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Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Hotel

The process of booking a hotel can at times be stressful and very time-consuming. Try imagining how tiresome it can get scrolling through countless web pages that all look the same. Eventually, all of the various rates, reviews, and brands start to blur together. All these can quickly turn your excitement at the prospect of going on a trip into an anxious process of getting the right hotel.

Of course, if you’re going to book a hotel, it’s almost impossible to avoid the internet altogether. Recent research reveals an estimated 1.4 million newlyweds do look for hotels for their honeymoon online. In our quest to make this task simple and faster, we have listed some of the important things you should consider when booking a hotel.

Forget Comparison Sites

That’s right, forget those big-name comparison websites. While these sites may have been useful once upon a time if you were searching for a great deal, today they are practically useless. That’s because they all recycle the same deals and rates at the same mid-range hotels. In fact, you can almost always find a cheaper rate by booking directly at the hotel website! 

While there are some useful travel search websites, Google and a notepad will often serve you better. Look for websites or reviews with lots of photos, which give you a better sense of the hotel’s character. Once you’ve made a short list, go directly to the hotel’s website to find the best rate for your travel dates.

Double Check Street Location

When looking for a hotel, location is an obvious thing to consider. However, there are times when the location can be overlooked. For instance, having a hotel located in a particular town does not necessarily mean that it is going to be located near where you want to be. Many “New York City” hotels are actually located 20 minutes away from the nearest subway stop… in Queens. You might end up spending more traveling from your hotel to your holiday site. It is advisable that you take your time and go through the hotel’s website and get its actual address on Google Maps.

Reviews

One great way you can use to know whether or not Mendocino accommodations are worth staying in is reading through previous customer reviews. Never depend on reviews found solely on the hotel’s website. Try looking for reviews elsewhere on the internet. Check if there are any sites or forums about the hotel. It is vital that you also check the review dates, too. Outdated reviews might not be relevant. Keep in mind that even the best hotels will have some negative reviews; some people just like to complain on the internet.

What Facilities does the Hotel Have?

In case you are residing in the hotel out of necessity, for example, a business trip, you might be interested in looking for items like availability of internet connections, TVs, etc. in the rooms. If they don’t have, then you might find yourself lonely at the hotel. In case you are traveling with your partner or kids, you need to check if the lodging near Mendocino CA has suitable facilities.

Check if there are any hidden costs

It is important you know what you will be paying for and all the things which have been included in the price. In case you are not sure, try calling the hotel and ask if there are any payments which you will be making or what is displayed in their site is the final amount. There are hotels which don’t list the services which you will get and end up charging you extra when you want to use them.

Conclusion

The process of choosing the right hotel is similar to trying out a task that comes with daily deals, promotions and programs since there are several websites which post teasing pictures that show luxury hotels but immediately you get into the hotel, you find everything different. The tips above will ensure you make a more informed choice whenever you are choosing for the right hotel for your next holiday or business trip. Remember booking a good hotel will increase your chances of having a great holiday.


Why Have A Yard For Your Vacation Accommodations?

Just about everyone values their vacation time and wants to get the most out of it; as many as 96% of American workers say vacation time is important to them. How people use that vacation time differs, however, and one of the things that can have the biggest impact on how much you enjoy your vacation is your accommodations. Staying in the lodging can affect how much you’re able to relax on your vacation, but many people pick hotels and inns that don’t have all the best amenities, like outdoor space. So why should you choose a hotel with a yard or other outdoor space?

Right At Home

If you’re staying in your accommodations for a longer vacation, you’ll want to feel comfortable and at home in your space. Choosing a cottage with private yard space can make it feel more like you’re staying in a second home, rather than in a hotel. You’ll be able to relax more, and you’ll enjoy the time you spend in your space, rather than rushing out to the next activity you’ve got planned.

Enjoy The Weather

If you’re picking a destination with gorgeous weather, you want to enjoy every minute of outdoor time you can. Staying in a cottage with private yard space gives you the freedom to spend even your downtime outside, relaxing and enjoying the beautiful weather. Having a private yard as part of your lodging options can give you more freedom with how you spend your time.

Space To Entertain

If you’re traveling for a special event, like a wedding reception or other major gathering, having a private yard gives you more options for spending time with others who aren’t staying in your room with you. You’ll be able to invite others to spend time together and have a place to entertain, even in your cottage rentals.

Booking the right place to stay for your vacation is essential, and having a private yard can help you enjoy your trip even more. To book a cottage with private yard space for your vacation or for more information on available rentals, contact the MacCallum House today.


3 Reasons For a Romantic Getaway at MacCallum House

accommodations

Roughly 71% of couples who travel together believe that taking time to talk and reconnect is a significant reason for going on a couple’s trip. On top of that, 42% of travelers state that they feel more romantic while on vacation.

