I believe, for the price of a hotel room night, you can become any person you choose. By choosing a hotel carefully, you can become an actor, a writer, a scientist, a CEO, a fashion designer, or disappear completely.
I have been completely obsessed with hotels since I can remember, growing up to dress the part and "lobby stalk." From this obsession grew a career that I have fought for and created for myself, as a freelance travel writer. I graduated from Texas A&M University, spent time living in Vienna in college and developing unhealthy obsessions with Original Sacher-Torte, the Hapsburgs, and Kaffeehauskultur. I started in communications for The Phoenician Resort in my hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona, moving on to become an international guide and feeling like I had gained a degree in European history.
I have just launched a blog called "Urban Insider" on National Geographic, a place where I have been a regular contributor in the past. I have been published on the digital outlets of Forbes, Travel + Leisure, CNN, Gotham/Hamptons, The Huffington Post, and jetsetter.com. Previously, I wrote a hotel blog for the private social network aSmallWorld ("Facebook for Jetsetters"), with nearly 1 million members. I have consulted for top luxury brands on their content strategy and worked with Travel Channel star Kirsten Gum. One day a month, you'll find me leading a walking tour in one of my favorite New York neighborhoods called "Brooklyn Heights 101."
Traveling well is an art, and I want to take you not only to fabulous full-service resorts but also to more unexpected B&B's and inns. One of the more memorable places I've stayed was the Petra House in Galway for 35 euros a person, on a nondescript, residential street. The owner, Frank, greeted us with fresh scones and an abundance of Irish wit and charm. These are the places that matter, along with fantasy getaways like the Four Seasons Costa Rica, Laucala Island in Fiji, or The Peninsula Tokyo.
I'm an avid media consumer (some might say I have far too many magazine subscriptions) and love starting each morning by reading my BlogLovin' feed. I believe that afternoon tea and Mozart can cure any ailment, and I love a really wonderful, takes-you-away book like The Art of Racing in the Rain, One Day, My Life in France, Confessions of a Shopaholic, or Mountains Beyond Mountains. But my favorite book is The Alchemist, for encouraging everyone to pursue their Personal Legend and not settle for polishing crystal.
I believing that you can't ever get enough of New York, Paris, London, and Rome and that the American southwest, especially Arizona, makes you feel simultaneously powerful and insignificant.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a tough battle." ~Plato
For Those Wanting to Write and Travel:
I have loved these pieces for those who want to write or blog about travel. My number one piece of advice is that you REALLY have to love to write. Most people love traveling, but you have to really be obsessed with wanting to write about your experiences and finds. I have also been very clear about my desire to have a life in New York with my longtime beau and dog while also traveling. I've tried to build my career where both are possible, but it's very very hard.
Read more about my experiences and my very crazy, chaotic path here: Getting Started and I'm Not There Yet
So You Want To Start A Blog? - Capitol Hill Style
So You Wanna Be A Travel Blogger? - NY City Mama
I Want To Be A Travel Writer! An interview with one of my favorites, Kristin Luna
The Reality of Being A Professional Travel Blogger - Adventurous Kate
- Brussels, Brugge, Spa Belgium
- Budapest, Danube River Cruise & Prague
- Barcelona, Spain (as speaker on social media, travel and hotels)
- Peru (Cusco, Machu Picchu, The Sacred Valley, Lima)
- Los Angeles, CA
- Las Vegas (Virtuoso Travel Week)
- Newport, Rhode Island
- Kelowna, Canada
- Lake George, New York (The Sagamore)
- East Hampton, NY
- The Gold Coast of Australia
- Scottsdale & Phoenix, Arizona (my home state but I stayed in great hotels!)
- Charleston and Kiawah, South Carolina
- Nevis, French West Indies
- Italy-Florence, Fiesole, Tuscany, Venice, Amalfi Coast (Ravello, Amalfi, Positano)
- England-Cornwall, Isles of Scilly, London, Hampshire, Cotswolds, Highclere Castle
- China-Shanghai, Yunnan Province (Lijiang, Zhongdian), Three Gorges region/river cruise (with Abercrombie & Kent/Sanctuary Retreats)
- Santa Fe/Taos, New Mexico
- Newport & Providence, Rhode Island
- India-Mumbai, Udaipur, Jaipur, Delhi, Agra (Taj Mahal)
- Jordan-Amman, Jerash, Petra, Wadi Rum, Dead Sea, Aqaba
- Maui, Hawaii
- Moscow, Russia
- Dubai & Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Valencia and Madrid, Spain
- Costa Rica
- Whistler & Vancouver, British Columbia
- Toronto, Canada
- Montreal & Quebec City, Canada
- Dublin, Ireland (Cork, Cobh, Galway)
- Italy: Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Cinque Terre, Naples, Capri, Assisi, Siena
- Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Germany: Munich, Cologne, Rothenburg, Wurzburg, Regensburg, Passau, Oberammergau
- Switzerland: Geneva, Lausanne, Zermatt, Bern, Lucerne, Zurich, Interlaken, St. Moritz
- Austria: Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck
- Bratislava, Slovakia
- Budapest, Hungary
- Belgrade, Serbia
- Bucharest, Romania & the Black Sea
- Scottsdale & Sedona, Arizona
- Los Angeles, CA/Anaheim/Newport/Laguna
- Washington, D.C.
- Connecticut (Fairfield, New Haven, Westport)
- Hudson River Valley
- Chicago, Illinois
- The Adirondacks, upstate New York
- The Hamptons, New York
- Burlington, Vermont
- Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Kennebunkport, Maine
- Orlando/Disney World, Florida
- Louisville, Kentucky
To contact: Please use Contact tab on this site, or e-mail annie at anniefitzsimmons dot com
Contact business at anniefitzsimmons dot com for business/partnership inquiries but please don't e-mail asking me to promote your website/blog/special promotion/credit card offer/trip, etc. I only work with a select few sponsors and certainly don't want "a special guest blogger" writing about insurance on my site. Everything that appears on this site will be in my voice and be approved by me only.
*All photos on this page are taken by me and are my property, unless otherwise stated on the photo. They may not be taken or used elsewhere without my permission.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I guest blog on Hotel Belle?
I have received several inquiries about submitting a guest post to be featured on Hotel Belle. At this time, I won't be publishing outside content here but I am honored at the interest!
2. Will you test/review/blog/rave about my app/site?
Unfortunately, I just don't have the time to dedicated the deserved amount of time to reviewing apps or websites. If you read Hotel Belle, you will notice that I only write about my personal hotel and travel experiences on the road and at home in New York. I wish you the best of luck!
DISCLOSURE: Sometimes I stay at hotels on a comp or media rate. I have spent an absurb amount of my own money to build up my content, this site and my career and I still do. I always pay for something on the trips I take. This should go without saying, but no one can sway me on a bad hotel or convince me to write glowingly about a property that sucks. No one. The end.