Photo Tour of The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort

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St Regis Bal Harbour Miami Resort
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St. Regis Bal Harbour, Miami Resort

St. Regis Bal Harbour, Miami Resort

St. Regis Bal Harbour, Miami Resort

St. Regis Bal Harbour, Miami Resort

Work took me to The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort for the past few days for a luxury marketing conference. I was visiting the resort for the first time, but I had high hopes, as it is known in our company for being one of the best properties in the Starwood portfolio. Well, the resort did not disappoint (it reminded me a lot of The St. Regis Mexico City – seen here). From the moment you walk in you are captivated by the mirrors and the interior design. It’s sophisticated, sleek and oh-so Bal Harbour.

You can feel, touch and smell opulent luxury around every corner. Purposefully, there is not a lobby. Instead there is a reception desk and a St. Regis bar & lounge for gathering. The resort was designed to give everyone an ocean view room and a patio (thank you, architects!). The rooms are spacious and full of thoughtful amenities (meaning, you don’t even need to open your own drapes, there is a button for that).

J&G Grill makes the best breakfast and they are also open for dinner. I recommend their soda – they make their own – and their truffle pizza, it was delicious. By the way, what is with J&G restaurants and their pizza? Remember this from J&G Grill in Mexico City. Speaking of great food, the pastry chef at the resort is Antonio Bachour. He is renowned for his pastries as being a work of art – and rightfully so, he is truly a master at his craft. You can sneak a peek at his work in his new book – here.

Every night a colleague and I would walk down to the ocean and stick our feet into the water. It was a full moon every night we were there (lucky us) and made for memorable views. If you are in the Miami area, make sure you visit the St. Regis. If you don’t end up staying here, come and enjoy a Bloody Mary in the bar, dinner at J&G, browse their on site art gallery (perhaps a pre-dinner massage at Remède Spa?) and then end the night Oceanside with your toes in the Atlantic.

*Make sure you say hi to Hilda. She is truly the most (and I mean this out of the bottom of my heart) hard working, special women they have on their wait staff. She catered to our every need and was always three steps ahead of us. I can’t say enough great things about Hilda and the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort.

Sightseeing in the Big Apple

apple store

new york city

window shopping

new york city window shopping
In a New York Minute

I had 3 hours in between meetings to explore New York City. So, I did what any girl would do with limited time … I shopped 5th Avenue! I started at 55th and 5th and made my way up to Tiffany & Co., Apple, FAO and then over to Central Park, The Plaza Hotel, down to Bergdorf Goodman, then over to Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center. Then, I crossed the street to Saks Fifth Avenue before making my way to Louis Vuitton, Versace, and then back to The St. Regis New York.

Let’s just say I loved every single minute.

horse carriage rides in central park, NYC
central park
Horses, Central Park and a lot of Tourists

I’m not going to lie to you, there was a part of me that was willing to take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park alone. But then I thought about it a bit harder and decided against it. What? It looked so inviting and intriguing. And then there was this person dressed as the Statue of Liberty, standing on phone books and this moment happened. God Bless them.

new york tourists

In and around Rockefeller Plaza

There is something so nostalgic about Rockefeller Plaza, even though I’ve never been here before. Ha! I think it’s because every year I invite this Plaza into my home with the Christmas Tree Lighting and holiday specials on television.

I went to the Top of the Rock to take some pictures, but there was an entire school (literally, 75 students) in line waiting their turn so I figured it would be a while before I got up there. The next morning, as I was blowdrying my hair and watching Jennifer Hudson perform on the Today Show, I thought … I could totally run down there right now and see her. I love being close to the action and New York City puts you right into the heart of it.

radio city music hall new york city

rockefeller center

rockefeller center
The Shops (and hotels) along 5th Avenue

My boss would be so proud. I hit up every luxury retailer and stopped at some of the most influential hotels in the business. I don’t know what it is about The Plaza Hotel but I love this place (hello, Home Alone 2!). It reminds me of Christmas. The Plaza is much smaller inside than I thought it would be, but super charming all the same.

As a Retail major, I have a soft spot in my heart for good visual merchandising and retail displays. I stopped at every window and just admired the creativity in the windows. The stories people are able to tell through artistic expression and merchandising is amazing. But, let’s talk about the fact that there was a line wrapped around the building of Abercrombie & Fitch. A line! At Abercrombie? Not sure I understand that one.

the plaza hotel

bergdorf goodman

new york city window shopping

window shopping  in nYC

window shopping | NEW YORK CITY

window shopping | NEW YORK CITY

window shopping new york city

michael kors in new york city

the st regis new york hotel

Where it all Began

I ended my self-walking tour at St. Regis New York, where it all started. This was the very first St. Regis hotel built in 1904 and since it just went through a multi-million dollar restoration and redesign, I was so anxious to experience it first-hand. I am still pinching myself for the opportunity to have stayed here. Let’s just say there is an entire blog post dedicated to my pictures of this beautiful hotel. Here’s a little sneak peek.

st regis new york

And then … (you still with me?)

