Melanie Nayer

Correspondent

  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Melanie Nayer is a correspondent who lives in Boston and covers hotels, food, wine and luxury travel trends for Forbes Travel Guide. She is a contributing columnist at various publications, including The Huffington Post, Wine Enthusiast, The Boston Globe and Robb Report, among others. Nayer worked as a community, political and economics reporter for leading publications, including Fortune Magazine and NYTimes.com, and has been quoted as an expert on travel by CNN.com, ABC.com and MSNBC.com.

  • On July 10, 2014
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  • On July 7, 2014
    Melanie Nayer answered the question: Melanie Nayer

    What bars does Mandarin Oriental, Boston have?

    © Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group Grab a drink pre- or post-dinner at M Bar & Lounge, Mandarin Oriental, Boston’s main bar. M Bar & Lounge consists of a circular lounge area with the bar in the middle, sofa-and-table seating against the side wall and bar and high-top seating along the window wall that looks out to Boylston Street. The trendy vibe of the bar is fueled in part by the dark furniture and mirrored accents, as well as occasional live entertainment and specialty cocktails that change seasonally. You can order a bite from the bar menu, which has everything from oysters to cheese plates.
  • On April 9, 2014
    Melanie Nayer answered the question: Melanie Nayer

    What are the best things to eat and drink at The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino?

    Wildflowers at Turning Stone is located in The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino and offers breakfast and fine-dining dinner service every day except Sundays. The menu changes daily, mainly with respect to the fresh vegetables and fruits that accompany your meals. The birch-syrup-glazed pork belly, Wildflower salad (beets accompanied by goat cheese), Dover sole and filet mignon are the most-talked-about items on the menu. We can confirm that they’re worth trying while you’re at the luxury hotel.

    Throughout Turning Stone Resort Casino, you’ll find plenty of cafés, diners and restaurants, as well. If you want to add a little ambiance to your tasty treats, head to TS Steakhouse at Turning Stone, located at the top of the Tower at the resort. We suggest you grab a seat in the lounge and enjoy some bites and a cocktail while watching the sunset. The panoramic views are just one of the many things that make TS Steakhouse so enjoyable. The braised short rib sliders and oysters on the half shell are popular bar bites, but the restaurant is also known for its steaks.
  • On April 9, 2014
    Melanie Nayer answered the question: Melanie Nayer

    What are the guest rooms like at The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino?

    Every guest room at The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort is a suite, so you can be sure you’ll stay in comfort and style while you’re here. The Lodge Suites, the standard option, have a separate living room and bedroom, with one king bed or two double beds. Many suites also offer a balcony or terrace with teak deck furniture, and some have a hot tub. The Deluxe Suites are slightly larger and come with a king bed and views of the Shenandoah Golf Clubhouse and pond. The VIP Suites sit in the corner, giving you a bigger living space and a wrap-around balcony. There’s also a half bath, gas fireplace, dining table with chairs and wet bar in these suites.

    For those who want to experience a stay like royalty, the Presidential Suite is the perfect option. The two-story, 2,900-square-foot suite has three bedrooms, three full and one half baths, two fireplaces, a full entertainment center and a balcony with a private hot tub overlooking Kaluhyat Golf Club. The second-floor master bedroom has a walk-in shower and separate steam room, a Jacuzzi and a walk-in dressing room. The Presidential Suite also has a full kitchen with available butler service.
  • On April 9, 2014
    Melanie Nayer answered the question: Melanie Nayer

    What is in the mini-bar at The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino?

    The mini-bar in the guest suites at The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino is stocked with sodas and small bottles of liquor. On top of the wet bar, you’ll find bottles of water (free of charge) and glasses for mixing drinks. There’s an ice bucket, as well as nuts and chocolates located in the mini-bar area. If you need something specific, a call to the concierge is all you’ll need to do to satisfy your needs. The concierge can stock your mini-bar with whatever you require, and he can ensure any allergy and dietary needs are met in the room at the Verona, New York, hotel.
  • On April 9, 2014
    Melanie Nayer answered the question: Melanie Nayer

    What is The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino's turndown service like?

    Every evening during your stay at The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino, you’ll enjoy turndown service. It typically occurs between 6 and 8 p.m., but you can request other times that are more accommodating to your schedule, or opt not to have turndown service. When you arrive to your suite at the end of the night, you’ll find the shades drawn, the comforter pulled back and the pillows on your bed propped and plumped, ready for you to rest your head. A room service menu with breakfast items is left on your bread — simply circle what you want and hang the menu on the outside of your door before 1 a.m. and the meal will be delivered at the requested time. Next to your bed is a traditional Native American dream catcher, ensuring any nightmares get stuck in its web so you can have a quiet and peaceful sleep. There are complimentary bottles of water in your room above the mini-bar and also placed at your bedside for turndown. If you require shoe shining or laundry service, just call the concierge at the luxury hotel and he will be able to schedule these for you separately.
  • On April 9, 2014
    Melanie Nayer answered the question: Melanie Nayer

    What are the best things about The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino?

