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Preferred Family Makes Your Family Vacay Planning a Breeze

We celebrated our first day of “Spring” Break with 3 inches of snow….gah!

My fantasies about a family beach vacation are at epic proportions. I’ve begun searing for an early summer getaway and the fabulous Preferred Family website has easily narrowed down some major front runners.
                                       

We love the Preferred Hotel Group—a fabulous collection of Luxury Hotels and Resorts. We’ve had lovely stays at many of them including: The Tides Inn, Montage Beverly Hills, The Atlantic and The Trump Hotels in NYC.

They truly love families!

Preferred Hotel Group has made luxury family travel even easier with their Preferred Family website.

Preferred Family has over 230 participating luxury hotels located all over the world, from cities to resorts, Preferred Family hotels and resorts welcome families with special amenities and activities, catering to the unique needs of travelers of all ages.

Their website, http://www.preferredfamily.com, makes family travel planning a cinch.


To be a member of Preferred Family, hotels have to go through an extensive certification process to prove they are indeed family friendly. Yay! This involves a survey and on-inspection. Preferred looks at what they offer for families – ranging from location and room set-up to on-site facilities and child-friendly programming – and then certify them for each age group they can accommodation.

This allows Preferred Family to tell travelers exactly what ages of children a hotel can accommodate to make their experience as enjoyable as possible and give them peace of mind knowing that a property is family-welcoming not just family tolerable. The certification also drives their search filters.

They have a Special Offers area for families (including deals for suites, Advanced Purchase rates, bed & breakfast, even Paris specials!) and a cool feature called “3 Days In…”

“3 Days In…” has suggested itineraries for families in a slew of locations including: LA, Tokyo, Dublin, Vail, London, Key West, Paris and more…They even have great resources for babysitting, information on culture, eating out, etc. It’s an amazing resource.

Back to my need for a fruity cocktail on the beach, I love Preferred Family’s Family Travel Planner feature. It makes finding your ideal family hotel a breeze: put in your criteria including setting (beach, country, city, mountains?) kids’ ages, amenities like adjoining rooms, kid’s club, playground, etc. and a list of properties that match your needs will pop up.

Shall we go to Phuket, Thailand, Tenerife, Spain, Laguna, California or Sea Island, Georgia? There are 26 properties matching our requirements! When I add “playground” to the search criteria, the list narrows before my eyes to 12 properties.

Hmmm…Tivoli Victoria in Portugal is looking pretty amazing: Kid’s Club, children’s pool, connecting rooms, beach, playground, kid’s menus, video arcade, story time, spa (for mama)!

Making reservations online at Preferred Family after you find the dream vacation for you and your family couldn’t be easier.

To see the full list of Preferred Family properties, go to: http://www.preferredfamily.com/properties and have fun searching for your next family vacation at www.preferredfamily.com.

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/22 at 06:48 PM
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Fab Friday: First Day of Spring?

It’s hard to believe it’s already Spring, especially with the frigid temps here in the East. So we’re keeping up with the sunny locales for this Fab Friday!

Fab Links:
Elizabeth Thorp, Founder of Poshbrood.com, was featured on NBC-4 this week playing the “Guess Where We’re Going” game!
Atlantis Resorts + Special Needs Children = Paradise!
Quick! Flash sale! And it’s Viceroy Hotel—one of our FAVES!

Fab Tweets:

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/22 at 09:55 AM
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Viceroy Hotel Flash Sale!

Viceroy Hotel Group, a luxury brand of hotels and resorts that we ADORE (if you like Kelly Wearstler, Philippe Starck or Hollywood Regency style you will fall in love!) announced a flash sale through 11:59 pm ET on March 24th.

Source: statigr.am via Viceroy on Pinterest

This flash sale offers guests the opportunity to take advantage of fantastic savings on some seriously amazing hotels and resorts.

A sampling of some of their properties and offers include:

·      Viceroy Anguilla: 15% off BAR, and a $100 Resort Credit per night valid 4/21-6/17 & 10/5-12/15, blackouts apply (Rates starting at $340) FAB FOR FAMILIES!!

