Travels with Larry Olmsted

by Larry Olmsted It’s not too often that luggage breakthroughs come along. I’ve been traveling long enough to remember life before roll-aboard bags and in-line skate wheels. That was a game changer, followed by the upgrade to the four wheel spinner bag, which can be pushed or walked side by

By Larry Olmsted Think “craft beer” and hot spots like Bend, Oregon, Fort Collins, Colorado or pretty much all of Vermont come to mind. But down in North Carolina, Raleigh has been quietly carving out a top spot in the still growing craft beer industry. Things are not likely to

By Larry Olmsted A record 40,000,000+ people visited Las Vegas in 2014, and by most accounts Sin City is the third or fourth most popular tourist attraction in the world, dwarfing icons such as Walt Disney World and Niagara Falls. The city’s appeals are obvious, and while the vast majority

By Larry Olmsted Unlike people on vacation, business travelers often book trips last minute or on short notice. But the nation’s best restaurants can sell out weeks, if not months, in advance, especially on peak nights like Fridays. It’s an inherent conflict even top luxury hotel concierges often cannot solve,

By Larry Olmsted It’s been nearly 800 years since the first iteration of Ashford Castle was built in 1228. Renovated and expanded countless times over the centuries, for most of recent history, the one-time fortress has best been known as one of Europe’s most romantic and luxurious resorts. Last week

By Larry Olmsted Many consumers complain about not being able to redeem award miles for the tickets they want. It’s the number one gripe I hear about frequent flyer programs, over and over, and it’s an important issue given that about 100 million Americans are enrolled in such programs. But

By Larry Olmsted Jack Nicklaus plays here. So do Tom Watson, Gary Player, Ben Crenshaw and a veritable Who’s Who of Major Champions and Hall of Famers. And when they are not teeing it up, many of them have been designing courses or other golf facilities here. Here is Branson,

By Larry Olmsted Flights operating nothing but business class have been an elusive treat for frequent fliers over the years. The advantages are simple: only good seats and top shelf service, often at a lower price than business class on traditional multi-cabin aircraft. The problem has been that most of

By Larry Olmsted Yes Virginia, there are actually people who avidly collect the thousand dollar special edition cups released annually by bourbon maker Woodford Reserve for the “Fastest Two Minutes In Sports”—the Kentucky Derby. Continue reading …  

by Larry Olmsted “Boutique” is a word that’s thrown around a lot in the world of Las Vegas hotels, but in reality the concept barely exists. One General Manager told me – in all seriousness – that on the Strip a thousand rooms is a boutique property, and I guess