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Continuing on my hotel tour of Quebec (and you can catch up on last week's episode here) are the sister hotels Hotel 71 and Hotel Saint-Pierre. These hotels are joined at the lobby and are located very close to the Chateau Frontenac near the lower part of the funicular. The hotels are part of a new trend of minimalistic hotels in Quebec City.   The Hotel 71 is a trendy, sleek hotel that caters to mostly couples. There are only 50 rooms in the hotel. In the low season, the superior room goes for about $189/nt, reaching the low $300s during the high season. The lobby has an espresso bar and hosts a happy hour during the evening. Walking through the hallways feels warm and intimate.   The hotel used to be a bank and many of the details of the old buildings are incorporated into the design; in the…

Hotel Review: Chateau Frontenac

I just returned from a fantastic trip to Quebec. I know what you're thinking; why would you ever go to Quebec in the winter? Well, the Ice Hotel has always been a bucket list item of mine, so we had to. Luckily, it wasn't that cold and I finally learned to dress appropriately. It only took 28 years! But more about the Ice Hotel later... As a dutiful travel agent, I took many hotel site tours, and I was so pleased with what I saw. Today's hotel review is the famous Chateau Frontenac. The Chateau Frontenac is the most photographed hotel in the world for a reason. Because the hotel is such an icon, it caters to couples and families alike.  During low season, rooms start at $349/nt. During the high season, you can expect to pay $679. While the hotel has over 600 rooms, unlike other large hotels, each room…

There's a Real Live Flower Factory Right Here in NYC

As you may have figured out by now, I love an interesting experience. Anything out of the ordinary, I want to see it. So when I saw a post on the FIT- my alma mater- Linkedin board to take a tour of a real live flower factory right here in Manhattan, I could not resist the invitation.   M&S Schmalberg Flower Factory on 36th street in NYC's Garment District is small, but effective.  The door opens into the showroom, which is a girly girl's dream; flowers of every color, fabric, shape and size adorn the walls, tables and fixtures. The owner, Warren, was working with a designer when I arrived and some other custom tailors and milliners were waiting to look through the stock.   Since 1916, M&S Schmalberg, a 4th generation family-owned company, has been creating custom flowers in New York City. They still use the same techniques as when…

Packing for My First Cruise: Follow-up

This post is a follow-up to a previous post. Previously, I wrote about packing for my first cruise and how I would do it differently. For the most part, I think that I packed pretty well. The weather was unseasonably cold both in Orlando and Nassau due to the snowstorms up north. In Orlando, I found myself in pants and a sweatshirt the entire time. So what would I have done differently?       1. A lanyard for my Seapass. When on board, your Seapass is everything from your ID to your credit card and it needs to be on your person at all times. A lanyard is a great worry-free solution.      2. An extra sweater; even though the temperatures were unseasonably cold, it gets chilly outside on the boat at night      3. An extra pair of pants. See above.      4. A casual cross…

Cruising is For Everyone

I just returned from my first cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas departing from Port Canaveral, Florida headed to the Bahamas. The weather in New York has been cold and snowy, so I was really looking forward to getting out. I never considered going on a cruise. I’m not going to lie, I had many misconceptions about cruises; like that it was a bunch people spending 24-hours gorging on fried food. But I was oh so wrong. Royal Caribbean revamped some of the features on the ship, from the staterooms to the fine dining restaurants, and invited travel agents from across the country on board to experience them. Everything from the beginning ran smoothly; from the airport transfers to the boarding process. We got to our stateroom, a balcony on the 8th  floor, and everything was clean and tidy. Our balcony was lovely with two chairs and a table.…

Packing for My First Cruise

I leave tomorrow for Orlando to take my first CRUISE! I could not be more excited. I never considered myself a "cruise person," but my excitement seems to differ, especially given the snow that we have here in NYC. I am cruising on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the seas, 2-night to Bahamas and I have an extra night in Orlando. I wanted to share how I am packing- and then see how it compares to how I would have packed after knowing more about cruising. I am brining: 2 dresses for dining and evening, 1 pair of black heels, a black cardigan, a night time handbag, a pair of thin black pants (I'm not really a shorts person), a t-shirt, tank top and a top, sweatshirt, sneakers and gym wear (hey- you never know), 2 day time dresses, flip flops, a pair of pajamas, undergarments, 2 swim suits and 1…

The Ice Ball: A Guerrilla Formal Skating Event

So speaking of snow (there is a blizzard right now in NYC), The Trip Trotter caught up with Sidney Oolong, one of the creators of the Ice Ball, a guerrilla-type event, which occurs yearly at the Bryant Park skating rink. The event encourages skaters of all levels to join, as long as they embrace the formal theme: Photo credit: Sydney Oolong TTT: How long has the ice ball been happening and how has it grown? SO: First: 2010: about 20, 2011: approx 30, 2012: approx 70, 2013: approx 70, 2014: approx 80 TTT: What was the inspiration for the ice ball? SO: I had bought a full formal evening dress outfit for my "performance" in the Quadrille Ball that year, and began to invent reasons to wear it to get my money's worth. Dooner (another organizer) was holding somewhat regular ice-skating socials, which echoed of the social aspect of the…

The Amazing Windowswear Walking Tour

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking a NYC boutique and department store windows walking tour with Windowswear. This tour is great not just for fashion enthusiasts, but for anyone interested in the history of New York City or economic development. Even after going to fashion school and living in the city for almost a decade, I still learned a surprising amount! The tour isn't fashion-centric, meaning the focus is not what the current colors and trends are, but talks about the composition of each windows, the window's creator, the history of the brand (and their windows), and the history of fashion in New York. Did you know that Macy's was the first store to use their windows as a form of art? Or that Lord and Taylor's flagship is the only store that has their windows on hydraulic elevators for easy changing?   We started off at Herald Square,…

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