November 18, 2014
Filling a hotel up to the brim with 150 or so high octane people for a small conference is apparently a good thing. And the fine people at Monterey Plaza would like you to know just how good a thing that is. We here at NPS approve.
We’ll be entertaining this week in the Presidential Suite, which is a space worthy of its name. A gorgeous view of Monterey Bay, extensive balconies, windows that open. What’s not to like?
Of course all NPS readers know what we’re looking for. How’s this for a first class glass shower?
The exquisite Monterey Bay (with voiceover by my friend John).
Five showerheads for the superb space and top notch hospitality. We like.
November 14, 2014
Time Warps have their ups and downs. For example, 1925 would have been a hell of a year to visit a real speakeasy in York, PA (assuming they had some). Chances are the Yorketown Hotel was hopping. You can almost hear the din of the jazz and the flappers.
The hotel exists today in pretty much the same state as then. Elaborate. Panelled. Bedecked with chandeliers. But only ghosts of the high life remain.
There are some modern touches, like free reasonable wifi. But the downside to timewarps also applies. Room 814 is the best room in the house. Sadly, it exists in grandma style with grandma technology and grandma wallpaper. And the shower…it’s not glass. We expected that.
So if you’re looking for high style, this is not the hotel for you. Or more properly, this is not the town for you. But if you wonder how much the world has changed since the cold war ended and what it used to look like before, this place is an interesting historical study.
Three showerheads for the Yorktowne, an aging dame well past its prime. Top notch for the absolute middle of nowhere.
October 23, 2014
This is only my second time at the Hotel George (probably because it is so close to my actual home), but it already feels like home. Super friendly staff who have fun at checkin. Plus my friend Steph Vogel runs the place. You can tell his positive nature has sunk into the roots around here.
The presidential suite (or is it the royal suite??) is great (room number is 801). Nicely appointed rooms with the absolute best shower to be found in all Kimpton properties.
We’ll start with the shower. Glass and marble with a bench and its own window. Awesomeness.
When we got up to the room, we were greeted with excellent charcuterie from bistrot bis and a bottle of Côtes du Rhone. Delish. And some san pellegrino.
Here is the sitting room.
Tonight we’re off to an adventure at the Columbia Room (tucked in the back at The Passenger, and Steph is coming with us.
The Columbia Room was absolutely fantastic as always. It is an oasis of calm and a great place to relax, converse, and maybe learn a little something about great cocktails. We chose to go à la carte this visit and were ably served by JP Featherston and Tyler. The food was particularly outstanding and only outdone by the phenomenal beverages.
Drink of the night was The Archimboldi (by JP Featherston):
1 oz Blanco or Resposado Tequila
.75 oz Punt et Mes
.75 oz Rainwater Madeira
.5 oz Nux Alpina
Stir down. Strain into a coupe.
The Columbia Room is absolutely worth a visit each trip to DC. And the George is a fiver showerheads plus hotel. Magic.
October 22, 2014
I admit, we were bitchy yesterday here at NPS. And the Kimpton system, it listens. (So we’re learning that irritability pays off. But don’t tell anyone that.)
General Manager Ryan Kunzer made note of my dismay at 403 and arranged a room swap via email while I was delivering my early morning talk.
I am now in a gorgeous fireplace suite, room 325. A real log fire in a rainy day is just exactly what the doctor ordered. I skipped my lunch meeting and ordered in because it is so perfect.
This room is not only nicely appointed, it is not in the least hamster cage rectangular. But the real kicker is the fireplace. Ahhhh.
Somehow I am feeling less inclined to show up for my panel thais afternoon as well. Bad bad bad.
The bedroom is a minor detail.
And the bathroom is nicely sized, but needs an upgraded shower. Ryan says that is in the plans. It would be nice to have a truly upscale hotel in Portland.
Anyway, thanks Ryan for rectifying the situation and calming me right on down. Kimpton karma.
A quick visit to Powell’s was in order. If you have never been and you like books, you’re missing something incredibly special.
Dinner at Clyde Common was truly outstanding again. Who would have guessed that chicken hearts could be prepared so well?! I had a broken bike again (great drink).
The Pépé do Moko speakeasy around the corner is a very nice place for a classic beverage or two. I had a great time playing with Heather and Danny. Thanks guys!
Very high four showerheads for the Riverplace. Time for some glass showers…and then, perfection.