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Author: Merilee Kern

Eat Like a Local at City Kitchen NYC

You’d be hard pressed to find many locations in New York that can impress locals just as easily as they draw in tourists. But City Kitchen at the Row NYC hotel isn’t the typical foodie hot spot. That much is apparent when you first step in and observe the warm and communal atmosphere of this bustling food hall. The space is a nod to the classic working kitchens of yore, with a mix of modern and industrial décor elements like white marble tile, Italian glass chandeliers and leather counter stools punctuated with pops of ambient neon light that, on...

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Hotel Domestique: Homespun Hospitality for Active Travelers

Nestled within South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains sits Hotel Domestique, a charming boutique hotel that’s  situated on nearly 30 acres of grounds and vineyards and is owned by legendary 17-time Tour de France cyclist George Hincapie. It’s no wonder this intimate, culturally-styled property attracts active travelers who are not only seeking sophisticated respite away from the hustle-and-bustle-laden tourist traps, but also outdoor adventures that invigorate the mind, body and soul. Popular with active celebrities, professional athletes, executives and discriminating vacationers alike, Hotel Domestique is a great option for those who desire a serene and relaxing escape and for the...

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Amour Aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train

The Napa Valley Wine Train isn’t so much a mode of transportation but rather a time machine transporting passengers back to an era when the journey was as scintillating as the destination, itself. Particularly well-suited for couples seeking quality together time, this excursion offers an elegant sojourn through the heart of Napa Valley in a refined, history-rich atmosphere befitting the lush countryside through which it passes. Duly complementing the drop-dead gorgeous vistas are gourmet victuals and varietals-a-plenty. Having been aboard with my own loved one, I dare say the Napa Valley Wine Train is among the most romantic experiences...

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Brew Hop Tours San Diego a Failsafe Father’s Day Gift

Let’s face it. For some Dads, gifting a tie, a bottle of aftershave or a pair of slippers for Father’s Day just won’t do. And a “fallback” gift card from a drugstore carousel reeks of desperation—or utter laziness. For many men, life is all about experiences…and beer, lots and lots of beer. Luckily, San Diego boasts an inspired service—Brew Hop Tours—that’ll make Dad truly “hoppy” this holiday. Whether he’s a hardened beer connoisseur or just likes to have a good time over a cold brew, this gift idea is for you! San Diego has evolved into a hotbed region...

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What’s Old is New Again at the Napa River Inn

There’s nothing I love more than an immersive vacation experience—one that transports you to a time and place that connects you with the past in a palpable way while adhering to modern standards and expectations. This is what I encountered during my stay at the historic Napa River Inn in downtown Napa Valley. But, don’t let the quaintness of this locally-owned, antique-laden boutique hotel fool you. This property is downtown Napa’s highest Michelin rated hotel, which also nailed a Four-Star rating in the 2015 Forbes Travel Guide. With its plum location within the Historic Napa Mill situated right on...

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Culinary Excellence Endures at the Waldorf Astoria NYC

Article originally published by The Luxe List and republished with permission. The iconic Waldorf Astoria New York hotel—world-renowned for five-star accommodations and premier amenities—is notorious for its impeccable standards whereby luxury and refinement reign supreme in all that it offers. This includes the property’s award-winning food and beverage program that has stood the test of time, making itself as relevant and revered today as in storied years past. One need not be a guest of the hotel to partake in gastronomic pleasures at the Waldorf Astoria New York. Whether you’re staying at this prestigious Park Avenue hotel or are...

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Pop Up Picnic San Diego Does Date Night Right

If you’re looking to up the ante on date night romance or turn an ordinary date into an extraordinary and memorable one, look no further than Pop Up Picnic. This company creates turnkey, one-of-a-kind experiences that are as elegant and imaginative as they are convenient and affordable. Conceived by Lauren Sharon Vintage Rentals & Design, Pop Up Picnic proffers an instant date replete with everything needed for a dreamy, vintage-themed daytime or sunset picnic for two. You simply choose the date, time and location and let Pop Up Picnic handle the rest—the food, beverages, accoutrements and ambiance—for an al...

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Expansion Persists for ‘Soothe’ Mobile Massage-On-Demand

We’ve all had them. Those days that start off perfectly fine and then take a hard left turn onto the stress superhighway.  On these rough days in particular, there’s nothing like a relaxing massage to calm your nerves and alleviate anxiety. But, all too often we don’t know in advance we’re going to have a “bad day” and, thus, didn’t have the foresight to make a therapeutic massage appointment at the spa, which is surely booked solid weeks in advance. Indeed, unless you’d thought to book an appointment well ahead of time, that post-workday or workout massage is going...

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Chef Jaime Chavez, Sirena Latin Seafood Restaurant San Diego

Article originally published by The Luxe List and republished with permission. Amid a renaissance underway in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood, one new restaurant—Sirena—promises to bring Latin flair to the fare served up in this burgeoning community. This South American-inspired seafood restaurant, which opened up to the public in October of 2014, dishes up a creative, sustainable and fresh-forward menu that offers guests something new in the urban downtown neighborhood. From daily Empanadas ($8); to fresh Dressed Oysters ($15) served with pickled vegetables and toasted squid-inked black bread; to Chilean-inspired El Chileno Ceviche ($15) prepared with red snapper, octopus,...

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Chinese Automaker Unveils Unmanned Concept Car

Chinese Automaker Unveils Unmanned Concept Car Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group Motor CO., LTD (GACM), which manufacturers and markets passenger cars under the Trumpchi brand (including the Trumpchi E-Jet plugin and other vehicles from the line featured in the Hollywood blockbuster movie “Transformers: Age of Extinction”), unveiled its highly anticipated new unmanned concept car, the “WITSTAR,” at the preeminent North American International Auto Show held in Detroit during a press conference held on January 12th, 2015. The company concurrently revealed its new fuel efficient SUV, the GS4, along with an overview of its global strategy “designed to further elevate...

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