A Little Slice of Hawaii in Florida
There is a part of Florida that is so different that any other part of Florida, it almost feels like you have landed in Hawaii. I'm talking about the west coast of Florida.
There are quiet little beach side towns like Captiva Island, Naples and Marco Island. We just came home from a weekend away on Marco Island, where we stayed at the Marriott Marco Island Resort & Spa. It is a huge resort that sits right on the beautiful white soft sand of Marco Island.
Almost all the rooms look out onto the tranquil Gulf of Mexico, where the water feels as warm as a bath.
The World's Most Luxurious Pools
Ubud Hanging Gardens
Ubud Hanging Gardens' tiered infinity pools sit high above the lush rainforest below. Shaped to resemble nearby rice terraces, they offer incredible views of the Pura Penataran Dalem Segara Temple.
From the snowcapped peaks of Wyoming to the rolling hills of New Zealand, here are our picks (in no particular order) for the most luxurious hotel pools around the world.
SniqueAway is a free, members-only private sale site, providing exclusive access to deals on top hotels at deep discounts.
An American Girl in Paris - Montmartre's Winding Streets
This is a blog, written by Kristina Ramirez, as she writes about her travels through Europe. You can follow her blog here:
One of the best parts of Paris is people watching. After buying sandwiches & macarons on our way to Musee de Orsay, we sat on the former train station's steps & enjoyed our lunch in the company of Parisians & tourists alike as a clarinet player set up shop & serenaded us in the middle of the street.
I could get used to this. Hurried Parisians on their lunch hour & motorcycles whizzed past as we ate.
Finding Seclusion on Oahu
Flying on Hawaiian Airline's first nonstop flight from New York City to Honolulu, I was concerned that the only place we could stay would be on the crowded beach of Waikiki. Waikiki Beach, of course, is where most of the hotels are. It's the most famous tourist destination on the island of Oahu, the most populous of the seven Hawaiian Islands.
The hotels are lined up along the beach, one after another. When it comes to a quiet beach to relax on, Waikiki Beach isn't the best choice. It's beautiful all right. There's the extinct volcano of Diamond Head at one end and downtown Honolulu and it's marina at the other but it feels like South Beach in Miami.
My Top 5 Travel Web Sites
There are so many travel web sites out there, even I get confused and lost when I am trying to book a vacation. In my opinion, the Expedia's, Travelocity's and Orbitz of the cyber world are pretty much the same.
They will help you book your trip and get you on vacation. But then there are some web sites that I have discovered that offer incredible deals on vacations and make you feel quite smart as a traveler.
Aloha to New York City
It is a long flight to Hawaii. I don't mean a long flight from Los Angeles or Chicago. I'm talking about the flight from New York to Honolulu. In June, Hawaiian Airlines started the first nonstop flights from New York's Kennedy Airport to Honolulu. When I first started talking about their new service, someone told me that United has been doing it for years. Yes, United flies nonstop from the New York area to Hawaii but they leave from Newark and I think most New Yorkers would agree, Newark Airport is not in New York.
Along with Hawaiian's new service to Honolulu, United has started nonstop flights from Washington, Dulles in addition to their flight from Newark. Delta has a nonstop from Atlanta. The reason so many airlines are starting to fly nonstop from the East Coast to Hawaii is because cross country airfares have dropped so much. Many airlines saw an opportunity to sell nonstop tickets from the East Coast for one low fare and attract people who don't want to change planes in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco….. or go anywhere near the Newark Airport.
What Does It Mean When Your
Cruise Ship Is Sick?
When I was a television news reporter and anchor, the assignment desk would erupt in activity whenever they heard about a cruise ship coming back to port with sick passengers. I was the anchor who read the story or tossed to the reporter, who was live on the scene, telling us about a macab-sounding disease called, "Norovirus."
It did sound pretty bad. In fact, I thought there was something dangerous about sailing on cruise ships after I heard about case after case. That was until I talked to doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and found out that Norovirus is nothing more than the stomach flu and it isn't a disease that people only get on cruise ships. According to the Centers for Disease Control, "The common cold is the only illness more common, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta estimates that there are more than 20 million cases of Norovirus annually.
I Just Ran Into Tory Burch At One Of New York's Finest Hotels
She is the cute and trendy fashion designer that almost every woman knows. In my case, I had no idea who she was until a girl I knew pointed her out. My first run-in with Ms. Burch was on an elevator in The Pierre Hotel in New York City. She walked into the elevator while I was on my way to Fox News to do an interview about two years ago.
