Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Bei Hotel 50 8th St, San Francisco, California 94103, USA

bei hotel outOn a recent visit to SanFrancisco I booked to stay in the Bei Hotel at 50 8th Street, San Francisco, California, at the time of my visit there was a lot of work going on to the b uilding and I would not have booked it had I known, however, the work did not detract greatly from the enjoyment of my stay as it was carried out during the day when I was not there. The hotel will be immensely smart when the work is finished.bei hotel in

Bei Hotel is at 8th Street between Market and Mission is in a central part of the city (and near the terminal for cable cars) but there are many homeless people and drug addicts who congress around there. Going out and about alone can be unnerving.bei hotel pool

Having said that the hotel is extremely comfortable. The rooms are minimalist but spacious and comfortable. The beds are extremely comfortable. There is a pool on the roof, which I did not use. The restaurant serves breakfast, but compared to the local diners and coffee shops that is an expensive choice. The evening meals offered are varied and interesting but there are many bars and restaurants that provide interesting choices. (If you are eating out on a Saturday evening – book in advance!)bei hotel room.jpg

The staff at Bei Hotel are extremely helpful and courteous. Access for those with mobility issues is easy. I enjoyed my stay at Bei Hotel and would stay there again. It is an excellent base for visitng the fascinating city that is San Francisco.

bei hotel bathroom

Val Penny

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Il Radicchio Ristorante, 1801 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, USA

arlington.jpgI have always enjoyed my visits to Arlington, Virginia, USA. I first visited the State many years ago when my friend Connie was my hostess. It was then I also met our friend Denise. Good times. However, on my most recent visit to Virginia, my husband and I went with our friends Lisa and Bill. We visited their niece, Nika and her beau, Hani and they hosted a pre-dinner drinks party for us. It was such fun. After this we all made our way to Il Radiccho Ristorante, Nika and Hani’s favourite restaurant. They have good taste!radiccio-menu

il-radiccio

Il Radicchio is quite a small, family run, Italian restaurant. It has a fun atmosphere and friendly service. There is easy disabled access to Il Radicchio Ristorante and there are lots of choices of food available for vegetarians as well as omnivores. We had delicious plates of bruschetta for the table as a starter. It was fun and delicious. The boys chose beer to drink, except for Hani as the poor guy had a late meeting to attend that evening and needed a clear head. The girls shared a bottle of red wine. The breads and salads on offer were lovely too.

rad-inside

For our main courses we mainly chose a variety of risotto, pizza and pasta dishes. My husband chose the spahetti bolognese and spicy sausage. He has a big appetite and the portion was ample for him. I chose the spaghetti with pureed basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil. It was delicious, but I could not finish my meal! Nevetheless, we all made room for coffee and deserts. My husband had an americano coffee to wash down his chocolate cake while I enjoyed a latte with my icecream sundae. rad-cake

We very much enjoyed the embiance and the food at Il Radicchio Ristorante. Next time you are in Arlington, I highly recommend this restaurant.

 Valerie Penny

 

Double Tree by Hilton, 1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA

My husband and I recently had a wonderful vacation in Washinton DC, USA. We met up with friends who live in a different part of the country and we all met up in Washington DC and stayed at the Double Tree by Hilton, 1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA. The hotel is nice and central. It is situated equi-distant between Du Pont Circle and Macpherson Square metro centres.dc-coffee-table

This Double Tree by Hilton is adjacent to Scott Circle Park. My husband and I took a junior suite on the 7th floor. It was to the front of the hotel, so it was a little noisy, especially at the wekends, however, the room had pretty views over the park. This was clearly, once, an upscale hotel in downtown D.C. and is near the White House. However, the Hotel would now benefit from investment.

The carpets are a bit worn, the colour schemes are dated and the furnishings have seen better days. However, our suite offered really good value for money and our friends, who took a standard room, were also satisfied. The rooms all have large, flat-screen TVs and WiFi (for which there is a small fee if you are not a Hilton Honours member) The beds are large and comfortable. All suites add separate kitchen and living areas and ours also had a granite wet bar and a large bathroom.dc-bed

The bistro is disappointing. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it is dark, dull, dated and understaffed. It offers contemporary American cuisine which is tasty, but the menu never changed the whole period we were there. There is a bar which has a “Happy Hour” lasting around 4 hours! It serves signature drinks and is busy and clearly popular. Unfortunately, it too suffers from dated furnishings and understaffing.  The amenities of the hotel also include a fitness center, valet parking (for which there is a fee) and a business centre. The rooms are clean and the bathrooms spotless. I did like the big, fluffy bath towels.dc-tv

Having said all that, this Double Tree by Hilton benefits from the most charming, helpful and dedicated staff. The majority of them could not do enough for us. Only one or two seemed to be going through the motions. The staff of the Double Tree by Hilton, 1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC is a great asset. We were all made to feel welcome and valued. At present this is a good hotel in a great situation with great staff. With some investment and modernising it would be a great hotel too. I will use it again, and recommend it.

