Luxury and Sun in Cabo San Lucas


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By Tracy Stern

It’s hard to conceive just how much luxury awaits at Cabo San Lucas. Beyond the stretches of white sand and  crystal clear water lie beachfront luxury destinations where luxury-lovers vacation, dine and play.
las ventanas

Here, beauty is often in the name. As translated, Las Ventanas al Paraíso  is a window to paradise.
Stay here and you will be at  one of the most acclaimed resorts ever. Las Ventanas is known to pamper guests with special touches that are the hallmark of luxurious hospitality. From the Mercedes SUV service that picks you up the airport, to the greeting of all the staff down the lamp-lit driveway, this location is pure luxury. Known for incredibly large suites, this location is a favorite among refined travelers. While on a recent stay, I enjoyed the services of a personal butler en suite with private rooftop and personal Jacuzzi with my own cabana . Amenities included Mexican chocolate , spiced pumpkin seeds, fine tequila and an exotic fruit bowl daily. Evian bottles. Bulgari perfumed soap and bath salts topped off the amazing personal service!
las ventanas beach

The Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort and Spa tags itself as providing “luxury without limitations.” Here, breathtaking ocean views and upscale services are what visitors have come to expect. European-style spa methods keep demanding guests happy and satisfied.

Alexander Restaurant is located on the water’s edge at the marina. With the restaurant’s amazing mixture of Swiss, French and Tropical styles, there is something for every diner. The menu is huge and expands beyond seafood to the featured beef and seasonal vegetables.
las ventanas breakfast food
Those that wish to dine and cruise will love the Caborey Dinner Cruise. Live music and cocktails await those that love the water and dinner is served aboard a triple-deck catamaran! The choice of six entrees is yours, including steak and lobster.

jean gorge palmilla

Traveling with a golfer? Then the Cabo del Sol Ocean Course is not to be missed. Put on the map by Jack Nicklaus, the course is considered to be his masterwork and is said to be on of the best courses in the world. The course plays long and is an amazing challenge.
cabo golf course
Golfers looking to take in a real sports vacation will also be seen visiting Cabo Real.  It has an amazing Robert Trent Jones II golf course that has been in existence for fifteen years. The course boasts “the wonderful scenery of well kept greens and fairways interact with both the desert and the ocean to form a spectacular playing experience.” Considered a must-play luxury golf destination, visitors will find themselves amazed by the entire development.
las ventanas beach shore
Amigos del Mar has been operating in Cabo for over 30 years and offers dive and snorkel tours. Differing from the typical is the amazing offerings which include; Anegada, The Point (off Land’s End), La Larga, The Blowhole, Twin Dolphins Reef, Chileno Reef, Barco Varado, as well as more remote sites like Gordo Banks, and Cabo Pulmo. Visibility is said to be good year round!

Galeria Corsica is a must stop for any art lover, especially those enthused by figurative and abstract sculptures and paintings. Shown here are internationally renowned masters as well as younger, yet equally as impressive, newer artists.

In all, Cabo is known for it’s vitality, spirit, beauty and nightlife. However, lurking beyond the apparent is a rich and cultural experience open to those who desire it.

las ventanas entrance

tracy stern atv mexico hills

las ventanas pool


Palm Beach; Retreat from the Cold in Luxury


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There is little wonder why those that can retreat to the inviting shores of Palm Beach when the sky that governs their own town turns dark and cold. Established as a resort by Henry Morrison Flagler, Palm Beach has always existed to stand for luxury. The easternmost town in Florida, it has become known for it’s tropical climate, rarely below 64 degrees and perfect for the Luxury Jet-Set crowd. 
My favorite spots in  the playground of the rich and famous; 
 The Breakers palm beach
The Breakers
An architectural wonder and staple in Palm Beach, The Breakers is steeped in history. Located at South Country Road, this luxury resort offers you everything under the sun. Here, old money mixes with new. The Coral Cafe is wonderful for dining with every seat offering an amazing view. 
  Mar-A-Lago_Trump_Residenc_468a65f1d6e99 Mar-a-Lago
Donald Trump’s exclusive spa for the super-rich and is located upon 20 of the most gloriously landscaped acres you’ve ever seen. This private club is truly the beautiful crown jewel of Palm Beach. Perfect for weddings, galas, and glorious celebrations, Mar-a-lago features an amazing swimming pool and a red clay court that is admired by enthusiasts.  
 The Armory Palm Beach
The Armory Art Center
The mission of the Armory has always been to generate knowledge and awareness of art as part of life. As host to some of the art-world’s most amazing events (like Tracy Stern’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party), this center has established it’s place as the center of cultural life in Palm Beach. The gallery is perfect for luxury shopping and a must-stop for jet-setters. 

