run play at the Pacific Repertory Theater or performance at Sunset Center - Surprise a loved one with champagne and roses upon check-in at most hotels - Shop hundreds of Carmel boutiques and get concierge service at Carmel Plaza -Reawaken and realign with a rejuvenating spa treatment at charming Carmel spas Contact Us This winter visitors can spark the romance, renew vows or lure a loved one to this enchanted coastal paradise with a number of romantic packages that have been designed just for you by the friendly Carmel Innkeepers. For a line-up of romance packages and special seasonal offers, visit the Official Travel Website of Carmel-by-theSea at www.carmelcalifornia.com.

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Hotel Modern New Orleans

The Palace Hotel

The San Francisco Grand Dame

Old World Charm, New World Diversity

uropean hotelier Klaus Ortlieb brings his homeaway-from-home sensibility to the New Orleans hotel scene. Ortlieb, the managing partner of New York City’s Cooper Square Hotel and The Gotham Hotel on 46th Street, opened The Hotel Modern New Orleans in the Warehouse-Arts District. A lover of the city’s rich cultural history, Ortlieb wanted to open a lifestyle hotel that reflects his European background (Claridge’s in London and Excelsior Hotel in Cologne, Germany) and showcases his commitment to personal service. “Wow” Appeal The hotel has an immediately welcoming feel; with no checkin desk, guests are greeted with complimentary drinks in the lobby lounge and escorted to their rooms just as if they were staying at a friend’s guesthouse. The 135 comfortable rooms were designed in-house with a modern eclectic aesthetic that mirrors the city’s juxtaposition of Old World charm with New World diversity. Each room features a spacious layout and selection of furniture to fit the needs of busy travelers, yet also has a distinct style with decorative antiques throughout. Amenities for the Imagination The Hotel Modern New Orleans goes beyond the basics to offer an array of cultural amenities such as thoughtfully curated books in every room as well as burlesque shows and a music series with international

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he Palace Hotel, built in 1875, is rightfully known as the Grand Dame of San Francisco. This romantic past reflects moments of a bygone era. Built on millions of memories, the magic of the Palace is felt the moment you walk through the front door. The Palace offers guests the chance to relive history. A hosted tour of the hotel takes the guest back in time and brings to life the many magical moments from 1875 to present. From the days of the grand opening as the world’s largest hotel, to stories from the tragic 1906 earthquake and the triumphant rise after the fire, the history of the Palace comes alive on the tour. Standing in these magnificent rooms, looking at old photographs and one of kind artifacts a guest is truly transformed. For more than a century, the Palace has been creating magical moments. These fond memories are passed down through generations so the traditions of the Palace continue and this renowned hotel makes history once again. Elegance throughout History Throughout history, the Palace has been the hotel of choice for the country’s industrial titans and business leaders. Today, the exquisite San Francisco hotel suites and deluxe accommodations offer a wonderful blend of timeless elegance and contemporary amenities. The Palace Hotel features 553 accommodations comprising deluxe and superior hotel rooms, 30 one-

artists in the cocktail lounge, Bellocq. Named for photographer E.J. Bellocq, who secretly photographed the madams of pre-prohibition New Orleans, Bellocq will feature a menu of original cocktail creations from Cure founders Neal Bodenheimer, Kirk Estopinal and Matthew Kohnke that evoke the city’s past. Fine Dining Acclaimed New Orleans chef Dominique Macquet (Dominique’s on Magazine) along with his chef de cuisine Quan Tran, will open Tamarind at The Hotel Modern New Orleans. The restaurant is named after the exotic tropical fruit Macquet enjoyed as a child growing up in Mauritius and will explore Vietnamese cuisine from the perspective of nearly a century of French colonial presence in Vietnam, lasting from 1858 until the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Open for lunch and dinner (as well as breakfast for hotel guests), Tamarind features a 70-seat dining room with an outdoor courtyard and a 40-seat private dining room. Contact Us For more information on The Hotel Modern New Orleans, visit www.thehotelmodern.com. www.thehotelguide.com

