Hotel Design Love: The Maritime Hotel, NYC

Maritime NYC

Maritime Exterior

Maritime Hotel

My first encounter with the Maritime Hotel happened the last time I was visiting New York, even though I didn’t end up staying there. I was browsing Hotel Tonight and saw the property featured and instantly fell in love with its nautical themed windows and décor and ended up walking past the property when wandering around Chelsea and the Meatpacking district. I love that the building stands out boldly in its surroundings and really calls you to explore inside.

Each of the windows of the rooms at the Maritime are circular like the ones you would be looking out of if you were staying in a cabin on a sailboat. The 126 rooms feature playful prints, deep blues and teak wood. Some suites even feature outdoor showers (that has to be a rare amenity in NYC).

Maritime Hotel

Maritime Patio

There is also a rooftop bar named The Cabanas that transforms you into a Hollywood poolside atmosphere, complete with colorful floral wallpaper and hanging lanterns. Looks like the perfect place to relax after a long day of shopping, eating and wandering around.

Location: The neighborhood the Maritime is a part of really can’t get much better as your hub for NYC exploring. Located on Manhattan’s west side in Chelsea, you can easily access all of the shopping in the Meatpacking district and be on The High Line in a matter of minutes.

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Photos // All photos courtesy of Tablet Hotels


Hotel Design Love: The Huntington, San Fransisco

The Huntington San Fran

The Huntington San Fransisco

When my mom and I took a mother/daughter trip to Big Sur and San Fransisco, we stayed at the historic Huntington Hotel, located at the top of Nob Hill. Its style is luxurious and classic, and the staff is extremely helpful and friendly. The location was perfect for long days of eating and sightseeing, and was absolutely the ideal place to kick up our feet after trekking up and down San Fransisco’s infamous hills. The rooms were simple and spacious, and most of them have fantastic views of downtown San Fransisco.

One of the areas of the property that definitely makes you feel like you are staying in a historic hotel is The Big 4 restaurant, located right off of the lobby. It looks like an old school library or cigar lounge, full of deep brown wood and leather furniture and also features live entertainment every evening.

[Read more…]

Hotel Design Love: Rosewood San Miguel de Allende

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende


Rosewood San Miguel de Allende

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende

Isn’t the decor in Rosewood’s San Miguel de Allende hotel beautiful? I love the colonial influenced furniture and architecture that is found throughout the hotel from the restaurant to the rooms to the rooftop tapas bar. The design of the hotel matches the atmosphere of the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende to a tee and boasts views of the charming downtown area and pink spires of the main church.

The Rosewood San Miguel de Allende has recently been named as number 18 on the CN Traveler list of the Top 100 Hotels and Resorts of the world for 2012 and had perfect scores for its rooms, location and design. [Read more…]

Hotel Design Love: The Heywood Hotel, Austin

The Heywood Hotel

The Heywood Hotel Austin

Heywood Patio

Heywood Hotel

I just discovered one of Austin’s newest boutique hotels when browsing some of my favorite sites and blogs last night, and now I seriously want to go visit The Heywood Hotel located in downtown Austin. Each of its 7 rooms has its own personality and style. I am loving the patterned wallpaper, modern outdoor area, and dark woodwork. I have a few trips to Austin on my agenda for the next few months, so perhaps I can pay the Heywood a visit sometime soon.

If you have a big group or an event you are planning, you can also rent all 7 rooms at a group rate. Room prices start at $169/night.

Photos // The Heywood Hotel

Hotel Design Love: Firmdale Hotels

Charlotte Street Hotel

Haymarket Hotel

Haymarket Townhouse

Afternoon Tea at Knightsbridge Hotel

Crosby Street Hotel

Number Sixteen Library

Number 16 Garden

My obsession with all of the Firmdale Hotel properties started when I discovered the boutique hotel group a few years ago in a design magazine. Since then, I have dreamed of sipping afternoon tea at the Knightsbridge, sitting in the drawing-room at the Soho Hotel, or laying in one of the grand patterned beds in one of the whimsical patterned Kit Kemp designed guest rooms.

Everything seems to be perfectly polished and sophisticated, yet brimming with happiness and character because of the wonderful colors in the fabrics used in all of the rooms. One of my favorite qualities in any hotel is one with its own distinct personality, that doesn’t feel commercially manufactured where you aren’t actually somewhere unique and special. All of the Firmdale Hotels do anything but blend in, and they still seem to look inviting and neighboorhood-like  enough to make you feel like you are staying in your really rich friend’s home. If you are as mesmerized by the fabulous decor as I am, you are in luck because Firmdale’s Design Director, Kit Kemp, just came out with a textile line that will definitely make you smile.