    The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino is part of the larger Turning Stone Resort Casino, but it’s situated slightly off of the main casino floor, allowing guests who stay here a more intimate feel. While all who stay at the Lodge have access to the same amenities and entertainment options as those who opt for the hotel inside the casino, there are a few things we think stand out:

    1. Skana Spa. Located in The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino, Skana Spa is a slice of serenity among the bells and whistles of the nearby casino. The spa offers everything from massages and body treatments to facials and salon services.

    2. Wildflowers. This fine-dining restaurant is located on the first floor of the Lodge, and it’s open for breakfast and dinner. We suggest treating yourself to dinner one night. The menu changes daily with seasonal items, but you won’t want to miss the s’mores dessert plate.

    3. Proximity to casino and gaming floors. While we love the fact that The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino is separated from the main casino and hotel, it’s also nice to know that all these amenities are just a short walk away. Separated by a glassed-in walkway, the casino, shops, lounges and clubs at Turning Stone Resort Casino are just on the other side of the Lodge, so you can have your privacy or join the masses that descend here each day.

    4. Entertainment and sports. The entertainment and sports hub at Turning Stone Resort Casino is one of the largest in the country, and it welcomes acts like Ringo Starr, Kiss, Disney on Ice and various comedy and theater shows. It is one of the largest indoor sports venues, offering putting greens, a full-service pro shop and six tennis courts.

    5. Guest room suites. All of the rooms at the Verona, New York, hotel are suites, making a stay here a little more like home. The entire Lodge is smoke-free, and all accommodations have separate living room areas. Even the basic suite is large enough for three people to stay comfortably, and we love that many have balconies, so you can watch a game of golf on the nearby green or just wind down your day with an alfresco cocktail at sunset.
  • On April 9, 2014
    Melanie Nayer answered the question: Melanie Nayer

    How do you get a reservation at TS Steakhouse at Turning Stone?

    Reservations are highly recommended for dinner at TS Steakhouse at Turning Stone. During busy travel seasons — school breaks and holidays, for example — or when a big-name act or traveling show is performing at Turning Stone Resort Casino, tables can fill up in a flash. You can call ahead to the restaurant for reservations, or use OpenTable.com to make dinner plans. Additionally, when you check into the resort for your stay, you can ask the concierge or front desk to help assist with a reservation. Keep in mind, however, that waiting until the last minute for a table could result in a missed opportunity. Luckily, the bar is a first-come, first-served section, so in those instances when you can’t grab a spot in the dining room, consider eating in the bar area — you’ll still have your choice of bar or dining room menu.
  • On April 9, 2014
    Melanie Nayer answered the question: Melanie Nayer

    What is the scene like at TS Steakhouse at Turning Stone?

    It’s easy to forget where you are when you walk into TS Steakhouse at Turning Stone — the scene is just that unusual for Upstate New York. The red and black décor of the restaurant oozes sex appeal, similar to something you’d find on the Las Vegas Strip. The moment you step out of the elevator and into the foyer of the steakhouse, sounds of Cole Porter and big band music greet you from the bar. Though the restaurant itself never gets boisterous — tables are set far enough apart from one another that you aren’t interrupted by other diners’ conversations — the bar area can turn a bit noisy at times. A pianist is brought in nightly to serenade guests and, between his microphone sessions and the murmur of diners, it can get clamorous. But that’s all a part of the bar’s charm. The spot’s Upstate New York-meets-Ocean’s Eleven ambience makes TS Steakhouse not just a great place to dine, but an excellent spot to meet up with friends for laughs. The seasonal outdoor balcony provides an awesome escape from the chaos of the casino floor, and you can’t beat the views. Get your camera phones ready — when the sun sets along the New York valley landscape, the eatery provides the perfect photo opp.
  • On April 9, 2014
    Melanie Nayer answered the question: Melanie Nayer

    What is the dress code at TS Steakhouse at Turning Stone?

