Jim’s Journal

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La Villa des Orangers

I spent a good deal of time researching places to stay in Marrakech before my April visit. Deciding between a more traditional riad (think small palace with a courtyard) or a larger hotel/resort outside the city’s Medina or old town is a major consideration. Since my friends and I... Read More

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Palais Namaskar

If you want to stay at one of the most outstanding resorts in the world, consider a trip to Morocco for at least two nights at the Palais Namaskar (aka “The Namaskar”), which truly deserves “six stars” for going above and beyond any five-star property in every way. If... Read More

OK, I know that Morocco may not be on the top of everyone’s bucket list. In my case, I had several friends fly over for my birthday celebration in Paris, and then three of us decided we wanted to go somewhere more exotic. Since I had already been to... Read More

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Before my recent trip, I hadn’t been to Palm Springs in over 20 years. Now, I wonder what took me so long to return. It’s a wonderful vacation destination for short stays of four nights or for longer stays of a week. Palm Springs is desert beauty – pure... Read More

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I’ve been to Aspen once before and I am pleased to say the charming Western town in Colorado continues to lead as America’s premier glitz and glamour ski destination. I’m not sure which is more impressive – the natural beauty of Aspen’s mountain ranges or the not-so-natural plastic surgeries... Read More

The Raleigh Hotel

Living in New York means that quick hops to Miami during the cold winter months are easy and worthwhile. I spent five days in ever chic South Beach this New Year’s. It seemed like half of New York was there with me, as others had the same good idea... Read More

Scalini Fedeli

When a friend suggested dinner in Manhattan’s Tribeca, the first thing I thought was that it would be a relatively long taxi ride downtown. The second thing I thought was that a Tribeca dining spot would be a somewhat pretentious, loud, trendy restaurant with so-so food (and high prices).... Read More

The Lion Restaurant Nyc 7

I am not into “sceney” restaurants – that is, eateries where the crowd appears to be trying too hard to be fashionable, is usually too loud and young (with a hefty helping of bankers), and is always reaching for a new trendy martini a la Sex and the City.... Read More

San Francisco Mandarin Oriental

I was in San Francisco for a business trip in September and managed to check out a terrific smart luxury hotel. For your next visit, consider staying at the Mandarin Oriental in downtown San Francisco, and select a junior suite if available. The hotel’s design is classic old world with... Read More


Ok, I said it – and yes, it sounds pretentious – rent a boat in Capri. The truth is that, appearances aside, it’s quite doable to rent an affordable luxury speed boat to tour the storied isle. I did this recently through Capri Boats. For about 800 Euros (around $1,150)... Read More

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I’ve posted before about the Greek islands, but I’m always looking to pass along new tips and advice on these ever-changing isles. A few bits of wisdom I’ve accumulated recently: Visit Folegandros: I met locals who suggested a trip to Folegandros, an undeveloped, very beautiful island that draws in-the-know travelers.... Read More

Olympus Digital Camera

On my last two days in town, I decided to check out one of Toronto’s museums. The Gehry-desigend Art Gallery of Ontario is a stand-out, and there happened to be an exhibit of abstract expressionist paintings from New York’s MOMA. Unlike in New York City, I didn’t have to... Read More

Olympus Digital Camera

More sightseeing was on our agenda for day two. We ate a late breakfast at Le Germaine, and I must say the hotel’s one flaw might be that breakfast can be quite hearty. Speaking of on-site food, I should add that I ate dinner at restaurant E11even in Maple Leaf... Read More

Olympus Digital Camera

On our first day in town, my friend and I walked for hours (Toronto is a good walking city, so bring comfortable shoes). We started with a tour to the top of the nearby CN Tower. The views, especially of the waterfront, are spectacular. The bistro on top, 360 The... Read More

Le Germain Maple Leaf Square

I’ve been to several parts of Canada, including Montreal, Whistler, and Banff. But for no particular reason, I’ve never found my way to Toronto. I’m glad to say I finally planned a long weekend over our July 4th holiday, and I’m very happy I did. Toronto is a well-balanced, medium-sized... Read More