3 Aug

Top 5 Best Cities for Singles

Travel + Leisure has released their top 20 best cities for singles. T+L readers were asked to evaluate 35 cities on various factors, such as attractive locals and bar scene. My favorite 5 were:

1. New Orleans

Bourbon Street is a popular destination in New Orleans.

New Orleans, Bourbon Street

New Orleans has been on my Must Visit list for some time now, and it’s #1 spot on Travel and Leisure’s Best Cities for Singles confirms my suspicions that it’s a super fun place. It ranked #1 in the best cocktails, most fascinating people, and best neighborhood cafe categories.

Don’t Miss: Bourbon Street, of course, and Frenchmen Street for lots of live music and bars. New bars are Maison and Three Muses.

2. Austin

Sixth Street is a popular hotspot in Austin, Texas

Austin, Sixth Street

Apparently the locals here are smart, athletic, and eco-conscious. Austin also ranked #2 for live music.

Don’t Miss: Sixth Street downtown for music and drinks, and East Sixth Street for beer gardens and classy dive bars.

3. New York City

New York City is one of the best cities for singles.

New York City

One of my favorite places and the #1 city for stylish locals. You can’t go wrong in NYC for nightlife.

4. Chicago

Bar DeVille is a popular hotspot in Chicago.

Chicago, Bar DeVille

They might have the worst weather ever, but they still have an amazing bar scene.

Don’t Miss: Cool neighborhoods like Andersonville, Pilsen and Logan Square.

5. Miami

Miami is a great city for singles.

Miami

The locals were ranked as being pretty unfriendly, but they did well in the attractiveness and style categories.

Don’t Miss: The South Beach scene, or downtown Design District and Brickell

Check out the complete list of Travel + Leisure’s Best Cities for Singles

27 Jul

Top 5 Summer Totes

These totes aren’t made out of straw, so they’re easy to clean and pack in your suitcase. My favorite is the Marc by Marc Jacobs Packable Shopper, $58 at ShopBop.com or Bloomingdale’s. It’s thin and flexible, so you can fold it and put it on your suitcase easily. Plus it comes in stripes – navy and white (my favorite), yellow and white – and lots of fun prints, too.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Packable Shopper is a great beach tote.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Packable Shopper

The Trina Turk Towel Tote, $145 at Bloomingdale’s, is another great option. I love the print and the size. You can really fit a lot in there! It comes in white and clear and hot pink and clear.

This Trina Turk Towel Tote is perfect for the beach.

Trina Turk Towel Tote

The Kate Spade Daycation Tote is cute and versatile. You could easily use this for work or as a weekend bag.

The Kate Spade Daycation Tote is perfect for the beach.

Kate Spade Daycation Tote

This Lauren by Ralph Lauren Harbor Island Beach Bag is preppy and adorable, available in navy and red. It will look great with a pair of torn denim shorts and a bikini top! You can find it at Lord & Taylor for $98.

Lauren by Ralph Lauren Harbor Island Beach Bag

Lauren by Ralph Lauren Harbor Island Beach Bag

The See by Chloe Tote comes in a fun animal print in beige and black and fuchsia and black. Because of the colors, it’s not seasonal, so you can use it throughout the year. It’s $105 at Bloomingdale’s.

This See by Chloe Tote is the perfect tote for beach or work.

See by Chloe Tote

19 Jul

Best Summer Travel Products

Looking good while traveling is easy if you have these amazing products! Whether you’re at the airport or a pool party, these chic accessories and beauty products will help you stay fabulous on-the-go.

Smythson of Bond Street Passport Holder

The Smythson of Bond Street Passport Holder is a chic way to carry your passport while traveling.

Smythson of Bond Street Passport Holder

Love the gold accents!

CitySlips

CitySlips are a great travel accessory.

CitySlips portable flats

These portable flats fold up into a cute little pouch, which unfolds into a tote when the flats aren’t inside. They’re sturdy enough to take you sightseeing and small enough to stash in your purse!

Rene Furterer Protective Summer Fluid Kit

This Rene Furterer Protective Summer Fluid Kit

Rene Furterer Protective Summer Fluid Kit

Keep your hair protected from sun and chlorine damage. These products can prevent and repair damage.

