Two Nights In THE RITZ-CARLTON RANCHO MIRAGE

Palm Springs has a history of luxury. A classic desert playground that became popular with Hollywood’s elite starting in the 1930’s. Recently, we were fortunate to find ourselves at The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, a place that harkens back to the classic luxury Palm Springs is famous for. Perched on a rocky desert mountain overlooking the valley, The Ritz is the perfect weekend getaway for Southern Californians.

After a warm welcome at reception we checked into our room. Rain shower? Check √ Oversized bath tub? Check √ Our own private fire pit and patio? Check and check √ After dropping our bags we went immediately to lunch at State Fare Bar & Kitchen. State Fare operates as the hotels main all meal dining spot. They serve from breakfast to dinner. It should be noted that the burger we had during our lunch at State Fare was hands down the best hotel burger we’ve ever had, and if you know us you know we love a good hotel burger! Smothered in bacon jam and served on a cast iron, this thing blew us away!

We spent most of our time in Rancho Mirage by the pool. The Ritz boasts 2 separate pools, 1 Adult and 1 All ages. Both have jetliner views of the gorgeous Coachella Valley. As is the case with any Ritz-Carlton, the service was impeccable. Poolside drinks and meals are where it's at. Sometimes a hotel of Rancho’s breed can feel too stuffy and too uptight but this is not the case here. The pools at The Ritz offer the perfect balance of classic hotel luxury and modern desert chill out.

As the sun sets on the valley, The Ritz is illuminated by hundreds of fire pits. It's stunning. On our last night we had dinner at The Edge Steakhouse. This meal was absolutely superb. Situated on the edge of the resort (its not just a clever name) encased in glass, the restaurant features sweeping views of the valley. Curated by Chef Bruno Lopez, who’s responsible for all of the food at the resort, the menu features steakhouse classics with options as far as the eye can see. Chef Bruno and his team age steaks on-site to allow their full flavor potential to be reached. Their use of organic produce and their delicious cocktails are also a huge plus. After dinner a digestif cart is wheeled to your table, drinks like Sambuca, Port, Sherry, and Amaro are offered in the most elegant way. We spoke to Chef Bruno about the insanely good burger we had the day before, he was very modest but you could tell he knows he makes a damn good burger. After dinner we strolled the grounds and enjoyed some stargazing with the resident astronomer and his telescope.

On our last day we were able to relax at the beautiful spa on the property. A serene couples massage was the perfect ending to a great weekend. Both the men’s and women's locker rooms offer steam, sauna, jacuzzi, and cold plunge options. We still can't stop talking about the aromatherapy shower heads offering scents like Eucalyptus, Jasmine, Citrus Mango and Lavender. Not a bad way to spend a few hours! We left The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage at once relaxed but bummed it was time to go. We cannot wait to return and we look forward to hearing about our client’s experiences. If a desert getaway is what you're looking for, this is the place!

STAY
Our clients receive excellent rates and amenities at The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, please contact us to book your stay!

Two Nights In NEW YORK CITY

Two Nights In New York City - just enough time? Or not even close to enough? Arguments could be made for both. The latter relies on the premise that this is not your first or only time visiting.

New York City has so much to offer it simply can’t be fully experienced in one trip. Like any great city, NYC is a revolving door of personalities, but this isn't just the people, the city itself can show you any number of sides. It all depends on what you’re looking for. Rest assured, New York City has something for everybody.

On our most recent trip to the "Big Apple" a few weeks ago we chose to stay in SoHo. SoHo is the quintessential Industrial Revolution turned Restoration Hardware chic neighborhood. Old cast iron fire escapes stream down brick buildings giving the neighborhood a true Manhattan feel. Adding to this is the multitude of hip coffee shops, designer clothing stores, boutique hotels, and restaurants lining the streets.

Speaking of which, our first stop was brunch...

Sadelle's, a Jewish deli inspired twist on modern brunch holds its own on West Broadway. With a menu that harkens back to the old days in a setting fit for the most Snapchat savvy Millennial, Sadelle’s really delivers. Known for their towers of smoked fish and bagels, we couldn’t get enough of this place. The interior design alone is worth a stop.

New York City offers so many different activities for visitors. Museums like The Met and The Whitney are unparalleled. A simple stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge or a day spent ambling through Central Park are uniquely New York experiences. Of course, we do have a strong tendency to focus on the food and drinks...

