Uniquely Romantic Lofts for Two that are Perfect for Valentine’s Day

Everyone’s favorite romantic holiday is less than a month away! Have you and your significant other started making plans for your next romantic getaway? Thankfully, this year, Valentine’s Day falls on one of the most perfect days of the week. Sunday. For those of you with children, this allows you the perfect time to let the kids spend the weekend with their grandparents and have a romantic weekend getaway with just you and your spouse/partner. Matt and I have done some digging on Airbnb and found some unique lofts that are within a 4 hour drive of Frisco.

Rose Capital Studio

This uniquely decorated studio gives you the urban conveniences of home, yet with a rustic flare that makes you feel like your are in Marfa (without the 8 hour drive)! This cozy loft includes some fun features such as projector and screen for watching some of your favorite romantic comedies, an open reading nook, a standing desk, and even some smart lights. If you and your significant other like to go out, there are plenty of things to do while in Downtown Tyler. For the foodie couples some great places to visit include: True Vine Brewing, Culture ETX, Rick’s on the Square, or the Janie’s Cakes. For shopping, there are a few boutiques and salons in town including a couple antique shops and a flower shop šŸ˜‰ .

Downtown Tyler | Directions

Travel Time: 2 hours

Loft ZaZa

Now, this is a rather large loft with 3 beds, 1.5 baths and it can fit up to 10 guests. However, this loft should not be written off solely based on the number of guests it can accommodate. The fantastic Loft Zaza is located just above the Boutique One Eleven in Downtown Gainesville. For those who like to shop there are a couple of unique boutiques in town, including: Boutique One Eleven, Cahoots Handbags, Amelia’s Attic Antiques, Kinne’s Jewlers, and Bungalow 123. There are also a few unique eateries in the area like: Fried Pie Co. & Restaurant, Sarah’s on the Square, and the Red Fox Lounge.

Downtown Gainesville | Directions

Travel Time: 1 hour

Nid d’Amour

If you do not want to take a road trip, then definitely consider having a staycation in the beautiful Wilson Building in Downtown Dallas. As always, there are plenty of things to do for couples in Downtown Dallas. For example: there are plenty of great events going on in the Arts District! On Friday, February 12th, Titas/Dance Unbound Doug Varone and Dancers will be performing live at the Winspear Opera House. Also, within a few blocks of the Wilson Building Apartments, there are several restaurants including: The Woolworth, Chop House Burger, and Porta Di Roma. For some other romantic ideas include a couples massage at the Spa at the Joule Dallas or shopping at Neiman Marcus.

Downtown Dallas | Directions

Travel Time: 30 minutes

Recess on Cypress Creek and Wimberley Square

Just a few minutes Southwest of Austin, in the town of Wimberley, there is an adorable bohemian styled loft that is perfect for a romantic weekend! This loft is in an old home, but fully up to date with a kitchen, private bath, and living area. Of course this loft was furnished with the environment in the forefront owner’s thoughts, the accents in this loft include live indoor plants, 100% cotton towels, bamboo blankets, and hand made wooden accents. There are a few great little places to see while you are there, including: Ino’s Brew & Chew, Community Pizza & Beer Garden, and Wimberley Cafe.

Wimberley | Directions

Travel Time: 4 hours

Artists Loft in San Antonio

Granted San Antonio is a little over a four hour drive. However, the city of San Antonio is every bit worth the extra 30 minutes. After all, between the unique sites along the Riverwalk, Rich Texan History, and amazing Latino culture; what is there not to like about San Antonio. This Artist Studio is every bit as unique as the city itself. It is decorated with stunning area rugs, beautiful antique furniture, live plants, and one of a kind art work. For those who are unfamiliar with the Southtown Neighborhood of San Antonio, there are some great small businesses in the area. While you are there, be sure to visit: The Friendly Spot Ice House, La Frite Belgian Bistro, and Maverick Texas Brasserie.

Southtown Neighborhood of San Antonio | Directions

Travel Time: 4 hour 30 minutes

Loft on 6th Street in Austin

This loft is absolutely perfect for anyone who loves the nightlife! If you choose to spend your romantic holiday here, you will find that you are within walking to distance of some of the greatest venues that the Live Music Capitol of the World has to offer. The best part of this loft is the floor to ceiling windows on every external wall (except in the Bedroom) which allows the loft to be filled with natural light during daylight hours.

Downtown Austin | Directions

Travel Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Windmill Loft

It does not sound like there is much in the city of McGregor, TX. However, it is a very small town about 20 minutes Southwest of Waco. Therefore, you have access to all of your favorite locations in Waco, including: The Silos and Baylor University. But if you and your significant other are just looking for some quiet, private time; the Windmill Loft is the perfect place your the two of you to spend your Valentine’s Day. This lovely loft is inside the newly renovated Historic Masonic Building in Downtown McGregor. All of the hardwood in the loft (including the cabinets, floors, and wainscoting) are all original to the building and has a large TV, comfortable beds, couches, and 14 foot ceilings.

McGregor | Directions

Travel Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes

The Urban Cowboy Loft

The Green Door Lofts is a really cool renovated building in the heart of the Historic District of Waco. This spacious and airy loft allows you and your life partner to relax and spend a great night in watching Netflix or Direct TV. It is also worth noting that there is a heated pool on the grounds of the the apartment complex, in case the two of you would like to go for a late night swim. However, if you would like to go out and see the sights; the Hippodrome Diner Theatre is right next door. Other options in the area for food and entertainment is the Dr. Pepper Museum, the Waco Farmer’s Market (only open Saturdays 9am to 1pm), and Union Hall.

Downtown Waco | Directions

Travel Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Behrens Lofts Downtown Waco

This is another beautiful loft right in the heart of historic Downtown Waco and within walking distance to the Silos District. The Behrens Lofts are located in the recently renovated Behrens Warehouse. The owners of this loft have kept the brick exposed brick walls and industrial air vents that have added a wonderful antique, urban flair to the property. If you are looking for a quiet night in, this is the perfect place to eat some of your favorite comfort food, lounge on the couch and watch your favorite movies on the 70-inch Smart TV. There are plenty of fun places to visit (all within walking distance) during your stay in Waco, including: Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits, Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant, and the Clay Pot Restaurant.