·      L’Ermitage: 15% off BAR, and a $40 Hotel Credit valid 3/18 – 12/30, 2 night minimum, blackouts apply (Rates starting at $361.25) 90210, BABY

·      Viceroy Maldives: 50% off BAR and breakfast for two valid 3/18 – 12/15, valid only on stays of 2, 4, 6, or 8 nights, (Rates starting at $455) YOU HAD ME AT WATER VILLA

·      Viceroy Miami: 15% off BAR, and a $40 Hotel Credit valid 3/25 – 9/30, blackouts apply (Rates start at $228.65) MIAMI HEAT

·      Viceroy Palm Springs: 15% off BAR, and a $40 Hotel Credit per night valid 3/18-6/30 (3 night minimum) and 7/1-8/31 (2 night minimum), blackouts apply (Rates start at $144.50) RAT PACK

·      Viceroy Riviera Maya: 50% off and $50 credit per night valid 6/1 – 12/18, valid only on Premium Villa or higher room category (3 night minimum) (Rates start at $492.50)
LA PLAYA BONITA

·      Viceroy Snowmass: 15% off BAR, and a $40 Hotel Credit per night valid 4/1-12/14, blackouts apply (Rates start at $127.50) ROCKY MOUNTAIN GORGEOUS

·      Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort: 15% off BAR, and a $100 Hotel Credit per night valid 8/1st – 10/31, valid only on sugar mills, superior sugar mills and luxury cottages, blackouts apply (4 night minimum) (Rates start at $297.50) WHERE GOOP GOES!

·      Zetta San Francisco: 15% off BAR, and a $40 Hotel Credit per night valid 3/18-5/30 & 11/1-12/30, blackouts apply (Rates starting at $212.50) CITY BY THE BAY

·      Viceroy Santa Monica: 15% off BAR, and a $40 Hotel Credit per night valid 3/18-6/30, 2-night minimum, blackouts apply (Rates starting at $314.50) SUNSHINE STATE

Book your break from reality with distinctive savings by visiting: http://www.viceroyhotelgroup.com/escape

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/21 at 12:33 PM
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As Seen on NBC: Last Minute Spring Getaways

We had so much fun yesterday playing “Guess Where We’re Going?” with Barbara Harrison on NBC-4.

Can you guess where we’re going??!!

View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/20 at 01:38 PM
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Atlantis Resort Makes Vacationing with Kids with Special Needs a Breeze

When my husband told me last fall that he booked us a family trip to Atlantis in The Bahamas for January, I was thrilled!  Beautiful beaches and sun in January, sign me up! 

I love to go on vacation, but sometimes, since I am being honest, there is also a small hesitation. Going on vacation with three kids can be fantastic but it is, and has proven to be work too.  My middle daughter, Devin, has Down syndrome, and although I think we are pretty lucky in the grand scheme of things, there is no doubt that it is harder.

Day to day life is harder, and so is vacation. I cannot just sit in a beach chair and close my eyes for 10 minutes at a time, I cannot send her to buy a snack or to the restroom on her own (at least not yet or in the foreseeable future and she is 10 years old). So, I am sure you can imagine my joy when my husband told me that Atlantis has a service that caters to special needs children.

About two weeks before our trip, I called to schedule time for all of my girls to go to their Kids Adventure sessions and I became smitten with the Atlantis. The person I spoke to at the Kids Adventure was so easy going even when I asked a million questions. Then she gave me the most amazing news!!  Not only did she leave it to me to be comfortable with my choices for activities for Devin without hesitation (which always happens), they had a service for a one on one support person that I could get for her as well.
It was like Christmas all over again!  I love my daughter, and we treat her just like our other girls but we know she needs extra help and supervision, so to be able to have that for her while we are on vacation, and to not have to do it all ourselves, was simply amazing.

We stayed at Atlantis for four nights and I have to say it was the easiest vacation EVER!!  Some of that must certainly be because my girls are getting older, but without any question, much of it was because of the service and amenities at Atlantis.

When we checked our girls in for Kids Adventure, they made it so easy, comfortable and safe for us to leave our girls there, especially Devin. The girl who came out and was her one-on-one buddy gave her the biggest greeting and Devin’s eye lit up and her huge smile blossomed. How could I not melt on the spot?!

