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Where has March gone?! Blogging and reading blogs has taken a back seat to working and travel, and I am back for a bit to share some of our recent Northern California adventures, not entirely in order.

My husband had a conference in San Francisco, and it turned out I had a work event just a few days after, which meant I should just go for the whole week, which is exactly what I did, and it was pretty amazing. More on that soon.

For the weekend we decided to step outside of our Sonoma County comfort zone and headed north to Little River to stay at the stunning Heritage House Resort and Spa on the Mendocino Coast. I discovered the resort via Instagram, and they kindly extended me a media rate for our two night stay. See for yourself how incredible our experience was. . .

Heritage House Resort Little River California

After a beautiful drive through Sonoma County and into the redwoods, we arrived at Heritage House, which is nestled along the coast with the most jaw dropping views.  It’s rustic and sweet and fits right into the natural beauty surrounding it. This is a true getaway, which is exactly what we were looking for.

Little River CA hotel

Heritage House Little River

Our room was spacious and had a feeling of simplicity and complete zen. A bottle of wine from local Navarro Vineyards was a welcome treat and kind gift from the hotel’s General Manager. We actually opted not to do much vineyard-hopping on this trip and loved being able to try local wines on property.

Navarro Wine

While we did some exploring of the Mendocino Coast, we spent a good amount of our time just being on the property of Heritage House. Can you see why?

Heritage House Resort Little River California

Heritage House Resort Little River California Heritage House Resort Little River California In addition to acres of high coastline for watching the sunset (with the absolutely delicious Navarro Wine), we also had a private beach for the resort, and we soaked up some sun while listening to waves crashing. We got so lucky with the weather every single day on our trip.

Heritage House Resort Little River California  hotels in Little River, CA

Heritage House Resort Little River California

Pacific sunset

Pacific Ocean

Please just take me back.

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Heritage House Resort Little River California

Heritage House has numerous dining options within driving distance, but we opted to stay in for dinner, dining at their 5200 Lounge and also stocking up on yummy cheese and meats for snacks on our deck.

Heritage House Resort Little River California

 

The lounge was cozy and relaxed, with a great wine list, and one of the best burgers we had ever had. We spied on the food that came to tables around us, and it definitely looked like you couldn’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

Heritage House Resort Little River California

Heritage House Resort Little River California Between the views, the comfortable rooms, delicious food on-site, and plenty to do in the area, with the amazing option to do nothing, Heritage House blew us away, and we wished we had stayed longer. It will absolutely be a place we return to. While we love Sonoma County, we were so happy to have ventured a bit beyond on this trip.

Thank you to Heritage House for taking such good care of us!

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Tags: California, hotels, Mendocino County, Northern California, resorts, Travel, travel blog

The one night we spent in Old San Juan was an absolute delight, thanks in part to the gorgeous Monastery Art Suites. Being in the heart of Old San Juan, it was definitely different than our beach paradise in Luquillo. The colorful architecture of Old San Juan, along with restaurants, art, and more surrounded the location, and we were a short walk from the sea on all sides.

We arrived at the hotel early for our reservation and received the warmest welcome while our bags were whisked away and stored for us. We had to return our car to the airport (definitely don’t need it in the city) and when we got back to the hotel, we explored the stunning, artistic lobby and events spaces.

Monastery Art Suites Monastery Art Suites The building has a long history and was at one point a Masonic lodge. Thick stone, high ceilings, decorative windows, and beautiful staircases make every corner worth inspecting. There are beautifully detailed surprises everywhere.

Monastery Art Suites

When we were whisked to our room by the friendly woman at the front desk, we discovered our bags had already been brought up for us. The warm and artsy theme of the rest of the hotel carried into our room, which had beautiful colors and little touches. Monastery Art Suites

 

Monastery Art Suites

And while the hotel is historic, we enjoyed many modern touches in our room, including excellent air conditioning that cut through the brutal heat, Apple television, a fridge, coffee maker, and a wonderful shower. Our shutters opened to overlook the sunny lobby area and the umbrellas we saw from the other side when we arrived.

