Now here is a great spot to spend an afternoon overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, sipping Champagne, dining on Caviar. This is about as good as it gets. At Le Grill it is not the seventh but the eighth heaven which opens its pearly gates to diners.
Located on the eighth floor of the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, this restaurant offers a reinterpretation of Mediterranean gourmet cuisine. In the summer, the roof slides back to reveal the sky and what has to be one of the most beautiful views on the French Riviera. LOBSTER FROM BRITTANY, tomatoes, burrata and basil leaves 98, CAVIAR « Sélection Hôtel de Paris » (50g), cream and blinis 255, NORMANDY SOLE, nut brown butter seasoned with lemon 65, TURBOT STUDDED WITH SAGE ON THE SPIT, « Riviera seasoning », Swiss chard 65,
SO U F FLÉS
Served at the Hôtel de Paris since 1898, CHOCOLATE 20, STRAWBERRY 20, VANILLA 20, RASPBERRY 20, GRAND MARNIER 20
Monte Carlo certainly has more than its fair share of luxury attractions but one of MrFiveStar's favourites is situated on the eighth floor of the Hôtel de Paris, namely the Le Grill restaurant which has a Michelin Star to its name. “The open roof terrace here provides absolutely splendid views over Monaco and the Côte d'Azur,” he says, “The ambience here really leads one to believe that you are on the deck of a luxury yacht. And the food issuperb; traditional and simple yet done to a turn. It’s ‘old school’ in the best sense of the word.” Tasty morsels from the sea (salmon, codfish, monkfish) or the land (e.g. tender steaks from Charolais cattle) are more than likely to be found sizzling in the kitchen. And to accompany your meal you will be spoilt for choice when itcomes to the wine list – the cellar here boasts a selection of around 600,000 bottles.
Oceania Cruises will provide the highest quality cruise product for mature and discerning travelers by offering the finest culinary experience at sea, meticulous attention to detail, and a warm and inviting country club-casual
ambiance on every voyage. Combining extraordinary comfort, exceptional value and the world’s most alluring destinations, we provide our guests with an enriching, rewarding travel experience.
We were in Barcelona on May 10, although we weren't invited to the christening of the
Riviera a we did depart May 12, 2012 on the Marina, the sister ship of the
Riviera for France and Italy. It is MrFiveStar's opinion Oceania has the best price point for the mid size ships positioned in the high end of the middle price range. Our suite 12006 was 1000 square feet was outstanding. We departed from Barcelona, Spain then on to Provence (Marseille), France, Saint-Tropez, France, Cannes, France, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Cinque Terre (La Spezia), Italy, Florence/Pisa/Tuscany (Livorno), Italy, Sorrento/Capri, Italy, Amalfi/Positano, Italy Cruising the Mediterranean Sea
Oct to Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy.
This new category of suite accommodation combines exquisite elegance with a premier location high atop Marina and adds in a wealth of amenities and copious space for good measure. Sprawling more than 1,000 square feet, each offers a living room and dining room, walk-in closet, expansive private veranda and much more.
Enjoy a brisk morning workout followed by a therapeutic whirlpool in either your private Jacuzzi overlooking the sea or in the Jacuzzi tub in your Master Bath. Spend an evening screening first-run movies on your 50-inch LCD flat-screen television in your state-of-the-art media room. Indulge in course-by-course en-suite dining in your dining room or with the caress of a soft sea breeze on the expansive veranda. Wake up refreshed and rested on the king-size Prestige Tranquility Bed. Open the floor-to-ceiling glass doors, walk out on the private teak veranda and take in the stunning panoramic views from the comfort of the resort-style lounge furniture.
Everything imaginable is provided in your Oceania Suite, even a second bathroom for guests. SUITE PRIVILEGES Priority 11am check-in and early embarkation with priority luggage delivery Exclusive access to private Executive Lounge staff
ed by a dedicated Concierge 24-hour Butler service
Picture here MrFiveStar (Ron Crider) with Jacques Pepin May 14, 2012 off the coast of France.
Complimentary in-suite bar setup featuring 4 full-size bottles of premium spirits plus wine Welcome bottle of Champagne Priority online specialty restaurant and shore excursion reservations Unlimited access to Canyon Ranch SpaClub® private Spa Terrace Laptop computer with wireless Internet access+ New for 2013! - Exclusive discounts on Internet usage plans New for 2013! - Complimentary iPad® available for your enjoyment on-board+ Bulgari gift set and toiletries Full-size whirlpool tub Choice of daily printed newspaper Customized entertainment system with integrated sound system and media library+ Complimentary Oceania Cruises logo tote bag Cashmere lap blankets, perfect for relaxing on your veranda Complimentary shoe shine service +Internet usage rates apply BUTLER SERVICES Course-by-course in-suite dining+ “Order in” from any of our specialty restaurants Coordination of shore-side dinner and entertainment reservations Priority shore excursion reservations Packing and unpacking upon request Last minute luggage collection Complimentary garment pressing+ Complimentary shoe shine service Gourmet evening canapés Special services upon request. Click here to go to the Oceania website.
