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Category: Travel

Tierra Patagonia – Luxury At The End Of The Earth

Our adventure’s luxe base camp was at the five star Tierra Patagonia which is the very manifestation of “organic elegance”.  Designed by chilean architect Cazu Zegers, it is built of smooth and rough hewn lenga wood and glass. The hotel curves and flows with the wind along the top of a small hill that overlooks Lake Sarmiento and the world famous Towers, those craggy mountain peaks that so uniquely define the park.

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Chef Mathew Macartney of Chateau Yering Shares an Intriguing Salad Plate

While exploring the Australian Yarra Valley wine region, I was able to experience the five star, heritage- listed Victorian mansion. Chateau Yering, sitting on 250 acres, is a member of Relais & Chateaux. In the parlor, while enjoying scones and tea, I discovered Head Chef Mathew Macartney. Mathew oversees the Sweetwater Café and Elenore’s, a One Chef’s Hat in The Age Good Food Guide. Elenore’s has won numerous awards since Mathew arrived. He has also been a celebrity chef on Silversea’s cruise line the past two years. Chef Macartney’s talent speaks for itself in the recipe he chose to...

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Maui’s Unique Spa Adventures

Award-winning spas offer ancient rituals with indigenous products. Surrounded by breath-taking mountains, soothing ocean breezes and a relaxing calm that permeates the island culture, a visit to Maui is not complete without indulging in at least one rejuvenating spa treatment. The word maui actually means “life, alive, to live” in the Hawaiian language. To the early peoples of Hawaii, the earth, the sea, and the mountains were all intertwined with a person’s health and well-being. Embracing that same philosophy today, Maui’s spas offer many indigenous treatments that have been passed down from generation to generation. The Spa at Travaasa...

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Maui Magic at Lumeria

To interior designer and architectural conservator, Xorin Balbes, there was something magical about the derelict property on the foothills of Maui’s Mt Haleakala. The land was special – he had felt its energy, but he’d also seen the dry rot that now invaded the buckled timber buildings that, a decade earlier, had housed pineapple pickers. So Xorin knew the onerous task he faced, but believed it was important to restore the unique 1909 authentic Craftsman style property with its “neo-classical and vernacular Japanese details”. So today, when you first round the corner of the driveway and take in the...

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The Hotel Nikopolis and Da Vinci: Luxury on the Spice Route

The clear blue water in the immense Hotel Nikopolis pool mirrors the crystal sea of Thessaloniki’s vast harbor. The modern edifice encloses this space on three sides reflecting a reality that the sea is paramount to everything Greek. Frequently luxury hotels are not within two miles of a major airport, but the average North American does not usually find oneself a guest in the exquisite second city of Greece, Thessaloniki. The strikingly modern Hotel Nikopolis, built in 1999, is reminiscent in its clean lines of the marble and limestone structures of Greek antiquity, encasing ninety-nine rooms with exceedingly comfortable...

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Dripping in Luxury – Sarasota Resorts Offer a Taste of the Good Life

Photography by Dale Sanders Is this a dream?  I would pinch myself to find out but at the moment my hands are a little busy floating in the shallow end of one of the most magnificent bodies of water I’ve ever dipped in.  No, it’s not the beach, or even one of those fancy showers with ten thousand jets.  This, friends, is the mac daddy of architectural feats in terms of pools.  A subtle, soft, sand-like entrance that envelops my soul and tempts me to linger in the shallow end way longer than I thought I’d be there.  And,...

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We Don’t Need Snow to Have Fun at Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

I’d been meaning to check out the new Ritz-Carlton at Lake Tahoe for the last year, but due to a jam packed travel schedule I missed last year’s ski season. Rather then wait for this years, I sent out a “yo” to my NYC sis, to see if she wanted to fly out and be my wing-woman. Her answer came as no big surprise. Read on for a recap of just how much fun girlfriends can have at The Ritz– no matter what season it is! No sooner had my sis and I pulled into the hotel’s driveway then...

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One Aldwych Equals One Fabulous London Hotel

One popular travel website has over 1000 hotels listed in London, with 322 of them in the luxury category. It’s difficult to know where to begin your search…by number of stars, location, price point, or perhaps more specific requirements such as on-site gym or a decent on-site restaurant. After an absolutely perfect stay at One Aldwych (and I don’t say that lightly) where my every creature comfort was met and often surpassed, I wholeheartedly suggest you save yourself from tedious research and simply go online immediately and book a room, any room. However, for a real treat, try and...

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Tuscon’s Canyon Ranch, Like Fine Wine, Just Gets Better With Age

Last week, I visited Canyon Ranch in Tucson for my third time in about 20 years, accompanied by my rather stressed-out friend, Joan, who was a newbie there.  One afternoon, as I was “mindfully” eating my delish lunch (that included healthier-versions of fish tacos heaped with salsa and shredded cabbage, a cup of aromatically-spiced dal soup, minty zucchini feta pancakes and a frozen chocolate-dipped banana for dessert, which to my way of thinking was all guilt-free all since I had just returned from a pretty steep 5.5 mile mountain hike) while sprawled on a poolside lounge chair, I picked...

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Get Cultured in the Wild West at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, Big Sky, Montana

The Back-story: Joan and I, two girlfriends on the dark side of 50, had made plans to meet in Big Sky, Montana, to explore the Wild West in luxurious style and discover the answer to Life’s Big Question, “If we stand under the Big Sky, will our butts looks smaller?” We also couldn’t wait for our maiden visit to Yellowstone Park. The Problem: We arrived right after the *!@#$%^&* Government closed all the National parks! The Perfect 2-part Solution: 1. Luckily we were booked for a superb R & R getaway at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, where a wilderness stay...

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An Undiscovered Paradise: Inn at Park Winters, Ca.

Many San Franciscan’s come for the afternoon to explore the unbelievably cute town of Winters, California, complete with a John Boy Walton town square, white gazebo, flowering  parks, quaint historic homes, a coupe of delish restaurants (The Buckhorn and Putah Creek Cafe were my favorites) and at least four wine tasting rooms and head back home at the end of the day, which is a BIG mistake! For an absolutely perfect overnight or two, may I strongly suggest (ok-let me say you’d have to be a complete idiot to stay anywhere else) the Inn at Park Winters. The Inn...

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The Moana Surfrider Hotel of Waikiki, Hawaii—Elegance for the Ages

“Proud as a Peacock” is a phrase sometimes used to describe individuals who, deservedly or not, carry themselves with a distinct air of pride. Since the Moana Hotel was the vision of W.C. Peacock, a prominent Honolulu businessman, this luxury edifice justly deserves such a description. When we walked into this elegant hotel, we felt like we were transported back in time, yet surrounded by present day luxury. Peacock saw that Waikiki, the Honolulu suburb, needed a first rate luxury hotel. He made this decision in 1896. At that time, Hawaii was not yet a territory of the United...

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