Henry Morrison Flagler Museum
This incredible 73-room mansion contains original furnishings and an impressive art collection. The impressive grounds and historic ambiance will transform you to the gilded age. In such an idyllic setting, one can see the value of a well-administered foundation. 
Worth Ave Palm Beach 
Worth Avenue
An international shopping destination, this legendary location (referred to as “The Avenue”), is home to international boutiques as well as unique specialty stores found no where else in the country. Sentimental for me, it’s where I often lunch with my Mother at our favorite TABOO restaurant. The signature drink here is the Bloody Mary and guests often enjoy lobster tail for lunch. 

Escaping NYC; Day Trip to the City of Brotherly Love


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-by Tracy Stern
The great director Nan Berstein has been quoted as saying “Philly just looks different. There’s a history there that’s still apparent.” Certainly someone so well versed in capturing the look and feel of a town, it’s people and its intricacies should know. However, this is also easily apparent even to those who might consider themselves not so intuitive. Philadelphia is rich with an ambiance and history that is palpable. This, dear friends, makes it the perfect travel destination.


– Philly is a perfect blend of rich history and modern symbolism.


The history, you see, lends itself to luxury dining and accommodations. There is no shortage in Philly. Even the unseasoned traveler knows this about The City of Brotherly Love. What might, however, be more of a surprise is how well the rich, rich history has blended with the new and progressive, resulting in a surprise at every turn.

Places like PURE FARE, an innovative eatery, are offering visitors and city-dwellers clean-foods and encourage tracking and online diet education. From Lentil Loaf to Cauliflower Rice, this wonderful spot is a break from tradition, but still fits wonderfully into Philly’s innovative personality. A personality that has, in some part, been forged on the water.  It is said, in fact, that you haven’t truly experienced the city until you visit the Fairmount Water Works.  Here you will find my favorite spot for brunch; WATER WORKS. Famous for its Octopus and Crab Cakes, this location is steeped in history with a menu that makes you feel quite alive in the here and now.


-Philadelphia’s landmark dining experience.
I am a hostess and entertainer, so I’m always very aware of cuisine when traveling. Yet, the spas, clubs and markets of Philadelphia equally impress me. Here is my jet-set list of things to see, smell, experience and love in Philly;




  • PARC – Fashionable French bistro atmosphere/Rittenhouse Square
  • Le Bec-Fin – Legendary find French Dining/Rittenhouse Sqaure
  • TINTO – Authentic Spanish tapas/Rittenhouse Square
  •  COOK – Experience open stove night/Rittenhouse
  • PHILLY CUPCAKE – For the kid in you/Chestnut Street
  • RITTENHOUSE TAVERN – For private dining/South 18th Street


-Find the cuisine of your dreams in the City of Brotherly Love.


– Dine in absolute French luxury in Philly.



  • LUXE – The Ultimate Salon and Spa Experience/1st Street
  • RITTENHOUSE FARMER’S MARKET – Certified Organic/Rittenhouse Square
  • PRIVATE CLUBS – Union League (Voted the Best City Club in the Country), The Germantown Cricket Club.


  • OLD CIY DISTRICT – Over 100 Boutiques/2nd Street, Market, 3rd
  • HISTORIC ANTIQUE ROW – Incredible Shopping/Pine Street


-“Antiquers” find their own heaven shopping Antique Row.


– Cherry blossoms add to the beauty of Philly.

Though merely a sampling, it’s easy to see that there is no shortage of impressive destinations in Philadelphia. When paired with the incredible people of the city, each location comes alive with it’s own personality and vigor. This city is perfect for those who want even short trips to be full and rich.  Incredible and bustling, Philadelphia is so much more than the Liberty Bell.

