At the Beverly Hills Hotel, Everyone is a Movie Star

Iconic Wallpaper at BHH

Iconic Wallpaper at BHH


Home: Beverly Hills Hotel

Home: Beverly Hills Hotel


Hard not to love the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The Pink Palace never fails to please. Part of Dorchester Collection, the iconic hotel is better than ever. Undergoing selective renovation- of which I never saw or heard evidence, the hotel has kept the 1912 original decor but added all the 2019 conveniences. Staff is happy and welcome is warm. Beautifully led by GM Edward Mady, the hotel spins like a top. Can’t wait to return!
BHH Lobby

BHH Lobby

Impossible to Choose the Top Hotel in Marrakech!

Selman Marrakech

Selman Marrakech


Hotel Selman, located about 20 minutes outside of city center is palace on 15 acres also home to an impressive collection of Arabian thoroughbreds. A place where the horses are as glossy as the 75 metre swimming pool. The stunning interiors were designed by iconic designer Jacques Garcia. The hotel’s aesthetic is best described as French Second Empire luxury meets Arabian tradition: lustrous chandeliers, purple and gold upholstery meld with ebony-stained tadelakt plasterwork and miniature monochrome zellige tiling.
My personal hotel favorites are Royal Mansour, La Mamounia, Mandarin Oriental, Selman, and Villa des Orangers.
Courtyard La Mamounia

Courtyard La Mamounia


Welcome! Classic La Mamounia

Welcome! Classic La Mamounia


Royal Mansour

Royal Mansour


Charming courtyard Villa Des Orangers a Relais & Chateaux


Massive elegant pool villa- Mandarin Oriental Marrakech

Top Hotels Fes Morocco

Riad Fes- Relais & Chateaux

Riad Fes- Relais & Chateaux


Hotel Sahrai

Hotel Sahrai

View from my room- Hotel Sahrai

View from my room- Hotel Sahrai

Rocking Rooftop Bar - Hotel Sahrai

Rocking Rooftop Bar – Hotel Sahrai


Fes, the cultural heart of Morocco, has a special selection of small hotels.
Riad Fes is the largest luxury boutique hotel in Fez and is a member of Relais & Chateaux. The hotel comprises 3 old palaces that date back to the 18th century. It’s been opened as a hotel since 2001. It has 26 Rooms and it’s restaurant is considered one of the best in Fes.
A relatively new addition is Hotel Sahrai. Decor is more contemporary, the hotel has two restaurants- one French and one Moroccan. The hotel also boosts a rooftop bar with spectacular sunset views.

Morocco- Haunting Images

Color, people, shopping, landscapes- Morocco has it all

Color, people, shopping, landscapes- Morocco has it all

Moon over Marrakech

Moon over Marrakech

Morocco – A Kaleidoscope of Color

Potter in Skoura

Potter in Skoura

Marrakech

Marrakech

Majorelle Garden Marrakech

Morocco – Exotic, Glamorous and Friendly!

Kasbah in the Almond Valley

Kasbah in the Almond Valley

Doorway Royal Mansour Marrakech

Doorway Royal Mansour Marrakech


One of the most exotic and secure places to visit in the world is Morocco. The welcome and warmth of people in general is warm and from the heart. Hotels here are a dream.
Craftsmanship in leather goods, jewelry, fashion, textiles, furnishings, decorative accessories, lighting, and just about anything you can imagine buying, is excellent. A food lovers dream, the country is a choice place to sample French, and Moroccan influences.

Maria Cristina Hotel, San Sebastián Spain -Top choice!

Hotel Maria Cristina San Sebastián

Hotel Maria Cristina San Sebastián

Maria Christina Hotel, San Sebastián


Classical Grande Dame in San Sebastián.
Opened in 1912, the restored Hotel Maria Cristina has been closely linked to the history and cultural life of San Sebastian. We experienced gracious hospitality on a grand scale in the hotel.
Decorated in a sophisticated palette of greys and white, the rooms are a quiet haven of luxury, style, technology and a dazzling range of services which combined, make for an unforgettable stay.

