New York City—a fun weekend that includes the new Whitney and a stay at the Sofitel New York

Loews Hotel was once a bank

Philly's grand City Hall

Travel Feature...Zota Resort on Longboat Key


Longboat Key used to have more hotels. But the Holiday Inn left, as did the Hilton. So the time was right for a new hotel and they got one: The Zota Beach Resort that opened in June of 2017. It stands partially on what was once the Hilton, but forget any notion of what the Hilton was like. Zota is a resort, not just a room at the beach. Veteran resort-goers go for a reason: escapism. And that also happens at Zota. The beach at your doorstep is a strong lure, but so is lolling about by the pool, having an umbrella drink, bubbling about in a hot tub, dining al fresco and gazing at the beach from your balcony.
          Stay at Zota and you can add things like your own private cabana for the day at $159 (check their website-rates can change). It’s so decadent that you get poolside private space that includes a fridge, sofas and a TV. Oh and you can also have meals, drinks and snacks delivered if you wish. Perhaps you’re thinking this was The Hilton on LBK. It was, but only half of it. When Zota opened in 2017, they completely refurbished The Hilton and then added another building right across the pool for a squared off horseshoe shape. I was told that some
former guests of the Hilton even request the rooms they used to have when it was under the Hilton name.
           The décor colors throughout the common areas and the rooms are soothing tropical. Rooms are new and have comfy beds, spacious baths and plenty of room. BTW if you get a room overlooking the pool and it’s up high enough you can see the Gulf and the Bay from your balcony. Choose from the traditional king- or queen-sized rooms, but also consider their suites for lots of room and the chance to feel like your living on the water.
        They have a heated zero-entry (you stroll right in), climate controlled pool and hot tub. If you really must work out on your vacay, you’ll be delighted to find they have treadmills and weights that come with a gorgeous view of the gulf and beach. It’ll make that workout go a lot faster. Zota’s $39 resort fee includes beach chairs, Wi-Fi, in-room bottled water, valet parking, daily newspaper, fitness center and more.

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Philly is Looking Good Especially seen from way up high

The city has grown quite a bit since the pacifist Quaker (who actually rarely spent any time in Philly or in the state that bears his name) first oversaw its layout, but Philly’s unheralded attribute is that it’s manageable in size and a great city for walking.

          But if you want to view Philly from a new perspective, consider going skyward—and start with a visit to City Hall the  skyward at the splashier, newer One Liberty Observation Deck that’s 57 stories up.

        Where to stay? Be sure to check out Loews Philadelphia Hotel opened in April 2000. The hotel takes full advantage of the historical features of the building. The once three-story banking room is now a beautiful banquet space that has preserved the historical features, such as the bank’s safe, Cartier clocks, and original marble. Loews Philadelphia today houses 581 luxury rooms and has 33 stories. 


​​West Coast WOMAN