Western Days and Ko’Sin Nights at the Wild Horse Pass Resort

In the Pima language, ko’sin simply means kitchen. At the Ko’Sin restaurant inside the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa just outside Phoenix, Arizona, where veh pug means beginning, hai chu hugi means main course, and wamichtha means fry bread, there is nothing ordinary about this kitchen. At a recent media event for the unveiling of the restaurant’s new menu, I had the wonderful opportunity to join the culinary team and the rest of the Wild Horse Pass staff for a lovely night of sample dishes, marshmallows and singing by the fire, and a hauntingly stunning sunset over the

One of the four cottages, also part of the spring break deal.

Spring or Any Time: Buckhorn Lake State Park Resort, KY is a Gem

Spring is a lovely time to stay at a Kentucky state park lodge, particularly since several have sweet package deals. One park, Buckhorn Lake is a 856 acre beauty in Daniel Boone National Forest, and has been one of my favorites for years. My mother hails from this part of southeastern Kentucky where redbud trees show off their glorious pink flowers in celebration when winter has headed out for another year. Both pink and white Dogwood trees add to the color symphony. Buckhorn Lake State Park, typical to many of Kentucky’s state parks, has a lodge built from a mix of wood and Bedford sandstone. Each of the lodge’s


Five Great Getaways for Spring

Whether you’re in the grips of a “snowmaggeddon” winter or just thinking about a tropical escape, here are five great getaways for spring, with recommendations from our Hotel-Scoop correspondents for distinctive places to stay around the world. Start dreaming, then get packing! French Polynesia You might think of French Polynesia as an exotic escape from North America’s winter, but peak season in Tahiti and its sister islands runs from May through October, when the region’s winter rains abate. Springtime in the northern hemisphere, then, is an excellent time to run away to paradise. I’d go back in a heartbeat to


Colorado Springs Secret: Cheyenne Mountain Resort & Club

Located 20-minutes from the Colorado Springs Airport, Cheyenne Mountain Resort & Club celebrates their Rocky Mountain location from the moment you enter this 217 acre resort. Grand mountain architecture, tall grandiose wood features and open windows invite the Colorado sunshine in at every step. From fine dining to a full slate of amenities, Cheyenne Mountain Resort gives travelers yet another reason to visit Colorado Springs. Arrival Since I’m based in Denver, it’s an easy 90 minute drive to Colorado Springs, and I’m familiar with the Cheyenne Mountain area from my multiple stays at The Broadmoor. Since my first stay at the Cheyenne


High-End Desert Design Shines at Delano Las Vegas

Too hip to be square, Delano Las Vegas stakes its claim in the Nevada desert with elegance and under-stated luxury. The 43-story tower that shines like a diva and radiates gold next to Mandalay Bay Resort is inviting, yet stark like its desert surroundings. A huge split boulder is impossible to miss upon entrance to the hotel. The natural color scheme flows like the Colorado River throughout the all-suite property. In fact, the Colorado River pattern may be seen in the carpet leading up to the reception area where guests check in. A stone rock art installation hangs suspended from


The Edgewater in Madison, Wisconsin: Nostalgia Reborn

The Edgewater has been bringing back memories since it opened in 1948—the same year that Life Magazine touted Madison, Wisconsin, as the best place to live in America. Stretching along the shores of Lake Mendota, and located between the city’s two biggest points of pride, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the state Capitol, The Edgewater in those days was the place for the city’s movers and shakers to see and be seen, and attracting celebs like Liberace, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley. But its years were beginning to show. Today, after a two-plus-year and multi-million dollar do-over, The Edgewater hotel


Hotel Scoop Snags Three Travel Writing Awards

The winners of the annual travel writing awards from the North American Traveler Journalists Association (NATJA) were announced this week and Hotel Scoop picked up three of the five slots in the “Resorts” category. Kristin Winet was recognized for her article on Hotel Poco a Poco in the Monteverde region of Costa Rica. This was a story about “following the turtle” and moving slowly as she made her way through the country with her new husband on a honeymoon. She also scored prizes for a Costa Rica feature story in TravelWorld online and a tipping advice story in Eva Air’s


8 of The Most Romantic Hotels in Northern California

From Big Sur to Sonoma, Northern California has no shortage of romantic destinations. Here are eight hotels perfect for a romantic getaway in the Bay Area. Hotel Les Mars – Healdsburg Located on the downtown square, within easy walking distance to several tasting rooms, this wine country hotel offers 16 rooms decorated in French chateau style with King-size four-poster beds and European antiques. There’s a small pool onsite and evening wine and cheese service daily. Most romantic perk: The daily breakfast is delivered to your room so you can indulge in breakfast in bed if you so choose. Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon

Travaasa Hana

Romantic Hotels in the United States

Love makes the world go round, and what’s better than a hotel, resort or cozy bed and breakfast to kick-off a romance, celebrate an anniversary or special occasion? While there are so many destinations to love, I created a short list of romantic hotels in the United States from my reviews here at Hotel-Scoop.com. From Maui to New York City, consider the following hotels (in no particular order) for your next romantic vacation or holiday. Aloha to Romance in Maui There’s so many reasons to love the tropical paradise of Maui: quaint towns, artist communities, beaches, culinary experiences, and simply relaxing with your


Downtown Denver’s Best Romantic Hotels

Looking for Mile High Romance? Nothing says romance more than Downtown Denver’s best romantic hotels. Book your romantic hotel weekend by staying in the lap of luxury at the Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton; in one of the city’s elegant boutique hotels: The Crawford, Hotel Monaco, or Hotel Teatro; or walk the halls of history with a stay in one of downtown Denver’s historic hotel: the Teatro, Brown Palace or Oxford Hotels. Give the Gift of Luxury Hello!  You’re at the Four Seasons Denver in the heart of the Mile High City in Denver’s theatre district with a view of the Rocky Mountains, need


