Monday, August 12, 2013

Eat, Sleep & Party: Fashion Week Girls Getaways in Europe

From September 13-October 2, fashionistas will take over London, Milan, and Paris for each city’s
Fashion Week. While fashion is the focus, the award-winning restaurants, luxurious hotels, and legendary parties cannot be ignored. Here’s our guide on how to eat, sleep, and party in sartorial style during Europe’s Fashion Weeks this Fall.

Eat at Ametsa with Arzak Instruction at The Halkin in London
Located at The Halkin by COMO, this new Basque restaurant brings the team from Spain’s three Michelin-starred Arzak to London’s Belgravia – a unique collaboration between Elena Arzak (voted Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef in 2012) and her father Juan Mari Arzak, as well as Spanish culinary legends Mikel Sorazu, Igor Zalakain, and Xabier Gutierrez. The menu exemplifies the traditions of New Basque Cuisine, pairing the earthy flavors and techniques of Spain’s Basque region with modern, surprising twists.

Sleep in Couture at the Christian Lacroix-designed Hotel du Petit Moulin in Paris
Nestled in the chic shopping scene that is the city’s hip Marais district on the corner of Rue du Poitue and Rue de Saintonge, the 17-room Hôtel du Petit Moulin offers the perfect base to live and breathe couture during Paris Fashion Week. Each room was individually designed by Christian Lacroix, and the interiors reflect the designer’s vivid imagination and signature palette of vibrant colors. A virtual design kaleidoscope, room themes range from opulent Baroque to spare Scandinavian to a slightly sci-fi lunar look to zebra everything and are even decorated with blown-up sketches from Lacroix’s own notepads.

Party with Barbie at Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out at Park Hyatt Milan
Vogue’s annual Fashion’s Night Out party may be taking a hiatus in the United States in 2013, but the notorious party will rev up at Park Hyatt Milan on September 17 with a very special guest – Barbie. In collaboration with Mattel, this year’s event will pay tribute to the fashionable doll with a life-size Barbie exhibition and a showcase of the most glamorous Barbies of all time. In true Barbie style, the Park Bar will transform into the Barbie Dream House for the night with everything pretty in pink, from the carpeting to the cocktails.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Labor Day Travel Deals

With Summer coming to an end, we have one more long holiday weekend to squeeze in a vacation…and there are some great Labor Day Travel Deals out there.  From romantic couples island retreats to nearby family fun, The Getaway Girl® Casey Wohl is here to share some great savings on Labor Day Travel.

Save 20% & $250 flight credit on romantic getaway to Eleuthra, Bahamas
Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera, Bahamas Labor Day Travel Deal
The Cottage at Belmont: One bedroom, one full bathroom, sleeps two; this beautifully restored and appointed 19th century cottage is perched high on a hillside with spectacular views of the harbour and Cupid's Cay. Belmont Cottage is part of the Squires Estate collection of beautifully restored 19th century homes on the hill above.
Price: $1,365 per week, $195 per night (includes $250 flight credit from Florida).  Valid: July 1 – Dec. 20, 2013
Save: 20% and rack rate (rack rate does not include airfare)
Located 200 miles southeast of Miami and 50 miles east of Nassau, Eleuthera has three airports and daily flights from Fort Lauderdale and Miami. For details:

30% off Condos in Scenic Booth Bay, Maine
Midcoast Maine (about 3 hours north of Boston), particularly the Boothbay Region has much to offer - Lighthouses, Whale Watching, Puffin Cruises, Island Tours, Seals PLUS a great deal for Labor Day Weekend (3 night minimum).  Water's Edge Condominium Complex is offering 30% off during that period on recently-renovated Suites. Great kayaking from the property (with kayak rentals available).  These Suites can accommodate 1 or 2 individuals.  This part of Maine offers many boating opportunities, hiking, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, nightly entertainment at the Opera House, Restaurants, Dinner Theatre and Playhouse.  