    TS Steakhouse at Turning Stone doesn’t have a formal dress code, but it is considered one of Turning Stone Resort Casino’s fine-dining restaurants so proper attire should be worn. While business casual is the recommended decorum for the restaurant, depending on the plans of other diners that evening, you might see people even more formally dressed. The casino puts on various performances throughout the year, some of which entice a little dressier affair, so fully expect restaurant patrons dressed in cocktail attire to dine right alongside you. Of course, that doesn’t mean that if you’ve been on the links or at the pool all day you’re not welcomed; on the contrary, spiffy up just a bit — nice jeans are even acceptable — and you’re free to visit the Upstate New York restaurant for dinner or drinks.
  • On April 9, 2014
    Melanie Nayer answered the question: Melanie Nayer

    When is TS Steakhouse at Turning Stone open?

    TS Steakhouse at Turning Stone is open for dinner only. It’s highly recommended that you make reservations, especially during busy travel seasons such as spring break, summer vacation and major holidays. The restaurant is open on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 10 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 11 p.m. The steakhouse is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The bar area and cigar lounge are open at the same times as the restaurant, so it doesn’t matter if you’re here for a small bite, a cocktail or just to enjoy the top-floor view, there will likely be a seat available to you. The bar operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so plan to arrive early — it goes without saying that weekend nights can get pretty busy — if you want a window seat with front-row views of the sunset.
  • On April 9, 2014
    Melanie Nayer answered the question: Melanie Nayer

    Where is TS Steakhouse at Turning Stone located?

    TS Steakhouse at Turning Stone is located in Verona, New York, about 30 minutes from Syracuse, and about four and a half hours from New York City and Boston. It’s part of Turning Stone Resort Casino, a complex that houses four onsite lodging options, including the Tower (where TS Steakhouse is housed). The dedicated elevator located in the Tower’s lobby takes you straight to the restaurant, which sits on the top floor of the building. From here, the views are simply stunning, and one of TS Steakhouse’s biggest selling points. Even if you don’t have dinner plans at the establishment, it’s worth visiting TS Steakhouse for a quick cocktail or appetizer before your evening out simply to enjoy the 360-degree looks onto the valley. In the spring and fall, the landscaped golf courses are brimming with colors and the sunsets provide an exceptional backdrop to your table setting.
  • On April 9, 2014
    Melanie Nayer answered the question: Melanie Nayer

    How do you get a reservation at Wildflowers at Turning Stone?

    Reservations for Wildflowers at Turning Stone, the signature restaurant at Turning Stone Resort Casino, can be easily made on OpenTable.com or by calling the restaurant directly. Additionally, if you’re a guest of The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino, the concierge will also be able to assist with reservations when you check-in. One piece of advice: If you’re visiting the restaurant or the casino during peak travel times, such as school vacations or major holidays, you’ll want to reserve your table well in advance. Breakfast at Wildflowers is less formal and while reservations are still recommended, they aren’t essential. Guests of the hotel can also enjoy Wildflowers’ menus as part of their in-room dining experience. If you don’t feel like getting dressed in the morning, just use the in-room breakfast card found on your bed at turndown service and your omelets and bacon will be delivered to your door at the time of your liking.
  • On April 9, 2014
    Melanie Nayer answered the question: Melanie Nayer

    What is the scene like at Wildflowers at Turning Stone?

    Wildflowers at Turning Stone is a small, intimate 65-seat restaurant that focuses on flavors and seasonal ingredients. Come here for the tastes and flavors, not necessarily for the views and landscapes. In the evenings, the restaurant is dark and dimly lit, providing a romantic ambience and a quiet place to enjoy your evening. For breakfast, the restaurant feels more open and airy, making it very hospitable to kids and families. Guests of all ages are welcome at Wildflowers at any time. It’s worth noting, though, that one of the admirable aspects of dining here is the slow-paced dinner service. It’s in the realm of possibilities that you will spend a couple hours taking in the full culinary experience, so it might not be a suitable environment for children. The restaurant can accommodate larger parties, too. But because of the establishment’s overall tranquility, even if a table of 10 is seated near you, it won’t take away from the intimate feel of the space.
  • On April 9, 2014
    Melanie Nayer answered the question: Melanie Nayer

    What is the dress code at Wildflowers at Turning Stone?

    Wildflowers at Turning Stone is an intimate restaurant located in the lobby of The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino. The dress code for the property’s signature eatery is business casual. Skirts, pants and even nice jeans are acceptable for dining here. If you’ve been playing golf at the nearby courses or hanging poolside for the day, you will want to change before heading down for your meal. During the warmer months, the restaurant’s outdoor seating area is open for diners. If you choose to go with the alfresco option, just be sure to bring a cover-up or wrap in the event it gets chilly in the evening hours. Wildflowers is just steps from Turning Stone Resort Casino’s main entertainment facilities and casinos, making it easy to hit the nightlife immediately after dessert. You’re already dressed for it, so why not?