Tag Archive for Travel News

Hideaways Even New Yorkers Dont Know About

Planning a trip to Manhattan? How about dodging the hotel crowds and staying in hideaways that even know-it-all New Yorkers know nothing about?
Savor the real Big Apple in neighborhoods with character, as opposed to characters. Experience digs that feel like country inns. Many are historic buildings painstakingly fixed up to evoke bygone days, but with modern amenities like cable TV and Internet access.
Don’t believe the myth that New Yorkers are cold. Unlike some hotels, many of these privately owned places are run by people — and pets — who like mingling with visitors Read more

RitzCarlton Hong Kong The Opening

One of my favorite moments this past week of countdown came from a slideshow the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong played for its employees. As the individual slides moved along one after the other, faces of famous people appeared on the screen — the best in their field. It was Ritz-Carlton’s way of telling their employees: You are the best of the best. I don’t remember the name of the song that played in the background, but the chorus posed a simple question: What have you done today to make you feel proud? (*SEE PHOTOS BELOW*)
I can’t speak for the hundreds of employees that were sitting in the Diamond Ballroom this morning as countdown to the opening of the highest hotel rounded 24 hours, but I’d wager a lot of Hong Kong dollars to say each one of them is proud of this hotel Read more

The Magic and Whimsy of Sintra Portugal

Less than an hour by train west of Lisbon is the small town of Sintra, which served as the summer retreat for the Portuguese royal family for centuries. The town and surrounding mountains are full of magical palaces, Moorish architecture and ruins. You can spend days exploring the town and its surroundings.

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Wedding of the Century Kate and Wills

There’s less than a month left till the April 29th wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, but if you haven’t received your royal invitation, not to worry. Just get yourself across the pond and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to indulge in all things Kate & Wills. In case you missed the November announcement of their engagement, Kate showed up wearing Diana’s important oval blue 18-carat sapphire and diamond ring by royal jewelers Garrard. Her Issa blue dress matched the sapphire color, and the replica of her dress sold out within hours.
It took Wills so long to propose (eight years) that the tabloids called his fiance-to-be, “Waity Katie.” Finally he popped the question while on a Kenyan holiday Read more

RitzCarlton Hong Kong The Spa Serenity

The entrance to The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA on the 116th floor of the hotel.
There’s a dark side to my job that people often forget about: The deadlines (which are still standing no matter what time zone you’re in), the lack of sleep, the jetlag, the way your body feels after it has flown more than 20 hours from one side of the world to the other. The painful feeling you get along the backside of your legs when within seconds of deplaning a last-minute redeye flight to Hong Kong you have to immediately put on a pair of high heels and go into a business meeting. By the end of day two, you can’t feel your feet and your shoulders are permanently hunched over until someone helps you stand upright Read more

Tennessee Williams Actresses Honor His 100th Birthday

“Tennessee loved his women,” Rex Reed said of Tennessee Williams who was born 100 years ago today. “He didn’t want to sleep with them, he exalted them in a completely different way.” Legendary actresses who brought Williams’ characters to life held court with Reed in a panel opening the 25th annual Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival. As fans mourn the death of Elizabeth Taylor who played Maggie in Cat in the film version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, actresses Shirley Knight, Carroll Baker and Zoe Caldwell shared their recollections of Williams with Reed in a panel discussion at Le Petit Theatre.
All three actresses told Reed they did not start out wanting to be movie stars, almost unheard of in today’s celebrity-maddened culture. Baker (pictured at left) described walking away from a successful film career in America and moving to Italy with her two children and $8,000 in the bank Read more

Getting to London in Regal Style for the Royal Wedding

Here are some things I’ve been checking off on my “To Do” list for April: Get a flight to London in time for the royal wedding. Check! Find a fabulous hotel in the heart of all the action. Check! Buy a chic hat (or two) for all the festivities. Double Check! VisitBritian, the British Tourist Authority, estimates that Prince William’s wedding could draw up to a million more international visitors to London than there was for Charles and Diana’s nuptials in 1981 Read more

Springtime in Paris SLIDESHOW

My favorite time to visit Paris is springtime. It’s just the opposite of March Madness here in the states. Springtime in Paris is early morning walks along the Seine before the city wakes up. Lunch at an outdoor cafe in Le Marais Read more