I knew I could go and enjoy the gym and spa with zero hesitation or concern. Then when we picked them up, all three of our girls could not stop chattering about their activities and how they were so kind to Devin and helped her with all of the activities. 


Another main difference for me on this vacation was not just about amenities and activities for our family. Truly the most amazing thing was the way EVERYONE at the Atlantis treated my daughter Devin.

From the doormen, to the shuttle drivers, to the waiters and life guards to the people walking around!  For five days, she was treated by everyone who worked at the Atlantis as a little girl. That might not sound so incredible to you, but if you have a child with special needs, I know you can appreciate this. 

She was not the little girl with Down syndrome, or the special needs girl or anything other than a ten year old little girl who was on vacation with her family.  They did not change the way they spoke to her or the way they acted around her. The man who was running the rock climbing assumed she could do it and encouraged her to even try it! And then made he made it work for her when she wanted to do it.

The sea lion trainer didn’t freak out when Devin got nervous about kissing the sea lion named Sunshine. When Devin was nervous about being so close, the trainer tried four different ways for Devin to be comfortable enough to hug Sunshine, and never once did I feel the anxiety or embarrassment that can often take over. The only thing I felt was joy- joy for my little girl, a little girl who simply wants to experience all of the wonderful things in life, just like her sisters.

It seems simple, going on vacation, but trust me, that’s not the case for everyone. My family will continue to try new places and vacation every year and I am sure we will continue to have a great time. That said, I know no matter where we venture in between, we will make another stop at Atlantis!  

—Submitted by Gena Mitchell.  Gena is a small business owner as a Partner at GM Ryan International with her husband. She also is very active in the disabilities community, serving her seventh year as President of the Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County (DSNMC) and a member of the Mid-Atlantic Advocacy Coalition (MDAC). Gena resides in Bethesda, MD with her husband, three daughters and two yellow labs.

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/19 at 09:37 AM
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Fab Friday: Spring Break Baby!

Spring Break is around the corner! Have you made your plans yet? So much to choose from. Let us help…

Fab Links:
We love the hip and historic W Hotel in Washington DC! Photo of the Day!
Luxury Jamaican resort that babysits for free? Yah mon.
The boots are made for walkin’! Stuart Weitzman’s 50/50 boot is one of our fave things this month!
Elizabeth shared 5 Last-Minute Spring Break Getaways in the Washingtonian this week. You know you wanna know.

Fab Tweets:

 

photo credit: Wombatunderground1 via photopin cc

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/15 at 10:27 AM
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Haven’t Made Spring Break Plans? We Have 5 Last Minute Family Escapes

No plans yet for Spring Break? You can still take the brood out of town!

Some of our favorite hotels and destinations are still offering deals and packages including: The Tides Inn, The Fairmont Southampton,  Lake Placid Lodge, The Teton Mountain Lodge and Rancho Valencia.

      Sun, sand, mountains, lake and beach, we’ve got you covered!

You can get all the details on these great properties by viewing our Washingtonian Magazine article here or by clicking the link below:

http://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/getaways/destinations/5-last-minute-spring-break-getaways.php

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/14 at 10:47 AM
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These Boots Are Made for Chic & Comfy Walking: Stuart Weitzman’s 50/50

Oh ladies, you’re going to be a little jealy because Elizabeth Street recently sent me an amazing pair of boots to “test drive.”

The iconic and sexy (but not too sexy) over-the-knee 50/50 boot from Stuart Weitzman.

I received a pair in “concord” suede— a gorgeous deep purple/wine color. (2nd from the right.) I wore (and am still wearing them) all over town three days in a row.

My feet were happy. I felt sassy. Like Angelina, I need them in every color.

You can read my style diary here and learn how to win a pair of these $595 celeb-approved boots. You can be the chicest mom in the carpool lane!

                   

Stuart Weitzman is giving away 100 pairs of 50/50 boots—I’m not one for gambling but these are pretty good odds, no??!!