Downtown Waco | Directions

Travel Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

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Where to Stay While Honeymooning in French Polynesia

Prior to writing this article, Matt and I would like to send our special thanks to Rhonda who was our Travel Agent with Park Cities Travels. With the Covid pandemic, Matt and I had absolutely no idea where to start or what to do when the time came for us to start planning our Honeymoon. Rhonda was an excellent travel agent and has a worldwide network of resources (literally), she was such a huge help to us as we planned our trip. We highly recommend booking your next big trip through Rhonda at Park Cities Travels!


We started planning our wedding and our honeymoon prior to COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, our plans was to take a small trip a few days after the wedding and a BIG trip to New Zealand later in the year. Then the COVID pandemic arrived and like many things our hopes on going to New Zealand were thwarted. To further complicate our goals, many other countries (like New Zealand) had also closed their borders to tourists. At that point we were stuck in a quandary and did not know what to do or where to start. Our Travel Agent, Rhonda, was such a huge help. Once we finally decided where we wanted to go, we just gave Rhonda our final budget and she did all the rest. She booked our hotel, transportation, excursions, meal plans and more! What is better, is she also was able to meet all our needs and desires and still come up a few hundred dollars under budget!


InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa

The Lagoonarium

On the Island of Tahiti Nui, we stayed at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa. First, my absolute favorite feature of this resort was the Lagoonarium. This lagoonarium is an artificial (man-made) lagoon that is fed by sea water and is filled with some of the most colorful fish that are native to the area. So when you go to swim in the Lagoonarium, you are literally swimming with the stunning fish that are native to the area and some of the most beautiful coral in the world. I highly recommend bringing a snorkel and goggles when you visit the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, so that you can observe these sights as you swim! There are also two other swimming pools on the complex. One pool is right next to the Lagoonarium. Then there is a smaller infinity pool that overlooks the South Pacific and includes a swim up bar as well.

Overwater Bungalows

Two of the overwater Bungalows at the InterContinental Tahiti with a view of Moorea Island.

The InterContinental Resort & Spa in Tahiti does have amazing Overwater bungalows available to rent. They also have a few different types of Overwater Bungalows so that you can pick the perfect one for you. The smallest bungalows are called the Jr. Suite Overwater Bungalow Lagoon. the prices for these start at ~$520.00/night. This bungalow is a perfect location as it is right next door to the lagoonarium and has fantastic views of Mo’orea Island. However, if you are looking for an overwater bungalow that is a little more high end get the Overwater Motu Villa Suite. This suite can sleep up to 4 people and includes a balcony with stunning views, a luxurious bathtub, and is perfectly secluded. The price of Villas start at ~$650.00/night.

Early Check-In & Courtesy Rooms

It is also worth noting that most flights coming from the United States arrive in Papeete either early in the morning (ours arrived at 5:04 am) or late in the evening (around 09:00pm). Also the hotel is only about 10 to 15 minutes away from the airport. Therefore, if you are arriving early, be sure to request an early check in. The hotel does have courtesy rooms (which include toilets and showers) for their guests who arrive earlier than the check-in. I highly recommend making use of these courtesy rooms while you are waiting to check-in. These courtesy rooms include showers (with shampoo and bodywash), towels, toilets, and sinks. However, if you are arriving late. Check-in is a 3:00 pm. Be sure to call the front desk before you board you flight to Papeete and let them know that you will be arriving late in the evening.

Manava Beach Resort & Spa Hotel

Mo’orea Island

Image by VIRGINIE DUBOSCQ from Pixabay

Island as a whole reminded me of the French Polynesian version of a small sea side town in Florida, USA (like Seaside or Key West). While Tahiti Nui had more of an urban feel, Mo’orea was more quiet and felt more rustic. Due to the size and slower paced lifestyle of the island, Matt and I found the that we more and better access to beaches and the ocean. So if you wanted to go for a swim in the ocean, it was definitely much better.

Rooms and Bungalows:

Manava Spa and Resort (compared to the InterContentental Tahiti) was also smaller and and more quaint. However, Matt and I really enjoyed our time here! There are plenty of different styles of bungalows and rooms. While the Overwater bungalows seemed wonderful; they were not what Matt and I really wanted. We felt that they were a little too close to the other overwater bungalows around them. We also did not think that they gave us the privacy that we really wanted. With it being our honeymoon, Matt and I really needed something with much more privacy than what the Overwater bungalows could provide. Instead, we stayed in the Garden bungalow. These bungalows were fenced off and had a small private dunking pool. This bungalow ended up being everything that we needed it to be. If you are travelling with a family with kids, the Overwater and Beach Bungalows would be better suited for your needs. For couples definitely go with the garden bungalows during your stay.

Dinner and a Show

Photo by Vincent Camacho on Unsplash

When booking your trip to Manava Beach Resort & Spa, be sure to make sure you are there on a Saturday night. Every Saturday night at 7:30 pm there is a show featuring Traditional Polynesian dancing! Dinner is included and but it is by reservation only! Make sure to be sure to make reservations as soon as you can for dinner on Saturday.

Paraoro, Mo’orea

In town there are a few restaurants Restaurants, a Tahitian Black Pearl shop and a small grocery store. Also if you are searching for a second home in a stunning destination there is a Sothebyā€™s Reality office just a five minute walk away from the Resort. Other souvenir shops are also in town.

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Airbnb’s Perfect for your Thanksgiving Holiday

Thanksgiving is only three weeks away. This Thanksgiving Holiday, after everyone has been confined to their homes for nearly seven months, we are all in desperate time away. With the Pandemic this year, it has become clear that we all need to spend more time with those we love this Holiday Season. One of the best ways to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Frisco Metroplex would be by renting a relaxing Airbnb home to retreat to this Thanksgiving holiday. We have specifically chosen great rentals with great views and are perfect for you and your family (or group of friends) to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.


