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Travel (15)

Thursday, 26 January 2023 21:13

Wakey Wakey Eggs and Bacy!


By Karen Holly Berliner


Breakfast is a meal skipped by many but truly passed up by none! Who doesn’t love this meal from a quick bagel and coffee to a full plate of eggs, toast and breakfast meat; bacon, sausage, ham?

With mouthwatering options and in the spirit of love, why not indulge?




Imagine yourself if you will, not just tip toeing through the tulips but sipping and dining among them!

This go-to floral destination for interior designers, luxury brands and the like opened its first East Village retail location and floral café. The PlantShed East Village café offers artisanal coffee and light bites alongside the plants and the florals. This location brings an upscale, yet casual aesthetic and offers easy does it dining with both indoor and outdoor seating, along with a pop of a showpiece marble bar inset into street-facing windows. The interior invites you in with soft blue accents and earth tones merged together with PlantShed’s signature touches, such as custom lighting, marble fixtures and a curated collection of art and décor. 

Stop by for a delightful breakfast and sip high quality coffee supplied by Partners Coffee. The artisanal coffee menu here includes espresso concoctions, drip coffee selections, loose leaf tea, matcha and more, with dairy and vegan milk options to suit all. The menu offers tantalizing pastries and light bites from Brooklyn’s Colson Patisserie and The Good Batch Bakery, as well as vegan and gluten free pastry options from Long Island City’s Sans Baker. plantshed.com


What’s better than chewing on a warm piece of bread, fragrant and fresh out of the oven?

Nothing more. Nothing less.


Pavé is a European-style cafe/bakery from Chef Jonghun Won (of Jungsik and La Tabatiere fame) and Jin Ahn (noreetuh, Jungsik, Per Se). Pavé likens itself to a small bakery in France via its rustic and charming interior, resplendent with hexagonal mosaic flooring and other subtle touches in design.

Breakfast all day is expressed by Pavé’s mission; to rekindle the art of baking bread fresh throughout the day through artisanal simplicity. Chef Won believes the perfect sandwich begins with freshly baked bread filled with sustainable, organic ingredients. Bread options include baguettes, sourdough, multigrain and olive ciabatta, proudly baked in their state-of-the-art Bongard Paneotrad dough divider, proudly the first used in the US. Sandwich selections include such delights as Saucisson sliced dry pork sausage on a petit multigrain with salted butter and cornichon Croque or Monsieur; melted gruyere and béchamel with ham, Dijon mustard on sourdough bread and many more choices.

Pastries such as Green Tea Scones with white chocolate, Brioche with passion fruit filling and more are baked in-house daily. Pavé offers specialty coffee drinks from Counterculture Coffee to pair to perfection.



Bear Donut

Located in NoMad, Bear Donut is a reimagined retro American donut shop with South Korean flair. Their new breakfast menu includes a delightful spin on a donut and a waffle fused; the   Doffle! Doffles are made with mochi donuts, served with creamy, sweet yogurt whipped cream, all house-made. Flavors such as the Spice Donut – pumpkin cream filled, pumpkin spice or the Maple Glazed Donut – maple glaze with crunchy banana chips are popular and fast becoming signatures.

Ice cream for breakfast?

Why not?

The Lavenduo Soft Serve; lavender soft serve with their signature lavender glazed donut is new and classic at the same time.

The Sour Grapefruit Poppy is unique and surprises the palate while the Brioche Cream Puff donuts are filled with such options as Double Milk Tea and Matcha Custard, each topped with powdered sugar and Dirty Choco, filled with Nutella and glazed with semi-sweet chocolate.

The shop bakes fresh donuts twice daily, the first batch ready at 10am, the next at 2pm, allowing for the partaking of delicious grab and eat breakfast all the day through. The shop also features house-made soft serve ice cream, in milk and Thai Iced Tea flavors, as well as specialty drinks such as Draft Oat Milk and other varieties, in flavors such as savory Cheddar Cheese and Black Sesame. Bear Donut also features coffee from La Colombe such as fresh brew, cold brew, draft latte and the treat of all treats; the Bear Donut Coffee, a coffee float made of iced or hot coffee with milk soft serve. Go ahead and make it yours.

After all, you only live once. beardonut.com


Old John’s

Born in 1951 at 66th and Broadway, this little classic diner back in the day, fast became a hot spot for celebrities and locals alike. Sadly, the diner was forced to shut down during The Pandemic in 2020, but boldly relocated, reopened and renovated in 2021 by Louis Skibar, a former employee of Old John’s.

In the spirit of authenticity and to respect and preserve the history of Old John’s, key elements were kept such as the Art Deco lighting, mosaic tile floor and the original ceiling. Even many staff members of times past are still in attendance, serving you with unmistakable old school appeal.

Enjoy a stack of buttermilk pancakes or waffles, regular or chocolate variety or an omelet made to order. A lox sandwich satisfies and there’s nothing quite like a good old bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. Steak and eggs here are a class act and a New York City staple and nod to days gone by. oldjohnsluncheonette.com

The Underground Donut Tour

I can’t think of a more beloved grab and go breakfast than a donut.

The Underground Donut Tour showcases all of the best donuts in New York City. Starting in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, where your tour guide will share the history and architecture of this dynamic city, you will all the while, delight in trying some of the best donuts this city has to offer. One unique donut shop has a brioche style donut that’s especially tender and moist with unique flavors. The next stop is a city icon, a donut shop that has been around for over 50 years. Finally, the donut tour finishes up in Greenwich Village, where you will sample an everything donut along with a few other delectable donut treats!

