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Vine Intervention

laresidence2b.jpgEven if I hadn’t been reveling in our newly-wedded bliss, I would have been amazed by La Residence Hotel. Set among private vineyards in Franschhoek, where springbok and ponies frolic, this drop-dead gorgeous oasis along the edge of a picturesque lake was made for honeymoons. I had been to Franschhoek several years before so knew a few of the good stops—Huguenot Chocolates for a mid-morning snack, The Common Room for lunch, and La Motte for some serious Shiraz (a varietal that John claims to dislike, and yet not a drop remained in any of his tasting glasses). But La Residence, in its secluded location behind the town’s suburbs and away from its main street, had escaped me. This time, we were so lucky to stay in the Frangipani Suite, where a marble quarry had seemingly exploded, and the bathroom was larger than our apartment. And will you just look at that pink chair? It’s possible I have never been so sad to leave a hotel. more»

Down by the Bay

kalkbaydip5.jpgPost-Sandy cabin fever is setting in right about now so it only makes sense to drool over our photos from South Africa for the umpteenth time. I had already been completely in love with Cape Town from my previous trip, but our recent discovery of Kalk Bay between the city center and the Cape Peninsula has moved the region to the number one spot on my Places-I-Want-To-Live wishlist (sorry, Barcelona). Even if you pretend not to care about Kalk Bay’s close proximity to Cape Point and Boulders Beach (penguins!), this hip little beach town is out-of-control adorable, from the trendy oceanfront B&B we stayed at to the cool shops along Main Road. My only regret is that we weren’t able to stay longer—but, alas, we had a rigid itinerary that demanded we drink our way through the Cape Winelands. more»

One Hundred Ways

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I find it truly amazing that I’ve been to 12 of what Robb Report deems the world’s top 100 resorts. That means way more decadent dinners, drop-dead gorgeous suites, panoramic vistas, and mind-numbing spa treatments than I deserve. What I’m most pumped about though is the volume of my photography that made it into the article—from the bush of South Africa to the vineyards of Chile to the beaches of Mexico and Seychelles—even my hyper-critical self can’t help but sit back and sigh contentedly at these pages! more»

Structured Procrastination

ngtskilodges.jpgngtcapewinelands1.jpgngtcapewinelands2.jpgI wish I could recommend running out to pick up the January/February issue of National Geographic Traveler to check out my articles on Northeast ski lodges and the South African Cape winelands, but alas, I’d imagine that it’s surely on its way off of newsstands to make way for March/April. I’d like to blame my tardy posting of these stories on the following: 20-plus hours of flying in order to move just two time zones, hikes that last long enough to make your kneecaps shake, my annual harrowing battle with influenza, alternating successful and failed attempts at “tumbling,” and, oh yes, wedding planning. And speaking of that last one—we’re getting married at one of the properties mentioned in these two articles. Here’s a not-so-subtle hint.

One More Time

bob102.jpgWriting the same article twice is definitely a test in creative mettle. Luckily I had eight hours of uninterrupted work time in the form of a CDG-to-JFK flight to knock out my second piece about the One&Only Cape Town for Robb Report’s 2010 Best of the Best issue. It was even enough time to write my article about the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles for the same issue. Such productivity! And I still managed to watch the barely-entertaining, often-embarrassing duo of Ricky Gervais movies so thoughtfully chosen by American Airlines. more»

One Love

onelove2.jpgThought I would post my article for the One&Only Cape Town resort that ran in the August issue of Robb Report magazine. The full, more legible article is online here. I was quite pleased with the way the photos correspond with the text—although, apparently, my editor now thinks I’m some sort of lush due to my opening paragraph.

Nobu + Maze

nobumaze.jpgA little bit more of the One&Only Cape Town. These are the two restaurants in the resort, Nobu and Maze. I’m no connoisseur but I will say the the food was absolutely fantastic. Springbok, Crocodile, Kudu, Kingklip, and Cob were all new to my palate and each was better than the last. Oh, and of course, I loved that origami sculpture snaking along the ceiling of Nobu. more»

One&Only Cape Town

mainsuite2.jpgKerzner International’s One&Only resorts opened their first urban property in Cape Town on April 3–although you’d never know you were in a metropolitan area from the look of the lushly landscaped islands they created to make quite the little tropical oasis. I guess they got the island-building bug from another Kerzner property, Atlantis the Palm in Dubai. As is often the case when visiting a luxury resort like the One&Only, the bathroom was my favorite part, with a lovely egg-shaped tub, frosted glass doors, and a rainfall showerhead that made me cry when I came home to my pathetic New York apartment shower. more»

Safari Extravaganza

_dsc2711c.jpgOne would assume that after seeing elephants daily for four consecutive days, one would no longer be compelled to take hundreds of photos of said elephants during each encounter. One would be incorrect in this assumption. That said, I am posting one photo here with a link to a very–ahem, very–thorough slideshow of my time on safari. Hope those that are patient enough to sit through it all enjoy!

Singita Lebombo + Sweni

singita1.jpgI’ve just returned from two weeks in South Africa, where I split my time between Cape Town for the city’s opening of a new One&Only resort, and Kruger National Park, where I visited the Singita Lebombo and Sweni lodges. I slept outside under the net almost every night while at the lodge—except for the first night when I discovered an 8-foot constrictor in the hills just below my terrace, and another night when I got itchy halfway through and was certain that I’d contracted malaria from a mosquito that somehow managed to sneak its way under my bed’s net. more»