St Pancras by Renaissance London | London, UK | So last weekend we took off on a four nights trip to London, for a fun weekend and also to see Beyonce’s Concert at The O2 Arena. So off we went and we stayed for the first two nights at the iconic recently renovated St Pancras by Renaissance hotel, which happens to be in King’s Cross attached to St Pancras Station. By Sir George Gilbert Scott, this spectacular building, former Midland Grand, masterpiece of the Gothic Revival, today the St Pancras marks and epic revival as one of the most significant examples of restoration and regeneration yet seen in Britain. Used as offices for 50 years, it eventually fell into disrepair and faced demolition until de decision to make St Pancras the London terminal for the Eurostar, which opened the way for its revival and return to full glory. The hotel reopened by the management of Renaissance (Marriott Group) in 2011. Its spectacular interiors remarkably restored as a £ 200 million project which relaunched the building as a London’s distictive luxury hotel, with modern services and facilities slotted into the historic fabric, and unique loft apartments created on its upper floors.
We were hosted at a beautiful Chamber Club Rooms, located over the Chambers building at the exclusive club section. Butler Service, Private Club access & a spa offering 6 treatment rooms, gym & pool. I think the best way to define our experience, being fair to the opulence of the former Midland Grand, is 5 stars hotel experience at a luxury historic landmark. The spa also offers a Victorian tiled pool with spa, offering a unique experience and sanctuary of tranquility in the heart of this 5 five star hotel. The main feature of our suite was the window views to the interiors of St Pancras Train tracks, which I must say concerned me upon Check IN, due to sound proofing, but was not an issue at all during our entire stay. Each one of these Chamber Club Rooms (32-square-meter rooms) was a true original, restored with loving attention to detail. Lavish proportions, high ceilings, ornate moldings and expansive windows that exude historic Victorian charm. As you walk through the corridors to you room, you can still hear the whispers of the Victorian ladies and gentlemen, telling stories of this iconic landmark, The Midland Grand Hotel, among the first luxury hotels of its kind in England and in Europe. Once you reach the main stairs, your heart stops. The architecture, the decoration, the mixture of classical and contemporary – the chances are it is like no other hotel. The story of how it came into existence is just as extraordinary. It is the tale of a true renaissance; of a national treasure that was almost reduced to rubble but that is today, once again, the pride of London. Read more Several dinning options, other of course than our private Club access. The Booking Office Bar & Restaurant, a Neo-Gothic space, striking setting for a business breakfast, snack or classic English dining from an all day menu. The Gilbert Scott is an elegant British brasserie and bar, run by Marcus Wareing’s team. The lobby area itself turns into a social hub, Enjoy a range of hot & cold drinks, traditional afternoon tea and light snacks, the old taxi rank to St. Pancras station now forms London’s most spectacular Hamson Lounge. Staying at St Pancras was indeed quite a remarkable experience, a treat to the eye, which did not allow me to put my camera down for a second, day or night. Perhaps not the best location for those visiting London for the first time, which was not our case. Very easy access from King’s Cross Tube Station and connection with the Heathrow Express arriving/departing to/from Paddington Station. London has many examples of luxury hotels, but as expressed before, St Pancras by Renaissance is without any doubt a 5 stars hotel experience at a luxury historic landmark that I would recommend to anyone capable to appreciate its heritage and identity. I have only experienced this feeling before, during our stay at the Grand Europe Hotel in St Petersburg, Russia. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
GPS Carlos Melia LONDON is calling | London, UK | London is calling me, and I am coming. Being on the TOP 5 of my favorite cities in the world, I never say no to my beloved London, specially when being hosted at the Chambers by the recently restored iconic St Pancras Hotel by Renaissance. London’s finest suites are in the original Chambers building with Butler Service, Private Club access & a spa offering 6 treatment rooms, gym & pool. Second stay will be at the Grosvenor House, in Park Lane. To be fully honest, ha ha ha I have never in my life been so happy and excited to stay at a Marriott property before. I see that Marriott is bringing sexy back with style and sophistication, with some of their premium signature brands, which I am sure most of you, mortal tourists, no idea were under their umbrella, like Bulgari, EDITION, The Ritz-Carlton and of course JW Marriott. One last reason and excuse for our trip to London, is Beyonce’s Concert at the O2 Arena, which we – Rubin and I, will be assisting with a nice entourage of friends both from New York and London. So you better stay tuned, because London is Calling and I am answering. See you in London Darlings !!!! CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
