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Category: Destinations

Amazon Luxury Yacht Fishing Expedition

By Larry Larsen Few travelers have heard of the Rio Negro, which flows southeast a short distance along the Venezuela and Colombia border and then winds its way through the Brazilian state of Amazonas; it meets up with the also little-know Rio Solimoes to form the mighty and renown Amazon River. What many people don’t realize is that both rivers are larger than the Mississippi. Their conjunction is near Manaus, the gateway city to the Amazon Basin, about the same size as Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S. Despite the sizes of the rivers – the basin...

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Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)—A Unique Phoenix Treasure

The MIM is a Phoenix museum featuring a host of musical instruments from all over the world. Opened in 2010, Robert J. Ulrich, former CEO of Target, the retailing giant, founded it with assistance from his friend Marc Felix. They were inspired by visiting a museum of the same name in Brussels, Belgium. Total costs to date to complete and stock the Museum have totaled hundreds of millions. MIM’s  mission statement is: “The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) enriches the world by collecting, preserving, and making accessible a wide variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country in...

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Mexican Molecular at Le Chique: Azul Sensatori

People typically rave about a restaurant with comments like, “I swear they had the best ribs I’ve ever tasted,” or perhaps,”the beef was so tender, I didn’t need a knife.” However, these are not the comments diners will say after eating at Le Chique, an adult’s only restaurant on the Azul Sensatori property in Riviera Maya, Mexico. That’s because the meal at Le Chique is an adventure in dining, a cutting-edge food fantasy like none other than I have tasted anywhere. My evening began with a peek into the busy kitchen where my foursome was served a foamy cucumber...

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Fall Under Sedona’s spell at Enchantment Resort and Mii amo Spa

After a very hectic couple of weeks, I was sooo looking forward to flying into Phoenix, where I was going to be picked up by my friend, Joan, (who recently lost her beloved father and was in dire need of a restorative retreat) and then take the scenic, two hour drive to the Enchantment Resort/ Mii amo in spiritual Sedona. As an avid spa-goer, visiting Enchantment/ Mii amo, had been on my short list for quite some time. After all, you don’t rack up a laundry list of accolades ranging from the #1 destination spa in the world by...

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Auberge Saint-Antoine—A Fusion of Great History In Quebec City

On our last visit to Quebec City, we went ahead of the group we were traveling with to experience the Auberge Saint-Antoine. Both being interested in history, we had walked by this property in the late 90s, took part in a site inspection in 2010 and were convinced we needed to discover more this past year. Auberge Saint-Antoine is part of the prestigious Relaix & Chateaux group. Guests may or may not know that all of its properties must have a story. Well, this hotel has a soul and guests are aware of it throughout the entire property. Very...

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Go to Prague and Czech Republic

Most vacationers to Europe nibble around the edges. At the center of Europe is the Czech Republic, with its historic Prague and a countryside perfect for vacationing. Starting this series of articles with some recent history provides a reason for going to the Czech Republic. Prague, the capital city, and Brno, a major interior city, suffered only limited fighting during World War II. Missing out on the bombing and destruction means this city is not a Disneyland-like reconstruction of what once was. The architecture and sites really do date before the 10th century. So, follow General Patton’s path to...

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Luxe Travel Guide: Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona can claim to have it all: premium wines, extraordinary restaurants, an alluring climate, inspiring architecture, a multitude of beaches and excellent shopping. There’s several ways to experience Barcelona and its abundant choices.  It’s my take that the luxury route is the best one. Barcelona is known as one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason. With a bit of planning and a few days to soak in its stunning diversity, this is the place to be to experience wild and wonderful architecture, world class museums and galleries, high-end lodging and impressive shops, wines and cultural...

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Grande Slam – Luxury Offerings Meet Old-World Charm at Florida’s Secret Island Retreat

Photography by Dale Sanders No traffic lights.  No franchises.  Not one high rise as far as the eye can see.  Perfectly manicured streets.  Lush greenery, quiet gardens, and pretty ponds with wrought iron benches that beg you to take a load off and daydream about nature for a while.  Flowers of nearly every color proudly blooming for all to see — spilling out over stunning straw baskets. And in the midst of it all, a magnificent piece of history that just had a big birthday. Think you’ve died and gone to heaven?  You may be right.  It’s one of...

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Haute Hong Kong Hotels

There’s no shortage of luxury anything in Hong Kong. It’s a place where Bentleys and Rolls Royces sit in traffic next to Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Multiple outlets of Cartier, Prada, Gucci and every other major luxury brands dot the city. Hong Kong has plenty of fine dining options, boasting 62 Michelin-starred restaurants, second only to Paris. Thus, it should come as no surprise that over 20 five-star hotels also exist in the city. With so many luxury choices, how does one choose? Mandarin Oriental Located in the Central district overlooking Victoria Harbour, the Hong Kong-Mandarin Oriental celebrated its 50th...

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Romantic Getaway in Burgundy France

Move over Paris, Burgundy has stolen my heart. France is for lovers and if your thoughts of a stroll along the Seine leave you daydreaming for romance, let your mind wander to the French countryside. Not sure where to settle your thoughts? Let me give you a nudge in the right direction. Make your way to Chef Katherine Frelon’s La Ferme de La Lochere gourmet culinary getaway, and you’ll enjoy a week of intimate and delicious delights. Your romantic escape starts as you board an express train from Gare de Lyon in Paris to Montbard station. The complexities of...

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Emeril Reacts to Fisher’s Menu in Orange Beach, Alabama

Two days before Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina opened to the public, Emeril Lagasse tied up his yacht within walking distance to the restaurant. A big game fishing enthusiast, he was there for the Orange Beach Billfish Classic. Johnny Fisher invited Emeril ashore to check out his new menu. Back in the kitchen, Johnny’s team was anxiously lighting ovens and firing up kitchen equipment for the very first time. Stress levels were high. Emeril accepted Johnny’s offer bringing his crew of eight along as well. “There was no time to treat Emeril as anything but another restaurant guy,” Fisher...

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Sarasota, Florida: Circus, Culinary & Culture Galore

All I knew about Florida was the hip, albeit slightly exhausting, party scene in South Beach and the family-oriented, albeit really exhausting, activities around Orlando. And then I discovered the southwestern coast of Florida, in particular, Sarasota, which is called Florida’s “Cultural Coast” for good reason. Add in the pristine, white-sandy beaches, the burgeoning culinary scene, a wide selection of glam hotels, dozens of performing arts venues, glorious sunshine, and you have yourself a perfect winter getaway spot. To Do: Join the Circus When John Ringling brought the circus to town in 1927, I wonder if he knew that...

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