I spent my birthday at the Dream Hotel in Midtown NYC and it was rad. No, I wasn't hiding out or crying into my pillow about turning 36. Frankly, in my life there's no time for that. I'm a hustler and a dreamer, which means I'm constantly working to grow my company and my career as a TV host. I teamed up with Dream Hotels for a little staycation...to get away from my busy life but to also celebrate a new year of it.
If you're looking to visit NYC or take a staycation yourself, keep reading for details about the GIVEAWAY I'm offering with Dream Hotels. But first, a quick look at my birthday evening.
When I entered my room at the Dream Hotel Midtown, this was the first thing I saw: a framed picture of my 2 puggles, a bottle of champagne and a gluten-free birthday cake! I wasn't expecting this at all. I was overjoyed and so touched that the staff at the hotel went to such great lengths to make me feel special. Plus, my 2 favorite guys in the world are my furballs, Shorty and Leroy. Was nice to have them there in spirit. Well done, Dream Hotel!
I dug into that cake pretty fast. It was so delicious I had to know where they got it from so I could share it with all my gluten-free cake lovers out there: Tu-Lu's Gluten-Free Bakery. My staycation at the Dream Hotel Midtown was starting off sweet and not just because of the cake.
CHECK OUT MY ROOM!
Above, you'll see a picture of the living room area with a big circular couch, bar area and modern furniture. Incredibly spacious and it featured a Smart TV and a full size bathroom. The decor throughout the room was minimalist and sleek, allowing plenty of room for me to unpack my bag and spread out. It might sound ridiculous, but this is something you can't do in many NYC hotel rooms. I even had a little get together of a few friends in my room before dinner. I couldn't have polished off that bottle of champagne by myself!
This was my bedroom where I caught my birthday Zzz's. The arched wall panel structure, which framed and hung over the king size bed, was the kind of thing I'd love to recreate in my own home. The shiny leather panels were like paintings and gave the room a home-y, warm feeling. There was another full-size bathroom off of this room as well.
I'm big on bathrooms because I spend a lot of time in them doing my makeup, hair and going through my nighttime cleansing ritual. When I saw how modern and perfectly clean these bathrooms were, I nearly went into shock. It's a germaphobe's dream come true. I could live in these bathrooms. The lighting is also really great for doing your makeup. These bathrooms get a 5 Star rating from me!
I had to work out (that cake) plus birthday exercise makes you feel good about your body at any age! I wasn't about to head out to a gym when I had this sweet hotel room all to myself, so I decided to create my own in-room workout. If you're ever traveling for work or pleasure you can easily do these moves and feel like you had a great workout.
I recommend investing and packing the following equipment for your travels: 1) A set of light hand weights (a set of these 2-pounders only costs you $10) and 2) Vaslides.
The 1st move that you see above is an Ab Crunch Pike. Get on the floor or flat/firm surface. Extend both arms and legs out and then crunch upwards bringing your limbs straight up, like you're reaching to the ceiling. You should feel like you're crunching in half and your legs and arms should be raising up to the ceiling at the same time. This is much harder than it looks. Grip 2-lb weights to add more resistance for your upper body, which will actually balance out your 2 halves and make it a little less difficult to raise your legs.
I suggested you get some Valslides (which are high-end floor gliders) because they're my favorite piece of equipment to travel with. You can do SO MUCH with them. Personally, I use them most to work my lower body.
In this 2nd set of moves (in the pic on the left), you'll see me doing side lunges where I use 1 Valslide under my foot that's repeatedly sliding out and then back in to meet my other foot. On the right, I'm doing mountain climbers using both Valslides. For more Valslide moves, I made this workout playlist on Youtube with Valerie Waters who created them.
A hotel room bed is one of your best pieces of equipment! Use it to do push-ups off of for this 3rd workout move. A suspended push-up, with your feet on the edge of the bed, is actually more challenging because your arms are now supporting more of your body weight. The challenge is to keep your core strong and belly tight so that your form is straight and NOT sinking downward. I promise this move will work your abs and arms together!
Love this next move! Since I can only do so many push-ups after a while until my shoulders fatigue out, I made this 4th one up so I could continue strengthening my arms and working my core.
Start off in plank mode with feet suspended on the edge of the bed. Bring your left knee in like your going to touch it to your nose. Begin to pull your abs in and go into an ab crunch like the pic on the left shows. Your back and abs will C-curve and you might push forward on your arms a bit, which is OK. Next, sweep the bent knee backwards and extend it completely out, pushing your entire body into a downward dog split. Repeat this 10-15 times on each side.
Two additional moves that are pretty straightfoward are 1) tricep dips (pictured on the left) and 2) foward lunges with your back left suspended on the edge of the bed (pictured on the right).
For tricep dips with extended legs like I'm doing, just make sure to keep your hips raised as much as you can. For the suspended lunge, focus on holding your balance, keeping your knee at a 90 degree angle and then lifting and lowering slowly to work those legs! Grab your 2-lb weights for some bicep curls if you need more a challenge. The setup is easy on these 6 moves...the work is up to you :)
I cashed in my burned calories for a delicious meal at Serafina nextdoor to the Dream Hotel Midtown. I don't get to eat pizza much since it turns me into a voracious animal but I figured I'd treat myself on my birthday with their Truffle Pizza. Well, actually, it was Serafina who treated me! They even had a rose waiting for me at my table when I got there.
I go to Serafina a lot since there's a downtown location near the Mizzfit office. Their food never disappoints, plus they offer gluten-free pizza and pastas. After all the food I ate the night of my bday, I literally passed out a happy camper in my hotel room. Best night of sleep in a looooong time.
Now it's time for you to enjoy the Dream Hotel in Midtown NYC!
GIVEAWAY TIME!!! Answer this question in the comments section below: What's the most important part of a hotel experience for YOU? If you're 1 of 3 winners picked, you'll win a complimentary in-room breakfast for 2 upon booking a room at the Dream Hotel in Midtown.
It's not a free stay buuuut, I must say the breakfast that was brought to my room the next morning after my birthday was pretty killer. I couldn't even finish it! Plus, you have 1 year to redeem this prize. Rooms at the Dream Midtown start at $125/night. Save yourself the cost of an expensive "morning-after" breakfast in bed with your honey or bestie by winning this giveaway! 3 winners will be picked on Feb 18th, 2015.