Daddy's Christmas Angel

Friday, December 30, 2011

My Three Best Hotels of 2011

It's that time of year when people start reflecting on the past 12 months--what was good and what was not. I like to remember our travels for the year--especially visits to hotels. This year I have selected three unique and wonderful hotels. Each is special for a reason beyond the facilities they provide.

3. Hyatt Regency Incline Village Lake Tahoe
1. Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort -
Lake Tahoe, a destination I've always wanted to visit, did not disappoint me. The scenery was amazing and spectacular. Even in June, at 7,000 feet, snow covered the mountains. The Hyatt Resort is lovely and even has a nice sized sports bar where we watched baseball and enjoyed good dinners at the same time. Many cozy little restaurants adorn the quaint streets of Incline Village. Scenic parks are only a short drive away and are a must for visitors. Eight inches of snow fell on the village the week before we arrived, and we were unable to take a planned side trip to Yosemite because the main road through the park was still closed due to snow. Even so, June is a good time to go to Lake Tahoe because it's an in-between tourist season, too late for skiers and too early for a barrage of summer visitors.

The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2. The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
We had been to the Pfister before and I wanted to return. In fact, I included this historic old hotel in my book, Hotels to Remember, because it is an unforgettable edifice located within easy walking distance of the newly-expanded Milwaukee Art Museum. The hotel is a museum on its own, featuring original paintings and sculpture throughout the facility. Getting to see the ceiling of the lobby is worth a visit to the Pfister. A major disappointment for me was the discovery that the awnings are now red instead of green as I painted them in the hotel portrait for use in my book. It was exciting to meet the artist in residence who has a studio/gallery in the hotel and also the resident blogger who changes every six months. (The artist stays for one year.) I was delighted to see Peter Mortensen, the chef concierge, again. Peter was most helpful when I worked on the Pfister entry in my book.

Roses for a wedding, Embassy Suites lobby.
3. Embassy Suites, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Because our transportation plans got diverted to a different airport, we arrived at our hotel after the restaurant stopped serving food. Exhausted from the long day of travel which included a side trip to Boston en route to Florida from Virginia, we were thrilled when room service offered to serve the meal we ordered at a table in the restaurant. Everyone was courteous and helpful. Not only did we enjoy meeting other St. Louis Cardinals fans staying at this Embassy Suites, we also got to see Alan Craig, a star of the 2011 World Series, who was also staying there. The prepared-to-order breakfasts (included) were awesome. We enjoyed watching a wedding that took place in the lobby near the scenic bridge that crosses a little pond which is home to a pair of beautiful swan. The Palm Beach Gardens Embassy Suites is a special destination in late February and March each year because of its proximity to Roger Dean Stadium, home of the Cardinals in Jupiter.

Swan at Embassy Suites Palm Beach Gardens
It's time to turn the page on the 2011 calendar. I look forward to hotel visits in 2012 and hope to find more properties that are a joy to visit.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I could handle the one in Tahoe!
Happy New Year, Monti.

Monti said...