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Category: Featured

The Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa—A Historical Icon Flourishing with Time

by Norman Hill This venerable gem of Arizona hotel establishments is getting stronger than ever. As a child growing up in the Chicago area, I studied two hotels that possessed quite a mystical, ultra luxurious quality, even though it would be years before I visited them: The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island in upper Michigan and the Arizona (Wrigley’s) Biltmore in Phoenix. The Biltmore was built in the late 1920s, starting from the insight of two visionaries, Charles and Warren McArthur. They saw that Arizona, the last state to join the Union, was ready to transform itself from a Wild...

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Chef Mavro is Five Diamond Hawaii Regional Cuisine

  Lobster in a French Southeast Asian inspired broth of local lemongrass and kaffir lime, with tamarind, green papaya and a wedge of kurobuta pork belly. © Marc d’Entremont www.travelpenandpalate.com “I’m not a French chef,” says Marseilles born George Mavrothalassitis, “I’m a Frenchman who’s a chef.” This is not self modesty but a succinct definition of what has made his Honolulu venue, Chef Mavro, one of only two Mobil Five Diamond restaurants in the state of Hawaii. As a founding chef of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, it is not a stretch for chef Mavrothalassitis to create menus influenced by...

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Move Over Boys, There’s a New Kid on the Block: The Oberoi, Dubai

The newest Oberoi, Dubai With approximately 600 hotels vying for your attention in Dubai, just about the last thing they need is a new hotel…unless, of course, it belongs to The Oberoi Group, synonymous with the finest level of contemporary luxury and service. Oberoi’s first property in the UAE, The Oberoi Dubai, which opened last month, is all about height, light and space. The 252 spacious rooms and suites boast floor-to-ceiling windows, with spectacular views of the city skyline. Just part of the Presidential Suite Timber floors, rich fabrics, hand-tufted rugs and specially commissioned artwork further accentuate the elegance...

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Trends – Food and Design – A City That You Can Eat

by Chef Hervé Laurent Earlier this year, Marc Bretillot, famous French designer, presented in Central America a piece of art called, “A city that you can eat.” The School of Culinary Arts, Central America (SCARTS) and its students collaborated with Guest Chef, Georges Riveiro, of the University of Art and Design, Reims, Champagne, France and French Master Chef Hervé Laurent, owner of School of Culinary Arts Central America. As a result, this event was presented to the public at the hotel Crown Plaza, San Salvador, Central America. Two days were necessary to prepare everything at the school and then...

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Cruising with French Master Chef Hervé Laurent on Seabourn

by Chef Hervé Laurent In the past, I’ve been privileged to be the celebrity chef on different cruise lines. When Seabourn invited me to cruise with them as Guest Celebrity Chef to Venice and the Adriatic Sea, I was delighted. Seabourn is owned by Carnival, the largest cruise line company in the world, yet is able to keep its own identity and market. It is a small ship, a “luxury yacht,” with a maximum of 200 guests. This results is better service and finer food. My culinary event included a cooking demonstration with degustation, wine and cheese tasting and, most...

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Raffles: Where Extraordinary Luxury Is Expected

by Maralyn D. Hill Raffles in Singapore had been on my dream list for years, based on movies and books. On my first visit to Singapore in 1989, my hopes were dashed, as it was closed for renovations. But all was forgiven when I returned in 2001  to enjoy its classic charm, attention to detail, wonderful history and naturally, a Singapore Sling. During our initial Singapore visit, not at Raffles, my husband and I spoke with the grandson of the bartender who allegedly invented the classic Singapore Sling. He proudly made our drinks (they were good) and later we...

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Book Fairs Are the Independent Film Festivals of Publishing

By Sherrie Wilkolaski The Cannes Film Festival is world-renown to both the film industry and indie film buffs. Held in Cannes, France every year since 1946, it is the most glamorous invitation-only, film festival one could hope to attend. It is for film professionals and press only. Film festivals are to the silver screen as book fairs are to publishing. The crème de la crème events that drive what audiences will be watching and reading in the months and years to come. So why is it that independent authors are out of touch with the stature that a book...

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Stylish Stay in Exciting Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh could be the sister wife of my hometown, San Francisco. It’s compact, imminently walkable, vertically challenged (like Rome and S.F., Edinburgh is built on seven hills) and packed with tourist attractions, ergo packed with tourists.  It is neatly divided into two camps. Old Town is all about historic sights, lively pubs, tourist shops, atmospheric spires, gargoyles, and medieval cobbled streets crisscrossed with hidden wynds and closes (little alleys that offer marvelous secret walks).  New Town, considered a masterpiece of city planning, which retains much of its original Georgian period architecture, is lined with fabulous shops, eateries and communal...

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Wondrous Walking Tour of England’s Lake District

Grasmere, Coniston, Windermere…if they were three high school girls running for prettiest prom queen, it would be tough call as to who would win. And these were just a few of the many idyllic Lake District villages we visited. William Wordsworth portrays his beloved homeland as: “Majesty, and beauty and repose, A blended holiness of earth and sky.” Letting some of my new walking buds join me;-) The problem with this area is that it’s all so breathtakingly gorgeous, so undeniably natural, so unique with its constantly changing terrain, that you really need to spend at least a week...

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The Bell Tolls For Thee

by Graeme Kemlo Between 3 am and 4 am at dozens of temples across South Korea, weary Westerners rise to greet the pre-dawn at the tolling of the Beomjong (temple bell). They have chosen the ultimate cultural immersion on offer to foreign visitors, to live the life of a Korean Buddhist monk for a day, or two, or more.  Proving that luxury is really a state of mind, worldly possessions are put to one side, along with all cares. More than 1.9 million people, 1.35 million of them foreigners, have completed a Templestay program over the past decade, arriving...

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