It was all happening in the UK last week, wasn’t it? A change of government, more volcanic ash disruption and signs of a major airline strike. Whatever next?
Thousands of miles away from the UK, the team and I visited the Small Luxury Hotels of the World in the Americas for our annual regional meeting. It was great seeing them all. During my stay I visited The Betsy, in Miami, USA and Esencia in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and The Pillars at New River Sound in Fort Lauderdale, USA. I must say that although all of these three hotels are totally different, they all have the SLH factor! If you’re planning to stay at either of these properties you’ll be left positively glowing, making your holiday a memorable one.
A peaceful hideaway - The Pillars at New River Sound, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
The meeting was held at the Betsy but to get over the jet lag – some of the team stayed at the “Pillars” – it has a great feel about the hotel – truly a “home from home.” Wonderfully located literally minutes from the beach and right in the heart of the “BUZZ” but also a tranquil setting on the inner water way. The owner Michael Landry gave us a superb evening cruise with cocktails exploring the inner waterways of Fort Lauderdale. The boat is for hire at the hotel and I thoroughly recommend the experience. I also hired a bike for one day, which although hot was a great way to combine some sightseeing and exercise!
The Betsy - the beach on your doorstep
The Betsy is a fabulous boutique hotel and an iconic landmark on Miami’s famous Ocean Drive. First opening its doors in 1942, The Betsy has an amazing historical background, which explains its architectural features both past and present amongst its art deco neighbours. This luxury property has sixty-two bedrooms to choose from and are all individually furnished. Eating at their renowned BLT restaurant is pure steakhouse bliss. You can look forward to the beach, which is literally on your doorstep. Also, the views from the Rooftop Solarium and Wellness Garden are stunning where the hotel entertained all of the other SLH hotels in the region for a few “drinks”!
One of Esencia's super comfy bedrooms
My next stop was at the SLH hotel Esencia in Mexico…this property was incredible. I can see why it’s such a popular choice amongst guests. If being pampered is your thing, then the Escencia spa experience is world-class. The warm and friendly staff will make you feel instantly at home in this luscious 50-acre estate. There are plenty of things to do: if you don’t want to venture far they offer yoga, scuba diving, wind surfing. And for a more educational experience you can learn how to cook the Meso-American cuisine or sample a variety of wines with the head chef. Once again, the beaches are beautiful in this part of the world.
I could blog all day about how amazing these luxury hotels are but I’d be ruining the surprise if I revealed all! Are any of you planning a stay at a SLH hotel soon? What are your plans for the summer? Let me know.
More later, Paul