These tours are available in several other cities, so get out there and grab a few.

Tours are also available in Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, Philadelphia, Santa Monica and beyond. undergrounddonuttour.com

Honeymoon at Home1

The HomeExchange and the HomeExchange Collection

by Karen Holly Berliner

With travel plans returning back to normal or even perhaps a “new normal” for many, it’s nice to be able to plan a dream honeymoon or maybe just steal away on a vacation in a new-fangled modern manner, yet in a “home away from home” style. In this way, you can enjoy the excitement of a trip but at the same time continue to appreciate the comforts of home, sort of a baby step in the right direction in travel. Baby steps become giant steps to an exotic locale, maybe a warm climate escape for those stuck in a cold weather season; a variety of spectacular high-end spots becoming more accessible and easier to plan and enjoy.

Honeymoon at Home2

Honeymoon at Home3

Enter The HomeExchange and the HomeExchange Collection.

HomeExchange is the global leader in home exchange vacations, offering authentic, sustainable and affordable vacation opportunities. With over 450,000 properties across 159 countries, HomeExchange makes last-minute vacations on a budget possible with a nominal annual membership fee, no hidden costs or cancellation fees and 24/7 assistance.

Member benefits, exclusive advantages and custom services for members include unlimited access to the private HomeExchange Collection platform selection of high-end homes and apartments, unlimited access to the HomeExchange catalog of properties, the ability to exchange with members of both the HomeExchange and HomeExchange Collection communities among other top notch services and benefits. For all questions, a dedicated member service is available 24/7in order to provide solid support. 

Honeymoon at Home4

The HomeExchange Collection features unique local luxury homes, each with its own amenities and character. Offerings range from penthouses in cities across the globe and ancient villas and majestic castles to wilderness or wellness retreats and supreme luxury yachts.

Members of the HomeExchange Collection private community can exchange their homes over dates of mutual choosing. Homeowners are able to share their homes and destinations and in the process, provide first hand recommendations for sublime vacation experiences. Even better is the flexibility of declining reciprocity, as if a member wishes to lend their home without having the favor returned, their guest can offer GuestPoints as an  alternative. The host member can then use these GuestPoints to be a guest in another preferred HomeExchange Collection home. Each home is individually inspected and selected by the HomeExchange Collection team based on precise criteria of quality, location and amenities. Amenities evaluated include private tennis courts, a piano onsite, perhaps an in-home movie theater, other technological upgrades, wellness features such as a Jacuzzi, Sauna and a gym, personal services like daily housekeeping or a private chef, transportation offerings; even prestigious art work.

Family-friendly features such as cribs, a private playground and babysitting services make family travel simpler and turn-key. Recreational offerings like a private pool or boat are in high demand and graciously supplied.

Honeymoon at Home5


The more recently added HomeExchange Collection currently features 300 homes in over 35 different countries. Locations include Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Réunion, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States. The annual subscription to HomeExchange Collection is $1,000.

In travel via the HomeExchange and the HomeExchange Collection, you can in fact, have your cake and eat it too.


Honeymoon at Home6

Saturday, 29 October 2022 18:25

Walking in Memphis

By Karen Holly Berliner

Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis dusk exterior

Walking in Memphis2The 1991 hit song "Walking in Memphis" originally by singer and songwriter Marc Cohn, so powerfully recalls this iconic artists first visit to Memphis—the strong roots of some of the most influential musicians such as Al Green, Isaac Hayes and of course, Elvis Presley. Per the beautiful lyrics, the song embodies a lot of the spirit and character of the city and as you walk through town (as indeed you can cover quite a bit by just plain walking), lines from the song point out wondrous things about Memphis and some key sightseeing spots. First and foremost, to take in these simple and ready pleasures, it’s best to check into a lodging spot which allows you central access.

Enter Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis.

With its history infused location being the very first hotel on Beale Street (just 15 minutes from Memphis International Airport) Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis is scant footsteps from Downtown Memphis, where its distinct musical culture, Memphis-centric food, dining spots and vibrant nightlife await in all of its color and glory, quite proud and unapologetic at that!

This dynamic 227-room hotel opened April 2021 as the only hotel to tout a Beale Street address, resplendent with top notch cuisine, a sprawling rooftop bar and interior and exterior design elements, inspired by the heritage of Memphis, ‘Home of the Blues.’ Fusing history with contemporary flair, the front desk and concierge desk are made from repurposed metal and materials from the historic William C. Ellis and Sons Ironworks and Machine Shop Building, designed by the Memphis Metal Museum. Have a stroll throughout the hotel and take in the wall folk art, that akin to an old speaker, treble clef inspired light fixtures and hallway carpet pattern designed to mimic sound-waves. Keeping with the theme, the guest rooms and suites each have wallpaper behind the beds with images of original materials from the Ironworks building. The king rooms feature shower walls etched with the names of different signature elements for which Memphis is known.


At Beck & Call here again, guests will notice wallpaper that looks like the acoustic foam of a recording studio, as homage is paid throughout the many spaces. Perched eight stories high Beck & Call is a bustling rooftop whiskey bar serving uniquely crafted cocktails and small plates. The whiskey menu is comprised of a well curated collection of whiskeys and bourbons, including local flavor with libations from Grind City Brewery and Old Dominick Distillery, just steps away from the hotel. This is Memphis’ only rooftop bar and dining venue, showcasing unobstructed views of the Mississippi River and famous “M Bridge” (where the view of the M Bridge Light Show can be enjoyed!). The wrap-around balcony allows for panoramic views of both the riverfront and city skyline and features fire pits, an outdoor bar and intimate seating for gathering.


