The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Archive for the ‘Hotels’ Category

Nativo Lodge

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on May 9, 2010

For those of you who have been following our cross country move recap, you know that we tried to stay in unique hotels along the way.  Using the Preferred Hotel Group’s Sterling Hotel selection, we found the Nativo Lodge in Albuquerque.  This boutique hotel combines Native American influences with cultural aspects of the Albuquerque area.

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As we pulled into the parking lot, we immediately began to notice the unique touches of culture at this hotel.

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Check in was smooth and we headed to our room to drop off our stuff and freshen up.  Like many of the other hotels this week, the room was quite spacious.

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IMG_2879 The bed was super soft and comfortable.  We had a great night’s sleep, which was particularly important with our unexpected sleep in the car the next night 🙂

Each room appeared to have a balcony, and a large one at that.

IMG_2880 The bathroom had a large counter and sink outside and the requisite toilet and shower on the inside 🙂

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They had Aveda bath products! I’m a huge Aveda fan 🙂 I actually immediately put the products in my bag so I could use them at a later time.  Yep, I love Aveda.IMG_2882 Unfortunately, we weren’t at the hotel long enough to enjoy any of the amenities, but we enjoyed our stay overall.  For the price and quality, the next time we’re in Albuquerque we will  likely stay here again.

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Cambria Suites – Oklahoma City

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on April 30, 2010

(Apparently I’m slacking in my blog post writing so the Husband has lapped me in his posts.  Today we’re taking a quick step back to Oklahoma City 🙂  )

When searching for a hotel in Oklahoma City, we had some difficulty finding a unique and/or boutique hotel in our price range.  When that search seemed to be failing, I decided to check out the Choice Hotels website to see if they had any of their boutique partner lines in the city.  Unfortunately, they didn’t, but one of their newer lines – Cambria Suites – was in the city.  It feel within our price range, had availability, and wasn’t a line we had tried before so I went ahead and booked it.  I’m glad we did 🙂

The hotel was located south of the city, near the airport I believe, but a reasonable distance from the city itself and the sites we planned to see.  Check-in was simple, the lobby was spacious and modern, and we saw a pool and decent sized fitness center.  We headed to the room to see what we got.

As soon as we walked in, we were impressed.  Immediately as you enter the room, there was a decent sized sitting area, with a couch, armchair, and nice flat panel television.

IMG_2715 Just past the sitting area, there was a desk and an artistic use of space for a separating wall.IMG_2716 The bed was plush (seriously, really, really comfortable – though perhaps too many pillows) and there was also a flat panel television.  The closet happened to be on this side of the room and when we poked our heads in, it was huge and had a very large (relatively speaking) safe (not that we used either).

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The room came with a microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker.IMG_2721

And last, but not least, a spacious bathroom.  The toiletries were Bath & Body Works, which I loved.

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IMG_2720 We were actually so impressed with the room, I asked the next morning at check-out if this had been an upgraded room (being frequent travelers, we sometimes qualify for upgrades at Choice Hotels).  It wasn’t! This was the standard room and we told them we were impressed.  While we didn’t interact much with the staff and stayed only the one night, we thought the service we received and both our room and the hotel were quite nice.  It was also in a location with a number of interesting restaurants to check out.  If we’re ever in Oklahoma City again, I can imagine us staying here another night.

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Peabody Hotel Little Rock

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on April 28, 2010

As I think I mentioned in the Nashville post, the Husband and I were looking to try unique and/or boutique hotels along our road trip west to our new home in Nevada.  The first website I used to look for hotels was the Preferred Hotel Group website.  It was here that I found the Peabody Hotel Little Rock, the first hotel I booked for the trip.  It looked like it would be a nice hotel, in a good location, at a reasonable price.

The hotel was easy to find and as we pulled up, we saw that parking was valet (we didn’t see any other place to park).  From the moment we got out of the car to the time we checked out, we were VERY impressed with the customer service.  All of the employees at the Peabody Hotel were incredibly friendly and welcoming.  It was wonderful.

Check in was simple and quick and we headed to the room to drop off our stuff.  We had a King room which was very spacious.  We later learned that the bed was incredibly comfortable.  We didn’t have much of a view from our room but when we’re staying in a room just one night, that doesn’t concern us.

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IMG_8497 The bathroom was spacious but not overly so.

IMG_8498 The toiletries included a soap duck. 🙂

IMG_8499 So, the ducks… the Peabody is famous for them! I hadn’t heard of them before, but the Husband had and we were impressed with how they were intertwined with so much of the hotel.

IMG_8501 No ducks in this photo, but I liked the touches in the lobby.

IMG_8503 Okay, so back to the ducks.  The Peabody Hotels have mallard ducks who are resident at the hotels, march to and from the main fountain at 11am and 5pm daily, and hang out all day for visitors to see.  The tradition started over 70 years ago when some guests who had gone hunting had tried to sneak in their decoy ducks they brought hunting with them.  When they went to bed, the ducks snuck into the fountain and as word spread, the other hotel guests had gathered to watch them in the morning.  Since then, the hotels have sponsored ducks in their fountain to bring entertainment to the guests. (I think I got the story correct – off of memory from the presentation the next morning).

Each morning at 11am, the ducks at the Peabody Little Rock, walk from their Duck Palace to the 2nd floor elevator and make their way to the first floor.

IMG_8572 With John Philip Sousa’s King Cotton March playing in the background, the ducks (one male and four females) follow their Duck Master along a red carpet (an actual carpet) to their fountain.

