Hey y’all! I am back from my first trip actually exploring a place in Texas (I planned a conference outside of San Antonio years ago, and I never left the conference hotel!), and I am excited to tell you all about Sonesta Bee Cave Austin, my hosts for two nights.

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

Bee Cave is a beautiful hill country town that is right next to Austin and about a 15 minute drive from downtown. With 75 mph speed limits and giant highways, getting around the area was swift and easy!

After stopping for some tacos on the way from the airport (more on that soon), we arrived at Sonesta Bee Cave Austin and were immediately blown away by how beautiful and still-brand-new-looking the hotel was. The grand lobby was always spotless, bright, and shining, and it just offered a beautiful, expansive welcome while also being home to cozy seating areas.

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin TexasIMG_8036

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

The gorgeous lobby piano was my husband’s favorite feature. He doesn’t play as much as I would like him to, but when we are out and he sees an open piano, he picks it right up beautifully.

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

After a super friendly welcome, we were able to enjoy early check in to our corner king room, which had views of the pool (which due to gray skies and wind, I never got a good photo of)

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

Bee Cave pool

Photo source

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

The outside seating area and pool were definitely hotel highlights; if it was 10 degrees warmer I would have made an afternoon of lounging and swimming!

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

Once we had explored the lower floors of the hotel, we went up to the 6th floor to check out the place to be in Bee Cave, Meridian 98.

Talk about stunning.

From the moment we stepped out of the elevator, I think we were both awestruck by the rich decor, which featured lots of beautiful brown leather and cozy lounge details. I just wanted to (and eventually did) sink into those seats.

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin TexasSonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

But once we got past all of that beautiful design, we were stunned again by some incredible bar and patio views. The area surrounding the hotel offers a ton of shopping in one direction, but it also offers green vistas that go on forever, and staring out at them never got old.

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin TexasSonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

We visited Meridian 98 both nights of our stay, once for dinner and drinks and once for drinks and dessert.

I’m actually not drinking these days Winking smile, but my husband loved his Drone Dream (Yellow Rose Rye Whiskey, Vermouth, Fresh Lemon Juice, Cherry Juice, Blood Orange Bitters). Be sure to try one of the Bee Cave-inspired cocktails!

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

I love when restaurants have really good big salads, and the chef’s daily fresh greens were fantastic.

strawberry salad

The mojo chicken sliders were delicious, and the shoestring fries they came with were perfection. I am a fry aficionado and know good fries when I taste them!

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

Live music right at the restaurant made it easy to get a taste of some of the Austin area’s music scene, and it was great to not have to leave our hotel to do so!

Live music is offered Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings,

live music Austin

Meridian 98 was also home to delicious breakfast each morning. Those comfy leather chairs were even comfier with a hot cup of delicious coffee and a big breakfast in front of me!

The breakfast buffet is a steal at $12 (Our breakfasts were hosted kindly by the hotel.) compared to the $26 at the hotel we stayed at later on downtown for a conference. An extensive spread of hot and cold items varied each day.

Bee Cave

Pastries, fruit, smoked salmon, meats, cheeses, yogurts, and more tempted on one side of the buffet. Sonesta Bee Cave

On the other side, warm biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, and more awaited. I had a little bit of everything! The selection was delicious, and the pace was just perfect. While we had service when we needed it, we also got a real sense of that slower hill country vibe we were surrounded by, and it was lovely.

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Texas

As I mention above, the Sonesta Bee Cave Austin is easy driving distance to many sights and attractions, but it also offers a free trolley locally to places like the Hill Country Galleria, where you can shop-til-you-drop, get spa treatments, enjoy additional dining options, and more. It’s a fun and convenient way to get around and definitely a perk for business and leisure travelers alike.

Sonesta trolley

I am blogging for Sonesta Hotels and they are kindly hosting my stay, some of my meals, and my airfare. I am not obligated to blog on my own blog; all opinions are my own and I have just had some incredible experiences with them!

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When we asked for New Orleans dining recommendations, Cochon was one of the names that kept popping up, and when Cochon happened to be right down the street from the National WWII Museum (Read my blog post for Sonesta Hotels!), it turned out to be the perfect spot to grab lunch during a brief rain storm.

Cochon was bustling at lunch time, and we were very lucky to get seats right in front of the kitchen, which had a super efficient and effective communication system down pat. The actions of the kitchen team and servers were perfectly orchestrated and fun to watch, and seeing all of the plates go out helped us to decide on our order!

Cochon New Orleans

Cochon New Orleans

Cochon New Orleans

The cocktail menu was fun and creative, and the Fresh to Death was a delicious gin concoction I could have sipped all day. It may have been raining outside, but this drink was sunshine in a glass. It was also the perfect, bright choice for pairing with some heavier fare.

