The Fairmont Château Laurier

Ottawa 1

A regal gem within walking distance of Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal, the Prime Minister’s residence and the Byward Market is the century old Fairmont Château Laurier. Visitors will appreciate the festive holiday décor provided by an annual fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Stop in for a warm drink and watch the snow fall.

Where to Stay in Quebec City

Quebec City Fairmont

Experience the old world feel of the city by staying at the Fairmont Le Château Fontenac (ABOVE) which dates to 1893. Québec City is a walking city; after a comfortable night’s sleep you’ll wake up feeling like a king or queen.

Dabble Savvy: While most of the views are lovely, the best is from the Princess Grace of Monaco Suite (Rooms 1401-02).

Québec City is loaded with history, but you’ll enjoy the contrast of a contemporary hotel stay with Hotel Le Germain-Dominion. Custom headboards sport digitalized photography that captures the city’s best architecture.

For many, the Auberge St. Antoine is the best hotel in Canada. From the outside, the unimposing building is deceiving, but enter the lobby and the crackling fireplace wins you over. Upon closer inspection, crisp white walls are an ideal backdrop to historic artefacts housed behind thick glass. The best of old and new Québec.

A Guide to Old Town Prague

Prague 20

Featuring prominently in Old Town Square is the bronze Art Nouveau fountain, a memorial to protestant reformer, Jan Hus. In the background, the shell-pink Kinsky Palace where Czech native Franz Kafka attended prep school.

prague-tyn

While people watching often takes precedence over sightseeing in Prague’s busy main square, Staromestské Námestí is home to a number of worthy sites. The imposing Gothic construction of the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn (Tyn Church) with its not-quite-identical towers dominates Prague’s Old Town Square.

Shop

Hit the shops in nearby Ungelt Square which has a branch of contemporary glassware store Material as well as Botanicus, a Czech institution for lotions and potions. Nearby Dlouh Street is one of my favourite shopping destinations.

prague-oldtown

Eat

Toasty warm, this traditional Slovakian treat (trdelnik) is dusted with cinnamon, sugar and nuts. Look for open stalls or bakeries selling this perfect late afternoon pick-me-up.

Passersby are tempted by the cinnamon sweetness of trdelnik, a traditional pastry made daily in bakeries across the city.

prague-oldtown2

Stay

Four Seasons (Veleslav.nova 2A). If perfection is desired, look no further than this renowned chain where the setting, service and amenities are unsurpassed. Book an evening meal at Allegro to enjoy riverside views and the award-winning cuisine.

Prague-KSbike

Kimberley takes time out from filming to pose before heading out with CityTV’s CityLine cameraman Patrick Reynolds on the unusual seven-seater bike.

Hutton Hotel, Nashville

blogimg430

Walking into a hotel lobby can sometimes feel stark and impersonal. The Hutton Hotel in Nashville is anything of the sort. It’s warm, inviting and gives a vibe that you’re walking into your friend’s uber cool living room.

With elements of country that are transformed into hip and modern the hotel is a place you will love returning to at the end of your day. You will be welcomed by the friendliest of staff willing to help you with any of your travel needs.

blogimg429

Art is a large part of the design concept. An organized collage leans on linear shelves showcasing contemporary art. Sculpture is also impressive in the space, with a life sized abstract steel horse nodding hello as you walk through the lobby doors.

The rooms themselves are stylish and comfortable, the rain head shower is relaxing and a Nespresso machine on each floor means you can run down the hall in your robe to fetch a cup of morning brew.

A respect and appreciation for the environment is also evident in the design with eco friendly finishes and materials throughout. However, they go beyond suggesting that you re-use your towel. Eco-minded considerations in the form of light control with your room card, biodegradable cleaning products, and a recycling program for glass, paper and plastics to name a few. The Hutton Hotel is *clean* chic.

I’m sure you’ve got a trip planned south to Nashville after reading all about this fine city in the March/April issue of Dabble Mag so be sure to check into the Hutton Hotel when you get there.

Living in Old San Juan

Puerto Rico Living9

Extending a warm greeting, after a day’s work at the hospital, Dr. Carlos Gonzalez assures me he feels more like a ‘Carli’ than a ‘Dr. Gonzalez’ as he unlocks the door to his Old San Juan apartment. He offers chilled Medalla, the local brew, and talks passionately about his charming apartment, its tiled courtyard and the rare neighbourhood he calls home.

Puerto Rico Living2

“When you live in Old San Juan, everyone comes to you,” says Carli. And why wouldn’t they? “It’s a magical place that’s brimming with history and, unlike any other city in Puerto Rico, you can walk everywhere in the Old Town. In fact, on weekends, I rarely use my car.”

When you live in Old San Juan, everyone comes to you.

Puerto Rico Living1

Desert Rock Resort

blogimg476

In addition to our Desert Rock Resorts featured on page 115 in Mar/Apr 2011 issue, a new player has just emerged, sweeping us off our feet.

Room With a View: Amangiri

WHERE: Canyon Point, Utah, USA

WHAT: Winner of the Travel+Leisure Best Resort for 2011, Amangiri is in the centre of the Grand Circle, surrounded by National Park icons like the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, and the Grand Staircase. Nestled in a protected valley, the architecturally spectacular Pavilion building, and its suite wings, at once blend with the rugged landscape and provide a peaceful place to look out upon the towering ancient bluffs. Watch the colours change with the passing of the desert sun overhead.

HOW MUCH: From US$850 per night.

room with a view