CIMAS Lobby Lounge promises a vibrant and social atmosphere where you can sip to your hearts delight, on a variety of libations before or after a night on the town.

CIMAS is the hotel’s signature eatery situated on the Mississippi Riverfront, serving Latin-American inspired fare with a Southern twist. Look out for delightful menu choices fast becoming signatures, such as the Beale Street Burger, bacon, American cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, smoked cheddar remoulade with barbecue spiced fries and so many other palate pleasers. Dine inside or dine alfresco on the outdoor patio with views of the river and its resort-style pool.

Meetings & Events Housed within the circa-1879 historic William C. Ellis and Sons Ironworks and Machine Shop Building, the hotel boasts about 9,000 square feet of meeting space (12,500 sq. ft. total.) The space has been restored to create a state of the art meeting venue, while keeping the building’s old world charm, including the original exposed brick walls and beams with dramatic arched windows overlooking the Mississippi. Though the warehouse itself is historic, everything inside is fully updated for the 21st century, including modern audiovisual technology.
The meeting spaces include THE FOUNDRY, PATTERN SHOP, WEDDING SHOP and the EVENT LAWN, all set up for ease in accommodating.

Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis at a Glance:
1. Downtown’s only resort-style pool featuring a zero-entry infinity pool, cabanas and a deck for hosting live entertainment
2. Beck & Call rooftop whiskey bar
3. Lobby dining options including CIMAS and CIMAS Lobby Bar
4. A 24-hour Lobby Market with handy grab-n-go beverages and snacks
5. 12,500 sq. ft. of meeting space
6. A state of the art 24-hour fitness center
7. 24-hour room service, complimentary Wi-Fi and valet parking
8. Pet-friendly accommodations up to 50 lbs.

Walking in Memphis3

And As You Walk Through Memphis……

Walking in Memphis4

……perhaps you will take a stroll across Big River Crossing, where you can have one foot in Tennessee and one foot in Arkansas or give your walking shoes a break and hop aboard an authentic vintage trolley car through historic Downtown.


Blues, rock-n-roll, soul and jazz music can be heard nightly along Beale Street and throughout the city, though what’s a trip to Memphis without visiting Elvis’ homeland, Graceland? Experience the magic of Graceland this holiday season with festive events to celebrate one of Elvis' favorite times of the year. In season, visitors can enjoy their Holiday Lighting Weekend on November 17-19 and special holiday tours of Graceland Mansion and grounds, decorated for the Christmas season from November 17-December 23. Graceland will be adorned for the holidays in 2022 from November 17, 2022, through January 8, 2023.


The National Civil Rights Museum should not be missed, with exhibits tracing the history of the civil rights movement from the 17th century to the present.

The Big Mojo Tour

An inside look at Memphis’ music scene with the Big Mojo Tour, a fun, musical journey featuring Memphis’ greatest attractions including a guided tour of Sun Studio, where legends like Elvis, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis launched their careers. Also, the Memphis Rock ’n’ Soul Museum and Stax Museums offer guided tours and memorabilia from legendary artists such as Johnny Cash and B.B. King. THE FOOD SCENE
Mouthwatering barbeque fare awaits you at Memphis’ world famous BBQ at Rendezvous. Next time, enjoy an evening listening to the Blues live complete with a happy hour at BB Kings, right on Beale Street

The Orpheum

The Orpheum is a landmark performing arts spot that’s been an iconic part of Memphis since 1928. Check out the schedule and indulge in the magic of the live arts.

Sunday, 23 October 2022 19:39

Novotel Miami Brickel

Written by

exterior viewNovotel Miami Brickell1Miami, Florida

Novotel Miami Brickell is a 12-story property comprising 275 deluxe guest rooms and suites, with 5,000 square feet of meeting and conference space. The hotel also features a rooftop swimming pool, and Vista Pool Bar that boasts stunning views of Brickell’s striking skyline and Biscayne Bay. Located in the lobby area, UVA bar is your home to enjoy a wonderful selection of Chilean and Argentinian wines, signature Latin American spirits, light tapas-style fare, global news, sports and weather. The bar also features a daily happy hour from 4 to 7 pm. At Lima, the hotel’s signature restaurant, guests can experience the thrilling simplicity of flavorful contemporary cuisine with inventive yet well-balanced dishes for wholly delightful meals to enjoy.

Unparalleled Food and Beverage Options

Novotel Miami Brickell’s onsite food and beverage options are complemented by the neighborhood’s cocktail lounges, karaoke spot, and a bevy of fine-dining and casual eateries, including waterfront establishments and the choices along vibrant Mary Brickell Village. Miami’s special annual food and barrage promotion, Miami Spice, is in full swing from August through September, when dozens of top restaurants showcase special three-course meals for just $28 for lunch/brunch and $42 for dinner.

Central Location

Novotel Miami Brickell offers easy access to Virginia Key and Key Biscayne and its public beaches, nature preservers, parks and Miami Seaquarium. The Metro is steps away from the hotel, a convenient way to journey north to bustling Downtown Miami, home to various parks, theaters, museums, the FTX Arena and the Brightline, a high-speed line that runs from Miami Central Station to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. A quick ten-minute car ride south from Novotel is picturesque Coconut Grove and its CocoWalk of shops and eateries, Italian Renaissance-style Villa Vizcaya, as well as many historic sites and parks. Little Havana, Miami’s Cuban neighborhood, lies to the west with Latin restaurants and live music shows, while South Beach and its nightspots and beautiful beaches are about seven miles away.