All photos courtesy of Firmdale Hotels

My Dallas Shopping Guide

Dallas Shopping Guide

The place I know best above all others is my hometown of Dallas, Texas. Whether you live here yourself, or are visiting for a few days or an extended period of time, I know that my three part Dallas City Guide will give you plenty of options for the best places to eat, shop, and explore around Dallas.

If Dallas has one thing to offer (and it has many) it would be its ability to inspire some serious retail therapy. Not only are all of the major designers and retail stores represented, but Dallas also has some of the best boutique shopping around. Publicly sharing this list is like giving away my secret stash of where everything good is, so consider yourselves lucky I have decided to be nice and share. I have tried my very hardest to limit it to only my very top picks so that this post does not make it all the way down to the bottom of the page.

For Your Home

Nest: Nest is my store I go walk through whenever I just want to be surrounded by beautiful things. And the best part: most of it is affordable! They have the most wonderfully curated selection of coffee table books I have ever seen; I usually have to be mindful of the time when I am browsing in there. Beautiful stationary and paper, unique gifts, a fab selection of kitchen accessories, and plenty of other unique finds make this my #1 pick on my home list.

Jonathan Adler: The new Jonathan Adler store just opened up a few months ago (and is conveniently located across the street from Nest). The store really is like a dose of Zoloft for your home, just like Adler’s most famous saying.

Wisteria: If I could transport every piece of furniture in the entire Wisteria collection into my apartment, I may never leave. Whimsical shaped pieces of furniture, fun prints, and plenty of modern accessories make it a one-stop shop. Also good to know: the Wisteria store in Dallas has an outlet area in the back of the store that has highly discounted merchandise where I have found several of my most treasured pieces.

Beaucoup: They have so many home accessories in one store that I usually have to make 2-3 rounds before I feel like I have adequately absorbed everything. I love their glass containers, candlesticks, and large assortment of unique home pieces. Located in Dallas on Henderson and in Richardson on Campbell Road.

The Gypsy Wagon: Half gift shop, half clothing store, The Gypsy Wagon has an eclectic pick for every type of personality. Handmade jewelry, custom cowboy boots, hilarious greeting cards. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to an hour to browse this store.

A Little Fashion & Style

Milk and Honey: Very affordable, feminine and trendy clothing. I just discovered Milk and Honey last fall, and it has been a bad influence on my bank account ever since. They get new inventory so often I try to stop in there and check everything out at least every other week. This summer they have had a big colored and neon denim display in the front that has been my source of a newly mint, royal blue, and neon pink jean collection.

Calypso St. Barth: Walking in to this store instantly transports me to the place I would always rather be: the beach. Racks full of crisp white jeans, neutral billowy shirts, and plenty of beach accessories.

Octane: Upscale boutique with both men’s and women’s clothing. Plenty of jeans, dresses, and beautiful jewelry. They also have an in-house hemming station if you need anything tailored on the spot.

Pitaya: Trendy (and cheap) women’s clothing. Great if you are looking for something to wear out. Not the highest quality, but definitely a place to stock up on this season’s trends.

y&i: A brand new store in West Village that has a mix of trendy LA market type pieces and designer denim. Expect brands like Joe’s Jeans and Susana Monaco.

A Few *Spectacular* Specialty Stores

The Lucky Dog Barkery: Their tag line is “the store your dog would build,” and I know my west highland terrier would have a field day if we ever let him loose in this store. If you are a dog lover, this is the place for you.

Jacksons Home and Garden: Stocked full of garden treasures and whimsical home accents, this is a place both men and women usually like to shop. Plenty of outdoorsy things to choose from for the yard, and you still may find a few things to decorate your bookshelves, too.

JD’s Chippery: I didn’t really think this was appropriate to put on my restaurant guide, so it is going here instead. It really is everyone’s favorite store in Dallas. JD’s bakes the best cookies I have ever had. This closet sized store on the outside of Snider Plaza constantly has a line going out the door. If I am ever headed somewhere where there will be a bunch of people a dozen or two JD’s cookies are essential. Cash or check only.

Whole Earth Provisions: This store started in Austin and now has a few other outposts around Texas. They have a little bit of everything from outdoor and hiking gear, to children’s toys, to guide books and cards. A store dedicated to preserving and learning about the Earth.

** Don’t miss out on my Dallas Restaurant Guide and Dallas Activity Guide **

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Photos // 1. Calypso // 2. y&i // 3. Octane  // 4. Wisteria  // 5. Jonathan Adler  // 6. Milk and Honey  // 7. The Gypsy Wagon // 8. Beaucoup  // 9. Nest //