Posts filed under "Hotels"

Baby's First Swim... a la mode.

Did you know "a la mode" means "in the current style or fashion?" While I may actually prefer the Americanized version that involves a mound of ice cream being sat alongside- or on top- of something. I mean, how did that become the term for  adding ice cream to a hot dessert? In the current fashion of... childhood obesity? Not sure... but I'm thankful someone made it happen. I'm also thankful that my dear friend, Kyla, snapped these pictures of Viola having her first swim...

in an infiniti pool....

.... at a gorgeous chateau sat amongst a vineyard in Southern France.

That, my friend, is swimming in style. If we keep up these kind of moves, this baby's first words are going to be "Treat Yo'self."

Moving beyond the ridiculousness of this girl's short life, can I once again sing the praises of this gorgeous chateau? If you missed it, my full review is here. You can go check it out while I stare out the window at the grey skies of London bemoaning the pseudo-summer. {Yes, the fairy tale is over and we are back to living in reality!}


*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy.

Beginner's Manual for Staying In An {Italian Villa}

When we planned this blogger hen-do, we knew it had to have a supreme backdrop. With us all coming from different places in Europe, we knew that most any decent place within the reaches of Ryan Air was our play ground. So we settled on Tuscany. Megan, our bride-to-be, had never been, and as a wedding gift to her, I thought she should experience the greatness that is Italy. And, as you may be realizing, I have issues with spending any free time I have there. Really bad issues. So Liz found us an amazing villa on *AirBnB, we paid the deposit, packed our bags, and away we went. If you are looking for an affordable place to rent in Tuscany, this might be your spot. It has four bedrooms,

two and a half bathrooms, large common areas,

an updated kitchen perfect for making big meals,

and, most importantly, a pool set among an olive grove.

It took a lot, I mean, a lot to post a picture of me in a swimsuit next to tiny Megan. The other great thing is that it's about 15 minutes away from my favorite place in the world, Lucca. I have highlights from Florence & Cinque Terre to come,  but for now, enjoy the quick trip to our temporary piece of heaven.

To read the more tragic & real start to our trip, head over to Liz or Megan's blogs for the recount. They wrote out the stories so well, I'll leave it up to them to give you the full picture. {Read my review for renting an affordable house in France here.}


*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

**if you haven't used AirBNB, use this link. We both save money. Win-win.

Posted on September 29, 2012 and filed under "Hotels", "Italy", "travel", italy, florence.

Pack Your Bags: {Classy} St. Andrews

If you've read this blog for a little while,

you might have learned that there are certain places

that I kinda get obsessed with after visiting.

And when that happens,

 I visit them again...

and again...

and again.

St. Andrews in Scotland is one of those special places.

This famous town was listed on the first itinerary I ever had,

so, site unseen, I showed up and spent the day exploring the tiny coastal town.

And ever since that random day,

 it's become one of my favorite spots in the UK.

Since I'm typically there with students, 

I experience the town through the eyes (& budget) of a student....

but last week, I went with my parents

and got to experience the town through their eyes.... and budget.

All of that lead up to say:

we stayed at the

St Andrews Old Course Hotel

and it was freakin' awesome.

{Oh yeah, I'm classy and belong in luxury hotels, y'all.}

A few things to know about the famous hotel:

It's owned by Kohler.

Yeah, like the water faucets.

While this seems weird, it results in the hotel having

amazing tubs and showers in every room

and one of

the most amazing spas

I have ever been to in my life.

{Use of the thermal spa is free for hotel guests.}

I lierally sat in one of the whirlpools and thought:

I feel like a Roman at the baths.

And when we sat in the rooftop hot tub

as the sun set over the coast

drinking my chamomile,

I felt exceptionally fancy.

The breakfast served at the hotel is amazing.

Order some waffles

and tell me if you've ever had better.

You can't. 

It's impossible...

because they are actually, believe it or not, Belgian

and have the yummy sugar pearls in the batter.

Oh my.

Regardless of if you are staying in the hotel or not,

you can come eat at the resort's pub, 

The Jigger Inn.


the cute little white house

 tucked between the golf course & the hotel.

It's well-priced, 

the service is really great,

and the freshly caught haddock, for the fish & chips, is completely legit.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly,

free on-demand movies in your room.

I totally veg'ed out after dinner

watching movie after movie

in our enormous, American-sized bed

cradled by an obscene amount of fluffy pillows.

So this is my instagram-level tour

and review of our stay at The Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews.