Modern Easy Living

Novotel’s mantra of “Modern Easy Living” drives the brand to always offer guests a comfortable and memorable type of stay. Its intuitive and modern design, coupled with its innovative and cutting-edge technology, continually results in a relaxed, vibrant and welcoming atmosphere. The hotel exemplifies all the brand’s elements and is centrally located, making it the ideal place to stay for business and leisure travelers. Guests can enjoy its convenient access to the very best of Downtown Miami, Port of Miami, from the area’s top businesses, outstanding shopping, an eclectic dining and nightlife scene, world-class art, and more.

Sustainability Program

The hotel also prides itself on its strong eco-friendly actions. In 2011, its parent company Accor launched Planet 21, a sustainable program to improve its hotels’ performance with sustainable initiatives.


Novotel Hotels, Suites & Resorts offers destination hotels designed as comforting and energizing places where guests can ‘press pause’ and take time to enjoy the moments that really matter. The brand’s wide array of hotels, suites and resorts offer a multitude of services for business and leisure guests

alike, including spacious, modular rooms with natural and intuitive design;

24/7 catering with nutritious choices; dedicated meeting spaces; attentive and proactive staff; family zones for the youngest guests; multi-purpose lobbies; and accessible fitness centers. Novotel, which has over 530 locations in more than 60 countries is part of Accor, a world-leading augmented hospitality group offering unique experiences in 4,900 hotels and residences across 110 countries.


Accor is a world leading hospitality group consisting of 5,300 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues throughout 110 countries. The group has one of the industry’s most diverse and fully-integrated hospitality ecosystems encompassing more than 40 luxury, premium, midscale and economy hotel brands, entertainment and nightlife venues, restaurants and bars, branded private residences, shared accommodation properties, concierge services, co-working spaces and more. Accor’s unmatched position in lifestyle hospitality – one of the fastest growing categories in the industry – is led by Ennismore, a joint venture, of which Accor holds a majority shareholding. Ennismore is a creative hospitality company with a global collective of entrepreneurial and founder-built brands with purpose at their heart. Accor boasts an unrivaled portfolio of distinctive brands and more than 230,000 team members worldwide. Members benefit from the company’s comprehensive loyalty program – ALL - Accor Live Limitless – a daily lifestyle companion that provides access to a wide variety of rewards, services and experiences. Through its Planet 21 – Acting Here, Accor Solidarity, RiiSE and ALL Heartist Fund initiatives, the Group is focused on driving positive action through business ethics, responsible tourism, environmental sustainability, community engagement, diversity and inclusivity. Founded in 1967, Accor SA is headquartered in France and publicly listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC Market (Ticker: ACCYY) in the United States.

For more information visit group.accor.com, or follow Accor on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Novotel Miami highres 41

Wednesday, 20 July 2022 19:25

The Modern Haus

The Modern Haus heading

It has been quite the long and difficult haul for all of us, given recent events. As we emerge out of our ever changing protocols along with life, travel and all social limitations, we were urged to stay put in quarantine mode for such a long stretch, we can now finally exhale a collective sigh of relief and resume; dip a proverbial toe into the water via dining, travel, work, socializing and life as a whole. What better way to break the ice than to travel to a destination escape, that not only touts itself as a haus aka residential-style hotel for a seamless transition from home to haus (per its fitting name), but absolutely lives up to it with all of the creature comforts one could wish for, escalated to a high level of luxury unsurpassed, while still maintaining a comfortable at home vibe. 

Located on a quaint side street off of Sixth Avenue in NYC’s Soho district, enter ModernHaus and absorb it in its entirety, from its location among other stately cast-iron buildings and authentic cobblestone streets, to its deliberate nod to its artsy neighborhood dynamic. Notice the splendor of the art adorning its walls, showcasing many of the most influential icons of the 20th century, the art-clad interiors making this building feel more like a collector’s loft than a towering Manhattan hotel.

Check in if you please, and enjoy a “turn-key” room awaiting you, featuring opulent king-sized beds, walk-in showers with rainfall heads, bath tubs resplendent with Le Labo bath products, all high-end accommodations and amenities. Be wowed by the floor-to-ceiling windows, which show off its skyscrapers proudly, including the breathtaking Freedom Tower, all buildings lit up at night with the lights of many workaholics still at task.

A rooftop pool is hard to come by, agreed?

Find your pool and full oasis along with it at ModernHaus’ top-floor Jimmy, a sleek, mahogany-clad bar with panoramic views of lower Manhattan, complete with a pool deck to lounge. With decor inspired by Picasso's Blue period, JIMMY has a cozy yet lively atmosphere, with both vintage and contemporary furniture and a roaring fireplace, all surrounded by 14’ windows with panoramic views of Midtown, Wall Street, the Hudson River, and the bridges spanning the East River. For further lounge access, Jumpin Jacks on the second floor is an all-day eatery that transforms into a lounge at night.

