Category Archives: Hotel/Resort

Family Fun in Savannah

Rich in history and beauty, Savannah is a no-brainer as a fun family destination if you live in the southeast. It ranks right up there close to St. Augustine, if you are making your way south or north on I-95 and need a good overnight spot. Now, I may be a little biased since I lived in Savannah for two years when I was single, but it was always on my must-visit list with my husband and son. We went over President’s Day weekend, and it was unseasonably warm ( like 80 degrees!).

Our first stop was Fort Pulaski. Since it’s a national park, admission is reasonably priced. On the day we were there, admission was free in honor of the holiday. Now there’s a great “See 3 Pass” where you can get discounted admission to your choice of historic or educational sites, and it includes Fort Jackson in its range of choices. However, Fort Jackson is much smaller and doesn’t have the history that Fort Pulaski does. Fort Jackson might be closer to downtown and have daily cannon firings, but Pulaski saw actual battle action and offers a lot more to see and learn. Especially if you’re only in town for one day, I would opt for the slightly longer drive to Pulaski (located on the road to Tybee Island) and choose one of the “See 3” destinations, depending on the ages of your children.

The Georgia State Railroad Museum is also a a great stop for your kids who like transportation. I think it’s fun even for someone who isn’t that much into trains. You might find a new hobby or passion there, because the place is so interesting! Be sure and catch one of the guided tours of the old passenger cars that happen throughout the day. My son and I spent a good hour and a half at this museum but could have easily spent longer. If you’re interested in visiting the Savannah Children’s Museum , be aware that it is adjacent to the Railroad Museum. If you have kiddos interested in both, you should definitely go ahead and buy admission to both. It makes sense.

A walk down River Street is a must. The cobblestones and the steep, uneven staircases can be treacherous, but knowing that you are climbing the same stairs that pirates and merchants used hundreds of years ago is pretty fun. Your children might convince you to board one of the riverboats for a tour or a meal. You have been forewarned. If you’re lucky, you might get to see a freighter ship coming or going. It’s quite the close encounter and pretty neat.

If you have any Brownies or Girl Scouts in your family, you can’t miss the Juliette Gordon Low house, of course. Otherwise, I would save that for a grown up trip, unless your children are way into historic home tours.

As for trolley tours, the green and orange trolley never does us wrong. This is one of those hop-on-hop-off affairs and can be quite handy for seeing as much as possible without moving your car a lot.

Where to eat? Definitely Pirates’ House. This is an experience, even apart from the dining aspect. Check the website for menu choices and times, because you might prefer to go for the lunch buffet while you’re already walking around downtown. This building has been a restaurant for a couple of hundred years, but served as a place for pirates to gather back in the days of yore. Kids get a special hat (that also serves as their menu), but what will entertain them more than anything is the ghost stories and staring down into the old tunnel under the restaurant. There is said to be an underground tunnel that leads all the way down to the waterfront. Legend has it that unsuspecting drunks would pass out at the bar, then be carried through the tunnel to the pirates’ ships. By the time they woke up, they would be out to sea, kidnapped, and enslaved.

If you’re looking for a good pizza, don’t pass up Vinnie VanGogo’s. It was one of my favorites when I lived there, and it’s still the hip place to go for a pie.

Where to stay? If you’re looking to save a few dollars, try a Southside chain hotel. You will be near all the malls and chain restaurants, but with the Truman Parkway, you won’t be terribly far from downtown. There are a few good chains in great downtown locations, too, such as Hampton Inn or Doubletree. But if you’re going to stay downtown, the fun places with ghost stories and local charm are River Street Inn and East Bay Inn. Parking costs in downtown Savannah, whether it’s at your hotel, metered places on the street, or garages.

One more thing – I downloaded the ePass app on my phone, and I do recommend it for a weekend or more. It provides you with discounts and specials all over town for dining, activities, and more. I only used it once – at the Pirates’ House – but it paid for itself after one use.

Contact Azalea Travel to assist you with your travel plans including cruises, group travel, and Disney!

