Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Brazilian Court Hotel & Beach Club in Palm Beach

The Brazilian Court Hotel & Beach Club in Palm Beach is a luxurious enclave in an already luxurious destination. Located in Palm Beach it's one of the top hotels in the area. In fact it's more than a hotel, it's a home away from home for the well-heeled. Like more and more top hotels they accomodate long-term stays making it a cross between a hotel and a residence...and not just any residence... 

If Palm Beach was a woman she'd be introverted, gorgeous and well, just a little bit "uppety"...but when you get to know her she'd take you to a world you never knew existed and you'd like it! The Brazilian Palm Court, also home to the famous Cafe Boulud, warmly welcomes its guests, they are after all coming back home...often, back to one of their many homes.  

Brazilian Court is minutes away from high-end shopping on Worth Avenue and steps away from the beach. If you prefer to use the private beach the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle (a BMW with your own private chauffeur) to the beach area. It's worth going to the beach just to enjoy the shuttle ride and drive past some of the world's most exclusive real estate.
The white drapes and lush vegetation welcome you into this private enclave located right at the heart of everything in Palm Beach. I love being able to see right through to the inner courtyard.

Cafe Boulud (see post about my dinner there)


The Ballroom
The inner courtyard with comfortable reclining white chairs, the murmur of elegant fountains, the soft brushing sound of lush palm trees over your head...one could sit here all day long and not get bored.

One of the common areas

You all know how I feel about crisp, top quality bed linens...passionately!

The fountain...I can still hear its soft gurgling...ah, Palm Beach I miss you!

The bathroom in my guest room was, as you can see, pretty substantial. On the other side was a large bathtub. Double sinks in the center...room to break out some dance moves in the shower. I spend a lot of time primping and preening in the bathroom and I felt very comfortable spending time in this one! 

The pool. Small and intimate...perfect for lounging poolside.

Inner Courtyard and Cafe Boulud at night. If you are planning to spend time in Palm Beach then you simply must do it at the Brazilian Court...you'll get to feel as though you're not some stray visitor but a resident, someone who truly belongs, and that is a priceles feeling.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I left my heart in Charleston...

If you are looking for romantic whimsy on your next trip within the United States, then I recommend Charleston...my last trip there has stayed with me and I suspect will continue to do so. The cobblestoned streets are alive with history and romance, the food is exceptional and very fairly priced and the overall beauty of the city will transport you to a long lost world where Southern gentlemen tip their hats and hospitality is at its finest...

Pink mansion in Charleston...so much more beautiful in the flesh!

Mansions on the Battery (the famous street in Charleston where great antebellum mansions overlook the water)

Colorful mansions on the Battery...there were large beautiful butterflies everywhere...

Boone Hall: the plantation about 30 minutes from downtown Charleston. They filmed The Notebook here.

The alley of mossy oaks at Boone Hall, it's quite impressive.

Downtown Charleston

True Southern perfection

This churchyard was the epitome of Southern style...quiet, warm and full of soul and character

I love the wrought iron

The newer part of the Battery

Rainbow Row: every townhouse is a different color...pink, yellow, green...Oh yes, I definitely left my heart in Charleston!

Blue Skies, Blue Waters & Sleek, Trendy Interiors...The Betsy Hotel

Miami...we've all seen it in movies and magazines and guess what, it's almost more amazing in reality! I was there in January and the weather was, well, amazing. The cultural melting pot and trendy atmosphere give it a unique flavor that very few other locations in the U.S. can boast about. And when you're vacationing in paradise, you need a place to relax, take a break from the intensely vibrant nightlife and just "be cool".

If you want to go the boutique hotel route in Miami then the Betsy Hotel is THE way to go. There may be other choices but I don't recommend them. Betsy is located steps away from the beach, right in the heart of the nightlife activity, it's clean to a fault, it's trendy, luxurious...what more can one ask for in Miami? 
This is the hotel facade...it really does look like this: gorgeous! During the day of course the street is bustling with people and activity...if you want to have fun then this is the place to go!

