The holidays are stressful. Office parties, unlimited calorie consumption and of course, the dreaded conversations around the dinner table with your family.
This time of year is when most of us – happy as we may be – start to panic over pumpkin pies and without warning, consume more eggnog than we had originally planned.
Here's the thing: it happens to everyone.
Here's what to do: treat yourself to a little serenity at the spa.
The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Boston, Massachusetts’ only Forbes Five-Star spa, is offering its holiday signature treatment, the Frankincense Massage Ritual, for the month of December.FULL ENTRY
The weather has started to turn, there's a chill is in the air, the city is starting to prep for winter. It's time to break out the shearling hats, wool mittens and down jackets, and start prepping our skins for the winter weather. To help ease the chill of winter, the Four Seasons Hotel Boston is launching their holiday pop-up this Friday, Nov. 15 – a gourmet hot cocoa shop from Cocoa on the Go, serving up steaming cups of everyone’s favorite chocolate drink.
Popping up every Tuesday through Saturday from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, Cocoa on the Go will feature house made hot chocolate – plus a special flavor of the day – paired with a variety of all-you-can-eat topping choices ranging from caramel, coconut and rich chocolate shavings to peppermint and whipped cream. Executive Pastry Chef Tim Fonseca promises it will be Boston's best hot chocolate.FULL ENTRY
The Westin Copley Place turns 30 this year and to celebrate a new decade in Back Bay, the hotel underwent a series of innovative upgrades to bring some new appeal to its digital digs. Dubbed “Westin 3.0”, these initiatives were designed with the busy travel in mind, who has a schedule to keep but appreciates a little downtime.
A few key elements you'll notice right away when walking into the new Westin space include:
- An “Interactive Wall” that gives guests a visual tour of Boston at the wave of a hand.
- A "Vertical Garden" in the check-in area that enhances air quality and brings a bit of nature indoors.
- The new dining concept, “Ingredients”, which is a Gourmet Grab and Go Café. The concept allows guests to create a healthy meal from made-to-order omelets and smoothies, custom salads, fresh sandwiches, and thin crust brick oven pizzas.
- “Tangent”, a new interactive workspace available to hotel guests and locals needing to hold business meetings with remote participants. Video conferencing, free high-speed wireless internet, floor-to-ceiling whiteboards, printers, and a full suite of office supplies are available.
Of course, a birthday isn't any fun without gifts, so the Westin Copley Place is offering a special anniversary package through the end of the year.FULL ENTRY
Dining out shouldn't be a complicated scenario. Make a reservation, walk-in, be seated, enjoy a meal. But oftentimes, we find ourselves longing for something a little more creative in the culinary space - and we're not just talking about the food.
There's a place and time when dining out should be an event, and when you need something special, the chef's at some of Boston's best restaurant have just the answer: their tables. Otherwise known as, the best seats in the house.
The chef's table is the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at what's happening in the kitchen at your favorite restaurant. It's an inside look at food preparation, sous chef creativity, and insight into how a star-rated kitchen runs – often flawlessly – at the busiest times of the day.
Forbes Travel Guide rounded up a few of the best chef's tables in Boston, including the smallest chef’s table and a few that are sure to make you think you’ll qualify for culinary school:FULL ENTRY
The Five-Star luxury hotel on the Boston Common is prepping its lobby for summer crowds with a summer favorite: ice cream.
Starting July 3 and running through Sept. 8, the hotel will host an ice-cream pop-up shop featuring ice cream from Gifford's Local Ice Cream. You can grab your $6 scoop Wednesdays through Sundays from 1-4pm.
The pop-up will also offer various ice cream dishes, like the Romeo & Juliet (2 scoops of various flavors for $9), The Kitchen Sink (5 scoops of various flavors for $15) and extra scoops for $3. Each cone comes with a free topping.FULL ENTRY
Looking to save a little on summer travel? Maybe you have a few extra dollars you're willing to spend? TripAdvisor recently released the results of their annual study that analyzes the costs of a night out and overnight stay (a four-star hotel, cocktails, a two-course dinner paired with a bottle of wine, and round-trip taxi ride) in cities around the globe, giving travelers some insight into cost-effective travel.
