Hotel to Home: The Jefferson, Washington, DC

We’re traveling to Washington, DC today to check into the luxurious Jefferson. The hotel has high ratings, and absolutely stunning suites. The decor is traditional in style, but it doesn’t look stuffy or intimidating as I find sometimes can happen in these types of spaces.Jefferson-Washington-Hotel

I had a go at recreating the space. Here’s what I came up with:

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vintage upholstered bed, slipper chair, side table, Bergere chair, lamp, cashmere throw, orchids, pillow

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Travel: 28 Hours in Toronto

What do you do when your friend (in Ottawa) texts you (in Waterloo) on a Monday, and asks what you’re doing on the weekend? First, you ask her if we’re going to Nashville (that’s a story for another day). When she laughs at you, you ask her what she has in mind, and she asks you if you’d be interested in a Toronto meet-up, you obviously say yes!

Heck ya!

Considering the couple of crazy weeks my friend Shannon and I have had recently, a girls reunion weekend in the city is just what we knew we needed to make us both feel more energized!

After we confirmed that we were both available for a weekend away, I quickly got to work, contacted a few people, and started planning some girly fun for us. Today, I’m sharing our itinerary, and in the days ahead, I’ll share some specific reviews of what we did/where we stayed/what we ate.

Please join me as I take you through a 28-hour stay in Toronto.

Saturday

9am – I left Waterloo quite early in the morning, as I find Toronto traffic and parking to be unpredictable. It only takes an hour (in theory) to get to the city, but I often give myself two hours to get to the heart of downtown. I put my TomTom to use, of course, as I like knowing about the alternate route options if I run into traffic.

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11am – As my friend Shannon and I were coming from opposite directions, we opted to meet at our first stop of the day – the Windsor Arms Spa. Yes! What a perfect spot to meet. Since I arrived a bit early, I was able to nibble on some cookies and drink a tea before our spa experience – the Salt Cave.

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11:30am – Shannon and I met with our spa hostess. She led us around the spa space and told us about the halotherapy treatment in the Salt Cave. We changed into our bathing suits, threw on our plush robes, and headed in the Salt Cave for 45 minutes of relaxation.

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We left the Cave feeling refreshed and calm.

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1:30pm (ish) – After showering and primping at the Windsor Arms Spa, we headed to La Soci√©t√© for lunch. I’ve read a bit about this restaurant, but I had never been. Since we dubbed this weekend a #weekendofluxury, we figured that La Soci√©t√© fit our itinerary. It is where celebrities go after all (we didn’t see any).

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We opted to share the eggs benedict (with a side of salmon) and the pain perdu (French toast) with Nutella. This way, we got to try a bit of everything. This is what happens when you travel with your BFFs, you get to share the goodness! We had a very friendly server at La Société who was quite attentive and helpful with recommendations.

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time unknown – after lunch, we wandered in and out of stores around Bloor/Yorkville. The area is a gem for people watching, and to see what’s what in fashion, design, and luxury. While I have just about everything I need in Waterloo, when I’m in Toronto, I always like to see what’s going on at Club Monaco and Anthropologie, so we made it a priority to check out these stores…along with the prettiest of pretty, Kate Spade (so pretty!).

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5pm (ish) – After a couple of hours of shopping, walking, taking ridiculous photos, and being so happy because of the amazing spring weather, we hopped back in the car, and headed to our hotel (TomTom was put to work again, naturally).

It was great to spend the morning/afternoon in the Bloor/Yorkville area, but I was looking forward to seeing another part of the city while we were in town. Although I grew up in the ‘burbs of the city, I haven’t spent extended periods of time downtown in a long while, and there’s just so much to see and do and discover!

We drove south to King/Church to The Omni King Edward Hotel (affectionately called the King Eddy), and after we parked (I must say that parking in the two areas was completely easy on this trip! Bonus!), we checked in. We were greeted by a friendly staff member (Hi D!), and we had a good chat about why/how I blog only about white things (it does amuse a lot of people, I must say).

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At this point in our day, Shannon and I were were so eager to just lie on the beds for a while since we had done so much walking in the afternoon. Our reactions when we saw our room were priceless. We basically danced around the spacious suite, then flopped ourselves down on the beds (more on The Omni King Edward Hotel later this week).

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time unknown – We were pleasantly surprised by a visit from an Omni King Edward staff member who arrived with scones and biscuits in tow (I wish this could happen every day!). It was just the type of snack we needed! We pulled our seats up to the table by the window and had a little bite to eat.

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9pm (ish) – Earlier in the day, we had made a dinner reservation at one of our favourite restaurants – Terroni. It serves up delicious Italian fare, and since I could basically live on pizza and pasta for the rest of my life (hello carbs!), I was happy that Terroni had an open table for two for us. The Terroni Adelaide location was a three minute walk from our hotel, so it could not have been more convenient! It was the perfect spot for a lazy girls’ weekend! We walked over and spent the next couple of hours feasting.

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11pm – After dinner, we strolled back to The Omni King Edward Hotel, threw on our pjs (and hotel robes!), and watched some TV while we talked and laughed about all that we had experienced in the day.

midnight (ish) – We must have fallen asleep to the sounds of HGTV on the television at some point around midnight. Yes, yes, we’re very wild.

Sunday

7am – I really try to sleep in (especially on weekends), but I can’t! It’s ridiculously annoying. After a great sleep in a comfy bed with lots of comfy pillows, I woke up a tad annoyed at the fact that it was only 7am. I grabbed a few magazines and enjoyed reading them in the living space in our suite.