Cabana Bay Beach Resort – an Orlando favorite

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Whether you are visiting Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and the new Volcano Bay water park opening in 2017 or not, the Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a fantastic place to park yourself when in Orlando. As an official Universal hotel that is connected to the parks via shuttle bus service, it certainly has a lot to offer if those attractions are your destination. Aside from that, the 1950s and 1960s decor is so much fun, you might just find yourself wishing we were still living in that era. When you call guest services for things like extra towels, the person on the phone will tell you to “have a swell day” before you hang up. They are all in when it comes to the theme, and I love it!

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On the day my family and I checked in, everything was decked out for Christmas, which made it even more spectacular. The teals, oranges, blues, and crisp whites in the color scheme had me thinking I had just gotten out of one of those classic cars parked out front and left my gigantic hard suitcases in the back seat.

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This lobby is actually one where you might spot a few Universal characters. We saw Scooby Doo wandering through when we first arrived. A few minutes later, we had the most delightful visit with Lucille Ball, who gave my son an extra “free piece of cake” coupon since it was his birthday. The employees and characters go the extra mile and make the place truly special – even down to the folks at the cash register in the gift shop.

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There are several dining choices at the resort, but we tried Bayliner Diner, which is similar to a food court in that you have many choices, and Galaxy Bowl, because my son had become obsessed with the cosmic bowling on the first night, so we elected to just let him bowl while we ate there on the second night.  There is also a Starbucks, Swizzle Lounge for procuring your adult beverages, and the Hideaway Cafe near the lazy river.

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What a beautiful Florida night this was (see picture above).

We were upgraded to a suite in the Starlight building, which was quite pleasant and welcome, considering I had just booked a standard room with 2 queen beds. We had a small living room, a tall kitchen counter with stools where we could eat, and a small kitchenette with fridge, sink, microwave and Keurig (because let’s face it, some modern conveniences are “the most”). There was a sliding door separating all of that from the bedroom, where we had 2 queen beds and a closet area. The sink and mirror were in the same room, but the toilet had its own room to the left, and the shower plus another sink had their own room to the right. Fantastic set-up with 2 televisions. The rooms do mostly have outer entry, like an old-style motel, but some have interior entry if you prefer that.

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There was more to Cabana Bay Beach Resort that we didn’t even have time to explore, since we were there to enjoy the Universal Parks, too. Speaking of which, there are regular shuttles that run back and forth to the parks and City Walk every 10 to 15 minutes from 7am to 2am. You also get into the parks an hour earlier than the general population, since you are staying at one of Universal’s hotels. This also means you have some dining plan options at your hotel, if you are on the Universal meal plan.

This was such a fun place to stay. I think we would stay there again even if we were not going to the Universal parks, but just visiting Orlando for other reasons.

To book your stay at Cabana Bay, contact Azalea Travel, a proud member of ASTA and CLIA.

Club Med Sandpiper Bay

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All-inclusive resorts are not exactly on every corner in the United States. Club Med Sandpiper Bay is special for that reason and a number of others.

In May, I had the good fortune to attend a travel industry conference at this beautifully landscaped compound in Port St. Lucie, Florida. As you may know, Club Med is a French company, so the resorts have a very European feel to them, whether they are located in Europe or not. In fact, I noticed that a good many guests who were not part of our conference were young European families.

Families are exactly who would do well here, and would be the first category of travelers for whom I would recommend it.

Tucked away on the St. Lucie River, the resort is a quiet respite from busy beach scenes, although you can take a shuttle to the beach if you’re yearning for the oceanside. What Sandpiper Bay does have is a small sandy area on the riverbank where you can relax and watch the boats go by. I wonder if some guests come here, particularly maybe from Europe, with preconceived notions about Florida and are surprised to find that this resort is not on the beach. There’s still plenty to do, though.

