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    Nobu Hotel Los Cabos

    Nobu Hotel Los Cabos

    Area: Los Cabos, Mexico

    Vibe: Beach

    Style: Sleek and laid-back

    Fun Fact: With chef Nobu as a founder, expect amazing food

    Don’t Miss: Lounging by one of the resort’s four pools

    When you’re ready for a beachfront escape, here’s a new choice to top your list: Nobu Hotel Los Cabos. The first hotel in Mexico for the Nobu Hospitality team— whose founders are chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert Deniro and actor/producer Meir Teper—the resort offers everything from amazing dining (of course) to multiple pools to lots of wellness options, all against a stunning ocean backdrop.

    Location: Situated on the Baja Peninsula in Mexico, this resort in Cabo San Lucas is on El Suspiro beach—and has the amazing views that you’d expect from its waterfront location. It’s located inside the Diamante complex, which includes a world-renowned golf course and lots more—and it will take you about 45 minutes to drive to the hotel from Los Cabos International Airport. Once there, you’re about half an hour from most of the off-site activities and attractions, including the famous El Arco and the marina.

    Vibe: Sleek and sophisticated, this design-forward hotel offers lots in the way of, as they describe it, laid-back luxury. Expect lots of wood, stone and wood tones, all against a neutral color palette. There are 200 guest rooms and suites, with some overlooking the water and others with views of the nearby golf course. The “deluxe room swim-up,” which opens right up to the pool as well as the Zen Suite and Sake Suite, both of which have ocean views. The two-bedroom Nobu Suite, which is over 2,600 square feet, boasts a chef’s kitchen, pool table and wrap-around terrace that looks onto the water. Pro-tip: When deciding where to stay, head to the hotel’s website where you can take a 360-degree tour of the room or suite and really get a feel for each.

    Why We Love It: You’ll find everything you need to relax at this hotel—from great pools to amazing dining options. Let’s start with the dining. With renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa as one of the founders of Nobu Hospitality, you can expect that the food will be top notch. At Nobu Restaurant you’ll find the Japanese fusion cuisine that Nobu is famous for, as well as two bars, all with the ocean in the background. Malibu Farm is a farm-to-table restaurant offering organic choices for all three meals, and at Pacific Restaurant you’ll find “fine dining Mexican concept with a-la-carte service and traditional taco & mezcal pairings.” Rounding things out are Cortez Swim-Up Bar and Playabar, offering drinks and food poolside. Speaking of pools, there are four at the resort, including an infinity pool. Other amenities to check out: On the wellness end, the spa includes a salon and a fitness center with yoga and spinning classes. Plus, there are lots of other activities, like beach volleyball, a Kids Club that offers yoga, origami and face painting for the younger members of your group, as well as golf, including access to the nearby Diamante: The Dunes course.

    Why Go F1rst: If you book with First in Service, you’ll receive a complimentary breakfast for two throughout your stay as well as one complimentary lunch for two. Plus: early check-in and late check-out and an upgrade, if available.

    F1S Tips: You won’t have to leave your four-legged family members at home: the hotel is pet-friendly and offers amenities like pads and bowls.

    Conrad Washington, DC

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    Conrad Washington, DC

    Area: Downtown Washington, DC

    Vibe: City-cool

    Style: City

    Fun Fact: The restaurant’s chefs competed on Top Chef

    Don’t Miss: The Sakura Club

    There’s a new spot in DC to make your home base while visiting the city: Conrad Washington, DC. The flagship property for this high-end Hilton line of hotels, the Conrad is part of CityCenter DC, a development in the center of the nation’s capital, featuring high-end shopping and food options. The Conrad also offers its own signature restaurant and lounge with amazing city views, as well as its one-of-a-kind Sakura Club, which offers exclusive access to unique amenities.

