Growing up we were not so much "hotel people." We camped. A lot. Which I suppose is one of the benefits of growing-up in Northern California...there are lots of beautiful spots to pitch a tent (or in our case, park a little pop-up camper), and the weather is beautiful and mild. Pretty much perfect for camping.
When we did stay in a hotel, it was usually of the roadside variety, typically when we were traveling cross-country and needed a place to crash to relieve my folks of their road-weariness...
But as an adult, I've stayed in an awful lot of hotels (mostly for work travel), and while almost all of them have been significantly better than the roadside ones of my youth (although there have been a few doozies), most have been pretty meh.
That's a long lead-in to get to the point, which is when I do have a chance to stay in an amazing hotel (which is very, very rare), it makes a huge impact on me. I leave scheming how to pull-off our next visit, brainstorming ways to somehow transport the magic of the hotel onto our house...
That was exactly the situation after our stay at the Hotel Havana in San Antonio (courtesy of the fantastic Mr. and Mrs. Smith) a few weeks ago during the girlies spring break.
The trip was impromptu and quick (just a couple of nights), but it was completely magical. The city itself is very charming -- the pretty riverwalk, the amazing Mexican food, the plentiful margaritas -- but the hotel was the main magic maker for sure.
The Havana is an old historic hotel that the genius Liz Lambert recently refurbished with her Bunkhouse management company. Now I have to pause here to say that every other "perfect" hotel I've ever had the pleasure of staying in has been one of Liz Lambert's "creations" -- The San Jose and The Saint Cecilia specifically... She just gets it right on every level. The spaces feel youthful and modern but not in an icky tecno/hip/nightclub way that so many boutique hotels seem to resort to. They're comfortable with good beds and linens and amenities and really (really) good service.
But the extra mile, the magic if you will, is how she creates a feeling or (for lack of a better term) vibe for each space. In the case of the Havana, she's channeled maybe a writer or artist in residence in Cuba. It's worn-in all the right ways, but artful and a little glam. Everything from the incense they burn in the lobby to the amazing minibar in the rooms stocked with local treats and the vintage SMEG fridge filled with Topo Chico mineral water among other goodies. There was nothing generic about the place, nothing "everytown U.S.A.". It was utterly special and unique. Every single detail.
The girlies loved it too...they could tell it was different, which made it even more worth it for the memory that will (hopefully) be burned on their brains forever...
Ok, now your turn...where's the most magical place you've stayed, why did you love it. Spill!