Cochon New Orleans

IMG_7189

We started with a little treat from the kitchen before launching into our ordering spree.

While we waited for our lunch, I tried the hot sauce at our seats. It was perfectly delicious all on its own!

Cochon New Orleans

We knew we needed to get some vegetables into our diet, and roasted winter squash with toasted seeds was the warm and cozy type of veggie dish I was craving. I love when the vegetable sides turn out to be something you could eat all day long!

Cochon New Orleans

The rest of our many courses included favorites like super sticky, messy, delicious ribs with watermelon pickle (sweet, tangy, lick the plate amazing) and fried shrimp and rice boulettes with tartar sauce. Add in biscuits smothered in hot sauce, and you have one incredible meal.

Cochon New Orleans

With so many spots to dine in New Orleans, we certainly only covered a fraction. Even knowing that I would return to Cochon (and to Cafe Amelie and Brennan’s and all of the restaurants at Royal Sonesta New Orleans) a million times over again. We certainly hit the jackpot when it came to NOLA dining!

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Super Hunger Brunch

I don’t ever need an excuse to go out for brunch; its leisurely pace, yummy breakfast/lunch combo dishes, and of course, cocktails, make it my favorite meal of the week.

Super Hunger Brunch, however, makes going out to brunch in Boston a million times more meaningful. Hunger is an ongoing problem in our city and our Commonwealth, and by simply going to brunch during this special event, you and your friends and family can contribute to something that provides solid solutions to this problem.

On January 27 and 28, 2018, local restaurants (listed out below) will offer special Super Hunger Brunch menus or dishes, donating 100% of proceeds to The Greater Boston Food Bank. This is the 36th annual Super Hunger Brunch, and it promises to be fantastic. You can plan ahead and buy gift certificates here.

Be sure to also make a reservation at your restaurant of choice, as a gift certificate does not equal a reservation.

Where are you brunching for Super Hunger Brunch?

Saturday

Alta Strada
92 Central St, Wellesley
781-237-6100
$35
Menu

Bambara
25 Edwin H Land Blvd, Cambridge
617-868-4444
$25
Menu

Blunch
59 E Springfield St, Boston
617-247-8100
$25
Menu

Brownstone
111 Dartmouth Street, Boston
617-867-4142
$25
Menu

Clerys
113 Dartmouth Street, Boston
617-262-9874
$25
Menu

Dillon’s
955 Boylston Street, Boston
617-421-1818
$25
Menu

Deep Ellum
477 Cambridge St, Allston
617-787-2337
**

Flour Bakery & Cafe
All Locations
All Locations
*
Menu

Foundry on Elm
255 Elm St, Somerville
617-628-9999
$25

Granary Tavern
170 Milk Street, Boston
617-449-7110
$25
Menu

Michael’s Harborside
1 Tournament Wharf, Newburyport
978-462-7785
$25
Menu

The Sinclair
52 Church St, Cambridge
617-547-5200
$25
Menu

The Living Room
101 Atlantic Ave, Boston
617-723-5101
$25

Sunday

80 Thoreau
80 Thoreau St, Concord
978-318-0008
$50

Bambara
25 Edwin H Land Blvd, Cambridge
617-868-4444
$25
Menu

Cambridge Brewing Co.
1 Kendall Square, Cambridge
617-494-1994
$25
Menu

Catalyst
300 Technology Square, Cambridge
617-576-3000
$50
Menu

Ceia
38 State St, Newburyport
978-358-8112
$25
Menu

Clerys
113 Dartmouth Street, Boston
617-262-9874
$25
Menu

Cultivar
1 Court St, Boston
617-979-8203
$35
Menu

Deep Ellum
477 Cambridge St, Allston
617-787-2337
**

Dillon’s
955 Boylston Street, Boston
617-421-1818
$25
Menu

Flour Bakery & Cafe
All Locations
All Locations
*
Menu

La Morra
48 Boylston St, Brookline Village
617-739-0007
$35

Les Sablons
2 Bennett St, Cambridge
617-268-6800
$35

North 26 Restaurant & Bar
26 North St, Boston
617-557-3640
$25
Menu

Oak & Rowan
321 A St, Boston
857-284-7742
$35
Menu

River Bar
661 Assembly Row, Somerville
617-616-5561
$35

Summer Shack
149 Alewife Brook Pkwy, Cambridge
617-520-9500
$25

The Living Room
101 Atlantic Ave, Boston
617-723-5101
$25

Tosca
14 North Street, Hingham
781-740-0080
$35

Townsman
120 Kingston St, Boston
617-993-0750
$25

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