Benefit Benetint Lip Balm SPF 15

Benefit Benetint Lip Balm has SPF 15.

Benefit Benetint Lip Balm with SPF 15

This lip blam is tinted and as SPF 15, making it perfect for light lip color during the day or at a pool party.

Prescriptives Anywear Multipurpose Makeup Stick

This makeup stick by prescriptives is a great travel beauty product.

Prescriptives Anywear Multipurpose Makeup Stick

This is the perfect product to carry at all times! Great for touch ups under the eyes, blemishes or full foundation.

14 Jul

Top U.S.Travel Destinations 2011

Virtuoso’s Luxe Report revealed the top domestic travel destinations for 2011. Hawaii dominated the list, demonstrating US traveler’s need for exotic island vacations in 2011!

1. Maui, Hawaii

The Four Seasons Resort Maui is one of the islands best luxury hotels.

Four Seasons Resort Maui

What has been recognized as the “Best Island in the World” 16 years in a row (out of 23) by the Conde Nast Reader’s Poll. So it’s no surprise this amazing island took the top spot as most sought after destination of 2011! Not only is it a great leisure destination, but offers adventure activities as well. Whale watching, exploring active volcanoes, water sports, golf and more can be found on the islands of Hawaii.

2. New York City

Hotel Plaza Athenee is one of New York City's best hotels.

Hotel Plaza Athenee

In 2010, NYC drew in 43 million tourists. That’s a 7% increase from 2009. It’s possible that 2011 may hit 50 million tourists. It makes sense that NYC tourism is doing so well in this economy because it offers plenty of things to do, is within driving distance for a good amount of people on the east coast, and it’s larger-than-life attitude can be just as thrilling as the exotic Maui!

3. Las Vegas

The Bellagio is a luxury hotel in Las Vegas

Bellagio Las Vegas

It seems like the perfect place to let off some steam. Casinos, nightlife, shopping, and shows are the main attractions. Summer is great for Vegas pool parties too.

4. Napa Valley

Auberge du Soleil is a luxurious hotel in Napa Valley.

Auberge du Soleil

Napa draws over 5 million tourists every year. People come to visit wineries and take in the beautiful landscape. Plus, you can stop by San Francisco (#5) on the way.

5. Orlando

Disney World is a popular tourist attraction in Orlando, Florida

Disney World

Disney travel is huge, and with new renovations this year, exciting for many.

6. San Francisco

The W Hotel in San Francisco is a popular luxury hotel.

W Hotel San Francisco

People come to San Francisco for the food, architecture, art, and entertainment. It’s a great place for a romantic getaway or a family vacation. San Francisco is to the west coast what NYC is to the east coast – a great weekend spot that’s not too far, but you still feel like you’re going on a substantial vacation.

7. Colorado Mountains

The Ritz Carlton Vail is a new luxury hotel in Vail.

Ritz Carlton Vail

The Rockies are really popular during the winter and early spring for skiing and snowboarding. There are lots of great resort towns, like Vail, Aspen, and Steamboat Springs.

8. Big Island, Hawaii

The Fairmont Orchid on Big Island, Hawaii, is a popular luxury hotel.

Fairmont Orchid

The second Hawaiian island to make the top 10, Big Island is (as it’s name might suggest) the largest. It’s also an active volcanic site, which is one of its biggest attractions.

9. Maimi

The Gansevoort is a luxury hotel in South Beach, Miami.

Gansevoort

Another great place to go for a long weekend and have some fun. Relax on the beach during the day and enjoy the South Beach scene at night!

10. Kauai, Hawaii

The St. Regis Princeville is a popular luxury hotel in Kauai, Hawaii.

St. Regis Princeville

The third and final Hawaiian island on the list…Kauai is the oldest and has been featured in over 70 Hollywood movies. Directors can’t get enough of the beautiful landscapes of Kauai!

12 Jul

Resort 2012 Trend: Black & White

Classic BLACK & WHITE can never be wrong. Designers put a fun, modern spin on this timeless color combo. Alice + Olivia, Versace, and 3.1 Philip Lim created some of my favorite BLACK & WHITE outfits! The Versace dress and almost all of the Alice + Olivia collection managed to combine this trend with another – NEON!

