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This summer, dine at one of the finest restaurants in Washington, D.C., while staying at a sleek downtown hotel. Book a Friday or Saturday night at the Liaison Capitol Hill and take advantage of its Wine and Dine Weekend Escape, which includes a $100 credit at the renowned Art and Soul Restaurant. Rates start from just $169 this summer — a savings of 30% on the combined components of this package.
The Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia hotel, is the closest hotel to the U.S. Capitol. It’s also within walking distance to The Smithsonian, the National Mall, and dozens more of the city’s most visited museums and monuments. The hotel offers modern and recently renovated guestrooms with high-speed WiFi (complimentary with this package), iHome docks, flat-screen TVs, and remodeled bathrooms. Take advantage of the rooftop pool in the hot summer months, or enjoy the coolly sophisticated lobby, bar, and business spaces downstairs.
Helmed by two-time James Beard Award-winner Art Smith, Art and Soul is one of the top-rated restaurants in D.C., offering upscale soul food in an elegant environment. Choose from the restaurant’s excellent wine list (rated one of “America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants” by Wine Enthusiast magazine) and enjoy Southern dishes with a modern bent with your $100 credit.
The Wine and Dine Weekend Escape is available from now through the end of the year. We found rates as low as $179 in June, $184 in July, and $169 in August. This offer is only valid for arrivals on Friday or Saturday, but guests can stay two nights and will receive a $100 credit per day. Click here to book using the promo code PKGESC. Or call 202-638-1616 and mention the same code.
Two Ritz-Carlton properties have rolled out some sweet-sounding (and free!) amenities for travelers looking to squeeze every last drop out of their vacation experience – quite literally! Guests at the Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach, Florida, can have their fruit juice dreams whipped up courtesy of the hotel’s newly appointed Citrus Sommelier (pictured at left), who will be serving up juices, smoothies, and fruit juice cocktails at the resort’s Sunday brunch. Or, look to the Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas, in the U.S.V.I., where guests can handpick fruits on the resort’s 30 fruit-spouting acres of lush tropical goodness. The property’s Garden Concierge is on hand to crack open coconuts for guests on the spot for a refreshing drink of coconut water, or guests can opt to hand-select fruits like papayas and mangoes, which can then be prepared for lip-smacking consumption by the on-site chefs at any hotel restaurant.
Foodies rejoice! Nothing says fresh like food you’ve foraged yourself from the wild – an unexpected education to be had via the chef-led enrichment program at the Connoisseurs Scotland group’s luxury Boath House property in Nairn (situated near Inverness, on Scotland’s northeast coast). The exclusive three-day foraging courses are led by Chef Charlie Lockley, designated Scottish Chef of the Year 2010 (and proponent of the UK’s slow-food movement), who heads the hotel’s Michelin-star eatery. Read more
Hop over to the newly opened Hotel Ignacio in St. Louis with the Bike and Brew package for weekend stays in September and October (except September 23-25 and October 7-9 and 21-23). Each weekend, guests will get VIP tastings at four St. Louis breweries (Schlafy Brewery, Urban Chestnut, Sixth Row, and Square One Brewery) as well as breakfast daily, parking, and use of the hotel loaner bikes each day. For stays September 17-19, the package also includes two VIP tickets to Schlafy’s annual “Hop in the City,” with food, live music, and 40 beers for tasting. Guests staying from September 30-October 30 will receive passes to a haunted house and a haunted brewery tour. The two-night package starts at $479. Call 314-977-4411 to book.
Whether you’re packing up the family for a few more days of quality time before everyone’s hectic school year schedules start up again or planning a rendezvous for two, these hotels are offering an old-school way to kick it on a red-checkered blanket, no ants allowed, for the last few days of summer.