London Calling


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When describing the city of London, the word majestic immediately springs to mind.  Of course, there are royal connotations, considering the Monarchy’s prominence throughout the nation.  There is something else though, perhaps akin to the magic of Paris or the electricity of Manhattan.  This intangible quality is formed by the high culture, staggering historical facets and abounding beauty.  Not to mention the stellar afternoon tea offerings, near and dear to Tracy’s heart.

Belgraves Hotel

London is calling . . . After your swift journey across the pond, you are thrust into this virtually perfect metropolis.  Enjoy a vintage port or piping hot tea at The Lanesborough Hotel in Hyde Park, where a suite fetches somewhere in the vicinity of twenty-five grand a night.   Imbibe in the handsome library bar, amongst the priceless leather-bound books and sumptuous comfort.  Take a leisurely stroll around the ritzy neighborhood, home to celebrities, a Russian oligarch and political royalty.  If you find yourself intrigued by the prospect of establishing roots in one of the charming Queen Anne white maisonettes, don’t think too permanently.  A few million pounds will likely get you a long-term lease, your interest reverting to one of the nation’s wealthiest families after you get your fill.

Queen Anne white maisonettes in London, UK

Perhaps something shorter term makes more sense.  In that case look no further than one of the city’s chicest boutique hotels – the London Belgraves.  It’s a Thompson hotel, which guarantees a slightly irreverent, ultra-luxury and well-appointed experience.  With celebrity chef Mark Hix’s trendy eatery on the ground level, your palette will be much obliged.  London’s quintessential retailers, Harrods and Liberty are just a quid’s throw away, which is precisely what you will aspire to do the second you enter these masterpieces of decadent lifestyle.  Other fashion icons beckon you, provocatively awaiting your arrival on Carnaby Street.  And this isn’t your parents’ 1970’s rendition either.

Tracy Stern and Harper Dimmerman at Brussels Ball

Trendy It-Designers Vivian Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney reign supreme in Mayfair.  For post-spending fine dining, look no further than Novikov Restaurant, adjacent to the Mayfair and Ritz Hotels.  If you’re curious to see where Kate Moss and other local A-listers partake in some of the city’s most exquisite food, go to Sketch.  The avant-garde artistic sensibility of the owners informs the décor in this paradise for those amongst us with a zest for ingenuity and vision.  For the perfect day trip, the storybook perfect village of Bath, home to the must-see Jane Austen Museum and hundreds of other stunning boutiques, awaits you.  The annual Brussels Ball hosted at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire by aristocrat Amaury Blow, is a once in a lifetime experience.  Immerse yourself in the recreation of this historic 1815 Ball.

Sarah Staton, The Artist

Mary Barone & Tracy Stern at Brussels Ball

Brussels Ball hosted at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire by aristocrat Amaury Blow.

Bath, England

Tea and Drinks at the Lanesborough Hotel

Afternoon Tea at the Ritz

We stayed at Tortworth Court in South Gloucestershire

Louis XV by Juliet Cullinan, Publisher of Monte Carlo The Art of Taste


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We are thrilled to feature the following article by our dear friend and publisher of the critically-acclaimed magazine, Monte Carlo The Art of Taste.

Twenty Five Years On, the Louis XV reigns supreme

In May 1987 Alain Ducasse unveiled what is considered the finest restaurant around the globe – The Louis XV at the Hôtel de Paris in Monaco. Set in the Casino Square, next to the Opéra Salle Garnier, opposite the Café de Paris, this Belle Époque landmark with its’ wooden revolving doors continues to swirl celebrities from the famous Square into this gracious and legendary hotel.

Entering this gracious Monaco landmark is like entering a beautiful Cathedral. The grandeur, elegance and beauty of the architecture with its’ harmonious proportions is awe inspiring. The fragrance of the room emanating partly from a pyramid of fresh flowers, and soft buzz of multilingual conversations, lull one into a calm excitement of expectation. This setting is rare, unique, and special and you feel honoured to be there.

The Louis XV, which this year celebrates its Silver Jubilee, is the ultimate destination for fine dining and the talent of Ducasse. He is a chef who served his apprenticeship with greats, Michel Guérard, Roger Vergé and Alain Chapel who taught and inspired him to be what he is today.

Today Ducasse is perhaps the most celebrated chef of traditional French cuisine.  Ducasse is applauded internationally for being one of the most prolific chefs of our time.  His 20 international restaurants, 20 books and cooking schools for public and chefs have carried his gastronomic wisdom to far distant lands.

