ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: An interesting morning of air travel was followed by a stress-free greeting at The Peninsula Chicago. Upon arrival I stepped out of my Uber and onto the sidewalk of the hotel to be greeted by a doorman in a beautiful all-white uniform who asked my name in order to alert the front desk of my arrival. Once I made my way through the doors and up to the lobby, a front desk agent acknowledged me by name and assured me check-in was not necessary and that she would take care of it later. She actually walked me all the way to my room on the 17th floor and showed me around the suite. This would be unnecessary if the suite wasn’t so high-tech. I appreciated it after realizing how detail-oriented each guestroom was. A hands-free check-in experience is something I can get used to.
GUEST QUARTERS: The Grand Premier King room was where I would rest my head for the one night I was in town. A cloud of a king bed sat in the naturally lit room adjacent to a beautiful couch; a work station equipped with an array of outlets and a printer; and a table holding a hand-written letter from The Peninsula staff, two waters, a fruit basket and a jar of nuts. The room was operated by a tablet system that controlled the lights, temperature, TV and pretty much anything else you could imagine. This system allowed me to request pillows, room service or any other needs I had during my 24 hours in town. One of my favorite aspects was the “dressing room” with lighting options; it led into the beautiful bathroom with its mix of classic and modern décor — complete with a TV and a spa-sized tub where I would wind down after a day of meetings.
SERVICES/ AMENITIES: While I didn’t have time to book myself a spa treatment, I could not resist peeking in to see what all of the excitement was about online; and let me tell you, excitement was an understatement. On the top floor of The Peninsula, I took it upon myself to walk around the half-Olympic-sized indoor pool, spa quarters and women’s locker room.
The service was wonderful. Since returning to Pennsylvania, I have certainly missed being greeted as Ms. Fogarty every time I entered or exited the property. The turndown service was most notable, as I returned from my dinner reservation to calming music, dimmed lighting and a water bottle next to my bed — also something I’ve missed!
One thing I will say is no matter how often I tried to express my gratitude toward the attentive staff, they appreciated my gesture. But what makes The Peninsula Chicago so outstanding is the fact they do not expect thanks. The 5-star service is such a standard, and I never once felt like the employees were anything less than thrilled to provide such an experience.
- The rooftop bar, ZBar, and restaurant Shanghai Terrace were delicious!
- Great location on Michigan Avenue
- My experience was completely personalized, and the staff was wonderful!
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.
Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.
Birmingham, Alabama, was named for the city in the English Midlands that kept the fires burning, warmed the homes and made much of the steel for the United Kingdom’s industrial revolution. Decades later, the American city also made steel, so much of it, in fact, it became known as the “Magic City” for steel production, and the moniker stuck. But today’s Magic City makes more than steel, taking the raw product a few more steps to become a major center for automobile parts manufacturing and more, including Honda, Mercedes-Benz and U.S. Steel. Thanks to local leadership and long-term planning, the magic still works for Birmingham, as evidenced by its role hosting The World Games 2022 last summer.
As New York City’s leading Latino cultural institution, El Museo del Barrio welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic landscape of Latino, Caribbean and Latin American cultures. El Museo’s wide-ranging collections and exhibitions represent these cultures’ richness, complemented by film, literary, visual and performing arts series, cultural celebrations and educational programs. Ranging from pre-Columbian to modern and contemporary art, the permanent collection totals more than 8,000 objects.
THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED
Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown recently reopened its Fairmont Gold, introducing amenities, a contemporary new style in the Fairmont Gold Lounge and dedicated concierges. The 48-room, three-suite Fairmont Gold, positioned as an urban oasis, takes over the entire ninth floor of the hotel and delivers exceptional service to meet guests’ needs.
The results are in! For the 19th consecutive year, Global Traveler conducted its GT Tested Reader Survey, asking frequent luxury travelers to name the best in a variety of travel-related categories. More than 22,000 people responded. Global Traveler’s inaugural awards were celebrated in 2004.
Start planning that long-awaited trip to the island of Ireland. With all travel restrictions now lifted, there has never been a better time to visit.
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.