Lobby La Posta Vecchia

Any visit to elegant La Posta Vecchia is a special treat. Once the residence of Jean Paul Getty whose collection of antique furniture, tapestries and century old objects remain part of what is now a 19 room luxury hotel complete with every comfort and amenity. This 17th century jewel is one of the most prestigious hotels in Italy. Delightful GM, Marco Filippi runs a tight ship. Service is flawless. Perfect for small weddings, honeymoons or simply a magical romantic place to experience. A palatial seaside villa located within an easy 30-minute drive of Fiumicino airport.

Senior Suite La Posta Vecchia

Brownell Travel Group at La Posta Vecchia

Eden Hotel Rome – Spectacular after a 17 Month Renovation

With awe inspiring panorama views, Legendary Hotel Eden is like a shiny new penny after a 17 month renovation. Rooms are bright and elegant. The hotel retained those gorgeous white marble spacious bathrooms. Makes anyone feel like a movie star!
A Dorchester Collection hotel, the staff Is masterfully run by GM Luca Virgilio.
Staff Is enthusiastic and sincerely welcoming. Rooms are bright and large location at the top of the hill near Via Veneto, makes for easy walking. And those BEDS! Unforgettable!!

HotelEden View from Bar

Lobby Corner Hotel Eden

Still has the michelin starred restaurant, La Terrazzo and Eden bar with incredible views overlooking the entire Historic center of Rome

Il Giardino Ristorante Eden Hotel

Ritz Carlton Lake Oconee Top Choice for Summer Break

Patrick Droney performing at Ritz Carlton Lake Oconee


Ritz Carlton Lake Oconee is offering a offering a series of concerts and fireworks on selected Sunday nights this summer.
Next concerts are Sunday, July 29: Jon McLaughlin
Sunday, August 5: Nathan Angelo
Sunday, September 2: Ansley Stewart (Labor Day Weekend)
Ansley Stewart and friends will be closing summer in style by playing hits from the 70’s through today. As one of Atlanta’s top cover bands, Stewart and friends will have you rocking the night away.

Linger longer train circles the Ritz Carlton Lake Resort.

The Ritz Carlton on Lake Oconee is an easy to reach in the southern US. A great choice getaway for kids, Ritz is emerging as a top family destination.
Offering an extensive kids program with Junior Explorer, Spy Camp, and Field day, along with multiple lake and pool activities, the resort aims to please. The new and improved Ritz Kids Program is based on the Four Pillars of Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society:
Water: Emphasizes the importance of sea life and health
Land: Encourages exploration and discovery
Environmental Responsibility: Promotes our role in the health of our planet for the future
Culture: Exposes young minds to a variety of art forms, including music, local customs, history and cuisine[new and improved Ritz Kids Program based on the Four Pillars of Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society:
Water: Emphasizes the importance of sea life and health
Land: Encourages exploration and discovery
Environmental Responsibility: Promotes our role in the health of our planet for the future
Culture: Exposes young minds to a variety of art forms, including music, local customs, history and cuisine

A few of the different activities they offer at their vacation resort include: nature hikes or scavenger hunts, fishing, making pine cone bird feeders, shooting hoops on their court, exploring their tree house playground or performing plays in their Pollywog Theatre.

Definitely worth a visit!

Budapest- A Beautiful Surprise

View from our room at Ritz Carlton Budapest


The Austro-Hungarian monarchy of the Danube came into being in the year 1872 when the three separate settlements of Pest, Buda and Óbuda (literally “Old” Buda) were united into one city. Occupied by the Soviets until 1989, Hungary saw the end of communism and political freedom through the collapse of the soviet system. Heavily bombed in World War 11, the city has recovered and restored it’s major attractions with careful sense of it’s bountiful history.
Another food, music, and artistic haven, Budapest is a must visit destination.

