Hotel Utica Doubletree is Elegant

The iconic Hotel Utica, built in 1912, has been completely renovated and rebranded as a DoubleTree by Hilton.  During its hundred year-plus history the hotel welcomed Presidents Taft and Roosevelt along with other notable such as Judy Garland, Amelia Earhart, Lionel Hampton, Dinah Shore and many others. The hotel is part of the National Trust Historic Hotels of America.  Walking into the lobby will make visitors will feel the glory and think they are in a luxurious New York City hotel.  The two story lobby has several conversation areas and a coffered ceiling with sparkling chandeliers. There is easy access to the restaurant and bar,

Guests will enjoy their welcome chocolate chip cookie as well as their comfy, spacious room with a work station, coffeemaker, microwave, mini-fridge, wide screen TV, and complimentary WiFi. Suites add a sitting room and whirlpool tub.

The hotel has complimentary parking, a Chophouse by Chesterfields restaurant and lounge, with breakfast and dinner at Plate, a locally owned restaurant. The centrally located property is in walking distance of several restaurants, bars and unique shops. There is an on-site fitness center, business
center, and some accommodations are handicap accessible. It is the perfect place to stay when attending a production at the elegant Stanley Theater or enjoying ride the Adirondack Railroad.  If you haven’t been to Utica in a long while you will be pleased with all the wonderful improvements. For more information and/or reservations log on to http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/new-york/doubletree-by-hilton-utica.

Albergo Allegria: A Treasure in the Catskills

Albergo Allegria is a B&B that is in reality a boutique inn with all the modern amenities one comes to expect from a fine hotel.  Albergo Allegria is aptly named; it means “Inn of Happiness” in Italian.  The Inn is located in Greene County’s beautiful Catskill Mountains just south of Albany and less than three hours from New York City.

The Italianate house has several accommodations plus a community sitting room, and the breakfast room with other rooms located in the adjacent Carriage House. Each accommodation is unique but we preferred Chamomile Corners # 21 which is located in a building referred to as the
Carriage House.  The room has its own private entrance, king size bed, mini-refrigerator, and a whirlpool for two. There is a gas-log fireplace but we enjoyed sitting on our private porch sipping wine while watching the evening arrive. Should it rain or snow there are many CDs to borrow. When the weather is balmy enjoy s’more around the fire pit.


We did raid their guest pantry where there was always coffee, soda, and yummy homemade cookies.  Their breakfast is legendary with fresh-ground coffee, homemade muffins, bacon, eggs, pancakes, and fresh fruit. Each morning features a breakfast special. There are bikes for guest to use, a deck overlooking the stream where one can go creek stomping, (or tubing when the water is high enough) along with a variety of activities nearby. It is open year round.  We wanted to stay longer. For more information log on to albergousa.com.

Stay at the Shanker Hotel in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is a busy place with lots of traffic and often hot and dusty.  Exiting off the main thoroughfare down what looks like a private road is the Shanker Hotel is an oasis of calm and serenity. The Shanker is a heritage hotel that was formerly a 1894 royal residence that was converted to a luxury hotel in 1964 but the façade remains as it was. Much of the unique interior décor was preserved making the restaurant, lobby, and accommodations unique.

It suffered some damage in the earthquake of 2015 but that gave the owners the opportunity to repair and improve.  The hotel continued to run mainly by changing the entrance and the lobby received the most damage. The cozy Kailash Restaurant has
retains much of the original carvings as does the lobby bar with carved windows over 200 years old.  Service as always remained excellent. 

The grounds are expansive and beautifully landscape with secluded area to really get away.  The pool is the perfect place for a dip and many enjoy lunch from the poolside cafe around the pool.  The 94 rooms are unique and roomy with some sporting arched windows but all have complimentary
internet, TV, A/C, comfy chair, desk and all the amenities one comes to expect from a high-end hotels. There is a spa and tour desk both of which offer excellent service.  For more information check www.shankerhotel.com.np.

Penang’s Holiday Inn Resort

We picked because Penang has been mentioned in many travel magazines as one of the must-visits places and is considered to be
of great value.  The Holiday Inn Resort on Panang’s Batu Ferringhi beach makes a vacation reasonable and fun for couples and families.  The hotel is divided into two distinct parts: the seven-floor Beach Wing and 23-storey Ferringhi Tower that are connected by a sky-bridge. I preferred the Ferringhi Tower because I like a room with a balcony. However,
the rooftop rooms in the Beach Wing have a large balcony with sunbathing area but there are only a few such rooms. The Ferringhi Tower has a mini market and the beach wing has a healthy fruit juice bar. Accommodations have an iPod dock, desk, mini fridge, digital alarm clock, LCD TV and wireless Internet. Children under 12 years of age stay and eat
for free when sharing a room or dining with their parents. There are dedicated family rooms and a large children’s play center with table tennis and billiards nearby. We enjoy the music in the lobby each evening.