    Location: Here’s what makes the location of this hotel distinct: It’s part of CityCenter DC, a hub for high-end shopping and dining, including designer stores like Gucci and Hermès alongside must-try restaurants like Centrolina and Momofuku. And, with its central location smack in the center of Downtown DC, the Conrad is steps away from many DC landmarks: The White House, Smithsonian museums, and National Mall are all around a 15-minute walk and the National Portrait Gallery is a five minute walk. Plus, the hotel is about a 40-minute ride from Dulles International Airport, and just 10 minutes from Washington National Airport.

    Vibe: Stylish and modern, The Conrad has all the trappings of a great city hotel: Incredible views from floor-to-ceiling windows, sleek, spacious rooms and an unexpected contemporary atmosphere enhanced by elevated terraces and a curated art collection. The 360 rooms feature a sleek, natural décor, while at the same time showcase the intuitive technology that is a staple of the Conrad brand, with smart lighting and streaming options for the HDTVs. Guests can opt for either a deluxe room or suite, the largest of which is the Presidential Suite. Clocking in at 2,405 square feet, it boasts its own kitchen and dining room, gas fireplace, office area and reading nook, and a custom baby grand piano made by DC native, Warren Shadd. Should you opt for one of the Park View or specialty suites, you’ll also receive access to the Sakura Club, a private club on the 10th floor that offers meals made by a private chef, whiskey tastings, a concierge service to help with restaurant reservations, and more.

    Why We Love It: As the Americas flagship for the Conrad brand, the Conrad Washington, DC features a wealth of incredible assets that truly make it stand out. Not only is the central location fantastic for travelers looking to explore DC, but the offerings within the hotel are fabulous in their own right. Here, you’ll find the hotel’s signature restaurant, Estuary. Led by Top Chef and James Beard Award finalists, brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, Estuary features a menu with dishes that reimagine the traditional flavors of the Chesapeake Bay. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch are served at the restaurant, and there are two distinct private dining rooms and a prominent bar and lounge, as well. Another must-try: Summit, aptly named for its spot on the rooftop of the Conrad. Along with creative cocktails, Summit offers inventive small plates (avocado fries, anyone?), all with sprawling views of the nation’s capital. If you’re hosting an event or a party, consider renting the terrace event space, also on the rooftop of the Conrad. If hosting outdoors isn’t the right vibe for your event, the Conrad also features 32,000 square feet of meeting space, including three conference rooms, two ballrooms and two executive boardrooms, all elevated above ground level and all featuring natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows.

    Why Go F1RST: If you book through First in Service, you’ll receive continental breakfast for two every day of your stay, a $100 hotel credit, a welcome amenity and early-check in/late-check out as well as an upgrade, if available.

    F1S Tips: Choosing a room with Sakura Club access really does have its perks: Afternoon tea? Cuisines from around the world? 24-hour access? All included—plus lots more.

    The Lodge at Blue Sky

    The Lodge at Blue Sky

    Area: Wanship, Utah

    Vibe: Rustic luxury

    Style: Ranch

    Fun Fact: The Creek Houses are for adults only

    Don’t Miss: Heli-skiing, heli-snowboarding—even heli-yoga 

    Nature lovers, take note: If you want both the great outdoors and lux accommodations, then The Lodge at Blue Sky is the place for you. Set in the mountains of Utah, the 3,500-acre ranch offers everything from great dining to rejuvenating spa treatments to tons of fantastic activities—all set against a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop.

    Location: This rural resort is set in the middle of the Uinta Mountain Range and Wasatch Mountain Range in Wanship, Utah. It’ll take you about 45 minutes to reach the lodge from Salt Lake City International Airport and it’s easily accessible by car. If you’re interested in seeing any nearby cities, Park City is about half an hour from the resort, while Salt Lake City is about 40 minutes away.

    Vibe: Peaceful and bucolic, the lodge offers three distinct types of accommodations: Sky Lodge, Earth Suites, and Creek Houses. At Sky Lodge, there are 19 suites, all of which have private terraces, high ceilings and contemporary décor, with lots of wood tones and neutral colors. The two-bedroom signature suites clock in at 2,240-square-feet, and are each spread out over two floors, offering separate dining and living rooms, as well as a large terrace. For a different feel, there are the Earth Suites. They are “designed as a natural extension of the land by utilizing locally-sourced limestone and living grass roofs”—and all have a private terrace and outdoor fireplace. Lastly—and only for the adults—are the one-bedroom Creek Houses, which are located right along Alexander Creek and feature floor-to-ceiling windows, a terrace, and more.