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Active travelers can consider the included activities like tennis, trapeze (no, that’s not an auto-correct mistake), or golf lessons. The outstanding kids’ programs are also part of the package. Leave our child with them for the day, and when you go back to pick them up, they’ll be doing impressive circus acts. The pools and surroundings have a luxurious feel to them. Unfortunately, since I was there on business and spent a lot of time in conference rooms,  I didn’t get to enjoy these things as fully as I would have liked. Better planning for the next conference, and I’ll leave some more “me time.”

I did find the food to be quite good. I took most of my meals in the Marketplace, which is a buffet style restaurant that does not disappoint. There are tons of options at every meal, and I did not have anything that tasted less than great. There were always selections to keep both the parents and the kiddos happy. At lunch and dinner, there was a pizza bar, hamburgers and hot dogs, a variety of salads, charcuterie, cheeses and fruits, plus hot entrees and veggies. I know I’m forgetting something. Breakfast had just as many choices. There are other restaurants on the property to choose from, too, including one premium one (extra charge applies).

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The room was nice, particularly for just one person. It was quite large, containing a king bed and a sofa that doubles as a bed for a child. The tile floor was very simple and Florida-ish. My balcony had a nice view of the marina on the St. Lucie River. The buildings were older, but are all undergoing refurbishment or have already been refurbished. The closet was HUGE. Forget your typical hotel room where you step over your bags which are in every corner on the floor. My family could have moved in for a week and had ample space.

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Public areas were very attractive and clean.

Here are some great pros for a vacation at Sandpiper Bay:

  1. You can drive there from Charleston (7 hours away).
  2.  It’s all-inclusive.
  3.  Great golf and tennis.
  4.  Great children’s programs.
  5.  Good food.

Club Med periodically runs some really good specials (like 4th night free or discounts on certain dates). Call Azalea Travel to help you book your Club Med vacation when you’re ready.

Watch the video here: CLUB MED SANDPIPER BAY

 

 

Basic Intro to Aiken, SC

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I took a recent day trip to Aiken, just after Christmas. I once lived in Aiken and have maintained friendships there over the years that keep me going back from time to time.

If you like horses, then surely you already know of Aiken’s identity as the “Horse Capital of the South.”  Also considered “America’s Polo Capital” due to its establishment as a winter colony for wealthy elites from up north who came to play polo, it is also the training grounds for stellar Thoroughbred race horses such as Dogwood Stables’ Preakness winner Summer Squall and Belmont Stakes winner, Palace Malice.

During times of the year when the horses and jockeys are training, you can drive into the grounds of one of the tracks on Two Notch Road to watch them train in the early morning. Ease up to the rail, without being loud or obtrusive, and you will be able to feel the pounding of the ground underneath you as the sleek, gorgeous beasts effortlessly gallop past you on the track. You will hear and see the puff of their breath as the riders breeze them down the track.  Afterward, head around the corner to the Track Kitchen for breakfast. This is an authentic Aiken experience that has been enjoyed by locals for quite some time. It’s a little green and white building on Mead Avenue that you might miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for. My grandparents lived in this same neighborhood, and my grandfather took me on this excursion on a few chilly mornings, way back when.

My grandparents’ old home, which was also where I had my wedding:

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If you’re up for an actual race event, check out one of Aiken’s Triple Crown events in the spring. Here I am at last year’s Steeplechase.

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Now, moving on to lovely, hip downtown Aiken…

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There’s so much to downtown Aiken in the way of shopping and dining that I can’t really fit it all in here. But that area has been sort of revitalized (if it really needed revitalization) and has acquired some cool, funky spots like the Mellow Mushroom, where I ate lunch.

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I would be remiss if I did not mention the Willcox, a historic hotel where my husband and I spent part of our honeymoon. It is a grand old inn that once hosted Winston Churchill, among others of note. The gorgeous rooms are all very special, but no, I don’t have any pictures of our honeymoon suite. It was before the days of camera phones when taking pictures was a little more of a deliberate notion, so I didn’t think to snap any pics of the room to toss up on Facebook. But think of a four poster bed, luxurious furnishings pointed toward a working fireplace, and a bay window looking out at some of Aiken’s beautiful magnolia trees. There’s also a fabulous restaurant at the Willcox, where I dined many times over the years.  Most notably, I went to the Aiken High School prom with a friend when I was 17, and we had dinner there. It was always an upscale experience, as you would expect by looking at the outside of the hotel.  If you take a look at their website, you’ll see that it’s now part of the Southern Living Hotel Collection, and that Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast are pretty big fans of the place. In fact, a stay at the Willcox, by itself, makes for a nice celebration of a special occasion.

