Friday, December 14, 2012

HotelChatter: Kerry Hotel Beijing

This week found me contributing to one of my old favorites, HotelChatter, about my trip to China this summer - specifically about the hotel I stayed at while in Beijing: the Kerry Beijing.

As you can see, my view was pretty spectacular  - a perfect shot of Rem Koolhaas's now-iconic, angular CCTV building.

But that wasn't the only feature of the hotel that I enjoyed, which you'll see when you check out my post from today on HotelChatter, so read on to find out about all the other cool features of the rooms here and the hotel's public spaces.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

HotelChatter: Suites Beranger in the Loire Valley

I have a fun little series on HotelChatter called Boozy B&B's. I haven't written a new post up for it for a while, but this week I had the opportunity to reminisce about one of the lovely little wine country inns I stayed at while in France this past May.

I spent two days out in the Loire Valley checking out chateaux and tasting wines from various AOC's like Chinon and Vouvray. I was based in the medieval city of Tours, and stayed at a delightful B&B called the Suites Beranger, which is in a 19th-century mansion that has been completely redone. My room was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the location was perfect - within the city and an easy walk to the sights, but quiet and private.

Find out more about why I loved this particular hotel and its various features in my HotelChatter story from today, and feel free to comment with any questions.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Jetsetter: Miraflores Park Hotel

One of the other great outlets I write for from time to time is Jetsetter, a beautiful site that curates fantastic hotel stays and experiences for well-heeled travelers.

My hotel reviews for them tend to be for far-flung places and have included France and Germany, and now Peru, where I traveled to Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu last year.

They asked me to write up the hotel I stayed at in Lima, Orient-Express's Miraflores Park Hotel, which is a beautiful, Old World-style hotel perched on dramatic cliffs above the Pacific in the city's tony Miraflores neighborhood.

From the personalized service, to the elegant furnishings and chi-chi restaurant, this has to be one of Lima's best all-round hotel experiences. To find out why, read my review here.

Friday, December 7, 2012

LA Confidential Magazine: 10 Years in LA Food

LA Confidential Magazine is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and as part of a special anniversary feature, they asked me to come up with a list of ten food trends from the past ten years that have defined the LA dining scene.

Needless to say, that whetted my appetite, and after having a good, hard think and polling my foodie friends, I came up with this list that includes some obvious topics like the advent of food truck culture and the speakeasy cocktail trend, as well as some interesting moments like the opening of Mozza and the recent reopenings of Spago and Nobu in Malibu.

All in all, it was a lot of fun to think back to all the good meals I've enjoyed with an eye toward outlining just what's made eating in LA so great for the past decade.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

LA Confidential Magazine: Private Dining Rooms for Holiday Parties

Holiday season is upon us, and for all of you whose duties include planning the office holiday party - or maybe just those who want to take their friends and loved ones for a nice meal out at this time of year, I compiled a list of great restaurants around Los Angeles with delicious private dining experiences and beautiful settings for your next dinner party out that appears in the December issue of LA Confidential Magazine.

You can find my full article here, but just for a sneak peek, the list includes some of my favorites like Cecconi's, Culina, Hatfield's and Mozza, among others. Bon appetit!

Monday, December 3, 2012

JustLuxe: Champagne Tasting in Reims and Epernay

For my next JustLuxe piece, I return to one of my favorite French travel topics: taking a day trip from Paris to Champagne for some fun speeding through the countryside aboard the TGV, touring cathedrals and basilicas, sampling some of the world's best wines, and eating some of France's most renowned cuisine.

All in all, it's a great way to spend a day (or more!) in France if you like champagne and have a little extra time on your next trip to Paris.

You can see all my recommendations for both Reims and Epernay in my JustLuxe story here.

Friday, November 30, 2012

JustLuxe: Ice Skating in Los Angeles

We might have sunny weather and gently swaying palm trees in LA, but there's no reason you can't get into the holiday spirit by taking a spin around the ice this winter. Here are six great rinks all over town where you can get your skate on this December-January.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

JustLuxe: Gourmet Thanksgiving Dinners Around LA

Just in time for Thanksgiving, here's another annual roundup of great restaurants offering gourmet meals - both for dining in and takeout - this turkey day.

I'll be enjoying the holiday at home with my family, but for those of you who want to shirk your cooking duties, or avoid ornery relatives descending on your home, there are some great options for what are bound to be delicious dinners around town - and who knows, maybe you'll start a new Thanksgiving tradition by going out every year.