As for a magical and tasty dining experience, visit Veranda restaurant by Michelin-starred chef George Mendes in collaboration with restaurateur David Rabin and catering and events group Abigail Kirsch. Set beneath a retractable greenhouse, this dining room allows for flexible indoor/outdoor dining, with several indoor and outdoor cocktail area seating options. Enjoy such signatures as the hummus with tomato, chickpeas, grilled naan, crudité herbs and flowers and falafel or the steamed mussels with garlic, cilantro, grilled chorizo and olive oil. For an extraordinary treat, the duck rice features traditional duck leg confit, seared breast, chorizo, black olives, orange and crispy duck skin giving it a contemporary flair. 

Noteworthy is their in-room dining program, perfect for an impromptu breakfast in bed.

Why not treat yourself?

Located steps up from Veranda with its own entrance on 6th Avenue, The Back Bar at Veranda features several open-air terraces, adorned with pendant lights and a fireplace, with both high-top and table seating. Sip a signature cocktail such as the wanderlust; mezcal, green chartreuse, absinthe, coconut and lime. For a real treat for rose wine fans, the Rose Flight features three tastings of select roses.

An elegant option for events, The Signature Room features an arched wood ceiling, velvet seating, a private bar and a skylight under which an evergreen olive tree stands and warms the space perfectly.

As far as extra accoutrements, ModernHaus Soho is loaded to the brim with those.

For example, WundaMat @ ModernHaus Rooftop Pool offers Pilates for all levels.

As we all know, brunch is beloved to many. In that spirit, Chef George Mendes presents a seasonal menu that pairs perfectly with inspired cocktails to be savored under Veranda’s glass pergola. Sip your stress away and take in the spectacular atmosphere.

Getting restless?

SoHo is one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in NYC, offering sublime shopping, dining and cultural experiences.

Exit the building and just simply start walking in any direction!


Friday, 24 July 2020 20:32


Written by

Travel to GreecePanoptis Escape, Mykonos, Greece

13 rooms start from USD4,760 per night including breakfast

Overlooking the idyllic Elia Beach in Mykonos, Panoptis Escape is an ensemble of boutique villas that offers a 360-degree view of the Aegean Sea. From its exclusive, hilltop position, surrounded by the wild, natural beauty of Mykonos, everything about Panoptis Escape is the definition of ‘less is more’, using imaginative contemporary architecture, minimalist styling and artisan craftsmanship. Each villa features its own outdoor spa Jacuzzi or private infinity pool, individual design as well as different room concepts. Inspired by its namesake, Zeus, the king of the Ancient Greek gods, Panoptis Escape aims to elevate the hospitality experience to divine standards – and the experienced team of staff are here to take care of guests’ every whim from private helicopter to yacht charters. The resort operates from 15 May to 15 October 2020.

SLH Insider Tip: Be right at home at Panoptis Escape with their groceries shopping and in-house chef services.

South Beach Stanton Marriot1

… Is it a lovely stroll in vibrant lush greenery or a colorful garden, or a fabulous meal with a perfectly paired bottle of wine? Is it complete silence or the opposite--getting lost in the clamor of a perfectly busy day? Is it maybe gazing at the moon and the stars or raking your feet through the warm sand of a pristine beach?

Or Is it perhaps, all the above?

If so, visit Marriot Stanton in South Beach and dig in. With direct beach access, the Marriott Stanton South Beach checks all the boxes. Located in the posh and exclusive South of Fifth District of Miami Beach, this 224-room resort offers the serenity of the ocean and its renderings while being scant steps from the bustling city portion of the region. With a beachy and chill vibe, enter and take in the midcentury modern décor fused with South Beach’s signature Art Deco flare, again yin and yang.
Enjoy the sprawling Stanton Spa, overlooking the adjacent park with an ocean backdrop, nodding to the sea, enjoy its furnishings resplendent in natural earthy tones and textures with body treatments curated by Aroma Therapy Associates and THALGO, a leading skin care company. Relax and indulge is a massage, facial, scrub or wrap treatment such as their unique Hot Seashell Therapy; a massage using lava shells or the Alpha Beta Firming Peel; a facial using LED light therapy from celebrity dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross. The treatment rooms are designed to bring the beach feel inside from the outside, with appointments such as textured jute rugs and a nautical color palette. The Fitness Center next to the spa, offers targeted services geared toward custom weightloss, sports conditioning, strength training and all-around good health, with personal trainers on site. Scheduled group fitness classes like yoga and boxing are available and best of all, are conducted on the beach or the sun deck. Take a dip in the pool as Stanton features two pools and a chic ocean terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, with quick and direct beach access with cabanas and lounge chairs for rent. Looking for a snack to take the edge off? The street-accessible Starbucks attached, allows resort guests and locals alike, convenient access to the brand’s signature brews, artisanal pastries, fresh juices and more.

As for dining options, Lolo’s Surf Cantina, their onsite park side Mexican restaurant, features breakfast, lunch and dinner serving authentic dishes created by Chef/Partner Richard Ampudia, a Mexico City native. Enjoy such classic street food specialties like Queso fundido; molten chihuahua cheese, Oaxaca cheese, pico de gallo with chorizo and pork carnitas or for a lighter fresher option, Salmon ceviche with pico de gallo, mango, radish, fennel, cucumber, capers, cilantro, red onions with a citrus vinaigrette and plantain chips. For a vegetarian option, roasted heirloom cauliflower with mashed avocado, salsa roja, queso fresco and toasted pumpkin seed is delightful.