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Marriott Grande Vista Resort in Orlando | Orlando, Florida | In the magical heart of Orlando is Marriott’s Grande Vista, offering spacious villas and guestrooms just minutes from Orlando’s most famous attractions I have been for the last 3 nights at the Marriott Grande Vista Resort in Orlando. I came to visit my family, who have a global timeshare and every time we come to the area of Florida, it is with Marriott properties. This time I am happily surprised. We got a huge villa on the top 5th floor, overlooking the pond with a fountain in the center, all surrounded by lush vegetation and palm trees, although being located quite urban close to SeaWorld and International Dr. One master suite with king-size bed, private bathroom and jacuzzi. Direct access to the unit’s balcony. A second bedroom with two twin beds and again a private bathroom. Each room hast its own flat TVs, and a good closet space. This villa also has and adjoining studio unit, which by a private foyer becomes one, allowing families or big groups to have up to 6 people in one villa. Villas feature separate living/dining areas and fully equipped kitchens with cookware and tableware. Also includes full laundry room. The gym at the hotel is very good.Free weights and Cardiovascular equipment. Complimentary fitness classes. There are also tennis courts, volleyball, and golf courses. Fitness centers are a very important amenity in a hotel for me, and here I must say I feel very happy with it. Fully equipped, overlooking the marina.
The outdoor pool area is also quite big with two pools one for swimming and one for relaxing and playing. Also three heated whirlpools.
If you are planning to spend a few days in Orlando, and want to be away from the hustle and bustle from the parks and the Disney Villa, but still close to everything, then Marriott Vista Grande is a great four stars option to do so, at least it worked out pretty well for us, allowing us to be all together in the same villa, but still each have its own space and privacy. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends (*) To book this property, do not hesitate to contact me either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network. TIP – Now you can read CarlosMeliaBlog in multiple languages. Just go to the bottom of the page and choose the language of your preference at the Google Translate drop down menu. Enjoy.!!!
GPS Carlos Melia at Orlando Florida | Orlando, Florida | Reporting from Orlando, the land of Mickey Mouse. I will be here for a whole week. Main reason? doing all the Disney World Parks, God NO ha ha ha, been there done that many times already. I am here for a family reunion. Came to see my parents, whom are vacationing for a month, here in Florida. I must be fully honest, not quite one of my favorite destinations in the world, actually it used to be when I was a kid, but unfortunately that is long gone. I have been to Disney World over 15 tines, EPCOT Center over 10 times, Universal Studios and SeaWorld practically the same. Who knows, I might find something that quite strikes me this time. If not I will happy enough with spending some quality time with Mom and Dad. Any ideas or suggestions ? I am all big ears, same as Mickey Mouse. Staying at the Marriott ‘s Grande Vista Rersort close to SeaWorld. A classic Florida massive resort, signature of Marriott. Of course lots of kids everywhere. To my great satisfaction being 5 people in our group, we where given a huge suite with 3 bedrooms, each with its own full bathroom. There is a common living area with a big kitchen, including also a full laundry room. The resort has a fantastic gym. So Welcome everyone to Orlando, Florida. I will be here till November 8th, when I will head back to New York City, to spend 4 days and get ready for my next adventure, which this time will take me to Peru. Now time to relax, enjoy Mom and Dad, after all we all still carry a kid inside, and Orlando, like it or not, is the best place on earth to get it out of you. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
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West Palm Beach in photos by Carlos Melia | Florida | I am spending the full week in Florida for a 2011 family reunion. West Palm Beach, also known as West Palm, is the largest and most populous city in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The city is also the oldest incorporated municipality in South Florida. See the full Photo Album at West Palm Beach by Carlos Melia. Enjoy CM