Monday, August 29, 2011

HotelChatter: Five Foodie Facials

Friday on HotelChatter, I wrote a piece that combines two of my favorite subject areas: food and spas!

I compiled a list of the five coolest "foodie facials" I've come across lately that use everything from honey to strawberries to pumpkins to caviar.

Most of the spas I talk about are right here in the U.S.--guess we really are obsessed with food here--but I included one from the Alto Atacama in Chile, where I stayed in May, whose Puri Spa has a signature facial that uses quinoa, the superfood of the moment.

To find out why you should put on your body what you normally put in your body, take a look at my roundup at the link below, and book yourself into one of these delicious treatments.

Link: http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2011/8/25/19114/6926/hotels/Five_Foodie_Facials_We_re_Craving

Friday, August 26, 2011

HotelChatter: Inside the W Santiago


Santiago was one of the first places I visited a beginning travel writer, so the city has a special place in my heart, and it was a thrill to get to go back to Chile this past May and see some more of the country.

Now, I already wrote about a little boutique hotel in the city called the Aubrey, where I stayed for two nights during that trip, but when I arrived, I actually spent my first night in the city at the W Santiago, so here' s my HotelChatter inside look at my room and my experience staying there.

Link: http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2011/8/24/12550/7270/hotels/Inside_the_W_Santiago

Thursday, August 25, 2011

HotelChatter: Sydney Club InterContinental


You know I love my hotel club lounges, and though I had a fantastic experience at the Hong Kong InterContinental and its fabulous lounge (seriously some of the best hotel lounge food I've had, and fantastic service), I have to say that one of my other favorite InterContinental lounges because it's got the best views of Sydney and its famous Harbour--and is one of the only spots in the city open to the average traveler where you get the perfect perspective including both the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

What would make it perfect? If they included free WiFi in the $150 AUD/day fee, but maybe with a little more pressure they'll consider that. For now, sit back with a glass of Margaret River wine and enjoy the sunset from the 32nd-floor wraparound wooden deck. It's a true Sydney moment.

Check out my HotelChatter story on the lounge at the link below.

Link: http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2011/8/24/13222/3219/hotels/Inside_the_Club_Intercontinental_Sydney

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

JustLuxe: The TASTE in LA


Labor Day weekend, the LA Times and Food & Wine are throwing a four-day festival called The TASTE that will include events all over the city with some of the best known chefs like Ricardo Zarate, Scott Conant, Michael Voltaggio, Ludo Lefebvre, Susan Feniger and more, plus foodie celebrities like Giada De Laurentiis, Aida Mollenkamp, Candace Nelson and Debi Mazar.

There'll be cooking demos, picnics, brunch festivals, wine-tastings, beer sampling and more at events in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Downtown, plus a bunch of hotels will be offering weekend specials to draw in visitors.

Check out all the info and my picks for some of the most interesting events in my JustLuxe piece below.

Link: http://www.justluxe.com/travel/los-angeles-news__1630210.php

Friday, August 19, 2011

HotelChatter: Four Seasons Maldives Turtle Expert

This week I'm doing another installment of my HotelChatter series on Cool Hotel Jobs, only this time I'm going with a specific theme: green jobs. I went back through my files and thought of the coolest eco-jobs in the hospitality industry that I've come across and heard about, and came up with the five awesomest ones (so far!) for this week to show people that even going to luxury resorts halfway around the world can have a positive impact. So, welcome to the series!

For the final installment of this week's series on green hotel jobs, I talked to someone who works in one of my all-time dream destinations, the Director of the Marine Discovery Centre at the Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa (as opposed to the one at Landaa Giraavaru). He's basically creating a turtle nursery and helping rebuild damaged reefs around the resort's island...among a slew of other really cool initiatives. Read all about them in my story at the link below.

Link: http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2011/8/18/144042/987/hotels/Green_Hotel_Jobs_Babysitting_Turtles_In_The_Maldives

Thursday, August 18, 2011

HotelChatter: Fairmont Mayakoba's Green Team Leader

This week I'm doing another installment of my HotelChatter series on Cool Hotel Jobs, only this time I'm going with a specific theme: green jobs. I went back through my files and thought of the coolest eco-jobs in the hospitality industry that I've come across and heard about, and came up with the five awesomest ones (so far!) for this week to show people that even going to luxury resorts halfway around the world can have a positive impact. So, welcome to the series!

I got the chance to stay at the Fairmont Mayakoba in Mexico's Riviera Maya back in January, and was very impressed with their unique and attentive environmental conservation programs. The resort sits on a very special piece of land, and employs a full staff of stewards to care for it. So for today's piece in my HotelChatter series on green hotel jobs, I talked to the woman who runs that staff, Lyn Santos, about what sets Mayakoba apart, how the resort helps out the local community, and what her favorite things to do on-site are. Take a look at the link below.

Link: http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2011/8/17/143011/982/hotels/Green_Hotel_Jobs_Managing_The_Subterranean_Rivers_At_Fairmont_Mayakoba

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

HotelChatter: Wolgan Valley's Senior Field Guide

This week I'm doing another installment of my HotelChatter series on Cool Hotel Jobs, only this time I'm going with a specific theme: green jobs. I went back through my files and thought of the coolest eco-jobs in the hospitality industry that I've come across and heard about, and came up with the five awesomest ones (so far!) for this week to show people that even going to luxury resorts halfway around the world can have a positive impact. So, welcome to the series!

I've written about Wolgan Valley, a fabulous eco-resort in Australia's Blue Mountains, and all its environmental initiatives before, but this time I thought I'd focus on the man who oversees all those positive programs, what he does, and why he thinks eco-tourism is such a big trend.

Take a look at my article at the link below.

