Visiting Lisbon and the Azores from Boston just got a heck of a lot easier thanks to the fact that SATA Airlines is offering daily service between Boston to Portugal, starting this month. From June to September SATA Airlines will also offer daily nonstop flights to the Azores, Ponta Delgada with flights continuing on to Lisbon. SATA will offer weekly direct flights from Boston (on Wednesdays) to Terceira Island.
FYI – Lisbon Gay Pride information can be found here and earlier in June you can check out Lisbon Bear Pride. More details about SATA’s service from Boston to Lisbon and the Azores here.
Last week I stayed at the W Washington D.C. in my review I commented on the P.O.V. roof terrace bar and restaurant that features beautiful views of The White House and Washington Monument. While the menu is very limited and the food best described as “okay”, the view and the vibe make it a place better suited for a cocktail and conversation. Unfortunately it was so cold when I was there the patio was enclosed so I’ve included this photograph from Starwood Hotels.
Should you be visiting D.C., skip the grub and come here for an early evening cocktail; the sunset can be beautiful. The subdued lighting facing the Washington Monument has more of a club vibe with the black and red decor where as the black and white checkered flooring and open terrace overlooking the White House has a more casual feel so choose the side you’d like to visit depending on your mood and preferred view.
P.O.V. is located atop the W Washington Hotel at 515 15th St NW.
The W Hotel Washington D.C. is a unique property for the W Hotel chain. The building first opened as Hotel Washington back in 1918 and is a registered building so when the W Hotel took over the space, they had to maintain certain architectural features in the lobby and exterior. I think they did a fantastic job and this is a property I would stay at again.
The hotel rooms are more in line with your typical W Hotel. My only gripe with the layout was my desk had only one plug so I had to charge my phone by my bed while working at the desk because both my phone and laptop were nearly drained by the time I had checked in.
The bathroom space is semi private with a sliding door that hides the commode and over-sized shower. A sink and vanity is located across from the shower and by the hall near the closet and entry to the room. The W Washington D.C. is located at 515 5th Street and has all the amenities you would expect but its best feature is their P.O.V. roof terrace bar / restaurant with views of The White House and The Washington Monument. The property is near many of D.C.’s attractions making this a good location for both business and personal travel.
Assuming my Jet Blue flight takes off on time, I should be on the runway at Logan Airport. I have an early morning meeting on Friday in D.C. and was faced with the option of taking a very, very early flight or spending the night in America’s most dysfunctional city. Since I love to sleep and I’m no stranger to dysfunction it was an easy decision to make.
I’ll be staying at the W Washington D.C. I’ve been to this property once before and I wrote about it in my 2010 post, Excuse me, but don’t I know you? I wonder if I’ll see anyone else famous there on this trip.
Any thoughts or suggestions on where I should grab a bite or place I should go this evening while visiting? I’ll only have a couple of hours because as I mentioned previously – I love to sleep.
“Carnaval” a.k.a. Carnival in Brazil starts tomorrow. While there are many parties celebrating the start of lent, it seems to me all other parties look pitifully small when compared to Rio de Janeiro.
Feliz Carnaval Meninos
Despite the fact that I’ve traveled through much of the US, I’ve not spent much time in the middle of the country so I didn’t know what to expect when work brought me to Kansas City, MO last week. One gets the impression that 100+ years ago K.C. was probably a very important and slightly lawless place that served as a crossroad for travelers.
I don’t see myself returning to Kansas City unless work brings me there but should you visit I would suggest trying one of their famous barbecue restaurants. K.C. loves their BBQ, and I had a fun meal at Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, but there are so many just pick one close to your hotel.
On our third night my colleagues and I were hungry for a non-BBQ dinner and we found a good option nearby in the entertainment district at the restaurant, The Drop. Our waitress also gave us a great tip to check out Manifesto at The Rieger Hotel for a nightcap. The subterranean bar plays off its location’s history as a speakeasy that Al Capone use to visit. My favorite drink was a gin based cocktail called The Girl from Cadiz made with gin, sherry, lemon, mint, dried juniper berries and lemon grass for garnish. I’m going to dream about this cocktail for a long time.