Ducasse  spurred to early success by Prince Rainier

When the Louis XV first opened Prince Rainier III of Monaco and the Monte Carlo SBM challenged him to win a 3 Michelin star restaurant within four years.  Ducasse, only 33 years at the time, completed this daunting task a mere 33 months later.

Ducasse speaks of his love of the region. “At 23 years old, I discovered what I call the Mediterranean distinction.  This was for me, like a second birth.  Unique produce, bursting with sunshine, brought forth from arid land, a sea teaming with rock fish gorged with more flavour than any other, and that olive oil that I impose on tables of the Louis XV, with the same deference that I give to wine.  There are no complicated creations:  I do not sublimate the produce, they are centre stage.”

Ducasse is also on record saying: “My encounter with Monaco was a magical and important moment in my life.  It is here between France and Italy that I have concentrated my Riviera.  Today I know that this region, that serenades the sun, has inspired all my cooking.  Its strength and honesty are drawn from the earth”.

Ducasse learned at a young age that the flavour of the dish was derived from the quality of the produce.   His success is serving these simple yet sensational dishes in the tranquillity of this elegant, luxurious décor.

Local producers praised

Ducasse is fulsome in his praise of local food producers, “Thanks to authentic greengrocers, farmers, breeders, butchers, fishermen and mushroom gatherers, we have the privilege to present the best produce which we treat with all the respect it deserves. For this reason, each dish has its own story and each provider its reason to continue his quest for beauty”.

The setting of the Louis VX adds to the dining experience. The Versailles inspired spacious, double volume dining room sets the scene.  Large gold Baroque mirrors and frescos of enormous proportion flank each of the panelled walls.  While Baroque in styleis quietly elegant.  The pink, green and soft mauve flower arrangement fills the centre of the room providing privacy for the diners. It is completely “other world” in atmosphere.

Trolley heaven

Central to the impeccable service is the use of  trolleys on which large displays can be wheeled around to showcase mouth-watering offerings from every angle.

One little chariot carries an enormous Easter egg of fresh unsalted butter.  The waiter uses one spoon to stop the egg from slipping while using the other to carefully sculpt a curl laying it down to rest on its own platter alongside that of the salted type.  The second  trolley displays breads of varying sizes, colours and shapes.  Of note are thin slivers of bread pastry with thinly embedded courgette flowers and leaves.

A third trolley arrives silently with its aromatic display of round to conical chèvre cheeses of varying ripeness, while the last trolley is piled high with silver pots of flavoured ice cream with tiny  beads of condensation adorning their sides.  This is additionally decorated with a row of nougat and long ribbons of violet marshmallow, which gives the whole display a festive, carnival feel.

Each step of the service is carefully monitored by Dominique Lory, the head of the Louis XV kitchens, Nicolas Cailleaud, head pastry chef, Noël Bajor head sommelier and Michel Lang restaurant manager.  Talented and discreet Franck Cerutti, one of Alain Ducasse’s closest and most faithful chefs adds to the success of the Louis XV  by conveying his philosophy and dedication to the Niçois and Italian terroir.

Intensity of flavours

The dishes glide in on white-gloved hands, flavours rising to whet appetites.  Each captures just the essence, the crispness of the vegetables the delicate flavours from hard work in the kitchen.  The Gamberoni de San Remo is so delicate, yet intense.  The rockfish jelly as intense and pure as a consommé would no doubt have taken hours to refine and strain to this complexity before allowing it to solidify.  The thick bubbles of the caviar are a perfect compliment.

The Loup de Méditerranée with olives, asparagus and herbs is delicate and filled with flavour.  The rose grapefruit and Campari is a must – elegant, delicate with beautiful ruby grapefruit flavours.  The soufflé haut aux noisettes du Piémont is a beautiful concoction with subtle flavours and a delicate spongy texture.

On the occasion I dined at the Louis XV, I selected the wine tasting menu to taste the definitive guide to the wine and food pairing.  We toast the evening with Dom Perignon 2002, its elegant yet complex honeyed flavours adding to our enjoyment.  The M.L. Carillon Puligny-Montrachet 2009 and the young bottle of the Leoville-Las Cases 2002 marry well, whilst the Provencal wines are better with the food rather than on their own.  The Forteto Pian Dei Sogni 2007 red dessert wine seems to overpower the soufflé with its sweet, powerful syrup flavour.

