A recent and first-time to visit to Pittsburgh landed me a six-night stay at Cambria Suites at CONSOL Energy Center.
I typically find myself a boutique hotel-goer when traveling, but our spot at Cambria Suites supplied us with pretty much all we needed for our week-long stay. Albeit, there weren’t a ton of bells and whistles, but how much time do you actually stay in your hotel room when visiting a new city? As far as the room was concerned, it was beyond spacious for two people; complete with a Keurig coffee maker (a huge bonus as I am not a morning person), a mini-fridge for us to stock up on champagne, bottled water, or whatever else we needed.
Downstairs the hotel restaurant was more than sufficient serving a buffet breakfast on weekends with complimentary Wolfgang Puck coffee and Numi organic tea, and a pretty decent bar scene happening at night for guests to gather around. One thing I noticed during this stay, which was a new experience for me, was that most of the other guests were also there for a span of a few days, not just the weekend. There was a nearby junior league hockey tournament going on and the groups were also staying at our hotel. It was nice to see familiar faces, even if they were mostly groggy in our morning lineup for coffee, or at the gym or just passing through the lobby. It was a very comfortable and home-like feel for the entire stay.
The hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle for easy travel around town. I quickly learned that pretty much anywhere in the city of Pittsburgh is walkable, which is perfect for the fall months and great weather to pal around town. The shuttle takes guests within a three-mile radius, which includes both PNC Park and Heinz Field, grocery stores, tons of bars and restaurants and lots of other tourist attractions including many museums, like the Andy Warhol Museum.
According to VisitPittsburgh.com, more than 10 million people visit the city annually. Pittsburgh is within 500 miles of more than half of the nation’s Top 50 metro retail markets, and the city is B-A-N-A-N-A-S about their sports teams, which most definitely bleed black and gold. (Yes, congrats to the Pittsburgh Pirates for having their first winning season in 21 long, hard years which we were able to witness and partake in.)
I must also note that Perle, a “sophisticated” champagne bar in Market Square, was an awesome spot for happy hour ($2 off glasses and cocktails, which does in fact include the champagne) and was a fun place to meet locals who were enthusiastically knowledgeable about their city.
But since we were in such close proximity to CONSOL Energy Center, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL team, we did run into a lot of hockey players (both pro and amateur) and learned a lot of fun hockey stats. The CONSOL Energy Center is the first Gold-LEED Certified hockey arena in the NHL, and in honor of Number 87, Sidney Crosby, the arena’s seating capacity is 18,087, which can serve as a fun sport’s bar trivia question.
The city, fans, and staff at Cambria Suites were all friendly and welcoming, ensuring that there will in fact be a return visit to Pittsburgh in my near future. Perhaps next time, I’ll check out one of those insane hockey games I heard so much about and share some of my new Sidney Crosby stats.
Thanks for the fun times Pittsburgh, see you soon. xoxo.
Jayme Lamm is a freelance writer and marketing consultant based in Houston focusing on travel writing and is in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side. Be sure to follow Jayme’s travel and sports adventures on Twitter @jaymelamm.