The lobby: see what I mean about sleek, trendy, cool...if this hotel was a girl, she'd be the coolest prettiest girl in school, the kind you hate but secretly want to be...I imagine that's how the other Miami boutique hotels feel too..
The sleek and sexy roof deck...the view was incredible.

The bedroom...you know a hotel room is up to snuff when the linens are white Egyptian cotton and the floors are hardwood...this is 2012, nothing else will do! The bathroom had a TV inside the mirror (seriously modern) and very trendy organic beauty products. The resplendently white sheets and yellow accents in the room screamed out Miami sunshine, the cashmere throw casually, but fashionably, thrown on the bed (pictured above) was a nice touch...the Betsy is a luxurious yet accessible haven in an uber trendy, vibrant city...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Breakfast at The Mansion..

Ah, Glenmere Mansion, Relais & Chateaux gem in the Hudson Valley, home away from home...I'm thinking of moving in permanently...I've always wanted to live in a Mansion with my own butler...some people say these trivial little luxuries are not what make people happy...but then why oh why do they persistently bring me so much joy? Either I'm not quite normal or everybody else is just lying, and I have to say there's less truth in the former than the latter!
But enough rambling and let me take you on a little journey, a day in the life of a would-be Duchess (me) in her private mansion (ok, so it's really a hotel) in Hudson Valley...

Imagine waking up to this...

Stepping out onto your private balcony in the morning and being greeted by this view...it's not Italy but geography is not something you worry about at Glenmere, you are much too engrossed in the overall beauty of the place...

You have spent the night in these billion threadcount bed linens...and you lazily go to the marble bathroom to dress for the day...

You come down to breakfast, an impeccably appointed table awaits you...everything is as it should be...why can't life be like this every day? I tell you, all of our modern day breakfast rituals are not what they're cracked up to be...a box of Cheerios and cold milk on the run doesn't really set up the day the way a breakfast at Glenmere Mansion does! Some people don't like too much pomp and circumstance at the breakfast table...well, I am just not one of them!


A gorgeous view from my table...

This fruit smoothie was served in an espresso cup, a very nice touch!

These jams and marmelades were home-made and exquisite!!! Divine, delicious, delectable!!!

Scones and pastries on the table

A fruit plate with cream...it was delicious. I'm always weary of ordering the fruit plate at restaurants because often it looks prettier than it tastes...not here the fruit was sweet and fresh.

Pancakes served on gorgeous China

After breakfast at the Mansion I wanted to go out Hunting or Horse back riding, my experience at Glenmere really set the mood...ah, but that's another story for another day...

Dinner at the Mansion...

Dinner at the Mansion...c'est la vie! If, like me, you are a fan of British period dramas like the latest Downton Abbey (which if you haven't seen yet, you should!), if you love dressing for dinner, being waited on by an impeccable staff, exquisite decor and the Putting on the Ritz experience then you might enjoy dinner at Glenmere Mansion...I certainly did. I already discussed my experience at Glenmere Mansion in Hudson Valley a few posts ago (see below) but I never really described my dining experience...so here it is!
The white leather banquettes in the dining room were chic and modern. I've read some reviews that the Supper Room at Glenmere was too small...I don't think so at all. It all depends what sort of dining experience you're after...Glenmere Mansion is all about quality not quantity. It's intimate, chic, exclusive without being out of reach.

I just adore these screens...the painting is of the Glenmere surrounding countryside...see what I mean about attention to details!!! In all my travels Glenmere takes the prize for its attention to details...

This first course soup was served in a small espresso style cup...there were truffles involved and it was excellent!

Mussel Veloute...I should have taken the picture BEFORE eating but I got carried away!

Lobster anyone?


After dinner Sorbet...once again I should have taken the picture BEFORE eating...I'll have to work on that!
For more on the Glenmere Mansion Supper Room