McLean Robbins

Correspondent

  • Washington, D.C., USA

McLean Robbins is a Forbes Travel Guide correspondent who lives in Washington, D.C. The freelance luxury lifestyle writer specializes in travel, hotels, spas, weddings and social media for national magazines and websites. Her work has appeared in publications including Robb Report, AOL, The Washington Post, The Washingtonian, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, DailyCandy and many more. She is also an experienced digital content and SEO strategist, working with businesses across the country to help develop engaging Web content. Robbins holds an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree from Georgetown University.

  • On November 26
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    Does The Spa at Esperanza offer couples treatments?

    Yes, the 14-room Spa at Esperanza can accommodate couples treatments in-room and in-spa. In fact, an entire section of the spa’s treatment menu, dubbed “For the Two of You” has been designated for couples. A special perk of couples treatments? The spa has designed a special massage just for lovers called the Shared Hearts Massage. Therapists work in tandem, and, during any massage (except hot stone treatments) 90 minutes or longer, switch partners halfway through. This “dance” is said to create a fire between the two guests and build a connection between couples.

    Other treatments for couples range from a Couple’s Clay Bake, a clay mask body treatment, the Rites of Passage, a water-based and full-body massage, scalp treatment and foot therapy, as well as the Damiana Alegre — Damiana is a wild flower said to induce feelings of love — which consists of a body scrub, scalp massage, foot treatment, and body oil application. All couples treatments take place in a spa suite big enough for two.
  • On November 26
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What kinds of massages are offered at The Spa at Esperanza?

    Massage therapies at The Spa at Esperanza range from traditional Swedish and deep tissue to a technique dubbed the Shared Hearts Massage — therapists work in tandem, switching guests halfway through the treatment — offered exclusively to couples. The spa, part of the Auberge spa collection, offers three branded signature treatments, ranging from the Auberge Attunement, a blend of massage techniques, to the Auberge Head to Toe, a “firm and nurturing” massage complemented by a scalp treatment, foot reflexology and warm towels. Esperanza’s unique massage treatments generally feature locally or indigenously inspired ingredients and techniques. For example, the Tropical Essence massage uses firm pressure and essential oils, while the Sun Baked treatment is the spa’s take on a hot stone massage. Other treatments include Thai, a Cuatro Manos, Dos Corazones treatment (four-hands massage) and a Cabaña Lime Massage, where therapists use lime compresses during the treatment to rejuvenate sunburnt skin.
  • On November 26
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What kinds of skincare products are used at The Spa at Esperanza?

    The Spa at Esperanza uses a variety of skincare products but focuses on organic lines. The spa’s signature line is Marie Veronique Organics. Designed by esthetician Marie Veronique Nadeau, the line mixes organic ingredients with results-driven products. Two signature facials (one 60-minute, one 90-minute) feature the products exclusively, and both are geared towards anti-aging. In many other services, the spa uses fresh products like aloe, cucumber, avocado, papaya, pineapple, mango and Baja lime. The spa also offers its own private label brand, Baja Lime, for sale. These amenities are available for purchase and in-room at the resort and range from a bath/shower gel to a honey-oatmeal soap and a lime refresher mister.
  • On November 26
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What restaurants does Esperanza, An Auberge Resort have?

    The restaurants and bars at Esperanza, An Auberge Resort are strongly influenced by the resort’s proximity to some of the continent’s freshest seafood. Seasonal, fresh, local and authentic ingredients dominate the menus at the resort’s five restaurants and bars, which range from casual poolside fare to fine dining tasting menus. Two restaurants, La Palapa and Las Estrellas, are located at the private residence club. Both are casual — La Palapa serves sandwiches, salads and typical American fare, while Las Estrellas features Italian cuisine.

    Guests of the main resort can visit Cocina del Mar for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Considered one of Los Cabos’ most romantic restaurants, Cocina del Mar offers dramatic cliffside seating where guests can watch the waves crash onto the rocks below. Request a table as far out on the rocks as you can for the best views; sunsets are particularly scenic. Just bring a shawl or a jacket — and know that you might get a bit of salt spray in your cocktail. By day, enjoy casual lunches at La Terraza Americana, or order appetizers and specialty cocktails (we’d suggest one using one of the resort’s impressive tequila selections) from the Lounge Bar. Room service is also available 24 hours per day.
  • On November 26
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What are the rooms like at Esperanza, An Auberge Resort?

    Intimate and private, Esperanza, An Auberge Resort offers 57 casitas and suites, 60 privately owned villas and 36 private residences. All of the property’s oversized rooms boast some sort of ocean view, many with sweeping vistas of the beach, and are decorated in a contemporary style with original local art and handcrafted wood furniture.

    You might be in paradise, but modern touches abound. Complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations and fully loaded iPods are only a few of the resort’s many amenities. Rooms are large — a base room starts at 925 square feet — and many offer infinity-edge hot tubs, expansive terraces and showers big enough for two. Rooms are neutral in color and feel, decorated mostly in white and browns with pops of color, letting the natural beauty of the ocean and lushly landscaped grounds shine through.

    Palapa-style thatched roofs in some rooms lend a rustic feel, but high-thread-count Italian linens and 24-hour butler service keep things appropriately luxurious. We’d book the beachfront one-bedroom luxury suite, offering 2,000 square feet of living space with a king bed, full kitchen, dining area, private pool, Jacuzzi and terrace with views of the Sea of Cortez.
  • On November 26
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    Where is Esperanza, An Auberge Resort located?