10am (ish) – After a lazy morning of chatter, an amusing photo shoot (to come later this week), magazine reading, and getting ready, we walked south toward St. Lawrence Market for breakfast. Again, I hadn’t realized how close the King Eddy is to so many great spots in the city. The St. Lawrence market area must have been only a six minute walk from the hotel, and Toronto’s flat iron building provides a perfect photo op. Easy! We chose to have breakfast at Hank’s because I had been there once before, and I had liked it (thanks for the intro to Hank’s, Sarah M.!) We enjoyed a classic breakfast, then set off on another adventure.

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noon (ish) – We had decided that our #weekendofluxury #WhiteCabanaTorontoReunion should include manicures, so we walked north to Queen West area (a pleasant 20 minute or so walk) as we were hoping to get into Civello salon. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get last-minute appointments, but the staff member recommended a nail salon a couple blocks away, so we went there.

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2pm (ish) – With our bright shiny nails, we walked back to the car (which I had left in the parking lot by the King Eddy) in the sunshine, and laughed some more as we thought about all the adventures we have been on together in the last 10+ years.

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3pm (ish) – At this point, our fun weekend reunion came to an end. After dropping Shannon off at Union Station, I drove back to Waterloo. We returned to our homes (and to reality) after a fun and fulfilling reunion weekend!

That’s how my friend Shannon and I spent our 28 hours in Toronto last weekend. I have a few more updates to share about this trip, so stay tuned for more posts this week!

Many thanks to the Windsor Arms Spa and The Omni King Edward Hotel for helping me plan this trip.

Travel: Luxurious Hotels in Charleston, South Carolina

Next month, I am going to be traveling to the southern United States, and I just cannot wait! It’s been a year since I’ve been to North Carolina, and I have several items on my agenda for this visit.

I’ll begin with a visit with my family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and then High Point Market in nearby High Point. In addition to these two stops, I’m planning on visiting Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. Eek! So darn excited! Road trip, here I come!

One of the best parts of travel planning for me is researching hotels, and let me tell you, there are some amazingly beautiful ones in the south! Let me share with you where my Charleston research has taken me thus far.

Planters Inn is traditional and full of creams and whites. The tone-on-tone decor definitely works for me, and the poster beds are so very charming.

PlantersInn_RoomsGallery_9 PlantersInn_RoomsGallery_3 croppedGallery_GuestRoom_6 PlantersInn_RoomsGallery_6 PlantersInn_RoomsGallery_2 PlantersInn_RoomsGallery_5 SpoletoSuite_website2 PlantersInn_gallery7 croppedGallery_PlantersInn_5 PlantersInnThe Spectator promotes its rooms as being “spacious, gracious, and utterly unforgettable”. I’d agree.

the-spectator-hotel 2241284-The-Spectator-Hotel-Guest-Room-3-DEF CTH1519_Spectator_Premier_Suite_307_01-631x355The Market Pavillion Hotel is another stunning property in Charleston. The guestrooms look large, and the bathrooms seem to be the ultimate in luxury.

king_lgcornerbath_lg guestbath_lgUp next is the Belmond Charleston Place. Warning – it’s another stunner complete with classic wood furniture, luxe linens, and beautiful bathrooms.

ocha_1366x400_room_premier_luxury04 ocha_1366x400_room_premier_luxury01 ocha_1366x400_room_premier_bathroom01 ocha_1366x400_room_premier_room03 ocha_1366x400_room_premier_king_balcony01Zero George Street‘s website draws me in, and I’m sure the hotel would, too, in person. This property is modern, airy, but most definitely southern.

2013_Zero_George_08021-1100x514Zero-George-Veranda-King Zero-George-Harbor-Room-3 2013_Zero_George_0787-380x220 2013_Zero_George_0600-380x530 ZG-Anson-Suite-Web-1100x514Can you now see why I think hotel planning is so fun? So dreamy!

Design: Paris Hotels

I recently learned that I’ll be off to Paris for about a week in February. I can barely believe it. While I have been to Paris many times I am always eager to return. To say I’m excited about this trip – yes, even though it’s in the winter – is an understatement! I’m just thrilled!

I’ve been having some fun researching hotels all over Paris. There are some amazingly beautiful spaces out in Paris that I’m just drooling over. And now you can too…

Intercontinental Paris Marceau

Intercontinental Paris Avenue Marceau

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La Maison Champs Elysées

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Hotel Malte

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Ares

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7 Eiffel

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Hotel West End

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La Réserve

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Opéra Stockholm by BridgeStreet

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Saint James Paris (the full website is definitely worth looking at)

Le Placide

Le Placide

Shangri-La Paris

Shangri-La Paris

Hotel Lancaster Paris

Hotel Lancaster

Aren’t 4 and 5 star hotels the best? I love the mix of modern and traditional decor of these Parisien hotels. And mostly I love the windows because I know many of these suites offer beautiful views of the city.

Travel dreams

Wouldn’t you love to skip out of work to spend some quiet time in a beautiful hammam spa in, oh- Istanbul?

The Hammam at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski hotel in Istanbul

You can!

Stay at the beautiful Ciragan Palace Kempinski and enjoy being treated like royalty. Room rates are from about four hundred Euros to EUR 5,200 for the three bedroom corner palace suite.

The Health Club at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski hotel in Istanbul

Welcome to White Cabana!

I hope you will be inspired.

Poolside Cabana at The Tides South Beach

As this is White Cabana’s first post, I thought it fitting to start things off by¬†sharing photos of¬† fabulous, inviting and glorious white¬†cabanas.

Delano South Beach

The Raleigh, South Beach

Loews, Miami Beach

Delano, South Beach

Now I know the next one isn’t a traditional cabana but it’s so pretty that I had to include it.

Vogue Living October 2003

Photo courtesy of Delano, Loews, Raleigh, The Tides.