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/13 at 12:59 PM
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Complimentary Nanny & Babysitting Services at a Luxury Jamaican Resort? Ya, Mon!

One of our favorite places ever Round Hill Hotel & Villas  in Jamaica—has just made your next family vacation ah-mazing.

Families who visit Round Hill from May 1st through October 31st will receive complimentary use of the resort’s Pineapple Kids Club and 7’Up Club located in a renovated new building next to the resort lobby and adjacent to their beautiful beach.

The Round Hill children’s programs promote fun and education with a host of activities for little travelers.

Guests who stay in oceanfront rooms or villa suites will receive a 50% reduction on the second adjoining room (LOVE!) for up to three children 12 years old or younger.

Plus 3 hours PER DAY of free nanny service for the wee ones from 10 am to 5 pm.

Poshbrood/SmartFlyer is a Virtuoso affiliated travel advisor and we can offer clients exclusive travel offers and amenities at Round Hill that you can’t get on your own, along with your best value for the money. Call us 202-536-2848 or shoot us an email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

                                                  YOU COULD BE HERE!!!
                                                       

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/12 at 05:06 PM
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PHOTO OF THE DAY: The Hip & Historic W Washington D.C.

Yesterday was gorgeous here in DC. And like swarms of other locals, we headed to National Mall to enjoy the weather before hitting the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History.

Enroute to the museum, the girls decided they wanted to pop into the chic W Washington DC Hotel, perfectly perched across from the White House and steps away from the Mall.

The W Washington used to be the Hotel Washington, one of DC’s historic hotels until it was complete and fabulously renovated by Starwood in 2009.

Look at this gorgeous Beaux Arts lobby!! It even makes little people swoon…

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/11 at 03:31 PM
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Fab Friday: No more winter please?

Spring is right around the corner and we’re ready! While we (im)patiently tap our feet in anticipation of warmer temps at home, we’re going to make the process even more painful by looking at these amazing travel photos. Sunshine, take me away!

Fab Links:
PHOTO OF THE DAY: Hotel Le Toiny, St. Barths
Love this guest post with beauty survival tips for any vacay
PHOTO OF THE DAY: Blue Diamond Maya Riveria
Celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival in DC with 20% Off Kimpton Hotels

Fab Tweets:

photo credit: photoholic1 via photopin cc

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/08 at 03:19 PM
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Celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival in DC with 20% Off Kimpton Hotels

We LOVE cherry blossoms and so does family-friendly Kimpton Hotels!

Kimpton is offering 20% off all 12 of their DC area hotels any day of the week from March 20 to April 14, 2013. You have to book by March 13th and sign up for Kimpton’s In Touch program (it’s free!) to take advantage of this great sale.

Book online here or call 1-800-546-7866 and mention rate code “CHERRY” when booking.

       

For more information about the National Cherry Blossom Festival and events, go to:  http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/08 at 11:10 AM
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PHOTO OF THE DAY: Blue Diamond Maya Riveria

Baby it’s cold outside…we’re dreaming of a poolside perch at the luxurious Blue Diamond Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Added bonus: This is an adults-only resort…no littles. Mama can get her margarita on, be lazy, read magazines without anyone screaming, “MOM!”

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/07 at 02:52 PM
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Beauty Survival Tips for Any Vacay

It’s that time again – time to plan your next vacation! Whether you’re escaping to warmer temperatures on Spring Break or planning your big summer vacation in a few months, you know you want to look and feel your best when you’re away. Health and fitness expert Mayling Kajiya understands the importance of feeling your best and has created 5 beauty tips that every woman should have on hand when packing up for a vacation. Keep these on hand from plane ride to pool side to help look and feel your best so you can enjoy every moment of your R&R!

Tip #1: Stay Moisturized For those that are jetsetting to warmer destinations, a flight can do some damage on your skin – cabin pressure, change in temperature and moisture going from one destination to the next are all culprits of leaving skin dry. To keep skin hydrated, apply intense moisturizer the night before your flight and nix the foundation, as well as applying after days in the sun. This will help increase hydration in your skin before you’re exposed to the dehydrating effects of traveling. Foundation can make skin look oily – sticking strictly with moisturizer can keep skin hydrated longer, making you look your best! We love this Repêchage Algo Mist Hydrating Seaweed Facial Spray www.repechage.com because it’s easy to carry in your purse and will keep you moisturized – spritz some on during the flight, after a day in the sun or before a night out and keep skin perfectly fresh!