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and two-bedroom luxury suites, and the stately Ambassador Suite, Chancellor’s Suite, Governor’s Suite and Presidential Suite - each featuring the original fireplace as a showpiece in the room’s décor. Meetings Galore The Palace offers 53,000- squarefeet of meeting space including three elegant ballrooms, a self-contained conference area, and full service business center. There is space for nearly any size San Francisco meeting or event, custom catering, advanced audio/ visual capabilities, and personal meeting planner assistance. In addition, the Palace Hotel supports innovative green initiatives for sustainable meetings and events under our Green Meetings Program. The Garden Court Featuring innovative intercontinental cuisine, the famed Garden Court offers a superb dining experience in a glorious setting. This historic landmark serves breakfast and lunch daily and an enchanting brunch and afternoon tea on weekends. When the Palace Hotel opened its doors in 1875, The Garden Court was the carriage entrance to the hotel. In 1906, following the earthquake, the Palace closed its doors for the first restoration. Three years later, the carriage entrance was transformed and The Garden Court was unveiled. Since its debut in 1909, The Garden Court has been recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful public spaces. Over the years, The Garden Court has become part of San Francisco history. The Garden Court holds many memories for many people. Shared stories of engagements, weddings, elegant dinner dances, fabulous parties and fond childhood celebrations make The Garden Court a truly magical place. Contact Us For more information, you can find us on our website at www.sfpalace.com. 31


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Gansevoort Park Avenue

New York ’s Newest Addition

ansevoort Hotel G Group announc-

es the official opening of its latest venture, Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC, at Park Avenue South and 29th Street. In the Gansevoort tradition, the property sets a new standard for both hotel living and destination gathering, with 249 sleekly appointed rooms and suites averaging 462 square feet; a jaw-dropping threestory lobby; a tri-level rooftop complex with a spectacular indoor/outdoor pool and connected nightlife spaces; and the recently opened Ristorante Asellina, a 10,000 square-foot Italian trattoria, operated by The ONE Group and featuring a James Beard Award-winning chef. “We are thrilled to unveil Gansevoort Park Avenue as the city’s most comprehensive urban resort,” said Michael Achenbaum, President of Gansevoort Hotel Group. “Through groundbreaking partnerships with leading brands in the restaurant, beauty, and fashion industries, the hotel provides a one-of-a-kind experience for hotel guests and an exciting new addition to Manhattan’s culinary and nightlife scene.” Resort Experience Those partnerships are central to the Gansevoort Park Avenue conception of a complete resort experience. Exhale spa provides a full menu of spa thera32

pies and a daily schedule of its highly acclaimed Core Fusion® yoga classes. A Lacoste boutique offers co-branded merchandise and limited-edition items created in partnership with well-known designers. Cutler serves as the in-house salon and is the exclusive provider of hotel bath and hair products. And a unique arrangement with Porsche means that Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC guests can enjoy complimentary in-town car service in the 2011 Porsche Panamera 4S. Fascinating Design Gansevoort Park Avenue’s design combines classic American inspirations with the Gansevoort Hotel Group’s signature uninhibited spirit. The showpiece lobby, guest rooms, presidential suite, and pool area were all designed by architect Stephen B. Jacobs and interior designer Andi Pepper, the team responsible for Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC. Manhattan-based firm ICRAVE created the restaurant, Asellina. And noted photographer Deborah Anderson’s artwork is integrated throughout the hotel – on walls, in guestrooms, and on the rooftop. “Gansevoort Park Avenue was conceived throughout as a self-contained world,” says Achenbaum. “You can swim, shop, work out, enjoy a complete spa experience, www.thehotelguide.com

and see and be seen at one of several city hot spots – all without ever leaving the resort. Of course, if you do, you’re right in the middle of Manhattan, and you’ve got a wonderfully stylish and relaxing home to return to.” Gansevoort Park Rooftop The Gansevoort Park Rooftop is a 20,000 sq. foot tri-level complex that consists of an Ultra Lounge with attached outdoor balconies, an indoor/ outdoor pool deck connected to multiple bar areas, and a distinct outdoor rooftop level with stunning 360-degree city views. This one-of-a-kind entertainment property in New York has been built to accommodate large-scale events, while operating seven days a week with a welcoming entry policy that stays true to the local Park Avenue vibe. Satsky & Gefter Corp., the proprietors of various luxury nightlife venues in New York, has partnered with The ONE Group and Gansevoort Hotel Group to create an enhanced nightlife experience at the Gansevoort Park Rooftop. These intertwined relationships assemble a multi-talented group whose first priority is guest experience. Another Satsky & Gefter Corp. property and concept located on the ground level of Gansevoort Park is open. Ristorante Asellina From industry leader The ONE Group—creator of STK and The Collective—comes Asellina, an Italian trattoria led by Executive Chef Marco Porceddu. The menu offers rustic dishes such as Wild Mushroom Agnolotti with Fresh Sage and Parmigiano and Stuffed Beef Tenderloin with Chanterelle, Ubriaco Cheese, and Red Wine. Porceddu, the James Beard Award-winning chef, also oversees the menus for the Gansevoort Park Rooftop, private events and hotel room service. exhale spa Exhale presents a full menu of signature spa therapies www.thehotelguide.com

