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The new destination for luxury escapes starts with W – UPDATED

August 10th, 2012 6 Comments

You might remember I took some time off in February for a much needed vacation and to celebrate my 30th birthday. I posted this pic to let you know I was still alive :)

For two weeks, we ventured to the other side of the world – a whole 24 hours away – to Vietnam and Thailand.  On the trip we visited the central coast of Vietnam (more to come on that), Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon), the island of Koh Samui in Thailand, and Bangkok.  What an adventure!  Asian culture is quickly becoming one of my favorite to experience, although I’m not so sure it’s my favorite for R&R.  There’s just too much to do (and eat) instead of just relaxing by the pool. (Click here to see my advice on exploring Asia.)

That being said, being a world away makes it so much easier to disconnect from work and stress.  We chose Koh Samui, an island off the eastern coast of Thailand for it’s remote location and promise to not be like Phuket, which seems to be like the Cancun of Thailand.  On this island there are a variety of luxury hotels – Four Seasons, Aman, Conrad, Le Meridian, etc – but we chose to stay at the new W Retreat.

As I wrote in my piece for the Huffington Post, I’m not really a fan of the W cookie cutter formula. However, their resorts have been said to set the bar higher for luxury within the modern decor and still allow for a little fun.  I can tell you without a doubt, they absolutely deliver!  Check out the video of my room and pics from the trip below. You’ll only find the Retreats in exotic locations so be prepared to plan an escape, not a quick getaway.  And just get ready to relax!!!

PLEASE NOTE: Gary Leff’s website is BookYOURAward.com.  He is the reason I was able to make it to Asia flying business class using miles.


Gary, who has been quoted and referenced in every publication you can dream of, wrote a glowing article about the quality of the above video and the future of hotel reviews being video for USA Today.  I’m honored!

(Full Disclosure: I was provided a media rate for my stay at the W Koh Samui.)

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My 2012 Spring Break Recommendations – They’re all in the US!

February 3rd, 2012 No Comments

The Huffington Post just published my slide show, “Awesome Spring Break Recommendations You Don’t Need A Passport For.”

These 4 Southern destinations feature luxurious resorts that are moderately priced and offer TONS of activities.  Golf, beach, biking, hiking, tennis, cooking, yoga, and plenty of R&R.

CLICK HERE to see the slideshow and my review of each. In each, you’ll find links to my videos and photos from my experience.

Here’s the best part:  you don’t need some crazy expensive airline ticket to get there!  Each of them is 2 hours or less outside of a major city (LA, Houston, Atlanta). You might not even need to get on a plane at all.

If you have any questions about any of the properties, please don’t hesitate to email me.  I’d love to help get you there, even if it’s just for a weekend getaway!

(Full disclosure: Media rates provided by hotels.)

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5 Restaurants That Get Locals Out of Los Angeles

January 13th, 2012 No Comments

I wrote this article for the Huffington Post a few weeks ago.  Below are five hot spots on Abbot Kinney in Venice, CA that are absolutely worth the drive out of central Los Angeles.

As I say in the intro, “Coincidentally, each seems like a San Fran farm-to-table transplant with intriguing dishes and minimal decor to house their savvy diners. Don’t be deceived by the laid back locale, reservations are absolutely required in advance: We are, in fact, still in LA.”

  • Intelligencia Coffee
  • Gjelina (Ja-lee-na)
  • Axe (a-shay)
  • Tasting Kitchen
  • Lemonade (a smaller one lives in Brentwood too)

Click here to see the slideshow of my snapshots along with a short description of what you’ll discover at each venue.

(**Photo is a string of houses set on the coveted canals in Venice Beach, CA)


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My first article on The Huffington Post!

October 24th, 2011 No Comments


The slideshow shows my pics and comments from The Resort at Pelican Hill Click through to read my review! Since you’re there, might as well offer your ratings and commentary too :)

**Full disclosure: media rate and round of golf provided for my stay.

UPDATE: I fixed the link to the article!

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