Elizabeth Stefan and Kim Greiner of Summer Street Communications have helped create Boston’s first Hotel Week Boston. The program is designed to help travelers secure great deals at some of Boston’s best hotels from February 16 – 23, 2014.
Contemplating a staycation? Want to see what other perks and discounts are being offered at participating properties? Check out the website, hotelweekboston.com.
Forte Copacabana provides amazing views of Copacabana beach and Sugar Loaf off in the distance. In recent years, Confeitaria Colombo has opened a second location here, offering visitors a great option for dining with a view. We actually visited for a cocktail one evening and then came for breakfast.
After dining you can walk the grounds of the Fort which also offer great views of Guanabara Bay. Below are a few photographs of my recent visits to Forte Copacabana and Confeitaria Colombo – Cafe do Forte.
Atop the Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro is the city’s most famous site, a 125′ statue named “Christ the Redeemer”. While there are several ways to get to the top of this granite mountain, the most popular is to buy tickets and take the electrically powered train. Although I’ve been to the Corcovado a few times already I don’t get tired of the impressive view.
Enjoying the train ride up the Corcovado.
Goofing around with the guys
Amazing views of Rio de Janeiro from atop the Corcovado
If you are planning a trip to Brazil or Rio de Janeiro and you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.
Paraty, Brazil is a tiny coastal Brazilian town, approximately 4 hours south of Rio de Janeiro. Sergio and I decided to make a road trip for a few days to this historic town known for its Portuguese colonial architecture.
The streets of Paraty date back to the mid to late 1600′s and provide a romantic backdrop to the green, lush mountains and blue/green waters of the South Atlantic. In addition to walking the stone paved streets of Paraty, one should hire a boat to see some of the many beautiful islands and beaches that are just a quick boat ride away.
Our slow moving but comfortable boat that provided ample shade to keep my pale skin from blistering from the unyielding sun, while we cruised around the harbor for more than 5 hours one day. Below are a few photos of Paraty and our boat ride.
I feel as if the board of tourism for Rio should offer me a free stay at The Copacabana Palace for all the hype I’m providing this city, but I love Rio and can’t help myself. Rio de Jaeneiro has no shortage of famous, beautiful beaches, but I tend to spend most of my time at the gay section of Ipanema Beach. I feel more comfortable here and the people watching is great. Last week at this time, my butt was firmly planted on the sand of Ipanema Beach. Here are a few photos of me relaxing with Sergio and friends at Rio’s gay beach.
If you have an upcoming trip to Rio de Janeiro or travel to Brazil planned, feel free to reach out to me.
Perhaps the most famous beach in Rio de Janeiro is Copacabana. The beach offers spectacular views of one of Rio’s most famous sites, Sugar Loaf. The 4 kilometer long beach (~2.5 miles) is one of my favorites. I’ve included a few photos to give you a glimpse of this beautiful beach.
The large ‘rock’ in the background is Sugar Loaf.
The black and white swirl you see behind Sergio on the sidewalk represents two rivers from the Amazon that Copacabana Beach has adopted as its own.
Not exactly an image of Copacabana beach but representative of what you’ll see.
Giant sandcastles that span 10′ proudly display some of Rio’s most famous sites.
Earlier this week both local papers reported that Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines has received federal approval to offer nonstop service from Boston to Beijing starting in June 2014. According to The Boston Globe, Hainan Airlines still needs to sign an agreement with MassPort before it could begin service from the airport.
Hainan Airlines would join Copa Airlines (from Panama), Japan Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Emirates Airlines as new airlines to start offering non-stop service from Boston’s Logan Airport.
As you start to think about travel plans for 2014, consider some of these new destinations that will become a whole lot more convenient.
You can read The Boston Globe article, here.
After spending nearly two weeks in Brazil, Sergio and I are heading back to Boston (please don’t be cold, please don’t be cold…) It has been fun and I look forward to writing more about the vacation.
Travel and Leisure magazine recently released the results of its annual survey of “America’s Favorite Cities”. How did your home city rank?
Boston received high marks from visitors for its classical music, culture, professional sports and history. It is also perceived as a city filled with intelligent and tech savvy residents. Want to see how Boston ranked in the nearly 30 categories created by Travel and Leisure? Link here.