The team at MacCallum House understands this. After all, the sights, smells, and sounds of a new place are enough to make even the least adventurous person feel excited and refreshed. If you’re staying with us in Mendocino, here are three ways we can help make your adventure a truly unforgettable one.

Luxurious Accommodations

If you and that special someone are planning a romantic getaway, there’s no time like the present and there’s no place like MacCallum House. Located conveniently in the heart of Mendicino, this historic Victorian landmark offers a variety of elegant, peaceful accommodations to choose from. Stay in the stately Main House, one of the exquisitely refurbished barn rooms, or choose from seven quaint pet-friendly cottages. The nearby MacCallum Suites and vacation rentals are also a wonderful choice.

Lavish Amenities

A roaring river stone fireplace. A clawfoot bathtub. A mini-bar filled with delectable artisanal delights. Pamper yourselves with these sumptuous amenities and more. After a gourmet breakfast, treat yourselves to a relaxing Mendocino spa package and take a specialty gift basket chock-full of local and regional items along with you for a romantic picnic lunch. Later on, enjoy a marvelous dinner in MacCallum House’s restaurant featuring North Coast cuisine prepared by award-winning executive chef Alan Kantor.

Lovely Scenery

With over 90 miles of spectacular rocky coastline to explore, Mendocino also offers many beaches to enjoy. Have a cozy bonfire at Blues beach, or head to the unspoiled cove at Jug Handle State Reserve, which is a local favorite. For those who love a leisurely walk through the woods, Mendocino County boasts numerous old-growth redwood groves. In addition, the rivers winding through the area are lined with wooded areas. The dramatic ocean views in Mendocino also make an ideal wedding backdrop, and MacCallum House is well-equipped to help you coordinate your special celebration, including the selection of a romantic ceremony location, choosing a reception area, and catering for the exciting event.

If you and your loved one are in need of some quality time together and are wondering where to stay in Mendocino, MacCallum House offers the elegant, well-appointed accommodations, extravagant amenities, and gorgeous scenery that set the perfect scene for romance.


Unique Romantic Lodging Options For You And Your Spouse

cottage rentals

Whether it’s for your honeymoon, your anniversary, or just because, a vacation with your partner can be great for your relationship. In fact, 42% of travelers feel more romantic on vacation, making vacations an excellent time for you and your partner to get closer to one another. Next time you and your partner are planning a vacation together, take a look at these unique options for a truly romantic getaway.

  • Coast hotels: If you and your partner are looking for a bit of classic romance, where better to look than hotels with an ocean view? Coast hotels not only give you a romantic backdrop for your vacation, but the location means that you and your partner will have a wide variety of activities available to fill the day. Just make sure you plan this vacation with the seasons in mind; you’ll want to make sure the weather is perfect for your days on the beach and spending time in the ocean.
  • Cottage rentals: Cottage rentals can be perfect for a couple that wants a more private romantic getaway. Certain places even offer pet friendly cottages, so if you and your partner have a furry friend you can’t bear to leave with a pet sitter, they’ll be perfectly welcome on the vacation as well. Additionally, many cottages have kitchens available for preparing home-cooked meals for that extra touch of personalized romance.
  • Luxury resorts: For the couple that has it all and still wants more, luxury hotels will likely be the best choice for your romantic vacation. The luxurious accommodations will make you and your partner feel pampered the entire length of your stay and truly make your time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life feel special. Make sure you plan out your days in advance; look for luxury hotels with spas, fine dining, and other elegant activities.

Wanting to plan a romantic vacation for you and your partner that has it all? The MacCallum House has all these lodging options and more to make sure you and your partner have the best getaway possible. Contact the MacCallum House today for more information or to book your stay.


How To Pick The Right Hotel For Your Vacation

hotels and inns

Finding the right place to stay on your vacation can be a struggle. There are many factors to consider when booking your lodging: the number of guests, the type of trip you’d like to have, the lodging options available near your travel destinations, and more. If you’re having trouble finding the right accommodations, use these tips to find hotels and inns you’re sure to love.

What Kind Of Trip Are You Planning?

Accommodations for a family vacation are going to be very different from accommodations for a honeymoon. Make sure you keep in mind the purpose of your trip while you’re booking your lodging. For a more at-home sort of feeling to your stay, look for cottage rentals that can accommodate you and your entire family. If you’re looking for a relaxing break from a hectic work week, consider a luxury hotel. Where you stay can help set the tone for the rest of your vacation.

Who’s Coming With?

Is this trip just for you and your spouse, or is the whole family coming along? Keep in mind not only the number of guests you’ll be sharing the room with but also the types of people in the room. A vacation can be a great way to spend quality family time, assuming you pick the right place to stay. 37% of families say that vacations make them happy, making it the activity that makes families most happy.

What Do You Need Out Of Your Space?

For some busy travelers, a hotel room is just a place to rest your head at the end of a long day. However, for others, it’s important to select your hotels and inns carefully because of the specific requirements you have for the room. Do you need pet-friendly cottages to account for the family dog that will be traveling with you? Do you need a space to cook in your accommodations? Keep these in mind when selecting your lodgings.

