May 2007

THE BACKSTORY: When I first drove through the gates of The Greenbrier, the fabled 6,500-acre resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, I thought I was approaching a rural version of the White House. With its far-reaching wings, columns and impeccably manicured grounds, it’s presidential indeed. As early as 1778,

When summertime finally arrives, I’m already stoked about sea kayaking in Maine. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to what John Connelly, manager of L.L.Bean’s Outdoor Discovery Schools, has to say about it. Connelly is a former U.S.Canoe and Kayak Team whitewater competitor and a Registered Maine Guide.

  Looking for a soundtrack for your next adventure? Check out the selection of compilation CD’s offered by Putumayo. Long a mainstay of health food stores, cafes and book shops, these recordings with the colorful folk art covers are smartly assembled and transporting. How to define a label that puts

  THE BACKSTORY: Located in a former 1920’s office building for RAI, the Italian broadcasting company, Fortyseven Hotel is a bona fide four star luxury hotel that might be called "boutique" and "minimalist." But those terms mask the essential warmth of this Rome hotel. It is intimate, personal and very

1. DON’T CALL ROOM SERVICE. Dine out, not in. At many hotels, room service prices are inflated beyond restaurant prices. Then they’re topped off with an 18 percent gratuity, plus a delivery charge and taxes. Not to mention a blank line inviting you to add yet another gratuity. 2. DON’T

In the pantheon of enviable lives, I think my friend Dorie Greenspan has a secure position. Greenspan has not only managed to combine two of her life’s passions, pastry and Paris, authoring such best sellers as Baking: From My Home to Yours, Paris Sweets, Baking with Julia, The Café Boulud

When I stayed at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler in Canada’s British Columbia last year, a hotel employee casually mentioned that all the rooms were privately owned. “You mean they’re fractionals?” I asked. (A fractional is a popular style of vacation ownership in which the owner typically buys the right