Category - Stay

1
Hotel Valencia Riverwalk – San Antonio
2
Hotel Alessandra – Old World Meets Sophistication in Downtown Houston
3
Staycation at Mountain Shadows

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk – San Antonio

In the heart of downtown San Antonio (or SA, as I like to call it), and conveniently located on one of the city’s most prized attractions- the Riverwalk; sits the Hotel Valencia. The 213-room boutique hotel actually got quite the renovation during the early part of 2017. Architect and designer Lauren Rottet chose to pay homage to San Antonio rich Spanish Colonial heritage, which dates back to when the missions were built, which was around the 1700s. Rottet also infused Modern Mediterranean influence into the building, as a nod to the Tuscan-style architecture to the hotel’s namesake- Valencia, Spain. The hotel offers numerous cozy lounges, a business center, a large event space, a beautiful open-air courtyard, in-room spa services, and a fitness center. Guests also have the option of dining at the only Argentinian-inspired restaurant in the city- Dorrego’s, or cafe/bar- Naranja.

The Mr and I stayed in one of their deluxe balcony king rooms with a lovely terrace that faces the Riverwalk. The Spanish Colonial theme can also be seen throughout the room, with the curved iron headboard that serves as the focal point. I feel that the dark plantation shutters hint at the city’s southern roots, but also offer a nice contrast that leads out onto the quaint terrace. A good night’s rest was had on their custom designed Valencia bed. The Mr is actually still raving about how well he slept on it. You can actually shop the bedding and more on the Shop Valencia portion of the website. We didn’t have the chance to check out Dorrego’s during this trip, but we did have the complimentary European-style continental FIT breakfast. It was located in the main lobby, and featured a variety of pastries, yogurt, cereal, fresh fruit, and a coffee/tea bar. You can also get fresh squeezed orange juice from the DIY OJ machine at Naranja’s. That OJ was literally the best we’ve ever tasted (as of this posting)! I also enjoyed checking out the rustic features, elegant ironwork, exquisitely handcrafted tilework, and the textiles that also gave the impression of Texas’ western culture.

I recommend signing up to be a Valencia VIP, as you’ll be asked several questions regarding what your preferences are in regards to welcome amenities, room type preference, etc.

Scroll down for a virtual tour of the hotel!

NOTE: I was given a complimentary night’s stay in exchange for my honest review. 

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Alessandra – Old World Meets Sophistication in Downtown Houston

Deep in the heart of downtown Houston, and next to the ever-growing GreenStreet outdoor shopping center, lies the sleek Hotel Alessandra. The twenty-story, 223-room hotel just recently celebrated its’ grand opening on October 1st, and has since been an ideal hotspot for local and international travelers looking to revel in all that Houston has to offer.

I had the pleasure of staying there recently. It really is quite convenient to most of what downtown has to offer. The modern and sophisticated building stands tall and proud among the elite skyline. The front entrance to the hotel boasts an intimate valet, where the bellmen also graciously offered to help with bags and ushered me into the quaint lobby with a two-story soaring ceiling and sepia-marbled grand staircase with gold and glass handrails. I rode the elevator to the second floor, where the check-in desk awaited me. The space to me, felt like a minimalistic opulence, with marbled, gold, and mirrored accents, and cozy seating. The large Beaux Arts style photograph that rests on the back wall behind the check-in was done by Reinhard Gorner.

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

After a quick and painless check-in, I rode the elevator to the ninth floor. The room hallway was bright and inviting. The Beaux Arts theme continues on the gallery-white walls, which had graphite-hued panel designs throughout.

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

The photos of the guest rooms online honestly don’t do the rooms justice. You just have to experience it in person. I had a corner room. When I stepped inside, there was a small hallway, with floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping views of the city. Also in that hallway was the bathroom, and in-room mini bar area. The hallway gave way to the sleeping area, where the floor-to-ceiling windows continued, allowing wonderful natural light to pour in. The bed was anchored with two Art Deco-style nightstands, both of which had outlets for charging phones, laptops, etc. Also anchoring the custom bed is a white glossy wall system that offers storage for luggage, and such. A small, yet cozy sitting area with a jade green couch, chair, and a table is nestled in one corner of the room. The classic black and white bathroom was bathed in marble and textured subway tiles. Dividing doors separated the commode, a vanity area, and a large shower with rain showerhead.