Looking for high-quality accommodations in Mendocino? The MacCallum House has a wide variety of accommodation types for you to choose from for your vacation, including cottage rentals and luxury suites. Contact the MacCallum House today for more information and to check availability.


Barrel-Aged Cocktails at the MacCallum House

Barrel-Aged Cocktails at the MacCallum House,  May 2014

Preparing the ingredients for our barrel-aged Manhattans.

Preparing the ingredients for our barrel-aged Manhattans.

 

The trend of barrel-aging cocktails has been gaining steam over the past couple of years. Barrel-aging spirits can be a creative and an effective way to make a delicious and easy-to-pour cocktail which is especially handy when you have a crowded bar or a large group to serve, as we often do. It’s also just plain fun to barrel your own concoction and develop flavors and complexity by aging a pre-mixed cocktail in an oak barrel; it can be a real lesson in chemistry!

 

We started by purchasing a 5 liter barrel made of untreated American oak. You can find barrels online that are specifically made for this purpose in various sizes but we decided 5 liters would be an ideal size for our needs. Used port or brandy barrels or any other type of barrel would also work. As a home project, you can certainly select smaller barrels; just adjust your amounts accordingly. Upon receiving the new barrel, we washed it out with hot water to remove any wood chips, and we then filled it with hot water and left it overnight so that the dry wood would soak up the water and not our precious spirits. If there are any leaks, this tips you off to their locations. Prior to filling the barrel with water, we took a small blowtorch and lightly charred the interior of the barrel to add a smokier flavor. This is fun but be careful of the flame coming out of the other end of the barrel.

 

A classic cocktail to age in a barrel is a Manhattan. This can be done using with rye, whiskey or bourbon as a base. Bourbon was our first choice (we chose Knob Creek) as it has a nice spicy sweetness to it and once aged, it shows off the added oak flavor quite well. A classic Manhattan is pretty straightforward: 2 oz. rye or bourbon, 1-ounce sweet vermouth (we use Vya), and 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters served over ice. Stirred (not shaken) and then served up traditionally with a cherry. You can make them less sweet by dropping the vermouth by a ½ oz. or by adding an additional ½ oz. of whiskey.

 

We like ours a little sweet so for a barrel-aged Manhattan in a 5 liter barrel, a good recipe would be:

 

  • 3.0 liters bourbon or rye
  • 1.5 liters of sweet vermouth

 

Mixing the Manhattan ingredients to pour into the barrel.

Mixing the Manhattan ingredients to pour into the barrel.

This recipe leaves a little space in the 5 liter barrel in case you want to add more whiskey and drop the sweetness a little. Please note that we didn’t add the bitters; there is some evidence that bitters loses its punch in the barrel so we just add it when we make the drink to serve. We mixed the bourbon and vermouth in a pitcher before pouring it into the barrel.

 

Pouring the Manhattan ingredients into the barrel through a funnel.

Pouring the Manhattan ingredients into the barrel through a funnel.

After the barrel was filled, we put the plugs in it and stashed it in a nice cool, dark place. We rotated it a quarter turn once a week and it went 6 weeks before serving. We took a sample at 3 weeks and could tell it was going to be good. The serving of the drink is the easiest part. Just pour it over ice, add some bitters and stir until its really cold. We served ours with a flamed orange peel. The oils in the orange add a nice flavor to the drink.

 

Once you have drained the barrel, you can certainly use it again. It’s not recommended to use it more than 2 or 3 times; obviously you will lose some of the oak flavor with each use but will gain some flavors from the residues of the first batch. We decided to make a Negroni as the next cocktail in the Manhattan barrel. It is equal parts gin (we used Boodles due to its milder flavor and well-balanced botanicals), sweet vermouth, and Campari. Again, we mixed it outside the barrel in a pitcher.

 

A 5 liter recipe would be:

 

  • 1.75 liters each of Gin, Sweet Vermouth, and Campari.

 

This leaves a little left over which you can pour over ice and enjoy after putting the barrel to rest. After 6 weeks you have a really nicely flavored negroni with some of the bitterness of the Campari knocked down and some added flavor from the previous batch of Manhattans. You can add all sorts of things to a Negroni like figs, strawberries, or grapefruit juice, but we like ours pretty straight, especially if you want to taste the nice flavor profile of the barrel. A simple grapefruit twist would be the perfect garnish.

 

As our next experiment, we are thinking about doing something with tequila, perhaps a barrel aged margarita base. In the future perhaps we will age some blends that can be used as the bases for other mixed drinks. Although it’s tempting, you don’t want to add fruit juice or sugar to the barrels as they can spoil. Anyway, we hope you have fun barreling and enjoy the results responsibly.

Our first blog was written by Herman Seidell.