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As always, you can call on Azalea Travel to book your stay there. You won’t be sorry.  And you won’t be disappointed in Aiken. It happens to be one of my very favorite towns in the south. I have not done the place justice with my little hack smartphone pictures in this post.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

I’ve been booking a lot of Disney trips for folks lately, and it definitely has me in a Disney state of mind!  If you’re looking to go to Disney World on a shoestring, a good place to start is staying at one of the Value Resorts.  The Pop Century is one of the newer Value resorts, and everything you might have ever wanted to know about it is right here:

Pop Century

For questions or booking information, call the College of Disney Knowledge graduate at Azalea Travel!

 

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Greenwood, South Carolina – Part 1

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I’ve been following Uptown Greenwood on Facebook for some time now, and I’m impressed with what I see.  There are so many little towns in South Carolina that had their heyday decades ago – or even 100 years ago – and need revitalizing now. And revitalization is exactly what’s happening in Greenwood. The recent reopening of the Inn on the Square was just at the beginning of October. But the most recent breath of life is the grand opening of the Carolina Executive Car at the Railroad Historical Center on Friday night. That train car was once my great grandfather’s office on wheels. However, I will cover that in Part 2 of this post. I’m focusing on the Inn on the Square today.

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I think this hotel is doing incredibly well to have just opened its doors again on October 1. I told them so. I can’t be sure, but it’s possible that I may have been the first person to stay in my room since the renovation. My only hint at this is that a man from the cable company had to come into my room and program my television.

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While there was no mini-fridge and no microwave, I’m betting those will be added soon. In the meantime, everything is freshly painted and ready for guests to relax and enjoy. I did suggest that they add another towel bar and a hook in the bathroom for convenience. But I was just fine as it was. One thing I think is interesting is the shower. There’s no shower curtain to collect mildew or to gross out the germophobes. There’s simply a fixed glass pane. The shower is a fresh, modern touch in a vintage hotel.

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The bed was comfortable, the desk was sufficient, and the big armchair in the corner was plush and lovely. My parents’ room on the front of the building had a view of the street. My room on the back had a view of the roof over the reception room. But the views are not the reason you would come to this hotel. If you want a nice view, you would go to the beach or mountains.  This is a bustling downtown area.

The Dining Room

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The service in the Carriage House dining room was fantastic. The wait staff makes it a very personal experience and works hard to please. But Tom, the maitre d’, absolutely makes the experience. Attentive to every request, he treats guests as if each one is a VIP, while maintaining an entertaining and appropriate sense of humor. I hope they hold on to Tom, because he really makes the experience. As far as the food is concerned, everything we had was absolutely delicious. My shrimp and grits was not too saucy, as some are. My mother raved about the monkfish, and my father (a lifelong fisherman, chef of his own catch, and connoisseur of seafood) proclaimed that the tuna was prepared as it is supposed to be, and was delicious. In fact, he was too full to finish and told the waitress, “I hope you have a favorite cat who will get these scraps, because this is too good to throw away.” If you are a guest at the inn, breakfast is complimentary. And this breakfast is no Hampton Inn buffet, let me tell you. You will be seated and served your choice from the menu. The presentation of the food is beautiful, the portions are more than ample, and it’s all fabulous. I believe the restaurant was my favorite part of this delightful little boutique hotel.

Now, there is also a lounge called the Fox & Hound, which was originally a tavern before. This is where the majority of the ghost stories about the hotel originate. I didn’t have a reason to go into the lounge, so I can’t verify whether the ghost (dubbed Bill) actually taps people on the shoulder.

