Some have asked, “Where did you stay on your trip?”
Here is a simple list, town by town, with links to the inns, hotels, and bed & breakfast inns on several trips from May 2012 through July 2016. A listing here does not imply a recommendation. Most were wonderful and I tell my friends about them. Some I would never choose again.
Our basic criteria was historic or boutique hotel, smaller property, convenience in closeness to gardens we wished to see or to the train station, especially for those early morning departures. We also wanted a reliable internet connection.
Atlanta, Georgia: The Grand Hyatt Atlanta
Birmingham, Alabama: Cobb Lane Bed and Breakfast
New Orleans, Louisiana: Place d’Armes
San Antonio, Texas: The Menger Hotel
Fort Worth: The Historic Fort Worth Hilton
St. Louis, Missouri: The Drury Inn at Union Station
Chicago, Illinois: The Hyatt Regency
Denver, Colorado: The Oxford Hotel
Berkeley, California: Hotel Shattuck Plaza
San Francisco, California: Queen Anne Bed & Breakfast Hotel
The second trip in October started in San Diego at La Pensione right in the middle of Little Italy at a corner of Date Street where the Saturday Farmers’ Market happens. Since we visited, the entire hotel has been redone.
We took a train to Albuquerque, NM on our way to the Connections conference held by the North American Japanese Gardening Association (NAJGA) in Denver. In Albuquerque we stayed at an organic lavender farm and historic inn, Los Poblanos in the Los Ranchos area of Albuquerque where our room was the Girard Guesthouse decorated with Mexican folk art and cobalt tile.
In Denver for the NAJGA conference we stayed at the Sheraton Denver Downtown, most convenient to the 16th Street Mall shuttle.
On our way back to California, we stopped in Phoenix and stayed at the Arizona Biltmore Waldorf Astoria built in 1929.
In Los Angeles, we stayed in walking distance of Little Tokyo at the Hilton DoubleTree, a former New Otani and Kyoto Gardens hotel. The third floor rooftop garden is still in good shape and the two rooftop restaurants were undergoing renovation when we were there.
Back in San Diego, we stayed near Balboa Park at the Britt Scripps Inn where very kind and considerate staff easily accommodated an extension on our stay due to an emergency appendectomy for my husband.
September 12 – October 4, 2013
This journey was planned around our son’s wedding in Washington DC plus a regional conference held by the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) in Philadelphia. We traveled by Hawaiian Airlines non-stop from Honolulu to New York City then got on a train for Boston.
We stayed at the Hilton Back Bay in Boston, which put us in walking distance of Tenshin-en at the Museum of Fine Arts. Bill says the best oysters of the entire trip were next door at the Summer Shack [ http://www.summershackrestaurant.com/Locations_Boston.asp ]. Walking distance to Boylston Street, the Fens, Fenway Park and many other attractions.
Continuing on to Brooklyn, we stayed at the Akwaaba Mansion in Bedford-Stuyvesant. One block away is the famous and fabulous Peaches restaurant — two delicious meals there. In another direction within walking distance is the subway line for connections to NYC in one direction or in another direction other communities on Long Island.
In Philadelphia for the NAJGA regional conference, we stayed at the Crown Plaza West, which had a convenient laundry room in the lobby.
In Charlottesville, Virginia, we stayed one night — and hope to return for more some day — at The Inn at Monticello. This 1856 home has been well-maintained and with many modern improvements augmenting the traditional decor. The breakfast was ample and delicious, featuring locally grown ingredients wherever possible. Bob and Carol are thoughtful and compassionate hosts.
In Richmond Virginia, we stayed at Grace Manor Inn [ http://thegracemanorinn.com/ ] in the Fan District, one block from Monument Avenue and easy driving distance to Main Street restaurants, Carytown shopping, and several gardens and museums. [UPDATE 2015, Grace Manor was up for sale. Uncertain of present status.]
Host Albert provided over-the-top service and a fabulous three course breakfast. One of the courses features wife Dawn’s creations from Carytown Cupcakes. Yum!
In Washington DC, we stayed at Akwaaba DC near Dupont Circle, which is convenient to the Metro and serves an exceptional breakfast.
For the wedding, our son treated us to three nights at the Wyndham in Old Town Alexandria where a free trolly carted us up and down King Street. Convenient to the Metro.
Back in New York City, we had two nights at the Hilton Hampton Inn Manhattan, which is midtown near the United Nations and in walking distance to Grand Central Station.
In September, son Bill and wife Anita accompanied K.T. to Paris — close enough to their wedding anniversary to make the trip a present. We stayed several nights at the St. James Albany on Rue de Rivoli, an historic thoroughfare within easy walking distance of the Louvre and across the street from Jardin des Tuileries. The nearest Metro stop was a half a block away.
Son Bill went back to work while Anita and I continued by train on to Giverny where we stayed overnight at Marie et Gilbert Therin bed and breakfast, an easy walk through the town to the home and garden of Claude Monet. There is only one bedroom so you have their full attention. The breakfast was the most abundant and delicious of any B&B I’ve ever visited.
After a train trip through the “chunnel,” in London, it was all about location, location, location so we stayed at the Trafalgar directly across from Trafalgar Square and within easy distance of museums, shopping, and a concert at St. Martin of the Fields. The double-decker buses stopped right outside the hotel entrance and the underground was across the street.
Japan in April
Seattle in May: stayed with a friend at her apartment on Capitol Hill
Calgary in May: Delta Bow near convention center
Rocky Mountaineer Gold Leaf service June: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Vancouver
Victoria on Vancouver Island: Dashwood B&B
Delray Beach for NAJGA conference March: Courtyardc by Marriott Boca Raton
Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bay
Hilton DoubleTree Chelsea in New York City