ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: Florence, South Carolina, is well-known to travelers driving from the Northeast to Florida as the halfway point off of I-95. After researching, it looked like this property had a good track record for those traveling with pets, so I called and spoke with Hyatt reservations to book and secure the details. The fee for the two dogs traveling with us, Ella and Beau, was $75 for both. On the receipt, the charge was referred to as a Pet Cleaning Fee. When I made the reservation, I received a discounted World of Hyatt member rate. They did tell me the dogs were not allowed in the restaurants, and I said that was sad as Beau likes to pony up to the bar. The reservationist thought that was funny.
After nearly 10 hours of driving, we arrived at the hotel and parked temporarily on the side to check in. I took Ella and Beau in for check-in while my wife waited in the car. We were offered room 310, close to the elevators, and I had to sign a waiver stating I was responsible for the pets and their actions. I asked where the pet relief area was and was told it was beyond the pool. These guys needed a break!
We went to the room after parking the car and then took a bellman’s trolley to get our luggage and supplies. The lot is about a half a block away.
GUEST QUARTERS: The room was a mini suite with a built-in sofa and two queen-sized beds — yes, the dogs got one of them. A large TV hung on the opposing wall, with cabinets flanking the walls around. The large bathroom had a single sink and a big shower. Shampoo and conditioner were provided, along with larger bars of hand soap. The water pressure in the shower was inadequate, but there were plenty of towels.
SERVICES/AMENITIES: Starving from the drive, I did have a burger at the lobby bar served in a grab-and-go style, but you could sit at the bar. The French fries were superior and the burger was room temperature, but I was hungry so I ate it. We took the pups around Florence, which seems to have a lot of nice restaurants. As it was just before the holidays, there were many festive decorations and an impressive light show right next to our hotel.
Speaking to some locals, we learned Florence experienced a resurgence and redevelopment of the downtown area in 2010. Prior to that, they said, “You would not have been caught dead downtown.” I can tell you it is a charming, walkable town, and I was sorry I had so little time to discover the shops and restaurants.
On the pet-friendly aspect, we were surprised we did not receive any welcome package of something for the dogs, as they did ask for their names when I made the reservation. I also found the pet relief area too far and too small. Parking was across the street in a secure lot behind the police department.
During the Civil War, Florence was a major railway hub for the Confederacy and the home of the Florence Stockade, which held 18,000 Union soldiers in terrible conditions.
Ella was dying to hit the pool, but I think that was also against regulations.
The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla is opening its acclaimed doors Oct. 22 to celebrate its fifth and most exciting season. The resort will introduce new programming including culinary, fitness and music.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
Seabourn recently announced the name of its second new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship: Seabourn Pursuit. The name reflects the passion of expedition travelers to seek out and explore natural wonders and destinations through activities around the globe.
Though the Chicago area has been my home for decades, the view from the Water Tower Suite on the 26th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago made me gasp. I had admired Chicago’s dramatic skyline many times, but never from this angle. Through expansive windows, the skyscrapers of 900 N. Michigan Ave. and the John Hancock Center, now named 875 North Michigan Avenue, rose to my right. Far below, the landmark Chicago Water Tower nestled in a ring of trees. One of the few survivors of the Great Chicago Fire, a turning point in the city’s history being remembered on its 150th anniversary in 2021, the Gothic Revival relic resembled a fairy-tale castle in a children’s playset.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
President Biden signed H.R. 2278, bipartisan legislation to designate a September 11th National Memorial Trail. The trail route will link the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in New York; the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia; and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
In April 2021, I was skimming Facebook when an ad for a blind-folded dining experience popped up on my newsfeed. The event was hosted through a company called Fever that offers fun, interactive events in major cities and virtually for people to enjoy. Intrigued, I clicked the link to learn more. The description made the event sound exciting and mysterious. When I give someone a present for their birthday, the holidays or a wedding, I like to give the gift of an experience that the recipient can learn something from. My boyfriend’s 30th birthday was in June, when the event was to be hosted, so I thought this would be a great surprise for him.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Austin, Texas, with us.