The Hotel I (Almost) Want To Keep Secret

Lounging before breakfast. 

Lounging before breakfast. 

But I won't because I loved this place so, so much. Because our time and money is precious. 

I love discovering places in Switzerland that I never would have known about, had I not been traveling with Alex - like Melchsee-Frutt outside of Lucerne. 

Views near Guarda Val. 

Views near Guarda Val. 

This hotel, Guarda Val in the Swiss mountain town of Lenzerheide, is Alpine perfection. Split among eleven 300-year-old chalet-style huts, it's a place that will envelop you. The breakfast is divine, their main restaurant is one of the best in town, they serve coffee and cake every afternoon in a soaring space with a fireplace, there is a beautiful small spa and jacuzzi outside (which they call an "open-air hot pot" - haha). You wake up to heart-stopping views, you're breathing in air that can heal you, you realize you want a simpler life (or maybe that's just me). 

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Most of all, I loved discovering Lenzerheide. I had been to Arosa - which is now connected to Lenzerheide by cable car, making it one of Switzerland's largest ski areas. But Lenzerheide is pretty special - it's really primarily Swiss people who go here. 

Tip: I'd highly recommend a car to get to Lenzerheide in the canton of Graubünden - it's that rare place in Switzerland not connected by train. But you will be rewarded. And maybe I'll see you there this summer. 

Get Yourself to Bermuda

Flatt's Village, Bermuda

Flatt's Village, Bermuda

90 minutes from NYC - faster than you can say Hamptons - is this little 20-mile paradise, Bermuda. I bet you know someone who went on their honeymoon there 35 years ago - or you're pretty sure that the Bermuda Triangle is where your misplaced car keys, lip balm, and hair ties go. What I really loved is that it's not just a vacation destination like a few Caribbean islands I have visited. People live here, raising their kids and starting companies. Certain families go back hundreds of years. There is a palpable sense of rootedness but also a sexy new awakening. I will  update my guide in the next few weeks with all my favorite finds. I can't wait to get back to Bermuda. 

2016 Year-In-Review

2016 Year-In-Review

One of my all-time favorite trips in May 2016: staying at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Lake Como, Italy. Totally obnoxious champagne on boat shot. But what a day! 

One of my all-time favorite trips in May 2016: staying at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Lake Como, Italy. Totally obnoxious champagne on boat shot. But what a day! 

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I've done a wrap-up on this blog for the past five years. When I look back at these ridiculous, challenging, beautiful adventures - traveling all over the world, a marriage, a divorce, a new love, a new job - I feel endlessly grateful and honestly, tired. Travel is my passion, my life, my work, my beloved job and industry but I really want to slow down a bit. 

I want to sit and read the New York Times every Sunday. I want to meet friends for dinner in Manhattan and return gratefully to Brooklyn. I want to walk in Central Park and Prospect Park on beautiful days. I want to feel grateful for every minute I am on the Brooklyn Promenade because I can't believe I live so close - this is my dream neighborhood in NYC. I want to explore New York like I used to when I first moved here - with that giddy sense of new-ness - through Chinatown, Little Italy, the Upper West Side, all over Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens. I want to make plans for the future - I've been such a stunned deer-in-the-headlights the past couple of years - either moving at warp speed to avoid feeling hurt, or waiting for someone else to make decisions. The future I had planned for since I was 20 disappeared when Andy and I split up and I'm still finding my way out. 

I know I will still travel. I would be lost without it. I will still travel more than most people I know. But I want a little more serenity, a little less airport madness, and more time to figure out what I want as I get older. I'll turn 35 this year and while sometimes it feels like I've been flitting around the world carelessly while all my friends have been having babies and saving for retirement - I am so grateful for this life (except for the Twilight Zone presidential election, which continues to be worse than we all thought). Can I do all of this and maintain minimum status on an airline? That is the goal. 

By the way - if you know anyone cool in Brooklyn, let me know. It's one of my resolutions this year to meet more interesting, creative, funny, kind people that live in Brooklyn and to build my community here more. If you say it loud, it is more likely to happen. So there you go! 

Wishing you a beautiful 2017. 

And in (mostly) chronological order - 2016 at a glance. 

New Year's 2016 in Myanmar - The Strand Cruise

New Year's 2016 in Myanmar - The Strand Cruise

The highlight of Chiang Mai for me - Royal Park Rajapruek

The highlight of Chiang Mai for me - Royal Park Rajapruek

Rice planting at Dhara Devi in Chiang Mai 

Rice planting at Dhara Devi in Chiang Mai 

Unforgettable - a day at Elephant Nature Park outside Chiang Mai

Unforgettable - a day at Elephant Nature Park outside Chiang Mai

A great place to stay in Bangkok - the Grand Hyatt Erawan

A great place to stay in Bangkok - the Grand Hyatt Erawan

January snowstorm!

January snowstorm!

Connecticut wedding with some of my amazing extended family

Connecticut wedding with some of my amazing extended family

Work trip to Terranea Resort outside of L.A.

Work trip to Terranea Resort outside of L.A.

Dreamy trip to St. Barth's

Dreamy trip to St. Barth's

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Visiting my hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona during orange blossom season!

Visiting my hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona during orange blossom season!

