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One of my goals in past years has been to explore more of New England in all seasons, and this past weekend, as part of my blogging for Sonesta Hotels, I got to take a weekend away in Burlington, Vermont at Sonesta ES Suites.

Burlington, VT hotels

We left a messy, rainy nor’easter in Boston, and when we got to Vermont we were greeted by a light dusting of snow and a cold but clear night, perfect for curling up by the fireplace in our King Studio Suite. I loved having a fireplace (with a real firelog!) in the living area of our room.

Burlington, VT hotels

Another thing I loved about this room (and other Sonesta ES Suites I have stayed at) is the inclusion of a well-stocked kitchen. Making coffee in our room, having a fridge for snacks, proper wine glasses and wine opener. . . all of those little touches make me feel so at home. And I love that you can cook a meal with the full-sized stove. These properties are often used for family travel and business travel and are ideal if you don’t want to or can’t eat every meal out. When we travel longer term, I always like to eat at least one meal a day at the hotel/house. It helps to save money but also allows exploration of local grocery stores and farmers markets.

Burlington, VT hotels

While our sweet suite was in a townhouse-like building in a quiet area behind the main building, all of the fun happened in the main building, where the lobby, pool, and breakfast area are. Sonesta ES Suites Burlington, VT offers a pool and hot tub in a toasty warm room enclosed in walls of windows. You get to swim and stay warm while watching the beautiful Vermont snowfall. It’s quite a nice way to spend a winter evening!

Burlington, VT hotels

All Sonesta ES Suites properties offer free breakfast with your stay, and in addition to lots of PJ’s Coffee, they have plenty of items, including hot options like waffles, eggs, and oatmeal.

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I don’t eat much oatmeal at home, but I always love it when I am traveling, especially when it’s cold outside. My breakfasts each day were a highlight of my weekend!

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Sonesta ES Suites Burlington, VT is located in Wiliston, VT, just a few miles on the highway from downtown Burlington. It was a very quick and easy drive, and in between visits to Burlington, we also checked out the beauty of Williston.

Burlington, VT winter

Maple sugar season in Vermont had just arrived when we visited, and we got to see some of the tapped maple trees on our travels. I blogged all about it over at the Sonesta Hotels blog.

maple sugar season

Though it was gray and cold, we wanted to be outside, and while in Burlington, we strolled along Lake Champlain, which is a massive lake that has ferries to take you across to other towns like Plattsburgh, NY. I would love to come back when it’s a bit nicer out to take one of these ferry rides!

Lake ChamplainLake Champlain

Lake Champlain was beautiful despite the weather, but when we needed to warm up, we were glad to find the locally recommended Zero Gravity Craft Brewery. Local beer is huge in Burlington, and we could easily devote a whole trip to tasting.

Burlington, VT brewery

I was most interested in their cozy fireplaces. The vibe was so relaxed that I could have fallen asleep!

Burlington, VT brewery

But there was ice cream to be eaten! New Englanders love their ice cream, even in winter, and I couldn’t pass up a trip to Ben & Jerry’s in Burlington.

Ben & Jerry's Ben & Jerry's

So much deliciousness in one place!

Ben & Jerry's  Ben & Jerry's

I’ve been a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies lately, so a cookie sundae was at the top of my wish list, complete with Americone Dream ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream. YUM. The cookie was absolutely amazing.

Equally amazing were the lights in Burlington, which made it look like a beautiful winter wonderland for our Saturday night out.

Burlington, VT

Stay tuned for more posts on Burlington!

In the meantime, if you would like to read past Sonesta Hotels blog posts, click here or check out their Winter Sale to book your own stay!

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Tags: beer, hotels, Travel, Vermont, winter

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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Tags: Austin, cocktails, Food, hotels, music, Sonesta, Texas, Travel, travel blog, travel blogging

I love hotels. There is just something super special about checking in, turning the doorknob for the first time, and exploring a new, temporary home-away-from-home.

Prior to our stay at Royal Sonesta New Orleans, I’d heard SO many amazing things about the hotel, and I was positively buzzing with excitement as we arrived and took it all in. The hotel was ready for the holidays, and it was simply gorgeous, halls decked for the season. Read my post on the Lighting of the Balconies for photos. 

Every aspect of our (hosted) stay at Royal Sonesta New Orleans lived up to our expectations and beyond, from our extremely comfortable room, to our lush courtyard views, to the incredible food and hospitality. I love this hotel!

Where to stay in New Orleans

Having a room overlooking the courtyard meant that we heard just about no noise. We could have been miles from Bourbon Street, even though it was just on the other side of the building. We heard some noise in our hallway one of the nights; unfortunately that can happen in any hotel. You can’t control other peoples’ behavior!

Royal Sonesta New Orleans

The courtyard and pool were probably my favorite hotel features because the whole space just felt like a big sigh. . ahhhhh. The vibe was so relaxing, and if I had more time, I could have spent hours reading and relaxing out there.

Royal Sonesta New Orleans

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R Club Concierge Guest Rooms offer R Club Lounge privileges, which include some great views of the city, as well as complimentary breakfast, snacks, a happy hour and more.

Royal Sonesta New Orleans

It was often hard to tear myself away from the beautiful outdoor areas, but the grand indoor spaces of Royal Sonesta New Orleans are too impressive to miss. The lobby will make you stop in your tracks in the best way. If you visit, take time to enjoy every beautiful turn and corner. I did this every time when we were coming and going, and I noticed new, beautiful detail each time.

In addition to the beauty and comfort of the hotel, the location was really key to making the most of our three days in New Orleans. We were able to walk just about everywhere, only taking an Uber when we were in a rush or super tired, as I was on our last night. Otherwise, exploring the city on foot was the perfect way to go. I want to go back right now!

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Our stay was hosted by Royal Sonesta New Orleans. Be sure to visit the Sonesta Hotels blog for posts on New Orleans and other great destinations.

More blog posts from our stay in New Orleans:

http://traveleatlove.com/2017/12/restaurant-revolution-new-orleans/

http://traveleatlove.com/2017/12/caf-amelieone-of-our-new-orleans-favorites/

http://traveleatlove.com/2018/01/brunch-at-brennans-new-orleans/

http://traveleatlove.com/2017/12/brass-a-holics-at-the-jazz-playhouse-new-orleans-more-nola-food/

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Tags: hotels, New Orleans, Travel, travel blog, travel blogging

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