Summer is Here!

When you’ve spent lots and lots of time inside changing diapers and working on organized tummy time on a proper flat surface, it makes you jump at a chance to hang out with adults doing adult things, like tapas and summer cocktails at a rooftop bar.

Enter, VASO.

VASO @ AC Hotel Dublin

VASO @ AC Hotel DublinIf you’re totally behind the times, Ohio recently got its second and third AC Hotels, in Dublin and Cincinnati.  VASO is the new rooftop bar and restaurant at Dublin’s swanky AC Hotel.  This property is located in the new Bridge Park Development, situated at the busy intersection of US 33 (Riverside Drive) and Rt. 161 (W Dublin-Granville Road). From my experience, ACs seem to be popping up in areas just like this – new, hip developments that need a stylish hotel to anchor a development of unique local restaurants, shopping and entertainment. When you enter the hotel, it’s a full sensory experience.  The art and decor is fun to look at, it smells heavenly (AC branded scent – rumor has it there is a new one coming soon!), the beautiful floor to ceiling bar straight ahead

makes you crave a handcrafted cocktail before you even make it through the threshold and you can hear the buzz of conversation from the open lobby concept, offering cozy places to have private conversations or quick business meetings. Once you make it past the lobby, you head to a separate entrance for the exclusive rooftop bar… So let’s go.

VASO @ AC Hotel Dublin

I’ve only been in 3 AC Hotels, but all of them have a cool outdoor experience.  The rooftop bar concept is taking Columbus by storm, but fortunately VASO got in and set the bar high from the start.  The glass elevator sweeps guests up to the 8th floor where you’re greeted by a friendly host, who is hoping you have a reservation, because my guess is walk-in availability is slim here. We were visiting on a Sunday evening after the Muirfield Memorial Golf Tournament which brings in celebs like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson. Needless to say, the place was PACKED. Luckily, we made reservations about a month in advance (totally not necessary, we were just busy having a baby so you know, options are limited). Once you can look past the number of people who also thought a rooftop bar in the summer would be a good idea, you see that amazing view.

VASO is serving up Spanish-style tapas and handcrafted cocktails. Our group ordered the San Jacabo (waitress recommendation and my favorite), Patatas Bravas, Albóndigas de Cordero, Ceviche de Vieiras and Ensalada de brotes de Bruselas.  Of course, no meal would be complete without dessert.  I had the Torta de Santiago, but honestly, TJ’s Torta de toffee y dátiles was absolutely amazing.

VASO @ AC Hotel DublinWhether you sit inside or out, guests can enjoy the tapas menu with impressive views, cool music and delicious cocktails.  If you haven’t been yet, I highly recommend a visit. If you’re there on a Thursday-Saturday, there is a dress code.  Kind of old school, but I like it.  Embrace the exclusivity, because at this rooftop bar, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.  And why not make a night out of it an enjoy the accommodations at the AC Hotel Dublin?

VASO @ AC Hotel Dublin

“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck

 

Take me to The Summit! Part 2

I was honored to be a part of The Summit’s Grand Opening celebration and am so happy I attended. The morning after, we (OHLA) hosted our Greater Cincinnati Lodging Council meeting here too. I got to be a guest and a host within 24 hours!

The Summit, A Dolce Hotel - Cincinnati, OHLet me tell you, The Summit, knows how to throw a party. From the lobby to the 4th floor restaurant and event space, there was action. The staff was certainly on their toes for the event but I could easily tell they were thrilled to have guests and their hospitality was outpouring.

Wow, the hotel looks great! What a difference a month makes! (Those of you who have opened a new hotel, know how the little things sometimes take a couple weeks to fall into place!)The Summit, A Dolce Hotel - Cincinnati, OH

At the time of my last visit the art exhibition event space had no art quite yet. They do now! I walked through and took a peek and took a few photos to share with all of you! I just love that this is inside of a hotel. After checking out the art, I continued to walk through the lobby to their first floor nourishment hub of sorts. It was decorated with Victorian styled hats, reminiscent of a vintage tea party. Here they had a local tea company featuring their hot beverages along with mini bundt cakes (Nothing Bundt Cakes, of course!).The Summit, A Dolce Hotel - Cincinnati, OH

Though I was enjoying my time wandering around the first floor, from what I heard, the main event was in their ballroom. I hopped onto the speedy elevator and up to the 4th floor I went! I was greeted with a cocktail, lovingly named Maxine. (Remember, I mentioned Maxwell? We are getting there.) It was a local twist on the classic French 75.The Summit, A Dolce Hotel - Cincinnati, OH

The ballroom was lined with local vendors who are also featured in their menus for The Market and Overlook Kitchen and Bar. Everything I had the opportunity to taste was fresh, innovative, and LOCAL. The service staff was on their toes and extremely warm and inviting. I always appreciate true hospitality. There was a DJ and local BBQ on their outdoor space. (The Summit has more outdoor space than many hotels I have been to. It is ideal for lounging, working, or an event!)The Summit, A Dolce Hotel - Cincinnati, OH

After trying EVERYTHING, it was time for bed. I moseyed  into my room and realized there was something new in my room (Pay Attention! This is about Maxwell.) that I did not have during my last visit. Maxwell, the cutest gold statue of a balloon animal dog.