Our favorite meal of our stay happened at ABC Kitchen. Located just a block away from Union Square, this meal was one of a kind. It's not hard to see why Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten received a Michelin star. The highlights for us were the line caught tuna sashimi with ginger and mint, the roasted beets with yogurt, and the crispy pork confit. The cocktails were top notch as well, and we enjoy a good cocktail. 

In our book, the best cocktails are simple and timeless. We seem to be headed out of the mixologist era and that's probably a good thing. We’ve seen bars in LA that offer 18 ingredient Bloody Mary’s, all fresh from the farmers market that cost $23/drink. Not that this isn’t necessarily enjoyable, it's just not really our thing. Give us a classic Negroni or Manhattan and we’re happy. Amor y Amargo in the East Village has an approach to cocktails we can get behind. Classic, timeless cocktails with one huge underlying theme, Amaro. The focus at this awesome little spot is the bitters. There isn’t some huge assortment of gin, whiskey, vodka, or tequila. They basically have one of each. What they do have in large numbers is an impressive assortment of Amaro, a bitter european (usually Italian) liqueur. Using this endless palate of herbaceous bitter flavors, the bartenders at Amor y Amargo craft some truly unique adult beverages. We fell in love with the 8 Amaro Sazerac, a proprietary blend of 8 Amari, bitters, and a bit of Chartreuse. Complex and unique. Go to this bar, we can't recommend it enough!

Keeping with our food and beverage theme - other stops we really enjoyed were Aria in the West Village, Chelsea Market in Chelsea of course, and Via Carota also in the West Village. Again, New York has something for everyone, from hot dogs to Foie Gras, few cities in the world cover this broad of a range and do it well. We’re very much looking forward to our next trip to the city that never sleeps.

STAY
There are many great hotels but we know the best ones! Contact us for bookings and recommendations

PLAY
9/11 Memorial Museum
Whitney Museum of American Art
The Met
The High Line

WINE and DINE
ABC Kitchen
Chelsea Market
Aria Wine Bar
Cafe Luxembourg
Sadelle's
Amor y Amargo
Please Don't Tell

For more ideas and recommendations, visit our New York City Destination Guide

Two Nights In CAPELLA IXTAPA

Being in the travel industry has its perks, one of those being that you can travel midweek and sometimes at a moments notice. Our trip to Capella Ixtapa was finalized the day before we left. Why not be spontaneous and escape city life for a few days to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary?

We flew Aeromexico with a short layover in Mexico City. For those with a little more advanced notice, Alaska Airlines flies direct from LAX to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. The three hour flight makes this part of Mexico a great alternative to the often chosen Cabo San Lucas.

Upon arrival, we were greeted at the airport by a Capella representative who showed us to our transportation. After a twenty minute drive through the towns of Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa we arrived at Capella.

We were expecting a beautiful resort, but what we found after entering the elegant gates was something that blew away our expectations. There is no part of the resort that doesn't face the ocean, you can hear the waves from every part of the property. Capella Ixtapa is a grand staircase of sorts, descending down the mountainside, each floor a unique step with different offerings.

The top level of the resort features the fitness center and several penthouse units. The next floor down is home to the reception area as well as a beautiful library. Again, every spot on the property features 180 degree ocean views. One step further down this staircase of luxury you’ll find the Terrace Bar and A Mares, one of Capella’s fine dining restaurants. Next you’ll find the spa, and after that you reach the main pool level of Capella.

Guest rooms are on almost every floor but the bottom pool level. The big kicker: every single room at Capella Ixtapa features its own plunge pool with unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean. The privacy and scenery offered at this property are truly unmatched.

We checked into our Capella Deluxe Ocean Front Suite, greeted with a tray of fresh ceviche and beers... a perfect welcome to Mexico. Every afternoon Capella's turn down service includes two mini cervezas, guacamole, and fresh chips and salsa. Admittedly it was hard to leave our amazing room/patio but we’re sure glad we eventually did.

The main pool at Capella Ixtapa is a stunning infinity pool that appears to plunge right into the Pacific. The resort has two pools with one being slightly more secluded. Breakfast is everything you could want and more. Classic Mexican breakfast dishes like Chilaquiles meet modern trends like fresh squeezed green juices. Starting the day off this way was definitely a highlight. We made our way to the Terrace Bar each night we were there. The food was excellent, the drinks were delicious, and the staff was incredibly helpful and friendly.