I think it’s important to mention that not only had the hotel just opened a couple of weeks before we were there, but there was also a wedding party staying there. The rehearsal dinner was in this rustically elegant room downstairs on Friday night:

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The reception was on Saturday was also held at the hotel. Not once did I feel slighted or like I was not receiving the attention I needed from hotel staff. They were eager to please and enthusiastically accepted my suggestions about additional towel bars for the bathrooms. They still have a little polishing to do (a dried drop of paint on the floor in my bathroom, etc), but that is to be expected for a newly-renovated place. The public areas are perfect.

I will definitely stay at the Inn on the Square again, and will confidently send clients there.

Azalea Travel Agency

Delightful Days in Wilmington, NC

If you live in the Carolinas, the ancient port city of Wilmington makes a great weekend destination. If you have been hitting up the same Savannah-Hilton Head-Myrtle Beach-etc. weekend spots over and over, why not try something different? There’s a little too much to see to just take a day trip. Historic and charming, Wilmington is often overlooked in favor of its southern sisters Charleston and Savannah, I think, but is definitely worth every minute you spend there, and probably many more.

Things to Do

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My favorite spot was the antebellum Bellamy Mansion last time I visited Wilmington. If you are a preservation buff or if you just like grand old homes, this is a must-see. The admission is not steep at all, and the architecture alone evokes a true portrait of life in the past. Back with the Tide is a fascinating little book written by Ellen Bellamy, the last Bellamy family member to live in the house. It makes a nice keepsake from your visit at just around $10 and offers a personal memoir of her days in the mansion.  The picture below is of a little stage on one of the upper floors of the house.  Children who lived in the house would use it as a stage to perform plays.

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A couple of other attractions include the Battleship North Carolina and the Wilmington Railroad Museum.  If it’s a tour you’re looking for, you might want to try the Cape Fear Riverboat Tours or a Segway Tour.  If you’re into ghosts, the Haunted Cotton Exchange Tour can hook you up with chills and a little humor. But call ahead to make reservations. The tour guide will only come out if she has pre-sold tickets.

Shopping

Walking around in downtown Wilmington is just a delight in itself. The buildings and streets remind me of Charleston and Savannah with the charm of the old world and a glimpse into trade in centuries past. (Explore a map of shops here.)  No matter who you are, you’re almost certain to find a shop that suits your fancy. And you know, wherever I go, if there is a good book store, I must find it. I found it here: Two Sisters Bookery.

Dining

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As you can see in the picture, my friend and I enjoyed lunch on a wrought iron balcony at Roy’s Riverboat Landing. The picture is a little dark due to an overcast day and a less than stellar camera, but you can take my word for it that we were very pleased with every aspect of lunch. The little balcony is just the right size for a table for two, and it’s delightful when the weather is right. The picture below is the front of the restaurant. One of the side balconies on the second floor is where we sat.

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Hotels

If you don’t stay overnight, you are cheating yourself.  And the ghost tours happen at night, if that’s one of your objectives. If you prefer a hotel chain, Courtyard by Marriott has a location in the downtown area and offers a reliable product with spacious rooms and suites.  Hilton Wilmington Riverside also has a nice location. But if a more intimate, charming setting is what you seek, then the Port City Guest House is a lovely B&B near the Bellamy Mansion.

For One Tree Hill fans

These stairs were used in at least one episode.

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Okay, I’ll admit to watching a few episodes. I was in law school at the time and didn’t have cable. I would come home from a long afternoon in the library and look for something to watch while I ate dinner. And a little bit of unrealistic, cheesy teen drama that left me asking Where is the parental supervision?! was sometimes just what I needed to unwind.  Please don’t judge me.  So anyway, if you want to check out some of the spots where the show was filmed and do a little self-guided tour, here are a couple of resources:

A local perspectivehttp://wilmingtonishome.weebly.com/one-tree-hill.html

And a fan page http://onetreehillweb.net/show-filming.html

So, what do you think? Are you ready to go this weekend?  Contact Azalea Travel to help you make your plans!

