A Thai Island Escape Where Bigger is Better – Ritz Carlton Samui

As I’ve mentioned before, word of mouth is a powerful thing. At lunch recently a friend mentioned her stay at the Ritz Carlton Samui, and what I remember from her enthusiastic convo was Big! Big! Big! and New! New! New! Oooooh. Words that stuck like hooks and reeled me in. All this bigness and newness…

Enchanted Rainy Day Hideaway – Keemala Phuket

Rain was lashing against the airplane window as we landed in Phuket and I was taken aback.  It had never occurred to me that it might be raining during my island getaway at Keemala Phuket resort.  It was June –  still the soft launch of rainy season in Thailand, and not the real, heavy flood…

Heritage Hip in China’s Panda City – Temple House Chengdu

It seems obvious to choose Shanghai or Beijing for a first visit to China. I would have done that too, but the minute I heard the words “panda city”, I was headed to Chengdu. I wasn’t even sure exactly where Chengdu was at first, but who cares, when the city is the official panda center…

The Coolest Pool Penthouse in Phuket – Aleenta Resort Phuket, Thailand

What insider insight can I tell you about Phuket, an island so famous, so popular and so commercial that for decades it’s been consistently voted on “World’s Best Islands” lists and whatever other superlatives you can imagine. Well here’s a useful bit of info that might astonish people about this famous island. What most Phuket…

Home sweet home at the secret honey house – Villa Madu Ubud, Bali

I would never have known about Villa Madu in Bali if a friend in Ubud hadn’t suggested it to me (thank you  secret friend! You know who you are!).   It’s one of those under-the-radar places that I’ve never seen before in big magazines, but is known through word-of-mouth, or by people who know people. I…