Monday, November 19, 2012

JustLuxe: Beijing Excursion

After my Shanghai article from last month on JustLuxe, I wanted to write a follow up that detailed what I did on the second half of my trip to China last summer while I was in Beijing and staying at the Kerry Hotel there.

It's all in here, from touring Tiananmen to wandering the Wall, visiting some cool shopping and arts districts and generally discovering this fascinating destination. Have a look, and get the inside scoop on the Kerry Hotel Beijing as well at the link below.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Points Guy Destination of the Week: Seoul

I just spent the past week in Seoul - experiencing the Korean Air A380's business class and staying in several hotels including the W Walkerhill, the Grand Hyatt and the Park Hyatt, not to mention eating more Korean bbq than I've ever had before in my life, visiting ancient imperial palaces and strolling the now-stylish streets of Gangnam.

Read about what I did, where I stayed, and all the other ways you can use miles and points to get there in this week's Destination of the Week on The Points Guy.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

LA Confidential Magazine: Post-Shopping Drinks

As holiday shopping season looms, you might need a little tipple to fortify you before or after facing the hordes at shopping meccas like The Grove, the 3rd Street Promenade and the Beverly Center.

That's why I compiled this funky list of great bars where you can sneak a sip before your consumerist excursion this holiday season. Cheers to that!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

LA Confidential: MessHall Restaurant Review

One of the buzziest new restaurants around town lately has been MessHall, which makes its home in a historic building that once housed a restaurant owned by Cecil B. Demille, and sits in a hip, happening little corner of Los Feliz.

The whole theme is about down-home country cooking in a communal setting, and the dining experience is pretty congenial - especially after one or two of the rocket-fueled whiskey cocktails.

You can see my review from LA Confidential at this link, and check out the restaurant for yourself:

Monday, November 5, 2012

LA Confidential Magazine: Post-Art Prandial Spots

Though little-touted, LA has an amazing collection of art museums and galleries scattered throughout the county. Favorites include the Getty (both the Museum and the Villa), LACMA, the Huntington and the California Science Center.

If you're out for an artful adventure, here is a roundup I wrote for LA Confidential about great places to dine and discuss what you've seen:

JustLuxe: Domaine Carneros Le Reve Vertical Wine Tasting

A few weeks ago, I headed to one of my favorite LA hotels, The Hotel Bel-Air, for an extensive vertical tasting of wines courtesy of one of California's most respected wineries and winemakers, Domaine Carneros. Winemaker Eileen Crane brought vintages of the estate's flagship sparkling cuvee, Le Reve, down with her dating from 1992-2006 for a few other wine writers and restaurant industry insiders to taste through.

I won't get into the details here, but to read more about vertical tastings, what makes them so interesting, and the particulars of these wines, have a look at my piece on JustLuxe at the link below.


Friday, November 2, 2012

JustLuxe: New Brunch Places Around LA

Just a quick restaurant scene update for JustLuxe this month with a roundup of new brunch offerings around town including at Freddy Smalls, Superba Snack Bar and a new bar on La Cienega called The Phoenix.

Read all about delicious dishes like poached gggs with green chorizo fondue on pan con tomate, and red velvet bread pudding.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Points Guy: Air China Flight Review

For my next flight review on The Points Guy, I covered my return flight from my China summer trip aboard Air China from Beijing to LAX.

I flew the airline's newest business class product that it has installed on its 777-300ER's, with a 2 x 2 x 2 cabin and seats that recline 180 degrees to a fully horizontal lie-flat bed. As you'll read, the service and food left something to be desired, but at least I got a full night's sleep!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

JustLuxe: A Trip to Shanghai

For my next piece on JustLuxe this week, I covered my summer trip to China with a review of the Kerry Hotel Pudong in Shanghai, as well as a roundup of some of my favorite experiences and restaurants from my two trips to the city including shops of Xintiandi, wandering the Yu Garden, and taking a motorcycle tour of the city including the architectural treasures of the bund.

It's China's largest metropolis, so there's still plenty left for me to explore...and you too! But start with these tips and suggestions.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

LA Confidential: Steakhouses

Of course, we couldn't print the men's issue of LA Confidential without including a roundup of red meat in the form of LA's best steakhouses.

