Friday, September 25, 2009

Hotel Lust

The days whiz by as I prepare for my whirlwind jaunt across seven countries and four continents. Honestly, I've been focused on a thousand other things, so I have not yet had time to really get excited about the travel ahead of me.

My dear, sweet husband has done much of the legwork: buying adapters and voltage converters, calling our bank and credit card to alert them we'll be abroad, arranging for a house-sitter, and reserving hotels.

When he told me yesterday he had booked our last hotel, I felt a twinge of anticipation. The places we are staying are incredible, and he managed to get very good deals. (His company is paying for the bulk of the trip, as Brad will be working, but we're extending our stay a few days to explore.) He timed his school schedule with our travel well; he's taking "Master Negotiation," so I know I can count on him to haggle for us, whether it comes to hotels or Moroccan rugs.

In Barcelona, we'll be at the Costanza, a 4-star hotel with a sleek, minimalist aesthetic. From the Web site:
A recently built hotel, designed by the world-renown architects Rafael Moneo, Manuel de SolĂ -Morales y Lucho Marcial. Located at the Avenida Diagonal/Numancia axies, Barcelona's commercial and financial centre. Bright and spacious rooms; avant-garde interiors and contemporary art. All that backed up by NH's flawless styles for your visit to this capital city.


{breakfast area}

{rooftop pool and deck}

{Spanish sushi?}

{hotel restaurant}



{I don't know what this is, but doesn't it look refreshing?!}

We are staying in two different riads (hotels) in Marrakech, as October is one of the city's busier months and many locations were booked for all or part of our stay. Both have been highly recommended by previous guests, and the location couldn't be better. I'm amazed we were able to find vacancies at two such jewels within the Medina... These places are truly incredible. Not to mention that the innkeepers have been emailing with us at midnight, their time, with suggestions of places to visit and eat. They have already been so personal, accommodating, and hands-on, and we won't even arrive for another two weeks!

First, we'll stay at Riad El Mansour. I'm feeling giddy just typing this out. The food there is supposed to be amazing, and the decor is just what I would imagine for Morocco. Below are pictures of the hotel and our actual room. From the Web site:

Riad El Mansour is a six bedroomed boutique hotel, situated a short stroll from the vibrant and pulsating Place Jemaa el-Fna. This world heritage site is at the heart of the legendary 'Rose city' of Marrakech; one of Morocco’s most popular vacation destinations.

Designed for those seeking a more intimate and personalised luxury hotel break, Riad El Mansour offers authenticity and originality. The hotel has been recently refurbished, using a palate of traditional Moroccan colours, and an original mix of Moroccan and European art and furniture. We take pride on our high level of service and hospitality.

Located in the ancient Medina, setting us apart from other holiday villas in Morocco, Riad El Mansour provides a truly magical setting from which to explore the rich tapestry of the contrasting character of the Moroccan landscape - a landscape interwoven with the heady mixture of Arab, African and European cultures.

Ideal for a luxury weekend break, or longer stay, the Riad offers a Spa, Hamman, Gym and Jaccuzzi making a perfect choice for your Morocco holiday.

{bed in our suite}

{bathroom in our suite}

{our fireplace, ahhhh!}

{seating, art, etc.}

{shared spaces}

{more shared spaces, art, etc.}

Next, we'll go to Riad Dar Charkia. From their Web site:

Finished to the highest specifications of comfort and style reflecting the coming together of Africa and Asia, Dar Charkia is in an oasis of calm amidst the vibrant cacophony of the Marrakech medina.

After a 20 year love affair with Marrakech, Lisa and Michael, the Anglo-German owners have taken up residence in this magical city that assaults the senses. They are happy to share their tips and insider knowledge; helping to make your stay comfortable, memorable and inspiring.
Again, pictures of the hotel and our actual room:

{our room}

{wider view of our room}

{supposedly this is in our room, but it looks like
it might be by the pool, which is just outside our room}

{pool and other pretties}

{shared spaces}

The trips feel more real now that all of our arrangements are made! I'll try to blog along the way, but I can't make any guarantees of Internet access. Perhaps I'll do a travel guide upon my return.

Off to Vancouver day after tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Wow! Have a fantastic time!

Travis & Meagan Hogg said...

Wow! You'll be in Vancouver a little early than I would like to go. You know, the Winter Olympics will be there in February, always a dream of mine to attend an Olympic event! I'm so excited for y'all and can't wait to see pics from your travels. Miss you, Katheter! Love you too!

Connie Reece said...

Wow! These pictures make me want to stow away in your luggage. :-) Sounds like a fabulous trip. I'll look forward to reading about it afterward -- or as you travel, if you have Internet access.

Le Sigh of a Fashionista said...

Katie, everything is so beautiful. You are going to have such a wonderful time! I'm expecting you to learn once new recipe in each place and then use Alison and I as taste testers once you return!

Janette said...

whoa, this looks INCREDIBLE!!