Arrowhead Lodge (Montana)

What better way to escape the insanity of Dallas life than by heading West out to Yellowstone Country, Montana. The Arrowhead Lodge is a perfect location for anyone who wants to escape to the Rocky Mountains for Thanksgiving. This rental property is a great option for any family get together because it has spacious rooms each with landscape windows and amazing views. The kitchen could comfortable fit five adults working to create an amazing Thanksgiving meal. For day trips, Yellowstone National Park is only 1.5 hour drive South. There are also some fun little shops in Downtown Livingston, including: The Obsidian Collection, The Gourmet Cellar, and Neptune’s Taphouse and Eatery.

Number of Guests: 16

Cost (for 16 guests): $57.75/night/person

Travel Time: 3 hour flight (DFW to BZN) + 45 minute drive from airport

Eagle Lake Estate (Idaho)

Who would have thought to vacation to Idaho would be a good idea? But really, Idaho does have one of the prettiest landscapes in the Continental United States. In fact, Idaho was listed among the top 20 most beautiful states in the USA by Thrillist. This stunning Airbnb property in Idaho is definitely no exception! The Eagle Lake Estate is on a beautiful, yet secluded property in the small town of Hailey. Along with five large, wonderfully decorated bedrooms, the property also has a naturally lit living/dining room with floor to ceiling windows and high vaulted ceilings, a very comfortable media room. The kitchen is large enough to allow a few people to work on the Thanksgiving feast. If you would prefer to do other things on Thanksgiving day, a Chef (or two) can be provided to you for an extra cost. For day trips, lodge is only five minutes away from Sawtooth National Forest.

Number of Guests: 12

Cost (for 12 guests): $166.67/night/person

Travel Time: 5 hour flight (DFW to IDA) + 2.5 hour drive from airport

Heartwood Lodge (Wyoming)

Photo Courtesy of Airbnb

The Heartwood Lodge is great for any family who is looking to spend some time in Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton National Park. Both of these parks are just a short drive due North. Not only is this six bedroom lodge just outside of the second oldest National Parks in the world; it is also perfect for anyone who is an avid skier, as it is within walking distance to AprĆØs Vous. Other fun accommodations include: an outdoor hot tub and fireplace (for the adventurous few in the group), a large media room (perfect for football fans) and a pool table. Other features available for an extra cost include various members of household staff (chef, butler, driver, restaurant concierge, or childcare), Villa pre-stocking, activities and excursions.

Number of Guests: 18

Cost (for 18 guests): $444.45/night/person

Travel Time: 3 hour flight (DFW to JAC) + 22 minute drive

Movie Star Mansion (Utah)

This is another great option for any group that loves to ski or snowboard, as this rental has a ski-in/ski-out feature. For those who would do not like to ski as much, Historic Park City is just a short drive away and has many fun shops like Atticus Coffee Books & Teahouse, No Name Saloon & Grill, and La Niche. Or if you are looking more for a night in, there are some wonderful activities available at the house to engage in. These activities includes: a pool table, a poker table, fully equipped exercise room, media room, jacuzzi, a sauna, a wet bar, and seven very spacious bedrooms. If you and your group are planning on making your own Thanksgiving dinner; do not fear, as the kitchen in this lodge is large enough to accommodate at least six people. However, if you find that you are in need of some extra hands on Thanksgiving day, some additional services are provided to the group for an extra fee, including: food pre-stocking, household staff (chef, driver, food and beverage services, housekeeping, childcare and a butler), car rental, and restaurant concierge.

Number of Guests: 18

Cost (for 18 guests): $225.95/night/person

Travel Time: 3 hour flight (DFW to SLC) + 1 hour drive

“Our Place” (Idaho)

Photo Courtesy of Airbnb

This is a great option for a very large family or a family would like to have lots of space during this Thanksgiving season. You are guaranteed extra privacy and quiet as the property has no neighbors. Never fear though, there are plenty of activities while at the lodge including ping pong, pool, a jacuzzi, an outdoor firepit which is perfect for making s’mores. If you are looking to get off the property for the day, both and Idaho Falls and Jackson, Wyoming are only an hour away. For those looking for a quiet night in, the lodge has three fire places, a jetted tub in the master bathroom, and a TV. On Thanksgiving day, do not worry about the size of the kitchen as it can comfortably fit six to seven people.

Number of Guests: 22

Cost (for 22 guests): $54.55/night/person

Travel Time: 5 hour flight (DFW to IDA) + 1.5 hour drive from airport

****All photos (including Cover photo) courtesy of Airbnb.


What to do with 24 Hours in Washington D.C.

My husband is a pilot for a commercial airline. While there are many benefits to his job, one of my favorites is being able to travel so that I can meet him in for some of his longer layovers in a few American cities. I love traveling and seeing local sites and I love getting to be with my husband. I have been to Washington DC twice (once on a solo trip and once with Matt), it is a wonderful city to visit for anyone and for any reason.

Granted travel restrictions are continuously changing on a daily basis. Unfortunately, those traveling from Texas (as well as 30 other states) will need to quarantine for 14 days after their arrival. Just know, that this will not last forever, I fully suspect that Washington DC to completely open up soon. However, if you are traveling from Maryland or Virginia you are exempt from the order.


Union Station

Photo Courtesy of Architecture Digest

Granted, Washington DC is best known for being our nations capital. DC has many beautiful site and many beautiful government buildings. However, it would probably surprise most people that one of the prettiest buildings in the city is not a government building at all. Union Station is one of the prettiest buildings in Washington DC. It is open to the public (as opposed to just Amtrak and Metro Passengers) there are quite a few shops and restaurants to try including: Magnolia Bakery, Potbelly, Aloha Poke Co., Blue Bottle Coffee, and more. The best way to get there is to take the Metro subway.