    A-listers have long flocked to the very tip of Baja California Sur in the quest for the perfect beach vacation, and Cabo San Lucas’ Esperanza, An Auberge Resort is one of the area’s finest properties. No destination here is better loved than Cabo San Lucas, with its 350 days of sunshine per year and perfect mix of fine dining, high-end shopping, impressive nightlife and, of course, luxury resorts. Esperanza’s address is Carretera Transpeninsular KM 7, Manzana 10, Punta Ballena, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico — an ideal location along the cliffs of Punta Ballena (Whale Point) along the Sea of Cortez. A 15-minute ride from downtown Cabo, Esperanza boasts the distinction of being the only luxury resort from which one can view the famed arches of Lovers Beach. Plus, it's only 30 minutes from Los Cabos International Airport, which makes it easy to get to the luxury hotel.
  • On October 23
    Jenene Ronick is now following McLean Robbins
  • On September 23
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What is the dress code at Westend Bistro?

    The dress code at Westend Bistro in The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C. is generally rather casual, and guests will be comfortable in business casual attire. However, given the restaurant’s location in a business-heavy area of downtown and its affiliation with the Ritz-Carlton hotel, most guests will be in slightly more business-oriented attire than the bistro title would suggest. Happy hour is a popular time for this centrally located restaurant, and the dress tends towards upscale casual and business casual from about 5:30 p.m. on. When dining in the evening, many men choose to wear blazers, and athletic wear is not recommended.  The dress code at Westend Bistro is as casual and elegant as the cuisine. 
  • On September 23
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    When is Westend Bistro open?

    As the main dining venue at The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C., Westend Bistro is open throughout the day. The American bistro serves lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served seven days a week, though the hours vary depending on the day. From Sunday through Thursday, dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, dinner hours are extended to 11 p.m. It’s also possible to dine in the Westend bar. Bar service lasts from 11:30 a.m. to closing on weekdays and 5:30 p.m. to closing on weekends. The popular happy hour runs from 5 to 7 p.m. weekdays, plus Westend does a Happy Hour for Night Owls Sunday through Thursday from 9 to 11 p.m. The D.C. restaurant also offers pre-theater dining seven days a week from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. The restaurant is closed on select holidays, including New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. You should make reservations for dinner at Westend, although lunch and the popular happy hour are usually open to walk-in visitors.
  • On September 23
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What is the scene like at Westend Bistro?

    Contemporary and casual, Westend Bistro is the hotel restaurant of The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C. Featuring sleek yet warm décor, Westend Bistro specializes in a contemporary American take on classic bistro cuisine. The restaurant is well suited to groups of businessmen and politicians and romantic dinners à deux alike. In warm weather, the outdoor patio is a popular place to dine. Given the restaurant’s location in a business-heavy area of downtown and its affiliation with the Ritz-Carlton hotel, most guests will be in slightly more business-oriented attire than the bistro title suggests. During its weekday happy hours, Westend Bistro draws a younger local crowd.
  • On September 23
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What is the scene like at Westend Bistro?

    Contemporary and casual, Westend Bistro is the hotel restaurant of The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C. Featuring sleek yet warm décor, Westend Bistro specializes in a contemporary American take on classic bistro cuisine. The restaurant is well suited to groups of businessmen and politicians and romantic dinners à deux alike. In warm weather, the outdoor patio is a popular place to dine. Given the restaurant’s location in a business-heavy area of downtown and its affiliation with the Ritz-Carlton hotel, most guests will be in slightly more business-oriented attire than the bistro title suggests. During its weekday happy hours, Westend Bistro draws a younger local crowd.
  • On September 23
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    When is Westend Bistro open?

    As the main dining venue at The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C., Westend Bistro is open throughout the day. The American bistro serves lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served seven days a week, though the hours vary depending on the day. From Sunday through Thursday, dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, dinner hours are extended to 11 p.m. It’s also possible to dine in the Westend bar. Bar service lasts from 11:30 a.m. to closing on weekdays and 5:30 p.m. to closing on weekends. The popular happy hour runs from 5 to 7 p.m. weekdays, plus Westend does a Happy Hour for Night Owls Sunday through Thursday from 9 to 11 p.m. The D.C. restaurant also offers pre-theater dining seven days a week from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. The restaurant is closed on select holidays, including New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. You should make reservations for dinner at Westend, although lunch and the popular happy hour are usually open to walk-in visitors.
  • On September 23
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    Where is Westend Bistro located?

    Westend Bistro is the hotel restaurant of The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C. in the city’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood. The restaurant is just a short walk from the city’s popular Georgetown neighborhood and the nightlife of Dupont Circle. Westend Bistro is just three blocks from the Foggy Bottom metro station, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer to dine near public transportation options. The open restaurant has a popular outdoor patio for warm weather dining and is a popular choice for hotel guests and locals alike. The restaurant is located at 1190 22nd St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20037.
  • On September 23
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    Where is Westend Bistro located?

    Westend Bistro is the hotel restaurant of The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C. in the city’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood. The restaurant is just a short walk from the city’s popular Georgetown neighborhood and the nightlife of Dupont Circle. Westend Bistro is just three blocks from the Foggy Bottom metro station, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer to dine near public transportation options. The open restaurant has a popular outdoor patio for warm weather dining and is a popular choice for hotel guests and locals alike. The restaurant is located at 1190 22nd St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20037.
  • On September 18
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    Where is Cioppino located?

    Cioppino is located inside The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami at 455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne. It is about a 20-minute cab ride from downtown Miami and a half-hour drive from South Beach. This more laid-back “key” isn’t part of the Florida Keys; it’s actually a small island off of the Miami coast, accessible via bridge. Key Biscayne is beautiful and serene, offering seven miles of warm sandy beaches and just one luxury hotel — The Ritz-Carlton. The Italian restaurant matches the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel’s relaxed vibe, and is located near the pool. Be sure to ask for an outside table, as the Miami restaurant features beautiful ocean views, particularly at sunset. Enjoy the Tuscan cuisine at Cioppino for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as well as a popular Sunday brunch.