European vibes at Santana Row’s Hotel Valencia

Hanging-on-BalconyWhether it be opening the french doors to a balcony over looking a courtyard, or the beautiful architecture outside and in. Hotel Valencia is a place I definitely want to spend another few nights at.

Iced-coffee-on-balconyOut of the four hotels Jenna and I stayed at, Hotel Valencia was both our favourite places. If I’m so daring, I would say it was most likely one of the favourite hotels I’ve ever stayed at in my life.

You can have valet park your car for $24 overnight, or you can grab a parking pass from the Valet crew outside, drive your car around the corner and park it in the garage and walk back to the hotel with your belongings, which is clearly what we did.

Hotel-Valencia-BalconyThis was our private balcony overlooking courtyard, beauty views. Quiet rooms, and not because the hotel was empty. The place was happenin’ wiht the grand opening of Cielo, which is a roof top bar. Unfortunately it was drizzling a little bit outside so it got bumped to the inside, to V Bar.



patio-Hotel-ValenciaWhile it had both luxurious feeling to it, it wasn’t stuffy feeling. I didn’t feel as if I was in a hotel room at Hotel Valencia, while it looked rich in taste in the room, it still felt like a gorgeous apartment. Perhaps it was the added touches to the room, with the vibrant cushions on the bed, the leather club chair and a full-length mirror, perfect for outfit of the day selfies in my “wallpaper pants” as my husband likes to refer to them as. We were even greeted with some vodka cranberry left in our room — how did they know this was my favourite drink?!

We grabbed quite a nice meal at Citrus, also inside Hotel Valencia.Citrus-menu

Appetizers from the chef, and I also grabbed a lobster salad app – didn’t realize how huge the portion was going to be. It was amazing none-the-less.

Citrus-restaurantJenna ordered the grilled lamb which was served on bucatini pasta, squash and green olive. I opted for another seafood dish and got quick smoked wild salmon, red curry cous cous with pistachio tahini. So good! I want to go back, and lucky for me Santana Row is just a short drive away.

Citrus-dessertWe both decided on the speculoos caramel chocolate tart for dessert. It was espresso cremeux, milk jam, praline cocoa nib tuile, topped with chocolate chai ice cream. So caramely and brownie-like, it was incredible. Jenna said she wanted to re-create it at home for her boyfriend, it was that good.

Hotel-Valencia-patioAfter we came out from supper, I went around the courtyard taking photos of the patio at sunset. I kind of just want to live here. Forever.

The courtyard is a great place to people watch. Wondering if I can come up here without having staying at the hotel and enjoy an afternoon coffee with these types of views. It’s so breathtaking, and relaxing with their waterfall and flowers in bloom.

VBarSince Cielo wasn’t open for us to check out due to the rain, we headed over to V Bar and stayed for a few minutes.

V-Bar-balconyThis place also has a balcony overlooking the Santana Row shopping area!


Hotel-Valencia-lobbyIsn’t the front desk area gorgeous? Hotel Valencia has a few hidden-nooks/half dome shaped rooms for their guests to have on sight meetings in the front lobby. I hadn’t seen anything like that before. I snapped a few photos of it but they didn’t come out as well as they looked in person, so you’re just going to have to trust my opinion on that one ;)


Balcony-viewsThe next morning we checked out of the hotel, and had our complimentary breakfast (with a really large selection!) back at Citrus restaurant. I think it’s safe to say we both enjoyed ourselves the most here, with the beautiful European vibes Hotel Valencia has, and all the beautiful landscaping, balconies and gorgeous views.

Hotel Valencia
355 Santana Row, San Jose, CA 95128
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Disclaimer: Many thanks to Hotel Valencia for hosting our stay and meal at Citrus! 

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A Day With Dad

Fathers-Day-HeaderFather’s Day is coming up soon. But as you all most likely know, I won’t be back home with my parents (Newfoundland, Canada) this Father’s Day seeing as I was recently there in May. That doesn’t mean that I won’t be seeing him on Sunday June 21 though. Because my parents and I skype video call one another quite often, so he’ll be seeing this pretty face of mine soon enough, whether he wants to or not! Ha ha!

To be honest though, I usually just call him on the Skype phone we hooked up right after moving down here to the states, especially since we have a lot of technical difficulties trying to get our cameras working. Often enough, I call my Dad when my Mom’s at work, and chat to him about — well, nothing really. We hang out on the phone as if we were sitting in the same room. Or he tells me what all the neighbours are up to, Mr. Neighbourhood Watch over there. Ha! He’s usually watching Judge Judy and I poke fun at him for that, while I make myself a cup of tea and yell at Alfie barking out the window at our neighbours walking by.

I get homesick easily if I think of my loved ones back home. I try not to think about it too much, or my heart will start to hurt, as crazy as that sounds. So while I can’t be there in person with my Daddio this Father’s Day, I can still come up with gift ideas for all the Father’s out there. So get those shoppin’ shoes on, we’re going hunting for some deals for your Dad’s!

Santana Row as I have mentioned many times on my blog, is definitely my favourite place in San Jose. It’s full of shops, restaurants, spas and a even a hotel — which I stayed at with my buddy when she was visiting. More on that later.



donald-pliner-saleDonald Pliner makes some really snazzy looking men’s shoes, and of course — women’s items too. But I gotta say, a man wearin’ a pair of sharp shoes? Hoo wee, immediately hunkarific. They’re having a sale here, up to 50% off on the top shelf.