We keep trying other London Hotels, but keep coming back to the Goring. Why? The Goring would have a difficult problem trying to get any better than they have been for the past 5 years. It is my opinion the Goring is simply the BEST British hotel in London. I also suggest the Goring is one of the "Best Baby Grand hotels" in the world. They constantly plow profits into improvements and updating the suites. We stayed in a recently redesigned suite # 34. Fabulous bathrooms, great lighting and excellent attention to every detail. When you arrive say hello to Peter Sweeney at the front door. He has been there greeting thousands of guests for 45 years. Chance are he will remember your name the next time you visit. The Goring location is the best, just next door to Buckingham Palace. Staying at the Goring is very convenient when visiting the Queen. Kate Middleton chose the Goring to spend her last night prior to her wedding to HRH Prince William.
LUXURY ACCOMMODATION IN LONDON
Today, The Goring is regarded the favourite address for anyone looking for the quintessentially English hotel in the heart of London.
A hotel where every member of the team takes terrific pride in offering the highest levels of personal service, where guests are sincerely welcomed and can enjoy elegant individual accommodations, the tranquillity of its own private Gardens, and the utterly splendid Lounge Bar and Dining Room where the very best of British food and been celebrated for over a century.
With just 69 rooms and suites The Goring is truly a “Baby Grand”, the finest of hotels in the perfect location but with the most intimate of atmospheres and personalised attention.
FINE WINES AT THE GORING
Of course the drinks are perfect, of course the wine list is exceptional and of course the place is sumptuous in the extreme.
But the Bar at the Goring is really about the people and the ambiance.
This is not one of those “hotel bars” - it is more a London landmark. The lovable Irish rogue Brian Kinsella runs the show here and his humour and charm set the tone.
But what strikes one first is the constant hum of London eccentrics, ladies-who-lunch, dignitaries, media odd-balls, sports stars, Lords, Ladies and gentlemen who fill the space with their antics on a daily basis.
The Goring lounge is a place for you to relax and unwind. So we ask you to help us preserve your fellow guests' sense of tranquillity by switching off your mobile telephone, letting us look after your computer (or keeping it in its bag!), hiding away all those business papers and..... sitting back and relaxing.
FINE DINING & BRITISH CUISINE
With its interior designed by David Linley, The Dining Room is the destination restaurant for proper British cuisine.
Whether bathed in natural light by day, or sumptuously aglow with custom Swarowski chandeliers at night, this restaurant has the buzz without losing the elegance. Click here to go to the Goring Hotel website.
HOTEL BOSCOLO PALACE ROMA, A FIVE STAR LUXURY HOTEL IN ITALY ROME. We visited this hotel May 20, 2012 for several days. This hotel is part of Marriott's Autograph collection, so it is easy to book at the Marriott Rewards website.It would be hard to find a better location for a hotel in Rome.
As we expect at all the hotels we frequent the service and accommodations were the best.Two blocks away is Harry's Bar (no not "The" Harry's Bar) but this Harry's Bar and restaurant is as good as it gets in Rome. Needless to say there is 100's of great restaurants in Rome. If you are staying at the BOSCOLO PALACE, walk two blocks for a wonderful traditional Italian style dining room, outstanding service and fabulous food at Harry's Bar and Restaurant.
The Boscolo Palace Roma luxury hotel is situated in Via Veneto, Rome’s most elegant and fashionable street and the centerpiece of the Dolce Vita. Visitors are welcomed at the entrance through an elegant wrought iron gate, whose perimeter houses an original out-of-doors area which is reminiscent of the Bohemian street cafés. An amazing period stucco work and the play of light resulting from the alternation of enameled surfaces, marble and refined finishing, lead to 87 luxury hotel rooms on 8 floors, including Executive and Presidential Suites with panoramic view, where luxury, comfort and excellent services are united in refined designer furnishings: A vibrant atmosphere in which one can relive the fascination of the Belle Époque in the most sophisticated of contemporary luxury.
