Friday, October 29, 2010
This one features a little photo gallery of my spacious Ocean View Terrace Junior Suite, as well as a walk-through video. I also give shout-outs to the various little touches I most enjoyed while staying there. Once you take a look at the story by clicking on the link below, you'll see just why I loved it there so much!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I included a quick tour of my room à la Cribs, I also talk about their Director of Romance, their sea turtle release program, and spending the day yachting in the bay, and up and down the coast. I think you'll see what a great time I had, and how fantastic this destination is. That's all I'll say here, because if you want to know more, you'll just have to watch my video at the link below!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
My latest destination guide went up on LowFares this week, and is about Toronto! As usual, I've included hotels, restaurants, sightseeing, shopping, and some hidden finds. That's why you'll read about:
Hotels like the artsy Gladstone and the Drake in the Queen West arts district, the exciting new Thompson Toronto, the classic Fairmont Royal York and the original Four Seasons Hotel, and the soon-to-open Ritz-Carlton and Trump Hotel.
Restaurants including Origin, Frank at the AGO, Luma at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Terroni, Nyood and Bohmer.
Sights like the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Bata Shoe Museum, the Toronto International Film Festival Bell Lightbox film center, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and, of course the CN Tower.
Shopping in the Queen West neighborhood.
And a little hidden gem you'll just have to read the article to find out about!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Sounds pretty fantastic to me! You can get all the details in my article at the link below.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Not too many surprises, but perhaps this list will remind you of a restaurant you haven't visited in a while and get you to go back. At the very least, it's worth a quick look!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Every so often, however, I come across a dessert that's just too fantastic not to get excited about, and today I've written about one of them: flash-frozen nitro ice cream at Chin Chin Laboratorists in Camden Lock. It's sort of like the most delicious chemistry class you've ever experienced. Read my story on Jaunted at the link below for all the fun, freezing-point related details.
Friday, October 22, 2010
In the meantime, read up, eat up, and enjoy!
You thought I was joking when I said that lately it's like I have my own little travel show on Frontiers, but it's been kind of true lately thanks to all the videos I've been posting, and the one I made of all the fun things I got to enjoy (and eat!) during my time in Portland is up there too. Now, keep in mind that all this was filmed over the course of about 28 hours, so I think you'll see that you can pack a lot into your time here, partially thanks to the city's manageably small size and partially thanks to stamina. Whatever your pleasure, though, Portland's got something to pique it. Want to know why? Then you'll just have to take a look at my video at the link below!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Among the many other amenities that distinguish this idyllic Rosewood property is the fact that they have a "Director of Romance" on staff. That's right, there is an actual position with that title, and she is in charge of making sure guests experience the best of the resort and have the most romantic time possible--whether it's enjoying the hotel's standard offerings, or setting up special packages tailored to their particular needs.
The resort recently hired a new Romance Director. Her name is Esmeralda Silva (perfect, no?), and she hails from the W Mexico City. While I was in Cabo, I pulled her aside at a sunset cocktail party to talk about what she does, what makes the resort so special, and what we can all do to spice up our romances. So check out the video "Pitch Your Hotel" I did with her, and see if you can resist the charms of Las Ventanas al Paraiso.
This lounge has quite a few unique characteristics, including "zones" meant for particular activities like working, relaxing and refreshing (i.e. showering); as well as a fantastic selection of New Zealand wines--a particular interest of mine. Other than that, the WiFi worked well, the staff was extremely friendly and helpful, and the time passed quickly, so what more can you ask? To read my full write up and walk through the lounge with me, take a look at my Jaunted story at the link below.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
It didn't seem that overwhelming to hit all of these places in such a short time, but looking back at it now, I realize just how much food and drink I consumed, and, can I just say it? I'm a little bit ashamed. But then again, it's all in service to my work, and there was a four-mile bike ride (plus a ton of walking) involved, so I'm not going to feel too bad.
Meanwhile, I dare you to read my article at the link below and not start salivating about your next visit to the Northeast's foodie-friendliest city!
Anyone who books one of the discount tickets or vacation packages they'll be offering that night will receive a case of St. Hallett Blackwell Shiraz, and the chance to win a bottle of Penfolds Grange, one of Australia’s most coveted high-end wines. But this isn’t a hard sell—dinner guests will have up to two weeks to purchase a package.
