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Author: Merilee Kern

5 Disruptive Luxury Travel Trends Shattering the Status Quo

With the global luxury market collectively growing at 4 percent to an estimated $1.15 (€1.08) trillion in 2016, according to a recent “Bain & Company Luxury Study,” coupled with optimistic forecasts that the luxury goods market will pick up this year, the hospitality industry is gearing up for elevated demand among both leisure and business travelers. This amid evidence that, despite widespread geopolitical uncertainties, luxury consumers are redirecting their spending toward new and more personalized high-end experiences like luxury travel, food and wine. “The luxury market has reached a maturation point,” said Claudia D’Arpizio, lead author of the study....

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7 Ways Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort Ups the Luxe All-Inclusive Ante

The newest property in Grand Velas Resorts’ esteemed portfolio is Grand Velas Los Cabos—an all-inclusive spa resort with stunning ocean views and a wide variety of amenities and activities for guests of all ages. No ordinary destination, Grand Velas Los Cabos has pulled out all the stops in its readily apparent quest to provide an unrivaled luxury vacation experience for guests at every touch point. Having stayed on-site to see for myself what all of the buzz was about, I can convey with full conviction that this resort proffers what would surely be one of the most impressive and...

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Royal Blues Hotel: An Elegant Oceanside Enclave

Just south of Palm Beach, along Florida’s eastern coast, lies scenic Deerfield Beach, a city well known for its pristine and clean coastline and the recreational water activities delighting both residents and tourists.  Here, world-class boating, fishing, diving, boarding and more are all within close range. Other nearby attractions include golf courses, polo clubs and the famous Quiet Waters Park—the 430-acre R&R zone that’s home to many campgrounds, skate parks, the “Splash Adventure” attraction and the longest cable ski course in the nation. Even as it continues to grow in popularity, Deerfield Beach is a small community, one that...

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Anatomy of a Grand Weekend Getaway at Boulders Resort and Spa Arizona

Amid my hectic work schedule and family life where there’s nary a moment to spare, let alone full weeks (or more) to take extended trips, I’ve become a master of the “micro-vacations”—those long weekend getaways that strike just the right balance of relaxation, adventure and indulgence to satisfy my wanderlust. A recent micro-jaunt took me to Phoenix, Arizona, America’s sixth-largest city, where cowboys continue to roam and the red rock-laden topography is peppered with the kind of cactus some only see in cartoons. The city’s enduring Southwestern backdrop is not only a draw for me, but also for 16...

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The Ambrose Hotel Santa Monica Mastering Boutique Hospitality

There’s just something about a boutique hotel. Maybe it’s the quaint locales or the stylish upscale accommodations. Perhaps it’s the extraordinarily personalized level of service or the charming and unexpected touches that make it abundantly clear you’re not at a cookie-cutter chain operation.  It’s these things and more that draw me to boutique properties time and time again, especially when I’m in a baroque beach town like Santa Monica—Los Angeles’ beachfront haven of fun and fabulosity. Well known for serving as the backdrop for hundreds of movies and a hub for all sorts of creative media companies that are...

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Enchantment Aboard the Spirit of New York Dinner Cruise

Whether you’re a tourist seeking adventure in the Big Apple or are a long-standing resident of New York City celebrating a special occasion—or just looking for a fabulous night out, the Spirit of New York dinner cruise along the New York Harbor offers a truly memorable experience afloat. The frivolity starts the moment you arrive at Chelsea Pier and step on board the vessel—a three-deck, climate-controlled party yacht that can accommodate up to 600 guests year-round. Although spring and summer cruises are always popular, the specialty holiday season cruises like the “Holiday Lights Dinner Cruise” that I recently experienced...

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Alan Thicke Talks Private Planes and Other Perks of the Profession

One has to assume that entertainment industry veteran Alan Thicke is no stranger to luxury living. Amid an esteemed career through which he has earned a Golden Globe “Best Actor” nomination, seven Emmy Award nominations (five for writing, two for acting) and induction to Canada’s Walk of Fame, among other career honors, Thicke has lived an exciting, adventurous and privileged life rife with recognition. With the success of his popular sitcom reality, Unusually Thicke, having enjoyed its sophomore season on Pop TV in both the United States and Canada, it seems there’s no stopping this enduring actor and entertainer....

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Celebrity Chefs to Convene at the 13th Annual San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival

There are few annual events that get me as excited as the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival—a week-long extravaganza showcasing the best of San Diego’s flourishing food scene and the talented chefs (and other skilled food and beverage purveyors) that make it all happen. As one of the largest wine and food events of its kind in the United States and the largest in all of Southern California, the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival (now in its 13th year) is an action-packed week brimming with cooking classes, tasting panels, celebrity chef dinners and multiple tasting...

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Via Veneto Santa Monica Dishing Star-Caliber Italian Cuisine

Los Angeles is a city known as much for its distinctive award-winning eateries as it is for its celebrity residents. In fact, many of the city’s restaurants—particularly those frequented by Hollywood’s elite—often become as revered as the star clientele, themselves. One such establishment is Via Veneto in Santa Monica, which enjoys its fair share of celebrity patronage. From David and Victoria Beckham’s joint birthday party to distinguished diners the likes of Madonna, Sean Penn, Eva Longoria, Harrison Ford and Duran Duran’s Warren Cuccurullo, who is actually one of the restaurant’s investors, this locale has received more than its fair...

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Five Fine Living Questions with Mark Steines

Now as co-host of Hallmark Channel’s Emmy-nominated Home & Family program, and with more than 17 years rubbing elbows with Hollywood A-listers as co-host of Entertainment Tonight, Mark Steines knows a thing or two about living the good life. Given he’s enjoyed an esteemed TV career that’s not only survived, but also thrived for more than two decades, this three-time Emmy award-winning journalist has experienced the kind of sustained success in the entertainment industry most only dream about. Given Steines’ proverbial membership in this coveted “club” and the lifestyle it has afforded him, I touched base for his thoughts...

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Wolfgang Puck Reveals Ingredients for Luxe Living

A world-renowned master in the kitchen and a charismatic personality, Wolfgang Puck is a dynamic “chef-lebrity” who is globally revered for his combination of classic cooking techniques and the modern fusion cuisine he pioneered in his iconic restaurants all around the world. All of the accolades that have ensued are decidedly well-earned, given that he began his formal kitchen training at just fourteen years of age with the encouragement of his mother—herself a chef in the Austrian town where he was born. After honing his craft at some of the finest restaurants in France and, subsequently, in the United States,...

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Ultra-Premium Maurice Vendôme Champagne

The Ultra-luxury wine and spirits purveyor Prodiguer Brands, which privately develops and markets many of the world’s finest, award-winning wines and spirits, has just introduced its newest offering, Champagne Maurice Vendôme, which is now exclusively available in the United States marketplace. This latest offering, one that I have personally had the extreme fortune of sipping and savoring, furthers the company’s extraordinary portfolio of premium ultra-grade adult beverage brands specifically tailored for the global luxury market to meet evolving consumer desires and tastes. About this new release Prodiguer Brands’ Managing Partner and Sommelier, Noel Shu, said: “This rare Grand Cru...

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