This outfit from 3.1 Philip Lim followed the popular black and white trend for Resort 2012.

3.1 Philip Lim Resort 2012

This white and black dress from the Versace Resort 2012 collection was a popular trend.

Versace Resort 2012

The black and white trend continues with this dress from the Versace Resort 2012 collection.

Versace Resort 2012

This white skirt and black top from the Alice + Olivia Resort 2012 collection follows the pouplar black and white trend that was predominant throughout the Resort 2012 shows.

Alice + Olivia Resort 2012

12 Jul

Resort 2012 Trend: Neon

NEON was another fun Resort 2012 trend. From full on neon outfits to pops of color paired with neutrals, neon was all over the runways! Lots of fuschia, yellow, bright blue and lime green brightened up traditional white lace and khaki-filled resort collections. I think my favorite is the lime green dress by Elie Saab.

The Elie Saab Resort 2012 collection included a neon dress, one of the Resort 2012 trends.

Elie Saab Resort 2012

The Giambattista Valli Resort 2012 collection included a neon yellow maxi dress and jacket.

Giambattista Valli Resort 2012

This neon yellow outfit from the Christopher Kane Resort 2012 collection was part of the Resort 2012 neon trend.

Christopher Kane Resort 2012

This outfit from the Celine Resort 2012 follows the Resort 2012 neon trend.

Celine Resort 2012

12 Jul

Resort 2012 Trend: Lace

Another favorite Resort 2012 trend was LACE.  The BCBG and McQueen are great for summer parties, but you can definitely pull off the Behnaz Sarafpour at the office!

One trend for Resort 2012 was white lace, like this BCBG Max Azria dress.

BCBG Max Azria Resort 20212

One Resort 2012 trend is lace, like this top and pants outfit from the Bahnaz Sarafpour Resort 2012 collection.

Behnaz Sarafpour Resort 2012

This white lace skirt from the McQueen Resort 2012 was a popular Resort 2012 trend.

McQueen Resort 2012

White lace was a big trend for Resort 2012, including this dress from the McQueen Resort 2012 collection.

McQueen Resort 2012


12 Jul

Resort 2012 Trend: Red

Over 200 designers presented resort collections this year, and they did not disappoint! One of my favorite trends was bright red. Most were sleek and structured, like the Elie Saab and Valentino pictured below. Those are perfect choices for a cocktail party, dinner, or night out on the town in whatever glamorous destination you find yourself this summer. The more bohemian BCBG Max Azria dress is great for day or night at a beach bar or pool party.

One of the top Resort 2012 trends was red, like this Elie Saab Resort 2012 dress.

Elie Saab Resort 2012 Red Dress

One of the top Resort 2012 trends was red, like this BCBG Max Azria Resort 2012 dress.

BCBG Max Azria Resort 2012

This red Valentino Resort 2012 dress was part of the popular red dress trend.

Valentino Resort 2012

This red Valentino Resort 2012 pantsuit was part of a popular red trend.

Valentino Resort 2012

20 Jun

Haute Hotel: Ritz Carlton Vail

The Ritz Carlton Vail opened this past winter. It is a super-exclusive, members-only destination that features elegant Bavarian architecture and huge vacation condos within the amazing five star Ritz resort!

The Ritz Carlton Vail offers luxury vacation rentals in Vail, CO.

Ritz Carlton Vail

Design

Ski resort destinations are notorious for their outdated “Bavarian” style design – logs and plaid everywhere! Not at the Ritz Carlton Vail. It’s definitely alpine design, but done tastefully. They’ve used a neutral color palette, huge windows that let in lots of light, and rustic wood elements.

The Great Room lounge features huge bay windows and plush furniture that is perfect for relaxing. The Lobby Bar is ultra-cozy and dimly lit.

The Ritz Carlton Vail vacation condos offer spacious living rooms and dining rooms.