Make your reservations for the dinner now, though, because there are only a limited number of seats, and this is a one-time event! Read more about it in my post at the link below.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
My LowFares Destination Guides continue with this gargantuan entry on Edinburgh based on my recent trip to Scotland. In it you'll find the skinny on all the fabulous places I stayed and ate including the Hotel Missoni, 21212, Ondine, Oloroso, Wedgwood, The Grain Store, the Mercat Ghosts and Ghouls Tour, and the Scotch Whisky Experience, among others.
If I do say so myself, it's a really great, up-to-date guide to one of Europe's most fun, picturesque, tourism-friendly cites, so be sure to take a look!
To find out what I like about Montreal and what goes on during the Black & Blue Festival that was going on during my visit, as well as to hear Daniel's inside tips on his city, check out my next Frontiers video at the link below!
Monday, October 18, 2010
Canada's largest city is a fun bag of funky neighborhoods, offbeat art galleries, international cuisine, world-class music, squeaky clean public transport, and a host of other attractive attributes that make it not only a great place to do business, but a thrilling place to visit. It's also quite close to one of North America's classic tourist destinations: Niagara Falls! Nearby, you'll find Ontario's wineries, famous for their ice wines, as well as the charming town of Naigara on the Lake, where you can catch a play at the Shaw Festival. So much to do there!
So come along with me as I walk its tidy streets and point out a few of the spots I visited, and stay tuned for even more videos in the days to come!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Little did he know, he opened the floodgates! Not only did I submit videos from some past trips, like the one I took in May to Australia, but I also started filming my recent whirlwind travel extravaganza with a fury. So...over the coming days, look for videos on Portland (Maine), Toronto, Montreal, Melbourne, and more. It's kind of like having my own little travel show online!
For today, I'll post links to the two videos I made in Edinburgh, definitely one of my favorite recent destinations. Part One is about a few of the (more) fun touristy things you can do, while in Part Two, I take you out on a nighttime Ghosts and Ghouls Tour, and out into the countryside for a whisky tasting at Glenkinchie. Enjoy!
Part One: http://www.frontiersweb.com/Video/View.aspx?PostID=31430
Part Two: http://www.frontiersweb.com/Video/View.aspx?PostID=31431
Friday, October 15, 2010
I think you'll agree that the program there sounds daunting, rewarding...and totally kick-ass. I don't have a link to share, so I've pasted in the piece below, but you can see the real thing in this month's issue, so go ahead already and pick one up on newsstands!
The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu
Summer’s over, but in Los Angeles, it pays to be bikini-ready all year round. You pay $5,600 a week, to be exact, if your destination is the newest luxury fitness retreat in Malibu, the Ranch at Live Oak. Hidden in the hills three miles above the Pacific, the Ranch whips guests into shape with a “no options” philosophy that means no getting out of five-hour morning hikes on the property’s 200 miles of trails, or afternoon strengthening, yoga and pool workouts. There are also no second helpings on the 1,500-calorie, vegetarian menu whipped up by the Ranch’s “Nutritional Alchemist.” At least there’s a daily massage to sweeten the deal. “By removing the overwhelming choices of daily life, we give guests the opportunity to learn and grow in a holistic way,” explains Program Manager Marc Alabanza. No material sacrifice necessary, though. Unlike the ascetic aesthetic of similar retreats, which house guests in dormitories with shared facilities (like its famous neighbor, the Ashram), each guest at the Ranch stays in a private cottage room with en-suite bath, and high-end amenities including organic toiletries to scrub down with after all that nature time. But you won’t find any televisions, and BlackBerry’s don’t get reception there, so be ready to unplug and focus on your inner well-being.
www.theranchmalibu.com, (888) 777-2177
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I'll spare you the details on the quirky little place now since you can read the piece below, but do stop by a newsstand and buy the issue (Kobe Bryant is on the cover) since it's packed full of all kinds of good stuff!
Los Feliz's Bar Covell draws local wine lovers in droves.