South Beach Stanton Marriot2

South Beach Stanton Marriot3This in-house dining is truly their pièce de résistance. Azabu Miami Beach, conceived by Plan Do See’s Michelin-starred Sushi Azabu, New York, offers an authentic Japanese dining experience with a variety of gourmet selections. Helmed by Chef Masatsugu Kubo (Chef Masa) and Kenichi (Ken) Fujimoto, Azabu Miami Beach offers a full-service dining room with 80 seats, an 11-seat hidden sushi counter; The Den, where Tokyo-trained chefs serve Omakase exclusively and Bar Azabu, a classic cocktail bar featuring sakes and more than 40 imported whiskies. Enjoy the experience to its fullest and order a variety of sharable dishes like Robata-grilled Yakitori, Japanese friedrice served tableside on a sizzling Tobanyaki grill and other traditional fare. Also featured is a large, open format kitchenwhere guestscan observe and enjoy chefs preparing dishesusing the customary Japanese cooking method Robata.

Finish your dining experience here, with desert, the trendingJapanese Raindrop Cake; a jelly cake made with Pearl Agarserved with dried soybeans and Japanese brown sugar syrup.

Talk about a perfect ending!

South Beach Stanton Marriot4


Playa Mujeres1


When you approach the threshold of the Excellence Beloved, Playa Mujeres relax and allow your breath to be stolen away. Forgive yourself as you should, the complete and shameless abandon of your daily bustle. Drop your stress off at the Cancun airport, which is just minutes away from this dreamy paradise and allow yourself to be captured. Stroll into the grand vestibule and submit if you will, to the sights and fragrances about you, as you feel your senses heighten, ready to take in every drop of Beloved’s wonder. Take in the powdered sugar beach front stretching endlessly, peppered throughout with lazy hemp hammocks and swaying palm trees and gardens, accented in blue by pristine swimming pools. Poke a toe into the aquamarine bath warm ocean. From the meticulously prepared gourmet fare offered in a diversity of cuisines to all the luxury accoutrements, you will feel treated and romanced for the duration of your stay. With 109 suites, 4 restaurants, 6 bars and a lounge, 3 Swimming pools with 1 located beach front, a marina, 4 outdoor jacuzzies, guests staying at Beloved Playa Mujeres will enjoy 24-hour boutique all-inclusive service.

Beloved is proud to specialize in offer a romantic escape, showcasing any couple’s fantasy getaway, from honeymoon or vow renewals to anniversaries. Blue waters warmed by a glistening sun provide the ideal backdrop to your story as a couple. Every detail is curated with a couple’s unique love and romance in mind. Take a look at the honeymoon and anniversary packages available at Beloved Playa Mujeres and put yourself in the best of hands. Besides the formal celebrating, Beloved features private beachfront candlelight dinners or a beautiful breakfast in bed service, delivered first thing in the morning with finesse. There is a state-of-the-art discothèque for dancing till well into the night, and several drink spots to keep the party going. Beloved Playa Mujeres has complimentary honeymoon or anniversary packages, with specially prepared amenities like a turndown service and a champagne breakfast in bed. Also available is an Excellence Package upgrade, which includes a couple’s spa treatment and a private beachfront dinner.

At Beloved, you will find luxurious rooms and suites, many with both indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi’s, a walk-in shower room appointed with teak wood benches and rose petals sprinkled playfully atop white towel doves on your bed. Enjoy champagne chilling for a romantic toast, and a top shelf stocked bar for a last night cocktail.

The sky is the limit.

Playa Mujeres2

Visit the Excellence Spa at Beloved and treat yourself to their signature hydrotherapy in the pool Aqua Viva, perhaps a Swedish sauna or a deep tissue massage. Enjoy the Mediterranean hydrothermal therapies including crystal steam Hammam, Roman Caldarium, and a Swedish Sauna as well as an ice glacier room, five sensations showers, heated lounge beds, plunge basins, contrast walk pools, swan neck massage jets, cervical cascade jets, water massage lounges and water ab stations, all treatments guided by a thermal valet. Add a lavish treatment or two such as a therapeutic massage, traditional Mexican healing rituals, full-body cocoons in heated beds, aromatherapy, seaweed treatments, facial and various signature massages. In keeping fit, Beloved Playa Mujeres fitness facilities includes an extensive state-of-the-art gym with a weight training area featuring the latest Technogym equipment, including the new EXCITE collection with individual TV screens and Personal Kinesis movement systems. Partake in a yoga or pilates session or perhaps sign up for a personal trainingsession.

At Beloved Playa Mujeres, the restaurants each offer healthy choices among their menus, including special vegetarian menus so you can enjoy wellness without comprising flavor.

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Le Bisou

This French influenced dining spot offers breakfast and dinner,with an ample and sumptuous buffet to start your day off right. Enjoy a variety of homemade breads, omelets, tropical fruits and juices and more. For dinner, Le Bisou serves traditional French fare in an elegant setting. Enjoy such tasty courses like escargot with potato confit in cream and parsley or clams and vegetables is short broth with garlic and cilantro. Beef loin in green pepper sauce, potatoes juice reduction and caramelized carrots is an example of a delicious meat option. Al dente asparagus with quail eggs in a vinegar reduction satisfies the vegetarian and all diners.

El Mar

Enjoy appetizers, pizzas, grilled fish and fresh seafood while you soak up the magnificent views.

La Isla Trattoria

Located poolside, La Isla Trattoria offers an open-air setting for breakfast, lunch and dinner at Beloved Playa Mujeres. Some favorites on the menu are bruschetta with ham, basil and olive oil or smoked salmon salad with vinaigrette dressing.