Hiking in Rock Creek Park

Photo Courtesy of the National Parks Conservation Association

Funny story, my discovery of this park was purely accidental. The first time I went to Washington DC was a solo trip. I had some time to kill between checking out of the hostel and arriving at the train station to depart the city. So I rented a car and drove around. At the time, I had no direction and no map, I just decided to take my self on a self-guided driving tour of Washington DC. It was during this driving tour that I stumbled upon this lovely park. This is a great location to get out and enjoy the beauty of nature.

National Mall

It does not matter what you plan on doing, the National Mall is a great place to visit! Of course, if you have never been to the the nation’s capital definitely take advantage of all the free tourist attractions that are there (because there are so many)! If you are traveling with a group of people, this is a great place to do something that will ignite the excitement in every member. For those who love history, you can enjoy any one of the government buildings, monuments, or memorials. The foodie in your group might really enjoy the tons of food trucks and restaurants within walking distance. You could have a picnic on the lawn for the calm, introverted, nature-lover in the group. For the person who wants to dive into culture, there is no better place to go than the Smithsonian Museum.

Stay the Night at Highroad Hostel DC

The Living Room – Photo Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Yes, I realize this is a Hostel and not your typical hotel. However, compared to some of my hotel stays in Washington DC, I enjoyed the Highroad Hostel far more. First off, this hostel is located in a really fun DC neighborhood (Adams Morgan). There are so many fun quirky shops, restaurants, and bars all within a two-block walking distance. Some of these shops and restaurants include: the Amsterdam Falafelshop, Bossa, District of Columbia Arts Center, and Mercedes Bien Vintage Clothing and Decor. Also if you are looking for a cheap ride to drive around Washington DC, there is a Zipcar Parking lot right around the corner (not even a 5 minute walk). Finally, there are several different room options for travelers. For anyone who just wants a cheap place to crash, I would recommend the 14 bed-multi shared dorm. If anyone is traveling with a group or with their children, I highly recommend the 4 bed multi-shared room.

Eat at The Hamilton

Photo Courtesy of TripAdvisor

The Hamilton is a beautiful restaurant and live music venue on the corner of 14th St. and F St. NW. Fortunately, even with the Covid restrictions, The Hamilton is allowed to have live concerts (just at a reduced capacity). In the coming weeks and months patrons will be able to enjoy live music with their dinner. This fall season they have some really fun concert options to the public, including: Della Mae, Kat Edmonson, Cris Jacobs Band, and a few more. Otherwise, if you are just looking for a great place to eat, The Hamilton offers dine-in, take-out, online, and to-go orders. While you are there, be sure to try the Lobster Shephard’s Pie, No Bull Burger (vegan), or Fire Cracker Sushi Roll.

Espionage has always been a topic from some of our favorite movies, novels, TV shows and even conspiracy theories. Some young children dream of eventually becoming International spies. This museum is perfect for any child (and even children at heart) because it provides their visitors with an immersive and semi-hands on experience regarding espionage. During your visit you will get the chance to learn all about the Culper Spy Ring, the Code Breakers of WWII, the Enigma, and more. The International Spy Museum is open Monday through Friday (even during Covid). They also have some fun programs and workshops for their patrons. For families, they have other fun events including the “Covert Couch Challenge” which is a family game night designed to test your family’s skills at tradecraft.


4 Cozy Texas Treehouses to Snuggle up in this Fall

September has arrived! It is hard to believe this month is finally here! Although the first day of fall is not until the end of the month (September 22nd), in my mind Fall is already here. With the arrival of this colorful season come some of my favorites things of all time including: relaxing rainy days, brisk sweater weather, the crackling of wood burning in the fireplace, scary stories and more! What better way to celebrate the arrival of Fall 2020 than by planning a fun and cozy staycation(ish) in a Texas Treehouse! Here are options I found on Airbnb that will allow you to escape the monotonous (and sometimes hectic) routines of life at home, so that you can focus on some of your favorite things during the Fall season.


The Treehouse on Lake Travis

While this quaint treehouse is great for the summer, we also thing it will be a fantastic place to relax during the Fall! For anyone with family that is in desperate need of spending some time away with a Birdseye view of Lake Travis, this is the place for you! The Treehouse juts out over the bluffs and among the trees on Lake Travis (near Austin). This awesome rental getaway can comfortably accommodate 4 guests; and includes some fun amenities including: a hot tub (which is looks out over the lake and is perfect for cooler days), a cozy fireplace, Park n’ Play/travel crib (for the very little ones), and amazing views of Lake Travis. Also if you are able to work remotely and you are looking to take an extended vacation, The Treehouse on Lake Travis had wifi and is available for long term rentals.

Southern Dream

Just a little over an hours drive East of Dallas, is luxurious treehouse that can fit up to five guests. However, this romantic little rental is best for couples or solo travel. Our favorite aspect of this of this cozy getaway is that it can perfectly accommodate the needs of any traveler. The Southern Dream has wifi, which is great for anyone who is wanting to log in for a little while and do a little bit of remote work during their getaway. Anyone who is looking to dive into local culture or do some shopping Canton is just a 10 minute drive away. For this Fall, the Canton Flea Market is open on the following days (Oct. 1-4, Oct. 29 – Nov. 1, and Dec. 3-6). Downtown Canton also has some fun attractions and restaurants. Or those who are looking to relax and truly escape, other features of this includes a private entrance, a hot tub, a patio/balcony, and a garden/backyard.

Ryders Treehouse

Ryders Treehouse is the the perfect place for any romantic couple that is wanting to get away from Dallas this Fall! What better why to relax than going out to West Texas and sharing some ghost stories or roasting marshmellows with your significant other on a secluded ranch! In fact, anyone who is planning a wedding during Covid and looking to go on a honeymoon should consider booking Ryders Treehouse. It is nestled away on a ranch near Baird, Texas (roughly 2 hour and 30 minute drive West of Dallas) and provides all the necessities that you need to relax. The treehouse itself is two stories, with the kitchenette on the first floor, and a bedroom/loft on the second floor. However, that is not all, other fun amenities of this treehouse include: indoor fireplace as well as an outdoor fire pit, fishing, Lake views, and a perfect perch for sipping wine as you watch the sun go down.