    Why we love it: There’s so much to experience at this resort, particularly when it comes to the wide variety of activities. And we really do mean a wide variety: There’s fly fishing, biking, horseback riding, an 18-stand sporting clay course, and of course, miles and miles of hiking—not to mention painting, photography, and so much more. There are a number of ski resorts in the area, including at the nearby Park City Mountain Resort, which offers a private lounge exclusively for Lodge guests. But if you’re really looking to take things to the next level, ask about the heli-program. Whether you choose heli-skiing, heli-mountain biking or even heli-yoga, you’ll be able to take a helicopter ride to experience nature in a totally new way. On the dining front, there are eight different options, including a few private dining options, as well as The Bar + Lounge, The Refectory, and Yuta. At Yuta, much of the food is locally and sustainably sourced, with ingredients like eggs and honey coming straight from the resort’s farm, Gracie’s Farm. Then, to truly unwind, head to the Edge Spa at Blue Sky, which overlooks Alexander Creek and offers treatments like “Back in the Saddle Massage” and “High Whisky Journey,” which starts with a whiskey, salt and sage foot soak. Plus, there’s a heated pool, meditation classes, and more.

    Why Go F1rst: If you book through First in Service, you’ll receive a $50 breakfast credit for two every day of your stay and a $100 resort credit, as well as early check-in/late check-out and a room upgrade, if available.

    F1S Tips: Yogis in particular will appreciated the special yoga experiences the lodge offers, including “yoga in silks” ”snowshoe and yoga” and “heli-yoga and meditation”—plus free yoga classes four days a week.

    Belmond Cap Juluca

    BELMOND CAP JULUCA

    Maundays Bay, Anguilla

    Waterfront escape

    Beach

    Get around the resort in turquoise VW vans!

    Being able to “swim to breakfast”

    Beach lovers, rejoice: The Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla recently re-opened after extensive renovations—and the result is what vacations are made of. That is: A white sand beach, stunning water views, villas with private pools and seafood served sea-side, with the chance to unplug and relax against a truly gorgeous background.

    Location:

    Just 20 minutes from the airport, Belmond Cap Juluca occupies an enviable location right on Maundays Bay, a stretch of turquoise beach on the western side of the island. The resort is Belmond’s second property in the Caribbean, with the first on the island of nearby Saint Martin.

    Vibe:

    The property’s description of its “barefoot luxury” couldn’t be more accurate—and can be felt throughout the resort, from the green-tiled pool to the limestone floors to the 108 rooms and suites, which all overlook the ocean. The rooms, suites and villas are outfitted in whites and grey and other neutrals, with pops of blue and green, which all feature a private terrace (equipped with lounge chairs that are just begging to be napped on), while others allow you to walk straight out to the beach.

    Why we love it:

    Let’s start with the colors: From the white Greco-Moorish buildings to the blue of the water to the botanical designs and greenery throughout the resort, the surroundings alone can quickly transport you to a place of pure chill. Then, add everything else: While relaxing can easily get top billing, lots other cool offerings abound. There are pedal bikes and turquoise VW vans to take you around the resort; to relax and re-set, there’s a spa, The Arawak Spa (with its own pool!), and 24-hour fitness center; and a resident yoga instructor to lead classes throughout the day. Plus, there’s a whole slew of activities to tug at the heartstrings of water lovers, like kayaking and snorkeling, and sports fanatics, like golf and basketball. When it comes to drinking and dining, there are four options: the signature Pimms, which offers a chance to try local eats, the Cap Shack with its vintage food truck, where you can sip on a cocktail while you dig your feet into the sand, as well as Maundays Club, serving Peruvian tapas and Cip’s by Cipriani.