ROOMS & SUITES THE BOSCOLO PALACE ROMA, A LUXURY 5 STAR HOTEL IN ROME ITALY Elegance and purity are the defining features of the essential style and eclectic character of luxury rooms which possess the most modern amenities and an innovative set-up satisfying. Refined Italian design, new matching of surfaces and ultra-deluxe comfort come together harmoniously in this original Liberty building. Large surfaces are reflected in the bright colour harmony of the mirrors, valuable textures and soft pink and grey tones. The Superior Executive Rooms on the 5th floor open onto suggestive panoramas from splendid period travertine balconies, with printed majolica and vaulted ceilings dating from the early twentieth century. Inspired by the Rome’s Belle Époque, the Suites offer the best of Italian interior design.Click here to go to the website of HOTEL BOSCOLO PALACE ROMA . Click here to see the hotel location on a google map.
Hotel Arts Barcelona. We visited this hotel in early May 2012. Great service, excellent accommodations overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Discover a luxury hotel on the Mediterranean in one of Europe’s most dynamic cities. A blissful retreat, cultural hub, meeting space and fine dining destination rolled into
one. A place where exceptional service comes as standard, and every guest is made to feel part of the family. Welcome to the Hotel Arts Barcelona.
The seafront hotel overlooks the Mediterranean on the Port Olympic, next to the marina and Barcelona’s famous beaches, and surrounded by lush terraces and lively promenades. Close by, the district of Barcelona is a hive of characterful bars, cafes and local seafood restaurants. The hotel is a short stroll away from the city’s historical centre, and just 20 minutes by car from Barcelona airport.
Here is our suite 3405. We didn't want to leave. Life is great when you are staying at the Arts Hotel Barcelona.
This is a great hotel to stay in is you are sailing from the Barcelona Port only 8 minutes away. Designed by the distinguished architect Bruce Graham of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the Hotel Arts is part of Barcelona’s recent cultural renaissance, and as modern as the city itself.
Built to coincide with the Olympic Games in 1992, this luxury hotel is a landmark on the Barcelona boardwalk: 44 stories of blue glass and exposed steel soaring high above the seafront. Inside, hard edges and materials give way to an environment of elegance and refinement, filled with luxurious spaces to explore and discover at your leisure.
We went to the River Grille July 28, 2012. Wow! What a surprise. This place is wonderful. Chef Michele Hennesey is the real deal. She has Lot's of experience, graduate of the CIA and really knows how to prepare a fine meal. You won't be disappointed. My Broiled Oysters Rockefeller and the Baked, stuffed Atlantic Salmon, filled with Lump Crab, and Lemon Beurre Blanc were the best. The Bread Pudding is also outstanding. Entry's under $25.00, Appetizers under $10.00. The River Grille doesn't have a web site yet, but the restaurant has been here since 2007. Don't be fooled by the looks of the outside of the building. It is what's inside that you will be impressed with. I promise. We have been here several times. Our last visit was 8/11/2012. The fresh Grouper was wonderful. Two diners, salads, appetizers, two glasses of premium wine and bread pudding, all under $100.00.
Michele Hennessey (Head Chef/proprietor), Gus Rivera (Captain/proprietor), Patrick Gregory(Sous Chef), Jose Garcia(Lead Cook)
When Ben Griffith has to get work done while waiting for a flight, the last place he wants to go is a crowded gate or noisy restaurant. Instead, he retreats to Delta Air Lines' Sky Club, where he can use a meeting room or grab a healthy snack or beverage for free.
"I can usually get a ton of work done at the Sky Clubs without the noise and distraction of the main concourse," says Griffith, a Cleveland, Miss., attorney.
After years of neglect, airlines are turning their attention back to their airport lounges. As competition for the lucrative business traveler has intensified, airlines are pumping money into their lounges, adding more comfortable seating and power outlets, plus upgrading snacks, drinks and other amenities.
American Airlines is renovating its Admirals Club lounges at New York LaGuardia, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta and other airports. Delta Air Lines has spent about $30 million over the last three years to renovate and open new Sky Clubs in cities such as Philadelphia and Seattle. After closing many clubs in 2008, U.S. Airways is reopening some, including one in Raleigh-Durham, and upgrading others, including one at Washington's Reagan National Airport.
International airlines are also finding value in lounges. After unveiling a new 160-seat Prestige Class Lounge at Incheon International Airport last year in Seoul, Korean Air is now planning to expand its lounge at Los Angeles International Airport. Since 2008, Lufthansa Airlines has invested in more than 10 new lounges and refurbished more than five. And Qantas is constructing first- and business-class lounges in Los Angeles that will be three times the size of the current space. New first-class lounges will also open in airports in Singapore and Hong Kong.
"Lounges really reinforce an airline's image, and they're a strong branding technique," says Penny Pfaelzer, a spokeswoman for Korean Air. "They're often a traveler's first impression of an airline."
Even some airports are realizing the importance of lounges. Mineta San Jose International Airport officials have proposed building a lounge to accommodate travelers on a new All Nippon Airways flight to Tokyo.