Remember when you were a teenager and you would excitedly sneak into the garage while your folks were out to chug a beer amongst the piles of mismatched boxes? Drinking at Bar Covell, Los Feliz’s newest wine bar, is kind of heady like that thanks to eccentric bric à brac décor courtesy of owner Dustin Lancaster (former bartender at Café Stella) like vintage cameras mounted on shelves made of antique books, a wall papered with the pages of Spanish-language encyclopedia picked up on Lancaster's travels in Argentina, a bar made of reclaimed wood from a Kentucky barn, and a crowd of sociable Eastsiders competing for the title of Best Skinny Jeans. The gregarious bartenders have been trained by General Manager Matthew Kaner (you might recognize him from Silverlake Wine), and do an astonishingly good job at deciphering ambiguous descriptors like “puckery” and “energetic” to find the right wine for each patron from an evolving list of 50 or so. And if they don’t get it right the first time, they’ll pour as many tastes as it takes—or until you choose one of the frequently changing artisanal beers on tap instead.
4628 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027, (323) 660-4400; barcovell.com
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Whether you've never been to London before and are looking to get a taste of local flavor, or you're practically British and want to skip all the usual touristy sights, these places have plenty to offer in the way of activity, fun, shopping and people-watching. I had so much fun, in fact, that I wrote up these easily accessible yet un-touristy areas for LowFares this week. Check it out at the link below!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Unfortunately, there's no link to the article, so you'll just have to go pick up this issue (it's the Man Issue, by the way), but to see the text, you can take a look below.
The Inaugural Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Los Angeles brings horses, competition and champagne to the City of Angels
There’s a lot to love about a polo match. Checking out the social scene. Outrageously colorful hats (rule of thumb, ladies: choose your hat first, outfit second). Dirty jokes about mallets and balls. Pretending you’re Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman prancing around the field replacing the divots, glass of champagne in hand. Especially if that champagne is Veuve Clicquot, since the iconic house is hosting the first-ever Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Los Angeles on October 10.
The match will take place at Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades, and is free and open to the public. Headlining the event will be polo superstar, the face of Ralph Lauren’s Polo Fragrances, and all-round international heartthrob, Nacho Figueras, who first started playing when he was just a niño of nine years old in his native Argentina. “There is a long history for the game in Los Angeles,” says Figueras. “I’m looking forward to reintroducing Los Angeles fans to the sport and sharing their tradition that took shape at Will Rogers State Historic Park in 1926.”
Veuve Clicquot hosted the first Polo Classic in Manhattan two years ago, bringing the game back to the city after a 70-year absence. “Knowing I was part of bringing polo back to the city was an honor,” says Figueras. The third annual match this past June attracted over 12,000 attendees including celebrities like Russell Simmons, Ivanka Trump, Susan Sarandon, and Mayor Bloomberg.
Lest you think this is all about self-congratulatory snootery, though, the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic is always played for a good cause. For the past two years, Figueras’s Black Watch team has gone up against that other international heartthrob, England’s Prince Harry, to benefit the Sentebale charity he started with Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso to aid orphans in the African nation. The game in Los Angeles will fund preservation efforts at Will Rogers State Historic Park, the last of 22 polo grounds that once dotted the city.
All that spectatorship and philanthropy is bound to make the crowd hungry, so Veuve Clicquot has come up with a decidedly L.A. solution: food trucks. Several of the city’s favorite mobile gourmet purveyors will be adding a stop on their routes that day to feed the hungry hordes. Of course, there will also be stations around the park selling glasses of champagne and other Veuve Clicquot specialty items.
We’ll leave you with some polo trivia that will help you plan out your day (by which we mean restroom breaks) and sound cultured. Each team consists of four players. The game runs for six seven-minute periods called chukkers, with four minutes between each to change horses, and a ten-minute half-time. Just enough time to get another flute of Veuve.
For more information, visit www.vcseason.com.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Not only is the place rife with hip, fashion-centric design patterns, but everyone who works there (at least in my experience) is just a pure delight. That includes the kilted doormen who suavely bustle about toting luggage, dispensing sightseeing tips, and dishing on the best restaurants in town (as well as just why their whorly kilts are the best possible uniform).
