Looking for a #SundayFunday #Staycation in #Raleigh ? Visit #NorthHills + @RenRaleigh #renhotels

Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel, however the opinions/photos 100% are my own.

People like to ask the question: If you could pack up and go on a mini vacation, where would you go? For me, sometimes the fun can be found right in your own city! I shared in a previous post that North Hills is a great place to Stay, Eat, Play when looking for a staycation getaway. Well last Sunday, I revisted North Hills and checked into the newly renovated Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel.

SUNDAY FUNDAY + Things to Do 

If you follow my Instagram @SobeSavvy and checked out my Instastories, you may have seen the shopping and dining fun I had in North Hills. My family and I strolled along before picking up my birthday freebie at Sephora. We then made a lunch stop at one of our favorite pizza spots, Pielogy before checking in. There are just so many ways to spend the day in North Hills and Renaissance Raleigh is conveniently close to all of the exciting things to do!

Renaissance Raleigh is just steps away from endless shopping, dining and exciting entertainment in the coveted North Hills

In addition to family fun options, there are plenty of date nights spots and places to go with your girlfriends in North Hills.  I met 
up with 2 friends to enjoy Level 7 Rooftop Bars latest cocktail, Frosé which is Frozen Rosé Wine. It left a great impression on us ladies which I shared on video>>here

Say Frosé ! @Level 7 Rooftop Bar                                          

I also met up with some fellow NC Bloggers for a “Bloggers and Bar Bites” sampling event at BoneFish Grill which I had the pleasure of hosting. They have new menu items on their hand-crafted Happy Hour (which is EVERYDAY) that you can read more about >>here. After all the Sunday Funday was had, it was nice to not have to drive home but to enjoy an overnight stay right there at Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel.

STAY

The Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel is a four star property with 229 rooms, meeting spaces and a new bar/restaurant/lounge named 41Hundred. In case you missed it, read about the Grand Opening >> here and the many reasons you should drink and dine there.
The entire hotel recently went through a renovation, so I thought it would be great to feature and share with my local SobeSavvy readers who want to know where to go for staycation. I had a chance to experience their luxury hospitality with my husband and our daughter and it was such a wonderful stay!

Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel Lobby | Photo Credit: Barry Heigh, SobeSavvy.com

The bright and airy lobby had flowing ceiling artwork and this beautiful spiral staircase that was ideal for a fun mini-photo shoot before my night out with the girls!

The lovely staircase at the Renaissance Raleigh is the perfect place to make a Grand Entrance

Lobby Level of Renaissance Raleigh

Check in was quick and friendly. Our room, a 2 Queen + sofabed type, was very spacious and our daughter, who is fondly referred to on the blog as #outandaboutAva, made herself right at home! 

Our Princess, #outandaboutAva , enjoys a Queen size bed !

Sofabed + 7th Floor Views at Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

The room decor had a style that while modern was still classic. My husband realized that we did not have to tune into our daughtet’s tablet for her favorite shows because their state of the art flat smart TV screen allowed us to sign into our Netflix account just as if we were home! There was also plenty of connectivity throughout the room for all of our laptops, tablets and cellphones. 

In room work space at Renaissance Raleigh

So our daughter liked the beds, my husband was fond of the technology, as for me my favorite thing was the bathroom shower. It was A-MAZING! Besides the normal showerhead, it had two separate horizontal water jets which basically gives you a back massage while showering. Pure bliss.Their Aveda products were just the icing on the cake for me as far as amenities.

WORK + PLAY 

The second floor of the lobby is what I like to refer to as their ‘living lounge’. It’s part contemporary living room, part modern lounge with an open space which includes plenty of comfy couches, a ping pong table and a couple of connect five board games set up for anyone to use them while socializing and having a few drinks. Another reason this refined lounge area represents ‘living” to me is because of the use of outdoor elements for indoor decor. 

Lounge Area | Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

Family Fun Spaces at Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

My daughter turned to Disney Channel and we played a few games of connect four +ping pong! This use of space is fun and creative. They also have various size boardroom and conference areas for you to book your corporate needs.

Exterior of Pavane Boardroom at Renaissance Raleigh

DINE

After a restful night, we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast buffet in their unique lobby restaurant, 41Hundred

Breakfast Buffet at 41Hundred Restaurant | Renaissance Raleigh Hotel

There were plenty of choices on the buffet which includes the option of made to order omelettes, pancakes or french toast from the a la carte menu.  The variety of fresh fruit and pastries on the buffet caught our eyes as well. Everything was delicious! My husband who is a breakfast enthusiast, said their “Breakfast was fit for a King” ! Yep, my King’s breakfast stamp of approval means alot. Dining here was a great way to start the day prior to check out. 