"Both airlines and airports recognize that there is increased competition, and there's always a need to look at how you can improve the travel experience," says Deborah McElroy, executive vice president of policy and external affairs for Airports Council International-North America.
Lucrative and then not
Lounges became popular after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. When security tightened, passengers had to get to the airport hours before flights.
Airlines saw a lucrative opportunity. But as the economy worsened and their revenues dropped, they had to trim costs. Lounges were easy to cut.
As the economy picked up again and carriers consolidated, airlines once again started seeing lounges as revenue generators.
"When we build a new clubhouse, we see a boost in terms of upper-class ticket sales," says Chris Rossi, head of Virgin Atlantic North America, which recently opened a Clubhouse at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. "They're clearly game-changers for us."
Many travelers gain access to lounges through their airline loyalty programs or credit card rewards programs, or by buying a business- or first-class ticket. Travelers can also buy annual memberships, but most airlines now offer day passes, usually for about $50.
Experts say it is yet another way airlines are making money through ancillary fees, or extra fees for extra benefits.
"Airlines have been very successful in their ancillary strategy," McElroy says. "This is the next step. We're going to tailor options and make the traveler experience better for people."
Not only have the lounges gotten bigger, but they've also gotten better. "We're really starting to see innovative and cool lounge products," says Kelley Moore, general manager for Delta Sky Clubs.
Most beer, wine and liquor is free at Delta's clubs. But last year, the airline launched a Luxury Bar with upgraded liquor, wine, champagne and signature cocktails for sale. Passengers are sometimes treated to free tastings.
At Virgin's new lounge at JFK, travelers get one free 15-minute spa treatment, such as a massage. Longer massages, hair styling, manicures and pedicures cost $20 to $40. Food is free, and don't expect just hummus and pretzels — a full menu includes appetizers, entrees and desserts.
Lufthansa's First Class lounges have personal assistants on hand for travelers. The Frankfurt lounge has a spa where passengers can get massages, facials and other beauty treatments.
And to appeal to the business traveler, all lounges have work stations with plenty of cords, free Wi-Fi, computers, printers, fax machines and more.
Don Schmincke, an adviser at an executive education institute who lives in Baltimore, was willing to pay a few hundred dollars for his United Airlines club annual membership.
"When your day is mostly spent at airports, it's kind of the first thing I look for," he says. "You get out of the crowd and, for just a moment, you're able to be in something like a living room."
If you are traveling and have “only” time for one "great meal", here is where MrFiveStar will be dining. You may click on any of the listed restaurants or hotels here and as always we will take you "directly" to the their web site. These properties are truly excellent 5 Star operations, great service, excellent food and generally wonderful decor. I have visited most of these hotels and restaurants numerous times recently.
All of the Restaurants listed on this web site have been visited by MrFiveStar or a MrFiveStar associate. Seldom do we include a restaurant with less than outstanding marks by us. This site and our publications are designed to guide you to a wonderful dining experience. I personally vouch for all the content contained herein. Should you have an unpleasant experience at any restaurants listed here please let us know and we will investigate the incident.
Most all the restaurants listed on this site are considered FiveStar caliber unless otherwise noted. For an excellent wider variety of restaurants world wide I suggest the Zagat Guides. The Zagat Guides have long been one of the guiding forces with the MrFiveStar Team. Check them out at http://www.zagat.com/ of just click here. Zagat also has an excellent Mobile service. Now you can browse ZAGAT.com from your mobile phone! Find restaurants, nightspots, hotels and shops when you're on the go. Search and browse by cuisine and neighborhood to find just the right spot from over 30,000 establishments in hundreds of cities.
Chez Jean-Pierre, Palm Beach Florida, March 10, 2012
This is where I celebrated my most recent birthday. With a huge number of fine restaurants to choose from in Palm Beach. I was guided to Chez Jean-Pierre by our friends who seem to know all the best dining spots on the planet. One would think MrFiveStar would have frequented this establishment over the years spent in Palm Beach, but not so. Shame on us.
Chez Jean-Pierre's excellent reputation certainly preceded our visit. The restaurant location reminded me of my youth in Palm Beach and drinking with my Marine Corp buddies at O'Hara's. Interesting to note, yes, the restaurant is in the exact location. In 1981 fire destroyed all but the front room of O'Hara's. Chez Jean Pierre opened a room in the restaurant to honor the memory of Vincent J. O’Hara Jr who operated the previous restaurant, opening in 1944. I have found memories of the days gone by and now new memories of this excellent restaurant.
To begin with, although the address is 132 North County Road the actual driving and valet entrance is in the back, so turn left onto Sunset Avenue as your are driving North on County Road. That would be one block past the Royal Poinciana Way light. Then turn right into the Chez Jean-Pierre Parking.
