Photo taken inside the Gaylord Opryland Hotel Nashville Tennessee. It’s a jungle in there.
We spent our ten year anniversary in Vancouver Canada at the Opus hotel. Staying at the Opus Hotel in Vancouver Canada was amazing. Not only was I able to spend time alone with my husband without children I was able to be in the central hub of Vancouver. Everything we did was in walking distance of the hotel, yes we walked about 10 miles a day but that’s because we went back and fourth to and from the hotel every day more than once.
At check in we were given glasses of Champaign that was very good and when we got up to our room I went out on the balcony, which was small but really cool. It’s not very often that I’m in a room that has a balcony and I stay in a lot of hotels. It didn’t take them long to remember us as we came and went and I really liked being recognized. OPUS hotel is a smaller boutique type hotel that was very friendly with really great service. My questions were always answered with a smile and I was surprised at the extras you could find there.
The OPUS hotel has fabulous rooms. They designed their luxurious 96 room boutique hotel in downtown Vancouver. Their unique, playful rooms feature vibrant colors, contemporary furniture and a dizzying array of special touches. Our room had a spa bathtub and heated floors. We also had an n-room iPad that we could use anywhere within the hotel. They have six different types of rooms inspired by five different décor flavors. All reliably cool and fabulously delicious. We had complimentary Wi-fi and complimentary breakfast in their restaurant. The free breakfast included a pastry, juice, coffee, and yogurt.
We had umbrellas to use in our room for the rainy day and when it was sunny we were allowed to check out bicycles, making all that walking we did a lot easier. We were thinking of taking the bikes out to the island but we ended up walking there instead. The hotel has an amazing sitting area, it’s quite chic with pink accents and jewelry used as privacy separations in certain areas. We hung out there two nights in a row getting dessert and having drinks.
We were provided with a very special anniversary gift from the hotel. They gave us pink popcorn and a bottle of wine.
The hotel also provides local transportation to and from the hotel.
We were given a media rate for our hotel stay while we celebrated our 10 year anniversary in Vancouver Canada.
On my last trip to LA, one of the hotels I stayed in was the Hotel Hilton Garden Inn. The Garden in is a family friendly affordable hotel in downtown LA. Hilton Garden Inn Los Angeles/Hollywood is within easy reach of a number of Hollywood landmarks. Take a trip to the magic of Disney/Dreamworks Studios. Or, You can walk from the Hilton to the Highland Shopping Center with ease, and from there you can do the Hollywood walk of the stars among many other things.. The beds were comfortable and you can choose from 79 standard king accommodations, or 81 double guest rooms. Relax on the Hilton Garden Inn Serta Perfect Sleeper Bed, work into the night on the oversized, ergonomically-designed work desk and relax in front of the 37-inch HD TV. Upgrade to a deluxe king single accommodation to experience more comfort and space.
They have a little shop where you can buy different groceries that you can prepare in your room. I visited the little shop about three times to pick up snacks and drinks. They call their shop the 24-hour Pavilion Pantry® Market. We had excellent service for all of our meals. On our first night we had an unscheduled dinner and all hit the hotel bar at the same time. They managed to serve 15 of us and get us out of there in time for our departure. Three people joined the group late and had to take their food in a box but the hotel was very accommodating. This was where we were all seated for that really quick dinner.
I also spent a few hours relaxing by the pool while we were waiting for the entire group to get in. If you’re worried about too much heat then I’m here to tell you that you don’t have that much to worry about. The pool is partly shaded and fully shaded as the sun is setting. The temperature of the water was practically perfect.
Thank you to the Hilton for allowing us to stay there during our Disney Pixar Brave Red Carpet event.
A Mom’s Night Out to Remember : Seattle Style
Thanks to Residence Inn
Every single mom deserves a night out – a night without diapers, sippy cups, cutting up someone’s food, keeping an eye on the clock for bedtime, wiping who knows what off of who knows where with your shirt sleeve, and a night where you only need to think about you. You might think I’m headed on a story about a date night with my husband… wrong-o. You see, every single mom also deserves a night out with other moms who can understand why you haven’t dried your hair with a blow-dryer in 4 months, understand why you couldn’t find a shirt without a small stain on it, and totally get it when a diaper accidentally falls out of your purse. It’s that club that we’re all a part of – motherhood. Recently, I was lucky enough to spend this special type of night out with some AMAZING ladies thanks to Residence Inn by Marriott.
On a gorgeous Seattle June day (yes those days actually do happen), I headed out into Seattle with some lovely ladies from the blogosphere. We tweeted, pictured, and most importantly ATE our way through the streets of Seattle. We took an amazing food tour through Pike Place Market. That was so much fun, I think I could write a whole post just about that! In fact, I think I will. More on the Savor Seattle Food Tour later.:)
Blow Dry Bar… YES PLEASE!
Have you ever heard of a blow dry bar? I don’t consider myself an expert, but Mane was AWESOME. As a mom who usually lets her hair air dry because of how valuable time is on a daily basis, the thought of sitting a fancy chair as a trained professional tamed my mane was like a dream. Thanks to Residence Inn, the 6 of us lovely ladies got to have that dream come true. I guess it really is the simple things in life that bring joy, because I absolutely LOVED it. My friend Delicious Baby made the comment that they must have had magic brushes and hands… and I think she’s right. Even when I do actually pull out the blow dryer, it doesn’t work like that! A trip to a blow dry bar is definitely worth the money (actually not outrageously priced) for what you get. I highly recommend it for a girls night out or gift for a lucky lady you know.