The Summit, A Dolce Hotel - Cincinnati, OHThe golden mascot was named after the hotel owner’s beloved golden retriever. Upon his passing, his owner made a donation to a local nonprofit in his honor. Maxwell is joined at the hotel by his trusty red companion, Maxine. (Best part? The adorable statues are available for purchase and 10% of all purchases are donated to the United Pet Fund.)

The Summit, A Dolce Hotel - Cincinnati, OHRise and shine! The next morning, I went to breakfast in The Market which offered so many amazing choices including salmon, strawberry French toast (Yes, topped with cream and fresh strawberries!), eggs, and the list goes on. Sadly, I am relatively boring, and had fresh fruit, yogurt and coffee. Our meeting  was soon underway and I cannot say enough about the attentive team! Our space was perfect with a lot of windows and natural light.The Summit, A Dolce Hotel - Cincinnati, OH

 

I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to visit The Summit again and take it all in. I still did not get to dine in their (now open) Overlook Kitchen & Bar, however, it looks like I have an excuse to start planning my next visit!

 

Until Next Time,

Lauren

 

The Summit, A Dolce Hotel - Cincinnati, OH

The Summit, A Dolce Hotel - Cincinnati, OH

The Summit, A Dolce Hotel - Cincinnati, OH

Vibrant Yellow Springs, Ohio

My husband (Sean) and I booked it to Yellow Springs last week after a long work day. Though there was an accident, we still managed to make it to Yellow Springs in just over an hour (phew!). We had one night in Yellow Springs and we planned to jam pack it with all that this quaint town had to offer.

Yellow Springs Brewery, Yellow Springs, OH

First stop, Yellow Springs Brewery. We pulled into the gravel lot and got all the smells from the food truck parked just outside, yum! The brewery itself is vibrant and full of energy. Their colorful logo hung above the draught spouts and my husband immediately requested a logo sticker to take back to his man cave refrigerator (of course!). We settled in and got a flight to taste all the options. We enjoyed the staff, the local gentleman sitting next to me who shared his story of how he got to Yellow Springs, and of course, the brews!Yellow Springs Brewery, Yellow Springs, OH

We were quickly on to our next stop, Winds Café, for dinner. We were seated at a table beside the windows that looked out onto Xenia Avenue which invited Sean and I to take in the community. Before we ordered fresh breads, house olives, and creamy butter were brought to our table.

Winds Cafe - Yellow Springs, OHWe went on to order a Caesar salad, stuffed calamari, and the seasonal risotto. (I like to say that Sean is a Caesar Salad Connoisseur of sorts as he always must order one if there is one to be had. He was thrilled that he didn’t have to ask for anchovies, they were already included! It’s the little things…) Everything was delicious, but don’t worry, we both saved room for our next stop… Young’s Jersey Dairy.

I am all about ice cream. I love ice cream, especially if there is chocolate and peanut butter involved. We were told by several friends that we HAD TO stop at Young’s Jersey Dairy for ice cream, boy, am I happy we did! Sean went for the good ‘ol mint chocolate chip and I did the Buckeye Sundae (chocolate and peanut butter ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a homemade Buckeye… heavenly). By this point, we needed a good night’s sleep at the Hearthstone Inn in nearby Cedarville, a well-appointed clean and comfortable stay with a personal touch from the owners’ in every way. I thought this travel blessing was a sweet touch (see pictured).Hearthstone Inn - Cedarville, OH

The next morning, Sean headed back to Columbus and I had the opportunity to visit with one of our Unique Lodging of Ohio members, Mills Park Hotel. Talk about a hotel with personality! The property is modeled after the 19th century home of William Mills, a local settler who had helped in the development of the town’s infrastructure. Mills Park Hotel gives a modern twist to their historic roots.

Mills Park Hotel - Yellow Springs, OHThe front wrap around veranda is welcoming and completely charming! Throughout the hotel there are darling paintings of CORGIS (yes, the adorable fluffy dog), a corgi carousel, and corgi stuffed animals in the gift shop! (Fun Fact: the owner of the hotel has a corgi, hence the significance. In addition, he is fantastic with woodworking. Throughout the hotel, several of the wooden pieces were handcrafted by him!) I enjoyed an excellent breakfast in Ellie’s Restaurant & Bakery (the breakfast croissant was delicious!) and then I had to bid adieu and off to work I went.Mills Park Hotel

Every stop during my time in Yellow Springs is memorable and I’m looking forward to returning and staying for a while. I hope to explore the art scene and the several locally owned shops that line Xenia Ave.  From what I hear, you must come during a Street Festival (I’ll have to check my calendar…).

 

Until Next Time,

Lauren