Elaisha Jade gave her review on the Kimpton Monaco Hotel in Denver Colorado. From the delicious breakfast in bed to the beautifully decorated hotel rooms find out if you should stay here.
Elaisha Jade visits the Delta Marriott Fredericton Hotel in New Brunswick. She shares her experience biking along the St John and eating everything she could at the seafood restaurant.
One night wasn't enough. Guys, I had the opportunity to review the Renaissance Montreal Downtown Hotel while on my way to the east coast this summer. This location reopened after an overhaul of the look and feel of the space. And let me just say from the top, it was luxe.
Keep reading to find out whether I would recommend that you stay here for your next trip to my favourite city.
When we walked into the hotel I was exhausted. We wheeled our luggage up to the concierge after a drive in from Toronto. It was 10 pm but the hotel staff were chipper and friendly. We brought our own luggage up to the room which I was ok with. The next morning I actually had the chance to check out the lobby and I loved the space. The multi-colour scheme and tiles really gave the space a luxe feel. I felt all bougie sitting there the next morning waiting for Caleigh to get back from her TV appearance.
The first thing that caught my eye when we walked into the room was the artwork and decor. I loved the bedside table lamp (I want one for my new apartment) and the little face on the wall. It was kinda creepy and kinda cool at the same time. This might sound odd, but my least favourite part was the curtains. I felt that they fell short compared to the rest of the decor. In the grander scheme however it really didn’t matter that much especially because we were just there for one night.
Caleigh and I shared a bed and it honestly felt like we were on separate mattresses. It was plush and I felt like I was in a fortress of sheets. I slept straight through the night and felt rested enough to wake up and work in the morning before we got on the road. I felt a boost of productivity when I woke up in such a clear space. There was even a tea bar available for use with a cute Tassimo machine too.
I think the best part of this room was the bathroom. The white and urban decor was a treat. I really enjoyed my warm shower in the morning in the spacious bathroom. I wrapped in a warm hotel robe and felt kinda sexy walking around that room. There was enough counter space for Caleigh and me to spread all of our girlie stuff out.
We were able to park our RV on the street. However we had to move it early in the morning to ensure that there was no disruption to traffic (and that we wouldn’t get a ticket). Underground parking is available however we had to park outside since our RV was oversized. Checkout was a breeze we just waved goodbye, packed into our RV and rode into the sun.
If you want a more romantic Montreal experience you might want to stay a little further out in Old Montreal. However , If you plan on touring downtown Montreal, this Hotel will give you the chance to do so with so much convenience. Access to Montreal’s Eaton’s Centre is a quick walk away. As well, there are several options for the underground Metro.
I really loved my stay at the Renaissance Montreal Downtown Hotel. If you have any questions, leave me a comment below.
The Emperor Hotel Quianmen hotel was quite the surprise. When my roommate proposed that I join her and her friend on a weekend trip to Beijing, I was ecstatic. However one of my first thoughts (after thinking about all the duck I’d eat) was where were we going to stay?
Keep reading for my review of The Emperor Hotel Quianmen (and find out whether I would stay there again!).
After we hopped out of a cab we trekked it in through the ‘walk only’ zone. Waiters called out their specials to us from their restaurants when we strolled on the grey stone sidewalk. The Emperor Hotel was tucked away in a quiet nook near the popular Quianmen market. We actually walked past it twice before we finally found it and were welcome with a luxe feel. The three-story hotel featured a very modern design and took advantage of the open space but didn’t seem uncomfortable or too edgy.
As soon as we walked into the room, it screamed Instagram goals. I received message after message about how beautiful the room was when I posted it on my Instagram story. While the bedroom was wistful with its bright pink curtains, the bathroom was my favourite. Floor to ceiling marble coated the shower and the separate toilet made things less awkward with our group. The view wasn’t spectacular (chefs from the nearby restaurant actually took their break within plain sight of our hotel room window, so I was weary of walking around undressed) however the natural light poured in looked incredible so I wasn't too fazed.
