InterContinental New York Barkley

The InterContinental New York Barkley has a prime location in the heart of New York City. Since opening in 1926 the hotel has offered high-end accommodations and service to guests from all over the world. Originally it was constructed as part of the Grand Central Terminal expansion, The Barclay became a notable railroad hotel built to service the men and women traveling to New York City. Today, after undergoing restoration, the Barclay continues to deliver its residential feel with modern comfort through its signature Federalist style decor.

Remember it is New York City so standard accommodations are
small but the IC has a luxurious feel with comfy bedding, 42” LED flat-screen TV, internet (complimentary for IHG members), and an expansive digital news library.  The rooms have interesting wall murals and pictures of the Big Apple. There is a friendly gin bar in the lobby but no restaurant; however, the bar does offer great tapas. Not to worry, it is NYC, so there are plenty of restaurants nearby and there is a wonderful deli just steps away with everything one could want. 

Not to miss is a tour of Grand Central Station which is nearby.  There is no longer a direct connection from the hotel to the Station. The InterContinental Barkley is excellent choice when in New York City for those who want to be in the heart of it all.  For more information check

Hudson, Ohio’s Jeremiah B. King Guest House

Hudson, Ohio is a charming community with historic homes, a tree-line main street with unique shops, and it is home to Western Reserve Academy, a private co-ed college prep school.  The J. B. King Guest House is the only option for those who want to stay in Hudson and it is a great option.  

The Guest House offers a unique bed and breakfast experience.  The house is on the Ohio State Historical Preservation and one of the 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 innkeepers have created an environment that is charming, comfortable and convenient. Built in 1873 and named for its original owner the guest house features a pair of carved Italian marble fireplaces, original wood plank floors, wedding cake style plaster cornices, and 10-foot ceilings. The home has many distinction furnishings from Stickley chairs to Tiffany lamps.

Guest Rooms all have private modern bathrooms, a select comfort sleep system™ with premium bedding & linens, cable TV & VCR.  The Guest House features complimentary free wireless high speed internet access.  Guests may also enjoy the use of complimentary bathrobes, hair dryers, and English toiletries. The Jeremiah B. King Guest House is truly a wonderful place to stay, bursting with character & charm, and a most convenient location.

The innkeeper, Ms. Ren, and, her husband, Mr. Doug, retired from their original occupation to take up their new “hobby.” Both are natural story tellers and they have many stories to tell. Breakfast, often a multi-cultural affair, is an unforgettable experience as stories are shared and new friends made. For more information log on to

Hudson Valley's Bear Mountain Inn

A little more than an hour north of New York City, Bear Mountain Inn has been a getaway for generations of city folks.  It is a place I have driven by many times and always wanted to stay there.  Finally, John and I did.  The inn is located at 3020 Seven Lakes Drive in Bear Mountain State Park and overlooks the shores of Hessian Lake.  It is listed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places. It is also one of the Historic Hotels of America. When it opened in 1912 the “American Architect” magazine declared it to be one of the “finest examples of rustic Adirondack architecture in America.” 

The hotel has hosted many famous people. During the 1930s the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, and the New York Knickerbockers stayed at the inn and trained on the adjacent athletic fields. When Jackie Robinson stayed at the Inn he was not allowed to eat in the dining room.  Now, they permanently leave a table reserved for him in the middle of the
restaurant for all to see and remember. Throughout the 1930s and 40s, Bear Mountain Inn played host to such notable dignitaries as Eleanor Roosevelt, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, and presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

There are three choices for accommodations: the Inn, Overlook Lodge, and four Stone Cottages. Personally, I prefer the Inn with easy access to the dining room, shops, and spa. Within the park one can hike, boat, golf, swim, cross country ski, and visit several
historic places such as West Point or just relax and enjoy their spa. Tip:  The Park is very busy on holiday weekends and on hot summer days. For more information check

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

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

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

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. or Remember is pays to be a hotel's loyalty member.