All posts by Darren Frei

Before moving to New York City in 2007, editorial director Darren Frei enjoyed a 10-year "layover" in Los Angeles, where he worked as editor of The Out Traveler magazine and contributing editor at The Advocate newsmagazine. Whether mushing a team of huskies in the Finnish Lapland, scouting the newest rooftop pools in Rio, spotting tigers whilst on safari in central India, or wine-tasting through Provence, Darren remains vigilant about discovering what's truly new and noteworthy in travel, even if it means trudging amid the expired and unexceptional. Most Recent Trip: Switzerland. Next Trip: Tulum, Mexico
Dolder Grand Masina Suite

Envelope, please. And the winner for “Best Zurich Hotel” goes to . . . The Dolder Grand. Perched on a hilltop with scene-stealing views Lake Zurich and the city below, this five-star grand dame, dating from 1899, reopened in 2008 after a major expansion by Sir Norman Foster married... Read More

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Athenaeum London

Spending a night in one of 18 newly redecorated and redesigned one-bedroom apartments at London’s Athenaeum – just a few blocks from Buckingham Palace in Mayfair – made this pond-hopping New Yorker feel like a bona fide part-time Londoner (i.e. friend of the queen). Plush, spacious, and homey, the apartments... Read More

Ritz Carlton New York

The Luxury The Ritz-Carlton New York Battery Park exudes an understated contemporary elegance befitting the financial capital of the world, but its Wall Street adjacency doesn’t mean it’s just for business travelers. The AAA five-diamond waterfront hotel’s notable neighbors include the National Museum of the American Indian, the Skyscraper... Read More


Last year’s Gulf Coast oil spill threatened to muck up a revitalization movement that had been building in New Orleans since 2005, when Hurricane Katrina first galvanized the city’s creative class to help rebuild. Yet, with characteristic resilience, the city continued to surge ahead, and since last summer, three... Read More

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    Richard Branson

    One of the world’s most intrepid globe-trotters, Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson talks about his new hotel venture, his favorite London restaurants, and the final frontier. We’re excited to see the first four-star Virgin Hotel open later this year in a major U.S. gateway city like New York or Los... Read More

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    Playa Viva

    SHERMAN’S EXCLUSIVE The Luxury Set on 200 private acres, Playa Viva is a 30-minute drive south of Zihuatenajo on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. The all-inclusive eco-resort features a mile-long beach, an Aztec archeological site, and a turtle sanctuary. All five of the resort’s open-air, thatched-roof casitas have ocean views, canopy beds... Read More

    International House Room City View

    SHERMAN’S EXCLUSIVE The Luxury Just blocks from the French Quarter, International House is a boutique hotel that exudes a decadently plush vibe without feeling gaudy or outdated. Johnny Depp’s designer of choice, LM Pagano, renovated the 1906 Beaux Arts building three years ago. It now showcases antique velvets, objets d’art... Read More

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    Crowne Point Ll Resize

    SHERMAN’S EXCLUSIVE The Luxury Built in the 19th century for a local sea captain, the mansion that forms the main house of the Crowne Pointe Historic Inn and Spa is part of an immaculate five-building complex in the center of eclectic Provincetown, the celebrated seaside artists’ retreat at the tip... Read More

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    From the East Coast to the West, celebrate performing arts with the consummate evening in a trio of cities. Chicago Don’t expect Chicago-style deep-dish at Nella Pizzeria Napoletana (, helmed by Windy City native Scott Harris (of the Francesca’s chain fame). Do look forward to airy Neapolitan crusts buckling under the... Read More

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    Aquapura Douro Valley Ll Resize

    SHERMAN’S EXCLUSIVE The Luxury Built into a hillside overlooking the Douro River in one of Europe’s most scenic wine regions, Aquapura Douro Valley clinched a Smart Luxury Award from the magazine in 2008. It has an outstanding 23,600-square-foot holistic spa, but the revamped 18th-century mansion’s strongest asset may be Almapura... Read More

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    New Orleans Seafood

    Putting off a trip to New Orleans because of worries about seafood safety in the wake of the oil spill? Rest assured. Last week, during a last-minute weekend getaway to the Big Easy, I ate twice my weight in crab, oysters, shrimp, tilapia, clams, crawfish, catfish, and countless other... Read More


    SHERMAN’S EXCLUSIVE THE LUXURY Just a short yacht ride away from Tortola’s Beef Island Airport, newly opened Scrub Island is a 230-acre private-island resort with several powdery beaches, a 6,000-square-foot spa villa, and 52 rooms with patios affording postcard-worthy marina and ocean views. Visitors can venture beyond the well-equipped Mediterranean-meets-Caribbean... Read More


    SHERMAN’S EXCLUSIVE The Luxury Having just undergone a property-wide renovation, the Chamberlain West Hollywood is trendier than ever. The four-story boutique hotel offers 114 redesigned suites (each equipped with a fireplace and private balcony), a rooftop pool, and a plush fitness center. Decorated in tones of ice blue, olive... Read More


    SHERMAN’S EXCLUSIVE The Luxury Opened last October, the eco-chic Hotel Palomar brings an updated Art Deco splash to Philadelphia’s 17th-century Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. In its 194 guest rooms, many with superb views over Center City, Kimpton’s first Philly hotel maintains the boutique chain’s signature perks (Frette linens, free local phone... Read More