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First Day at St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands – Mountain Top, Dinner at Fat Turtle, Night Kayaking at Adventure Center

View of various islands and a part of town at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas Last week the US Virgin Island Department of Tourism took me along for the fun, whirlwind press trip to visit two of its three islands — St. Thomas and St. John — with seven other digital storytellers. For both of these islands, you can’t help but be enchanted by the breathtaking views of the coastlines, the crystal sapphire blue skies, and the swirling or puffy white clouds. The things I’ve come to realize, from a native New Yorker’s perspective, is that everyone runs on island time...

Flour Bakery (Boston, MA)

Entrance to Flour Bakery (Back Bay location); Interior; Sweet orange rolls and Doughnut sugar muffins Flour Bakery (the bakery currently have 4 locations) was our first stop on our weekend holiday trip to Boston. What prompted us to go there first is because of the delicious memories I had when the James Beard nominated Chef Joanne Chang cooked at the James Beard House for afternoon tea. Since then, it was bookmarked in my brain to visit Chef Chang’s bakery and it finally happened. We went to the Back Bay location since it’s close to our hotel, The Mandarin Oriental. This..

M Bar & Lounge at Mandarin Oriental Boston

Mandarin Oriental’s art book; cover and inside During my stay at Mandarin Oriental Boston, I had received a copy of the hotel’s beautiful (albeit heavy), hardcover art book. Flipping through the pages of the gorgeous photographs of the brand’s various locations, I can’t help but be inspired and hope to travel to their international locations, especially in Hong Kong. Toward the middle-end portion of this book, when I came across the photos of the colorful cocktails (seen above) and made me wanted to have a drink downstairs for my nightcap for the evening. We took the elevators down to the..

Holiday Afternoon Tea at L’Espalier (Boston, MA)

Entrance to L’Espalier; Interior of main dining room; the legendary cheese cart Steps away from the luxurious hotel I stayed in Boston, The Mandarin Oriental, is the equally elegant, AAA Five-Diamond awarded restaurant (and James Beard Award to Chef Frank McClelland), L’Espalier. This restaurant is actually one floor above a bank. You would walk through the doors and be checked in with a host, then you get whisked up viewing the stately bank while riding up to the elegant dining room. I had to have afternoon tea with them to see and taste how a fine dining restaurant would serve..

Bold, Gusty Italian Inspired Food at Coppa (Boston, MA)

Interior and Menu of Coppa Coppa is a very popular, Italian-inspired restaurant run by the chef/owners Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. This small plates restaurant serves platters of salumi, housemade pasta, and pizza crafted from local, seasonal ingredients. Coppa offers a certain urban charm. It sits on a quieter corner behind Peters Park. The intimacy of the space works well as there is little car traffic. Inside, Coppa’s wedge-shaped room with simple black-and-cream-colored décor is also appealing, especially with the taxidermy pig head donning, when we were there, a Christmas hat, and seats about 40. We were aware of Chef..

Mandarin Hotel Boston – Excellence & Luxury in the Back Bay

During our holiday weekend getaway to Boston, we stayed at Mandarin Oriental located in the Back Bay neighborhood. This hotel is luxury at its best. When you enter the spacious lobby, which was designed with local granite and artwork, a traditional New England color scheme and the principles of feng shui. The lobby’s long, gas fireplace is a wonderful place to relax surrounded by fresh flower arrangements, tasteful Christmas decorations, and personable staff ready to create a quiet oasis within the busy city hotel. It’s situated in the heart of an equivalent to Manhattan’s 5th Avenue shopping area; near exclusive..

Afternoon Holiday Tea at Fairmont Battery Wharf – Not Your Grandmother’s Tea

Afternoon tea at the Fairmont Battery Wharf is what I would consider, a modern take of what the age-old version of afternoon tea. Their dining room is streamlined and modern, evoking a luxury yacht with cozy touches like comfortable leather sofas and chairs, a fireplace toward the back, and floor to ceiling windows looking out to the majestic wharf. It’s more of a handsome place rather than a feminine or frilly dining room. The food has a modern take to it and service is friendly and not uptight. The diners there were a mix of tourists and locals who were..

Driving to Boston, MA with the luxurious Cadillac CTS

My 2014 Cadilac CTS: At home and in Boston This past holiday weekend, the luxurious American automobile company, Cadillac lent me their best car to me, the fully equipped 2014 CTS Sedan. It’s a striking, powerful car with a 3.6L V6 engine, premium Bose® Active Noise Cancellation sound system, plenty of leg room – even in the rear seats – and it’s loaded with tons of safety features with the Driver Awareness Package (like the rear view cameras, Safety Alert Seat, etc.). I’m highlighting a few details but it’s truly a fantastic car. Since I have this amazing car to..

Loews Philadelphia Hotel – A Historical Landmark & Luxurious Hotel

At the lobby of Loews Philadelphia Hotel Loews Philadelphia Hotel is a national historical landmark (earned its status in 1979), as it was the first International style skyscraper built in the United States. This building was formerly the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Building, or PSFS Building, the nation’s first savings bank. The bank commissioned the construction of a 36-story, 491-foot skyscraper that would provide for the banking and office activities of the Society, designed by architects William Lescaze and George Howe. The bank eventually failed and was bought by developers to turn into a Loews Hotel. Conversion into a hotel..