Tip #2: Look great, no matter what “time of the month” it may be We girls know that “that time” comes around RIGHT when you don’t want it – unnecessary bloating, horrible cramps that can leave you feeling terrible – and that’s the LAST look you’ll want to flaunt in a bathing suit. To combat PMS symptoms, try Girl Uninterrupted®, a fresh, new and all-natural approach to PMS relief. It’s composed of an all-natural blend of essential amino acids and herbs that have been specifically formulated to directly address those common symptoms of PMS.  With Girl Uninterrupted, you’ll be able to curb the cramping and bloating so you’ll be able to sit poolside without aches, pains or those terrible mood swings.

Tip #3: Pack Light and Focus on “Bare Necessities” We as women know beauty product loyalty – once you find a lotion, shampoo/conditioner, or makeup brand that works, we tend to buy it in bulk for years to come. To make sure you have your must-haves on a trip, make your own travel sized essentials! Take small lotion or travel sized shampoo bottles and clean them out, adding in your favorite brands. This will allow you to bring your fave essentials without lugging the huge bottles of shampoo around in your suitcase.

Tip #4: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize No matter how you travel, it can be exhausting – hours spent waiting to board, driving in the car or sitting on a bus can leave you with puffy, tired and (sometimes) mascara-streaked eyes after dozing off. To combat the signs of fatigue, bring along eye drops in a carry on or purse - it will take the redness out of your eyes and make them look alive. To combat puffiness, bring along a washcloth and fill with crushed ice, placing under your eyes. The cold ice will wake you up and decrease any puffy eyes. While you’re on vacation, bring along a jar of Suki Eye Lift Radiance Renewal Cream at www.suki.com. Light and compact, this cream will help keep puffiness away throughout your vacation and keep you looking your best.

Tip #5: Nude Colors and Tones Traveling to tropical destinations can be the cause for bright colored nail polish, but experts say it’s best to travel with nude tones on your tips. Colored polish, if chipped, looks unclean and unfinished. Sticking with nude tones will keep you looking fresh and put together without going overboard. Foundation is the same – keep it simple. Stick to cream-based foundations such Jane Iredale’s In Touch® Cream Blush www.janeiredale.com. Unlike powder blushes that are hard to even out on the go, cream-based makeup will provide a more even cover and can be placed in a purse/clutch when out.

photo credit: detbuzzsaw via photopin cc

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/06 at 01:37 PM
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PHOTO OF THE DAY: Hotel Le Toiny, St. Barths

St. Barth’s, check.
Intimate Relais & Chateaux hotel, check.
Zero edge pool, check.
Champagne, check.
View of Caribbean Sea, check.

Perfection at l’Hôtel Le Toiny? Triple check!!

Posted by Elizabeth on 03/05 at 03:12 PM
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Poshbrood is also a full-service travel agency. Our extensive network of contacts and a partnership with NYC-based SmartFlyer, a VIRTUOSO agency, enable us to pass along special perks at top hotels worldwide such as complimentary upgrades, breakfast-inclusive hotel rates, early check- in/late check-out and additional value-adds that might include hotel and resort credits, meals, spa treatments orairport transfers. Our clients also enjoy additional benefits from our Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Ritz-Carlton STARS, Fairmont Famous Agents, Preferred Hotels VIP & Orient-Express Bellini Club status. (Poshbrood does not charge clients fees upfront, typically we receive commission from hotels.)

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Poshbrood is a curated family travel catalog of mom-tested and Poshbrood-approved inns, cottages, resorts, hotels and villas. Poshbrood is a free catalog of family-friendly hotels, luxury travel offers, family travel, deals and interviews. Poshbrood is also Virtuoso travel agency specializing in multi-generational and family travel. Have kids and love to travel? Check us out at Poshbrood.com, your family travel experts. Offspring: Don't Leave Home Without Them!

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