I stayed in room 2021 which was near the gym equipment (which wasn’t a problem). I was on the rollaway bed which was ok for the first two nights. However, by the third night, it had lost its charm and was a bit uncomfortable.
The location was perfect for most of the activities we wanted to do. Due to the attraction’s layout, it was actually faster for us to walk to the Forbidden City than take a cab. We walked through Quianmen to get to and from our hotel. I had a great time when I tried my first Peking Duck dish and traditional Chinese dinner at a nearby restaurant.
There weren’t any convenience stores around, so if you needed to pick something up grab it before you arrive at the hotel or get it while out and about. However, there were 2 Mini So’s and tons of souvenir stores so I was pretty content. I was able to take a tuk-tuk to Quianmen Square for only 20RMB from the National Museum then I walked for 10 minutes to the hotel.
Wearing: Leggings: Forever 21, Sports Bra: Anita, Money Belt: Ali Express, Shirt: Similar
The staff accommodated us well and were quite sweet. We only waited 10 minutes for our room after we checked in and were escorted to the space. On our final night, someone in the room above us banged on a door for 7 minutes straight just before midnight. I grabbed the phone and quickly chatted with reception who assured me that they would get the problem resolved. Soon the knocking ceased and we rested up for the day ahead. Many of the staff members spoke alright English and helped when they could. However, when we asked questions that pertained to lesser known attractions, it took us a while to get it all translated to receive an answer.
The pool was beautiful and wasn’t too shallow or deep for me (at 5’6 it was at my mid-chest). It was clear of debris and provided a great view of the hazy city. I stopped by the bar on the way up to the pool and grabbed a pina colada that left me refreshed. In the room, the TV swiveled on its wall mount so someone could soak in the tub in the living room while they watched a movie or TV show (we watched a few in English too!). Towel service wasn’t around, so we brought our own robes and towels up to the rooftop.
The air conditioning worked perfectly well and the security was very tight (there were several room key checkpoints). Plus the slippers and robes were extremely comfortable! The wifi wasn’t the best and phone service was shoddy in most spots. If you booked this hotel and needed wifi, consider another hotel or get portable wifi. I spent most of my time outside of the hotel room anyways so the lack of wifi wasn’t tragic, just inconvenient. However, if I planned on working while in Beijing I wouldn’t have been able to depend on the internet connection.
The breakfast food was delicious and varied. I had fried rice and dumplings with a side of bacon and an omelet (guess who’s a fan of big breakfasts…). Even the picky eater of our group was satisfied with her omelet and coffee. Drinks on the patio were pretty good and served right to us at the pool. They had a long list of imported drinks available and the two Parisians I traveled with popped a small bottle of Moet for the night and smoked away. The market was right outside of the hotel room so when I felt a bit peckish I was able to walk right out and sample duck, lamb on a stick and some sweet drinks!
The price of the room was definitely worth it for two people. However, if a third person might be interested in joining your journey, tell them to get their own room. Just remember, if you want to get dropped right to the door of this hotel, that won’t happen. Just get your driver to bring you to the Xianyukou and Quianmen which was a short walk from the hotel.
What do you think of The Emperor Quianmen? Would you stay here?
Pictures by: Desiree Thomas, Ted Baker Shoes, everything else GAP
After the recent and tragic passing of a very close friend, I was really looking forward to this trip. The Viamede Resort was a 2-hour drive out of downtown Toronto and just 20 minutes north of Peterborough. While I couldn't escape my problems and grief, I was happy to at least spend time in a quiet space and get out of my head a bit.
As we pulled up to the blue and white painted front of the resort, I instantly felt at ease. Desiree, however, was a bit nervous since we visited during the slow season at the resort and were only one pair of the few guests staying there. After an easy check-in, we brought our bags upstairs and took in the view of the ice-covered lake on our way up. Our spacious room was fitted with a full bathroom (with a shower) a sofa, two lounge chairs, the comfiest king-sized bed, a television and an office table. Two doors lead out to the second story balcony where we shot pictures and regularly insta-storied the icy lake-view.