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

The husband and I dined at Lucienne that evening. Lucienne serves contemporary Continental cuisines that have a Mediterranean twist. Chef Jose Hernandez spearheads the operation with over 20 years of experience in some of the top eateries around the world. The open, yet somewhat narrow room with ribcage ceiling was largely inspired by a NASA space shuttle and a Viennese vaulted cafe. The curtains have a vintage feel, but upon closer inspection, the characters actually are doing modern day tasks, like taking a selfie, or holding a coffee cup, etc. Our waiter- Alvaro, was exceptionally helpful in recommending dishes. We started off with an Apple Blue Cheese Salad and a small house-baked baguette. The Mr had the Scallops with Mushroom Risotto, while I opted for the Gruyere Cheese Crepe for our main entrees. Both dishes were delicious, and just the right portions. We shared the Thin Apple Tart for dessert. After dinner, since it was ridiculously close, we ventured over to Green Street for a short after-dinner walk.

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston, Lucienne, restaurant

  • Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston, Lucienne, restaurant
  • Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston
  • Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston
  • Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston
  • Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

After a restful night’s sleep, we took advantage of the 24/7 in-room dining, and ordered breakfast. Instead of calling in the order, I used the tablet that was available. We shared a bowl of oatmeal with berries, brown sugar, and milk; as well as house-baked toast. I took advantage of the Nespresso machine, and made some coffee to compliment the breakfast.

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

I also wanted to mention that before I headed to the room, I was invited to join in on a small tour of the hotel with other local influencers, also on behalf of Pop Shop. We met up with Karena Zolner- the hotel’s spa director, who showed us the 21st-floor terrace, a conference room, Lucienne, the bar- Bardot, the spa, the glass-enclosed fitness center, and the outdoor pool. Karena also treated us to a cocktail hour at Bardot after the tour. According to the press release, the bar was modeled after the American style cocktail bars that had become popular in London during the turn of the century. It’s definitely a great spot to enjoy coffee, a light breakfast, cocktails, and more. I’m a huge fan of the floor-to-ceiling windows that gave unobstructed views of Dallas and Fannin Streets, and all that glorious natural light!

It was such a wonderful stay! I want to go back, though with more time to check out the pool, fitness center, get a complimentary ride anywhere in downtown in the Maserati, and get some spa pampering in. Also, if you happen to find yourself there, be sure to chat with Lawrence, one of the friendliest bellmen I’ve ever met!

NOTE: I received a complimentary stay in exchange for my honest opinion. 

More details…

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas, downtown Houston

 

 

 

Staycation at Mountain Shadows

Doorway at Mountain Shadows resort in Arizona

Nestled against the reigning silhouettes of Camelback and Mummy Mountain, in the heart of Paradise Valley, lies Mountain Shadows. The resort first opened its’ doors in 1959, and gained instant success through the likes of international clientele, Hollywood stars, and traveling families alike. Over the years, the resort changed developers, including Del Webb and Marriott. In 2004, the resort officially closed. In 2014, it was bought out by its’ present day developers- Westroc Hospitality and Woodbine Development Corp., who decided to rebuild it from the ground up. The resort was reintroduced earlier this year.

I took advantage of the low summer rates, and booked my staycation. Upon my arrival, I handed over my car to the valet and made my way through the incredible wooden doors with sleek mountain designs on them. Check-in was a breeze, and before I knew it, I was comfortably taking in the atmosphere in the Immerse room. It was such a bright, contemporary room with hints of mid-century modern features throughout. The walk-in shower was roomy, and featured full-size bath amenities by Red Flower. The king-size bed was cozy, with plenty of outlets within reach. The reason why the room is named Immerse is that there is a luxurious soaking bathtub that overlooks Camelback Mountain. The balcony, which overlooks a good-size portion of the surrounding mountains and desert landscape, was oh-so-lovely in the evening and morning. Take a tour of the room by checking out the slideshow below.

I had dinner and breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant- Hearth ’61. The restaurant was named after the year of the Paradise Valley’s incorporation- 1961, as well as the hearth of the stone oven in the kitchen. Most of the ingredients for their dishes are sourced locally, and the waitstaff is exceptionally courteous and knowledgeable of the menus.

Hearth '61, Mountain Shadows, Arizona, restaurant, food

Beluga Lentil Soup + Noble Bread

Hearth '61, Mountain Shadows, Arizona, restaurant, food

Banana Ricotta Pancakes + Vanilla Latte

Scroll down further to see more photos from my stay.

Mountain Shadows, Arizona, hotel, lobby

Mountain Shadows, Arizona, hotel, pool area

Mountain Shadows, Arizona, hotel, lounge, retro-inspired

Mountain Shadows, Arizona, hotel, lounge, retro-inspired

Mountain Shadows, Arizona, hotel, hospitality

Have you guys stayed there? Tell me about your experience in the comments!

Mountain Shadows is located at:

5445 E. Lincoln Dr.

Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

WEBSITE

** I received a complimentary room upgrade and waived resort fees in exchange for an honest review. **

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