Lupita Steakhouse

A sublime à la carte experience is here, where an array of premium cuts of meat are their shining stars such as the flank steak, ribeye and New York strip. Pork, chicken and variety of pasta dishes costar and are just as popular.

Looking to add a little adventure?

With the marina right next door, set out by boat on a guided tour to nearby islands just off the Playa Mujeres coast, like a day trip to Isla Mujeres or the protected nature reserve of Isla Contoy. Looking to venture further? Explore the hidden wonders of the Yucatan Peninsula together with guided tours to ancient Mayan cities like Tulum or Chichen Itza.

Looking to shop a little? Beloved Playa Mujeres is within easy reach of the Cancun Hotel Zone, where you can spend a day of luxury shopping at malls like Kukulcan Plaza, La Isla Shopping Village, and Puerto Cancun.


Sunday, 26 January 2020 21:16

Out of this World Love!

jupiter beach resort aerialOut of this World Love!

Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa (Jupiter, Florida that is)

Karen Holly Berliner

Most people know Jupiter as the fifth planet from the sun, but the town of Jupiter is under the very same sun; a small and upscale coastal town in northern Palm Beach County.

Located here, Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa offers 168 rooms (36 suites) plus 4 luxury penthouse suites on pristine oceanfront property, resplendent with a limestone reef shoreline. Stay here and enjoy all that the resort has to offer. Take a leisurely swim in the oceanfront pool, complemented by a Jacuzzi, hammocks and an awaiting fire pit on the dune overlooking the ocean, perfect for those snuggly brisk nights. Sunbathe for hours on end or take a lovely beach walk.

Enjoy a Happy Hour at the Square Grouper Tiki Bar and be entertained by live music while sipping a cocktail prepared to order. Dine at Sinclairs Ocean Grill, Jupiter’s only oceanfront restaurant, which has enjoyed a complete transformation in adding a beautiful bar and expanded seating area that can accommodate up to 100 people. This beachfront restaurant overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, and offers an intimate tropical setting with indoor and outdoor seating. With gourmet seafood dishes such as Sautéed Florida Keys Yellowtail Snapper, an extensive wine list, and signature cocktails, the restaurant showcases this towns signature casual elegance. The restaurant’s adjoining Sinclairs Lounge offers a cozy ambience with coastal designer furnishings and artistic accents of taupe, cream and sea glass green making for a well thought out backdrop. Dine on fabulous custom prepared dishes on the menu with signature dishes that include braised pork shank, seared sushi grade tuna and fresh ceviche made with yellowtail snapper and juicy white coastal shrimp. For a more casual vibe, The Sandbar is the resort’s poolside bar and restaurant, which offers breakfast, lunch, and noshes, fresh-pressed cocktails, and a kid-friendly menu portion for the children. Be sure to order the “Jupiter Dare Burger,’ a flame-grilled Angus patty with applewood smoked bacon, caramelized red onion, jalapeño, creamy peanut butter, grape jelly on a toasted brioche bun.

Can you beat that combo?

The outdoor dining area offers a hot tub, hammocks to swing on leisurely and sublime ocean views.

The Spa at Jupiter Beach Resort aims to pamper and offers signature treatments such as The OPAL Signature Ritual, which combines Body Renewal, Signature Ocean Facial, and the Ocean Manicure and Pedicure. Afterwards, sip an organic tea or a glass of the spa’s signature drinkable, smooth decadent dark chocolate.


jupiter beach resort sinclairs terraceWhen Jupiter (Florida) Aligns With Mars!

Step outside the resort and feast your senses on these!

Jupiter, Florida was originally named for the Hobe tribe of Native Americans, “Hobe” written in Spanish as “Jobe,” and then mistranslated by a mapmaker as “Jove” – which is the Latin translation of the Roman god's name Jupiter, “king of the gods.”

--Quite a circuitous route to the a most suitable name.

As for routes, why not venture a few and experience what this super town has to offer:

After all, Coastal Living magazine named Jupiter as one of the Top 10 Happiest Seaside Towns in the USA.

The Loggerhead Marinelife Center

This 30-year-old organization rescues injured sea turtles and nurses them back to health before releasing them back into the ocean. Visit this center, and be sure to pack plenty of tissues for sentiment sake, as you get up close and personal with the rescued turtles here who live in huge open-air tanks, with the turtles’ names posted, their individual back stories, ailments and updates as well. Experience Loggerhead Marinelife Center via public or private guided tours, and venture behind the gates of their outdoor sea turtle hospital with their sea turtle patients, featuring a surgical suite, x-ray room, blood work lab, and endoscope and ultrasound units. From rescue to release, watch these precious creatures revitalize; maybe even participate in their “Adopt a Sea Turtle” program and become part of the solution.jupiter beach resort sincalirs ocean grill


Lazy Loggerhead Café

This comfortable and fresh café is located in Carlin Park within walking distance of the Jupiter Beach Resort. Named after the loggerhead turtle, which nests regularly on the beaches in south Florida, enjoy lovingly prepared soups, salads, sandwiches and light bites. Wash it down with a well paired glass of wine or a crisp iced tea!


Bluelife Surf & Paddle Co.

