A Winter Weekend in Donegal, Ireland

A Winter Weekend in Donegal, Ireland

My stepsister got married at Harvey’s Point hotel in Donegal, Ireland on New Year’s Eve this year, so we spent a few days in Dublin and then a stop in Cavan for a night on the way up to Donegal for the festivities. I so wish we had been able to spend more time in Donegal and had gotten to see more of it , and would LOVE to return during the summer season in the near future and really experience the town in all its splendor. Despite the wintry weather, I would counsel anyone to make the trek to Donegal during a trip to the Emerald Isle.

Donegal Castle

Donegal Castle

Apologies first because we barely took any photos of the hotel itself, as with the wedding, it was a whirlwind weekend full of events (and merriment!).

DRINK AND EAT IN DONEGAL: OLDE CASTLE BAR

Although we had a full rehearsal dinner to attend, hubs and I snuck off to town with a friend to check into his hotel and walk around and see the town for a few hours before our call time. As such, we didn’t have a whole lot of time to do much sightseeing, but I had done a bit of research before we headed in and decided that we should drop in to the Olde Castle Bar for a pint or two. Continue reading

Get Your Sleep On – Majestic Elegance (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)

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It’s good to be the Queen.

Well, ok, maybe I’m not the Queen of anywhere, although my parents might disagree. But, that’s the way that the Majestic Elegance makes you feel when you book a room at their Elegance Club level – the adults-only part of the all-inclusive luxury resort situated in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Set on Bávaro Beach, this high-end all-inclusive delivers on hospitality and, well, elegance, throughout your stay.

The result of a boozy brunch barbecue, we booked this trip on a whim and decided to spend our Labor Day Weekend in a more tropical locale than the sweltering humidity of New York. It’s a long story and I’ll spare you the details, but we recruited some additional folks and booked on CheapCaribbean, who I am delighted to say made the booking process painless. We had 3 credit cards and 2 different airports of origin, and their customer service line was amazingly accommodating and helpful. I’d always book a stress-free all-inclusive vacation with them from now on. Not a plug, just love the website.

I’m digressing. Dominican Republic. We went there. And this is a review of our amazing resort.

Pro-Tip #1: Book a room with the Elegance Club level.

The CHECK-In Experience:

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Upon arrival in the lobby, we were whisked away by the greeter to the VIP Check-In Area, a separate suite off the main lobby with a buffet of pastries and other snacks, as well as coffee, wine, champagne and other treats. We were invited to take a seat at a table with refreshments as we checked in and were assigned our butler, Bladimir. Continue reading

Get Your Sleep On – Paradisus La Perla (Playa del Carmen, Mexico)

The Paradisus La Perla in Playa del Carmen, Mexico is a really beautiful hotel and is kept spotless. On the surface, the staff all seem very nice and polite and seem very eager to help make your stay as enjoyable as possible. However, the food and the service fall seriously short of the experience they claim to deliver and it made for an extremely disappointing stay.

Playa Del Carmen - Mexico-47

It’s almost as if someone read a book about what a luxury resort should have, and bought all those things, and gave the staff brief instructions on what to do, and just left. One example: Continue reading

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The Ultimate Mendoza, Argentina Travel Map

I had too much fun creating my Ultimate Dublin Travel Map, and so now I present to you, the Interwebs, my dear readers, my Ultimate Mendoza, Argentina Travel Map. This is only my map of the City of Mendoza, and doesn’t cover my favorite spots in the surrounding countryside (hello, bodegas (wineries) and vineyards!) – that stuff will be coming sooner than later.

How to use this map:

View the map bigger by clicking the bracket window-looking icon in the upper-right corner, next to your photo/avatar. Save the link to your phone if you’re traveling – I think it might be handy (but that’s just me!). Use the layers to toggle between stuff that you’re looking for – I’ve grouped them in Sightseeing, Restaurants and Bars, Hotels, Shopping and Entertainment and Services & Tourism info, or Continue reading

The Marker Hotel Dublin

Get Your Sleep On – The Marker Hotel (Dublin, Ireland)

My husband and I decided to stay at The Marker Hotel in Dublin, Ireland for 2 nights this winter on a whim when stopping back through Dublin during New Year’s week after a family wedding in Donegal. It is seriously the nicest, most comfortable, most friendly modern luxury hotel we have ever stayed in (and we are hotel snobs, if you didn’t already realize).  It is clear why this property is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.  The hotel just celebrated its second birthday this April, and is as spotless as if it just opened yesterday.

The Location

The Marker Hotel Dublin

Grand Canal Dock

The hotel is situated in the sort-of-recently gentrified and renovated Grand Canal Dock, right next to the Bord Gáis theatre, the largest theatre in Ireland. For a listing of what’s on at the theatre, you can click right here.  There are Dublin Bike stations right near the hotel and little cafés and restaurants within a 2 minute walk, including the popular pizza chain Milano.  Temple Bar is about a 10-15 minute walk down the quays and the beautiful, modern Samuel Beckett Bridge is just a short 2 minute stroll, too.

The Room

The room was beautiful, HUGE, and Continue reading

Get Your Sleep On – Hotel Josef (Prague, Czech Republic)

While on a quieter side-street in Old Town, Prague’s Hotel Josef has it all.

Luke and I stayed here during my “Bar Trip” during September 2010.  For those of you wondering exactly what a “Bar Trip” is, it’s an American law school tradition of taking a big trip after you take the bar exam and before you start working.

Stellar location, amazingly comfortable beds, really neat rooms, and a great staff made our stay so enjoyable, we wouldn’t consider staying anywhere else next time we find ourselves in this storybook city.

Hotel Josef

Garden courtyard at the Hotel Josef

We were cheerfully greeted by the reception, who were eager to help us with whatever we needed, and offered help with bringing our bags to our room, which is becoming more and more rare in even the nicer hotels in Europe, I’ve found. We took the elevator from the super-modern lobby to our 3rd floor room in the Pink House, to find a really quiet hallway leading to our room. Everything in this hotel has a hint of design and thoughtfulness, even the room numbers. Continue reading