That's why I talked to the coolest one I could find to get the inside dish on what makes the hotel such a great experience (in addition to the complimentary mini bars and laundry, in-room espresso makers, and on-demand movies), what makes it unique to Edinburgh, and why it's like no other place to work. To hear what he had to say, check out my "Pitch Your Hotel" video on HotelChatter by clicking the link below.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Santa Monica Place, at the end of the Third Street Promenade, is definitely the dining destination of the moment in Los Angeles, and from what I understand, it's been packed every single night since it opened in August. That's thanks to beautiful shops, plenty of bars, and six high-end restaurants, including these two.
La Sandia is sort of like a modern take on traditional Mexican cuisine, for which Sandoval is renowned, and Zengo is his ode to Asian-Latin fusion, with dishes like Peking duck tacos. Take a look at my article at the link below, or read on to see the text of what I wrote!
La Sandia and Zengo
Though he’s been called “the father of modern Mexican cuisine,” we think of Richard Sandoval more like Pancho Villa (minus the flamboyant mustache)—a rebel reimagining classic Mexican and Latin dishes with a refinement usually reserved for the most haute French cuisine. Thanks to his upscale insurgency, he’s forged a restaurant empire stretching from Mexico and the US to Dubai. Now the Mexico City native is bringing his innovative vision to Southern California with the opening of two restaurants at Santa Monica Place.
La Sandia is Sandoval’s ode to traditional modern Mexican cuisine, with a menu including braised-beef and chorizo empanadas and shrimp ceviche in nose-tingling citrus-habanero broth, while the bar features 250 hand-selected tequilas and mescals. The architecture was inspired in part by a 16th-century Mexico City palace, with bright azulejo talavera tiles and a courtyard strung with lights and a retractable glass roof.
Sandoval’s other restaurant is the fourth location of his Asian-Mexican fusion concept, Zengo, and is based on the combination of “pan-Latin ingredients with unexpected Asian flavors,” such as the signature Peking duck tacos wrapped in a daikon radish and hoisin-adobo beef short ribs with Manchego-potato puree. The dining room has understated design touches such as rose-colored lights and a splash of teal wood paneling on the ceiling for color. On a chilly autumn night, opt for a table next to the outdoor terrace’s fireplace, ideal for sipping a tamarind-togarashi margarita. 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica; richardsandoval.com
Monday, October 4, 2010
Brendan Collins is the chef at this cheeky little brasserie, and he's cooking up fun new takes on both classic plates from his U.K. homeland, as well as more California-skewed (read Mediterranean-Asian fusion) dishes. I enjoyed quite the range at my dinner there.
To read my LA Confidential piece, you can take a look at the City Eats section in the magazine at the site below (Waterloo & City is the first entry), or just read the body of the article, which I've included at the end here. Cheerio!
Waterloo & City
It might be named after one of executive chef-proprietor Brendan Collins’ native London underground lines, but you won’t find bangers and mash or spotted dick (or any other naughty-sounding nibbles) on the menu at Waterloo & City—though there are fish and chips and shepherd’s pie at Sunday lunch.
Chef Collins says his menu “is more based on French and Italian food.” However, the cuisine is far more diverse than that at this new British gastropub on a rapidly gentrifying stretch of Washington Boulevard in Culver City.
The pizzas—including one topped with savory Indian butter chicken, Greek yogurt and cucumber—and the fried piquillo peppers with tuna tartare and avocado will have you exclaiming, “Blimey!” The standout portion of the menu, however, is the eclectic array of cured meats and pâtés, including a smoked-tongue and carrot terrine with sweet-and-sour chiles—perfect for sharing with mates over a pint or one of the “pubtail” drinks, such as a classic Pimm’s cup or Piccadilly martini with vodka, pickle juice and tomolives.
Brazen décor touches like recycled church pews and wallpaper with mildly racy scenes ironically sketched in classic blue-and-white English china patterns set just the right cheeky tone. After all, it’s the collegial ambiance that’s really British. And the attitude, which Collins sums up as, “We are what we are. And we enjoy it!” 12517 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City; waterlooandcity.com
Friday, October 1, 2010
For now, this is a list of some of my favorite hometown hotels, both old and new, including the Andaz, Hard Rock, Sè, Keating, Indigo, and more. Keep in mind there are plenty more down there, but each of these is a unique property. Want to know why? Well, you'll just have to read my piece by clicking on the link below!