Take the 90-minute stand up paddle-boarding or kayaking eco-tour to explore the fascinating

wildlife of the Intracoastal. Along with renting your own stand-up paddleboard or kayak, eco tours are offered here as well as stand-up paddle boarding lessons, yoga on the water classes and the hosting of parties or events.



jupiterbeachresort poolGuanabanas offers fresh and inventive seafood dishes, other options for the landlubber, iced cold cocktails, waterfront views and nightly live music. This open air restaurant and bar features authentic tiki huts and banyan trees for the perfect ambiance. Enjoy their signature cocktail the  Mango Beach Break; Flor de Cana 4year old rum, Florida orange infused triple sec, mango puree, pineapple juice and Orchid Island orange juice or  the Lime in the Coconut-Absolut lime vodka, coconut rum, pineapple juice and a dash of pina colada. Floridian Fritters-local shrimp fritters served with sweet jalapeno mustard sauce is a must to munch on.


DuBois Park

A shallow lagoon style beach with a “lazy river”, this large park sits smack dab at the mouth of Jupiter Inlet, with perfect views of the Jupiter Lighthouse. Jet skiers and boaters can start their trip through the Intracoastal Waterway or out to sea, right from the marina slips. Canoe and kayak adventurers can paddle to the Loxahatchee River, one of only two national Wild & Scenic Rivers in Florida.

Sunday, 26 January 2020 21:06

Dos Mexican Hermanas!

Cancun Article pic1

Dos Mexican Hermanas!

Allegro Playacar Cancun and Cozumel

Karen Holly Berliner

Cancun Article pic2When you step through the threshold of the Allegro Playacar, relax and allow your breath to be stolen away. Forgive yourself as you should, the complete and shameless abandon of your daily bustle. Drop your woes, iPods, Fit bits and iPads at the Cancun airport, just scant minutes away from this dreamy paradise. Simply allow yourself to be captured.

Stroll into their grand entry and submit if you will to the sights, fragrances and sounds about you, as you feel your senses heighten, ready to inhale every drop of this resort’s wonder in grand elegance and lush tropical splendor. Poke a toe into the aquamarine bath warm ocean, itself as vivid as a masterpiece painting. Be greedy for the first time in ages, as you see hear taste and smell absolutely everything and all for yourself, from the meticulously prepared gourmet fare offered here, to the lot of sun kissed beach here. Come lap in Allegro Playacar’ s signature luxury, as it fast dispels the myth of the cliché all-inclusive resorts, we all of us have come to expect.

Cancun Article pic3The Allegro Playacar resort is all about quality, not quantity. Visit these sister properties and experience them in the spirit of a romantic getaway. While romance is as diverse as the hearts that beat it, Allegra Playacar manages to offer every universal aspect of it, showcasing any given couple’s fantasy getaway, from honeymoon or vow renewals, to anniversaries and beach front weddings, themselves choreographed from start to finish on either of these destination resorts.

Discover all-inclusive luxury right next to the Caribbean Sea at Allegro Playacar. The hotel offers unlimited delicious meals, snacks and beverages at any of their 4 restaurants and three bars plus a swim-up bar for pool soakers who refuse to get out. This program allows guests to enjoy meals, drinks, snacks and beverages at any of the hotel’s bars and restaurants. The cuisine ranges from Mexican, Italian, American, breakfast and dinner buffets.

Feel like taking a swim?

There are 2 magnificent swimming pools available with both an area filled with sun loungers and a zone with activities scheduled for the whole family. The little ones can also enjoy the hotel’s Kids Club while the parents can sunbathe at the beach. 

Cancun Article pic4

Feeling restless?

Sports and water activities such as kayaking, beach volleyball and catamaran are offered here, complete with state-of-the-art equipment. In addition, there are 2 tennis courts, a basketball court, a volleyball court and an entertainment center with a ping-pong table and darts and billiards. Scuba diving experts as well as scuba newbies will find a full range of services at the Allegro Playacar. This includes scuba diving expeditions as well as guided courses with certifications issued, equipment rental, trips and an excellent PADI 5-star dive shop.

Cancun Article pic5Cancun Article pic6If culture is your passion and you wish to step out a bit, Playa del Carmen allows for visits to areas like the archeological ruins of Tulum.

Its sibling in Cozumel is also a tropical dream destination, settled on fresh untapped Mexican sand and soil. As a result, pampered guests get captured by both and why not visit both? 

Cancun’s sister property, the all-inclusive Allegro Cozumel offers luxurious  accommodations on Playa San Francisco, one of the most sought after beaches in Cozumel. Featuring 305 rooms adorned in tropical design and décor, and an assortment of five restaurants, this property provides various leisure and entertainment options as well such as a spa, a waterpark and a vibrant sports bar. The all-inclusive Allegro Cozumel offers guests who care to dive, the “Ultimate Dive Experience” where you can dive and see some of the greatest coral reefs in the world. The kid’s club and water park here allows families with children, the option to enjoy kid friendly fun. The hotel also has a fully equipped fitness center, a wellness center complete with sauna, a steam bath, massage cubicles and a hot tub. This property has 5 pools, one of which is an aquatic park for children. Also featured are 2 tennis courts and a court for basketball or volleyball. Wind surfing, body boarding, sailing, diving, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking complete their vast activity profile.

Feeling hungry? Allegro Cozumel offers 5 restaurants and 5 bars with cuisines ranging from Italian, Asian, Mexican, breakfast and dinner buffets and various bars around the property including the pool bar located between the relaxation pool and sports pool.

Be a guest at either or both of the Allegra Playacar locations.

After all, sometimes don’t you just want to be swept off your feet?

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