Looking back this, I had no idea that I took this many photos. I am such a casual photographer. Meaning, I literally snap a photo of something I see without taking too much time to set the shot. I like to capture exactly what I saw, and how I saw it versus taking time to do staging. Here are some photos from my morning commute from The St. Regis New York to The Chatwal hotel (near Times Square). I was on my way to a day full of inspiring meetings around St. Regis and Luxury Collection 2015 brand planning.

new york buildings

new york buildings

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What I Learned

I had no idea how much inspiration and freedom I would feel while walking through the city. I was overwhelmed (in a good way) with all of the sights, sounds and people. When I first stepped out of the cab, I felt like a suburbia dork with my camera in tow, but I quickly adapted once I realized that anything goes here. You just have to stay strong, find your place and dive in head first.

I already miss it and I only got to see a small fraction of the entire place. There is so much more I want to do. Times Square, Meat Packing District, The Brooklyn Bridge, breakfast at Le Meridien Parker, shopping in SoHo, Upper West Side exploring, a Broadway Play. Next time I’m bringing Ryan because there is a sandwich at Carnegie Deli and a patch of grass at Central Park with our names on it.

Until we meet again, New York …

View my photo tour of The St. Regis New York

Pizza I can’t stop craving

Last week took me to Mexico City for work. I stayed at the St. Regis Mexico City and couldn’t have been better taken care of. Out of all the luxury amenities at this resort, my co-workers and I were all a buzz over the avocado pizza at J&G Grill. In fact, I am STILL thinking about it. It was that good. Just look at it! Someone please find the recipe and share it with me.

J&G Grill Mexico City

Suite photos I just had to have

Because my job is amazing (sorry, but it is) I get to work with some of the best hotels in the industry. Some I directly work with and others I stare at from a distance in awe. Like the St. Regis New York – the first St. Regis to open its doors back in 1904. Oh, how lovely it is. The heritage behind the brand … well, that’s something worth looking up. It’s a pretty cool story about the Astor family.

Anyway, part of my job is to source good imagery for marketing email campaigns. Images that make you want to book a stay at our hotels. While I was doing this, I came across some amazing photos of the suite entrances, hotel corridors and interior rooms of this hotel. Something about these photos caught my eye.

It’s the architecture, the welcoming entrance, the colors of the doors. They are all so intriguing. I ended up printing some of these photos for my own office. I just have to find some frames that do them justice and then I’ll be able to stare at these pretty images all day.

Makes you want to visit, doesn’t it?

St. Regis New York -Hotel Corridor St. Regis New York -Dior Suite Living Room St. Regis New York-Dior Suite Living Room St. Regis New York-Tiffany Suite - Dining Room with Central Park view St. Regis New York-Bentley Suite Living Room

St. Regis New York-Tiffany Suite EntranceSt. Regis New York-Royal Suite Entrance St. Regis New York-Grand Suite Entrance St-regis-new-york-imperial-suite-entrancePhotos property of The St. Regis New York hotel.

Wedding venues that may surprise you

Know anyone getting married? As part of my day job, I have been leading the wedding marketing plan for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. In doing so, I feel like a bride all over again. What’s not to love about the wedding industry – the decor, the flowers, the frills and thrills.

I’ve been researching the industry for the past 5 months in preparation for our plan to launch and I have to tell you, we sure have some of the best wedding venues out there. Some of the destinations below are no-brainers (hello … St. Regis Bahia Beach) but some may surprise you. I’ll give you a peek into some of my wedding research and some of my favorite Starwood wedding venues.

The St. Regis Bahia Beach -Astor Terrace Pavillion

The St. Regis Bahia Beach, Astor Terrace Pavilion

The Westin Cancun Beach Wedding Beach Wedding at The Westin Resort, Cancun

The Westin Chicago Northwest

The Westin Chicago Northwest

The St. Regis Aspen Destination Wedding

The St. Regis Aspen Resort, Mountain Weddings

Sheraton-Kaanapali Point Wedding at sunset

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

W Vieques Island Retreat & Spa - Wedding reception

W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island

Le Meridien Bali - Celebration Pavilion or Wedding

Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran

The Westin Hilton Heaad-Beach Wedding Ceremony

The Westin Hilton Head, South Carolina

The St. Regis Princeville Resort -Bay Terrace Reception

The St. Regis Princeville Resort – Kauai, Hawaii

W Austin-WET Dining AreaW Austin, Texas

Four Points Destin-Wedding setup

Four Points by Sheraton Destin-Fort Walton Beach

W Scottsdale Wedding

W Scottsdale, Arizona

The St. Regis Resort in Aspen, Colorado

Pretty, quaint, sophisticated, regal … some words I would use to describe The St. Regis Aspen Resort. It’s located in the heart of Aspen and steps away from everything.