Oakley-Santana-RowOakley store. Wait what? Since when can one make custom oakleys? Maybe I should re-evaluate my thoughts on getting a pair of raybans, I mean…. especially if they’re unique to me.



Aveda-dry-remedyWho doesn’t love Aveda products? I’ve been using Aveda shampoo, and styling products (their hair spray called Air Control is my #1 favourite) for over ten years!

BonobosBonobos is a men’s clothing store and is a fairly new arrival at Santana Row. They have some pretty nice pieces in there, from chinos to casual suits and more. I’m definitely diggin’ the lighter suit in that upper left photo. Handsome!

Sur-la-Table-Santana-RowSur la Table is having a pretty good sale, a lot of stuff on for 25% and even up to 50% off for certain products.


Diesel-jeansDiesel jeans are wicked looking, aren’t they? They also have these gigantor watches in display cases at the store. Apparently they’re super popular, but man – the faces on them are just massive, it’s kind of comical. I asked the staff working here at Diesel, how long their 30% off sale was going on for. The guy told me it’s definitely going to go on for more than a month and the 30% off section in the back is going to get marked down to 50% off shortly. Whoa nelly! Exciting.



UE BoomBestBuy is basically like a playground for my husband, and Dad. I picked out a couple of things I think any one would enjoy having. The UE Boom is a wireless bluetooth 360 degree speaker that comes in a variety of colours to choose from, and it’s also water resistant, so take it to the poolside! And the GoPro, always a hit and fun to play around with. Especially one for the sportsman who likes to video tape themselves ;).


Franco-Uomo-clothingFranco Uomo is a European clothing store that carries both formal and casual menswear, as well as men’s accessories. They even have Canadian flag cuff-links!


Merino-WoolIcebreaker Merino. This is my husbands kind of store. Everything here is made from Merino wool and will keep you cool/warm when needed, and dry. When one of my friends was visiting here, she ended up buying a number of items from this exact store, including a really beautiful dress she plans on wearing to work.

OrvisOrvis is a really fun store with incredibly friendly staff. They sell a multitude of men’s and women’s clothing, dog beds, fishing gear… all kinds of outdoor things for the nature enthusiast.

SleepI popped into Sleep in Santana Row, that sells two main brands. One being Hästens, where beds are still made by hand using only natural filling material. And yes, the beds are comfortable. :) I had a chat with the man who was working there, and we got onto the topic of how and why I’m doing a blog post featuring Santana Row shopping for Father’s Day, so I gave him a quick rundown of my history being here (Canadian, now in California etc.). He told me I needed to check out Fort Funston. Have any of you guys been there? Apparently it’s right in between San Jose and San Francisco and it’s basically a 10:1 ratio of dogs to humans. He showed me photos of the beach and it looks out-of-this-world. I want to take Alfie there!



el-JardinEven if you aren’t sure if your Daddio is going to like some of the products at the stores I’ve listed, you can always take him to see a movie at CineArts. My husband and I have been to a handful of movies here at the Santana Row location, it’s beautifully tucked away and blends right into the rest of the scenery of Santana Row. Afterwards take him o the outdoor El Jardin tequila bar and restaurant for a bit of tapas during Santana Row’s Happy Hour. The Counter is also at Santana Row, if he’s a burger fan — they have custom built burgers which is fun for a change. Or even Pizza Antica, one of my favourite restaurants there, they have the most delicious wood fired pizzas. Then go fill up your belly with some pinkberry frozen yogurt in the central courtyard and play a game of oversize (or shall I say, life sized) chess on their outdoor chess board. So fun!

Hope you are one of the lucky ones that can spend time with your Dad this Father’s Day. Enjoy it for me! :)

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Staying at the Fairmont, San Jose

Fairmont-HeaderTo finalize our San Jose staycation last month, we ended up staying overnight at the Fairmont in downtown San Jose. It was a real treat to stay in such an elegant hotel even if just for the one nighter. I’m pretty sure our hotel room was twice the square footage of our previous apartment in Waterloo. To say it was gigantic was an understatement. I’m pretty sure the photos I’m about to show you won’t do the hotel room any justice whatsoever.

When you first walked into the suite (I’ve never in my life even stayed in a suite before, so that was pretty wicked first of all) there was this huge L-shaped hallway leading into a living room with a few couches, a TV and a desk. Then to your left there were a set of sliding doors which leads of course, to no other than the bedroom with a king sized bed that looked miniature in this grand room. It was pure luxury. I raced to the bathroom to see how huge that was, considering everything else was on a grand scale. You betcha, that too was massive. A separate tub, a fantastic glass shower, his-and-her sinks, and a toilet tucked away behind a wall for even more privacy.

It’s too bad we weren’t at the hotel longer, because I could easily get used to that kind of space in a hotel room. If I were to guess, I could probably do 3 cartwheels (not that I would) in the room, no trouble. In a row!

Anyway let’s get into the photos — because I just can’t seem to talk about this hotel enough (don’t you just love it when hotels decorate in shades of gold? I feel like it’s that more ritzier).










Tech-Museum-from-HotelYou could see the Tech Museum we visited, from our hotel room!



Fairmont-rooftop-poolThe rooftop pool at the Fairmont kept changing colours, it was pretty neat hey?


Huge thanks to Team San Jose for hosting us on our San Jose staycation. 

Fairmont San Jose

170 South Market Street, San Jose CA 95113
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