Last year we traveled almost every two months and that was quite an accomplishment for a long distance couple like us. We want to share our favorite places, food, and flights that we’ve experienced and enjoyed during our trips over the weekends!
Favorite Hotel 2018
Santo Mauro Hotel Autograph Collection, Madrid
The hotel Santo Mauro, Autograph Collection was an unexpected treasure of our Madrid trip. The hotel grounds were beautiful from the lobby to the outside garden area, you can see that a lot of thought went to the interior design of the property. Couple that with the upgrade we received to the junior suite outside of the main building only added to the allure of the hotel. Did I mention the hotel keys? In a time when all most hotel keys are reused flimsy plastic cards, the fact that Santo Mauro front desk handed us an actual key separated the experience from other hotels further in my mind. The high point of the stay for me is the actual bed. The bed in the junior suite felt like I was laying on a cloud. After a long trip, this bed was the best night sleep I’ve had in a while. I almost didn’t want to explore the rest of Madrid because of that bed.
Favorite Hotel Breakfast 2018
Santo Mauro Hotel Autograph Collection, Madrid
The breakfast restaurant was a bit small but elegantly designed. The choice of glasses, silverware, and dishes added to the sophisticated atmosphere. We even felt like we needed to dress up to eat there. Santo Mauro doesn’t offer a breakfast buffet, which is one of my favorite parts of any hotel stay, so our meal felt more like brunch than anything else. After taking the first bite of my toast I couldn’t care less about the buffet part. This simple toast with jamon and tomato was everything we needed in this hotel. Soft but crunchy, salty but sweet. Delicious contradictions! The bread basket that was served before the toast was also amazing. Hooray for bread lovers!!
Favorite Hotel Amenity 2018
Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan Soul Convivio from Waldorf Astoria, Bangkok
There are so many things to like the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, with the Afternoon tea at Peacock Alley being a top reason. One of the things that’s easily overlooked are the hotel amenities. Besides being a mouthful to say, Salvatore Ferragamo’s Tuscan Soul Convivio caught me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting such a strong, aromatic fragrance, but I was definitely a fan. Between the shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion I smelled like the soul of the Tuscan for my entire stay. Apparently, I was not the only one impressed. After I got home I checked online to see if I can purchase the body lotion and found there are people selling the same 35ml bottles from the hotel online for $40 each!! I’m definitely in the wrong business!
Favorite Flight 2018
Korean Air First Class A380 from Incheon to Charles de Gaulle
This was my first, and hopefully not my last, first class flight ever so I was excited, but also scared. Would they know that I’m a first class rookie? What if I messed up somehow and got kicked off the plane? What if I paired the wrong wine with my entree, and they screamed “IMPOSTER” as they point and laugh? I believe these are all legitimate concerns. Thankfully, none that happened. The flight attendants were friendly, prompt and due to the smaller cabin size and the fact that it wasn’t fully booked, there was a flight attendant for each passenger. The service was flawless and the seat was spacious and incredibly comfortable. I almost didn’t want to get off the plane when the flight finally arrived in Paris. The shortest flight ever!
Favorite In-flight Meal 2018
Mini cake and ice cream from Korean Air First Class
I was actually surprised by how much better the food is in Korean Air first, compared to the other cabins. I even liked the plum dressing that flight attendant mistakenly poured over my salad. Unlike the reviews I read online, the steak was a decent portion and very tender. However, this dessert was really something special. I normally don’t like plain cake and fruit. But this was different. It had just the right amount of sweet and tanginess from the fruit to balance out the taste. That one bite of cake, ice cream and fruit made my flight!
Favorite Airport Lounge 2018
Cathay Pacific Business lounge The Pier
We don’t think there’s much comparison to be had this year. Mason has been a spokesperson for The Pier lounge for a while now. When I finally got to see the lounge for myself, I couldn’t agree with him more. Everything from the food selection to seating was almost perfection. If I had to rank the lounges we’ve been to so far, the conversation starts at #2 for everything else.
Favorite Dish 2018
Cream ravioli with truffle oil from Le Café Marly, Paris
We went for a coffee and stayed for the Ravioli. To be honest, the ravioli seemed like nothing special until I had my first bite. When it arrived at the table you can instantly smell the aroma of truffle. I was concerned it was going to be a truffle overload. But after I took my first bite I couldn’t help but smile. The ravioli was cooked perfectly, it was soft and creamy and the truffle flavor was present but subtle. This single dish left an impression on us both for a while.
Super Duper Burger, San Francisco
Let’s play a quick game of underrated/overrated burger edition. Underrated: Super Duper burger. Overrated: In & Out. I’m a New Yorker, born and raised on the East Coast. For years I entertained hearty debates about California burgers chains and how we east coasters would never be blessed by the glorious In & Out. I even contemplated making a stopover at SFO just to get my hands on an In & Out burger. And then I got my hands on an In & Out burger. California, is this your king?
Was I getting punk’d? I had to look around to see if I was in the right restaurant, sadly it was. I saw locals chowing down in blissful glee of this mediocre meat sandwich. For shame, for they will never understand the delicacy that is a double shake burger with bacon. After that disappointment, California had to reclaim its lost dignity and Super Duper Burger definitely delivered. The burgers we flavorful, juicy and had the right amount of greasy-ness I can appreciate from a fast food joint. No fuss, no frills just a really good burger.
There were lots of cities, hotels, and flights we experienced last year. We can only hope that 2019 may be just as wonderful, and we’re able to travel and explore more. Goodbye 2018, Thank you for the memories!