     

    Why you should Go F1RST:

    When you’re ready to jet off to the beach, booking through F1S will earn you a welcome treat, breakfast for two, $100 food and beverage credit, and complimentary upgrade at check-in, if available.

    Four Seasons Montreal

    FOUR SEASONS MONTREAL

    Montreal, Canada

    Stylish and sophisticated

    City

    Trainer Harley Pasternak runs a 24-hour gym

    Having a drink on the “all-season” terrace

    Stylish city life comes calling at this new Four Seasons property in Montreal, located at the heart of the famed Golden Square Mile neighborhood. And it caters to some of the best aspects of an urban escape: a great location, top-notch dining, and of course, amazing city views throughout

    Location:

    This 18-floor building is the new centerpiece of the “Golden Square Mile” neighborhood in Montreal, which is also where you’ll find The Montreal Museum of Art, McGill University and lots of shopping and dining options. It’ll take about 30 minutes or so to reach the hotel from Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport—and the hotel can set up transportation (think limo or rental car) for you.

    Vibe:

    You’ll get major sophisticated city vibes at this property, which is decked out in a modern sensual design, with touches of gold, marble, and dark wood throughout the 169 rooms and suites. All the rooms are on the upper levels (so floors six through 12), which means you’ll get amazing views from the floor-to-ceiling windows. The largest of the suites, the Presidential Suite, has two bedrooms, an 8-person dining table and a whirlpool bathtub.

    Why we love it:

    With so much to do when visiting a city—especially one like Montreal—it’s easy to see your hotel as just a place to sleep. But that’s not the case with this Four Seasons property. And one of its standout features is one of our very favorites: The “Social Square,” located on the third floor lobby and totally open-concept. What will you find? Let’s start with the food. Chef Marcus Samuelsson—of Harlem’s Red Rooster fame—has expanded his offerings with the signature MARCUS Restaurant + Terrace, as well as MARCUS Lounge + Bar. At the gorgeously-designed restaurant (there’s lots of white marble and greenery), which offers all three meals plus weekend brunch, expect lots of seafood and locally-sourced options. But the real highlight is the terrace, which is open all year, giving you a chance to see and experience the outdoors even deep into the Canadian winter. Shopping is also part of the Social Square, including an entrance to Holt Renfrew Ogilvy department store. And since walking around the city can get tiring, when it’s time to relax you can also retreat to the hotel. The 8-room spa offers everything from treatments like the Rose Gold Hydrating Facial to other features, like Kneipp Water Therapy. Also on the wellness front, there’s a 24-hour fitness center, with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak at the helm, and an indoor pool. Hosting an event? The ballroom can hold up to 450 people.

    Why Go F1RST:

    When you book with First in Service, you’ll get breakfast for two, a $100 food and beverage credit—perfect for trying the restaurant—an upgrade, if available, as well as a welcome note at check-in.

    Culture and Connection in Cuba

    Culture and Connection in Havana, Cuba

    First in Service co-founder and CEO, Fernando Gonzalez, spends a long weekend soaking up the history, architecture and food scene in the Caribbean Havana.

    From the moment I landed in Havana, I knew there was something special about the city. Open to U.S. travelers just a few short years ago, Cuba is one of those places I’ve always wanted to visit—and Havana was the ideal starting point. As a Cuban-American myself, the country is a gateway to my own family’s story—and an experience I couldn’t wait to share with my wife, Awilda, and our daughter, Sofia.

    OLD HAVANA

    Appreciating the architecture

    I’m an architecture and design aficionado, and the sheer beauty of the buildings throughout the city was unparalleled—I was blown away. From the colors to the architectural elements, the detail and creativity that went into crafting each one was evident. Walking through the streets of Havana is a great way to take it all in—and booking a tour guide to provide historical context and background information makes it even better.