Head west to the family-owned El Capitan Canyon located on the Pacific coast of Southern California for the Family Picnic Package, which includes a two-night stay in the accommodation of your choice. This upscale outdoor destination is nestled against the Los Padres National Forest and only a five-minute walk away from the El Capitan State Beach. The package includes a complimentary Canyon Logo picnic bag packed with a s’mores kit for four and a bundle of firewood, as well as a picnic blanket, trail mix snack, and a lunch coupon for four to be redeemed at either the Canyon Deli Garden Patio or the Back Market Lawn. Lunch can be packed up to go and enjoyed with gorgeous ocean and mountain views from one of Canyon’s several hiking trails. Rates start at $384 for two nights in the Safari Tent, $516 for a Cedar Cabin, and $494 for the Adventure Yurt; www.elcapitancanyon.com.
At the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona, the best part of waking up (and capping off the night) is likely the orange juice in your cup. The two-year-old property planted a citrus orchard before it opened in 2009, and the trees are finally mature enough to harvest. To celebrate, the Ritz will let guests pick Arizona oranges, Minneola tangelos, and red grapefruit from the 42 on-site trees and deliver them to the chef to make freshly squeezed breakfast juices. Come evening, the bounty produces tangy cocktails, like the house specialty Greyhound, a blend of grapefruit-infused vodka and garden-fresh grapefruit juice. City-dwellers unfamiliar with proper harvesting techniques need not worry: Staff will reveal the secrets to selecting the juiciest, branch-ripened fruits. The service is free; for reservations, call 520-572-3000 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com/dovemountain
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You’ve heard of poolside dining, but what about dining in the pool? The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, located northwest of Tucson, recently launched “Splash Dining,” where tables, chairs, and legs are all submerged in the hotel’s Turquesa Pool. Instead of checking their coats, diners check their shoes – and be sure to wear knee-length pants to avoid damp bottoms. The meal itself is a three-course menu specially prepared and served by the Ritz’s chefs, and includes a Champagne toast. Cost is $300 per couple. For reservations, call 520-572-3000. www.ritzcarlton.com/dovemountain
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A proper picnic demands plenty of planning: Before taking a single bite you have to prepare food, pack the basket, and find a dry patch of grass to sit on. Let someone else handle the muss and fuss at London’s The Lanesborough, which is offering “Butler Picnics” in nearby Hyde Park for the second year in a row. For the elegant affair, a butler accompanies guests to the park and serves morsels from the kitchen of Apsley’s, the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant (think Cornish poached lobster with Beluga mayo, Taittinger Rose Champagne, and house-made artisan chocolates). Naturally, paper plates won’t suffice; picnickers dine with crystal glasses, Royal Worcester china plates, and linen napkins. Butler Picnics cost about $409 per person and are available from May to August. www.lanesborough.com
Last summer Marriott was among the chains pushing free breakfast, and that’s still the case at their Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn & Suites, and SpringHill Suites properties. Likewise, select JW Marriott and Marriott Hotel & Resorts will feed breakfast to a couple of adults and all kids under 12 through September 5 for stays booked before August 22.
My kids’ problem with breakfast, especially on the road, is that it’s the meal that commands the least amount of interest, so by 11:30am they’re lobbying for lunch, and for my brood that’s easily sixty bucks. If your family’s like mine, then you might already be a fan of Holiday Inn, where up to four kids 12 and under eat free any time of day at the hotels’ on-site restaurants.
The Holiday Inn deal has three terms that are fairly typical of such offers: Kids need to order off the children’s menu; at least one grown-up has to order a qualifying entrée off the regular menu; and room service is not part of the deal.
While the concept of casual destination restaurants isn’t new in the British capital (Terence Conran, the Galvin brothers, and Mark Hix, to name a few, have been pursuing it for years), a spate of recent debuts is signaling a sea change in the city’s dining scene. Increasingly, top London chefs are trimming the foams and fancy emulsions from their menus and instead serving uncomplicated but still delicious fare – often with a Provençal influence – at prices that won’t cause indigestion. Read on for our London Bistros Spotlight, which uncovers the hottest of these low-key eateries.
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