Heaven is a Cabana Room at The King and Prince

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Let me begin by saying that I will probably have to blog about The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort more than once, because one blog post will simply not be enough to do it justice. This has become my favorite hotel, and I hope to return frequently. That being said, I’ll just focus for now on their exclusive and fabulous Cabana Room. Now, back to where it all began . . .

Once in my twenties, I visited a friend at her family’s beach house on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. As we struck out to do some shopping one day, my friend drove me past The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. Elegance and luxury just seemed to spill out of its gates. I thought, “I want to go there.” There was something so glamorous about it, in an early 20th century way. At first glance, I could almost see the decades of elegant parties and merry vacations that had taken place there.

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(The Cabana Rooms are lined up on the first floor, with other ocean front rooms above.)

I finally made it there for my 42nd birthday, and my only regret is that I didn’t go sooner. Since it was a special occasion and I had waited nearly 20 years to make my first visit, we sprang for the Cabana Room. I thought the notion of being able to step out on to my own patio, then walk straight to the ocean sounded quite wonderful. And it turns out I was right. It couldn’t be more magical and serene.

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(A wonderful room in every way.)

The first thing you should know about the Cabana Room is that it is a room for two. All Cabana Rooms have a king bed, due to the size. Size is not where the grandeur of the room lies. The space is, however, impeccably appointed and optimally arranged. From the bedroom area, you step down, with the assistance of a short yet stylish wrought iron railing, into the sitting area. Here, you will find a comfortable sofa for viewing the second flat screen television (the first being in the bedroom area) and a large coffee table. The tile floor in the sitting area is quite practical for sandy shoes, as there is also a set of French doors with a screened door which leads to your own patio. And the ocean is just feet away. From your patio, you are free to step right down the brick stairs and walk out to the beach or to another part of the resort. You room key will give you access from either this door or the interior hallway. So when you’re returning from the beach, from the pool, from dinner, or anywhere else, you have the option of entering through your patio door.

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(Our patio.)

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(The walkway to the beach access in front of the historic building.)

I fell in love with this room at once. Sitting with the French doors open where I could hear the pounding surf and see ships go by, it occurred to me that I could live right here and be quite happy.

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(View of the swing and the ocean from our patio.)

Of course, everything at The King and Prince is top notch, and you can’t go wrong with any room category. And just like you would expect from any modern hotel room of this ilk, you will find the hairdryer, the in-room safe, and all that jazz. No comfort is missing. The service at the hotel is unmatched, and the room service staff and front desk staff were particularly fantastic when we were there.

I came home from that first trip raving about the Cabana Room so much that my parents visited a couple of months later. It wasn’t long before we all went back at the same time. Since my husband and I had our son with us this time, we took a partial ocean view room in the historic building. That room was much larger and had two queen beds, but it was more than sufficiently fabulous, as well. Our second floor balcony had a view of the ocean across a parking lot, but tall palmetto trees shielded us from the cars quite well.

Now, as I said before, there’s too much about this dreamy spot to tell in just one blog post. But history buffs will love this hotel in particular, as it played a role in protecting our coast during World War II.  It’s just a fascinating place. When you’re ready to book your stay in a Cabana Room or any other type of room, give me a call. I love to talk about The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort!

Click above or use one of the Azalea Travel links.

SpringHill Suites – A More Spacious Stay

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My family and I recently took a last minute trip to North Carolina to see some friends. On a whim, we found out where they were staying and decided to grab a room at the same hotel. We had never stayed at a SpringHill Suites before, but we knew it was part of the Marriott family. Marriott is a safe bet. Included breakfast is always a plus with us, and this hotel offered a breakfast similar to those at Fairfield Inn or Hampton Inn. The nightly rate seemed to be comparable to those two hotels, as well. So far, so good.