The Extraordinary Treehouse

When it comes to the essence of the Fall Season, we cannot think of a better place to spend your staycation than in the Extraordinary Treehouse. You do not have to go very far to enjoy a quiet cozy fire while also enjoying the lovely view of the forest scenery in the floor-to-ceiling windows of the living room. This stunning treehouse is two stories, a small foot bridge and gravel paths leading to the front door, and an over-sized Jacuzzi bathtub which is perfect for a warm bathe for two šŸ˜‰ . For those who are looking to take a working staycation, wifi is included in this rental. While this treehouse can comfortably sleep four people, please note that the owners do have an age limit for their guests. They ask their guests are no younger than 27 years old. However, the owners will make exceptions depending on the inquiry.

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***Unless otherwise noted: all the photos in this post and cover are found on Airbnb.


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5 Reasons why your next Girls Only Spa Retreat should be at the Hotel Crescent Court

I have been in a total of five weddings, including my own. During my time as a bridesmaid, I have had a few awesome experiences and some experiences that were not as great. So, when the time finally came for me to be a bride I knew exactly what I wanted to do to show my appreciation for my bridesmaids, mother, and future mother-in-law. I have also come to realize that days leading up to the wedding are almost always the most stressful (for everyone…including some of the guests). Therefore, as a gift for my bridesmaids and the moms, I wanted to gift them with an experience rather than a tangible gift. For this gift, I chose to have a spa getaway the day before our wedding at one of the most best known and most luxurious 5-star locations in the area, Hotel Crescent Court.

Our experience having a spa weekend getaway at Hotel Crescent Court did not just meet; but rather exceeded all of our expectations! We all loved every bit of it. If I was forced to redo any aspect of my wedding weekend, I would not change a single thing. Here are my five reasons why I would book another girls only Spa Getaway at Hotel Crescent Court in a heartbeat.


Great Prices for the Quality of Service

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

There are quite a few luxury 4-star and 5-star hotels in Dallas, TX. All of which offer elegant suites and most of which offer great spa amenities. After doing some research, I found that Hotel Crescent Court offered the spa services I wanted to give my bridesmaids and mothers at a more reasonable price than other hotels of the same (and sometimes lower) caliber. Because their prices were so reasonable, I was able to pay for even more spa services that I was originally planning on purchasing. I ended up giving everyone a 50 minute massage, a 50 minute pedicure, a 25 minute manicure, and a 50 minute facial.

The prices for the rooms are also more reasonable than expected. I was also able to afford an the astonishing Uptown Suite on the top floor for an overnight stay. But more on this awesome suite later.

The Spa is Amazing

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The award-winning spa is located in the lowest level of the Hotel Crescent complex. As we arrived in the 22,000 square foot spa we were immediately greeted by an associate who gave us a tour of their state of the art facilities. These facilities include: steam room, dry sauna, hot tub, cold tub, showers, lounges, and a weight room/workout facility. Of course the Hotel Crescent Court offers a wide variety of spa services. But we highly recommend the Rose Grand Cru Facial, the French Clay Detox Body Therapy, and the Stone Therapy Massage.

A wide variety of wellness/fitness classes are offered at the Hotel Crescent Court Spa. There are a wide variety of fitness classes for all levels of fitness. We recommend the Yoga Stretch, Body Balance, and the Core and More Sculpting classes.

The Uptown Suite

Courtesy of Kailey Quine

In previous weddings, other members of the bridal party and I stayed have always stayed at a hotel the night before. However, often times there was never really enough space or beds for everyone, so a few people had to sleep on the couch. Trust me, it is never fun when you are staying in a suite at a 4-star to 5-star hotel and end up sleeping on the couch. So, with my wedding, I wanted to avoid this situation at all costs for my bridesmaids.

The Hotel Crescent Court stood out to me as I was doing my research; because when compared to other hotels of the same caliber in the area, the Crescent had more affordable suites. To top it off, compared to the other hotels, I found that Hotel Crescent Court had suites that were more like apartments. When I read about the amenities for The Uptown Suite, I knew this was the suite that we needed. This amazing suite is two stories and includes; 2 bedrooms (each fully equipped with King sized beds and TV’s), 2.5 bathrooms, a large dining table, living area, a sun room, butlers’ pantry, coat closet, and exquisitely large landscape windows. If you are looking into a nice staycation with a few of your girlfriends, we highly recommend you look into the Uptown Suite (get the one on the 7th floor).

It’s so quiet

Photo courtesy of Hotel Crescent Court

Not enough can be said about how much I appreciate quietness. There have been so many times at other hotels where we could hear people in the halls, arguments about “lack of communication” in the room next door, and even noise from outside. Despite it’s location in the middle of Oak Lawn, we had no trouble at all with ambient city noises bothering us during the day or waking us up in the middle of the night. As far as noises in the hallway, we never heard anyone in the hallway. Really truly, the only ambient noises we could hear, were the sounds that other members of our party made as they moved around in the suite taking care of their own business. It is easy for us to conclude, that the lack of external noise was the absolute linchpin for our wonderful stay at the Hotel Crescent Court.

Stunning Interior Design

Photo courtesy of Hotel Crescent Court

Picture stunning 1920’s Art Deco Design but with a more Modern twist. You have just imagined that lovely interior of Hotel Crescent Court. The interior designer (waldrop+nichols studio, llc) has truly outdone themselves with creating one of the most welcoming designs we have ever seen. The natural lighting in the grand foyer and the guest rooms offers guests with a sense of genuine happiness as if the weight of the world has momentarily been lifted off your shoulders. We can honestly say, that (until our stay at Hotel Crescent Court) we have never experienced a hotel that has a genuine ability to call us in with its interior design saying “Come, get away from all your worries of the world and sit with us. Relax, all will be well.”


