Tag Archives: Museum of Glass

Top Travel Trends for 2011: The Washington State Version

Happy New Year to you all.

View of Mt. Rainier

Thomas Stanley, COO of Cox & Kings laid out his top predictions for the kinds of travel people want to take in Luxury Travel Magazine recently. Lo and behold, I discovered that every one of his trends can easily be experienced right here in Washington.

Here’s how:

  1. Travelers will be taking Multi-destination Vacations to basically get more bang for their buck or their time off. Since we have almost every kind of terrain from mountains to forests to desserts to the Pacific Ocean and you can easily drive from one to another in less than a day, this is ideal. One way to do this would be to start in Seattle (www.visitseattle.org) for city activities, drive to Mt. Rainier (www.visitrainier.com) and stay overnight and then go to Tri-Cities in eastern Washington (www.visittri-cities.com) to experience wine country.


  1. Group Tours will increase in popularity. I can easily recommend the eco-friendly Evergreen Escapes tours (www.evergreenescapes.com). This winter you can choose from the Woodinville Wine Trail, Olympic National Park, Mt. Rainier and more. Or tour Seattle by land and water with Ride the Ducks of Seattle (www.ridetheducksofseattle.com), a laugh-a-minute tour.


  1. Then there’s Contemporary Cultural Travel. We’ve got this one more than covered with the Seattle Art Museum (www.seattleartmuseum.org), the free Frye Art Museum (fryemuseum.org) in Seattle, Tacoma’s Art Museum (www.tacomaartmuseum.org) and Museum of Glass (www.museumofglass.org); and if you’re on the far side of the mountains take a gander at the Northwest Museum of Art and Culture (www.northwestmuseum.org) in Spokane.


  1. Resurgence of Tour Guides and Travel Agents. I don’t know any tour guides personally, but what about checking out some of the tours offering guidance via a CD at www.washingtonfolkarts.com. There’s Othello to Omak, Leavenworth to Maryhill, the Cascade Loop and several more.


  1. Learning Vacations rank high on the charts.  This February you can learn how to make cheese over a three-day period in Lynden (www.wsu.edu/creamery/basicplus.htm). Roadscholar.org (formerly Elderhostel) offers many learning opportunities for seniors including the study of  “Seabirds and Shorebirds of Coastal Washington in Port Townsend. We also have the Stonerose Interpretive Center (www.stonerosefossil.org) in Republic where you can dig your own fossils.


More to come on top travel trends for 2011.

Tacoma’s Luscious and Laid-back Hotel Murano

Courtesy Hotel Murano, Dante Vases

You’ll notice the glass art Hotel Murano is named for first. Then the luxurious and spacious lobby with a coffee bar that morphs into a cocktail bar in the evening.

Murano, a tiny island situated near Venice, became famous as the glass center where the technique of blowing glass was perfected. Tessa Papas, art curator and an art consultant, helped choose the name of the hotel as well as select the more than $2 million worth of glass art that graces every floor of Hotel Murano. So when the elevator opens, a display case filled with the work of the featured artist for that floor appears.

“I wanted to dedicate each floor to one artist,” says Papas. The public areas feature multiple artists.”

At the hotel entrance, you’re welcomed with a 104-foot glass masterpiece titled “Orizon,” which was created by Costas Varotsos of Greece. Other artists represented throughout the hotel include Dale Chihuly, William Morris, Miriam Di Fiore, Steve Klein, Tobias Mohl, Jessica Townsend and Toots Zynsky. Glass aficionados will want to see all the art and probably take a trip to the nearby Museum of Glass, also.

Exterior of Hotel Murano in Tacoma, courtesy of Hotel Murano

In order to fully enjoy the artistic offerings, spending at night or two at the hotel will give you that opportunity. Guest room amenity’s include IPod docking stations, spiritual menus, a menu of pillow choices in addition to beds with pillow-top mattresses, valet parking, concierge services and 24-hour room service.

Bite restaurant serves delectable Northwest cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’ve never experienced a bad dish here from the Barcelona omelet for breakfast filled with chorizo and olives to the appetizers served on Thursday evenings. I do need to return and try the bread pudding made with Krispy Kreme donuts.

Savi Day Spa, onsite at the Murano has been voted best day spa by King 5 Evening Magazine viewers two years in a row. Their services include massage therapy, body treatments, foot and hand therapies and waxing.

Designated sixth best hotel in the country by Condé Nast in 2009, Hotel Murano, a Provenance property, is located in downtown Tacoma, close to the museum district, the theatre district, boutique and antique shopping and near the Convention Center.

Did I mention they are also dog-friendly? Their amenities include the right-size pet bed, food and water bowls, treats, a new toy and disposable bags for you-know-what.