A visit to Yellowstone National Park and Skiing in Jackson, Wyoming

It was something I have longed to do for a while, to see Yellowstone National Park. We had come across a good documentary last year, made by the BBC (currently available on Netflix, called Yellowstone: Battle for Life) and were … Continue reading

Baccarat Hotel, NY

New York is full of some great hotels from The Carlyle, The Four Seasons, The Mark to the more boutique properties like The Crosbie Street Hotel downtown. The newly opened Baccarat Hotel, the vision of the highly talented Barry Sternlicht … Continue reading

NOT SO SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, Pan Pacific Hotel

It is a long old haul from the UK and a big time difference of 8 hours, but it is worth it. Seattle is the gateway to the magnificent areas of British Colombia and Oregon which are fantastic places to visit (see our next newsletter, to subscribe email info@masonroseprivate.com). Sadly I only had a couple of days to scratch the surface of this vibrant city, home to the Seattle Seahawks and the Space Needle.

I stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel. It is a four star property which is boutique in feel. It is about a 20 minute drive from the airport and convenient for the shops which are about a ten minute walk away. It is a fifteen minute walk from the Space Needle and a 20 minute walk from Pike Place Market.

I had a corner room with a view of the Space Needle which was very spacious with a comfy bed, huge bathroom with a tub and walk in shower (good hairdryers), and work desk. You get a big bottle of complimentary water each night with the turndown. Rooms have a safe, an iron, coffee and tea facilities, an ice bucket, wine glasses and a well stocked mini bar. They have access across the street to Vida Spa which has a fantastic gym. The hotel bar has an outside terrace and Happy Hour is from 4-6pm each day. The staff are really helpful and the service was good. If you don’t want to spend the prices of the Four Seasons then this is a perfect spot. Rates start from about $285 plus tax per night so it is great value for money. There is a Starbucks next door (of course) which opens from about 5am and a huge, and I mean gigantic, Whole Foods down the steps and underneath the hotel where you can buy the most fantastic food and drink. Their hot chocolate is rather delicious. Opens at 7am. The hotel offers a complimentary car service within the central part of the city on a first come, first served basis. Book their town car service to the airport, it is $40 and you get a nice car and driver.

Restaurants are abundant and the seafood is fantastic. Try the Walrus & Carpenter over in Ballard for dinner (not open for lunch), Chandlers Crabhouse on Lake Union for excellent oysters and crab and Terra Plata for dinner which serves the most delicious sharing plates of carrots, tomatoes, roast pork and has a great wine list. Other recommendations were Canlis and Pink Door.

We had time to go up the Space Needle with its amazing views of the city and surrounding areas and to visit Pike Place Market with its plethora of food stalls with everything from doughnuts and bagels to Russian pastries, Chinese dim sum to slices of pizza.

I had a good blow dry by Catherine and a manicure at Gene Juarez salon which is a ten minute walk from the hotel, opposite Tiffany & Co.

The beds at the hotel were so comfortable that we slept fantastically each night in lovely sheets and with soft pillows. Not so sleepless after all. Heaven.

We are able to book flights from the UK, hotels, including the Pan Pacific Hotel in Seattle, and personalised tours all over this beautiful part of the world. We can organise private guides and drivers, book lodges and adventures so you can explore British Colombia and Oregon. Please email info@masonroseprivate.com

PASSING THROUGH BOSTON

During my stay in the US I spent a night in Boston. We stayed at The Liberty Hotel on Charles Street in Beacon Hill. This cruciform shaped structure made in 1851 from granite has an impressive 90 foot central rotunda topped with a cupola and it used to be a jail! It is located in one of Bostons’s oldest neighbourhoods and is full of little shops and bistros. If you go over the footbridge across the street it takes you to The Esplanade and a six mile stretch of riverside parks.

Make time to enjoy dinner at Scampo, award winning Chef Lydia Shire’s newest restaurant at the hotel. At street level this great restaurant is lively with a good atmosphere. It offers delicious contemporary Italian food and has an open kitchen preparing brick oven pizzas. In the summer you can sit outside. I shopped on Newbury Street where all the best shopping can be found from Armani, Burberry , Frye, Lululemon Athletica, Converse, Max Mara, Nespresso, Rag & Bone and Calypso St Barth to Diane Von Furstenberg where the lovely dresses are less expensive to buy in the US than the UK.

There is a delightful coffee shop close to DVF called Thinking Cup where you can have a delicious cup of coffee and a wonderful breakfast or casual lunch. Their salads and pastries are extremely good.

Boston is full of wonderful museums. I managed to see, on a friend’s recommendation, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which is an extraordinary collection of artefacts and paintings. Isabella was in love with Venice and the Italian culture and as a result her museum was fashioned after the Palazzo Barbaro where she stayed during her many visits. I walked the Freedom Trail which starts in the financial district and ends up at the USS Constitution, she is the oldest commissioned ship in the US Navy; she defeated five British warships rather formidably in 1812!