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7 Wellness Resorts Around Texas for an Escape

This post was originally written for and published on the Dallasites101 Blog. To see the original article click here.

Sometimes it easy to forget that there is more to this state than just Dallas and everything going on in the city! If you are ready for an escape for some R&R, we have gathered 7 wellness resorts around the state that are sure to help you wind down!


MIRAVAL AUSTIN

Courtesy of American Spa

MIRAVAL AUSTIN

Set only 30 minutes outside of Austin overlooking the Lake Travis, Miraval is a perfect place to retreat into your personal inner world of peace for a tranquil getaway. The property is staffed with astrologers, psychics, mystics, pilates instructors, yoga instructors, sound healers, and therapists. Unlike booking a room at a hotel, Miraval sells packages. The Miraval Ultimate Package starts at $629 per night and includes a $175 nightly credit, unlimited classes, luxurious accommodations, unlimited snacks, meals, and non-alcoholic beverages.

AUSTIN | DIRECTIONS


LAKE AUSTIN SPA RESORT

Courtesy of Lake Austin Spa Resort

LAKE AUSTIN SPA RESORT

Lake Austin Spa Resort was the #1 Texas Resort by Conde Nast Traveler in 2018 and is a great location for anyone looking for a couples getaway. This awesome facility offers a whole host of wonderful activities including: fitness and culinary classes, lectures, boating, Yoga, Meditation, Health, and many more. Other water activities include hydro-bikes, kayaks, and sculling boats. There are two types of packages that this exclusive Spa Resort offers its customers, but we recommend the Spa Refresher Package that costs $575 per person per night; a $160 spa and fitness credit per person per night, is included with this package!

AUSTIN | DIRECTIONS


HORSESHOE BAY RESORT

Courtesy of Trip Advisor

HORSESHOE BAY RESORT

Nominated for the 2019 Conde Nast Traveler Readersā€™ Choice Awards, Horseshoe Bay Resort offers quite a few unique accommodations for their guests. For sleeping accommodations, guests have the option to either stay in a hotel room or they have the option to rent a lakeside condo, villa, or private home. They have a private jet center which includes fuel services and discounts, hangar storage, vehicle rental, charter services, and more. Anyone looking for a romantic getaway, there are several fun activities for couples which includes: sunset cruises, Winery Tours, and couples massages.

HORSESHOE BAY | DIRECTIONS


DEER LAKE LODGE

Courtesy of Deer Lake Lodge

DEER LAKE LODGE

Glamping paired with a full spa and wellness facilities, Deer Lake Lodge is the perfect place for anyone looking to get far off the beaten path. Amenities includes a shop that sells CBD oils, creams, and ointments, detox and cleansing services, massages, facials, body wraps, colon hydrotherapy, harmonizing rituals, iridology, reiki, scalp therapy, ionic foot baths, private and group yoga sessions. The minimum stay is three days and two nights and guests are given the option to stay in either a cabin or a suite. Suites start at $1050 for three days and two nights. Cabins start at $1250 for three days and two nights.

MONTGOMERY | DIRECTIONS


LOST PINES RESORT & SPA

photo courtesy of Lost Pines Resort & Spa

LOST PINES RESORT & SPA

Set right outside of Austin, Lost Pines Resort and Spa is the most family-friendly resort spa on this list, with several activities that are enjoyable for adults and children alike. These activities include trapshooting, fishing excursions, tomahawk throwing, archery, equestrian, ziplining, survival skills, kayaking, and more. Some enjoyable activities geared more for adults include: Wolfdancer Golf Club, Spa Django, StayFit Gym, Stories Fine Dining, Shellers Barrelhouse Bar and Scribes Club (seasonal).

CEDAR CREEK | DIRECTIONS


CIBOLO CREEK RANCH

Courtesy of Cibolo Creek Ranch

CIBOLO CREEK RANCH

Located just East of the Chinati Mountains in Marfa, there is a highly exclusive hotel that is worth visiting at least once in your lifetime. Cibolo Creek Ranch has some fantastic amenities including wonderful ranch-style cuisine and fine wines, a pool, charging stations for your Tesla, fitness center, media room, and a private airstrip. You can even bring your best furry friend because pets are allowed everywhere on the ranch except for the dining room. Guests have the option to either rent a Fort or a Room.

MARFA | DIRECTIONS


THE JOULE

Courtesy of The Joule

THE JOULE

If you donā€™t want to leave Dallas, the Joule Hotel is a fantastic alternative! It is home to a full spa and a fitness studio (VITAL) that includes group fitness and yoga classes. Itā€™s the spa that takes the cake though – youā€™ll head down to a cave-like set up with impeccable facilities that include a special rainfall shower, steam room, sauna, coed pool with lounge chairs, a relaxation room with tea and snacks and some of the best treatments in town.

DALLAS | DIRECTIONS

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5 Beautiful French Chateaus that are Perfect for Destination Weddings

After my engagement, I seriously considered having a destination wedding. Of course, my dream venue for a destination wedding would have been a unique (yet stunning) French chateau. This would allow my guests and I to spend a ween on vacation, then celebrate the end of the week with a wedding. Eventually, we decided to stay in the Dallas area for my wedding. But I did want to share the five chateaus that I was considering prior to making the decision to stay in Dallas. Even if you are not planning a destination wedding, you can still rent theses Chateaus as a holiday/vacation home.