Rise & Dine ! Enjoying the Breakfast Buffet at 41Hundred Restaurant,Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

My #HeighPartyof3 enjoyed our staycation here. Good Food ✔ Comfortable Beds✔ Great Service✔ Awesome Amenites✔ Convenient Location✔…they had all the bases covered and hit a home run in our minds! When seeking a local staycation hotel, make Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel one of your top choices.

Exterior View Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

4100 Main St at North Hills

RALEIGH, NC 27609

Looking for a daily #HappyHour in #Raleigh ? Try @BoneFishGrill #BoneFishHH Cocktails🍹+Bar Bites🍴

Disclaimer: Thanks to Bonefish Grill in Raleigh North Hills for hosting me, along with fellow Raleigh/Durham bloggers for my #SobeSavvyEats series. Complimentary bar bites + cocktails were provided for our #SundayFunday meetup, however my opinion for this review is 100% my own.

#SobeSavvyEats Event~ ‘Bloggers & Bar Bites’ Happy Hour ~BoneFish Grill Raleigh, NC

Yesterday was a ‘Sunday Funday’ I will never forget thanks to seven blogger baes and one of my favorite restaurants! After a long year of studying, I wanted to celebrate the passing of my CPC exam with some fellow foodie friends, who are also NC Bloggers/Influencers. After hearing about the New Hand-Crafted Happy Hour menu at Bonefish Grill, I knew that would be the perfect place to meetup! 

A high top table for our large group was reserved in the bar area (which is generally first come, first served seating). After being greeted by staff, it was time to put in our drink order. 


COCKTAILS | Tonight we had two options to try:  Fresh Watermelon Martini or..

.. Sparkling Blue Hawaiian Martini 

Both of these cocktails were refreshing, made with fresh ingredients and beautiful to the eye. Not only did they look good but it was love at first sip for me! If you are looking for eternal summer in a glass, these are the cocktails to choose. 

BAR BITES | The menu consisted of these six $6 items ranging from seafood to beef.

Everyone enjoyed the variety of options on the bar bites menu and I discovered some personal faves that I can’t wait to eat again! Take a look at what BoneFish Grill is offering up during Happy Hour, daily from 4pm-6:30pm:

Crispy Cod Sliders

~  Fresh Alaskan Cod served on 2 potato buns with lettuce, tomato and a signature sauce. This is no McDonald’s fish filet. It’s a healthier, tastier option for fish sandwich lovers.

Wagyu Beef Sliders  

~  Want some meat instead? Order the beef sliders! You can’t go wrong with these because its made from Wagyu Beef which makes for 2 juicy mini burgers.

Crispy Au Gratin Bites

~  Every good bar menu requires something starchy right?! Get your carb fix with these cheesy potato bites. Those who do not eat bacon did not try them but those of us who did really liked the crispy au gratin bites, which comes with 2 sauces for your dipping pleasure.

Ahi Tuna Poke 

~  We had a self-proclaimed ‘poke snob’ amongst us, as well as someone who never tried raw tuna before who gave this dish a thumbs up! This dish paired with the Sparkling Blue Hawaiian drink will transport your tastebuds to a beach in Hawaii. This was one of my favorites.

Calamari 

~  I liked the asian twist on this classic dish. Instead of marinara or cocktail sauce, you get a sweet/spicy sauce on the side. Not too greasy and flash fried with peppers and asian noodles, this is a great dish to share with other calamari fans.

Prince Edward Island Mussels Josephine 

~  Although this is a nice sharing portion, this is one bar bite I did not want to share! Simply because I love mussels and these were my favorite out of everything we tried. You are going to want some of BoneFish Grill’s bread to dip in the flavorful broth and enjoy…by yourself!

SOBESAVVY TIP: Today only, All Day enjoy $5 Martini Mondays

I am happy to advise I will be back for the Hand-Crafted Happy Hour ! The all-new menu items and hand-crafted cocktails are something you are going to want to enjoy with family, friends, co-workers, loved ones or even by yourself (if you don’t want to share the mussels like me~lol). It starts daily at 4p.m. and end times vary by location. Please check your location page for location-specific Happy Hour offerings and times. Prices, product availability, participation and hours may vary by location.
Again, Cheers to everyone who joined me for a #SobeSavvyEats Sunday Funday and special thanks to BoneFish Grill ! The new Hand-crafted Happy Hour is not to be missed!