I flew in to Aspen (for work) for the first time last week. The weather was fantastic. Leaves were changing colors, scattered all over the sidewalks and there was a chill in the air. I couldn’t help but walk around on a self-guided tour. I saw so many things along the way.

Mostly, I was taken back at how many dogs were running around. If you live in Aspen, it seems like you must have a dog and you must take him with you. Everywhere. I then drove from Aspen to Vail (about an hour and 45 minutes) and what a pretty drive! You follow the river most of the time and you can see snow-capped mountains in your rear view.

Traveling for work isn’t always a good time, but it makes the pain a bit easier to digest when you get to visit places like Aspen. Here are some photos of the resort and the city that surrounds it.

Aspen Colorado St. Regis Aspen

Aspen Colorado St. Regis AspenAspen Colorado St. Regis Aspen

Aspen Colorado St. Regis Aspen

Aspen Colorado St. Regis Aspen

Aspen Colorado St. Regis Aspen

Aspen Colorado St. Regis Aspen

I wish I had more time to explore, or someone to explore with – but the town was everything I thought it would be. In October, most of the shops close before 5pm so it does feel a little empty. But, a pretty sight to see and explore, nonetheless.

Aspen Colorado St. Regis Aspen

Aspen Colorado St. Regis Aspen

Aspen Colorado St. Regis Aspen

Aspen Colorado St. Regis Aspen

Aspen Colorado St. Regis AspenAspen Colorado St. Regis Aspen

The Life of Dual Working Parents

This dual-working parent thing is no joke. One minute you’re here. One minute you’re there. Your husband has to be your best friend and you have to work together to ensure everything stays in order and the kids don’t miss a beat.

I told Kelsey last night that I was leaving on another work trip. She got sad for about 32 seconds and I thought, Here it comes. How do I explain to her that mommy has to work just like Daddy does. Then, she turned to me and said, “Mom, can you tell me the story of Little Mermaid one more time?”

I love their innocence. In that moment, I was reminded that I probably miss her more than she misses me at this age. I love those kids so much. I’m in Aspen now. Instead of working inside the hotel lobby, I stepped outside with a glass of vino and my laptop and took the photo below. I’ll post photos from Disneyland soon and then Aspen. I promise.

If the kids and Ryan were here … well, then it would be perfect.

st regis aspen

The Travel Hat: The St. Regis Deer Valley

It was our family’s New Years resolution to “travel more”. And I would say that Ryan and I are making good on that promise. I was visiting The St. Regis Deer Valley Resort last year (for work) when I called my mother-in-law and said, “this resort is for you!” (if you know my in-laws, you know this mountain resort is right up their ally).

Fast forward to this year, and my in-laws and I took the kids to Deer Valley to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday and to indulge ourselves in the royal treatment. In case you’re wondering, Deer Valley is a private community right outside of Park City, Utah. It’s gorgeous. Secluded. And resides against the Wasatch Mountains.

Ryan and I did feel a little “Downton Abbey-ish” at this resort. For instance, our Butler was waiting for us upon arrival at the front desk. He greeted us all by name and walked us to our suites to point out all of the room features. His name was Alexander Mattinson, head butler for the resort and lead butler for the North America St. Regis Training Program.

As we were walking down the hall to our suites, my mother-in-law turned to him and asked, “What did you do before you worked for St. Regis?” “Oh”, he replied, “I worked for the royal family at Buckingham Palace”. Turns out, he worked as carriage driver, store manager for the Royal Mews and valet to the crown equerry. Yep, this is how our experience started out. It was a five-star family vacation that I’ll never forget.

Throughout the week, I’ll post more pictures and stories from our trip. It was truly a memorable vacation with my family that I will always cherish.

St. Regis Deer ValleyThis is the resort; beautiful, isn’t she?

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer Valley

The pool area where we spent an entire afternoon. We couldn’t keep Kelsey out the pool. Travel tip: Bring your children’s swim floaties. Thank me later.

St. Regis Deer ValleyI used to have the same initials as St. Regis – before I got married that is. To me, whenever I see the initials “SR” I get extra excited.

St. Regis Deer Valley St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer ValleyEvery night from 7-9pm you can roast s’mores at the fire pits. I had been craving s’mores since my last pregnancy so to me – it was heaven! You literally walk right up and the s’mores tray is already set out for you.St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer ValleyThis the “Funicular”. It’s an indoor gondola-type car. You park at the base of the resort, then you ride the Funicular up the mountain and into the resort. It’s one of two ways you can arrive. Kelsey loved it. And that view?

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer Valley

This is a photo right outside the “fire garden”. It’s a little area where you can sit and watch multiple fire pits while gazing over the horizon.

St. Regis Deer Valley You have to “click” on this photo to enlarge it in order to see its true beauty.

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer ValleyDo we look like parents or what in this photo? This was our first official vacation as a party of four. Here’s to many more family trips in our future.