Chateau de Jaques

This stunning property is a fantastic place for anyone who is looking for something small and private. The chateau can comfortably accommodate up to 32 guests. There are so many sights for you and your guests to see during your stay at Chateau de Jaques. The Chateau itself is on roughly 24 acres of land which includes lush gardens, wooded areas, and a courtyard. For those who love the outdoors, there are cycle and equine trails nearby. The Marne River is also about a 15 minute walk from the Chateau. For those who are looking more for the hustle and bustle of a city, the stunning town of Chalons-en-Champagne is a 10 minute drive away. There are several fun activities for you and your guests in Chalons-en-Champagne, but definitely try Caves Joseph Peirre (also function as a champagne house), a canal cruise, Musee des Beaux-Arts et d’Archeologie, Les Jards, Circus Performances, and Basilique Notre-Dame de l’Epine. It is also worth noting that Paris is just an hour train ride away.

Max. Number of Guests: 32

Estimated Price: $33/guest/night

Region: Champagne

Chateau des Joyaux

Chateau des Joyaux is perhaps one of the most notable chateaus in the Loire Valley. The ornate appearance and decor makes the beautiful chateau look like it came straight out of the pages of your favorite fairy tale story. For anyone who is looking for a fantasy dream wedding, the Chateau des Joyaux is available to rent as a holiday home and can accommodate you, your significant other, and 48 of your closest friends and family. There are many things for you and your guests to do during your stay. The Loire Valley is home to some of the best wine in the world. While you are there, be sure to take advantage of the A La Francaise! Loire Valley wine tour!

Max. Number of Guests: 50

Estimated Price: $149.68 (if 50 people go)

Region: Loire Valley

The Exclusive Village

Why get married in a French Chateau, when you can get married in a fully renovated 13th Century French Village? This lovely village is complete with 14 houses (with modern pluming and Wifi access), a church, private garden, and a vaulted reception room.This venue is a fantastic option for you and your wedding guests, because the separate houses will allow your guests to have more privacy should they need it. The Exclusive Village is located in Gascony which is the most rural region of France. However, there are somethings to do. About a 20 minute drive from the village down of Condom, France. For activities to do there are several options available Condom; try the distillery tour at Chateau le Courrejot, a boat tour with Gascogne Navigation, and Le Padoue Bar and Restaurant.

Max. Number of Guests: 80

Estimated Price: Inquire with the Website

Region: Midi-Pyrenees

Chateau Crystal

This lovely estate is located on 105 stunning acres. The estate is large enough for just about any desired outdoor activity, including: Hot Air Ballooning, Hunting, Cycling and Equine. For your guests who enjoy fishing, there is a 22 acre pond on the estate property that is perfect for their favorite activity. If you have guests that are looking more for the hustle and bustle of a big city, Angers is just a 20 minute drive! While you are there be sure to visit Musee Jean-Lurcat (12-century hospital), Musee des Beaux-Arts, the Angers Cathedral, Jardin des Plantes, and Carre Cointreau (Triple Sec Distillery).

Max. number of Guests: 38

Estimated Price: $44.84/night/person (if all 38 people)

Region: Loire Valley

Chateau le Duc and Gite

This beautiful chateau encompasses all the elegance of french decor, yet has the coziness of home. You and your guests will feel secluded on the 12 acres of land. There are plenty of activities to do on the estate including Badminton Tennis, and barbecue. If there is anyone who loves to golf, there is a golf course in Excideuil that is about 15 minutes away. Or if you would like to include a wine tasting as part of your nuptial festivities, Chateau le Duc can host a wine tasting for you.

Max. Number of Guests: 43

Estimated Price: Inquire with the Website

Region: Dordogne

All these holiday Chateaus were chosen organically found on Oliver’s Travels

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The Most Instagramable Hotel in Austin, TX – The Driskill

Photo Courtesy of The Driskill Hotel

Happy First Day of Autumn! It is now officially my favorite season of the year! Autumn is my favorite season for many reasons! I love the fall colors, the weather (Texas weather during Fall is glorious), Texas Tech Football, and of course the holidays.

Thanksgiving is easily one of my favorite holidays during the Autumn Season! With fall finally upon us, it is officially time to start solidifying our travel plans for the Thanksgiving Holiday. This Thanksgiving, my boyfriend and I will be traveling to the lovely and bohemian Texas Capital (Austin, TX). We are primarily visiting so that we can attend the Texas v. Texas Tech Football Game on November 29th. But I digress, I am super thrilled to visit the city of Austin! During our trip, he and I will be staying at the amazing Driskill Hotel.

Perfect Location for Instagram

Originally opened in 1886 by Cattle Barron, Jesse Driskill; the hotel has seen some amazing events and A-class guests (including President Lyndon B. Johnson) over the last 130(+) years. Currently, the hotel part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. The Hyatt has made the conscious decision to stay true to the hotel’s original Romanesque Revival Architecture. The Interior Decor (expertly designed by Volz & Associates, Inc.) is an absolutely stunning and ornate Art Deco Design that includes many period-motifs. This makes the Driskill the perfect location for any Instagramable moment, especially: marriage proposals, wedding pictures, family photos, and more!

Rooms & Amenities

Photo Courtesy of The Driskill Hotel

My boyfriend and I will be staying in a Balcony room, which is one of the premium guest rooms available (aside from the Suites). Along with traditional room amenities (i.e. flat screen TV, Wifi, In-room Safe, and several more); this room also includes fantastic view of historic 6th Street in the Heart of Downtown Austin. Other amenities include, museum-quality art work, live music every night, upscale dining, and traditions such as afternoon tea. Nightly turn-down services are also available for anyone wanting to add a little more romance to their stay.

1886 Cafe & Bakery

The 1886 Cafe & Bakery is open daily from 6:30 AM to 2:30 PM and serves breakfast and lunch all morning and early afternoon. Executive Chef, Christian Aptez, delights his patrons with fantastic breakfast options, including: Austin Hot Fried Chicken, Smoked Salmon & Bagel, Hangover Omlet, and the vegan Texas-Shaped Waffle. Some lunch options include Poblano Corn Soup (which is gluten-free), Arugula & Melon Salad, Turkey B.L.T Croissant, and the Hangover Burger. To drink, be sure to try their The Breezy One Cocktail.

