A Blueprint for a Romantic Evening in San Francisco


Graphic Designer Allie is hoping for a romantic getaway in San Francisco with today’s Wishlist item!

Dear Santa,

This Christmas I would LOVE a trip to San Francisco with my boyfriend, Andy! This year on my holiday Wishlist is an urban getaway retreat at Hotel Vitale. This luxury hotel has a perfect location. It’s in walking distance to numerous shops and attractions including Ferry Building Marketplace and also minutes away from Andy’s brother at the University of San Francisco.

Indulging in a glass of wine on the roof-top, overlooking breathtaking waterfront views, relaxing with a couples massage at Spa Vitale and finishing with Italian cuisine at Americano Restaurant would complete a magical evening together!




What’s better than a perfect Christmas dinner?


Megan, account executive and part-time television chef extraordinaire, is hoping for ham this holiday season!

Sounds weird that I’m wishing for a ham, but it’s what goes along with the ham.

For Thanksgiving, we combined multiple families for the holiday to avoid going from house to house all day and it was perfect. I’d love to be able to do the same for Christmas Eve, which is quite possibly my favorite day of the year. I love spending time with my mom and cooking with her; we usually drink wine and spend all day preparing whatever dishes we make.

One of the best hams around is the Sparkle boneless ham (Okay, I may be a little biased), but we use it for sandwiches, breakfast and anything else I can think of. Maybe I’ll even make one on Great Groceries.


Yoga at the Mandarin Oriental New York


Account Executive Katie wants to take her yoga practice to the big Apple!

I have been taking amazing yoga classes at Studio Oxygen  in Canfield to relax and ward off the inevitable extra pounds that come with the holiday season. As much as I love the classes and atmosphere at Studio Oxygen, at the top of my holiday wish list would be to take my yoga stretches to NYC.

My wish list item would be a Thai Yoga Massage at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental New York followed by a glass of wine in Asiate overlooking Central Park. I’m pretty certain my sisters and mom would enjoy the same. Mid-winter trip?


Faena Buenos Aires Anniversary Trip


Company owner, Mark McConnell, is wishing for an anniversary celebration in Buenos Aires!

I’d like to visit Faena Buenos Aires and indulge in all it offers—arts center, restaurants & bars, spa, technology, a vital new community—with Susan, my wife of 34 years as we celebrate our 35th anniversary this Christmas. As my wife and I enter a new year of marriage, and McConnell Marketing hopes to enter a new relationship with Faena Miami, it’s vital that I experience the brand and ALL it has to offer first hand (only makes sense, right?).


The Moment Hotel and Guitar Row


Our Head of Social Marketing, Steve, wants a bird’s eye view of Hollywood.

I’ve never been to California but I’ve wanted to see Los Angeles for a long time! My holiday wish list item would be to take in the sites and sounds of Hollywood from Moment Hotel’s luxurious yet laid back roof deck.

The Moment is a boutique hotel located right on the sunset strip, so it looks like a perfect base-camp to explore the city from. Being an avid guitar player, I’d definitely have to take a stroll down Guitar Row and check out some of the great guitar shops as well as the famous Rock Walk.


Steak Dinner and Luxury Lodging


It’s hard to think about Michael Jordan without thinking about basketball greatness, but what about steak greatness? Our intern Kelsey wants to experience one of the best steakhouses in Chicago while staying in one of the best hotels the city has to offer.

For Christmas I would love to visit Chicago and stay at the Intercontinental and dine at Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse located within the hotel. Michael Jordan’s steakhouse is known for its warm and inviting atmosphere and its beautiful views overlooking the magnificent mile.

Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse is one of the top steakhouses in the city and puts an emphasis on using the best locally sourced and seasonal ingredients in their dishes to help give an all around Chicago dining experience.

An ideal meal would be the famous garlic bread with blue cheese fondue for starters and then the Petite Filet Mignon topped with bourbon-mustard glazed pearl onions and a side of the mashed potato trio that includes lobster, sweet potatoes and colcannon for the entree. This would for sure be a great and delicious experience for a night out in Chicago!


The Evolution of Boutique

What is boutique? The term ‘boutique’ is French for shop. It’s been used to describe a beautiful version of a shop, with a more relaxed and one of a kind feel. Interestingly enough as our world becomes more uniform, small towns in Ohio mimicking small towns in Arizona, our individualistic nature yearns for differentiation.

Our shopping habits demand something different and the market responds. As more and more boutique shops emerge, the word “boutique” takes on a new meaning.

Within the hospitality industry boutique represents a property in the independent sector of the market distinguishing itself from larger chains. Boutique hotels pride themselves on providing their guests with a more intimate and comfortable stay and do so by using a creative vision unique to the design seen in big hotel chains. Nowhere is this more evident than at Boutique Design.

Boutique Design New York 2013 was inspirational. Offering examples from various industries and showcasing how boutiques are turning to fine art to stand out and give them a creative edge. One space in which this is evident is at the New York Palace’s lobby lounge, designed by the design and planning firm Champalimaud, with the highlight of the space being the chandelier made from hundreds of pieces of glass-blown spheres hanging from the ceiling. This piece truly acts as a glowing lantern floating in the center of the space emanating light upon the more dark interiors in the space.

New York Palace's Lobby Lounge

Another boutique property pushing boundaries is The Alexander in Indianapolis, which has teamed up with the local contemporary art museum to display a 50-piece art collection in its public spaces. The collection illustrates how art and boutique properties are becoming more and more intertwined which could forecast the future of boutiques.

Lastly, while many boutique properties are using decorative art as a way to create a more unique atmosphere, they are also using it as a form of functional art in these spaces as well.

One great and inspiring example of this from Boutique Design New York can be seen in the St. Regis Shenzhen, which has been undergoing a design transformation headed by the design group CCD – Cheng Chung Design, are the sculptural chairs located in the hotels restaurant Elba. These chairs help to add a modern and one of a kind feel to an already exotic design by combining fine art with interior design to create a more functional yet creative feel.

St. Regis Shenzen room





Though boutique hotels seem to be changing in their demand, they are also going back to their roots as being types of unique shops with the fine art pieces that are inhibiting the spaces more and more. This goes to show that while boutique hotels may be in high demand and that the market is changing, they still remain unique and creative spaces for guests.

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