Capella Ixtapa is the perfect place to relax for a few days. However, should you want a bit more activity, the resort offers a number of things to do (cooking classes, sunset cruises, snorkeling trips to name a few). We loved the complimentary mountain bike rentals. From the resort you can bike into Downtown Ixtapa, to a crocodile preserve, or along Ixtapa’s well-kept bike paths winding through the jungle. Capella Ixtapa is situated on a rock beach, for sunbathers, the pool is where you want to be. If a beach is what you desire, a short bike ride or taxi will land you on a beautiful nearby white sand beach.

On our final night we had a wonderful dinner at Seafood Market. This is Capella Ixtapa’s ocean front dining option. Fresh seafood is displayed, you choose what you’d like to have, how you’d like to have it prepared, and then sit down to enjoy a romantic three course meal.

After a few days in paradise, it was time to head home as we had an evening flight scheduled back to Los Angeles. At most hotels you’d have to be out by noon, but this isn’t the case at Capella Ixtapa. The hotel has no set check in or check out time! You are a guest from the moment you arrive until your departure.

We have a huge affinity for Mexico and this was our first trip to this region. Celebrating our anniversary here was absolutely perfect. We can’t wait to return to Capella Ixtapa.

Two Nights In CARMEL // AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Admittedly, we’re not big golfers, but this doesn't matter one bit when you're in Carmel for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. A Pro-Am is an event matching professional golfers with amateurs. In this case most of those amateurs are all celebrities. Celebs Bill Murray, Justin Timberlake, Mark Wahlberg and others teamed up with pro golfers like Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth for the weekend tournament.

Carmel is a beautiful destination all year round, the tournament however breathes a life into the city not found during its usually calmer weekends. We spent two nights in Carmel with some dear friends enjoying every minute.

Friday around sunset was spent at Vesuvio for rooftop cocktails. Their Starlight Rooftop Lounge is much hipper than its name implies. Fire pits and couches create the perfect environment to enjoy a classic Italian cocktail like a Negroni (our favorite) or an Aperol Spritz. We then headed to the casual A.W. Shucks for some oysters and seafood. The night was closed out with one last drink at Hog’s Breath Inn. This is definitely the place to be on this particular weekend. You can really see all the colorful out-of-towner's the tournament brings. One of the best parts of a golf tournament has to be the people watching and we don't mean the celebrities. By midnight the Hog’s Breath Inn was overrun by some serious characters.

Saturday we spent the day on the Pebble Beach Golf Links. Carmel is classically Californian, this is a town that once elected Clint Eastwood as mayor, what better way to show off its California chops than with celebrities playing golf on a beach. After a full day of strolling around the course, watching a little bit of golf and a whole lot of beautiful views, it was time to eat. We headed to our reservation at The Bench. This clubhouse restaurant overlooks the 18th hole and has a stunning view down the coast. We ate delicious food, drank great drinks, and even chatted up Bill Murray for a few. It was the perfect way to wrap up a great weekend. We’re sold on the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in Carmel. We never thought we’d find ourselves thoroughly enjoying a PGA Tour event, who knew? This is definitely going to be a yearly tradition and we totally recommend making the trip.

The countdown is on to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am 2017 (February 6, 2017 - February 12, 2017)! Stay updated on players, events, and sponsors here

Our recommendations for Carmel during the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am:

STAY
There are many great hotels but we know the best ones! Contact us for bookings and recommendations

PLAY
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

WINE and DINE
The Bench
Starlight Rooftop Lounge
Hog's Breath Inn
Il Tegamino

For more ideas and recommendations, visit our Carmel and Monterey Destination Guide

Two Nights In

Hello and welcome! Today February 1st marks the official launch of TwoNightsIn.com and the start of our newest venture. The plan was to start on January 1st but there was much to be done and we wanted to do it right. Please have a look around, we can't wait to share our stories and services with you!

Writing our first blog post about a destination would be too predictable, so we wanted to give you a quick glimpse into our lives instead. 2015 was a big year for us - we got married in Mexico, we honeymooned in Italy and France, and we took our annual California Coast/Big Sur road trip. We also took trips to Chicago, Portland, Cabo and much farther destinations like Thailand and Cambodia.

Here are some of last year's highlights (trust us, we'll get into the finer travel details when we do individual posts about these amazing destinations). Enjoy!

Justyna & Scott