Overall, it's a great hotel that would make the perfect setting

for a trip to St. Andrews... if you can make the splurge.

{It would be hard to imagine being disappointed if you did.}

Wait for tomorrow when I take you on a drool fest

throughout the rest of town and our stay

with the pictures I took on my "real" camera.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy.

**follow me on Instagram. Username: aspiringkennedy

Posted on September 18, 2012 and filed under "Hotels", "St. Andrews", "scotland", "travel", scotland, travel.

Beginner's Manual For Staying In A {French Manoir}

When our friends, Anthony & Kellee, planned a trip over here,

we wanted to do something that would get us out of the city...

so I started combing through the interwebs for private home rentals in France.

There were some amazingly gorgeous places out there- for about €12,500 a week.

They looked like the place where Eva Longoria + Tony Parker got married,

 making them completely amazing... and totally unaffordable.

Somehow I hopped around the internet and found this place:

Le Manoir Champfreau.

It was €200 a night for the entire, three bedroom home.

We emailed the link back & forth wondering if it was too good to be true.

Well, thankfully we went for it.

And when we rolled through the main gate together,

we realized we had, indeed, hit the jack pot.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

I present to you

Le Manoir Champfreau.

{Commonly confused with "the best place on earth.}

I can't recommend it more.

There are three residences within the property...

we stayed in the larger of the three.

Next time we'll be back to enjoy the pool!

Beyond the gorgeous setting in Saumur

and the amazing home you'll enjoy,

you'll also get the privilege of meeting Stephen & Bruce,

the proud owners of this glorious manoir.

Between their pasts as a private chef (Bruce) & butler (Steven) for a high-profile household,

you are pretty much guaranteed an amazing stay.

Bruce Riedner, Chef Extraodinaire. Bruce's spice rack (shown below).

But while you are in the midst of being pampered by these two dear American ex-pats,

 you'll also feel like you've become a part of their family.

Between Stephen sharing his knowledge of the best area croissants,

Bruce pointing you in the direction of burgers topped with foie gras,

and being invited into their own home to see recent renovations,

you are going to hate leaving these two as much as le Manoir.

If you are planning to visit France,

I hope you'll consider the quick trip out of Paris

into the gorgeous countryside of the Loire...

Forget needing to see the famous Chateaux & Wineries,

you need to go just for the experience of staying here!

I'd love to introduce you to our new friends at the Manoir...

or if you contact them, tell them you came via Aspiring Kennedy.

They'll take good care of you. :)

*If you'd like to see pictures of the kitchen, read my post here.

*All images original to Aspiring Kennedy

How Lago Maggiore's Grand Hotel Majestic Changed My Life

Sometimes I gush about the food I've eaten,
type furiously about the sites I've seen,
or plead through these simple keys for you to understand 
the necessity to add certain things in your life.

Today, I'm going to simply let these pictures do the talking...

But what I think you're going to hear is this:

The Grand Hotel Majestic on Lago Maggiore is amazing,
and Luxury Link is the best/cheapest way to stay there.

{I mean... it included two massages, free breakfasts, a 2-course lunch & a room upgrade.}

 And please take note of the ENORMOUS rose bushes on the property.
I felt like a princess getting to walk on a layer of fallen petals 
when walking around the hotel garden. 

{Those are roses, right? Any gardeners out there to correct me?}

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy 

Posted on April 21, 2012 and filed under "Hotels", "Italy", "italian lakes", "travel tips".

Visa to India

My husband has to go to India for all of July,
right as I get extremely busy with work in England.

Which would leave me in England all by myself for the month.


My inability to mooch off his adventure was causing a bit of frustration for me,
as I'd been dreaming of delicious food, elephant rides, & cheap massages for quite some time.

Luckily, we figured out a way for me to head there for the tail end of his trip this weekend...
and I had my visa appointment this morning in London.


elephant, shoes, people

As I have waded through the visa & flight planning,
it's pretty clear that I am clueless 
 in planning a vacation to India.

Can you help me?

Have any great tips for elephant farms in Goa?
Know any special people in Agra?
Work for any cool hotel chain in New Delhi?

{Even though India may be relatively cheap, wallet-friendly advice is especially welcome...}
Posted on June 20, 2011 and filed under "Hotels", "Jet Setting", "india".

Missoni Impossible.

Did you know that there is a 
Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh?

Oh you did, did you?

Well, thanks a lot for letting me know!

Because I lost my cool 
{in a really bad, Bieber-fever-school-girl, way} 
when I was walking the streets of Scotland...

and stumbled upon a doorman standing in a Missoni kilt.