Easter Dim Sum with (some of) my siblings + Hayley!

Easter Dim Sum with (some of) my siblings + Hayley!

Work trip to Seattle

Work trip to Seattle

The absolutely stunning Park Hotel Vitznau outside of Lucerne, Switzerland

The absolutely stunning Park Hotel Vitznau outside of Lucerne, Switzerland

Lugano, Switzerland

Lugano, Switzerland

Grand Hotel Tremezzo - Lake Como, Italy

Grand Hotel Tremezzo - Lake Como, Italy

Fell in love with Fire Island - my first time there.

Fell in love with Fire Island - my first time there.

No place makes me feel like this place does - East Hampton, NY 

No place makes me feel like this place does - East Hampton, NY 

Hello New Home - Brooklyn Heights

Hello New Home - Brooklyn Heights

Weekend at my aunt & uncle's lakehouse

Weekend at my aunt & uncle's lakehouse

Recovering in Aspen post-Virtuoso Week 

Recovering in Aspen post-Virtuoso Week 

Aspen

Aspen

My favorite cake in the world - Original Sacher-Torte in Vienna!

My favorite cake in the world - Original Sacher-Torte in Vienna!

Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna

The beautiful Schloss Fuschl hotel outside of Salzburg, Austria

The beautiful Schloss Fuschl hotel outside of Salzburg, Austria

Will never forget this sunset swim in the lake! 

Will never forget this sunset swim in the lake! 

Sunset in Salzburg

Sunset in Salzburg

Favorite cocktail - Mr. Pink's at the Baccarat Hotel 

Favorite cocktail - Mr. Pink's at the Baccarat Hotel 

Ballet at Lincoln Center 

Ballet at Lincoln Center 

Upper West Side drinks - love our friend's rooftop!! 

Upper West Side drinks - love our friend's rooftop!! 

WOW view from the Rothorn in Switzerland 

WOW view from the Rothorn in Switzerland 

Rainy day view from the amazing Beau-Rivage hotel in Geneva

Rainy day view from the amazing Beau-Rivage hotel in Geneva

Back in Lucerne

Back in Lucerne

Annual fall-in-Connecticut trip with my aunt

Annual fall-in-Connecticut trip with my aunt

Metropolitan Opera

Metropolitan Opera

Fall in NYC

Fall in NYC

The River Cafe - eternally wonderful

The River Cafe - eternally wonderful

Thanksgiving with my family in L.A. - Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica

Thanksgiving with my family in L.A. - Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica

View from the Carlton in Cannes - ILTM! 

View from the Carlton in Cannes - ILTM! 

Beautiful Munich

Beautiful Munich

Family party in Franklin Lakes

Family party in Franklin Lakes

First copies of the new NatGeo book with my foreword

First copies of the new NatGeo book with my foreword

Christmas Day - Art Deco Hotel Montana, Lucerne

Christmas Day - Art Deco Hotel Montana, Lucerne

New favorite place - Lenzerheide, Switzerland

New favorite place - Lenzerheide, Switzerland

Felucca ride, Cairo! 

Felucca ride, Cairo! 

The Egyptian Museum made my heart beat faster.

The Egyptian Museum made my heart beat faster.

Cairo 

Cairo 

New Year's Day 2017 

New Year's Day 2017 

7 Luxury Travel Trends for 2017

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For the past few years, I have attended the International Luxury Travel Mart (ILTM) in Cannes, on the south of France. It sounds super glamorous (and it is) but it's also a lot of work, work I absolutely love. Press talks, interviews, meetings, events, lunches, dinners - see an example of a day of press talks below! I have gotten sick every time afterwards, because I get about three hours of sleep a night. That said, it's amazing. I covered it for National Geographic - 7 Luxury Travel Trends for 2017 - and it was the most popular piece on the site the day it was published! 

Egypt

I just returned from Egypt, a place I have dreamed about since sixth-grade ancient Egypt class. I am so, so glad I went. 

At the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract hotel in Aswan

At the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract hotel in Aswan

Now is the time to go, especially since the Egyptian pound was devalued two months ago (bad for them, great for us - everything is half off in an already inexpensive country). I felt 150% safe the entire time I was there, in a country of friendly, welcoming people that have deeply felt the crush of tourism since the Arab Spring. Travelers are returning, but not fast enough. I feel overwhelmed in the best way by the world's oldest country, where treasures abound. 

I traveled with Abercrombie & Kent, one of my favorite tour operators in the world. They take care of everything, and make it so easy. When I saw the yellow A&K sign at Cairo airport, any nerves I had about the trip disappeared. But, of course, we made the trip what we wanted for us too - going to local restaurants and markets, taking walks, visiting gorgeous hotels, meeting locals, going on felucca rides. And we ALWAYS felt safe. I went to China with A&K (The Wild West of China and Sailing the Yangtze River) a few years ago, on a trip I will never forget - and this one climbs to the top of the list, too. 

I will be writing much more - it is hard to come back from such a trip and jump right back into the chaos of daily life, without time to really think about what I saw and experienced. But I had to post a few photos and start to wrap my head around all of it. 

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan

Sailing the Nile on the Sanctuary Sun Boat IV

Sailing the Nile on the Sanctuary Sun Boat IV