How to Avoid Being Pickpocketed While Traveling

Think you won’t be pickpocketed? Think again. You may be in more danger while traveling abroad than you suspect. In a typical major city, more than 100 people may be pickpocketed on any given day.
We’ve interviewed law enforcement officials and other experts about common fleecing techniques Read more

The Worlds Best Beaches To Discover in 2011 PHOTOS

We’ve just launched Beach Tomato, our brand new online fashion and beauty magazine exploring all aspects of beach culture.
For your daily dose on the world’s best beaches, regular features from our worldwide roster of contributors and the very latest packable fashion tips and trends from our industry experts look no further than www.beachtomato.com.
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Have a beach you want to discover in 2011? Send us your photos!
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Rabbit Island, Pelagie Islands, Italy
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Shhh, the Pelagie Islands near Sicily are a set of hidden European hideaways worth knowing about. Lampedusa is our fave – full of hidden coves and quiet corners Read more

Vegas Baby

Vegas may be a place where you can lose a lot of money, but it’s also the place that keeps on giving! With healthier and vegan dining options, that is! Every time I go back, a new spot opens up making the City of Sin the new hot spot for sin-less eating! Check out the new yummy options right here!
With a view of the famous Las Vegas Strip, you will find Serendipity. The newest addition to the Caesar’s Palace property, this famous New York sweet spot has got prime real estate in casino-ville. Sure, it’s known for its ice cream and big diner style foods but they don’t leave the veggie heads out. Easily veganizable salads and sides as well as a delicious, home made veggie burger made of brown rice, veggies and other healthy grains, cop a squat on the strip while dunking your sweet potato fries in home made ketchup ; )
As I’ve mentioned in past Vegas write ups, Wynn & Encore now offer vegan options at all of their eateries Read more

Big Bad Buenos Aires

Why “bad?” Because killer headlines get more attention. And Buenos Aires, my new favorite city, deserves it. Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires is vibrant and colorful, upbeat and stylish. For the first time since I invested in a laptop small enough to carry, I mailed a half-dozen postcards to friends at home, and even added arrows for emphasis Read more

An Unusual Rio de Janeiro From Favela Babies to Portinari

The prospect of speed-visiting Rio de Janeiro in only three days frightened me, as being lost in a metropolis can be overwhelming. So I cheated. I turned to Blue Parallel, an unusual tour company based in South America that caters a trip specifically to a traveler’s personal interests. Any whim, they organize pronto.
But first, right off the bus, I headed for the beach Read more

Coming Full Circle Ireland After St Pats

And it ends as it began. Seven days previous, myself, my niece Heather McGrath (pronounced McGraww! In Ireland) and the very special Brandon Crispo hopped off US Air (willing) and hopped on to BMW Sport Adventure bikes through Celtic Riders. Now, seven days later, we are back at Celtic Riders about to embark on a day trip to the “Garden of Ireland” the Wicklow Mountains and Wicklow National Park. It was Saturday, two days out from St Read more

The Road Less Traveled Sicily

Of all the places to visit in world, Sicily is not on the top of anyone’s list. The “je ne sais quois” title that Paris claims gives it the title of the most visited city in the world. The United States with its vastness and unique splendors can claim the second most visited country in the world. Why on Earth would anyone want to travel to Sicily? There are an array of reasons and the first starts with history!
If you didn’t know, Sicily has been the crossroads of almost every major empire in history Read more

How Green Is My Valley

Photos by Walker T. Bangs
Palm Springs sprawls like a petrified fossil on a culture dish in the middle of the hottest, driest desert in North America. Who would want to live there? Yet, in the early half of the 20th century it became an oasis for hay fever sufferers, and valetudinarians with tuberculosis, bronchitis, emphysema and asthma. That is until its first Green Movement, one that saw a spate of golf courses rolled out like carpets throughout the Coachella Valley Read more

Martinique French Flair Caribbean Style PHOTOS

It’s almost guaranteed Martinique will surprise you in an intoxicating way, leaving you wondering what took you so long to visit this true Caribbean gem.
Since I travel for a living hosting ABC’s new travel show and working as a lifestyle correspondent for various outlets, I research places extensively before I visit so I usually have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Yet, in Martinique I was constantly discovering new exciting ways to appreciate this unique and authentic French Caribbean island.
From the history, scenery, culture and cuisine Martinique delivers a priceless vacation experience that goes far beyond just sipping an umbrella drink and getting a suntan Read more

