ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: Located at Hollywood and Vine, the W Hollywood sits in the heart of an iconic and bustling neighborhood. Upon entering the lobby, you immediately escape the outside distractions and focus on the possibilities the W offers. After a long, early-morning flight, we arrived at the W earlier than check-in time, but the friendly front desk staffer found two rooms for us. He briefed us on the hotel as he sped through the process and sent us on our way.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills makes staying in a suite even sweeter! Guests who book one of the hotel’s elegant suites are offered complimentary use of a luxury BMW for the length of their stay. While Beverly Hills has so much to offer, having a car gives you the freedom to see even more of Southern California, whether it is driving up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu, or continuing on, past Santa Barbara, to Santa Ynez wine country.
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: We arrived about the time everyone else was checking in. I thought it would be chaotic, but it didn’t feel that way nor did it feel congested. I credit the large unloading area and the quickness of the valet staff. The Mondrian Hotel is an upscale hotel located in the heart of South Beach and the Miami Beach area, with an entrance on newly fashionable West Avenue, just off the hustle and bustle of Alton Avenue and a few blocks from famous Collins Avenue. Mondrian sits just minutes from the center of South Beach, downtown Miami, Miami Design District, Wynwood Arts District, Venetian Causeway, Lincoln Road, Ocean Drive and Espanola Way. Set on the stunning waterfront of Biscayne Bay, the hotel offers a tropical oasis in a cosmopolitan setting. In the soaring lobby, floor-to-ceiling windows provide spectacular views of the bay while the eye is drawn to the signature “floating” staircase. The front desk staff extended the same warm welcome we received when we drove in.
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: Arriving in Singapore is an easy affair as there are plenty of taxis for the 15-minute ride from Changi Airport, with little traffic. Coming into the circular drive of the famed Raffles hotel, you take in the view of this historic 1887 property. The equally famed doormen, dressed in traditional Sikh livery, greet guests and help with any requests.
Nine hundred miles east of the African mainland, nature dropped a bunch of clichés into the Indian Ocean: palm-fringed beaches, crescents of powdery white sand, gin-clear waters. In short, the archetypal tourist paradise. Welcome to the 115 islands of the Seychelles.
All airplane flights begin on the ground. An airport is the starting point, but airspace issues continue to expand from the terrestrial to the aerial. Altitude is no barrier when countries claim sovereignty from the Earth to beyond the stratosphere.