Arrival/Check-In: After an easy ride across almost the entirety of the state of Pennsylvania, we arrived at the conveniently located Fairmont Pittsburgh, right in the heart of the city’s downtown. We left the car with the valet, and went inside to check-in. Despite arriving before check-in time, our room was ready and within just a few minutes in the light-filled lobby, where a staircase to the second-floor restaurant and meeting space is a design highlight, we were in our guest room, enjoying the exceptional views of Market Square. As Pennsylvania natives (from the Philadelphia area), we had never been to the city across the state and we were excited to get out and explore.
Guest Quarters: Our spacious (the property boasts the largest hotel rooms in the city) Deluxe King guestroom opened into a short hallway with the bathroom to the left and large closet to the right. Next to the entrance to the bathroom was a minibar area with coffeemaker, and a delicious plate of treats. A 42-inch, LCD, flat-screen television sat on a dresser across from the comfortable bed, flanked by two nightstands. I appreciated the built-in plugs in the base of the bedside lamps that allowed for quick and easy charging overnight. An armchair with a small ottoman sat in front of the floor-to-ceiling window, as did a built-in desk unit. A true standout in the room is the view; as we were on one of the building’s highest floors, we even took the opportunity to peek at PNC Park and an ongoing Pirates game from the full-length windows near the elevator.
The guestroom’s warm color palette of burnt oranges, browns and cream continues in the hallways. A variety of suites are also available and WiFi is complimentary.
Services/Amenities: We took advantage of several on-site amenities; our favorite was, not surprisingly, the 6,000-square-foot health club and spa. While we didn’t make use of the fitness center, we did enjoy an indulgent couple’s massage early on Saturday morning. From the minute we entered, we were greeted by calming scents and peaceful music. It was the perfect way to start our day.
We enjoyed both dinner and brunch at the hotel’s on-site fl.2 restaurant. I quite enjoyed my seafood stew, while my fiancé was happy he took the server’s recommendation and ordered the crispy mushrooms appetizer. My huevos rancheros delighted at brunch, the perfect send-off before our drive home, and the restaurant’s unique, industrial chic décor and open kitchen perfectly complemented our meals.
◆ Grab an alfresco cocktail at the lobby- and street-level Andy’s bar, named in honor of Pittsburgh’s famous Andrews — Warhol and Carnegie. Jazz at Andy’s is a weekly live music series featuring local artists.
◆ Location, location, location! We were able to walk to a number of our Pittsburgh destinations, including PNC Park, the Andy Warhol Museum and the Heinz History Center. Our visit coincided with Pittsburgh’s jazz festival, and all the events were also within walking distance of the hotel.
◆ Market Square is steps from Fairmont Pittsburgh; a night market and Sunday morning yoga were hosted events in the square, and Pittsburgh staples like Primanti Bros. and Prantl’s Bakery can be found here as well.
FAIRMONT PITTSBURGH 510 Market St. Pittsburgh, PA 15222
tel 412 773 8800 fairmont.com
West Palm Beach, Florida, recently welcomed AKA West Palm, a hotel residence offering long-stay accommodations. As AKA’s second South Florida property, AKA West Palm features 215 hotel residences comprised of studios, one- and two-bedroom spaces, and Penthouse suites. The five-story hotel blends modern luxuries with comfort and simplicity, with sleek kitchens, washers and dryers, and private terraces. Room furnishings contrast with a backdrop of stone, metal and wood to create simple, clean lines with minimal contrast.
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Originally a thriving Colonial seaport, Newport became the summer playground for the Gilded Age’s elite in the late 1880s. Today their mansions dot the coast of Aquidneck Island, and their favorite pastimes — sailing and tennis — still dominate the city’s recreational offerings. In fact, Newport hosted the first U.S. Open tennis championship in 1881 and golf tourna- ment in 1895 and hosted the America’s Cup from 1930 to 1983. You can experience most of Newport on your own, including the mansions, but don’t rule out a guided tour or two when you visit.