Rocked by the Earthquake Metal Band Black Veil Brides Urges Relief for Sendai

Ashley Purdy and Jake Pitts of Black Veil Brides, outside the Hollywood Guitar Center. Photo by La Carmina.
About the author: This exclusive interview was contributed to The Huffington Post by La Carmina: TV host, coolhunter, author & blogger at LaCarmina.com. She did a video interview with Black Veil Brides in Seattle.
Makeup-smeared Hollywood band Black Veil Brides landed in Japan for the first time last Wednesday (two days before the earthquake). The Visual-metal rockers were amped to experience the culture and perform in Tokyo and Osaka Read more

Taiwans Beauty Part 2

The last Taiwan slideshow was so well received that I have posted more pictures from Taiwan. This set includes many photos from the eastern part of the island including their mountains, hot springs, fish markets as well as a few more of their interesting warning signs.
Hope you enjoy these pictures of Taiwan’s beauty.
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Cihou lighthouse on Cinjin Island, Kaoshuing
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Nearby are incredible fish markets.
World’s Busiest Airports, As Listed By The Airports Council International (PHOTOS)
Japan Earthquake: Airports Closed, U.S.

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Best Spas for 2011

When it comes to spas, it’s that unique quality–as well as the destination–that makes the place worth visiting, whether it’s for detox, health and wellness or simply for relaxation and rejuvenation. In this age of ecotravel, for example, there’s the Costa Rica spa that started the carbon-neutral trend, and even a UNESCO World Heritage site getaway in the rainforests of St. Lucia. If you’re looking to revamp your eating habits while touring Israel, a spa dietician just outside Jerusalem will create a personalized plan for you Read more

Argh Pirates Rule the Caribbean

The music swells, the pirates — the good guys in the movie — let out a great hurrah and Captain Blood (Errol Flynn) gives us a boyishly handsome grin as his guns blast an enemy galleon into toothpicks.
I’ve seen Michael Curtiz’ old movie Captain Blood maybe a dozen times, and if there’d been a pirate recruiting desk anywhere close, I’d have signed on in a heartbeat.
More recently, Johnny Depp stoked me up with his series of widescreen swashbucklers, Pirates of the Caribbean. Ditto for the late Michael Crichton’s new page-flipper, Pirate Latitudes, complete with the motliest of motley crews, an Errol Flynn-ish buccaneer captain and his heroic rescue of a fair damsel in distress (the Jamaican governor’s daughter).
I almost felt like slipping on an eyepatch and saying “argh.”
Maybe there’s a little Captain Blood in all of us, just itching to feel the salt air slapping us in the face as we weigh anchor for yet another adventure on the Spanish Main.
Ironically, the bloody Main runs through some of the most gorgeous islands on the planet. Take the U.S Read more

San Antonio Breathes New Life Into CenturyOld Breweries

Two Texas breweries, both casualties of unfortunate corporate mergers, have been given hip new lives in San Antonio.
Lone Star Brewery, built in 1884 by beer baron Adolphus Busch, has long been an iconic San Antonio landmark. Its closing left a big gap along the San Antonio River. But rather than raze it or allow it to crumble into a hazardous eyesore, the historic brewery was remade into the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA).
Since opening in 1981 after a $7.2 million renovation, the brewery turned art museum has won many architectural awards and has expanded three times, including a 30,000-square foot Nelson A Read more

Yearning for Green Think Ireland

Thinking about St. Patrick’s Day makes me think of what a great time of year this is to visit Ireland. Last year, right around now, I was heading to Adare, a lovely little Irish village in County Limerick about half an hour’s drive south of Shannon Airport. Arriving into the airport then picking up a car and driving on the left after a sleepless night on the plane felt a bit taxing Read more

A Celtic Wanderer PHOTOS

Ireland arguably bears the brunt of the most stereotypes cast on any nation. At least it would seem that way in the United States. Say “Ireland” and Americans are inclined to think of the Land of Perpetual Fiddle Sessions as having Rustic Pubs with Dark Wood Bars on every single street and country byway, because the beleaguered, whiskey-fueled writers need a place to toil away and the fishermen need a place to feast on bangers and mash and flirt with red haired lassies. Oh, and lest we forget the scampering leprechauns Read more