Don't be surprised at the size of the restaurant. Many Americans picture a french Bistro as generally small, not so here at Chez Jean-Pierre. The restaurant has numerous rooms and several bars. Reservations are a must, definitely in season, November to April. Without a reservation you may get lucky and find a place to dine at one of the Bars, but don't count on it.
Yes, Chez Jean-Pierre is a white table-cloth restaurant, but somewhat to the contrary it has a country club casual atmosphere. Most dining men where jackets but generally no ties.
Now for the food: Wow! It is our opinion (MrFiveStar and our Classic America Crew) Chez Jean-Pierre is just about as good as it gets in Palm Beach County. We rate Chez Jean-Pierre our highest rating, 4.5 Stars. Because of the size of the restaurant and considering we were there Saturday evening in March the restaurant was very busy, therefore the service was not as good as we expected, but not intolerable. As in France the entire dining out experience has many elements including the company, the environment, the service, the food and the libation. 4.5 out of 5, we consider top drawer.
Some of the items we sampled were: Fresh Sauteed Foie Gras (caramelized apples, brandy sauce)
Scrambled Egg with Hackleback Caviar (in the shell, with toast points)
Steak Tartare (Prime fillet mignon with French fries)
Dover Sole Meuniere (spinach, carrots, and rice)
Prime Veal Chop, Morrel Mushroom Sauce (served with fettuccine)
All the food was prepared to perfection, the temperature on all items was perfect. The presentation was attractive.
This type of fine food does come with a hefty price and I must add, well worth it. Our party of 4 shared two bottles of a nice Pauillac wine at $145.00 each. We also shared two deserts and one after dinner drink. The total experience cost just under $800.00 including tip.
Chef and owner Jean-Pierre Leverrier and his wife, Nicole, opened the doors to Chez Jean-Pierre in 1991. Their younger son, Guillaume, cooks with his father, while their older son, David, runs the dining room with his mother. The Leverrier family comes from Normandy and the restaurant menu is classic Northern French.
At this authentic French Bistro, diners enjoy hearty portions with elegant yet simple plate presentations. The menu includes an incredible array of delicious appetizers and dinners, plus Chef Jean-Pierre’s handmade desserts such as the profiteroles (puff pastries filled with homemade ice-cream covered with delectable chocolate sauce). Chez Jean-Pierre has an extensive wine list featuring 350 selections that are predominantly French and American with prices ranging from $15 to $1,400. Each variety is hand-picked by wine sommelier David Leverrier.
Just after midnight on New Year's Day, Charlie Trotter walked to the counter near the wine cellar in his eponymous Chicago restaurant and asked for guests' attention. With his wife, Rochelle, by his side, Trotter announced that he will be closing Charlie Trotter's in August, just as it celebrates 25 years as one of America's greatest restaurants. The room was understandably awestruck, then the diners began clapping, paying tribute to their chef.
Trotter, 52, is calling this a sabbatical. A one-time political science major who routinely cites writers such as Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Ayn Rand, Trotter plans to study philosophy and political theory. He toldWine Spectator he has been accepted to three graduate schools. "I don't want to turn around when I'm 60 and have missed out on opportunities like this," he said. He added that when he finishes his studies he may open a new restaurant, but made no promises.
Trotter's career has been defined by his willingness to pursue his own path. With little training, he began working in various restaurants full-time at 23 years old. Just four years later, he opened Charlie Trotter's. Because America's dining scene has come so far in 25 years, it has become easy to forget what a pioneer Trotter was, especially in the Midwest. He was among the first to popularize tasting menus, and was an early advocate for cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Trotter's career path diverged from those of many of his celebrated peers, who built small empires around the globe. Though he did open other restaurants, in Las Vegas and San José del Cabo in Mexico, neither of them flourished, and in the end he remained steady at the stoves of his Chicago flagship. While some critics considered this a failure, Trotter seemed more concerned with high standards and personal consistency than with the fame and money that could be gained through expansion.
Trotter has been a consistent champion for excellent wine service. In 1993, Charlie Trotter's won a Wine Spectator Grand Award. The 1,800-selection list, built on a cellar of more than 7,000 bottles, offers both the benchmark wines of the world and smart buys, and Trotter has hired and nurtured some of the best sommeliers in the industry. Asked about his plans for the cellar, he joked, "The good thing is I'll have plenty of wine to drink. No, I don't know yet. That's one of many things we'll have to decide in coming months.
"Trotter has a reputation for being tough with staff, and for being a perfectionist in the name of quality. But he says mentoring people and teaching them to be leaders is one thing he'll miss most. Wherever his sabbatical takes him, he'll undoubtedly bring the same competitive fire. "Taking things easy is not my style," he said.