NY as well as its highly acclaimed proprietary Core Fusion® classes (including Core Fusion®, Core Fusion Sport®, and Core Fusion Cardio®) and yoga classes (including Music Yoga Flow and Core Fusion Yoga®). A wellness lounge features a mind-body studio where yoga and Core classes are hosted, four spa therapy rooms, a manicure/pedicure lounge, a rejuvenating infrared detox chamber, a wellbeing boutique, changing rooms, and a mind-body gym. The extensive spa menu can also be enjoyed in-room or poolside. Cutler Salon Located on the second floor of Gansevoort Park Avenue’s soaring lobby, Cutler salon offers of-themoment styles and treatments by forward-thinkers in the industry. All guest rooms feature complimentary in-room hair and bath products from Cutler. Porsche Porsche Cars North America, Inc. and Gansevoort Hotel Group are redefining luxury travel through an exclusive new transportation partnership. Guests at Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC and Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC enjoy complimentary in-town car service in “the sports car for four,” the 2011 Porsche Panamera 4S. Lacoste As part of a new partnership, Gansevoort Hotel Group and Lacoste have opened a distinctive Lacoste boutique at Gansevoort Park Avenue, featuring co-branded merchandise, Limited Edition and Collector’s Series items created in partnership with well-known designers, and select items from the brand’s classic polo lines. Gansevoort Hotel Group is also the first hotel brand worldwide to partner with Lacoste on staff wardrobes. Contact Us Visit our website www.gansevoortpark.com. 33


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Hotel Andaluz

Albuquerque’s Hidden Gem

Built in 1939 by New Mexico H ness. native and famous hotelier Conrad Hilton, it

otel Andaluz was always destined for great-

was the tallest building in New Mexico, as well as the first building in the state to feature air conditioning. Only Hilton’s fourth hotel, it also offered state-of-the-art windows and elevators. At the time it was truly a remarkable sight and by 1984 the hotel had earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places. Keeping the Grandeur When Albuquerque developer Gary Goodman purchased the hotel, he was committed to retaining the sense of grandeur and innovation Hilton first put into place 70 years earlier. The hotel underwent a $30 million renovation in 2009 and Goodman was adamant about maintaining the history and integrity of the space. He toured Africa and southern Spain in order to incorporate true Moroccan and Spanish colonial influences into the original lobby, creating a true and authentic space for people to connect and explore. In keeping with Spanish influence, Goodman renamed the hotel Hotel Andaluz after Andalucía, the Spanish region that helped inspire the hotel’s look and feel. History and More... The hotel remains steeped in history that can be seen everywhere – from the lobby to the rooms; however, Goodman also made great effort to be as innovative as possible when it came to environmental sustainability. The property is the only Historic Gold LEED Certified Hotel in the Southwest and environmental responsibility is kept top of mind throughout the hotel – from the housekeepers to the chefs, Hotel Andaluz’ staff is committed to beingas conscious of our environment as possible. In addition to many standard green initiatives such as towel recycling, low-flow toilets and energy-efficient light bulbs, Hotel Andaluz takes environmental responsibility a step beyond. Solar panels on the roof ensure that 60 percent of the hotel’s water is heated naturally and the hotel’s rainwater collection system ensures the hotel is making the most use of its natural resources. Hotel Andaluz’ sense of environmental responsibility 34

extends beyond the hotel itself – its premiere restaurants and bars maintain the same sense. The 4-star Mediterranean‐inspired restaurant Lucia features chef Michael Von Blomberg who takes menu inspiration from Albuquerque’s many fresh ingredients and local farmers. The restaurant features local goat cheese, milk and raspberry jam. Their beef comes from cows raised in New Mexico. Sustainable products, such as oysters and clams, are used whenever possible. Lucia’s menu also features a widevegetarian selection, including “Gary’s Garden” (named for the hotel’s owner, himself a vegetarian). The herbs used in these dishes are grown in Lucia and can be seen on the counter of the spectacular exposed kitchen. Great Bar For those who like a cocktail at the end of a long day, Hotel Andaluz’ Ibiza provides an eco-friendly cocktail list in a captivating environment. The rooftop patio offers a breathtaking view of the Albuquerque skyline and mountain ranges. Local and international DJs can often be spotted entertaining the crowd of both hotel guests and locals. Hotel Andaluz seamlessly combines state-of-the-art environmental awareness with local and historical touches. What was an innovative hotel in 1939 is now continually redefining the idea of innovation. Contact Us For more information on the Hotel Andaluz, visit their website at www.hotelandaluz.com. www.thehotelguide.com

