Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The New York Palace Has a Heart

Valentines aren’t the only hearts being celebrated this month. February is American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women™ Month. It is a cause that is near and dear to my heart (pardon the pun) as my dad died of heart disease.

The New York Palace Hotel is stepping up to raise awareness and help out this killer of not only men, but more women than any other disease.  For the month of February, they are showcasing the AHA’s “red dress” symbol throughout the hotel.  The GILT Bar has The Red Ruffle cocktail including Chambord, champagne and pomegranate juice.  The hotel’s restaurant Istana will have a heart-healthy Brunch menu each weekend, with dishes such as Steel Cut Oatmeal with Berries and an Egg White Frittata.

To further offer its support to fighting heart disease, The New York Palace is offering a Have a Heart Package. It includes welcome drinks at the GILT Bar; accommodations; $100 per night food and beverage credit; and Commemorative Go Red For Women dress pin, as well as an additional keepsake. This weekend package starts at $359 and the hotel will make a donation to the American Heart Association in honor of each guest that takes the package. 

I will be at the hotel this month (and probably sampling The Red Ruffle). I hope you will too.

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I’d also like to mention and event that taking place this weekend in Madison, Wisconsin. I attended the Celebration of American Distilling two years ago and am hoping to make it this weekend. It’s a phenomenal chance to taste spirits from some of the smaller places you may not have even heard of. Some of my favorites, like North Shore Distillery, will be there. In addition to having a guaranteed great time, you will be helping out a good cause as all the profits will go to the Madison Area CSA Coalition. Visit the Distill America website for more details.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

International Valentine’s Day Specials

It’s only a week until Valentine’s Day. I’m enjoying some time at home catching up, but these romance packages are almost good enough to make me give that up…

Vancouver, Canada
I loved my all too brief visit to Vancouver after my Celebrity Wine Cruise. One of my favorite parts was my visit to the Wedgewood Hotel & Spa. Their Valentine’s Day package is worth a trip to British Columbia even if it wasn’t on your radar.

For around $500 per couple, you get one night’s accommodations; chocolate truffles; sparkling wine; a four-course dinner at their Bacchus Restaurant; and breakfast in bed.  Similar packages are available after Valentine’s Day if you can’t make it Tuesday – or you want to add on a few days. Book on their website.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
I am hoping to do my first trip to Cabo San Lucas later this spring and Capella Pedregal looks like another reason to go. This place could be romantic anytime (all suites include a private plunge pool), but they are going all out for the month of February with a Heart-to-Heart Package.

Guests this month who book this package will get an ocean view room for two nights; breakfast each morning; one dinner for two at their Don Manuel’s restaurant; two massages in the Auriga Spa; a rose petal turndown on evening; roundtrip transfers and a glass blown heart as a memento. You can book the package on their website.

Costalegre, Mexico
Although this destination was not on the original plan for my Mexico trip, I’m reconsidering after reading about this area along the Pacific Ocean. Las Alamandas is a romantic boutique hotel. If you hurry, you can get 25% off their Romance Package through February 16th.

The package includes welcome margaritas and a tropical fruit platter; a room for two for three nights; three meals a day; a candlelit dinner or gourmet picnic on a private beach; and sunset margaritas each evening.  For reservations, call 888-882-9616 or email

Rome, Italy
Rome is one of the most beautiful (and romantic) cities in the world and I look forward to returning. Celebrate Valentine’s Day at one of Bettoja Hotels, all conveniently located for sightseeing in this eternal city. Their special package includes accommodations; sparkling wine; a red rose; early check-in and late check-out, when available; dinner for two; buffet breakfast; and free access to a fitness center.

To find out pricing and availability at Bettoja Hotels in Rome, email or call 800-783-6904. Then throw some coins in the Trevi Fountain and wish for another great year!