Hotel Porn

Café Gitane at the Jane Hotel

Café Gitane at the Jane Hotel

The Jane Hotel is a hidden brick structure in the far West Village that does not pop up in your usual hotel browsing. Starwood it ain’t. This boutique is sweet and small with complimentary bicycles to ride along the Hudson River and bunk bed rooms that look like the interior cabins of a ship. It is also home to Café Gitane, a French and Moroccan restaurant that is lovely for breakfast.

It’s a special, quiet spot and I specifically come here for the avocado toast with lemon juice and chili flakes, but simple items like a scrambled egg (which is off the menu) are way beyond Cafe Gitane’s capabilities. I was told that if I wanted an egg with my avocado toast, I could order a full entree of baked eggs in a pot with merguez sausage for $15. A grilled tomato on toast was actually a bright green concoction with huge spoonfuls of green olives and green capers that would be way too salty to eat first thing in the morning.

That said, if you stick to the simple things, like the strong coffee and the tower of Moroccan couscous, there’s plenty to enjoy here. Especially the gingham cloth napkins and eclectic, sunny decor!

Brunch at Cafe Gitane Brunch at Cafe Gitane Brunch at Cafe Gitane Brunch at Cafe Gitane Brunch at Cafe Gitane Prosecco Avocado Toast

Venice Beach Jet Lag Journal: Beach Bungalow

Venice Beach Jet Lag Journal: Beach Bungalow

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I recently spent a week pretending to be a Californian by moving into a bungalow in Venice Beach.  Bohemian, cozy, and smack dab between the beach and Abbot Kinney Blvd, the bungalow became my home away from home.  Venice Beach Eco Cottages are run by a husband and wife team, who manage three bungalows: Papa Hemingway, dark and warm with Cuban accents; Aunt Zoe’s Place, designed like a kitschy 1940s lakeside cabin; and Le Bébé Cottage with its “candied baroque” theme. I loved making myself a cup of coffee in the morning, opening all the windows and writing on the porch. A sweet friend came by with a heart-shaped pink hombre cake that we ate underneath the chandelier. And walking out the front door to grab a healthy breakfast before taking a bike ride on the beach made me so grateful to be far away from slushy, freezing New York.

Le Bebe Le Bebe Le Bebe Le Bebe Le Bebe Le Bebe Bungalow Le Bebe Le Bebe Le Bebe Le Bebe Le Bebe OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Le Bebe Le Bebe Bathroom Cake Le Bebe Porch

Years ago, my A+S other half wrote about the bungalows for Loft Life, in Take the Trip. This Jet Lag Journal is just getting started! Check out life in Venice Beach and all the shops and restaurants on this virtual stroll along Abbot Kinney.

Topping Rose House

During the holidays in 2012, chef Tom Colicchio appeared on the cover of Hamptons magazine.  Humbly nestled in an Austin-Healy – ahem – he discussed where he likes to shop for food (Sang Lee Farms on the North Fork), his favorite menu item (fluke with watermelon), and his new restaurant and inn Topping Rose House. Since that cover story I have been looking forward to a fancy occassion to visit, and convinced my family to go for Christmas dinner.  Bright and airy, with wide plank floors, for years the building was a run down eyesore on the main street of Bridgehampton, and the front porch was practically held up with rods and sticks.  It took seven years to wait for permits, reconstruct beautifully, and then fill with artwork and an aqua lacquered bar.  The inn consists of only 22 luxurious rooms, and the rates they are able to command are preposterous.  Check out the hotel review in the travel section of The New York Times.

Topping Rose House

 

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Tweet Tweet! AirBnb is For the Birds

Capitalizing on the idea that birds are the world’s best travelers, AirBnb has hired artists to create 50 birdhouse replicas of AirBnb listings. They are painstakingly created and just delightful to admire. (I have to disagree about the “world’s best travelers” part. I find that birds exercise no discrection or taste when it comes to housing.)

BirdBnb - Austin, TX

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A Hotel Life

A Hotel Life_AcapulcoIf you haven’t been able to tell yet, we’re big on hotels here. So we’re always looking at new hotel websites, signing up for e-newsletters, and scanning the hotel sites–so we were pretty excited to discover this new one: A Hotel Life. Why do we love them? Their mission is spot on for what we believe in ah hotel experience and memory should be:

“We like hotels like some people like
Alexander Wang, Aston Martins, Damien Hirst or Kanye.
We love everything about them,
and follow every new detail and offering.

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Las Vegas Jet Lag Journal: Asian Influence

Las Vegas Jet Lag Journal

The Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas is dark, quiet and chic.  It is the un-Vegas of hotels on the Strip.  It feels Zen and calming, and the rooms themselves are beautiful.

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Cape Cod Jet Lag Journal: Chatham Bars Inn

Summer on the Cape

Years ago, Samantha Brown put on her New England “muckety muck” voice and hosted an episode of Great Hotels at the Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod.  I loved that show.  I miss that show.  I have made it a personal mission to relive that show by visiting her hotels, but often they are not as Great as the show title would suggest.  (For example, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground?  Please.)  The Chatham Bars Inn, however, is all the WASP you could ever want in the well-manicured, moneyed town of Chatham.  When I worked at Forbes, we threw around the phrase “like-minded” as a positive description of our readers (we wouldn’t want anyone to be too free thinking or … democratic).  Let’s bring that phrase into being for this blog post.  The patrons of the Chatham Bars Inn are Sperry-wearing, golf course and tennis court-tanned, summertime-loving, cocktail hour-imbibing, like-minded folks.  I don’t think “affluent” does them justice.  Should we go with flush?  And I love them, each and every one of them.

Chatham Bars Inn

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Palm Springs Jet Lag Journal

Palm Springs

Traveling on someone else’s dime – this is the holy Mecca, friends.  There is no sense in having a job that requires travel if you aren’t going to bother to create your own perks.

Kyra and I spent a week working a conference outside of San Diego, at the LaCosta Resort & Spa in Carlsbad (fancy).  We worked, played tennis, watched the Tony Awards, and did yoga at The Chopra Center (also fancy).  And then took advantage of the free flight to the West coast and embarked on a road trip to Palm Springs (oooh, fanciest).  Let me tell you the tale of our midcentury modern migration.

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