There is a beach to walk, a pool cool off in, and a separate kiddie pool. The Terrace Café offers food to suit all ethnic groups and palates. The chef put on a once-a-week cooking demonstration. A juice/fruit bar is just off the lobby. In the evening enjoy your favorite libation in the lobby lounge while
listening to all your favorite songs. In the Tower there is a handy mini-mart. In the evening, just steps from the lobby, there is a mile-long night street market and the hop-on bus stop in front of the hotel. http://penang.holidayinnresorts.com or www.ihg.com. Remember is pays to be a hotel's loyalty member. 

Gotta’ Love the Cincinnati Hyatt

The three most important things when booking a hotel are location, location, location, and the Hyatt in Cincinnati has all three.  It is even a better option now that it has just completed a multi-million dollar renovation. Drive under the porte-cochère and staff with take care of your car while another will see that your luggage is taken to your room. Check-in relaxed and unencumbered. The hotel is just steps from major attractions including the Freedom Center and ball parks, plus a Connector stop is nearby. The Connector loops by all the important places. The hotel is connected to the Duke Energy Center.

The service and accommodations are all people come to expect from Hyatt hotels. The rooms all have plush beds, flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, cozy chairs, desk, mini-fridge and more. Enjoy a meal at the Red Roost Tavern where farm-to-table is the order of the day. Or, shop in The Market conveniently located just off the lobby. They have sandwiches, salads, fruit, wine and more.  Next to it is the Library where the books are real.  Check one of them out while enjoying your sandwich from The Market.

Make time for a swim. For more information log on to cincinnati.regency.hyatt.com and remember it always pays to sign up for a hotel’s loyalty program. Tip: Greater's Ice Cream (yummy) is just a few steps away near the park.




Escape to the Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hill, Ohio

Nothing compares to the serenity of Dogwood Cabin at the Inn at Cedar Falls.  Located in the Hocking Hills area of Ohio, near Logan, Dogwood Cabin is just one of several 1840s log cabins the owners have saved and turned into luxurious accommodations while preserving the cabin’s rustic ambiance. 

There are several cabins and cottages to choose from but for two
people Dogwood Cabin is perfect. Enter to find a kitchen, dining area, a comfy living room and a full bathroom.  There is a Murphy Bed if needed. Sit on the deck and enjoy all nature has to offer.  

Descend the spiral stairs to the bedroom with a king-sized bed and a whirlpool hot tub. There is also a deck off the bedroom.  Relax on one of the two decks and wait quietly until a deer shows up. Priceless.

We don’t often return to the same place but this is one place I wished we lived closer to because I would visit again and again, especially when I needed refresh my mind and spirit. 


Even if you bring food to prepare in the cabin breakfast in their lovely log cabin restaurant.  Breakfast is included but their dinners are special. The meals include items prepared on-site along with locally sourced food. During the day,
check out their spa or hike to Cedar Falls, Ash Cave, and/or Old Man Cave. The most beautiful part of Ohio. For more information check innatcedarfalls.com.

In Hudson, Ohio the Jeremiah B. King Guest House is place to stay


Make the Jeremiah B. King Guest House your home-away-from-home in Hudson, Ohio. Hudson is a lovely historic town south of Cleveland so it is only fitting that that place to stay is also historic. The lovely 1873 house earned a spot on the Ohio State Historical Preservation list of Hudson homes designated as historical and cultural assets. The home was awarded the HH (Hudson Heritage) marker in 1980 authenticating its construction date and history. 

The Jeremiah B. King Guest House is located in the heart of
Hudson’s Historic District within walking distance to historic shops and restaurants as well as the First & Main Shopping District.  Named for its original owner, the guest house boasts a pair of carved Italian marble fireplaces, original wood plank floors, wedding cake style plaster cornices, 10-foot ceilings, beautiful wood moldings, and plaster walls. The segmented arched windows throughout the Guest House are original and are complemented by the original restored wooden shutters. Everything for inside and out have been restored to perfection. The furniture and other furnishings are vintage including the Stickley chairs and Tiffany lamps; and, yet it is comfy and welcoming. 

All the accommodations are plush with a private modern bathroom, a Select Comfort Sleep System™, plus cable TV along with free high-speed wireless.  There are homemade cookies, coffee, and a variety of teas for the guests in the kitchen – just help yourself and feel at home. The J.B. King Guest House offers a unique bed and breakfast experience. The innkeepers, Ms. Ren and her husband, are not only wonderful hosts they are great raconteurs as are her interesting and worldly guests making for fascinating breakfast conversations. Breakfast is a meal to remember from fresh fruit to homemade pastries to eggs to order and more. For more information log on to www.kingguesthouse.com.