Budapest’s Parliament – one of the most beautiful and largest in the world
Stunning interior of Parliament

Iconic St Stephens Basilica
Night lighting of the city is unforgettable

Hotels We Love Vienna

View from the Presidential Suite Sacher Wien

View from the Presidential Suite Sacher Wien

Rooftop Bar Ritz Vienna


Top choice for Hotels:
Sacher Hotel Wien
Ritz Carlton Vienna
Two completely different hotel experiences from a decorative standpoint. Sacher is traditional, glamorous and as old world as a classic hotel can get. Ritz Carlton is contemporary and with their club lounge and rooftop bar- hard to beat.
Other top contenders are the Bristol with a stellar location across from the Opera, and the Imperial Hotel with their old world glamour.

Imperial Hotel banquet room and Hallway


Park Hyatt meeting room

Staircase Imperial Hotel


The brand new Park Hyatt is a restored bank and they kept the classical features with a contemporary decor.
All hotels are Virtuoso had impeccable service.

Iconic Hot Springs Destination, Baden Baden is in Full Bloom

Iconic Baden Baden in full bloom

An ancient Roman Town, known for it’s healing mineral springs, Baden Baden never fails to entice. I went in college and it is still the same beautiful town. Revisiting Oetker Collection’s Brenner Park Hotel is a complete pleasure. More to come.

Driving the West Coast of Japan

Wild Rugged Noto Peninsula West Coast Japan

Stunning Vistas along the west coast of Japan and the Noto Peninsula. Often secluded, the drive is a treasure trove of rugged coastline images.

Dream Destination for Art Lovers -Benesse House, Naoshima

Benesse House – Park


Benesse House was a hotel/ museum concept, started in 1992.
Based on the concept of “coexistence of nature, art and architecture.” Designed by Tadao Ando, the facility is built on high ground overlooking the Seto Inland Sea and features large large glass expanses that serve to open up the interior to the natural surroundings. In addition to exhibiting the painting, sculpture, photography, and installations in its collection, the Museum also contains permanent site-specific installations that artists have created especially for the building, selecting locations on their own and designing the works for those spaces. The hotels consist of Park- 47 rooms, Beach – 8 suites, Oval 6 rooms and 2 suites and the museum hotel- 8 rooms. Among the artists featured are Claude Monet- Water Lilies, Jean Michel Basquiat, James Turrell, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney, Yayoi Kushama, and Niki de Saint Phalle.

Oval at Benesse House

Beniya Mukayu- A Relais & Chateaux Gem

Library

Tea Ceremony Beniya Mukayu

A marvelous addition to the Relais & Chateaux Japan collection is the beautiful Beniya Mukayu. Tranquil rooms with open-air baths in a hot springs hotel offering a garden setting, spa, and spectacular dining. The rooms have a traditional Japanese Mineral Spring tub. Located near the western coast of Central Japan, the drive offers spectacular coastal views.

Japanese Style Mineral Spring Tub

Typical bedroom Beniya Mukayu

Restaurant Kaiseki Horin

Iconic Miyajima Island

Miyajima

Itsukushima is an island in the western part of the Inland Sea of Japan, located in the northwest portion of Hiroshima Bay. It is popularly known as Miyajima which in Japanese means “Shrine Island”. The island is one of Hayashi Gahō’s Three Views of Japan designed in 1643.
What a thrill to see.

Buddhist Pagoda at Miyajima

Sasayuri-Ann, a Villa in the Japanese Countryside

Sasayuri-Ann

Interior Sasayuri- Ann

Sasayuri-Ann is one of about 8 small villas and Ryokans we are going to experience. Owned by a village Buddhist priest, Tetsuji Matsubayashi, the villa was surpassed all expectations! Hosted by he and his family, we were most pleasantly surprised to have a flute serenade by his teacher- who plays all over the world. Then the topper was having dinner prepared by another friend, a Michelin Chef.

Dinner cooked by a Michelin Chef! What an experience!

Japanese Countryside and Temple visits.

We visited the town of Nara – near Kyoto- on the way to an amazing country villa but more about that later. We visited Fushimi Inari, a shrine famous for it’s 10,000 gates. When one makes a donation, their name is inscribed on one of the gates. Stunning!

