Stories for: Dining & Nightlife

Dining & Nightlife, San FranciscoOne Market

San Francisco is one of the best dining cities in the country so almost every time I visit, I’m always looking for a new place to try. While there are new trends and restaurants constantly opening in the city, I think there’s something to be said for a true classic- an oldie but goodie. That’s why during my last trip, I made a point to visit One Market, a Michellan starred restaurant located at one of the most recognizable addresses at the top of the San Francisco Embarcadero. READ MORE

Dining & Nightlife, New YorkTodd English and Ian Chalermkittichai’s Ember Room

 


Tucked away in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, the Ember Room is my answer to the inevitable question asked of NYC residents by non-NYC dwellers: “I’m going to see (insert name of show) tonight, where should I go eat pre/post dinner?” With its clubby atmosphere, sleek décor, and smooth pan-Asian/fusion menu created by celebrity chefs Todd English and Ian Chalermkittichai (of Kittichai fame), it’s a great way to give your guests the experience of a chic, Meatpacking-ish restaurant without having to venture all the way to 12th avenue.

I’d request to sit upstairs, where you can gaze at the hundreds of shiny, brass Chinese temple bells hanging from the ceiling as you sip on Asian-inspired cocktails and tease your appetite with starters like the Thai Pastrami meatballs–a slightly sweeter take on the traditional salty beef meatball with a tamarind glaze, coconut and dash of thick yellow, Chinese mustard. READ MORE

Dining & Nightlife, Hotels, San Francisco, TravelVentana Inn & Spa

Big Sur, California is one of the most amazing, awe inspiring places I’ve ever been to and a must visit for anyone traveling to San Francisco, Los Angeles or anywhere in between.  I’ve been meaning to visit ever since my best friend from college did the drive down Highway 1 years ago- so when I was in California earlier this year, I decided to plan my entire trip around the same route. At the advice of one of my friends, I decided to check out Ventana Inn & Spa, an iconic property located right above the waters of Big Sur.

In so many ways, I feel that Ventana Inn embodies the rugged, organic grandeur of the town in which it resides. There is a certain authenticity to the property- from the way the buildings coexists with nature, to the genuine love of the area that their employees have, to the local ingredients used not only in their dinner menu but also in their spa menu, to the overall ambiance of wellness and peace.  There is nothing engineered or over the top about this place- but rather a resort that is truly in line with their motto- the essence of Big Sur. READ MORE

Dining & Nightlife, Hotels, International, TravelThe Ritz- Carlton, Powerscourt


It’s really difficult for me to pick a favorite Ritz-Carlton property as I’ve had such a spectacular experience at every one I’ve visited, but if I had to call one out for being exceptionally amazing- it would have to be the Ritz-Carlton at Powerscourt in Ireland. Nestled among the lush gardens and rolling hills of Powerscourt Estate just 30 minutes south of Dublin, The Ritz-Carlton provides the ideal setting for visitors who want to immerse themselves in the romance of Ireland. Having long been a Ritz-Carlton fan, I decided to check in, and check out, the hotel when I was in Ireland last month. READ MORE

Dining & Nightlife, Hotels, International, TravelFairmont Peace Hotel

The Fairmont Peace Hotel, located at the prestigious junction of Nanjing East Rd and The Bund in Shanghai was one of the most unique properties I’ve ever visited. Walking inside immediately transports you to the city’s most glamorous decades- the 1920s, 30s, and 40s where lavish galas were hosted almost every night at the hotel. The Peace Hotel recently underwent an extensive renovation before reopening in 2010 under the Fairmont brand. The renovations preserved much of the authentic charm of the original property, while incorporating modern touches and conveniences.  As someone who has always been very attracted to Shanghai’s old school glamour, I decided that the Peace hotel was a must visit! READ MORE

Dining & Nightlife, Hotels, New York, TravelTDO First Look: Mondrian SoHo

Equal parts fairy tale, opulent opium den, and downtown high-rise the new Mondrian SoHo brings an eclectic mix of fantasy and luxury to the edgier part of the neighborhood.  The 25 story, 270 room hotel is the third Morgans property to be branded under the Mondrian name- joining its LA and Miami counterparts, delivering a signature sleek, trendy and exclusive vibe.  I had the opportunity to tour the hotel during its soft opening. READ MORE

Dining & Nightlife, Hotels, International, TravelThe PuLi

Shanghai, I noticed, is a city that is somewhat obsessed with grandeur. Walk into any restaurant or hotel and chances are, you’ll almost feel as if you’ve walked into a banquet hall.  Red and gold are liberally used in architecture and decor throughout the city- and it’s impossible not to notice the range of bright colorful lights that constantly illuminate the urban skyline.  So in this city that can often be flashy, the understated and elegant PuLi Hotel is all the more a welcome respite for discerning travelers.  Branded as an “urban resort,” the PuLi strives to be a different type of experience for the Shanghai visitor: the soothing ambiance, round the clock butler service, Zen aura, and focus on wellness makes this as close as you can get to a retreat in the middle of the bustling city.  It’s one of the newest and most acclaimed luxury properties in Shanghai- so I made a point to check in- and check out the PuLi last month. READ MORE

Dining & Nightlife, Hotels, International, TravelShangri-la Tokyo

“This is Shangri-la,” said the concierge, nodding towards the thousands of sparkling chandelier crystals that illuminated silk tapestries and gilded artwork that decorated the hotel’s sky lobby.  Located in the top floors of a corporate park and perched above Tokyo Station, the Shangri-la Tokyo, certainly was  every bit the oasis worthy of it’s namesake, a gem among the city’s skyscrapers.  Last month I ventured to Japan for the first time, and took the opportunity to check in- and check out- the newest luxury hotel in Tokyo. READ MORE

Dining & Nightlife, New YorkKeeping Things Hot at The Ember Room

I didn’t do anything I was supposed to do on Chinese New Year Eve:  I didn’t wear red, I didn’t eat longevity noodles, and I didn’t wear new clothes ( I did call my mom though.)  But I did celebrate it in Asian style by attending the opening of the newest Asian barbeque Todd English (Fig and Olive, Olive’s)/Ian Chalermkittichai (Kittichai) venture, The Ember Room. READ MORE

Dining & Nightlife, Hotels, Obsessions, TravelWindham Hill Inn

Amazing hospitality, I’ve discovered, truly starts from the very top- so it’s no surprise that the Windham Hill Inn, with sophisticated veteran Katja Matthews at the helm, is one of the most luxurious, pampering and elegant destinations in the Northeast. As the innkeeper, Matthews oversees everything from the day to day operations to the nightly dinner menus to the small romantic decorations that adorn the 21 guest rooms and suites.  Her thoughtfulness, attention to detail and natural warmth creates a personal and intimate experience for every guest.  Matthews is so memorable, in fact, that many visitors who review the property make a special point of calling out her graciousness in their comments.  It is certainly no surprise that under Matthew’s leadership, the Windham Hill Inn joined the ultra prestigious Relais  & Chateaux association in 2009.  As someone with the goal of visiting every Relais & Chateaux property in the world (they are certainly some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen), I made a point to check into the Windham Hill Inn for a night last December.

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