I wish I had been able to stay longer as Boston is a great place for a lovely weekend away. Other good hotels are The Fairmont and The Four Seasons. If you would like us to book flights and hotels please email info@masonroseprivate.com

Favourite things to do in Boston

Have a drink at the Top of the Hub on the top floor of the Prudential
Walk along Charles River, crossing the Mass Ave bridge
Brunch at The Oak Room at The Fairmont Copley Plaza
Visit the Museum of Fine Art ‘MFA’
Dine at Red Lantern for amazing sushi and chinese food
Dine at La Voile, great French restaurant on Newbury Street
Grab a sandwich from cafe Flour on Back Bay or Cambridge
Walk through the Quincy Market and lunch at Il Panino in Little Italy North End
Have breakfast with delicious pastries at the Tate Bakery
Visit Harvard Square and have lunch at the Borders Cafe
Walk on South End and go to Toro for amazing tapas
Enjoy a cocktail or two at bar Drink

NEW YORK and The Loews Regency Hotel

I used to stay at The Carlyle on 77th between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue for many years very happily but there are definitely other hotels in NY which I like as well; the Crosby Street Hotel in the middle of Soho being one of them. Location is so important to me, I am an Upper East Side kinda gal, so when the Loews Regency reopened its doors after a hugely expensive and total renovation I thought I should check it out.

Everything about this hotel works for me. It’s located on 61st and Park Avenue and is the best location I have ever stayed in. I can flounce out of the door and walk everywhere I want to go within minutes: Central Park, Fifth Avenue, John Barrett’s hair salon at Bergdorf Goodman, the Rockefeller Centre, Bloomingdales (a ten minute walk away tops), Donna Karan around the corner, it’s easy to walk up to The Guggenheim, close to MOMA, need I say more? They also have a Mercedes house car which will drop you at any destination within a 20 block radius on a first come first served basis, or you can book one of their two Fiat 500L cars for a transfer anywhere in Manhattan, so if you need your downtown fix one way is complimentary.

I arrived at the hotel after a transatlantic flight and check in was speedy and efficient. You are offered nice touches like the complimentary pressing of two items of clothing on arrival, free Wifi, complimentary Fiji bottles of water and a paper each morning. If you choose the turndown service your water is replenished and you get free cookies from Sant Ambroeus Coffee Bar.

Part of the renovations include 379 all-new apartment style rooms and 58 suites. The signature suites, designed by the likes of Nate Berkus,are beautifully appointed with their own kitchenettes, drawing rooms and dining areas. Many rooms are interconnecting so you can create three bedroom apartments, perfect for families. All the bedrooms are really spacious; each room has a work desk (there are plug points everywhere), the beds have fantastic linen and bedding. Bathrooms are huge and well lit with double vanities and most have big walk in showers. The hairdryers are fantastic so leave yours at home – they practically blow you out of the bathroom.

The gym is unusually large for a hotel with Matrix equipment. There are two Julien Farel spas; one for men (a traditional barber shop) and a large one for women that includes a steam room and hair salon.

The staff are cheerful and helpful and nothing is too much trouble from booking a manicure to arranging an airport transfer or restaurant booking.

With a partnership with Sant Ambroeus Coffee Bar (which has a separate entrance on 61st Street), you can satisfy your jet lag needs, (if like me, you wake early having travelled from the UK), and grab a nice cup of hot coffee and a croissant from 7am. They serve delicious sandwiches, pastries and salads throughout the day, and in the summer they have a little gelato cart on the street. You can sit outside if it is warm and then charge it all to your room. Serafina Always is a minute walk away serving great Italian food and good pizzas. Perfection.

The Loews Regency is known for its famous ‘Power Breakfast’ in their Regency Bar & Grill. Ask anyone in the know about where to have breakfast in Manhattan and they will tell you this is the place. This iconic restaurant is where politicians, bankers and New York’s movers and shakers come to observe a morning ritual that started during the financial crises in the mid 1970’s. Bob Tisch, the hotel’s founder, took it upon himself to invite the city’s business and political leaders to the breakfast at the hotel in order to discuss how they could get New York back on its feet. The people who attended were so significant and powerful themselves that he named it the ‘Power Breakfast’.

The bar buzzes with people meeting in the early evening as it is such a great location up town for a drink after work. Whether you are travelling on business or for pleasure this hotel ticks the boxes.

Rooms start from $399.00 per night plus tax. Please email us for further information and we can make your reservations – info@masonroseprivate.com.

Favourite things to do in New York

. Walk the High Line
. Have a martini at the Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle
. Visit the Guggenheim
. Anything in Central Park, walk, cycle (you can rent bicycles), run, eat
. Baz Bagels & Restaurant (have gluten free ones too, yum)
. Shop at Henri Bendel for favourite vanity bags & cases
. Blow dry or braids at John Barrett salon at Bergdorf Goodman
. Spend a couple of hours at The Frick
. Narcissa for brunch
. Have dinner at Minetta Tavern in Greenwich Village
. Lunch at Cherche Midi
. Garance Dore’s blog, reading is a must if visiting NY, she is super chic http://www.garancedore.fr