Fushimi Inari Shrine


Morning Mist Nara


Todjaiji Temple, largest wooden building in the world


Diety from Tojaiji Temple

Ritz Carlton Kyoto- a Japanese Jewel Box!

Ritz Carlton Kyoto


One checks in and gets an immediate sense of

Ritz Carlton Kyoto

Flowers at the Ritz Carlton Kyoto

Kyoto. Japanese culture is on display in every corner. Rooms are luxurious with a floor to ceiling window view of the city. Japanese design with an extreme sense of luxury. Both 5 Star hotels in Kyoto, the Ritz Carlton and the Four Seasons are superb choices for an experience in Kyoto.

Kyoto – Cultural Heart of Japan

Dinner with a Geisha

With so many stunning temples, castles, monasteries, Kyoto is packed with wondrous sights everywhere you turn. One needs at least 4-5 days here.


Shogun Palace Kyoto

Japan – Amazing Ancient Culture

Japan- amazing ancient culture!
Polite, respectful, serene. We are finding the people of Japan to be warm and welcoming! I am privileged to be on a 16 day journey planned by Windows to Japan. Today we are in Kyoto at the incredible Four Seasons Kyoto. Typically the FS service is over the top, and this hotel was perfect.

Golden Pavillion Kyoto[/caption]

Four Seasons Kyoto

Four Seasons Kyoto

A Huge Salute to Africa Inscribed Private Travel

Many thanks to the Africa Inscribed team – especially Dylan Harriss and Bernadette Venter


Thank you Africa Inscribed!
Our Safari was the most memorable experience of Will’s, Lily’s and my life.
The plan went like clockwork. Not one misstep. Dylan, Bernadette and team Africa Inscribed created and planned a spectacular experience from the minute we got off the plane till we got back on.
A big shout out goes to Warren Wright, our private label guide. He was so attuned to the children, they loved him. They learned so much and a huge part of our amazing experience was because of Warren. For a family traveling with children, I heartily recommend Warren as your private label guide.
No words to thank Team Africa Inscribed enough. Treasured memories for a lifetime.

Warren Wright – amazing private guide especially for families with children

Ol Donyo Was – Chyulu Hills Kenya- Amazing!

Both Relais & Chateaux and Virtuoso, Ol Donyo Was is an amazing Lodge in the Chyulu Hills of Kenya. One of the few Lodges with it’s own blind, Ol Donyo affords spectacular safe viewing of wildlife, up close and personal. Suites have huge glass doors open up to the plains and unforgettable views. The staff is highly trained and delightful. Our guide Elijah taught the children how to make bows and arrows out of tree branches. He was amazingly good with the kids. They hated to say goodbye. Perfect place for children on Safari, activities include horseback riding. The day of riding was a huge highlight.

Migration! Wow!

Migration!
What a thrill!!
We found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the migration on the Grumeti plains.
We saw thousands of wildebeest, and zebras. I did not realize there was a such a sound factor to the migration- all those animals talking at the same time. We very lucky to see river crossings, and lots of interaction between the masses of animals.

Singita Sasakwa- Holy Cow!

Singita Sasakwa – Holy Cow! Pride of Tanzania
Situated in the Grumeti concession, Singita’s Sasakwa is uniquely outstanding. With a highly trained staff, along with the most wow decor I have ever seen in a Tanzanian Lodge- Sasakwa is probably one of the top 2 resorts in all of Africa.

Favorite Hotels in Spain!

