Think back and recall one of the best vacations that you have ever had. Have one in mind? Wonderful. Did you happen to consider the type of accommodations that you stayed in during that trip? Maybe it was a hotel or maybe it was a hostel. In today’s world with endless opportunities of places to stay, it could have very well been an AirBNB.
Luckily for me, I’ve been to all of the above. Do note that this isn’t an “entitled” statement, I’m just saying that my family has been able to save up and expose my sister and I to a wide range of vacation spots. True, most of the places that were “grungy” and a little suspicious were when I was in charge of selecting the booking. But, that aside, we’ve see everything from the Motel 6/Hostel where you aren’t sure if they ever change the comforter or clean the carpet, to some much much nicer digs where you are greeted with a complimentary drink and warm towel.
I do have to say, the latter are much more enjoyable. There are even a few locations my mom and I still dream about them at night. One such location – the Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui – helps us fall right to sleep. Ahhhh, when we find ourselves stressed or trying to find sleep, so long fluffy sheep, we start to imagine we are walking around those high arched ceilings, listening to the sound of the waves on the beach, and subtle Polynesian music throughout the lobby.
Fairmont Hotels recently reached out to inquire about my travel essentials and what I might like to see at hotels when I stay. Sure, every hotel should be equipped with a nice soaps and lotions, fluffy towels, and charging outlets. But it’s certain amenities that make you just wish you could extend your trip a little longer. Who needs work anyways? Oh yeah, so you can actually pay for said trip…good point.
So, from my world traveling ways (or coast to coast jaunts), here are my thoughts:
Go-To & Must-Have Travel Essentials
- Phone charger – This goes hand in hand with my iPhone, which I could have listed as a must-have item, but I practically treat it as a third hand or another part of my body. I never go anywhere without it. So, call me Linus and it’s my security blanket. Notes, photos, videos, Instagram – I use it all. And then my battery dies as soon as you can say viola.
- Snacks (usually in the form of energy bars) because hanger is overrated and I should not unleash the “not really enthused with you because I’m hungry” Kaitlin.
- A book (either the physical thing or electronic via my Kindle Fire) – My mom taught me at a young age, always have a book on your person because you never know how long those doctor appointments (or you know flights, bus rides, etc) may last.
- Hand sanitizer – Trust me. I live in New York City.
So, it’s oh so true that everyone travels differently and the way that certain hotels and accommodations greet their guests varies from spot to spot. Since I’m a California girl born and raised (#westcoastbestcoast…sorry my New York friends), I wanted to take a look at the west coast hospitality.
Looking at some of the fabulous Fairmont locations here in our great state, I thought it would be neat to think about what a few could offer guests upon arrival or during their stay. Most of these locations would be well suited for a little bike ride along the water front or towns nearby, so offering beach cruisers would be a swell idea. Also, as a general request for all hotels, not all of us enjoy the firm pillows, so providing a couple options (cushy + firm) would be ever so kind and appreciated. But now it’s time to get creative.
- Newport Beach – Yes, traveling to the nearby Balboa is a must, so obviously being greeted with a frozen chocolate banana would be ideal but that’s not entirely plausible. Something about bananas being an acquired taste (cough cough Meghan). So, instead, let’s include a nautical candle or succulent plant.
- San Diego – A beach towel and bucket of goodies (sunblock, magazines, and maybe a shovel or two…who said only kids get to have fun building sand castles?)
- San Francisco (2 >> Claremont & SF itself) – A nice loaf of Boudin sourdough and a bar of Ghirardelli chocolate to soak in that San Francisco flavor. (or Bi-Rite ice cream! noms…)
- San Jose – Ah, the land of Silicon Valley. So I doubt anyone would have a personal computer waiting for you, but arriving to some notepads from Google, roses as seen on Santa Clara’s gorgeous campus or San Jose Rose Garden, or maybe garlic goodies from Gilroy gives you a sense of what potential this area holds. (*fun fact, I had a senior year graduation party here. yep, good story.)
- Santa Monica – One of the “coolest” places of LA, filled with shopping, workout spots (hello Santa Monica Stairs) and so many hipster coffee shops. Access to daily acai bowls or simply some beach goodies and shades will help you fit right in.
- Seattle – Possibly a bag of Seattle’s coffee and some homemade scones to accompany the brew. Pike Place sure does have a lovely selection.
- Sonoma – A bottle of locally made wine, perfect for a hors-d’oeuvre platter in the afternoon or maybe to bring home for another time. Either way, this could give you some ideas of where (or which wineries) you might want to explore while there. If wine isn’t your thing, how about some really good juice?
What are your thoughts on hotels? Anything you would like to see upon your arrival or in a Fairmont location?
*Please note that all opinions are that of my own and I was not compensated for this post. This was shared out of my true love for Fairmont Hotels.