Monastery Art Suites

The hotel’s location near government buildings meant that there were officers right at the end of the street at all times, making it feel complete safe at all hours. From here we were able to walk everywhere we wanted and to retire in utmost comfort at the end of the day. I slept so well and felt so rested after our night here.

I can’t recommend the hotel and its lovely staff enough. Monastery Art Suites will be our Old San Juan home base going forward, and let’s face it, with snow in April, all I am doing is dreaming of going back.

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Tags: art, hotels, Puerto Rico, san juan, Travel

The Other Side of Massachusetts is an often-overlooked location when Boston residents are planning getaways. We often look to Portland or Newport or the Cape, and all of those are amazing, but when you want something new and different, I would heartily recommend checking out Amherst, especially during times when UMASS and Amherst College are not in session.

Full disclosure: I work with the Hampshire County Regional Tourism Council on their PR, and I am a Western Massachusetts loving UMASS grad, but my love of the area really comes from all that it has to offer, including history, quaint inns, incredible restaurants, farms, breweries, wineries (Black Birch is a must-visit), outdoor activities, walkable little towns, and a vibe that I just can’t describe. The shopping is great; you can find many locally made products along with great book stores, music shops, wine shops, and boutiques.

The Lord Jeffrey Amherst

I visited Amherst and Northampton this past week to give a presentation on PR for the region to tourism partners, and I stayed at The Lord Jeffery Inn. During my years as a student at UMASS, I had always wanted to stay at the inn, so I was excited to finally have an occasion to do so and to receive a rate that worked with my budget.

Located in the center of downtown Amherst, right on the Common, The Lord Jeff has welcomed guests as an inn since 1926. I arrived just before sunset, and I received a warm welcome at check in.

The Lord Jeffrey Inn

 

The Lord Jeffrey Inn

The Lord Jeffrey Inn, Amherst

My room was cozy and comfortable, decorated with a nod to the inn’s historic nature but with all of the contemporary touches you could want, including a gas fireplace, Wi-Fi, and an amazing shower.

I want to return to the inn just so I have more time to hang out and enjoy the room!

Lord Jeffrey Inn

Since I only had one night, I quickly headed back out to take a look around at the rooms that make up the common areas.

Lord Jeffrey Inn

Little seating areas are perfect for reading or getting work done, or enjoying a cocktail by the massive fireplace. The inn has a number of fireplaces, giving plenty of opportunities to warm up and relax. The entire place feels very laid back and welcoming, ideal for a getaway for a couple of days.

open fireplace

I ate my way around Amherst that night, trying some of the new-to-me places for cocktails and apps, and I will share all of that in a separate post, because, much like Portland, Amherst is a town you can visit just to spend the day eating and drinking.

My last stop of the night was 30 Boltwood where I sampled some of the cocktails on the menu along with a cheese board. The restaurant sources many of its ingredients locally, as many restaurants in the area do, and they are particularly interested in locally-driven cocktails. 30 Boltwood is the perfect place to end the night or even to stay at if you just want to take in the ambiance of the inn.

whiskey in a jar cocktail at 30 Boltwood

meat and cheese board

The event I presented at was a hospitality industry exchange where local hospitality partners can learn about each other, the Hampshire RTC, and working together to promote one another and the region. They have SO much to offer, so it was fun to be a part of this.

getaway ideas in Massachusetts

I left with a ton of new knowledge and ideas whirling around in my head, surrounded by beautiful scenery on my way out, and excitement to book my next visit. Outside of work, I hope to bring my husband back for a few days of brewery visits, farm visits, rafting, and hiking this summer. I can’t emphasize enough what a great getaway Hampshire County makes. And at only two hours from Boston, it’s an easy and pleasant day trip. Give it a try, and you will want to return!

Amherst, Massachusetts

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Tags: client, Hampshire County, hotel, hotels, Massachusetts, Travel, Western Massachusetts

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