Boston ranked third on the list, following Honolulu and New York City.
TripAdvisor looked at prices from June 1 through August 31, and showed the biggest increases happening in Orlando, Denver, Honolulu, L.A. and Seattle. Honolulu was the most expensive U.S. city ($504.94), while Oslo brought in the highest numbers internationally ($581.08). If you're looking for a budget trip, a night out in Vegas will cost you $272.94 and Sofia, Bulgaria, is a bargain at $158.42.FULL ENTRY
Prepare your sweet tooth, because next installment of Mandarin Oriental, Boston's pop-up shop is bound to make your mouth water and cure any and all sugar cravings.
After a successful couple months in the pop-up business, Mandarin Oriental, Boston is setting up it's next shop: Oralia’s Pop-Up Cake Shoppe.
Oralia’s Cake Shoppe will feature a four special cakes created by Mandarin Oriental, Boston pastry chef Oralia Perez, who also creates all of the hotel's wedding cakes. The individual servings of cakes will include Boston Cream Cupcake, Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake, Carrot and Cream Cheese Cake and Strawberry Shortcake.
You can grab the cakes to go, or enjoy them with a glass of champagne, or a cup of coffee or tea in the hotel lobby. The cakes are all priced at $10.
The Cake Shoppe, open now, will be available daily from 1:00pm to 4:00pm in the Lobby Lounge next to the fireplace.
In the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedies, airlines and hotels are waiving cancellation and trip change fees for travelers. If you're in Boston, or you have plans to travel to Boston, here is a list of phone numbers to call for travel changes:
American Airlines: 1-800-433-7300
AirTran: Call 800-AIR-TRAN (800-247-8726)
JetBlue: 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583)
Southwest Airlines: 1-800-435-9792
United Airlines: 800-864-8331
US Airways: 800-428-4322
Virgin America: 1.877.359.8474
Hotels are also waiving fees for last-minute re-bookings. Here's a list of the major hotel groups and their phone numbers:
Fairmont Hotels: 800-527-4727
Four Seasons: 800-332-3442
Hilton Hotels: 800-445-8667
Hyatt Hotels: 800-233-1234
InterContinental Hotels: 800-327-0200
Preferred Hotels: 800-323-7500
Sheraton Hotels: 800-325-3535
W Hotels: 877-946-8357
Westin Hotels: 800-325-3535
Wyndham Hotels: 800-545-5545
The most important thing at this point is your safety.
If your travel plans are cancelled, or if you need to change your travel plans, rest assured you'll be able to do this with ease.
Watch this space and I'll keep you updated on any more information about travel as it happens.
The Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons Boston is looking to spruce up its cocktail menu. The search for a new signature martini is on, and the Bristol is taking to social media for the drink of choice
If you make a mean martini, The Bristol Lounge Bar wants to hear about it. The bar has always ben known for serving up Boston’s best martinis and switching up their cocktail menu seasonally, but now the bar looking for one martini that will remain: The Bristol Martini.
Think you have a flare for mixology? Create your own Bristol Martini and submit it through Facebook. The Bar is hosting a martini contest from now through April 9, 2013, and the winner will receive a year of complimentary appetizers, and his/her name on the menu at the Bristol Lounge.
Here's how you can enter:FULL ENTRY
If you're planning to read your nuptials in New England, Forbes Travel Guide has some suggestions for you. While the Boston Commons and Boston Public Gardens are often the most popular spots for wedding photos in the spring and summer, the four- and five-star hotels in the city are where weddings typically hold court.
Forbes rates The Four Seasons, Boston, as one of the top wedding venues in Boston. The hotel offers panoramic views of Boston Common and the Boston Garden, and has private bridal and bridesmaid suites for day-of preparations. The hotel also has a wedding package that includes a honeymoon suite, as well as transportation to the airport on the day of your departure.
The Mandarin Oriental, Boston, gives wedding guests great views of Back Bay and Boylston Street. For the wedding party, the hotel offers spa packages as part of the wedding event.FULL ENTRY