IMG_8577 Up the steps they go to fountain for the day.  The way they ran to the fountain, you’d think that they were starved.  (They aren’t – prior to this march, they’d had a head of lettuce – guess they’re just excited to get into the fountain!)

IMG_8582 The fountain has two platforms of bird seed for them to enjoy, and enjoy they do!

IMG_8589 Keith, the Duck Master of the day, was very friendly! He explained the history to the group and then answered any questions the guests had.  If you look closely at his cane, it has a duck head 🙂

IMG_8594 We spent a handful of minutes enjoying watching the ducks swim, bathe, and eat.  We learned from Keith that the ducks are raised on a local farm for all of the Peabody Hotels.  They’re raised in teams of five – one male and four females.  They spend about a year at the hotel before heading back to the farm for a number of months (if not longer) of rest and relaxation.  They stay in reserve at the farm in case anything happens to any of the other teams.  For example, the current team worked previously at the Peabody Little Rock and had been back at the farm when the last team had a female who began limping.  You can’t replace one duck on a team as they are territorial so the whole team leaves and another one comes back.  We found this to be fascinating!

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IMG_8616 As we headed back to our room to get our things to check out, we saw the sign for the reserved elevator for the ducks.  Apparently, they used to have a nicer sign that also had the history on the back, but it mysteriously disappeared a few weeks ago when a high school group was staying at the hotel 😉 They’re working on getting a replacement. IMG_8620 On our way back down, we caught some photos of the view out the back of the hotel…

IMG_8621 As well as some from the lobby.  The lobby itself reminded us a lot of the hotel we stayed in in Greenville, SC.

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Overall, we had a very lovely stay at the Peabody Little Rock.  We highly recommend it if you find yourself in the city!

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Little Rock – A Pleasant Surprise and a Friendly Interlude

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on April 27, 2010

As we made our way from Nashville through Memphis and Graceland we finally came to Little Rock

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As we rolled into Little Rock, we came across a beautiful Pentecostal Church that we tried to photograph at 70 mph.

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We made our way to the Peabody Hotel.  It was a wonderful little hotel, but I’ll leave that for another post.  We didn’t have high expectations for Little Rock, but we were optimistic based on what we’d seen coming into town.

We finally made our way to the Peabody Hotel.  I’ll let the Wife tell you about the hotel in a follow-on post, but suffice it to say that it was a great hotel.  Once we got checked in, we went out to explore the downtown.  The sun was setting, so while the lighting was perfect for pictures, we knew the clock was ticking.

IMG_8504 This building really reminded us of Charleston, SC.  With its Southern charm and grandeur, it was a cute addition to the downtown area.

IMG_8517 We think this is the county courthouse (Pulaski County), but we didn’t come across any signs.  It was beautiful, though, and THIS building reminded me of the museum in Dallas, although slightly smaller.  The full article is here, if you’re interested.

From here we went toward the waterfront (which is basically behind that tall building in the picture above).  It has an area called the River Market, which is very similar to the shops at the Baltimore Inner Harbor, or Station Square in Pittsburgh.

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The downtown area was wonderful; like what we expected downtown Memphis to be like, although perhaps a good bit smaller.  Like any well-revitalized downtown, there were plenty of shops, things to do, and restaurants.

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For a Sunday, the downtown was hoppin’.  There were a couple activities going on, including a sizable Latino festival behind (on the water’s side) of the River Market.  People were generally friendly, and we enjoyed smelling the sounds and watching the sights.  We even came across a novelty-size ATM that was actually just a real ATM.

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This was not our hotel, but was a attractive hotel right across the street from the Peabody.

IMG_8526 There were horse-drawn carriage rides.

IMG_8524 The downtown area had a trolley car, which cost about $0.50-$0.75 to ride.  Many of you know we like to try to take new public transportation, but we didn’t have time to master the system, and on a Sunday night, we figured there might be a good chance we would end up stranded outside of town as the system closed early.  We opted to stick with the ankle express.

IMG_8562After walking around for some time, we decided to get some dinner.  We had dinner at Bosco’s, a local brewpub.  I’ll let the Wife tell you about this adventure, too, but our waiter, Brock, was great.  Thanks, Brock!

We went home that night, exhausted.  We had been to Graceland, driven nearly 500 miles, and enjoyed downtown Little Rock.  We got up in the morning, and prepared to go out and see the city, again.  Mostly, we wanted to see the Clinton Presidential Library, which is within a long walk (~1 mile, not really that far) of the Peabody Hotel.  As we walked, we knew we had to do some blogging, and we needed some breakfast.  We popped back into the River Market and swung by the Boulevard Bread Company for a morning bite.  Like any good bread and pastry eatery, the food was great, but what was even more pleasant, was the staff.

IMG_8568We asked the young woman behind the counter about how long it would take to walk to the library.  That got us into a conversation about blogging (I had the camera slung over my shoulder).  As it turns out, she’s a writer and aspiring fashion-designer, and we ended up talking at length about blogging and travel writing, etc.  Her name was Katherine Whitworth, and she had just been published in Cornbread Nation 5 for an article she had recently written regarding an historic catfish house just outside of the city.  The restaurant was called the Lassis Inn, and knowing that we were foodies focused on local culture, she suggested we make it a waypoint on our journey.  You can read her entire article here.  It’s interesting.

Well, alas, we spent too much time chatting and blogging, and we ended up having to miss both the catfish house AND the presidential library.  We were disappointed in our poor time management, but we figure that’s just a great reason to go back.  The town certainly had plenty to offer weekend travelers, and we would definitely recommend it as a regional destination for short getaways, based on our experience there.

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