I must admit, I landed in Aspen with a plethora of pre-conceptions. As an avid skier, I was itching to hit the slopes -- but also warily ready to navigate some snooty fur coats and boulder-sized diamonds on every snow-lined street. Not so. My experience of this special place was the opposite.
There are Asian touches throughout the 73-room hotel (including a volume of Buddhist teachings in the bedside table along with the usual Gideon bible), but the general impression is of international luxury in a comfortable space.
I ask you, restaurant operators, do you use second- or third-string players on slow nights, hoping they won't mess up too much? If so, how do you avoid major missteps? And readers, do you sense you're dealing with second stringers on slow nights?
The luxurious Shangri-La Paris -- in the former mansion of a great-nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, no less -- is the object of considerable interest, particularly among food lovers: The restaurant is absolutely superb.
In the months leading up to our October trip to Japan, my wife and I looked forward to many things. Right near the top of the list was our return to the Park Hyatt Tokyo, where we'd stayed five years earlier. That, I think, says a lot about the hotel's allure.
The words "tasting menu" have traditionally been synonymous with sticker shock. Such is the case at New York City's Masa, where prix fixe prices start at $450. Today, the concept has become so democratic that even star chefs are serving bargain-priced meals.
Awarding gold, silver and bronze medals to restaurants may be a fool's errand given the inevitable subjectivity. But if you're planning to brave the crowds, disruptions and high prices of London during this summer's Olympic Games, you'll want to eat here.
While finger bowls may be a thing of the past, they do exist in many private clubs across the country and are still served at some formal dinners, so it's good to know how to use one. Plus, you may want to serve them after some casual dinners yourself.