Archives for category: Hotels

I’m sharing this post for the next time I head to London!


techno dining


Imagine eating a 22 course meal while simultaneously being indulged in every sense, from everchanging murals to scents piped in for over-the-top aromas?  Sound crazy?  It’s already happening in Shanghai and other locales across the globe with “Multisensory Dining”, a concept that incorporates heightened emotion as a key component in this new gastronomic movement…coming to a McDonald’s near you?  Read about it here.



The Viceroy group opens in NYC today with a nautical themed space.  Ok, so this room is small, but sumptuous, and check out the Central Park view…insane!

Here’s what Hotel Chatter had to say about it…

Now if I can figure out a way to get comped when I go up next spring to see Celia perform at Carnegie Hall??  Gotta find a good angle, checking out the swimming pool maybe?

My next vacation??


In Provence, close to Cannes and the French Riviera, Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort, a five star property ranked amongst the world’s best hotel resorts, offers the finest in luxury, serenity, sport and well being.

The exclusive domain of 750 acres, nestled in the hills overlooking the valley, is designed as a charming Provencal village with magnificent views of medieval villages, lush surrounding landscape and mountains. The hotel features luxurious and spacious suites and villas, connected by meandering garden walkways, offer a living room, a separate bedroom, large bathroom, private terrace and some of the villas have a private Jacuzzi or pool.

Like its own village, Terre Blanche has been built in a predominant Provencal style, with several contemporary touches. Works of art are displayed throughout the property, enhancing original sculptures and paintings from the Owner’s private modern art collection.

Terre Blanche has recently joined the distinctive European Tour…

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The Grove Park Inn has ALWAYS been great, but its getting even better.  We were just there this past week and I wanted to tell you about some new things going on.  First of all, they’ve built gorgeous decks outside where you can enjoy cocktails, nibbles and the stunning mountain views…







I was also told that they are opening a BRAND NEW restaurant this week (soft opening) called EDISON that is going to feature craft beers and cocktails as well as a new spin on southern comfort food.

In case you didn’t know, the Grove Park is having its centennial celebration this year with new signature cocktails, commemorative glasses and ongoing events.  Furthermore, should you decide to spend a weekend here, make sure to book well in advance for a day at their award-winning (seriously) over the top spa.



Yes, the prices seem extortionist, but trust me when I tell you that it is worth paying $80 for a pedicure when you can spend the whole day pampering yourself on the premises, and you must indulge!  There are indoor pools, waterfalls, outdoor pools with striking views of distant mountains…you will not regret it.

As for the food, we had lunch on the terrace after waiting for a while in the massive lobby sipping on a craft cocktail and house made pimento cheese and chips…a shout out to Nelson for some snappy waitering!







Then for lunch, we had a variety of items from the gargantuan burger, to the beet salad and trout entree, all of which were lovely and delicious…



The house made fries are cooked in duck fat, just sayin…



And let me tell you, you will have died and gone to heaven after eating their insanely good biscuits with honey/butter/pepper spread (notice I couldn’t get a picture before it was half gone)!





I promise they don’t pay me to say any of this (although they should!).  The place is just awesome in my opinion.  I have stayed there, but its been a while.  I’ve heard they’ve updated all the rooms recently, and I can vouch that the lobby has been redone with a contemporary adirondack vibe (if there’s such a thing, imagine John Saladino crossed with Frank Lloyd Wright).

Book now and thank me later. Maybe I’ll send you ideas on where to eat in Asheville, which was recently voted one of the best foodie towns (by Food and Wine I believe).



Disregard the fire trucks…the renovation kicked up dust and set off a false alarm that day!

@groveparkinn @GPI @Edison

Nothing like living vicariously through others. They definitely had a better time than Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansen!

Desert heels

© 2012-2013 Desert heels L1120399© 2012-2013 Desert heels L1120379Dining at the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt in the heart of Tokyo was the best way to end my trip in Japan. I was on my way back to America and it was the perfect place to say ‘sayonara’ to such an amazing country.

© 2012-2013 Desert heels L1120391The stunning view from our table.

© 2012-2013 Desert heels L1120381I had the Foie Gras Terrine, Summer Truffle, Sweet Corn Cream, Spiced Corn Bread to start. It was rich and wonderful!

© 2012-2013 Desert heels L1120382My husband loves caesar salad so when this was highly recommended by our server, he could not resist. An American in Tokyo needed his fix (bad): Caesar Salad, Romaine, Herb Croutons, Reggiano, Crispy Bacon. Funny, because this has to be the best Caesar salad I have had in my life.

© 2012-2013 Desert heels L1120400I ordered the Japanese Kasumi Duck, Cooked in Two Ways, Orange – Caraway Sauce.    It was succulent and divine!

© 2012-2013 Desert heels L1120408My husband as a loyal carnivore and…

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After I wrote and posted the mozzarella and tomato article just now, I realized that the story behind the story was far more interesting, so let me elaborate.

Milan, circa 2009, I was on a business trip around Europe buying garments for product development.  The trips are always fast and furious with very little time for ‘personal’ shopping.  However, in Milan, we stayed at this uber-hip hotel right across the street from the main Rinescente department store, only this store’s top floor stays open till midnight as they have dining and a gourmet shopping area on the top floor.



This is a typical room in the Hotel Straf, where we stayed.  The black leather chair is an automated massage chair that was so comfortable that no one wanted to leave the rooms.  And I will tell you that we laughed so hard after comparing notes about how none of us could figure out how to open the door to our rooms (they opened horizontally, like in a warehouse elevator).  The decor is completely black, even the bathroom fixtures.

Back to the story behind the story…I got back from dinner late, like 11pm and raced over to Rinascente as I had some shopping to do.  My foodie sister (great minds think alike) had given me a list of things to buy her, including fregola, mustarda di fruta and whatever unique dried pastas and dried mushrooms I could find.  I was mainly looking for aged balsamic vinegar, which is WAY cheaper in Italy than in the states.  It was there I purchased my first bottle of Saporoso…

There was only one guy working in the gourmet department that late. My Italian was pretty much non-existent and his English was minimal, but charades helped greatly.  He ended up wrapping each one of my breakable purchases lovingly in bubble wrap so that when I returned home, everything was in perfect condition, even the mustarda di fruta and the balsamic vinegar, which I think of fondly every time I drizzle on my mozz/tomato…

Some of you may be asking what the heck mustarda di fruta and fregola are…mustarda di fruta is a wonderful concoction of fruit and mustard for a great sweet/tangy chutney like sauce for meats.  Fregola is a pasta from Sardinia made of semolina dough.  It is roughly the size of Israeli cous cous and a popular side dish.  I prefer risotto to fregola, but its all a matter of taste.  Fregola has a slight nutty flavor to me….

la Rinascente


Although it doesn’t look like 10 stories, it is, and the top floor is a foodie’s dream…our hotel was on the side street to the left, just near the Duomo, down the street from the famous celebrity-filled Gray Hotel (I saw Richard Branson entering with hot chicks in tow on the same trip).