Shop Window – Alfonso XIII Sevilla

Alfonso XIII Sevilla
Westin Palace Madrid

Top choice is Belmond La Residencia Mallorca


Top Hotels Spain – old favorites and some new surprises.
Every one of our favorite hotels in Spain all displayed outstanding service. All are Virtuoso properties, which means that they operate under a higher standard and are exceptional in decor, and comfort.
I usually request rooms for my clients on a lower floor and near, but not next to the elevator. In Madrid we like the Westin Palace, Mandarin Oriental Ritz, and Villa Magna. In Seville there is only one choice for me, Alfonso XIII. In Granada, some clients like to be near the Alhambra, so we suggest a former monastery, Parador de Granada. We stayed at Palacio des Los Patos in Granada, which gave us a town experience we very much enjoyed. Our top choice in Mallorca is Belmond La Residencia- low key glamour. Doesn’t get any better than that.
Other new surprises that we will be sure to visit, were Sant Francesc in Palma Mallorca, Castel Son Claret in central Mallorca, Jumeirah Port Soller Mallorca and if you have to be right on the water, Hotel Gran Melia in Palma.

Belmond La Residencia- Palma de Mallorca

Belmond La Residencia- Mallorca


Belmond La Residencia, Mallorca. Low key glamour.
On a island full of star hotels, Belmond’s La Residencia is the brightest.
Located in Deia, in the northwest mountainous area of Mallorca, Belmond la Residencia is the ultimate low key luxury destination. With leadership from Ulisses Marrieros, the resort spins like a top. With four restaurant choices, and the village of Deia a walk away, the hotel offers tempting options for all foodies.
Glamorous, classic, Belmond is the ultimate stop on Mallorca.

Sunset La Residence Mallorca

Hotels We Loved in Morocco

So many divine, exotic, stunning hotels, in Morocco. Marrakech alone has 6 prime properties: Royal Mansour, La Mamounia, Villa des Orangers, Amanjena, Four Seasons Marrakech, and Mandarin Oriental Marrakech. My absolute favorites are Mandarin Oriental Marrakech, then Villa des Orangers, then La Mamounia.

Enormous Pool Villa Mandarin Oriental Marrakech. Absolutely stunning. They even have a heated tub!

Enormous Pool Villa Mandarin Oriental Marrakech. Absolutely stunning. They even have a heated tub!

Mandarin Oriental Marrakech

Mandarin Oriental Marrakech

Royal Mansour is the ultimate resort in Marrakech.

Royal Mansour is the ultimate resort in Marrakech.


Interior Courtyard at charming Palais Amani in  Fes a Relais & Chateaux property.

Interior Courtyard at charming Palais Amani in Fes -a Relais & Chateaux property.

Fes boasts Riad Fes and Palais Amani, the grand Dame, Palais Jamais is under extensive renovation till end of 2017. Another must stay is near the desert, Dar Ahlam. Incredibly beautiful and the food is out of this world!

Dar Ahlam – Luxurious Setting Next To The Sahara

Formaly a Sultan’s hunting ground, the 19th Century Kasbah, Dar Ahlam, is stunning.
A Relais Chateaux property, Dar Ahlam is as famous for it’s comfort as well as it’s food.
You need at least 3 nights here to fully enjoy the place.
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Stairwell view Dar Ahlam

Stairwell view Dar Ahlam

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Moroccan Desert

Our intrepid group on top of a dune

Our intrepid group on top of a dune

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Our camel guide

Our camel guide

A Foray into the Moroccan Desert

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I can check camel riding off my list

I can check camel riding off my list

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Heritage Camp in the Moroccan Desert

What an adventure! The utter silence! The serenity of the sand. Luxurious tented camps that had all possible comforts. I can check camel riding off the list. We hiked up to the highest dune on our vicinity. We watched a sunset and then the next morning rode to watch the sunrise. We had dinner in the main tent, entertained by a group of local musicians. Fun to listen to indigenous music. The fabulous food that comes from an isolated kitchen always amazes me. Wine was flowing- couldn’t have asked for more.

