Friday, February 28, 2014

JustLuxe: Menorca Luxury - Hidden Mediterranean Gem and Torralbenc Resort

For my most recent JustLuxe article, I drew inspiration from my trip this past summer to the bucolic Balearic island of Menorca.

Smaller and more mysterious than neighboring Mallorca, and quieter and more elegantly understated than flashy Ibiza - Menorca has idyllic secluded beaches, azure Mediterranean waters, charming Baroque towns, a thriving food and wine culture, and well over 300 days of sunshine a year, making it the perfect destination for the beach portion of a longer European trip, or just a quick weekend getaway if you're based on the Continent.

In my article, I cover all the usual things to do including boat rides, beach trips, wine (and gin!) tasting and more as well as the gorgeous new luxury resort that opened this past summer and where I got the chance to stay, Torralbenc.

Torralbenc is a private resort set on a sprawling 19th-century farm with totally renovated buildings decorated in a beach-chic Mediterranean aesthetic, a fabulous restaurant, and a crystal-clear pool you'll never want to leave.

For all my picks on what to do and full review of the resort, check out my article on JustLuxe: Spain's Charming Island of Menorca - Europe's Low-Profile Jetsetter Getaway.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Points Guy: Virgin Australia Business Class

It's been a long time since I flew V Australia on my first trip down under, and I had such a good time then that I was looking forward to repeating the experience this time around - and I wasn't disappointed...especially after the stressful circumstances under which it came about.

But once I had gotten past that and stepped onboard, I relaxed instantly (glass of Lanson champagne in hand), made friends with the delightful flight attendants, got a great meal and a good night's rest, and arrived Melbourne happy and relaxed - who could ask for more?

Read my full review of the experience here: Flight Review - Virgin Australia Business Class LAX-MEL

Monday, February 17, 2014

Jetsetter: Fairmont Mayakoba

I love Mexico - it's one of my all-time favorite destinations. It's easy to get to, the people are wonderful, the resorts are gorgeous and you can always count on beautiful weather, delicious food and an all-round amazing time.

I had the chance to stay at the Fairmont Mayakoba, a beautiful resort in an exclusive enclave along the Riviera Maya, a couple years ago and wrote it up for Jetsetter this past fall. So find out all the fun things to do here from a chocolate body treatment in the spa to a one-on-one course at the golf school in my write up.

Jetsetter article: Fairmont Mayakoba.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Points Guy: Miles to the Rescue When LAX Flight Plans Go Afoul

For the amount I travel, it's actually kind of amazing how rarely things go wrong and my flight plans get messed up - but when they do, the really do.

Case in point - my flight up to San Francisco to catch a big flight down to Australia was canceled and I had to try to find another way down there within a matter of hours while stuck at LAX. Luckily, I'm the managing editor of The Points Guy - and miles came to the rescue in this instance.

I canceled my United award down there from SFO-Sydney we were able to book me on a flight from LAX to Melbourne on Virgin Australia in the time it took me to walk from one terminal to another at LAX. It was truly amazing and an example of how valuable points and miles can be.

Read about the whole stressful experience and happy ending here: Delta SkyMiles To The Rescue After Travel Plans Go Awry

Monday, February 10, 2014

Frontiers: Romantic Los Angeles Restaurants for Valentine's Day

It's that time of year again where everyone is scrambling for last-minute romantic Valentine's Day dinner reservations. Adding even more pressure? It's on a Friday this year, which means you've got a whole, leisurely evening to plan out...and a weekend to recover!

To help anyone looking for that perfect meal out to impress their honey or rekindle the flame, I' put together this handy list of romantic restaurants in Los Angeles for Frontiers and it includes some old favorites like Hatfield's, The Larchmont, Pace and Cliff's Edge, as well as some newcomers like Acabar and Rivabella - plus some tryst-worthy spots like Downtown's The Perch and charming little Papilles in Franklin Village.

Check out the full list, descriptions and menu highlights in my article: Eat Your Heart Out - LA's Most Romantic Restaurants.
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Eat Your Heart Out at L.A.'s Most Romantic Restaurants - See more at:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Frontiers: Republique Restaurant Review

I've been following chef Walter Manzke's career for a while now since he was chef at Bastide, then left to open Church & State in Downtown LA (part of the restaurant renaissance down there about 5 years ago) and then more recently he opened a Tijuana taqueria-inspired restaurant called Petty Cash on Beverly, which is delicious.

This past winter, he took over the old Campanile space on Beverly, which in turn had taken over a historic building that Charlie Chaplin had built in 1929 to house his offices, and turned it into a refined yet laidback French-inspired brasserie called Republique.

It's a little on the pricy side, but as usual with Manzke's menu, the food is absolutely delicious, the ingredients and dishes are ultra-seasonal and local, and the ambiance is convivial and welcoming. All in all, it makes for a great evening out in LA.

To read more about it and my full review, check out my article in Frontiers: Vive La Republique!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Los Angeles Confidential: Artichoke Affinity

I love artichokes. I don't know why. They're not the prettiest vegetable, nor the most tasty, and they're certainly not easy to eat. In fact, I often wonder who figured out you could eat them in the first place.

Apparently I'm not alone, though, since chefs around Los Angeles are incorporating this hardy edible blossom into gourmet dishes that have diners coming back for seconds.

Some of the restaurants I include in this roundup - Girasole, Rivabell and Fig & Olive. Want to see what they're doing with aritchokes? Check out my article: Artichokes Garner Star Status.