Luxury Collection Hotels

Quick Weekend Getaway: Historic Luxury at the U.S. Grant

This summer was full of jet-setting opportunities - from African safaris, to cocktails in Dubai, to hiking the Cinque Terre! While it's been a summer to remember, we're cooling down on our travel time and settling back into reality. That being said, we're all about the weekend getaways! Living in Orange County, the options are endless when it comes to pretty places to stay... This time around, we opted for a quick weekend trip down to San Diego. We wanted downtown luxury mixed with classic, San Diego charm. There's no better place to stay than the U.S. Grant Hotel!

If you are at all intrigued by hotels with history, this is the spot for you. Do yourself a favor and check out the U.S. Grant’s website and read about everything that has gone on there since they opened their doors in 1910. It was built by Ulysses S. Grant Jr. in honor of his father, the 18th President of the United States. We'll be the first to say that Ulysses S. Grant Jr did an AMAZING job - in more ways than one! The U.S. Grant was once famous for an incredible Palm Court above the massive grand lobby, which was literally an oasis of palm trees on the second floor - complete with a gorgeous view of the downtown. They have a Turtle Soup at the Grant Grill that is unbelievable… And don't let the word turtle scare you. It used to be turtle and now it’s mock-turtle, and is actually made with beef tongue! The hotel used to house a speakeasy during the prohibition era called the Plata Real Nightclub, where there was booze secretly brought into the hotel through underground steam pipes. Also, there was a sit-in at the Grant Grill in 1969 that carved the way for women’s rights in San Diego. We’re telling you… a lot has happened at this historic spot!

As for our stay… we arrived to find a elegant lobby with classic furniture and decor. There are beautiful chandeliers throughout the hotel, as well as numerous cozy nooks to sit, sip on a cocktail, and people watch. One detail we loved was that the U.S. Grant has their trademark “G” logo all over the hotel in really creative places. If and when you visit, make a  little game out of it by walking around and seeing how many G’s you can find. Similar to looking for “Hidden Mickey’s” at Disneyland. (You know we love Disneyland!!)

Our room was AMAZING. We could really dedicate this whole blog to our room alone!. It had a big, cozy bed with the kind of bedding that makes you never want to leave. Ever. The headbord was a painted one-of-a-kind art piece by French artist, Yves Clement. It's touches like this that we have come to really appreciate… beautiful modern, abstract art fitting in wonderfully with an elegant, timeless bedroom. 

We were excited to eat turtle soup at the Grant Grill and had also heard great things about their cocktail menu. It definitely did not disappoint. Our waiter, Brendan, started us off with a couple cocktails and a small loaf of bread, because that’s how all meals should begin right? Bobby had the most incredible Manhattan, while Alli had a tequila concoction that was torched with fire before she drank it. The turtle soup ended up being one of our favorite dishes - it was really tasty! And no turtles were harmed in the making of the soup!! We were stuffed with more amazing food including pork belly, halibut, and lamb loin (which is like the filet mignon of lamb). While our tummies were stuffed, we had to try some dessert. (Duh!!) Our server suggested we have the mango beignets with mint sauce, which ended up being a perfect light option!

We finished the night off with a short stroll of the Gaslamp and headed back to our room to enjoy a lovely air-conditioned night sleep (our home has been really hot with no AC - come on Southern California! Don't you know it's Fall?!). We slept in the next morning, and did not want to leave. The U.S. Grant was such a treat! It was a perfect weekend getaway and we cannot wait to go back! 

Conveniently enough, today the U.S. Grant is celebrating their 105th anniversary!! Congratulations, U.S. Grant team!

Pacific Northwest Adventure: Portland

We have a special place in our hearts for Portland. Voted one of the most “green” cities in the world, you can easily explore Portland by foot or by bike, and you are never far from a tree-lined park. We prefer visiting in the Fall and/or Spring, as the colors are vibrant and the whether is crisp!  Natural beauty aside, Portland boasts some of our favorite restaurants, coffee shops, and hotels. And with no sales tax, it’s a great excuse to do some shopping!

Riverplace HotelWhile we try to avoid major hotel chains, we are big fans of Kimpton. Their hotels are always unique, modern-yet-inviting, and located in ideal locations. The Riverplace Hotel by Kimpton is no exception. Located on the Willamette River, it boasts an impeccable view of the water, and yet it is only a stones throw from downtown PDX. While the hip decor alone draws us to the Riverplace, they also have an evening wine reception, coffee and tea in the mornings, and Linus bikes for their guests to ride. If you’re visiting in the wintertime, nothing is more inviting than sitting by the big fireplace in the lobby!

The Nines: If you are looking for a true Portland city experience, there is no better spot to stay than the Nines Hotel. The Nines not only has a central location, helpful staff, and some of our FAVORITE restaurants (Departure & Urban Farmer), but their accommodations will make you feel like royalty. Make sure you request a room on one of the top floors, as the views of the city are breathtaking!


Portland is a coffee lover’s dream. There are SO many options - just try yelping “coffee” and you’ll instantly feel defeated. Instead of limiting ourselves, we like to hit up 3 or 4 coffee shops in one day, and share a cup here and there (so we don’t get too “buzzed”). Anyways, here’s a few of our favorite places to grab a cup of joe.



Stumptown Coffee Roasters 

Case Study Coffee 



Multnomah Whiskey LibraryWords can’t really describe this place, you just need to go. The line forms quick, but don’t let that sway you. Put your name in and walk around the city, they’ll text you when you’re up. Whatever you do, make sure you order the brussel sprouts.


Ava Genes: Ava Gene’s serves a “Roman Inspired” menu… we’re not entirely sure what that means, but whatever it is, it’s GOOD. The plates are small and meant to be shared. Ask your server for suggestions, it’s hard to choose!


Departure: You can safely assume that when a restaurant’s head chef was a finalist on “Top Chef”, the food is going to be top notch. Departure will blow your expectations away, as the pan-Asian menu is some of the best we’ve ever tasted. Especially the chicken wings. Life = changed.


Urban Farmer: One of our favorite breakfasts in Portland is located right in the lobby of The Nines Hotel! The entire breakfast menu is amazing, but we highly recommend the eggs benedict. Great coffee, too!