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Category: Travel

Canyon Ranch Hotel and Spa Miami Beach

My 12-step program for Canyon Ranch Hotel and Spa Miami Beach.  On a recent trip to Suriname, I had to fly from San Francisco to Miami to catch my international flight. I was just going to book a no-brainer airport overnight (which usually ranks somewhere between unmemorable to downright unpleasant) when I remembered that there was a Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach. I had so thoroughly enjoyed my stay at “ The Ranch” in Tucson that I thought this could offer a healthy sleepover between flights. It turned out to be a brilliant move. Follow my...

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Oregon Truffle Festival, Dogs, Growers, and Gourmands and Recipe

Since 2009, I’ve seen press releases on the Oregon Truffle Festival (OTF), held every January.  This year it is January 24-26th. OTF has always been of interest, as I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate truffles. After getting my down coat and pants for the holidays, I was able to cover “The Culinarian Experience” track at OTF in Eugene, Oregon in 2013 and highly recommend it for 2014 truffle lovers. While a gourmet experience was expected, the opportunity of my meeting growers, owners and trainers of truffle dogs, research scientists, and worldwide truffle experts provided an exceptional weekend. The majority of...

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4th Annual Napa Truffle Festival, January 17-20, 2014

  I don’t know about you, but I always thought it was criminal that the 12 days of Christmas don’t include a gift of truffles. I’d so kick those noisy “calling birds” to the curb and replace them with a basket of these fragrant fungi. If your sig other is any sort of foodie and you need a very last minute gift, there’s still time to score tickets to the 4th Annual Napa Truffle Festival , January 17-20, 2014. The American Truffle Company returns to Napa with the fourth annual Napa Truffle Festival – bringing together two complementary aspects...

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Wiesbaden’s Twinkling Christmas Market

Early spring, I was fortunate to have an inexpensive ticket to Frankfurt and ended up discovering Wiesbaden. The city, with its friendly residents, festivals and beauty, captured my heart. I had to share this historic find with my husband. December found us back in Wiesbaden for the Twinkling Star Christmas Market. After checking in at the Hotel Radisson SAS Schwarzer Bock, we bundled up and ventured out to the excitement of Schlossplatz, which was transformed by the Wiesbaden Twinkling Star Christmas Market. Walking the streets while sipping gluhwein (mulled spiced hot wine) in the cold allowed the holiday spirit...

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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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