like to say I was born to travel, quite literally,
because as the child of a U.S. Navy officer,
I grew up in a family that lived and traveled
extensively through Europe before putting
down roots in Southern California. So when
my job with JW takes me around the world
for new hotel openings and other endeavors, I can’t wait
to connect to the things that still drive my passion for
travel—like tasting new foods, exploring the local culture
and experiencing those unexpected moments that make
every trip all the more memorable.
It just so happened that the opportunity to do exactly
that came up on a recent trip to Mexico City. I took time
to visit the JW MARRIOTT MEXICO CITY SANTA FE, a
hotel that literally doubles as an art gallery, with its breathtakingly curated assortment of commissioned artwork by
renowned artists such as Javier Marín, Jan Hendrix and
Carlos García de la Nuez.
In the upscale Polanco neighborhood where the
JW MARRIOTT MEXICO CITY is located, I began my
quest for two specific items unique to Mexico: authentic
guacamole (sorry, the Tex-Mex version just won’t do) and
a beautiful piece of handcrafted silver jewelry, the latter of
which I found in TANE, a store well-known for more than
half a century of craftsmanship. I satisfied my guacamole
craving, too, at a restaurant called La Única, where the
fresh avocados are served in a mortar bowl with freshly
chopped tomatoes, onions and jalapeños to be mixed
in to one’s liking. But it was a stroll by the Palacio de
Bellas Artes in the early evening, when the setting sun
illuminated the building’s golden dome, that revealed the
unexpected moment. It just so happened that across the
street there was a rooftop bar—a local favorite—that
aside from crafting some wonderful local delicacies,
provided a priceless photo op of the brilliantly lit dome.
It was a hidden-gem moment I won’t soon forget. It’s no
coincidence that this fascinating city is one of the world’s
Highlights of Mexico
City, from top: Sunset
over the Palacio de
Bellas Artes, the
ballroom foyer of the
JW Marriott Mexico
City Santa Fe, Christy
Donato admires the
jewelry at TANE.
VICE PRESIDENT & GLOBAL BRAND LEADER
most beloved destinations—and the subject of this issue’s
travel feature story.
And just so you don’t think our shared passion for
well-being went unrequited, I made sure to stick to my
ritual of ensuring I enjoyed a good night’s sleep during
my travels. Here’s my secret: Sound apps work, and a
spritz of lavender on your guest room pillow is a true
dream-saver. For more tips, check out what experts on
the topic say in this issue’s article on the science of sleep.
Because when it comes to making the most of the travel
experience, it pays to be well-rested!