Also, check out my fun video recap on YouTube : https://youtu.be/LNHMfyr6sT8

Bonefish Grill 
4421 Six Forks Rd

Raleigh, NC 27609

4 Reasons Why You Don’t Wanna Miss the Grand Opening @41HundredLounge on 7/25 @RenRaleigh

Raleigh..and the surrounding Triangle,have you heard?! A new, multi-level bar is celebrating it’s grand opening tomorrow and let me tell you: YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS IT ! Step inside and experience the new 41Hundred Restaurant & Lounge!

I had the chance to enjoy a media lunch and a sneak peak tour of the beautiful 41Hundred, located at 4100 Main St. at North Hills inside the renovated Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel. We got to meet excutive Chef Dean Thompson and tried some of his crafted sharable plates described as “simple sophisticated, international cuisine”. During the tour (see some of my photos here), he encouraged us all to tell everyone to come out to the grand opening celebration! Here are 4 Reasons Why:

  1. THE AMBIANCE The new 41Hundred and 41Hundred Lounge has a lobby level and upstairs. I would describe both areas as having a casual ambiance and suitable for hotel guests, North Hill visitors and locals. They wanted to create an uncomplicated space that brings the outdoors inside and I believe they suceeded!
  2. THE FULL BARThis is a stylish bar area I would bring anyone to who enjoys good libations. Step to the bar, order beer, wine, a cocktail or drop by for their house-aged whiskey. Come watch a game on any of their number of flat screen tvs or plug in to any of their usb outlets. And ladies whether you are there to work or werk, there are purse hooks by the bar. I love that kind of attention to detail, don’t you?!
  3. THE FOODThe food we got to sample was from the sharable plates menu.  They offer unique dishes like oxtail poutine and took my taste buds on a journey to Korea with their Korean BBQ wings (pictured above) and my fave dish tuna poke had me on the beaches of Hawaii!And if you just want to satisfy your sweet tooth try the Chef’s Hot Cheesecake or the locally made ice cream exclusively sold there. Come get a taste of shareable plates, you won’t want to share! 


  4. IT’S FREE !

As per the flyer, come out and enjoy complimentary bites from the 41 hundred menu and drink samples from Topo Distillery, Bombshell Beet Company & Aviator Brewing Company. 

I plan to be there to support and celebrate! Be sure to follow @SobeSavvy Twitter/IG/Facebook for event highlights. Come out and see why this is not your average hotel bar for yourself. Hope to see you there !

#Raleigh Summer Staycation Ideas | Where to STAY,EAT,PLAY #NorthHills @achotelsraleigh @level7roofbar

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary stay at the AC Hotels Marriott Raleigh and hosted by Level 7 to provide my perspective and share my thoughts. All opinions expressed in my review are honest and my own.

A recent study came out from wallet.hub that listed 2017’s Best & Worst Cities for Staycation and I was surprised that Raleigh did not make the Top 10 list! I’d like to change that by providing a Where to stay -eat-play Staycation guide for some of my fave areas in the Triangle. First area I’d like to share is Raleigh’s Midtown area-North Hills and it’s newest hotel, AC Hotel by Marriott.

STAY 

We checked into the brand new AC Hotel by Marriott, located in the trendy North Hills area of Raleigh. This select brand of hotel
in the Marriott family is unlike any of their others. Stylish and functional is how I would describe this place. The design is open showcasing simplicity at its best. Their website describes it as ” It’s an experience that has been designed to give you the essentials”.

Some hotel highlights:

  • Nice minimalist rooms with a sofa bed (suitable for our 5yr old) and great rain showerheads. We requested an accessible room as those have a bathtub. 
  • Beautifully functional gym area with an actual professional grade spinning/cycling bike
  • Artsy public spaces. European sleek feel abounds everywhere.

Great place for business travelers and couples alike. Although we were there with our little one, this brand is not specifically marketed to families like some of their other properties. However, our daughter and her cabbage patch kid enjoyed their stay! 

AC Hotels Raleigh North Hills 

101 Park at North Hills St             Raleigh, NC 27609

EAT….and Drink!


Inside the AC Hotels Raleigh North Hills, lies Level7, the new hotspot rooftop bar accessible to hotel guests, visitors and locals. Guests take an elevator ride to the 7th Floor which leads to both an indoor space (AC Lounge) and outdoor rooftop bar (Level 7).  

The beautiful AC Lounge indoor space resembles a gorgeous living room/bar , while Level 7 allows you to step out onto the open air patio, with oversized bone white lamps, comfy loungers and sofas.  