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Las Vegas

My Vegas Must-Do’s (and Don’ts)

by: Jacqueline Gonzalez

hh... Las Vegas. Many frequent this “Sin City” in hopes of indulging in all it’s splendor of high end retail shops, top rated celebrity chef restaurants, and the ever growing night life entertainment. What used to be the Mecca of Bachelor/ Bachelorette parties, fanny pack’d senior citizens, and penny slot enthusiasts, has now become the center of “Welcome ALL and ALL”. There are no more stereotypes of frequenters in the “City of Lights”. It is a town that caters to EVERYONE... Yeah, even YOU. There is nothing Vegas can’t offer... 24/7... 365 days of the year. Fun Tips Now, although many don’t dwell longer than a few days over the weekend, I always find myself staying a little bit longer. How do I not go crazy after three days there? And how do I come back completely refreshed? I find that doing my list of favorites always helps... I’ve made “little Vegas monsters” out of this list (a group of first timers who have soon after become frequent guests of this crazy town with me as their tour guide). DO: Stay on “The Strip”. Remember you are on vacation, and although public transportation isn’t

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expensive... Save your shoes and your time and stay somewhere centrally located. In case you have a few too many cocktails, it helps to point to the sky at the resort you are staying at as opposed to trying to figure it out on your phone’s emails. A taxi driver WILL take advantage of your situation. DO: Stop at the Bacardi Lemonade Bar at the Spanish Steps in front of Caesars Palace during the afternoon. Make sure Rose (bartender) makes your one of her awesome Caesars Margaritas. Get the large. Trust me. It’s my first bit of heaven when I arrive. One is enough... But two will knock you on your behind... Happily, of course! DO: Stop at Serendipity for lunch. If you are staying at any of the Harrah’s (now Caesars Entertainment) properties (ie Bally’s, Flamingo, Paris, etc). At check in they hand you a book of coupons. One specifically gives you a FREE Frozen Hot Chocolate with purchase of an Entree. I always share one with a friend... But hey, no one will judge you if you have one for just yourself. DO: Make a trip to Freemont Street. Not just for the cool hourly night show, or the cheap $3 craps tables, or even the famous 99¢ shrimp cocktail (I’d skip this one www.thehotelguide.com

if I were you)... Ever seen a stack of money? 1 Million Dollars to be exact... Head to Binion’s Gambling Hall & Hotel. Head to the back poker room area and see all the great WSOP winner’s signatures on display... And maybe you’ll even catch one playing a hand. Stop at Mermaids and have the ever sinful deep fried Oreo or Twinkie... Or BOTH! You might want to bring your own milk... You’re gonna need it. Ever swam with the sharks? Stop by at the Golden Nugget and get a pool pass for a small fee... It’s pretty darn cool. DO: Take a ride on the “DEUCE” if heading to Freemont Street (see above). For $7 you get a 24 hour pass to ride this double decker bus. It runs all through the Strip, Freemont Street, and back. It’s comes by every 10-15 mins. Try to get a seat upstairs in the front seats. Like to people watch? This is probably the best source of comedic entertainment in Las Vegas. DO: Try to catch a show... ANY SHOW. Check online for specials before you leave. Cirque du Solei has been running a 2 for $100 Special for over a year now. Last minute trip? Last minute deals are always up for grabs... Don’t just come to Vegas for the gambling. www.thehotelguide.com

Experiences

DO: Have Steak & Eggs after midnight. My spot? Bill’s Victorian Cafe across Ceasars and next to Bally’s. It used to be $2.99 and now it’s up to $6.99... But they pre-butter your toast! Sooooo good. DON’T: Tell strangers you just met at the BlackJack table where exactly you are staying at. Very important for all of you who are by themselves or in a small group. Also, don’t show all your “cards” to anyone. Keep your cash separated in smaller bundles so that scam artists don’t think you are carrying that much on you. Also helps to keep some of it in your room’s safety deposit box. I use it so I don’t gamble away my money on penny slots on the first night... One too many drinks alters your mind set. Be smart. Take only what you need. DON’T: Forget to TIP. I mean it. Tips pay for the service you just received. DON’T: Forget to SMILE. I really mean this one. You’re on VACATION. A smile has gotten me VIP access to VIP events, better/ quicker seating at a restaurant, and I ALWAYS meet celebrities... A smile goes a long way. I bet yours is a pretty great one. DON’T: Gamble with your “Rent” money. If you don’t have it to loose, don’t bring it with you. Start with a little of what you do have. If you win, put the start up money away, and play with the Casino’s money (your winnings). GOOD LUCK!!

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The Hotel Guide - First Edition 2012