It’s The Little Things That Count

Sometimes I’m asked by clients why certain hotels are so expensive or if it’s worth it to “splurge” on a nice hotel.  Showing people the value of these places isn’t as easy as quoting room square footage, high end fabrics or furnishings. At the end of the day, sometimes the things that stick with you the most are the unplanned little touches.

On our recent stay at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco my wife, son and I were waiting in the lobby lounge for our room to be available and accidentally forgot one of my son’s teething toys on the table.  A few hours later upon returning to our room, we found a bag waiting for us.  Amazingly not only had the Ritz returned my son’s toy, but they also included a hand written letter, a kids book, a Ritz rubber duck and a Ritz bib.  At the end of the day it’s the little things that make for special vacations.  


Site Visit: Terranea Resort



Last week I had the opportunity to stay at Terranea Resort. This resort is located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, one of Southern California’s most scenic and coveted coastlines overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. The 102-acre estate features 582 guestrooms and suites, including spacious bungalows, casitas and villas.  The resort has a casual Californian vibe with Mediterranean styling. The hotel features multiple dining venues from casual to high end and an ocean front bar.  There is even a 9 hole par 3 golf course. The hotel has multiple pools each with a great view of the ocean from the cliff-side. 

The service level here is very high. For example, all guests checking in receive a complementary glass of sparkling wine.  The hotel was well staffed to provide a high level of service for all guests. My guest room was nicely decorated with a large TV, balcony, and a large bathroom with separate shower and tub.  One negative was there was only 1 sink in the bathroom and a limited amount of counter space. 


Both the positive and the drawback of this hotel is the location.  It is about 30 minutes from the highway, with lots of traffic lights so staying here while trying to explore the LA area is difficult. By contrast, because it’s very secluded it makes a great getaway.  I would recommend this hotel to anyone trying to stay in the Palos Verdes area, to get away from the hustle and bustle of LA or play the beautiful Donald Trump golf course which is 5 minutes down the road.  For people looking to get out and explore LA or the OC but looking for beach time, I think you would be better served staying in Santa Monica or Laguna Beach.

By booking the Terranea Resort with Nick Running Travel, clients receive free breakfast daily, room upgrade on arrival if available, $100 Resort credit, free Wi-Fi and more.  For a limited time we also can offer the following promotions:

July 4th Special:
Stay at least 2 nights during the 4th of July holiday and receive an extra $100 credit for rooms and $200 credit for suites.  NOTE: To qualify you must stay the night of July 4th. 

Summer Escape:
For travel until September 3, 2018 receive 25% off normal nightly rates.

Top 5 Weekend Getaways From The Bay Area

We all know how it is, you are super behind with work and the last thing you can do is take 2 weeks off for vacation.  However, you need some way to relax and recharge.  The perfect solution is a weekend getaway!  These are my favorite places to relax and unwind within a 2 hour drive from the Bay Area.

Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay


Just 30-45 minutes from many places in the Bay Area, this resort sits right above the Pacific Ocean.  The resort offers an array of recreational activities that blend the elements of a seaside resort with lavish five-star accommodations, including making s'mores on your guestroom's terrace fire pit, exploring miles of ocean-side trails and golfing on two world-class courses. Be sure to grab a seat around the wood-burning fire pits at sunset to watch the lone bagpiper stroll down the bluff.  By booking with Nick Running Travel clients receive the following:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast for two
  • $100 Spa credit
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Carneros Resort and Spa


Carneros Resort and Spa, only an hour from San Francisco sits almost directly between the Napa and Sonoma wine regions making it the perfect weekend getaway for those who want to visit both areas. It is surrounded by 28 acres of grapevines, fruit trees and picturesque farmland.  Cottages have various amenities including fireplaces, indoor-outdoor showers, individual hot tubs and French doors leading to landscaped gardens.  By booking with Nick Running Travel clients receive the following:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full American breakfast for two at Hilltop Dining Room
  • A $100  Spa credit
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Meadowood Napa Valley


For those who want to concentrate on Napa valley, Meadowood sits just outside St. Helena and offers a very central location for exploring all the valley’s wineries.  Meadowood boasts a three Michelin star restaurant, and lots of activities onsite including a 9 hole golf course, tennis, swimming, hiking and croquet.  Most cottages have fireplaces and terraces and many rooms are unique.  By booking with Nick Running Travel clients receive the following:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • $50.00 daily credit towards breakfast in The Grill or via room service
  • $100 Spa credit
  • Welcome amenity of a box of handcrafted Napa Valley Chocolates
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Carmel Valley Ranch


Located about 10 miles inland, this gated private resort spans 500 acres of vineyards, lavender fields, scenic foothills and an 18 hole Pete Dye golf course.  Carmel Valley Ranch features miles of hiking trails, tennis courts, yoga classes, multiple pools and evening s’mores. Of all the locations mentioned this is where you should go if your idea of relaxation and rejuvenation means getting active or outdoors.  By booking with Nick Running Travel clients receive the following:

  • Upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast for two
  • One $100 hotel resort credit
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Rosewood CordeValle


Just 20 minutes south of San Jose, Rosewood CordeValle is a quiet oasis from the busy hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley.  Situated on a private country club in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains this resort is the perfect place to relax and unwind.  Golfers will enjoy the 18 hole Robert Trent Jones, Jr course that has previously hosted LPGA tour events.  Rosewood CordeValle was rated by Conde Nast readers choice awards as the #1 resort in California and #40 in the world in 2017. As a Rosewood Elite Member, clients of Nick Running Travel receive the following amenities:

  • VIP Recognition
  • Upgrade upon arrival, subject to availability
  • Special on-property staff dedicated to you as an Elite client
  • Top-of-waitlist in high demand periods like holidays
  • Elite Price Assurance: If a special offer is developed after a reservation confirmation is generated for an Elite agent’s client, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will extend better value upon request up until 24 hours prior to guest arrival.