Palm Beach Florida March 10, 2012: Here is our take on the Brazilian Court Hotel and Daniel Boulud's Restaurant in Palm Beach, Florida. As a matter of background, I have been a resident of the east coast of Florida since 1955. I have visited and worked in Palm Beach much of my adult life. I have stayed at the Brazilian Court Hotel numerous times over the past 25 years. I have watched the Brazilian Court mature into a marvelous destination hotel. Each visit brings a new perception to mind since the property has a subtle way of always changing. For those of you who have never visited the Brazilian Court Hotel, shame on you. Anyone who frequently visits Palm Beach most surely would stay at the Breakers, walk Worth Avenue and have stayed at the Brazilian Court.
The Breakers has the Beach. The Brazilian Court has Worth Avenue (The Rodeo Drive of Florida). Two blocks from the hotel and your are smack dab in the middle of some of the finest designer and jewelry shops in the South. Some of the best restaurants in Palm Beach are within walking distance as well. Now that I have established the fact that the hotel is centrally located lets explore the property.
The Brazilian Court opened it's doors in 1926. Over the years the hotel has entertained Judy Garland, Richard Nixon, most of the Kennedy Family, Cary Grant, Greta Garbo, 6 presidents and dozens of captains of industry. The hotel complex was designed in the Mediterranean Villa motif. Recently the property underwent a 35 million dollar restoration and also acquired new parents under the brand Obdan Hotels. Perhaps the 35 million should have been more like 60 million but they really stretched the dollar as much as possible. Some of the minor problems with working with a 1926 Villa property is how to reconfigure it without destroying the original idea. For example there are a few areas in the hotel where you actually can't get to the lobby without forging the elements outside. This could be somewhat problematic in the rainy season. The Wi-Fii seems to work great most everywhere and here is a surpris; the service is complementary. The flat panel TV and cable works well but electrical outlets are somewhat conspicuous by their absence. Finding convenient locations to plug in several computers, I phones, I pads and I Pods was somewhat of a challenge.
The suite I was in, 212 (Fairbanks), in the back of the building on the second floor, was small but workable. All the wood is dark including the molding. The walls are painted ecru (Light Beige) The suite has a nice but small bar and sink with a fully stocked refrigerator and a very nice small wine cooler holding 24 bottles of wine (no wines were in the cooler). The suite has excellent recessed lighting and lamps. The bathroom is marble with a walk-in rather large shower and a separate soaking tub. There was only one sink; not so great for a suite. Regardless of the few minor inconveniences, for the price, $689.00 in season, I considered it reasonably priced. However, comparing it to the Bellagio last week for the same price where I had 1,800 square feet on the 32 floor with concierge amenities it seemed a bit expensive.
Much of the wonderful Pecky Cypress wood was preserved from the 1920's in the lobby and bar area. The hotel service is above average but not quite what I would expect for a 5 star property. The alfresco dining among the lush tropical plants is charming and wonderful on those rare low humidity, cool evenings, however generally indoor dining with the AC may be more enjoyable. MrFiveStar rated the Brazilian Court a 4 Star.
Cafe Boulud, is the main focus on dining here at the Brazilian Court Hotel and Palm Beach for that matter. There is no question that Daniel Boulud is one of world's foremost French Chefs. The issue here is that Daniel isn't in house most of the time (allthough March 9 he was). With all due respect to Chef Boulud and his enterprising achievements, the food and preparation could have not been better, however there seemed to be something missing in the the dining experience. The service was good but the overall friendliness of the staff seemed lacking. We had little contact with anyone other than the wait staff. Usually in a fine dining restaurant the matre d comes by at least one time to ask how we are enjoying the evening, or upon leaving someone thanks us for dining with them. None of that happened at Cafe Boulud. Yes I understand we came to dine and not necessarily to be glad handed, but a little of that does help to make the experience even better.
With respect to the cost of dining at a famous Chefs' restaurant we were pleasantly surprised that the menu had something for every appetite and price range. Even the wine list had a large selection of very reasonably priced excellent wines by the bottle or glass. Now, if you wanted to go real high end, that wine selection was also available. MrFiveStar rated Cafe Boulud a 4 star on this visit. It wouldn't take much to get into that 5 star category; just a little more hands with the staff. One puzziling event we encountered at the hotel was that for all dining and room service, we were required to complete 2 chits each time, one for the restaurant as well as one for the hotel each requiring a signature, placing in question the need for this confusing necessity. There must be a story behind this unusual practice.
Here is a post scrip to the above paragraph. March 10, 2012 my birthday, we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast on the patio with our friends. The weather could not have been better, low humidity, a light breeze, 72 degrees. In contrast to the previous evening in the Cafe Boulud dining room the overall feeling of the dining experience was exceptional including the entire waite staff as well as a pleasant conversation with Andrew Burns the Assistant General Manager who could have not been more gracious. Once again “one” somewhat marginal experience should not be an overall indictment of any restaurant or hotel.. As frequent visitors to the Palm Beaches we will visit both the Brazilian Court and Cafe Boulud in the near future and write a follow up article.