You'll find all the usual suspects of esteemed establishments on this list including Boa, Cut, Mastro's, Nick + Stef's, and The Palm, as well as a few more idiosyncratic choices like The Old Place.

Bon appetit!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Los Angeles Confidential: Cognac Cocktails

For the October, "Men's Issue," of LA Confidential Magazine, we decided to cover Cognac cocktails around town for the Imbibe roundup. No, you don't have to be The Ladies Man and order Courvoisier. This versatile spirit comes in all shapes and tastes and lends itself well to upscale cocktails of every order, so check it out at one of these fine establishments including Mixology 101, The Perch, Red Medicine, and the hot new fancypants French-inspired Melrose bar, Pour Vous.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Los Angeles Confidential: The Parish

One of the most well-reviewed restaurants in Venice is Tasting Kitchen on Abbot Kinney. The chef there, Casey Lane, is what you would call a culinary wunderkind - under 30, energetic and always experimenting.

Changing gears (and zip codes) a bit, he's opened a new gastropub in Downtown in a historic flatiron-shaped building where he's serving tantalizing pub grub like fried oyster poutine, and piping-hot bone marrow you can "luge" down the bone with a glass of Pedro Ximenez sherry.

Want to know more?  Read my article in the current issue of Los Angeles Confidential here:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

JustLuxe: Gourmet New Zealand Getaway at Otahuna Lodge

One of the best parts of my trip to New Zealand last November was the opportunity to stay at a gorgeous, tiny Relais & Chateaux property outside Christchurch called Otahuna Lodge. It was kind of like visiting a grand old country estate with a beautifully restored manse, gorgeous gardens and grounds, fabulous gourmet menus, and classic hospitality that made me never want to leave. I spent my day there walking around the woods and gardens getting fresh air and sunshine, had a delicious multi-course tasting menu for dinner with New Zealand wine pairings, and fell asleep with a crackling fire keeping me warm in my immense suite. It doesn't get better than that.

Here's my write-up of Otahuna on JustLuxe, including details on all the wonderful amenities and facets of this unique it and tell me you don't want to jump on a plane there tomorrow!


Friday, October 12, 2012

The Points Guy Destination of the Week: Zurich

Though fall temperatures in the US seem to be downright balmy and dry, we figured that we'd hit a European city with a chill in the air for today's Destination of the Week on The Points Guy to one of the world's most beautiful cities to visit in wintertime: Zurich, Switzerland.

Now, I've only ever flown through here, but it turns out there is plenty to see and do, mountains to climb, a lake to cruise, and lots of airlines and hotels that you can use points and miles on to get here and stay in style.

Check out all the fun places and things to do we dug up at the link below.


Los Angeles Confidential: Guest Chefs

So many restaurants, so few top-shelf chefs! That's why restaurants all over Los Angeles are hiring well-known chefs to come do everything from designing seasonal and limited-time menus to staying for full-on guest stints in the kitchen, hoping to attract new diners by spicing things to speak.

For the October issue of LA Confidential, we compiled a list of the hotspots around town where some of LA's favorite chefs are earning extra credit behind the stoves.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Points Guy: China Eastern Flight Review

For my trip to China this summer, I flew from Los Angeles to Shanghai, but then directly back to Los Angeles from Beijing, so my airline ticket ended up being a little funny, with me flying there on China Eastern (a member of SkyTeam) and back to the US aboard Air China.

Still, I wasn't complaining - it gave me the chance to check out not one, but two airlines in what is becoming one of the world's most important markets, and weigh in with my thoughts. Plus, my Air China flight was aboard one of the airline's newest aircraft, the 777-300ER (which I'll post about later on).

For now, you can read my China Eastern review on The Points Guy at the link below.


Friday, October 5, 2012

The Points Guy Destination of the Week: Puerto Vallarta

For today's Points Guy Destination of the Week, we head south of the border to one of my favorite Mexican vacation spots: Puerto Vallarta.

Over the years, my family has been down there at least a dozen times, and most recently, I spent a few days getting sun and having fun in Punta Mita just an hour north of town at the beautiful Four Seasons there and another tiny all-villa resort called Imanta. It just reminded me why Puerto Vallarta is such a great place to unwind and relax.

It's also changed quite a bit since my last visit, though, with plenty of new hotels where you can use points to stay. Check out the latest roundup in our DOTW story at the link below.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Points Guy: Top 10 Ways to Fly the Boeing 787

Here's another fun Travel Tuesday Top 10 we wrote up on The Points Guy that's kind of like the one from last month about flying the A380.