When we checked into the SpringHill Suites in Pinehurst, NC, I was immediately impressed with our room’s size and layout. We had two double beds. I did see inside one of the rooms with one king, and I will say that the room seemed to be smaller, overall, than our room with two doubles. So that’s a good observation to tuck into the back of one’s brain. But for our family, the kitchenette (with microwave, fridge, sink, counter) in our room was just right. On the same side of the unit with the kitchenette was the desk, which was comfortable and convenient for the full day that I spent working in the room while my family joined our friends! I had no trouble accessing the WiFi.

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In a typical hotel room, my husband and son and I are usually tripping over each other’s bags, searching for shoes underneath dirty clothes, you get the picture. And we don’t usually want to “spring” for a suite (see what I did there?).  But SpringHill Suites don’t have to cost more than any other hotel room in the same price range. They do, however, offer superior space and floor plans.  We were not tripping over each other at all for the three days we spent there. There was a place for everything, and we hosted our friends in the room for a visit without anyone having to sit on a bed.

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Food for any meal!

I should also note that I thought that my husband would be returning with the car about halfway through the day. His day went better than planned, and he stayed gone until later in the afternoon. I was in the hotel ALL. DAY. LONG. Not to worry, though! I did not have to starve. There is a small store in the lobby, in case you need anything. Not only do they have the obligatory toothbrush and Tylenol kind of items, but they have an abridged grocery store. There is a frozen section with Lean Cuisines and such, a refrigerator with drinks, beer, wine, and more, and there are non-perishable items such as protein bars, chips, and candy. Coffee and tea are available all day long in the breakfast area. I had the luxury of finding a small boxed lunch for the gluten-challenged traveler. Sometimes I get stuck just eating a banana, but not this time!

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The long sofa is comfortable for watching the television, which can also be viewed from the beds. While there’s not a door between the living space and the sleeping space, there is a definite division of the rooms with a partial wall and arrangement suggesting separation.

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Pinehurst, NC location

As far as amenities, this hotel had a nice pool and weight room. But being in Pinehurst, North Carolina, it also had a putting green for guests to get in a few extra strokes for the day. What a delightful unwinding activity for late afternoon, before going out to dinner. This location is convenient to just about anything you need to reach. Pinehurst Golf Club is about 2 miles away, and other golf courses are nearby, as well. A vast array of shopping, dining, and grocery store options are all within a few miles.

Long story short, I don’t know where SpringHill Suites has been all my life, but it’s going to be one of the first brands I look for when I’m traveling with my family!

Contact me to book your next hotel stay!

Oceanfront Litchfield Inn

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The South Carolina coast is figuratively flooded with great places to stay. Litchfield is a beach located on Pawley’s Island, SC. There is no shortage of things to do including beach activities, golf, shopping at the famous Hammock Shops, and all that Myrtle Beach has to offer, just thirty minutes away. Pawley’s/Litchfield offers a quieter, more sophisticated environment than Myrtle Beach, and it happens to be a place I love. The Oceanfront Litchfield Inn is a fabulous retreat.

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This refurbished old beach motel stands out because of its vintage charm and modern updates. Aside from fresh paint, this hotel has modern conveniences that are so important, like cable television and WiFi. Add a couple of great restaurants and a very modern tower of newer rooms, and you’ve got everything you need.  There are two pools, one of which has access for handicapped guests. Sitting between the two pools is the Cabana Cafe, where burgers, salads, and fish can be eaten in an open air environment or outside on the patio under an umbrella.  Both positions overlook the ocean. The restaurant upstairs (a little fancier than the cabana, thank you) is called Oceans One, and the view from up there is just what you would expect.  In fact, I know of someone who had their wedding reception in that very space many years ago.

The rooms are privately owned, as this is one of those “condotel” arrangements. So each one may have slightly different decor. But the room categories are reliably consistent, even if decor is different. I have stayed in the deluxe oceanfront tower room, which provides the view you see in the picture.  It was sort of a studio or efficiency with an oceanfront balcony, small kitchenette, table and chairs, and choice of 2 queen beds or 1 king.

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Apologies for the dark picture. But look at that ocean!

For booking information, contact Azalea Travel.