    Taking in the culture

    At 13, my daughter Sofia is an avid traveler—she’s been to some 30 countries—but this trip allowed us to take in a culture that was at once familiar and totally new, and see the country from a totally different perspective. From our home base at the Hotel Saratoga in Old Havana, we were able to see and experience much of what makes the city tick. That included going on a tour with a music historian to learn more about the history of Cuban music, visiting amazing art galleries, and shopping at places like Clandestina, a shop where almost all the wares are exclusively designed in the country.

    Savoring the cuisine

    If you’re a food lover, this is the place to be: the burgeoning culinary scene in Havana is tremendous. In the course of our five-day visit, we ate at about ten different restaurants and they were all excellent. Some to consider on your trip: Al Carbon in Old Havana, El Cocinero, and Otramanera in Havana’s Playa neighborhood. Since we were there over New Year’s, we also enjoyed an amazing gala and dinner at the Plaza de la Catedral.

    Overall, if the goal of traveling is not only to enjoy the food and music of a new place, but also to experience the culture and open your eyes to what it has to offer, than going to Cuba—and Havana, in particular—allowed us to do just that. I know my family and I are already planning to visit again soon.

     

    Rosewood Bangkok

    ROSEWOOD BANGKOK

    Bangkok, Thailand

    Urban chic

    City

    “Lennon’s” speakeasy holds 6,000 vinyl records

    The 10-story indoor waterfall

    Urban meets ultra-luxury at the newest Rosewood property in Thailand, this time in the city of Bangkok. Sleek and contemporary, with nods to Thai culture and art throughout, the centrally positioned property is changing the Bangkok skyline—and offers lots for guests to do while there.

    Location:

    Located less than 40 minutes from both international airports, the 30-story hotel is right in Bangkok’s busy business and shopping area—so expect lots of lux shops to visit post-meetings. For those who want to check out other areas of the city, there’s direct access to the Ploenchit BTS Skytrain from the hotel, too, making it quick to get to and from the hotel.

     

    Vibe:

    If you’re looking for a sophisticated and chic hotel with amenities that are sure to surprise, this 159-room property is a great choice. Outfitted in neutral hues—think whites and creams, with the occasional burst of blue or other bright color—there are nods to that feeling of “home,” with books and art on display in-room. The property also offers suites with up to two bedrooms, as well as three houses, which come equipped with their own pools. (An early morning dip sounds like a great way to start the day, if you ask us.) But there’s also a serene vibe—and both the long driveway that greets you upon entrance and the 10-story indoor waterfall (and other water attributes you’ll find) are examples of this, not an easy feat in a metropolis of 8 million people.

     

    Why we love it:

    Along with the calming nature of the space, there are features throughout the property that really set it apart from others. For instance, every floor has a different footprint—so one might have just one room, and another floor might have 12 rooms. Another example? Lennon’s, the speakeasy at the top of the hotel. Sitting on the 30th floor, with amazing floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the city, not only do you enter from a “secret” door as you would in the 1920s, but Lennon’s takes the concept to a whole new level, with over 6,000 vinyl records to choose from. Paired with vintage cocktails and era-specific Cuban cigars, it’s a nod to old-fashioned fun, but with a modern twist. There are three other dining destinations on the property—including the signature Nan Bei, which serves authentic Chinese cuisine. (When you visit, take in the unique and stylish light features in each of the restaurants—they are fantastic.) Art in general is an important aspect of the property: There is work by Thai artists, including Preecha Thaothong and Pinaree Sanpitak, as well as “Art Connection,” a rotating exhibit. You’ll also find an indoor-outdoor saltwater pool, 24-hour fitness studio and Sense, A Rosewood Spa, which offers Thai specialties. Plus, if you’re there on business, there are multiple meeting venues—from private dining rooms to spaces for large crowds of up to 200.

     

    Why you should Go F1RST:

    As part of the Rosewood Elite Program—a private, invitation-only program—booking through First in Service means you’ll receive complimentary breakfast daily, a $100 food and beverage credit, 15% savings on spa menu at Sense, a room upgrade if available, and a welcome amenity. Rooms include Frette linens, housekeeping services twice a day, and many offer amazing views of the city.