Author: Lillian Africano

Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa: A World Apart from the Las Vegas Strip

The Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa is just 10 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, but it might as well be a world away. Yes, there is casino gambling at the resort, but it’s not in your face (or up your nostrils). Check-in at Red Rock is the same as it would be at any upscale resort; you don’t have to battle your way through slot machines and blackjack tables to get your room key. And that, for me, is the best way to visit a gambling destination. Even better, the resort is located on 70 acres...

Read More

TBar Steak and Lounge: A Steakhouse for Romantics

Most of my favorite steakhouses look like…steakhouses. And while there’s nothing wrong with that look, there are times when one might wish to enjoy a perfectly cooked steak in an atmosphere that is…well, romantic. Softly lit at night, with dark wood furnishings and a well-dressed upscale clientele that matches the sophisticated space and the upscale East Side location, TBar Steak and Lounge is such a place. Executive Chef Ben Zwicker, previously of the Four  Seasons,  Aureole and Petrossian, has created a menu that features both classic steakhouse fare and his unique takes on other classics. For example, Angel Chicken...

Read More

Two Great Gifts for the Traveler

Travel-size Luxury Toiletries When you’re staying at a top hotel or spa and find shampoos and other toiletries you love, do you take them and wish you could easily find the same luxurious products for purchase? Now you can. Gilchrist & Soames, the leading provider of cosmetic-grade toiletry collections for the luxury hotel market, has introduced four new collections–Gilchrist & Soames Royal, Shade, GUILD + PEPPER and Stem–that are also available for sale. These new collections, like the company’s other products, embrace cruelty-free development and manufacturing practices, ensuring that all products are never tested on animals, nor contain animal-derived...

Read More

Viking Star and Her Sisters: A Superstar Fleet in the Making

Not content with dominating the world’s rivers with his ships, Viking founder Torstein Hagen has firmly established his brand on the planet’s oceans with the Viking Star and the five siblings due to arrive by the end of 2020. (The Viking Sea will be christened in May 2016, the Viking Sea in 2017.) In her debut season (Spring 2015), the Star lived up to her name as she was awarded the cruise industry’s highest accolades. She was named Best New Ocean Ship and received a 5-star rating by the editors of Cruise Critic; received the highest rating in the...

Read More

Live Like a Sugar Baron at Houmas House

There are plantations — and then there is Louisiana’s Houmas House, a historic sugar plantation where history is served up with a dash of eccentricity and plenty of charm. It’s a place where Gone with the Wind is easily imagined, and where Scarlett O’Hara and her fiddle-dee-dee-ing would be right at home. Although Houmas House, outside of Darrow, La., is open to the public, it’s also the home of businessman Kevin Kelly, who bought the place in 2003, fulfilling a lifelong dream of owning an important Louisiana plantation. In residence with Kevin are assorted herons, swans, frogs (real and...

Read More

Jorge Cruise Offers a Retraction

For years, celebrity trainer Jorge Cruise treated sugar calories as if they were all the same, regardless of the source. Fruit was not a part of his diet – nor did he recommend it as part of his diet plans. “I told people for years to count only sugar calories. This was based on science of the hormone insulin, mostly done by Gary Taubes…my mentor for years. Gary’s work made me scared of fruit. (I) would never touch a banana for years. I no longer believe that. I was wrong,” Cruise admits. “The mistake I made was to say...

Read More

Regent Seven Seas Explorer: The World’s Most Luxurious Cruise Ship

Though Regent Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer will not debut until Summer 2016, the ship’s top category Regent suite had already been booked for 14 of the ship’s first 15 sailings back in August. The $10,000-a-night price tag apparently did not deter fans of Regent’s brand of all-inclusive luxury as they purchased a cruise experience that was bound to be unique and memorable. At 54,000 gross-registered tons and at a cost of $450 million, the all-suite Seven Seas Explorer will be the most expensive luxury ship ever built. Carrying only 750 guests, the ship will have the highest space ratios...

Read More

Boston Tea Party Anyone?

On December 16, 1773, more than 5,000 American colonists met at Old South Meeting House to decide the fate of three shiploads of tea docked in Boston Harbor. Emotions ran high as the colonists bitterly denounced the British troops who occupied the city, the taxes the Crown imposed on everything from household goods to window panes. Especially hated was the tax on tea, a daily staple for the people of Boston. And there they sat, three ships carrying tea in the harbor, waiting to be unloaded. In a gesture of protest, the colonists refused to unload the ships. Threats...

Read More

Re-gifting: Yes, Maybe or No?

So it’s the season for holiday gift-giving and you’re looking at a few presents you received last year. You appreciate the thought behind them, but you just can’t use these things and you’re wondering whether it’s okay to re-gift them. First is the stunning handmade Italian leather belt you received from an old acquaintance who doesn’t know that you stopped wearing belts when your waistline started to spread. You know someone on your gift list this year who would look great in said belt.  Regift? Yes to this, subject to the relevant rules listed here. Then there’s the gorgeous big bottle...

Read More

The Boulders: Laid Back Luxury in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun

Luxury at The Boulders is offered in a calming, relaxing atmosphere that is very different from the formality often found at multi-starred urban properties – and that is why it is one of my favorite places. A writers conference provided the perfect reason  to travel to Carefree (how appropriate this name is for a place that entices you to leave cares behind!), about 25 miles north of Scottsdale. Named for the 12-million-year-old granite boulders that dominate the landscape, the Boulders sprawls along 1,300 acres of Sonoran desert, its 160 casitas, 55 villas and six haciendas, all at one with...

Read More

Sree Sreenivasan: America’s Tech Guru

When Sree Sreenivasan (@sree) was appointed Chief Digital Officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013, that was the latest step in what he calls “a three-decade, one-way love affair with one of the world’s great museums.” Since his appointment, a lot has happened at the Met, reflecting Sree’s expertise in all things digital, especially social media. In April 2014, the Met’s Instagram account was selected as the Webby Award Winner in the Social Arts & Culture category in the 18th annual awards program. (The Webby, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, is the...

Read More

Debbie Stone Travel Writer and Columnist

This month we are featuring Debbie Stone, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications, ranging from newspapers and magazines to travel-related websites. Additionally, she has served as a travel specialist for the NPR-affiliated, talk radio show, “2 Boomer Babes,” as well as for local T.V. stations in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She also writes a monthly travel column for Luxe Beat Magazine called Put a Pin in it! Debbie came to travel writing after working in a number of different careers: as a play and dance therapist, an ESL teacher (both in the U.S. and abroad), an airline sales and...

Read More

VIP Offers

Pin It on Pinterest