Breakfast and dinner were served in the main dining area of the resort, as Boathouse, the other restaurant would open later in the summer. In spite of the rustic feel, we were offered unexpected options of mixed green salads, flatbread pizzas and decadent desserts for our meals. For dinner on the first night, I satiated my week-long craving for honey garlic chicken wings and blue cheese dip. For breaded wings, they were delicious, the blue cheese dip wasn't my favourite though. The caesar salad was topped generously with cheese and bacon and tossed in a creamy dressing. I also loved the sweet potato fries and snagged a bite of Desiree's flatbread pizza (spoiler: it was amazing too).
Before we ate, Desiree and I took a dip in the indoor pool. The pool area was conveniently fitted with lockers and was heated nicely. It lead to an outdoor hot tub that we sadly didn't take advantage of. Like many areas of the resort, the pool was fitted with huge windows so we could take in another angle of the gorgeous view outside.
A slight break from the arcadian feel of the resort was Mount Julian, an Inn and restaurant just across the street from Viamede. Surrounded by the history of the Inn built in 1874, a 7-course feast presented to Desiree and I was served with another gorgeous view of the lake. Each of the courses sent our taste buds on a rollercoaster. Earlier that day, the resort manager asked us if we had any allergies or food preferences. It turned out that Mount Julian was the kind of farm-to-table place with no menu, but where the chef made food as he felt inspired by what was in season. I listed the menu we were served below (but note, this won't be exactly what you would be served if you visit!)
(A pre-course, course) 595 Pork belly, whole hog mustard, pork fat crouton, tomato and watercress (a fancy BLT)
- Asparagus, wild rice salad, wild leek vinaigrette, Ontario bocconcini, honey balsamic
- House smoked rainbow trout, candy cane beets, Blueberry gastrique
- Golden beet soup with honey and cream, warm bread and duck fat butter, apple walnut chutney, pristine soy oil and blueberry gastrique
- Pork tenderloin with butter poached blue potatoes and wild leek marmalade
- Beef tenderloin with mushroom confit and red wine jus
- Cheese board: Lindsay, Ontario ‘wrapped’ goat cheddar, rhubarb chutney
- Chocolate walnut brownie with chocolate whisky and orange and soy iced cream
My favourite dish was a tie between the Golden Beet Soup (I couldn't stop talking about the duck fat butter, Desiree wanted to hurt me), the pork tenderloin and the final desert. Each course was served with a delicious drink. I loved the Sortilège made with their own 595 Maple Syrup. After a lovely chat with Chef Jay Nutt about travel and the dishes he crafted for us, we retired to our room full and ready to sleep.
Sweater & Jeans: GAP, Shoes: Ted Baker
Each night I went to bed full and excited to learn something new about the area. I can't wait to visit the Viamede Resort again and explore the trails a bit more and get some more of that elixir syrup.
Staycations are the best. Amy and I had a little get together at The Beverley Hotel here in Toronto.
Pants: EXPRESS Turtle Neck: ESPRIT Nail Colour: essie
I climbed all the way to the top of the hotel stairs to a room 41 with a view of snow-covered Toronto below. I had frequently passed the underrated Queen West destination while on harried journeys across the city.
Natural light filled the room and the peek-a-boo bathroom (Amy and I could have totally watched each other pee...) and made for a Pinterest-perfect space.
(All pictures by bae, aka Amy at Bratty B)
For a boutique hotel, the room was incredibly spacious (much bigger than my standard hotel rooms in Paris and London...). We ordered breakfast which arrived quite quickly (after our order was taken by a staff member who came right to our door to deliver a menu). Amy ordered the generous parfait while I enjoyed the lemon ricotta pancakes.
While I do love pancakes from Mildred's, with the first bite, these ones became my favourite in the city. The medley of lemon mixed with maple syrup and the light texture of the pancakes sent me for a loop. I'll definitely return for those again.
I wholly recommend the Beverley Hotel for a budget staycation with a touch of luxury in the city. The prompt room service, space of the room and delicious food make me want to visit over again!