Valerie Penny

Peet’s Coffee & Tea 1156 15th St NW, Washington DC, USA

On a recent visit to the nation’s capital, I discovered the delight that is Peet’s Coffee & Tea 1156, 15th St NW, Washington DC, USA.  Although founded in 1966, I had never been into a Peet’s Coffee & Tea. They had a counter that sold good quality coffees and teas. The smell when you walk into the shop is delicious.peets-outside

A variety of savoury and sweet choices are available for eats. I particularly enjoyed the coffee cake, while my husband chose the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. There are a few vegetarian choices, but I did find that the staff understanding of vegetarianism is poor. The sandwiches arrive in the shop premade and when no vegetarian sandwich was available, I was offered a bacon egg and cheese sandwich with the bacon removed. Of course, the bacon fat would remain and I would have been ill as a result of eating that. The offer was kindly meant, but declined.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea is self service. There are two counters: one for ordering coffee, tea, cookies and cakes to take home, while the other serves those looking to enjoy the ambience of Peet’s. There is a wide variety of seating available and access is good for those with mobility issues. peets-inside

I thought Peet’s was a great find for a breakfast, a quick snack or a coffee break in the afternoon. It is not fancy, but the quality of the coffee and tea is excellent and the cakes, croissants and cookies to go with it are delicious. I highly recommend Peet’s Coffee & Tea for these.

Valerie Penny

Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel on Capitol Hill, Washington DC, USA

hyatt-regency-washington outsideI have always liked staying in the Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel when I have business in Wasginton DC. It is a high rise building in the Penn Quarter of the city. The Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel is a central, upscale, conference hotel and it only takes about 10 minutes to walk from there to the Supreme Court, the U.S. Capitol, the National Mall and Union Station. The Museum of Natural History and the Verizon Sports Centre are also close by. So the situation is perfect and I have also always found this hotel to be excellent value for money. hyatt dining

On family visits to Washington DC, the Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel is also amongst the hotels I consider, because the amenities include a hip hyatt poolbistro/bar with a fireplace and high ceilings, a cafe serving breakfast and lunch, a coffee shop and a deli. An indoor heated pool and gym are available at no additional charge right nest door and provide a great way to keep fit, or unwind, as appropriate.

I like the rooms in the Hyatt Regency Washingtonhyatt room Hotel too. The floor to ceiling windows make the rooms bright and light. Wi-fi is available for a fee and there are 42-inch flat-screen TVs with cable channels, iPod docks, coffeemakers and minifridges. It makes life easy whether business or leisure is involved in your trip. The staff are also courteous and professional and the rooms have always been spotless.

All in all, I can highly recommend the Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel. I have used it on several occassions before, and have no doubt I will stay there again.

Valerie Penny

 

 

 

Double Tree Hilton, 1 Doubletree, Rohnert Park, CA 94928, USA

Double Tree out.jpgWhen we went to visit family in Northern California there were too many of us to stay with our relatives, we were fortunate that the hotel nearest to their home was the Double Tree Hilton, 1 Doubletree, Rohnert Park, California, USA. It is a lovely hotel and reasonably priced. It is easy to get to as the Double Tree is only 2-minute drive from US Highway 101 and adjacent to two 18-hole golf courses. The hotel is in the Sonoma Wine Valley area.Double Tree room

Our room was spacious and ticked all the boxes for us. It had been freshly decorated, but was a little dated, although it did have a flat screen TV. There was wi-fi, but only available at a fee. Some rooms had a balcony, but ours did not. The en-suite facilities were spacious and everything was scrupulously clean. The staff were polite and friendly.

We enjoyed the meals we had in the hotel. The restaurant has far more space between the tables than in most dining Double tree diner 2rooms which made moving around easier and added to a sense of privacy when we were chatting. It has feature fireplaces and a patio that serves all-day meals and local wines. In addition there is a lobby bar and a Starbucks cafe.

