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The Spoiled Guest was lucky enough to have been introduced to the tiny, mountainous Caribbean island of St. Barthélemy over 30 years ago, when it was just being discovered by the mainstream travel press and was still a spot where celebrity couples like Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley would vacation unencumbered by anyone’s excessive interest.  […]

Samuel Johnson is widely misquoted as observing that when a man is tired of Paris, he is tired of life (he was actually talking about London). I have happily misquoted him every time I visited Paris over the last 30 or so years, because the essence of the observation seemed irrefutable: there is so much […]

Last Spring, the Spoiled Guest toured several favorite spots in Europe — Paris, Lake Garda in Italy, Vienna, Saltzburg, and Munich.  There follows an unvarnished, essentially verbatim diary of the trip, with an emphasis on hotels and restaurants that we hope fellow travelers will find useful and entertaining! Thurs. 5/24 Arrive Paris around 6:30 am […]

A few minutes flying time east of Florida lies the archipelago of the Bahamas, still part of the British Commonwealth, still nominally ruled by Queen Elizabeth, yet populated by the descendants of African slaves brought here by Crown Loyalists after the War of Independence, and of freed slaves who escaped to the Bahamas after the American […]

The Spoiled Guest hadn’t been to the grand old city of Boston in years, but we were recently invited there by old friends who have moved into the Millennium Tower, a monumental new residential high-rise in the center-city neighborhood called Downtown Crossing.  Since the furnishing of their palatial condo, with stunning views of the Charles, […]

The month of August in New York City can be oppressive, with temperatures frequenting the nineties, high humidity, and hordes of tourists of every extraction clogging the sidewalks.  But on a recent trip to Manhattan, the Spoiled Guest avoided all that by way of one wonderful small hotel, and the enduring magic of Central Park. […]

The little island of St. Barthélemy — nicknamed St. Barts, or St. Barth, or even St. Barths, depending on who you’re talking to — lies nestled in the delicate southward crescent of the French West Indies, southeast of Puerto Rico, a stone’s throw from St. Maarten. We’ve visited it almost every winter for over twenty […]

  The word “picturesque” is wholly inadequate to describe the staggering beauty of Venice on a sunny afternoon in the fall, the ancient palazzi and cathedrals lining the Grand Canal, sunken streets snaking off under arched stone footbridges, the cries and songs of the gondoliers as they wend their way through the canal traffic, busy […]

What does it take to make a perfect hotel? You’d start with an enchanting location, certainly; it might be in a city, but more likely you’d want it to be dominated by nature, probably by a large body of water, perhaps with towering mountains nearby. You’d pick a site that would be a world unto itself, […]