The "Dreamliner" is finally rolling off that Boeing line and ready for service, including here in the US on United, so it's a better time than ever to start putting your airline miles to use to fly this impressive new bird. In this post, we talk about the airlines that already have or are getting the new plane, and the routes they are using it on so you can hop aboard in whatever corner of the world you happen to be traveling to.


Friday, September 21, 2012

LA Confidential Magazine: LA Wine Bars

My latest Imbibe roundup for LA Confidential - in the September issue - was a shortlist of my favorite wine bars around town including old favorites like Bar Covell, BottleRock and Barbrix on the eastside, as well as newcomers like Dry Tour in Venice as well as ones that are both old and new, like the new location of Venokado in Santa Monica, where you can buy wine and gifts as well as enjoying a drink (or a flight of drinks) there.

Check out the full list and call up some friends to come with you and uncork a bottle of the good stuff at one of these great places:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Frontiers: Laurel Hardware

One of the most exciting new openings around town lately was Laurel Hardware, a little restaurant right around the corner from me that makes its home in...a former hardware store. These days, the place is looking gorgeous with a sleek and always-crowded back bar, a delightfully tranquil olive tree-shaded back patio, and a bustling front room that looks in on the open kitchen.

The food is all seasonal and fresh, and the menu is constantly changing, so there are always surprises, you won't ever get bored of the selection.

They do have a few kinks to work out (like proper ventilation when they fire up that pizza oven), but for a very nice dining experience and a great date place, try it for your next dinner out.


Monday, September 17, 2012

LA Confidential Magazine: Sycamore Kitchen

The folks behind one of my favorite LA restaurants, Hatfield's, have opened a casual new breakfast and lunch place on La Brea called Sycamore Kitchen, and the only thing better than the open-faced sandwiches and fresh salads is the delicious array of pastries that pair nicely with the fresh-brewed Stumptown Coffee on tap.

All in all, a great place for a brunch date - especially on the sunny front patio if it's not too hot out.


Friday, September 14, 2012

The Points Guy Destination of the Week: Jerusalem

Just in time for Rosh Hashanah, we decided to head to the Holy Land for the Destination of the Week on The Points Guy today and cover Jerusalem.

Whether your interests tend towards the religious or the historical...or just food and shopping, there's plenty to see and do in this fascinating ancient city.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

TravelAge West: Kerry Hotels Shanghai and Beijing

It's been a while since I've written for TravelAge West, a travel trade publication for agents in the US, but they asked me to write a piece for them about my recent trip to China, so I decided to cover the two hotels I stayed in, the Kerry Shanghai and the Kerry Beijing.

Kerry is a mini-brand from Shangri-La that combines the luxury and elegance the overall brand is known for with a more casual, chic approach to hospitality that's tailored to a younger, more active crowd as well as the frequent business traveler.

I won't go into the details on the hotels here since I cover them pretty thoroughly in the article, but have a look at the link below and definitely keep them on your radar for your next trip to China!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Points Guy Top 10: Ways to Fly the A380

We've started doing a Travel Tuesday Top 10 on The Points Guy and this week's was a fun one on which airlines are flying the superjumbo A380 and how you can experience each of them for yourself either by finding cheap flights on off-label routes like Emirates' Sydney-Auckland flights, or using miles you may have accrued on a partner like United for Lufthansa or Delta miles on Korean Air to travel in style on one of the long-hauls these planes were designed for.

Take a look at whole list plus info on their routes and which other airlines have orders of these giant birds coming in at the following link:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Points Guy Travel Tuesday Top 10: Future Hotel Openings

This was an interesting Travel Tuesday Top 10 for The Points Guy. Basically we researched all the upcoming hotel openings around the world, and pinpointed some of the most interesting where people will be able to both earn and redeem points - chains like Starwood, Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, etc.

As you'll see when you read it, there are some fabulous properties set to open in 2012 and 2013, and I'm personally excited about visiting several of them by using points I've been earning with my other travels.

Have a look at the ones we cover from Maui to Miami, Berlin and Vienna to Bangkok and Cusco. Wherever you're going, there's bound to be some great hotels coming soon!