We did not use the fitness center but we did enjoy swimming in the outdoor pool. The weather was warm enough to make it a pleasure to use. The hotel also has tennis courts within the grounds. The grounds are extensive and have lovely wooded areas.Double Tree pool

The situation of this Double Tree Hilton makes it easy to visit the surrounding area including Petaluma (‘the egg basket of the world’), Napa, Sonoma and San Raphael. I enjoyed my stay at this Double Tree Hilton and will use it again when I am in the area, if my relatives cannot put me up!

Valerie Penny

 

 

MGM Signature Suites, 145 E Harmon Ave, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109, USA

suite towersMy cousin, Michael and his new bride Amanda live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I always choose my relatives carefully. On a visit to the USA earlier this summer, my husband and I made a point of visiting Las Vegas to spend time with Mike and Mandy. It was just a few days, but it was important to us. We looked at a variety of hotels to make sure we chose the right one. suite m&m

Our travel agent in the village, Linda Hill of LAH Travel knows Las Vegas well and visits annually. She always stays at the MGM Signature Suites. It was Linda who recommended the MGM Signature Suites to us. What a good recommendation! We made sure we told our taxi driver from McCarron Airport that we were glad to be back in Vegas, and we did not want to travel through the tunnel. The trip only took a few minutes a cost us $16.00. Linda also advised us to tell him we wanted to go to Tower 2. The MGM Signature Suites has 3 towers imaginatively titled Tower 1, Tower 2 and Tower 3. suite LAHTower 2 is in the middle, so whichever tower our room was in we would not have to walk too far. Good advice. Linda also managed to secure us a rate inclusive of the usual resort fee, so we did not have to pay the usual $20 per night resort fee.

I had read very mixed reviews about the reception staff at MGM Signature Suites and had heard tales of long waits at reception and rooms not being ready for hours. We experienced none of this. We arrived early, before 9am and were quite prepared to deposit our luggage, explore the city and return to settle in to our room after check-in time at 3pm. However, there was no queue at the reception desk, the suite reception2young lady could not have been more helpful and we had a choice of towers and floors available to choose from. We chose Tower 3 as the room there gave us a view over the Strip.

We went up to our room, we had a view over one of the hotel pools to the Strip. The room was spotlessly clean. It comprised a large living area with smart, comfortable sofa and chairs and a desk to work at. The kitchen area included a fridge, coffee machine, cooking area and a wide selection of teas and coffees. There were also two bottles of water in the fridge.

suite room 2The king size bed was enormous and comfortable. there were no many drawers, but as many as we needed and a wardrobe, ironing board and iron. In the bathroom there were two sinks, a jacuzzi bath and a huge shower cubicle. The lavatory was in a little separate modesty cupboard. We were delighted with the accommodation.

So, the advantages of the MGM Signature Suites for us are: the rooms are quiet and well sound proofed, also there is no casino in the hotel, so it is quiet and there is no lingering smell of smoke. The accommodation is central, just off the Strip with great views and near the monorail terminal. The fitness suites and pools are well caredsuite pool for and excellent to use. Without exception, we found the staff to be courteous, helpful and willing to go above and beyond in their efforts to make our visit happy and memorable. The towers are connected to the MGM Hotel and beyond by indoor corridors and all the amenities of the MGM Hotel are readily available to guest at the MGM Signature Suites.

The disadvantages of the MGM Signature Suites for us were: there are very few places to eat in the towers. There are none in Tower 3, In Tower 2 there is a delicatessen called Delights. suite delights3It is adequate and does a good breakfast, but it is very expensive for what it offers. Tower 1 is the home to The Lounge, a lovely, quiet relaxing bar and its prices are typical of Las Vegas hotels. There is also a Starbucks in Tower 1. A Starbucks is a Starbucks. However, there are many restaurants in the District area of the MGM Hotel. There is only one tiny, highly overpriced shop in Tower 1 of the MGM Signature Suites. It is quite a long walk (so far there are 2 moving walkways in each direction) from MGM Signature Suites to the MGM Hotel, especially from Tower 3.suite thelounge6

On our next visit to Las Vegas, because we would like to go to visit again, (Look out Michael!) we will use MGM Signature Suites without hesitation. However, we will stay in Tower 1. It is much closer to the facilities in the MGM Resort, the monorail and the walkway to New York New York and other shops,resorts and facilities on the Strip. The pool in Tower 1 is also adults only: for us that would work well. I highly recommend the MGM Signature Suites in Las Vegas and LAH Travel. The advice we got from there was invaluable.

Valerie Penny