I was wearing my favorite suit. It is a black Armani suit with a blue Canali shirt and a light and dark purple striped Canali tie. Ms. Burch looked at me and said in a soft voice, "that is a beautiful tie." I thanked her and she got off the elevator. The elevator operator said to me, "did you know who that was?" I said no and she said, "that was the fashion designer Tory Burch." I smiled and thought to myself, I have heard the name but wasn't sure who she was or what she did. When I got home from that trip I told a few female friends about my encounter and several of those friends screamed or laughed and said, "Oh my God. I love her stuff." I assume then, I was dressed well that day to have a fashion "icon" complement me.
Is It Worth Paying For
Delta's Economy Comfort?
I like Delta Air Lines. They are one of the few legacy carriers that is making an honest effort to make themselves better and make sure customers come back to fly with them. On a recent flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles and then from Los Angeles to New York, I had a chance to test their "Economy Comfort"seating and this is what I think. On the outbound leg from Atlanta to Los Angeles, I made sure to book a flight on Delta's A330. If you don't know much about airplanes, the A330 came into the Delta fleet when they merged with Northwest Airlines. The A330 is a wide body aircraft. In coach, they have two seats on each side by the windows and four seats in the middle.
This flight was going from Atlanta to Los Angeles and then onto Sydney, Australia. The advantage of booking this flight is you get international amenities. That's something I would say you should try and learn how to do. Look for flights that use larger aircraft like the A330, 777, 767 and 747.
A Good Sleep In The City
That Never Sleeps
I never slept better in the middle of New York City. I stayed at The Benjamin Hotel at 50th and Lexington on this trip to Manhattan. Most of you have probably not heard of The Benjamin.
It is a boutique hotel, right near Park and Madison Avenues, in one of the best shopping and eating neighborhoods of New York City. Here's a map to show you where it is.
There is a subway stop right around the corner and it's about a 10 minute walk to the East Side where you can walk around the United Nations and see many of the foreign consulates are located. If you walk east all the way to the East River, you will stroll though a beautiful neighborhood called, Beekman Place.
If you walk all the way to the end of 50th Street, you will see the East River and the Consulate General of Luxemburg's townhouse. Look on the wall and you will see a sign that says that Irving Berlin lived there for 40 years.
One Of The Most Romantic
Resorts In the U.S.
My girlfriend and I just came back from a two-day trip to the Little Palm Island Resort and Spa. Little Palm is located on a small island right off Little Torch Key, about 26 miles north of Key West.
Travel & Leisure Magazine named it one of the best 500 resorts in the world for seven years in a row. Travel & Leisure also named it the 2nd best resort in the United States. It made the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List and it has been rated as "extraordinary to perfection in food" by Zagat. Little Palm has been given so many awards and if you would like to check them all out you can see them here:
When you arrive at Little Palm Island, you haven't really arrived. You first have to take a boat out to the island. The ride is very smooth and only takes about 20 minutes. When you get to the island, you are greeted by a fantastic staff and then escorted to your bungalow.
The bungalows all have your name on the outside, spelled out with little wooden block letters. It almost feels like you are in the South Pacific and not in Florida. There are no cars, no televisions, unless you request one in the suite. They ask that you not talk on your cell phone in public areas.
Great Deals At A Great
New York City Hotel
I just got back form a short trip up to New York City, where I was doing television interviews about vacation deals. Everyone always asks me where I stay when I am in New York City? I stay at many different hotels but I do have my favorites. One of them is Le Parker Meridien on 56th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.
Click on the video above to see my report about Le Parker Meridien. The best thing about this hotel is the location. You walk three blocks North and you are in Central Park. You are just a few blocks from the best shopping in New York City and you are not far from Times Square and the Theatre District.
The video will tell you more but one of my favorite things about this hotel is that the restaurant downstairs serves breakfast until 3pm. It's called Norma's and it was rated "Best breakfast in New York City" by Zagat. Seven other NYC restaurants also received this title but Norma's really is one of the best. I loved it because, whenever I stay at other hotels, you have to get downstairs or place your room service order before 11am or else you will need to find breakfast somewhere else.
The Lago Mar Resort & Club
In Fort Lauderdale
There is a resort on Fort Lauderdale beach that many people who live in Fort Lauderdale don't even know about. It's called the Lago Mar Resort & Club. It is a family owned resort that has been in the same location for 50 years. Here is a secret about Fort Lauderdale beach. Most of the nice hotels are not really right on the beach. Most of the nice hotels on Fort Lauderdale beach are your typical chain resorts and they sit on the west side of a major roadway, so you have to cross the street to put your feet in the sand.
Lago Mar is right on the beach. Infact, Lago Mar is on a private beach where you can hang out with your family and friends and not be disturbed by all the people who crowd the beach about one mile north of the hotel. Lago Mar is a great place for kids and adults. It is elegant but not stuffy. It is a AAA Four Diamond Resort and it has been voted as one of the best resorts in Florida. Watch the video above to take a virtual vacation to Lago Mar and call the number below to get breakfast for free when you stay there. Just tell them you saw the resort on Travel News and Deals.