Friday, August 24, 2012

The Points Guy Destination of the Week: Peru

This week, we decided to cover a destination that is both up-and-coming yet one of the world's all-time great travel experiences: Peru. Included is information on what to do, where to say and what to eat in Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu, so if you're planning a trip to the lost city of the Inca and the mysterious peaks of the Andes anytime soon, there's plenty of great tips in here for you. Enjoy!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Los Angeles Confidential: Top Spots for Alfresco Imbibing in LA

One of my other pieces for the summer issue of LA Confidential Magazine was a roundup of the best places to enjoy our gorgeous climate while having cocktails...and surprise surprise, there's no shortage of beautiful bars where you can take in the California scenery while sipping delectable libations.

From seaside haunts to rooftop perches, this list covers the whole LA area, so make your reservations while the summer weather lasts!


Friday, August 10, 2012

The Points Guy: Destination of the Week: San Diego Beaches

For the most recent Destination of the Week on The Points Guy, we headed to my hometown now that the June gloom has cleared and racing season has begun. It's the perfect time to visit the beach towns north of San Diego.

Read our Destination of the Week to see why - and to learn how you can use your points and miles to enjoy a fantastic vacation there:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Points Guy Travel Tuesday Top 10: Airline Uniforms

For this week's Travel Tuesday Top 10 on The Points Guy, we decided to tackle a fun topic and discuss some of the more fashionable airline employee uniforms out there.

Too often flight attendants and pilots are stuck in dowdy duds that have nothing to do with the glamor airline travel use to exude back in the glory days. But lately several airlines have employed big-name designers to redo their uniforms and restore some cache to the skies.

Check out some of our favorite looks in the story at this link:

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Points Guy Destination of the Week: Bratislava

We went a little offbeat this week to an Eastern European destination that many might not be familiar with, but more should. In researching humble little Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, I found out just how much there is to this little nation that could, and all the cool things to do and see there - plus there are great wines to taste just a short distance from the city, so how can you say no?

Read more about it, and about the hotel you can stay at for just 5,000 points a night (well, until the end of September, here:

Monday, July 30, 2012

JustLuxe: Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris

My final Paris luxury hotel review for JustLuxe is about a property I've been dreaming about staying at since I just poked my head into the lobby over a year ago on my last visit to the city.

Le Royal Monceau is one of Paris's historic palais hotels, and though it had a bit of a downturn in recent decades, it's back with a new lease on life thanks to an infusion from Raffles and some designer love from Philippe Starck. No wonder Paris's glitterati have been drawn there. You will be too after reading my review of the rooms, the restaurants, the amenities like a private screening room and a Spa My Blend by Clarins, and the artwork carefully scattered all around the building.


Friday, July 27, 2012

JustLuxe: Shangri-La Paris Hotel Review

During my recent month-long stay in the City of Lights, I got to experience several new luxury hotels including the first European property for Asia-based deluxe chain, Shangri-La, which is in a historic palace in the 16th arrondisement, with jaw-dropping views of the Eiffel Tower.

I can't say nearly enough about this phenomenal property, or the mouthwatering dinner I was served in its two Michelin-starred restaurant, L'Abeille, so I'll just let you read my JustLuxe piece on it instead:

The Points Guy Destination of the Week: London

 We caught Olympics fever over at The Points Guy this week, so we decided to cover the host city of the games, jolly old London.

I went a bit more in depth in this one, so in addition to the myriad ways to get there (sorry, you still have to pay high fuel surcharges and taxes) and the plethora of points properties to stay at - plus a gaggle of Visa Signature and Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts with tons of extra perks - you get some of my picks for what to see, do and eat in this world-class destination.

Talley ho! Link:

Monday, July 23, 2012

JustLuxe: Mandarin Oriental Paris Hotel Review

My next Paris dispatch for JustLuxe was about the second luxury property I was able to experience during my month-long sojourn in one of my favorite cities. The Mandarin Oriental also recently opened there - well, last summer, right around my birthday - but reviews of it are still scarce, and I got to enjoy not only an overnight stay, but a meal at its restaurant and a spa treatment as well.

Read all about the wonderful day I spent there in this JustLuxe piece:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Metrosource Magazine: Wolfgang Puck at the Hotel Bel-Air

My first full restaurant review for Metrosource Magazine appeared in the current issue and is of Wolfgang Puck's restaurant at the Hotel Bel-Air.

