Starwood Boston hotel tour

On July 21 I had the pleasure of touring four Starwood Hotels in Boston, hosted by Edwin Philips, Starwood’s Boston Metro account manager. Our small band of travel professionals saw a range of hotels and room categories in these beautiful and charming hotels: Sheraton Boston, the gateway hotel to Boston’s historic Back Bay, is the largest hotel in New England with the largest pool in the city. Walking distance to Fenway Park, Newbury Street, Boston Common, the financial district, Washington Street, and the Charles River, it also has indoor connections to the shops at the Prudential Center, the Copley Place Mall, and a plethora of dining options. The Sheraton recently emerged from a $75million transformation of its 1,220 guestrooms, which include their celebrated Sweet Sleeper beds, flat-screen TVs, ergonomic work spaces, Shine bath amenities, and views of the Back Bay or the Charles River. A full-service spa, along with a variety of places to mingle in the huge lobby area, let you relax and socialize in comfort. The in-house convention space, as well, has undergone a $20 million transformation of its 50 meeting rooms and 7 ballrooms. The indoor passageway to Boston’s city-center Hynes Convention Center complex makes it the most convenient place to stay when attending conventions. The Sheraton is where you want to be if you want to be in the middle of it all. Westin Copley Place, nearby in the Back Bay, offers a more relaxed, sensory experience with mood-lifting botanicals, atmospheric lighting, and soothing music. All Westin hotels worldwide focus on health and well being, wanting you to relax, revive, and experience renewal with six...

Fun times at a big stinky party

This weekend the city of Delray Beach, Florida,  is throwing its 14th annual Garlic Festival, “The biggest stinkin’ party in town.”  I went yesterday to check out the festivities. A festive day it was, celebrating all things garlic.  Garlic?  Who’da thought? The festival is a fund raiser for many local non-profits that support education and arts for youth.  Hundreds of young people were on hand volunteering many hours for their organizations.  Volunteerism is huge in this town.  “Mr. Garlic” was jovial in his new costume (the old one had worn out) as he mingled with the crowds.  The grounds were jam-packed with vendor tents, food and drink booths, entertainment stage and covered lawn, amusement rides, “Garlic University” arts & crafts area for the kids, and “Garlic Chef Stadium,” where all-day cooking competitions and demonstrations were held.  New this year was a garlic kissing booth. Garlic lovers were finding a feast of garlic-laden foods along “Gourmet Alley.”  Offerings included pizza, chicken in various forms, sausage, mahi-mahi, fish tacos, nachos, paninis, bruschetta, shrimp scampi, london broil, stuffed portabellas, crab cakes, chili, funnel cakes, ice cream (a favorite), and local specialties: conch and gator fritters.   Beer, wine, and margarita stands did a booming business, as did juice and smoothie booths.  Vendor were selling out of their wares.  Musicians and bands kept the party lively all day and evening.  Kids and families were having a great time on the rides. I spent much of the day in “Garlic Chef Stadium” watching local chefs compete for the coveted title of 2013 Garlic Chef.  More about that in a separate post. Delray is always...