Le Souk Fes

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The markets of Fes are thriving pulsing, filled with energy. Every possible craft, clothing, fruit, flower, meat, vegetable, spice, sweet, one can imagine, is there. Always interesting. image

A Day in Seattle

Spectacular Chihuly Exhibit

Spectacular Chihuly Exhibit

Chihuly  Exhibit

Chihuly Exhibit

Space Needle - a must

Space Needle – a must

Flowers at Pike Place Market

Flowers at Pike Place Market


I started with lunch at Pigalle Place in Pike Place Market. Wonderful French restaurant, highly recommended and worth every bite. Divine. Gwen Hoover at the Four a Seasons Seattle strongly recommended the Chihuly exhibit – a world renowned glass artist and resident of Seattle. I am SO glad I took her suggestion. Anyone that visits Seattle should make it number 1 on their experience list. Other musts are Pike Place Market, the monorail to the Needle- the Chuhuly exhibit is next door and a walk back to the Four Seasons by way of first street. Couldn’t ask for a better day!
Tomorrow I board the Lindblad Sunbird for an excursion to the San Jean Islands. Can’t wait!

Magnificent Serengeti Game

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It is easy to become caught up in the complexity of Africa: the history, the people, the camps, the tribes. To me, the magic of the continent is the interaction of the animals. Everyday is a new discovery.

&Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas Camp- following the Migration

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Limited to Tanzania and Kenya, the Great Migration is a movement of millions of Serengeti’s wildebeest, accompanied by smaller numbers of Zebra, grant’s and Thompson gazelles, Eiland, and Impala. They move in an annual pattern constantly following the rains, seeking fresh grazing. This November, the migration was near the &beyond Serengeti Under Canvas Camp. Because they are mobile, the camp can move with the migration.

Tracking the Migration in the Serengeti

Coffee and Amarula- yum!

Coffee and Amarula- yum!

 

&beyond Serengeti Under Canvas Camp

&beyond Serengeti Under Canvas Camp

We have flown to the Serengeti to see a different terrain, and to follow the migration. Serengeti Under Canvas is a true mobile camp- everything is folded up, packed and moved when needed and one would never know it had been there. No fooprint!

Top hotel in Ngorongoro Crater- hands down is AndBeyond Crater Lodge

Champagne welcome AndBeyond Crater Lodge

Champagne welcome AndBeyond Crater Lodge

Cozy main Lounge AndBeyond Crater Lodge

Cozy main Lounge AndBeyond Crater Lodge

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North Lodge bathroom seen thru a cut hole

North Lodge bathroom seen thru a cut hole

I rarely add picture of interiors of resorts or lodges, but this lodge is so stunning and completely unique, I felt I had to share it. A visit should be on anyone’s bucket list.

Ngorngoro Crater Tanzania -one of the wonders of the world!

Ngorngoro Crater is the largest intact caldera in the world, about 30 kilometers across. An estimated 25000 large mammals are resident in the crater, including a population of approximately 6000 resident wildebeest,zebra, giraffe, and around 70 lions. Visiting it should be a must on everyone’s list. image

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Lions in the tree!

Lake Manyara Tree Lion

Lake Manyara Tree Lion

A new experience to watch a lion leap into the tree

A new experience to watch a lion leap into the tree

Lake Manyara Tree House- a most pleasant surprise

href=”https://catherinewhitworth.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/image6.jpeg” rel=”attachment wp-att-3789″>Lake Manyara Tree House
We had the pleasure of staying at Lake Manyara Tree House, an And Beyond property. Rooms were spacious, luxurious, 5 star in every way. The exceptional staff made us feel so welcome. A complete pleasure and I hope to return.

Lake Manyara Tanzania

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Known for it’s lions resting in trees to escape the dreaded Tsetse fly, and the glorius flamingos on the lake, Manyara was a delightful surprise. The national park has some of the most lush jungle vegetation I have ever seen. We visited a Massai village, always a warm experience. image

Lake Manyara Tanzania

Leopard tucked away nicely

Leopard tucked away nicely

Return to Tanzania

I am checking out some new camps in Tanzania. First stop is Lake Manyara about 25minutes flight from Arusha. Lush green jungle. Beautiful landscapes, on the edge of the great rift.

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Lake Manyara Lion

Parting shots : Galapagos

imageGalapagos Marine Iguanaimage
Marine Iguanas can dive to 30 feet.

Alvatross

Alvatross

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Amazing, spectacular, indescribable, the Galapagos never dissapoint.