Ritz Carlton Vail Dining Room and Living Room

Members Only Vacation Condos

The Ritz Carlton Vail is a members-only destination comprised of Residence Club vacation condos. The Ritz Carlton Residence Club program is a fractional program, similar to a timeshare, but with deeded ownership in a specific unit. These condos are located within the resorts in addition to the hotel’s traditional accommodations of guest suites, and offer owners access to resort amenities. The Vail location, however, is Residence Club vacation condos only. That means you have to be part of the Club program, or rent from someone who is. There are plenty of vacation rental agencies who specialize in luxury vacation rentals to choose from.

Five Star Condos + Resort Amenities

For those of who who enjoy the extra space of vacation rentals (and TripAdvisor says that you do), the Ritz Carlton Vail is something to consider. These condos have spacious bedrooms (with walk-in closets!), fully equipped gourmet kitchens, elegant dining room, living room, washer/dryer, and powder room.

Guests also have the luxury of resort amenities, like a year-round heated pool, fitness center, spa, lounge, and on-site dining. Hotel services are also provided, including twice daily maid service, room service, 24 hour concierge, ski nanny, ski concierge, and Ritz Kids Program.

The Ritz Carlton Vail offers Club guests resort amenities, including a year-round heated pool.

Ritz Carlton Vail pool

Location, Location, Location!

Vail is one of North America’s premier ski destinations whose fame is only surpassed by Aspen. The Ritz Carlton Vail is right in the heart of this charming and luxurious town. There is fine dining, shopping, and nightlife just steps away!

17 Jun

Top 10 Best Flea Markets in France

The Porte de Vanves flea market in Paris is one of the best flea markets in France.

Porte de Vanves flea market

France has amazing flea markets, filled with vintage and antique furniture, kitchenware, paintings, vintage clothing, books, and home decor. It’s the perfect opportunity to shop for travel souvenirs and unique items to decorate your home!

1. Port de Vanves in Paris

This is known as one of France’s best flea markets, appreciated for its size and variety of items. Every Saturday and Sunday, 300 vendors sell items from France and beyond until 1pm.

Finds: Paintings, ceramics, 60s/70s era items, vintage clothing

2. Cours Saleya in Nice

Every Monday from the morning through mid-afternoon in sunny Nice, 200 vendors congregate to sell high-end collectibles. Although most finds here are pricey, you can find bargains at the adjacent Pierre Gauthier market.

Finds: Silver, vintage clothing, ceramics from Monaco and Vallaris, rustic wood items, and jewelry

3. Braderie de Lille

This is the best flea market in Europe and is held once a year in September. Thousands of vendors gather from Saturday morning through midnight on Sunday. Millions of visitors come from all over to shop.

Finds: Everything!

4. Annecy in Vieux Quartier

This is the most picturesque flea market in France, although smaller. The items reflect the town’s position as the gateway to the Alps. It is held on the last Saturday of the month.

Finds: Paintings, wooden chests, armoires, milk jugs, ski equipment

5. Villeurbanne in Lyon

Every Sunday morning 400 vendors join to create one of the biggest flea markets in France.

Finds: Rustic collectibles, kitchenware, furniture, copperware

6. Allees Jules Guesde in Toulouse

This flea market is held on the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of each month. Toulouse is a great place to visit and enjoy the pink medieval buildings and theme park dedicated to space exploration.

Finds: Books, military memorabilia, African art, fine French porcelain

7. The Porte de Clingnancourt

This is a combination of 12 flea markets, held every Saturday, Sunday and Monday. There are thousands of stalls that offer all kinds of collectibles.

Finds: Marche Vernaison on Rue des Rosiers offers kitchenware, books, and table lamps. Marche Daupin features market jewelry and ornate antique furniture.

8. Boulevard Beranger in Tours

This flea market is held once a month in the “Garden of France.” There are about 150 stalls. Once you’re done exploring the market, enjoy Tours, where you will find amazing architecture, vineyards, and botanical gardens.
Finds: Fine French porcelain, books, furniture.

9. Place Viarme in Narites

About 100 vendors set up shop along the Brittany cost. This picturesque location on the Atlantic coast is a great place to spend the day shopping for travel souvenirs.

Finds: Vintage nautical memorabilia

10. L’espace Mosson in Montpellier

Every Sunday in the far south of France. There are food stalls with delicious snacks of merguez and andouillette sausages.

Finds: Antique and vintage furniture, blue and white enamelware, paintings, and pottery.