Radisson Blu Minneapolis is “Minnesota Nice” Beauty

With its recent AAA Four Diamond ranking, the newest Radisson Blu Minneapolis in the heart of the city, is proof positive that the benefits of “Minnesota Nice” service–a “100% guest Satisfaction Guarantee”–pay off. A multi-million dollar re-design project transformed what was the original downtown’s Radisson Plaza Hotel into this stylish Scandinavian inspired and now award-winning mid-century beauty. Ideally located just a half block from Nicollet Mall (the street where those of a certain age may remember Mary Tyler Moore tossed her hat in the air), it’s also within walking distance of the city’s bustling theater action, shopping and restaurants, along

Winter view

A Winter’s Night at Dahlonega Spa Resort

The country roads that wind up to the Dahlonega Spa Resort at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains take you over gentle rolling hills, across the oak, hemlock, and pine, and through the calm stillness of the beautiful blue hue that gives the area its name. At least, that’s what usually happens, until it’s a night where it’s below-freezing, spitting sleet, and dark by 4 p.m. (the day that also just so happens to be the shortest day of the year…and your birthday). But don’t let that fool you–battling the weather, wind, and darkness actually made our trip up to this

Hotel Cocktails: Five Winter Warmers To Make Your Spirits Rise

Hot Chocolate drinking is taken to new heights at the Four Seasons Whistler

One of the things I love best about hotels during the holidays is the exaggerated decor and ubiquitous cheer, right down to the plastered smiles and pervasive Christmas carols that seem to seep from the ceiling cracks. From colorful mock presents the size of boulders  to the towering glitter adorned tree that transforms a hotel lobby into a cozy hearth, hotels go all out to swaddle guests in the warmth and imagination of the season. For kids, the scene is magical, but adults deserve a little Christmas enchantment too, non? Well step right up and into the hotel bar, where mixologists have also caught the holiday spirit. While classics like eggnog and mulled wine can be found everywhere, some bartenders have figured out that, for many of us, the magic of Christmas rests in our collective memory of frosty winter nights huddled by a fire and the exhilarating anticipation of Santa sliding down the chimney. Here are five hotels where the season’s signature beverage puts an adult-only twist on a childhood favorite. ‘Tis the season!

This South of the Border cocktail at   Park Hyatt Beaver Creek 

Hot Chocolate : Four Seasons Whistler have come up with the perfect cocktail using the famous Four Seasons Hot Chocolate. The “I Heart Whistler” will impress the most sophisticated taste buds and take chocolate drinking to a whole new level.  Adding Godiva Hot Chocolate Liqueur to a favorite childhood drink and making it even better with a splash of peppermint schnapps, this cocktail makes a decadent yet refreshing liquid dessert.  The resort and surrounding European style village are full of seasonal glee, with glistening lights, ice skating, and maybe even a santa sighting, adding more magic to the season. Check prices online at Priceline or Hotels.com.

Apple Cider : Concocted by Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, in Colorado, the “South of the Border” may seem like an odd name for this Rocky Mountain location, but sip on this signature drink and you’ll see why. The delicious hot apple cider kids remember is taken to new (Rocky Mountain) heights with one exotic addition: tequila. And not just any tequila, but the Herradura Reposado- aged for 11 years. Olé! Sweeten it with some agave nectar and add a twist of lemon and the joys of Christmas past will be the real present. Check prices online at Hotels.com or Priceline.

Mayan Coffee adds Xtabentun to your caffeine fix

Coffee : For some, winter means escaping the cold, and the Sandos Caracol Eco-Resort & Spa, located in the heart of the Mayan Empire, is the perfect escape. But no matter where you go, you still need your coffee. Thankfully the folks behind the bar keep this in mind when they serve a Mayan Coffee cocktail that will provide a taste of winter relief with a touch of culture. This twist on Irish Coffee uses Xtabentun, a liqueur made from anise seed, fermented honey and rum, and is popular in the Yucatan. The word Xtabentun means “vines growing on stone” and refers specifically to the Christmas Vine—appropriate for this winter warmer. Again, check Priceline or Hotels.comfor prices.

Spiced Chai Tea: When a hotel has “Libation Engineers,” you know the bar is the place to be. And Cascades Whiskey Bar at the

Hotel Arts in Calgary serves holiday       dessert in a glass

Stanley Hotel in Colorado is jus such a place. Order The Whiskey Spiced Chai Latte, which combines Canadian Bourbon with the rich, spicy warmth of chai, adding subtle Christmas spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon that awaken the holidays senses. The hotel itself is full of history and lore, so sit back and listen to a bedtime story or two, Christmas or otherwise. Book online at Hotels.com.

Ornamental Pecan: You’ll definitely want seconds of this liquid dessert.  At Calgary’s Hotel Arts, a trendy boutique hotel famous for its summer time pool parties, the award winning bartender of Raw Bar gives good reason to drop by during winter too. Belly up with Colin Tait (always a contender in the city’s annual cocktail competition) and let him shake up Belvedere raspberry flavored vodka and pecan syrup  for a tasty tipple that will make your thoughts of blizzards and cold melt away. Check prices online at Hotels.com or Priceline.

hotel cocktails

Let the Libation Engineers at the Stanley Hotel spice your holiday spirit



Kimberley Lovato is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. When she grows up, she want to be a Libation Engineer. Until then, she’s just a practitioner.

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