I've had the opportunity to eat there several times since it opened back in November, and I look forward to my meals there each and every time. You can find out why when you read my review at the link below!


Friday, July 13, 2012

The Points Guy Destination of the Week: Cape Town South Africa

Yet again, we visit another destination on the top of my wishlist for our next Destination of the Week on The Points Guy: Cape Town, South Africa.

While many folks might have been inspired to go there thanks to a recent The Bachelor finale, I've had my eye on this exotic destination for quite a while thanks to several other journalists I've met from there, some intoxicating (both in a literal and figurative sense) wines I've been able to sample, as well as my interest in glamping.

Little did I know how many points hotels there were there - not to mention Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts and Visa Signature Hotels, and how many ways to get there using my hard-earned miles. Benefit from my research and plan your own trip there after reading this post:

Monday, July 9, 2012

JustLuxe: Los Angeles Summer Restaurant Week

Even by itself Restaurant Week in Los Angeles is a good reason to get excited, but the news this time around is that dineLA has organized the first-ever summer Restaurant Week in Los Angeles with tons of new participating restaurants including A-Frame, Blue Cow Kitchen & Bar, Farmshop, Mo-chica, Post & Beam, Tortilla Republic and Wirtshaus among others.

Find out all about how it's going to go down this time, and have a look at the menus, dates and times in my piece on JustLuxe at the link below.


Friday, July 6, 2012

The Points Guy Destination of the Week: Fiji

For today's Destination of the Week on The Points Guy, we head to one of my personal dream destinations, the tropical islands of Fiji, where travelers can partake of aspirational accommodations like overwater bungalows and secluded jungle hillside villas, not to mention using their points to do so, and miles to get there.

Find out all the wonderful things that await in our piece this week:

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Points Guy Destination of the Week: Fourth of July Fireworks

We got a bit patriotic on The Points Guy this week and decided to take readers across this great land of ours for a roundup of the best fireworks displays in the country...and how you can use points and miles to get there. We included some old favorites like New York, Boston and Washington DC, as well as upstarts like San Francisco and Nashville.

Wherever you decide to celebrate Independence Day, there's bound to be a great show, but check out our list here:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Los Angeles Confidential Magazine: Summer Dining

Summer has finally come to Los Angeles and it's time to start dining outside. As much as possible. As close to the Pacific Ocean as possible. That's why I came up with this list of gourmet spots along the coast for LA Confidential's summer issue, where you can get great meals all within sight and sound of the sea's crashing waves.

Have a look at my story by clicking on the link below and getting my take on both old favorites like Geoffrey's in Malibu and The Lobster in Santa Monica, as well as newer splashes like Strand House in Manhattan Beach and Blue Plate Taco at the Shore Hotel. Plus I threw in an OC entry as well, one of my favorites: Studio at the Montage Laguna Beach.



Friday, June 15, 2012

The Points Guy Destination of the Week: Tokyo

We decided to celebrate Brian's one-year anniversary as a full-time blogger at The Points Guy with a Destination of the Week on the first city he visited after he left his Wall Street job and launched TPG as his career. I'm so proud of all that both he alone and we together have accomplished, and writing this not only made me want to visit Japan - whose tourism industry is still flagging - but to head out on the road with Brian himself very soon.

Check out all the ways to get to this fascinating city, and all the great hotels you can stay at using points in our post here:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Frontiers: Third Street Station

Here's just another quick Frontiers review of a new restaurant that opened on West 3rd Street's restaurant row: Third Street Station.

The whole philosophy seems to be a hit list of European classics with nice, fresh flavors and a great little list of creative cocktails, offbeat wines and Euro-centric beers. All in all, an enjoyable dining experience and a great little spot to get a summer drink with friends...


Monday, June 11, 2012

HotelChatter: Make Your Own Millefeuilles at Le Royal Monceau

Here's a quick, fun HotelChatter story, complete with video, from my recent trip to Paris. Turns out you can make your own dessert at La Cuisine, the fancy restaurant at the even fancier Le Royal Monceau hotel. Yeah, you know the one, one of Paris's grand palace hotels, opened in 1928, recently redone by Raffles with the help of uber-designer Philippe Starck.

Meanwhile, turns out they're all about giving guests as much of an experience as possible, including going behind the counter to make their own desserts - if they want, that is. Which, of course I wanted.

So have a look at me making my own millefeuille (and the carnage that ensued) in the HotelChatter post below.