We got to sample the Level 7 experience
at dusk this past Saturday and despite the rains earlier that day, there was quite the scene. Some guests were sitting at the inside bar or enjoying the game on the big flat screen tvs outside. We decided to sit outside on the high top stools overlooking views of North Hills. 

They also have some community tables if you decide to come with a small group of friends to enjoy inventive craft cocktails and tapas. The outside also has their own exclusive bar so guests never need to go back inside to keep “hydrated”.

Their carefully curated cocktail menu caught our attention as it has so many interesting choices. Choosing one was a challenge so we decided to have a pair a piece. The management gave us a sneak peek at their brand new updated cocktail list. If you love margaritas, be sure to order the following:Midtown Margarita – Casaamigos Anejo, St Germain, Lemon juice and Blood Orange. It was an amazing twist on a all time classic!

I also tried the Raspberry Lemonade– Vodka, LemonJuice, Fresh raspberries and Peychaud’s and my husband enjoyed his cocktail called…

Lassiter– Basil Hayden, Black Walnut Bitters, Simple Syrup and Lemon Peel
All drinks were awesome and went even better with some of their tapas plates. We had a variety of samples from their eclectic choices. Here are some you must try:

  • Charcuterie platter

  • Roasted wings made with their in house made spice rub
  • Pork belly served with yellow rice                                                                 We took advantage of having a few hours to ourselves while our little one was at a Parent’s Night Out event. This is a perfect date night spot to enjoy cocktails and conversation while relaxing and enjoying small bites with a view.

Level 7 Roof Bar/AC Lounge

102 Park at North Hills St 

Raleigh,NC 27609

More Dining Options Nearby

Zoe’s Kitchen : Casual, Family-Friendly Mediteranean Fare. Open for lunch and dinner. Serves Beer and Wine. Has outside seating. (We dined here for an early dinner with our daughter after check-in. Because of their healthy kid’s menu options, this place is a family favorite. Read my review here)

Bonefish Grill : This restaurant is known for its amazing seafood lunch and dinner  options but do you know they serve Sunday Brunch? That’s where we dined after checking out of the hotel at noon. (See here for past review of Sunday Brunch) Reservations are recommended.

PLAY


If you have ever been to North Hills , then you know there are plenty of spaces to play, shopping….

…restaurants, movies and more! Right next to the hotel is Kings Bowl America, which has bowling, billiards, shuffleboard, darts and more. Food and drinks are available too at this entertainment complex.  Its fun for the whole family! 

One of our fave places to let our little one run around while we sit on a bench nearby is a little grassy area right near Ben and Jerry’s and Starbucks. It’s a popular play spot for families.

This Summer or anytime you need a Staycation, and prefer a place with one stop shopping, dining, lodging and play options, consider planning a stay in North Hills, Raleigh’s Midtown and leave with memories and a smile!

Thank you to the management and staff at AC Hotel Raleigh and Level 7 for your wonderful service. Until next time…

WHERE DO YOU PLAN TO VACATION/STAYCATION THIS SUMMER? Share below and Safe Travels!

Top 4 Reasons @ZoesKitchen is a great kid-friendly, #dinnerdate spot for healthy food ! #LiveMed #ZoesKitchen

If you haven’t heard,  Zoës Kitchen serves amazingly fresh food, full of goodness for the whole family. That’s why whenever we have the chance to go on a family dinner date, Zoës Kitchen is our top choice. Recently while on staycation in North Hills, we enjoyed an early dinner at this popular eatery. Here are the Top 5 Reasons why Zoës Kitchen is a great kid-friendly dinner date spot for healthy food:

  1. Serves Mediteranean food that is delicious and nutritious. It’s flavorful and heart healthy, which makes Moms/Dads happy to enjoy with their little ones. 
  2. Lots of seating with bright decor both inside and out makes for a great casual and comfortable dining experience.
  3. Adult beverages..yes, please! Beer and wine are served. Fresh squeezed limeade is available too along with soft drinks and tea.
  4. A variety of flavorful menu options ranging from starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, fresh sides kabobs, desserts and a reasonably priced LIVE MED kids menu for ages 12 and under. Our daughter loves the shrimp kabob entree and 1 side for just $5.99!

I recommend trying the Rosemary Ham & Mozzarella Piadina. It’s a flatbread sandwich that will transport your tastebuds to Italy! I enjoyed it with a side of braised white beans. 

There are locations in 20 states, with 17 restaurants in North Carolina alone! You can order online for take out or dine in. They also cater and offer party nenu ideas and other information at www.zoeskitchen.com 

I hope the next time you find yourself hungry with kids and want to go out to a healthy, tasty dining spot that is casual and family-friendly, you will consider Zoës Kitchen!

