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  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, […]

Take a pinch of Soho from Manhattan, a spoonful of Union Street from San Francisco, and a large dollop of Berkeley from, well, Berkeley, mix it all together, filter out the urban hauteur and replace it with southern friendliness, and set it all down to marinate at 2100 feet in the midst of the spectacular […]

Few high-end travel aficionados would pick West Virginia as a likely spot for a destination resort.  Sandwiched as it is between north and south, east and Midwest, it seems neither here nor there, and tends to conjure images of backwoods Appalachia rather than upmarket sophistication. The state’s slogan — “Wild, Wonderful West Virginia” –carefully omits […]

How often in these hectic times does one travel to an unfamiliar resort destination with high expectations, only to have them all exceeded, time suspended, every whim anticipated? Almost never.  But we recently had exactly that experience at Casa Majani in Punta Mita, Mexico, and the Spoiled Guest will tell you all about it.  But […]

The little island of St. Barthélemy –St. Barts, as it is most popularly known — lies nestled in the delicate southward crescent of the French West Indies, east of Puerto Rico, a stone’s throw from St. Maarten. We’ve visited it almost every winter for over twenty years, most recently this last February, 2015.  It’s French […]