Should you be in need of transportation during your visit to the Palm Beaches we suggest Britannic Luxury Transportation. Our driver was Oscar Restrepo Phone 561-301-8659. His is courteous, friendly and reliable.
Classic America is a free internet music channel. Classic America presents at lease 55 minutes of music in every hour. Classic America's format is lite Classical Music, (selections you may recognize), we have been called “classical music for people who don't like classical music”. 60% of the music is lite classical, 40% is divided between Academy Award winning music and great music from Broadway.Click here to listen on your computer.
Everyone know has a list. Here is Cond'e Nast's 2012 “Best Hotel” List. Below describes how this list is compiled. This is not my favorite list, but like “Fox” we are fair and balanced.
METHODOLOGY Entries include the edited comments of readers and are intended to reveal a property's character rather than to catalog its facilities. Each score represents the percentage of respondents who rated a property excellent or very good on specific criteria. For example, the first entry on this year's Gold List, the Hotel Goldener Hirsch, in Salzburg, has an overall score of 86.9, the highest component of which is 94.4 for location. Criteria for hotels, resorts, and cruise lines vary. The Gold List is based on data collected from the annual Readers' Choice Survey; to qualify for inclusion in these rankings, a property had to receive a required minimum number of responses.
of great hotels, resorts and inns was the “Inn Guide” published in Europe in the 70's. This small green and the final issue had a black cover, was the size of a small Bible printed on the same type of paper. The Inn Guide was the best written, well described publication I have ever seen. It did come with
The lounge pictured here is in the Goring Hotel London. The Goring is one of the Best small hotels located in a large city in the world. The MrFiveStar team has visited the Goring many time. Each stay is always a new and wonderful experience.Click here to go directly to the Goring Hotel London.
Caviar isn't for everyone, but it sure is a conversation piece at any dinner table. You might find Caviar coming your way on the h'ordeuvre tray and this site will give you enough confidence to dive right in. This luxury food is fun, fancy and very expensive! We're here to provide you with some basic knowledge for you soon-to-be Caviar lovers!
1) Caviar is fish eggs so it must taste horrible. An obvious myth. The fact is that everyone's tastes are different but with the variety of caviar available and the various ways to prepare it, most everyone can find a type of caviar that they will like. The idea of eating the egg masses from fish is what normally turns people off from caviar, but like most raw delicacies it is much more palatable once you take the plunge and give it a try.
2) Caviar is live fish eggs. In my experience I’ve found that people who immediately say they don’t like caviar are the same people who are misinformed about exactly what caviar is. Caviar is the processed and salted roe from fish or other marine animals. Either the ovaries or the egg masses of fish and marine animals can be considered roe and there are many different varieties and styles. Roe is not alive. Many people in Asia eat roe raw, unsalted and unprocessed. In America the roe is usually prepared and salted as caviar and served as a subtle addition to a meal.
3) Caviar is healthy for you. This is largely fact, but it depends on how the caviar is prepared and what it is served with. Because caviar is served with little preparation and processing, it is still high in vitamins and minerals and is low in calories. The fact that caviar is eaten in small batches, often as a garnish or hors d'œuvre makes it a great addition to any healthy entrée or appetizer.
4) The only good caviar is from Russia. This is definitely a myth. Russia and Iran are known for their fine caviar but California is also the place to find sought after caviar that can be just as good as anything you will find in Europe.
5) Metallic silverware will ruin the taste of caviar. This has both a bit of myth and fact. Many caviar aficionados and traditionalists will not touch caviar if it comes in a metallic can or if it has been served using anything other than mother-of-pearl or golden spoons. The fact is that most caviar comes from the producer in metal tins and then transferred to glass jars so there is no way to avoid the caviar coming into contact with metal completely. Caviar can be expensive, though, and if you are shelling out a decent chunk of change you do want to get the purest taste possible, so it is recommended you do not use sterling silverware.
6) Caviar is the ultimate delicacy. This is a tough one and obviously based on one’s personal bias. The fact is that for a long time sturgeon were not caught for their roe eggs but for their meat. The fish was so plentiful that the meat was not considered a delicacy. Most cite the early 1900s as the time of the first caviar boom in the United States when sturgeon started becoming primarily caught for their eggs.
7) Caviar is an aphrodisiac. There is some truth to this but it’s debatable whether it is due to the actual properties of caviar or the social aspects of the delicacy. Some say that caviar, since it is high in zinc can be considered an aphrodisiac on par with oysters but others say it is the fact that caviar is seen as a symbol of high social status and wealth that makes heat up romantic encounters.