It was just too much happiness without warning.

The breeding of two great loves-
fashion & travel...

is a concept so gorgeous,
I can hardly wrap my mind around it.

And with rooms starting at $239.00...
neither can my friend, Stephanie!

*images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
Posted on November 24, 2010 and filed under "Hotels", "Italy", "Jet Setting", "interiors", "scotland".

Blog Swap with Helena, A Diary of Lovely.

*Sorry if this blog is posting for the second time for you. I'm having technical difficulties... with my brain. 

It's my first blog swap, and I'm really excited to be doing it here at beautiful Lauren's Aspiring Kennedy, while Lauren is sharing her My Stuff over at my blog. Oh sorry! hi there, I'm Helena from A Diary of Lovely. Mrs. Aspiring Kennedy will soon be an expat in the UK, in Oxford and I thought it would be nice to share some of the most beautiful places to spend a couple of days and what to pack. Oxfordshire is famed for its Universities but also for its classic British beauty, Lauren is a lucky lady! The greens are incredible and the history is terrific.

What to pack? Chic and comfy. Get some nice books and enjoy the relaxing time.

Thank you Lauren, so happy to be here today!!
Posted on August 25, 2010 and filed under "England", "Hotels", "oxford", "style watch".

San Francisco Treats...

After two weeks in New York,
I'm headed in the opposite direction.
I'm headed to San Francisco today!

It's a quick jaunt,
but here's the short list of what I'll be up to
in one of the world's most iconic cities...

The perfectly chic place
to rest my pretty little head.

Lunch with a View
at The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus
over Union Square.

It will be my maiden voyage
to the famed Creme Brulee Cart...
and I kind of can't wait!

Wine country in May?
No words. Just bliss.

And yes, I will be imagining that I am in
my favorite college movie,
the entire time I'm there.

One thing this list is missing is
a great place for breakfast.
Suggestions, please!!!

Posted on May 25, 2010 and filed under "Hotels", "Jet Setting", "dessert".

Iconic NYC Style- Plaza & Paltrow

I'm having a moment.

In fact, I'm having several days of them.

This week,
Heather & I are being pampered
beyond imagination
in a gorgeous suite at the Plaza.

Fabulous hotel rooms
have quite a
bewitching effect over me.

I can't really describe it-
but something about
Italian linens and marble soaking tubs...

leaves me feeling...
so very Gwenyth.

(and if you don't read her newsletter-
you absolutely should!)

What's your favorite hotel in Manhattan?

Is there any special place you call "home"
when you are in the city?

*photos courtesy of the Plaza Hotel & Tods

Posted on May 13, 2010 and filed under "Hotels", "Jet Setting", "famous faces", "new york".

Snobs Anonymous

Before I post what may
(read: will be)
the most pathetically prissy post of all times,
I really do apologize.

However, I know I can depend on my lovely readers
for good advice
at a moment such as this.

In the midst of planning a trip to Palm Beach,
I am stuck in the middle of a huge decision.

Which hotel should I stay at?


See... It's NOT an easy choice.
I really need your help to guide my decision.
Who has been there, and who can tell me where to go?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

photos borrowed from:
Posted on April 22, 2010 and filed under "Hotels", "Jet Setting".

Aspiring... Kentucky

I'm headed to Louisville, Kentucky,

and I must admit I have never been there.

I could easily guide you through the bus routes of Italy,

but wouldn't know how to get to the nearest gas station in most US towns.

It's quite pathetic, actually.

This week, I aim to amend this offense with full appreciation for

the soulful Southern city

(and have a fabulous time, too).


In efforts to achieve the quintessential Louisville experience,

the natural choice was

a stay at

The Brown Hotel.


Apparently while at the landmark hotel,

it's only standard to indulge in a Hot Brown Sandwich.

Which came first- the chicken or the egg?

Did the hotel make the sandwich famous, or vice versa?

While we may never know,

we do know that

this sandwich was invented in 1926 by

The Brown Hotel's chef Fred K. Schmid.

It was a clever combination of

leftover turkey, white bread, loads of cheese, bacon (but, of course),

& mornay sauce

(which boasts a lineage of onion, butter, and cheese).


I will consider polishing this off as the completion of penance

to the great city of Louisville.

(more photos to come as my journey unfolds....)


Dave McGimpsey

for the photo & legendary story of the Hot Brown Sandwich

Posted on April 12, 2010 and filed under "Hotels", "Jet Setting", "Southern Charm", "delicious dish".