When telling someone you are planning a meeting in the West, it’s assumed two things will happen. First, time will be spent outdoors taking in the scenery and activities, and afterward a craft beer will be the drink of choice when happy hour rolls around. Truth is, among the top 10 states with the most craft brewers, a majority are in the U.S. Mountain West states of California, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Alaska, according to Craft Brewers Guild 2014 data.
MEETING IN A MUSEUM provides a distinctive setting for events and a fresh atmosphere. At museums, attendees are surrounded by art and artifacts, or they find themselves in a place where they can experience both history and nature.
If you read hotel marketing materials as much as I do, you’ll realize that many like to say they “feel just like home.” I’ve always taken issue with that – not because I don’t love my own home – but because when I travel I want my hotel to be different. I want to experience something unique and memorable. Comfortable, yes, but exactly like what I have at home…no thanks.
I am insatiably curious and always keen to learn something new, but I find that I am surprised by the seemingly familiar more often than not. Case in point? The Palm restaurant in Philadelphia. This elegant steakhouse is tucked inside the landmark Hyatt at The Bellevue hotel. It exudes that classic steakhouse appeal – a dark wood bar, a buzzy “business is getting done here” ambience and professional male waiters sporting jackets.
When you get up early on a powder day and ski first tracks, it’s an incredible thrill. But what if your group had the whole mountain to itself and made the only tracks all day?
This is no powderfueled daydream. There are a number of small resorts where a three- or four-day public schedule means groups can take over the slopes on most weekdays for a unique skiing experience. Enjoy our quick primer on ski areas that are available for daily group rentals in the West.
Turner Mountain Ski Area // Libby, Montana
1. Hip Entertainment Hub in Mammoth Lakes
The new Mammoth Rock ‘n’ Bowl features great views of the Sherwin Range, as well as 12 lanes of bowling, three golf simulators, foosball, darts, pingpong, two restaurants, a full bar and several private event spaces. Groups of up to 250 can be accommodated. Rock on! mammothrocknbowl.com
One of the phrases that my mother often utters is "kill two birds with one stone." She’s far from violent. Instead, she is highly organized and is the embodiment of a multi-tasker. Like mother, like daughter. I love nothing better than getting two things done at once and just last week I managed to do just that. I interviewed a terrific Philadelphia personality (stay tuned to read that fun interview in our fall issue) and rediscovered a terrific event space. Our interview just so happened to be a lunch meeting at Cuba Libre.
Taking its color palette and sense of openness from the surrounding desert mountain ranges, the re-imagined Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage opens to guests May 15. The now 244-room property - plus 16-new spa suites - will be familiar to many, as it was previously a Ritz-Carlton (and briefly the Lodge) until it closed for renovations in 2006. Financial issues stalled the re-opening but most will agree it was worth the wait.
Beverly Hills sure knows how to celebrate a birthday. The glamorous city turns 100 this year and to commemorate the centennial five of its most luxurious hotels each redecorated one of its suites to evoke an era from the past 100 years. Launched by the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau, the initiative is called Suite 100. Members of the press got a glimpse of the glitz, along with appropriately haute bites, as a city trolley took us from hotel to hotel.
They say if you want to test the skill of a chef, ask him or her to make an omelet. I’d add if you want to judge the care a kitchen takes in preparing its dishes, order the calamari. At Rare by Drai’s, a swank, sexy new steakhouse and lounge on West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, the calamari is one of the must humble dishes on the menu. But, at a recent press dinner, I couldn’t stop eating it.