Link: http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2011/8/17/15828/6274/hotels/Green_Hotel_Jobs_What_It_s_Like_Overseeing_A_4_000_Acre_Reserve_In_Australia

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

HotelChatter: Green Hotel Jobs Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel's Naturalists

This week I'm doing another installment of my HotelChatter series on Cool Hotel Jobs, only this time I'm going with a specific theme: green jobs. I went back through my files and thought of the coolest eco-jobs in the hospitality industry that I've come across and heard about, and came up with the five awesomest ones (so far!) for this week to show people that even going to luxury resorts halfway around the world can have a positive impact. So, welcome to the series!

Today's cool eco-job interview is with Will Steinriede, one of the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel's Naturalists, who's part of Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment program and takes hotel guests on all sorts of fantastic nature activities like snorkeling the kelp beds and hanging out with whales off the coast while they frolic.

Check it all out at the link below.

Link: http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2011/8/15/225417/980/hotels/Green_Hotel_Jobs_Naturalists_At_the_Ritz_Carlton_Laguna_Niguel

Monday, August 15, 2011

HotelChatter: Green Jobs Series

This week I'm doing another installment of my HotelChatter series on Cool Hotel Jobs, only this time I'm going with a specific theme: green jobs. I went back through my files and thought of the coolest eco-jobs in the hospitality industry that I've come across and heard about, and came up with the five awesomest ones (so far!) for this week to show people that even going to luxury resorts halfway around the world can have a positive impact. So, welcome to the series!

For the first entry, I decided to write about and include a video interview I conducted on a recent trip to the Four Seasons Hualalai on Hawaii's Big Island with the resort's Director of Natural Resources, David Chai.

Check out the video and some of the other fun activities I got to enjoy while there at the link below.

Link: http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2011/8/14/181041/201/hotels/Green_Hotel_Jobs_Four_Seasons_Hualalai_s_Director_of_Natural_Resources

Saturday, August 13, 2011

NY Post: Gay Honeymoon Destinations

I didn't actually write this piece on Gay Honeymoon Destinations, but my friend Jennifer Ceaser who is on staff at the New York Post was writing it and asked me to comment on some of the destinations I'm familiar with, like Los Angeles (of course), Buenos Aires and Sydney.

I got to recommend some of my favorite activities in some of my favorite cities, like hitting the boutiques on Robertson in LA, taking a tango class at a milonga in Buenos Aires, and restaurant hopping in Sydney.

Check out the full piece and the other fabulous destinations Jennifer wrote about at the link below!

Link: http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/travel/top_gay_honeymoon_destinations_MKkbM8nxiVl99OcqJ3qxbN

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

HotelChatter: Park Hyatt Shanghai's Foot Showers

You know that on HotelChatter we're always looking for offbeat, unique hotel amenities, and while I was in Shanghai a few weeks ago, I came across a perfect example: the foot showers at the Park Hyatt Shanghai.

Now, most of what you read about this particular hotel has to do with the fact that it's one of the highest in the world (it starts on the 79th floor!), the spectacular views of Pudong, the crazy trendy restaurant and bar scene, and the excellent service. I, of course, had my eye on other considerations...like the shiny metal showerheads at shin level in each of the rooms I toured.

Take a look at the special spigots in my HotelChatter story below, and find out why foodies should plan a visit to the hotel in November as well...

Link: http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2011/8/6/20350/21690/hotels/Park_Hyatt_Shanghai_Keeps_Your_Feet_Clean_With_Foot_Showers

Friday, August 5, 2011

JustLuxe: Alfresco LA Dining

This summer has been surprisingly gloomy in Los Angeles, actually, but our best weather is still to come...usually in August and September. That means there's still plenty of time to take advantage of our temperate SoCal climate and enjoy the myriad alfresco dining experiences around the city.

For this JustLuxe article, I rounded up four of the newest (and most newly renovated) outdoor dining experiences, including an amazing new 14th floor outdoor patio at Perch in downtown LA that finally creates a space that feels like living in a big city. The others on my list include the new Mohawk Bend in Echo Park, Deck 33 at the Custom Hotel near LAX, and an old favorite that's gotten a new look, the Malibu Inn.

Enjoy, and I'll see you outside in the fresh air!

Link: http://www.justluxe.com/travel/news/feature-1620929.php

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

JustLuxe: Gilt City LA's Experience Curators

Though I'm on the road a lot, I try to stay as up-to-date as possible about new experiences, trends, restaurants, bars and all sorts of other merchants opening shop here in LA so I can be a resource to the readers of the various publications for which I write, as well as my friends here in town.

I recently got the chance to speak to two other people whose job it is to be as plugged in as possible here in Los Angeles: the Gilt City Experience Curators.

These guys are constantly on the lookout for exciting new experiences and adventures for their members, and I spoke to them about what they search for, how they put their deals together, and what's on the horizon.

Take a look at my JustLuxe interview with the two below.

Link: http://www.justluxe.com/travel/news/feature-1619436.php

Monday, August 1, 2011

HotelChatter: Peninsula Shanghai's Chinese Valentine's Day

While I was in Shanghai last week, I stopped by one of the city's most exciting new hotel properties, the Peninsula Shanghai, right at the end of the Bund. While on a quick tour, I learned that Chinese Valentine's Day actually falls in August (the 6th this year), and that the hotel was offering a few different romantic packages to celebrate.

So take a quick look at my HotelChatter story on it below for an idea of how to celebrate your loved one--and a quick look at the legend that inspired Chinese Valentine's Day.

Link: http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2011/7/31/203110/008/hotels/Missed_Western_Valentine_s_Day_Celebrate_Chinese_Valentine_s_Day_at_Peninsula_Shanghai