This last Friday, I got the opportunity to attend the media day event at MacCool's and the Ben Lomond Hotel in Ogden. It may only be a few blocks from where I live, but it's actually the first time I've visited the fancy hotel.

We started out in the Gaelic Room upstairs in MacCools. If you're having a party/get-together for work/birthday/just because you feel like it, I definitely recommend it. Not only is the staff super funny and friendly, the colors of the room are bright and energizing, all of the furniture is hand crafted from Ireland, and they've got a great view of the park on 25th street. I can just imagine how amazing that view is going to be with the snow and Christmas lights come December.

It started out as a meet-and-greet of a bunch of business men and women from around the state. I, of course, knew none of them. But it was great to meet a few of them. And it was even more fun when the chatting turned into a scavenger hunt-like self-guided tour throughout the hotel. I got to see not only MacCool's like I was expecting, but also the Sunlit Room, the Crystal Ballroom and the top floor Grandview Room.

I'm no expert, but the Renaissance architecture in the hotel was simply breathtaking. Especially in the Crystal Ballroom. I've never given a thought to my wedding, but the Crystal Ballroom would be my dream place for one. With the details in the ceiling and walls, crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and slightly smaller space (it only holds about 300 people--less, if you want a dance floor, and I would), there wasn't a single detail that didn't get my vote of approval.

The Sunlit Room was simple and elegant as well. The view wasn't that great--it only looked out onto the parked cars of 25th Street--but the view inside was more than enough to make up for it. Every first Friday of the month, the Ben Lomond participates in the Gallery Stroll. They host an artist in their Sunlit Room to sell artwork, and between 4 and 6 p.m., they host afternoon tea. They decided to bring back a tradition from when the hotel was first built. The manager was kind enough to invite me to attend, and I was very sorry I wasn't able to--the tea sets alone were adorable, and probably worth more than I make in a month. But I have to say, my favorite thing in the room was the huge fireplace in the back. It may have been June, but I've never been able to resist a beautiful fireplace. And I definitely couldn't pass up one with such intricate detail.

The Grandview Room, being the last stop on the self-guided tour (we had a ticket showing us where to go), wasn't all that impressive compared to the rest of the building. The walls were plain, lacking the intricate detail work of the Sunlit Room and the Crystal Ballroom. There were some tables scattered about for an event. I wasn't that impressed. That is, until I approached the window. Ben Lomond is the tallest building in Ogden, and the city has decided it's going to stay that way. The view is the best in the house. You could see the entire valley. I can't imagine what it would be like to watch the parades from up there.

And I haven't even begun to speak about the food! They had little snack platters scattered throughout the hotel. The fruit dip from MacCool's was to die for. I couldn't get enough of that. Kudos to the head chef for her skill in making it. My second favorite had to be the giant soft pretzels they had in the Grandview. Pretzelmaker has nothing on them!

All in all, I would love to stay at the Ben Lomond any time. With a friendly staff, beautiful building, cement walls that block out all sounds of traffic, and close to all the fun things to do in downtown Ogden, I can foresee MacCool's and Ben Lomond getting a lot of business. They definitely have the Sami seal of approval.