Eat, Drink, and be Merry
Purple is a wine bar local to the Seattle area. After a day of grazing on Seattle’s most delicious dishes, and being pampered like no other, it was time to fill our bellies with goodness. I’m not much of a wine drinker, but I will say the people at Purple, and the new friends I made on the trip, are more than happy to help you out in choosing something that you might like. They had a great selection of wines… and more importantly to me – FOOD! Everything was wonderful. The best part of it all though, was simply sitting with other smart women and talking. Talking about the world, the food, our families… you name it.
After an incredibly packed day, and a little ice cream sundae, we all headed to our HUGE rooms at Residence Inn. At Residence Inn, each room is a suite so you (and your family) have plenty of space to spread out! Between walking around the city, eating a ton of DELICIOUS food all day long, and getting pampered like I was someone special… I FELT special… and SO grateful. I guess that’s what is nice about taking time JUST FOR YOU. Whether it’s a food tour, a trip to the beauty salon, or just ice cream with your girlfriends, taking time for YOU is important. Taking time to talk with other moms is important. So happy I had the chance to do it all!
Meet Ashley (Managing Editor at MomStart): Ashley is a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and former teacher working to navigate through the mysterious world of Mommyia. Read more about her adventures atMomicles and follow her @Momicles2010 .
Thanks to Residence Inn by Marriott for providing the activities during the day and the lodging overnight. All opinions expressed are my own.
Earlier this month, I stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC. I was there for the Reviewer’s Retreat blog conference, but luckily got to bring Atticus, my brother, and my sister along for the ride. We had a blast!
As soon as you walk into Great Wolf Lodge, you are transported. The attention to detail throughout the Lodge is amazing. The lobby is a warm welcoming place with a massive stone fireplace and plenty of comfy seating. Amid the exposed woodwork, amazing carvings, and animals (don’t worry, not real ;)) there is a giant clock tower. This giant clock tower is known as the “Great Clock Tower” and the center of a nightly pajama time show! The clock tower comes to life revealing forest creatures, introducing characters, singing songs, and more. We made sure to take Atticus one night before bed. It was a great way to end the day.
The Water Park
The Water Park at Great Wolf Lodge was clean, safe, and FUN! To me, those are three major factors when thinking about taking your family to a water park. There was plenty of room in every area… and activities for kids of every age. Atticus could have stayed there all day long. Indoor pools, outdoor pools, pool-side basketball goals (with plenty of balls for everyone), slides for everyone, and a wave pool… it was wonderful. I was really impressed with the variety of things within the park. We spent a lot of time in the area designated for little kids but even that was full of surprising splashes from overhead buckets, a just right slide, and even jet skis that shot water. What about the big kids? My brother and sister took turns going on the big slides with me so that someone was always with Atticus. There are slides big enough and exciting enough to keep even your most daring dare-devil happy!
The Rooms and Amenities
There are several different styles of rooms at Great Wolf Lodge. The same attention to detail, and maintaining the outdoor lodge atmosphere carries throughout every single room. Whether it is a picture of a bear in a bathtub in the bathroom, or the natural looking wood nightstands, you will always know you are at the lodge. The beds were extremely comfortable and the room was clean. (I know that should be a given, but if you travel, you know it’s not!) The internet connection was smooth and the in house, kid friendly TV station was a huge plus for me. We try not to watch a lot of TV, but it was nice to know there was something there if we needed it. OH! And how can I talk about the room without mentioning the awesome room key? The room keys at Great Wolf Lodge are bracelets (similar to a hospital bracelet). Your room key is always with you (even in the pool), waterproof, and keeps your room completely secure!
Our trip to Great Wolf Lodge would not have been the same without Magic Quest. Throughout the hotel, there are interactive animals, books, treasure chests, paintings and more. These things come to life with the power of a magic wand. You sign up (or sign your child up) to play this massive interactive fantasy game. After purchasing a magic wand, you are on your way to stop in at the magical forest to receive any instructions you might need for a quest or adventure. After completing tasks throughout the Lodge, you can go on to score points, find a fairy, and maybe even fight a dragon.
Great Wolf Lodge Delivered
There were 2 things that really stood out to me about Great Wolf Lodge. The first is definitely a “Mom Moment.” With a busy toddler who is out of a crib, I hadn’t really thought about bring bedrails (or anything else for him to sleep on). I asked the front desk if they had any cot materials and they offered a pack-n-play. Unfortunately, Atticus is a little big for that. Evidently my face showed my concern, and they instead offered bedrails! In about 10 minutes (pretty fast for a lodge that size), someone had brought bedrails to our room AND installed them for us! AWESOME!
My number one rave about Great Wolf Lodge was the incredible customer service. Every single employee (or “Pack Member” as their called) was friendly, helpful, and polite. It was obvious that customer satisfaction was a priority.
Since Atticus is just barely 2 years old, I hope that we have the chance to head back to the Lodge… GREAT WOLF LODGE! It was a great family trip and one that I would gladly make again.
Meet Ashley (Managing Editor at MomStart): Ashley is a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and former teacher working to navigate through the mysterious world of Mommyia. Read more about her adventures at Momicles and follow her @Momicles2010 .