Pulitzer Amsterdam | Whimsical Canal-Front Hotel

Pulitzer Amsterdam | Whimsical Canal-Front Hotel

Last March, my husband, Paul, and I visited the Pulitzer Amsterdam, and all I can say is that I never wanted to leave!

Hidden along the city’s famous canal belt, the Pulitzer is 25 connecting canal-front houses with breath-taking inner gardens and authentic Dutch restaurants. The hotel is a blend of upmarket traditional and modern craftsmanship that makes it the perfect place to begin your journey through the charm and quirkiness that Amsterdam is known for.

We stayed in one of the two attic rooms at the Pulitzer, and the character of whimsical Amsterdam carried into the design of our room with so many beautiful accents and personal touches that made our experience perfect!

The Pulitzer even included a bit of fun information on each of the 25 houses that made up the hotel. Ours was the Saxenburg House (pictured above).

Though the city was originally designed for pedestrians, horses, and boats; bikes are everywhere in Amsterdam! Biking has become a way of life in Holland and there are 500 kilometers of bike paths in the city. Our hotel even included a bike repair kit for us, though we didn’t use it. The bikers are pretty intense in Amsterdam, and it is not the leisurely activity we know it as here in America.

The surrounding location was amazing. The Pulitzer is right in the heart of the historic center of Amsterdam, just a few blocks away from the Anne Frank House. In fact, from the inner garden of the hotel, we could hear the church bells from the same church that Anne Frank’s family listened to while in hiding. If you want to see a video we captured of the bells, click here.

As you may have guessed, the food in Amsterdam was delicious and exquisite. Besides the great restaurants in the city, the Pulitzer has three dining venues of its own.

We very much enjoyed our trip their last year and hope to be going back very soon! If you’d like more information on this hotel, view an overview here.

Top 5 Romantic Getaways

Top 5 Romantic Getaways

In our busy lives, we sometimes forget how important it is to slow down and take a break. According to a study by U.S. Travel Association, 54% of employees end their year with unused time off, totaling 662 million unused vacation days.

Make this Valentine’s day a time for you and your significant other to relax and just spend time with each other. Get some inspiration for ways for the two of you to connect by looking at our top five picks for a romantic retreat and the best way to spend your Valentine’s Day.

El Dorado Seaside Suites | Riviera Maya

If you’re hoping to relax and be pampered, El Dorado Seaside Suites, a Gourmet Inclusive® Resort, by Karisma is the perfect place for you and your special someone! This adults-only retreat is hidden in a jungle of palm trees on the gorgeous Playa del Carmen. Surround yourself with beautiful white beaches and authentic Mexican architecture in one of the largest spas in the Riviera Maya. With 24-hour room service, you may never actually need to leave your suite, but when you do, you’ll find shaded, King-size Bali beds waiting for you on the beach, tended to by attentive beach butlers.

Hotel Grande Bretagne | Athens

If you and your loved one want a getaway that involves a bit more adventure, the Hotel Grande Bretagne is for you! Mirroring the culture of the historic yet bustling city, this resort offers guests an old-world elegance mingled with state-of-the-art facilities. With breathtaking views of the fabled Acropolis, regal Syntagma Square and the Parliament, lush Lycabettus Hill or the original Olympic Stadium, the 5-star Hotel Grande Bretagne offers an unrivaled perspective of Athens’ mythical history. After exploring the city, relax in the spa for a signature massage and beauty treatment. Then indulge yourself at the Roof Garden Restaurant, ideal for a romantic rooftop meal.

Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun | Riviera Maya

Hidden away on one of the most pristine and famous beaches in all of Mexico, this AAA Five Diamond Resort is the quintessential setting for adult adventure, relaxation, and romance. This is the ideal vacation spot for the couple who desires to enjoy pure white sands, crystal-clear waters and warm tropical breezes on the Yucatan Peninsula. The twelve swimming pools and infinity pool offer the best place to cool off while you admire the spectacular ocean views.

Post Ranch Inn | Big Sur

If you and your significant other are looking for something away from the beach, the cliff-top Post Ranch Inn is for you. Only accessible by helicopter, this resort and spa is a sanctuary for the soul. It’s natural architecture embraces the coast’s dramatic beauty, and each room offers a king-size bed, indoor spa tub, wood-burning fireplace, mini-bar with complimentary snacks and beverages, and private deck – many with an outdoor hot tub.

The Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning Sierra Mar restaurant offers exquisite dining with a menu that changes daily, complimentary gourmet breakfast buffet, and a spectacular setting with endless ocean views. Complementing the food is one of the largest wine lists in California. The award-winning spa offers an inviting array of services, including massages, facials, body treatments, rituals, shamanic sessions, and more. Nearby, Big Sur offers state parks, beaches, art galleries and more. Picturesque Monterey and Carmel are within an hour’s drive.

InterContinental Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort | Da Nang, Vietnam

Right on the coast of the Son Tra Peninsula Nature Reserve in Da Nang, Vietnam, the luxury InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is a work of art as much as a resort. Here, you can delve into the soul of Vietnamese culture and heritage with our nearby cultural and natural sites including the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hoi An Ancient Town and Hue Imperial City. Meet your neighbors, the rare red-shanked douc langurs who inhabit the lush forests of “Monkey Mountain,” or simply kick back and enjoy our resort’s 700-meter private beach. From the moment you arrive, you and your special someone will be pampered by the InterContinental’s personalized service and unparalleled luxurious amenities.

Secrets Cap Cana, Romantic Getaway | Resort Review

Secrets Cap Cana, Romantic Getaway | Resort Review

The temperatures here in Michigan are quickly dropping and soon there will be little white flurries (or big ones!) falling from the sky. This is usually the time when most of us decide that “we need to plan a mid-winter get-away” and then, “we want to go somewhere warm.” For those of us who live in the northern states, the weather November through April can be brutal!

My mid-winter get-away was to Adult-Only Secrets Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic with my husband, Paul.

This resort is located on the eastern shore of the Dominican Republic in the Cap Cana area. It is located about 20 minutes south of the Punta Cana airport and easy to get to. Secrets brand resorts have complimentary non-strop transfers from Punta Cana, so we were warmly greeted at the exit of the airport and escorted to our private transfer (we were the only ones going to our resort).

We booked a Preferred Club Junior Suite. At Secrets, the Preferred Club will give you VIP access to check-in and check out at the Preferred Club Lounge, access to the PC Lounge for continental breakfast, snacks, hors d’oeuvres, and premium adult beverages. Upon check-in, we were introduced to our butler Yoel, who gave us his phone number so we could text him anything that we needed, and also escorted us to our room. The Preferred Club also has a beautiful pool that is accessible only to Preferred Club members. 

As for the rest of the stay…

Food. This is the most important thing for most people, right? It’s also one of the hardest things to judge a resort by because it all depends on what you order and your likes or dislikes are. In our case, we never went away hungry, enjoyed what we had, and food was easily accessible – and I have the scale to prove it!

Drinks. The next most important aspect of an all-inclusive resort for guests. Drinks were plentiful and the bartenders and pool staff were accessible constantly. Although I am not a big drinker, I can attest that those around me thoroughly enjoyed the drinks.

Beach. I always get asked, “How’s the beach?” Unfortunately, most of the Caribbean has had a problem with seaweed for several years now. Punta Cana is really no different in that aspect. Of all the beaches that I’ve seen, though, this one was probably the best. The beach itself was beautiful! Soft white sand, with padded lounge chairs and Bali beds scattered under sprawling palm trees. We had no trouble finding space on the beach. The water was a little cloudy when we were there, and at some points, we had to walk through sea plants to get to the sand bottom beauty, but once you get out there and look back at the shore, it was stunning.

Accommodations. Secrets knows how to pamper you with accommodations. Everything from their luxurious bedding, beautifully laid out bathrooms and living spaces, spacious rooms, outdoor balcony jacuzzi and lounge area, to the “Secret box.”  I would have been happy to stay in the room the whole time! Relaxation at it’s finest.

Service. We found the service at Secrets Cap Cana to be very attentive and overall well executed. Everywhere we went, we were met with friendly smiles and eagerness to assist. There is some language barrier between Spanish and English, so if you know some Spanish, I found that to be very helpful. The service staff are local residents, so English is not their first language. A little patience, some sign language, and a Spanish dictionary can go a long way!

All in all, I would highly recommend Secrets Cap Cana to anyone needing a quiet get-away and beautiful accommodations for their honeymoon or anniversary. The resort definitely has a romantic atmosphere that couples will love.