The beginning of January is a lot like Spring cleaning. There’s a forced necessity to let go of the old to make room for the new. In the hospitality, meetings & events industries, January rushes at you like an Amtrak disgorged from the tracks. While you’re still purging old emails, there’s a plethora of conferences, association meetings you meant to attend last year and never found time for but this year is going to be different, and a reassessment of how to bring in more business in 2013. So, here’s my belated gift to you: some destinations you may want to travel to, hotels to book, and promotional offers that are enticing, whether you are a planner looking to bring your group or an individual seeking new experiences.It’s no surprise that millions of people around the world either travel to NY’s Times Square or watch on television the New Year’s Eve countdown to midnight. That iconic ball drop may be why New York City ranks number 1 as Americans’ most romantic holiday destination in December, at least according to a survey of 8,000 readers of destination-dating site, MissTravel.com. See if you are as surprised Read more
If you had an unlimited budget, an adventurous spirit, and the time needed to just explore different parts of the world, would you pick somewhere you’ve never travelled to, or somewhere more comforting in its familiarity? If the former, have I got some thrilling news to share with you.Mention Australia and automatically you might mentally think “Outback.” True enough, but Australia is also rich in culture, history, arts, and fashion. The 200-room QT Sidney capitalizes on history, the arts and cultural by preserving two of Sidney’s most iconic buildings set in the heart of the central business district and then doing a head-to-toe makeover to attract jetsetters. Set within the historic Gowings department store and heritage-listed State Theatre, the QT Sidney honors its past by carefully restoring the original stone cladding, gargoyles, façade detail, and original timber floors on its lower levels. The hotel is in close proximity to Darling Harbour, a tourist and nightlife area, The Rocks, Australia’s finest restored historical district, Circular Quay as well as Chinatown.
Tired of crowds and want something more from your vacation than shopping trips and fighting through mobs of tourists? Then Fabriken Furillen, a lime factory and eco-friendly design masterpiece created by photographer Johan Hellström, may be the destination to remember. Set into the northeastern corner of the Swedish island of Gotland, Furillen was a military area until the early 1990s. Tourists aren’t commonly drawn to its craggy limestone formations, deserted beaches, or sea birds nesting among the ruins of an old gravel quarry. A high-speed ferry or plane from the Swedish mainland drops you off in the medieval city of Visby, Read more
If money and time were as plentiful as the weeds trying to overtake my yard, I’d take cooking classes around the world from culinary master chefs –particularly if they share delectable but low-calorie recipes, and I’d wallow in spa service treatments bent on improving my emotional spirit while unknotting muscles cramped tighter than a woman wearing high heels during a day-long shopping binge across tiled floors.
With the impending escalation of activity that scurries in with Fall, time seems to becomes as stretched thin as a resistance tube just before it snaps harshly apart. Menu selection and preparation becomes as painstakingly deliberate as planning battlefield strategy: how many people, what’s the occasion (school lunches, executive dinner, client meal, tail gating party, or holiday banquet), the budget, the environment, and for goodness sakes, how many different dietary selections should be offered?
Don’t panic. Even if you’re not a gourmet cook, don’t have the budget Read more
I was willing to celebrate my anniversary night celebration on the wrong night just so I could indulge in Big Fin Seafood Kitchen’s Monday night $13.95 special for a one-and-a-half lb steamed Whole Maine Lobster. I even fantasized about eating two of them by myself just to mark the occasion as extra special. My husband had a better idea as it turned out. Celebrate on the correct night, but begin the feast of food during Big Fin’s daily happy hour, from 5-7 pm. Big Fin is located in the Dr Phillips area at the Dellagio Town Center. Whether you dine in at the Trophy Bar or outside at the Bar-A-Cuda Patio and Bar, cocktails and appetizers were a pocket-pleasing $5 each.
As the weather was muggy that night and we dressed up, we chose to sit inside at the Trophy Bar, a casually-friendly eclectic mix of décor. Rich dark woods frame contemporary light fixtures that render a subdued glow. A large blackboard states the night’s fresh offerings. An eye-popping checkered black & white floor design runs into the white marble bar counter and the column bases separating the bar area from the main dining room. I like the whimsy of Big Fin. The food is seriously good, but the décor has a relaxed feel Read more
You know that old adage: which comes first, the chicken or the egg? For my recent journalists’ junket to Ravella at Lake Las Vegas, it was more like: the cuisine or the spa? Both were divinely delicious with a strong propensity towards nurturing health and wellness of mind, body and spirit by infusing the senses with an organic aromatherapeutic remedy.
In the interest of being the equal opportunity purveyor of opinions, I’ll lay out the facts. You decide.
My involvement as an entertainer and as a journalist for the meetings & events, entertainment and hospitality industries garners lots of opportunities to sample tasty treats from chefs of diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and reputation. I certainly wasn’t expecting foodie nirvana at a tucked-away resort on the outskirts of Vegas.
Actually, to be truthful, I wasn’t expecting to wind up at a literal oasis in the desert, minus any maurauding nomads or sandstorm-swept flies in my face. Read more