Top Ten Hotels for My Home Away from Home

When spending time away from the comforts of home there are certain things that I appreciate in a hotel. Proximity to places I wish to visit, friendly staff, a comfortable bed and stylish surroundings are all things that make my stay memorable. Take a look at the properties that made my top ten:

Hyatt Palm Springs 

Hyatt Palm Springs

While earning a degree in Interior Design I always was drawn to the mid-century modern style that Palm Springs is known for. When I finally had the chance to visit this beautiful town I stayed at the Hyatt Palm Springs. The style of the hotel had mid-century modern influences, while still feeling very current. The view from our balcony was so beautiful as was the room.  Being within walking distance of many restaurants and art galleries made for a perfect night of wandering the town. Not to be left out were the staff. From the front desk to the valet everyone was so pleasant. 

Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills 

pic courtesy of John Lopez on flickr

pic courtesy of John Lopez 

Having stayed at the Sofitel on multiple occasions I must say the number one thing that keeps me going back are the beds. I have no idea how they capture a cloud and put it into a bed, but they have figured out the process! It is located across the street from the Beverly Center mall and just a short distance from Sunset Strip, the Grove and CBS studios.  The side of the hotel facing the Hollywood hills offers a gorgeous glimpse into the lives of the Hollywood elite.

The staff at the Sofitel is superb. One of the valet employees remembered us from a trip from two years prior and even asked how things were going back in Texas. That type of personalized service makes you want to keep going back to a location.

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa

Huntington Beach Hyatt

If you want to visit Orange County and immerse yourself into the sunny OC then I have a treat for you! The Spanish style of the Hyatt Huntington Beach Resort set alongside the Pacific Coast Highway is quintessential California.  I always choose this location when going to Disneyland as it is a short drive away. Also nearby are Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and Knott’s Berry Farm.

For kids and the young at heart, the hotel has a water playground that is quite impressive. If you wish to visit the beach there is the pedestrian bridge at the edge of the property that crosses over the highway that leads straight to the sand. On a clear day, you can even look out across the ocean and spot Catalina Island.

Hyatt Regency Austin 

Hyatt Regency Austin

Located on Lady Bird Lake and attached to Zilker Park the Hyatt Regency is perfect for anyone wishing to do outdoor activities such as kayaking. It is also very convenient for those traveling with their furry children as I often do.  Request a room with a city view as at night the Austin skyline is stunning. Also visible from the hotel is the Congress Avenue Bridge famous for its’ colony of bats that emerge daily at dusk.  Just across the bridge from downtown and around the corner from the popular shopping area on South Congress this hotel is in a prime spot. The rooms are very nicely designed and comfortable and the staff embodies southern hospitality.

Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa

Hyatt Tamaya Resort

Of all of the hotels that I have stayed,  I must say the Hyatt Regency Tamaya is my absolute favorite. Judging from the photo above I think my boy Barkley would say the same as well. Obviously, it is pet-friendly, a pro for me,  but it is also located just 45 minutes from one of my favorite cities, Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Located alongside the Rio Grande River on a portion of the 550 acres of the Santa Ana Pueblo upon your arrival you are immediately immersed in the Native American culture. From the Southwestern decor to the flute music playing throughout the common areas of the hotel the Hyatt does a wonderful job of honoring the culture of the area. The pueblo-style of architecture here and the beautiful landscaping made this such a unique hotel.  

Andaz West Hollywood 

Andaz Hollywood

Located right on the Sunset Strip the Andaz Hollywood has a distinct Hollywood vibe. When checking in there is no front desk as the lobby has more of an upscale living room feel. You are promptly greeted upon entering and one of the Andaz staff will check you into your room. The Andaz, which is owned by the Hyatt corporation, was once a Hyatt nicknamed the Riot Hyatt for some of the badly behaved rock stars, such as Keith Richards, that would frequent the hotel. The hotel does a great job paying homage to its’ past with subtle touches such as paintings of musicians in common areas and records placed in the guest rooms. I also got attached to one of the accessories in the room, the dog sculpture above which I named Cheeto. While Cheeto wasn’t as furry as Barkley he was pretty cool!

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-French Quarter

Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter

Disney World is my top vacation destination. While visiting I have stayed in several different locations, but Port Orleans French Quarter is my pick inside the world of the mouse.  This location is much less hectic than other Disney resorts. I enjoy that it is more relaxed and less sensory overload. Since this resort is smaller than some of the other hotels the busses to and from the parks and French Quarter are much less crowded. There are also boats that travel from the hotel to Disney Springs which was a fun option. The French Quarter theme was carried out in the Mardi Gras decor of the food court as well as the iron work on the buildings throughout. 

Fairmont Kea Lani

Pic courtesy of Mark Goebel on flickr
Pic courtesy of Mark Goebel on flickr

Every once in a while you are transported to a location where you have a Dorothy “we’re not in Kansas anymore” moment.  A location where all you can do is pick your mouth up off the floor, pinch yourself and walk in like you belong there, even though secretly you know this will probably never happen again! That was me several years back when I was gifted a trip to Maui by my company, with a stay at the Fairmont Kea Lani. Located on the Wailea coast on the 22-acre white sands of Polo Beach the Kea Lani looks like a beautiful white sand castle.

Activities at the resort include culture tours and lessons in the Hawaiian language. A shuttle service makes it convenient to travel to nearby shopping destination Shops at Wailea.  A trail leads to other upscale resorts along Wailea Beach and is a peaceful walk by the coast. At night a torch lighting ceremony celebrates the lighting of tiki torches throughout the property and gives the area a gorgeous glow.

Hotel Alyeska

Hotel Alyeska

Located 40 miles from Anchorage along the beautiful stretch of the scenic Seward Highway is the Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood, Alaska. From the moose statues that greet you on the side of the resort to the Native Alaskan artwork in the lobby, you get a real feel here for the area. Surrounded by mountains which are full of pine trees the one souvenir I wish I could have brought home is that smell. The entire area smells like Christmas year round!

Outdoor activities are plentiful at the resort, changing with the seasons. During the summer hiking and biking trails are available and the property changes to a skiers playground as the snow begins to fall. Should you forget your outdoor gear at home, not to worry as there are plentiful options at the hotel shops. There is a 60 passenger aerial scenic tram to the top of the mountain where you may choose to dine at the Seven Glaciers Restaurant.  Also be on the lookout for bear and moose should you visit!

Grand Hyatt New York 

Grand Hyatt New York City

When staying in New York City one thing is of the utmost importance: location, location, location.  That is why I only stay at the Grand Hyatt when in the city. Located on 42nd street the Hyatt is sandwiched between the Chrysler Building and Grand Central Station. Its’ proximity to Grand Central makes it very easy to get to other points in the city. It is also just a short walk from 5th Avenue, Central Park, and Times Square. In recent years the property has undergone a huge renovation and has emerged with a new very modern feel. Sometimes in the media, New Yorker’s get a bad rep for being rude, a stereotype that I have never found to be true. One must only deal with the employees at the Grand Hyatt to know not to believe what they hear as the staff here is wonderful. 

Now that you have read my top ten feel free to comment with your favorite hotels! 


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