Zoës Kitchen
141 -112 Park at North Hills St

Raleigh,NC 27609

4 Places to Brunch on Mother’s Day in #Raleigh |@seasons52 @simplycrepes @bonefishgrill @ncartmuseum 

Raise your hand if you think Mimosas and Moms go together like Sundays and Brunch! Eating brunch is one of my favorite activities no matter what the occasion, so I have compiled a list of some of my favorite brunch spots here in Raleigh, NC. No matter your tastes, there is sure to be something on here that Moms will like. 

SEASONS 52 ~CrabTree Valley Mall                4325 Glenwood Ave- Raleigh, NC 27612

Head to Seasons 52 and experience the wonderful flavors of the season from their a la carte Mother’s Day Brunch Menu. Check out my review here to see more of what they have to offer. Don’t forget to toast to Mom with any of their amazing Brunch Sips! Then take her shopping at Crabtree Valley Mall since the restaurant is conveniently located there.

SIMPLY CREPES~Lafayette Village          8470 Honeycutt Road, Suite 110                    Raleigh, NC 27615

Breakfast is being served all day at Simply Crepes and seating is first come, first served at Raleigh. If the sun is shining, grab a seat on the patio and watch the kids play on the courtyard lawn at Lafayette Village. This place is a family favorite, which I shared in my past restaurant feature. I highly recommend the chicken and waffles on a crepe entree. So good!

IRIS RESTAURANT~ NC Museum of Art 2110 Blue Ridge Road                     Raleigh,NC 27607

Sunday Brunch here is popular on any given weekend partly because people enjoy the food as well as the beautiful atmosphere. The cuisine is innovative and the setting is an expression of art and nature. Read here how I spent the whole day with my family at the North Carolina Museum of Art and what we ate at #NCMAIris. Reservations to dine at Iris Restaurant are a must. Call 919-664-6838

BONEFISH GRILL~North Hills                4421 Six Forks Rd.                                 Raleigh, NC 27609  

If your Mom is like me and loves seafood, along with Brunch cocktails and libations, then I suggest your Mother’s Day Celebration be held at Bonefish Grill. Take a look at my Sunday Brunch review here and hopefully you are inspired to go this Sunday. Afterwards, walk off that brunch and go shopping or catch a movie at North Hills! 

Have you made Mother’s Day Plans? Where do you enjoy Sunday Brunch?

Hope you enjoyed my list and now have some ideas where to take Mom to eat on Mother’s Day for Brunch in Raleigh, NC ! 




#TastyTuesday Spotlight on @BoneFishGrill delicious #SundayBrunch @VisitNorthHills 

Bonefish Grill https://www.bonefishgrill.com/ has been a mainstay of mine over the years. I used to live on the road almost 200 days a year. If I was working/living in a city then as long as they had a Bonefish Grill, I would be okay !!

The only thing Bonefish Grill was missing was my favorite meal of the week. Brunch. Spending the past 18 years living in Miami Beach, FL { the defacto king city of brunches} I became a expert at this meal. This past Sunday, my family and I headed to the always chic area of Raleigh called North Hills to do brunch the Bonefish Grill way. https://www.bonefishgrill.com/brunch-menu/brunch-favorites

Brunch without mimosas is just a sad breakfast! I am happy to report their mimosas/bellinis are just $5. What a great price for the crown jewel of brunch libations. They also have specialty drinks for a nominal price. I had the mimosa and hubby tried their blackberry sangria. It was out of this world. So we were well hydrated so food was up next.

 

Besides their inventive fresh seafood menu, Bonefish Grill also has stellar service. Our waitress was informative, cheery and efficient. Good service means I will return. Bad service means no matter how good the food is, I will be a one time guest.

They had a myriad of sweet and savory options on their menu. For some reason hubby and I both were in a eggy mood ! I ordered their crab omelette. It came with asparagus and a generous amount of REAL LUMP crab meat on top. Being from Maryland, I take my crabs serious so needless to say, my omelette vanished promptly !

Hubby ordered their twist on the crab benedict. They took traditional crab benedict and instead of ham/canadian bacon they used their uber popular Bang Bang Shrimp and put on an egg benedict ! Yes, it was as good as it sounds. Their hollandaise sauce had a little kick to it and it worked perfectly. I should thought of that !!

To sum it all up, Bonefish Grill is now in the Brunch game. The only question is are you coming to play ? You should.