Photo Courtesy of The Driskill Hotel

Every Second Monday at 6:00 PM, the 1886 Cafe & Bakery hosts the Craft Series at 1886. This series offers guests four craft beers accompanied by a four course dinner all for the great price of $45.

The Driskill Bar

Named one of the Top 10 Bars in America by USA Today and Best Bar in Texas by Southern Living, The Driskill Bar is a wonderful gathering spot for travelers over the age of 21. Happy Hour is from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM Daily. If you are looking for a few bites to eat: try their Margarita Flatbread or Smoked French Dip. Or after a long day, guests can relax in a large lounge chair, listen to some live music (which is offered nightly), socialize with some new friends, all while sipping on the The Batini (the Official Drink of Austin).

This post was originally written by Kelsey Andriot and posted on The Chronicles of Kelsey Blog.

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8 Glamping Getaways Around Texas to Visit

The following article was first published on Dallasites 101 Blog. To read the complete article click here.

Glamping has become a fun and unique way to relax and enjoy nature but without the hassle and discomfort of traditional camping.  The term (ā€œglampingā€) was first coined in the United Kingdom in 2005 for luxurious, resort-like camping. And luckily, it was carried through to the US, with our own State of Texas offering some wonderful glamping spots that are perfect for a great solo trip or couples getaway. Here are 8 of our favorite!


Photo courtesy of El Cosmico

EL COSMICO

The gold standard of glamping in Texas, and maybe the entire US, El Cosmico is a bucket-list getaway. From DIY Self Tent camping to renting updated trailers from the 1970ā€™s, to Sioux-TeePee Rentals, Mongolian Yurt rentals, African Safari Tent Rentals, and even short-term apartment rentals, they have the perfect accommodations for any traveler with any level of ā€œroughing-itā€ experience. And the flat, desert backdrop that is Marfa makes the entire experience unforgettable. You more than likely have seen this place on Instagram, or have heard of some of its sister hotels like the Hotel San Jose or Austin Motel, all owned by the Bunkhouse Group, that does an amazing job of curating unique and retro hospitality experiences.

El Cosmico also hosts the annual Trans-Pecos Festival of Music + Love, coming up on September 26-29 this year!


Courtesy of Collective Retreats

COLLECTIVE RETREATS: MONTESINO RANCH

The Collective Retreats is a national glamping brand aimed at offering romantic getaways for couples! And one of their locations is in the Hill Country at Montesino Ranch. For $750 per night, you can treat yourself and your significant other to some really fun treats; including a luxurious 60 minute in-tent couples massage, reservations for dinner at the on-site Farm-to-Table restaurant at the Three Peaks Lodge on your first night, along with several other romantic treats. The Collective Retreats also has other fun activities that are great for couples and include: Wine Tour Wimberly, Electric Bike Tours, and a ā€œBeer, Brining & Branding Culinary Classā€ just to name a few.


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GERONIMO CREEK RETREAT

Geronimo Creek Retreat is the perfect retreat for any group of friends looking for accomodations near New Braunfels. They have several options for sleeping accommodations including Treehouses, TeePees, Cabins, and the Homestead Haus. But we like the Treehouses best – they can fit up to eight people and have quick access to Geronimo Creek where guests have 24-hour access to the kayaks and paddleboards. Should the group decide to stay-in for the night, you can challenge your friends to a game of foosball or shuffleboard, or just hang out and have drinks by the firepit. If the group is going out, Schlitterbahn is a 24 minute drive and Gruene Hall is a 30 minute drive.


Courtesy of Walden Retreats

WALDEN RETREATS

With two large safari tents overlooking the beautiful Texas Hill Country and the Pedernales River, Walden Retreat is the perfect destination for any romantic couple looking for some much needed privacy. Each tent includes a King-Sized bed, Clawfoot Bathtub, an outdoor deck, a private fire pit, and several other luxurious amenities. If you and your significant other are looking for other activities during the day some fun activities we recommend the 290 Wines Trail, visiting Fredericksburg, and Garrison Brothers Bourbon.


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SINYA ON LONE MAN CREEK

This is a great isolated glamping site with some wonderful amenities that make it feel like home. The lovely Safari-inspired getaway includes some wonderful features; including a hot tub, hammock, a stone patio, and fire pit. Also, if you are looking to go swimming during the hot summer months, Sinya is surprisingly close to some local swimming holes including Jacobs Well (16 minutes) and The Blue Hole (8 minutes).


Courtesy of Basecamp Terlingua

BASECAMP TERLINGUA

At least once in your lifetime, Basecamp Terlingua is a destination-must. They have several great options for sleeping accommodations, including cabins, tee-pees, and lotus tents. But we recommend the Bubbles. The Bubble is an inflated dome, where the top half or the dome is perfectly clear, allowing you and your travel partner to admire the rustic beauty of the West Texas desert by day or stargaze by night, all while lounging in a luxurious queen bed. And it is all for the price of $199 per night.


WAHWAHTAYSEE RESORT

Three beautifully designed safari tents are the perfect place to visit during the hot summer months because they have quick access to several beaches along the San Marcos River. Each ā€œtentā€ is 650 square feet and includes all the luxurious amenities of home; including hardwood floors, fully equipped kitchenette, large indoor shower, and a luxurious king-sized bed. For activities guests have several options including visiting the 150 year old pecan orchard is within walking distance. Or if you would like to float the river, the Texas State Tube Rental is a 16 minute drive west.


THE GETAWAY (COMING SOON)

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THE GETAWAY (COMING SOON)

Coming soon in the Piney Woods Region of Texas, there will be a brand new Glamping site called The Getaway. It is a fun and unique concept, using tiny cabins as a new way to get out of the overconnected city life, retreat to the woods and unplug. The Getaway has all the luxuries of home such as indoor plumbing and A/C. Each Tiny Cabin also includes a firepit with a gill rack, making them perfect to try newly found Pinterest Campfire recipes.

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