Family Fun in Orlando’s Disney for $134/Night
Just a short drive from Tampa and a “Stay 3, Save 25%’ deal, rates begin at $134/night for the Labor Day holiday weekend at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek.
*The resort is extremely family-friendly, especially when staying in one of the 84 family-friendly bunk rooms (complete with two sinks in the bathroom, one at a standard height and one lower to the ground for kids)
*Located within the Disney gates in the beautiful Bonnet Creek complex; comp shuttle to the Disney parks
*Daily complimentary activities that engage and involve all family members and ages including resort wide scavenger hunts, themed arts and crafts and poolside trivia
*Parents dining at the resort’s award-winning restaurant, deep blue seafood grille, will receive two complimentary hours at the Wyndham Grand Kids Club. (One child admitted for each adult entrée purchased).

Get in Shape in Santa Monica, CA & save up to 50%
Labor Day is summer's last hurrah & one more chance to get shape before the year's end.  Fairmont
With average highs in the low 70's in August and September, Santa Monica is the ideal Labor Day locale for running, swimming, biking and blading.
The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows is offering discounts up to 50% and provides convenient location at the corner of Wilshire/Ocean gives guests easy beach or boardwalk access.  An on-premise personal trainer, exhale mind body spa, 24-hour gym and Rejuice juice offerings are just a few of the reasons Fairmont Miramar is a fitness connoisseur's dream come true.   Guests can enjoy the best of Santa Monica at Fairmont Miramar, with access to Chef Ray Garcia's FIG Restaurant and Brent Bolthouse's hot spot The Bungalow right on property.   Guests have the opportunity to stop by the Miramar Beach Club every Saturday from 4-6 to work on their beach volleyball skills - and compete for the best prize in town: swimwear valued at $250+.
Miramar's 'Just Do It' package provides a 'get fit' weekend getaway, PLUS the addition of a NIKE+ FuelBand to track daily activity, which means guests can keep wellness going well after their trip.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Girls Getaway to a Chicago Legend - Day 3

Since Bertha Palmer had the largest collection of Impressionist artwork outside of France, a trip to the Art Institute was a fitting way to conclude our stay on Saturday.  

 The Palmers donated many works to the museum, including Monet’s “On the Bank of the Seine” and Pierre-August Renoir’s “Two Little Circus Girls,” which Mrs. Palmer was said to travel with. The current special exhibition, “Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity,” is the perfect encapsulation of Mrs. Palmer’s lifestyle and affinity for Impressionist art. She most definitely was a modern woman and championed women’s rights, although she was not affiliated with the suffragette movement. The exhibit runs through Sunday, September 29th, so if you are in Chicago soon, you still have a chance to see it.

Author Amber Gibson is a Food/Travel Writer, Model & Actress from Chicago. To find out more about Amber, visit

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Girls Getaway to a Chicago Legend - Day 2

Friday morning, the Palmer House’s Historian Ken Price took us on an enchanting historical
tour of the hotel, illuminating the love story between Potter and Bertha Palmer and the strong will, talent, hard work and luck that brought the hotel to life. We had a chance to explore the Empire Room, which used to be one of the swankiest nightclubs in the country, hosting performers like Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong. Now, it’s available for private events. In the pastry kitchen we stole bites of Bertha Palmer’s brownie, the original dense, fudgy recipe topped with walnuts from when it was invented in 1893 during the World’s Fair. The most exciting part of the day was sneaking into the hotel’s secret vault, where millions of dollars of fine china and crystal glasses from Bertha’s fantastic parties are stored. I was so
scared that I would knock something over and spend the rest of my life indebted to the Palmer House. Ken, who has been with the Palmer House for 31 years, leads his “History is Hott!” tours daily, and the luncheon plus tour is just $65, a great value for history buffs or anyone looking to learn more about Chicago.

Later that day, I enjoyed afternoon tea for the first time. My French super blue lavender tea was fragrant and soothing, a
perfect pairing with cucumber watercress and egg salad finger sandwiches, along with scones, petit fours and a host of other goodies. The treats come out on a three-tier platter and are more than enough for lunch.

That same evening, Lockwood’s talented Executive Chef Joseph Rose treated us to an elaborate six-course tasting menu. A perfectly cooked Skuna Bay salmon dish with morels and English peas still has my mouth watering. Wine Steward Britton Sendra did a phenomenal job of choosing wine pairings, my favorite of which was the earthy 2007 Planeta Burdese she paired with beef filet, asparagus and blue cheese potatoes gratin. The rich red wine had notes of cherries and a little spiciness, to match the bold-flavored beef and blue cheese.