8) You should not store leftover caviar. This is largely true. Like wine, when exposed to air and warm temperatures, caviar looses a lot of its original aroma and flavor. It is best to consume all your caviar in one sitting. If you must store it cover the caviar with plastic wrap to remove any air and then put it in an air sealed container. Never freeze your caviar.
9) Caviar is good for your skin. This is still debatable. Many say that oily fish and caviar with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids are not only good for your heart but good for your skin. This hasn’t been scientifically proven so don’t go out and gorge yourself on caviar and fish. In fact, that could be more dangerous to your health as you could get mercury poisoning.
10) Caviar is expensive. Like any food variety, there are different price ranges for different types and caviar is no exception. Caviar can be expensive, many have even predicted it may even become a sort of extinct delicacy due to its price, but I don’t believe that at all. Caviar will always shave a place in many restaurants and parties as a signifier, no doubt, of what seems like a bygone area, one where men always dressed in suites and women always dressed as Grace Kelly. The aura around caviar will never diminish and it will never become too blasé, and for many caviar foodies, that is just the way they want it.
Russian Olympic Athletes in Trouble for Smuggling Caviar?
In 2006, the Russian Olympic delegation was accused by animal rights activists of importing large quantities of black caviar into Italy. This violated an international ban. Apparently they were celebrating the success at the Winter Games at parties, where they served over 220 pounds of sturgeon caviar. Read the whole story here: More about Caviar click here.
The San Regis Boutique Hotel, Paris, is a MrFiveStar, "Paris Pick" for first class affordable value and location. Daphne Goodyear our Boutique Properties Editor always stays here, so it mut be excellent to meet her standards and ours.
Bonjour, Paris! One of the most fascinating cities in the world. The combination of its interesting history, gorgeous architecture, museums and scrumptious cuisine. Paris has been a favorite vacation spot ever since seeing the Audrey Hepburn/Fred Astaire's movie, Funny Face, way back when. The song from the movie, Bonjour Paris, is an amazing tribute to amazing city and the joy it brings to those who love being there, as I do. So click on this link for a special tour of gay Paris:Bonjour, Paris!-Funny Face Once you arrive in the City of Light, check into one of the best small hotels in the world.
The San Regis hotel sits one block off the Champs Elysees and Avenue Montaigne. This splendid hotel has just 44 rooms. It was originally built in 1897 as a private 3 story mansion, but is now an especially charming hotel. Upon walking through the hotel's front entrance, the decor struck me immediately. The style is elegant and classic. With its lovely furnishings (period, furniture), very comfortable rooms, impeccable service and a great location, the San Regis a very nice place to stay. Beautiful fresh flowers always talk to me and speak volumes about a hotel's attention to detail .
Upon arrival, the friendly and courteous staff makes for the best first and lasting impression. Every morning it was lovely to hear, "Bonjour Madam et Monsieur!" In the lobby the most exquisite circular staircase. Next to it is a typically old fashioned tiny European elevator, also decorated in appropriate Parisian fanciness! For some reason we loved squeezing into this small space! Upon reaching our room, we were very pleasantly surprised. The room, not a suite, was very roomy. The decor... typically Parisian with its elegant damasks and brocades. The room featured a king-sized bed and had all the amenities any guest would require. We were very pleasantly surprised at the size of the gorgeous marble bathroom... definitely luxurious and stocked with lovely thick terry cloth robes, slippers and Hermes "goodies".
Then came the piece de resistance..upon opening the window in our room...voila!... there before our very eyes...the Eiffel Tower . What a gorgeous sight! Talk about being in seventh heaven.
And, before going to bed each night, what a thrill it was to look out our window and see the most beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower at night. Actually, we were mesmerized by its outline in lights. The dining room on the first floor is also beautifully decorated...very charming, indeed. Along with the great food and service, the atmosphere is reminiscent of Paris in the late 19th century. The decor and atmosphere is precisely how I envisioned Parisians dining way back when.
The San Regis is highly recommended. Compared to some of the top hotels in Paris, this boutique hotel is an excellent value, in my opinion. Because it is small and intimate, and has a friendly and efficient staff, convenient location, superior amenities, well appointed rooms, the San Regis is my first choice for hotels in Paris. So pack your bags and be on your way because you, too, can check into the San Regis and say, "Bonjour, Paris!"
This article was written by Daphne Goodyear. Daphne and her husband Richard are well seasoned International Travelers, traveling the globe for decades.Daphne is the VP of MrFiveStar "Boutique Properties Editor". Daphne and Richard call home Sarasota Florida and Jackson Hole Wyoming. Daphne can be reached at