When I left the restaurant, I was given tiny nut madeleines in a cream triangular box suspended from a bright orange ribbon with XV embroidered upon it.   What an elegant memento of my experience.

The Louis XV 25th anniversary is also being celebrated in other Alain Ducasse’s restaurants in the world : New York ,St Petersburg,  Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Paris and London with a Rivera-inspired dish and the Louis XV signature dessert, the Baba au rhum comme à Monte Carlo.   The lunch menu is priced at €140 while the grand Anniversary menu will set diners back €280. It is well worth it.

Juliet Cullinan

Le Louis XV

Hôtel de Paris

Monte Carlo

+377 980 68 864

Monticello Motor Club


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Nestled between the feisty pines and verdant meadows rests the product of a speed demon’s imagination.  Imagine a private country club where the members have race cars instead of irons and woods, auto techs instead of caddies and the object is to make the fastest time, not the slowest.  This place, a breeding ground for millionaires, is not just a figment of our overactive imaginations.  It actually exists just ninety minutes north of Manhattan in the charming village of Monticello.  For the members who got in when the place first opened its doors, just a year or two ago, Monticello Motor Club is still a best-kept secret amongst racing enthusiasts.  And to those who are understandably selfish about the whole affair, we must apologize in advance.  It was only a matter of time before the word got out on this mecca of adrenalin.

The stunning course at Monticello Motor Club

Tracy and I pulled up to the imperial entrance, complete with Pentagon caliber security and received the official nod.  As we waited, we could hear the whine of the racecars ricocheting off the track, still obscured from view by the pristinely manicured green.  The anticipation continued to build, even as we maneuvered into one of the surprisingly compact spots, where Ferrari’s and other exotics were left casually, like commuter cars at a train station.  It was a pretty exquisite day, albeit a bit humid, and the luxurious service bays were going au natural, open-air.  What immediately became obvious was that the racecars being primped inside were getting the royal treatment.  A vintage here and there caught our eye, the occasional racer standing casually and awaiting the go-ahead.  Then a chipper young fellow garbed in full gear pulled up in a little zippy mini-Formula number, calling out for a hand to push his baby into a free space.

MMC’s clubhouse

We were greeted by a bubbly summer intern and escorted into the heart of the latest addition, an airy clubhouse of sorts.  The members are right in their element there, with gourmet racing food (the kind that sits well when you’re breaking world records), an inviting bar, racing memorabilia capturing the art of racing like Monaco’s Grand Prix (which we attended just weeks ago), work stations and of course, a model of the future expansion efforts.  This is a place in motion in every sense of the expression.  Apparently apartments for the diehard racers are in the offing, which makes perfect sense.  What speed junkie wouldn’t want to be able to roll out of bed and into their McLaren?  We even had a chance to explore the contours of the 4.1 miles of race-grade asphalt with an exceedingly nice chap named Jonathan Wein.  This is a man with some serious driving skills, someone who appreciated the course’s execution so much as an early member, that he actually quit his day job to join the executive team.  He clearly was savoring every millimeter of the track as he gave the racecar input.  The course boasts: grand corners reminiscent of great European tracks; over 1.5 miles of straights; 450 feet of thrilling elevation changes; and a total of 22 turns including hairpins, increasing, and decreasing radius.

Another Ferrari unwinding…

Brian Redman, a champion driver and one of the course designers, opined, “that the Monticello Motor Club, is among the best in the world, with turns and challenges that will excite drivers of all levels.”  According to the founders, the course represents the soul of the club, which only underscores the sort of place this is – a destination for racing purists who can appreciate the value of a luxury, turnkey experience.  Although there may be something alluring about having mechanics on one’s payroll, the whole happy little family slash portable team vibe, traveling the world to indulge in the idiosyncrasies of the various courses, this club assuredly offers a far lower maintenance experience.  Everyone with a passion for racing and the sexiness of the experience, guys and gals alike, would be wise to find a way here.  We promise.  You will not be disappointed.

Cadillac Supercars on the Course

Revisit The Gilded Age . . . A Day In Hyde Park, New York


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For those of you haunted by a fear of melting, perfectly understandable as the sweltering summer temperatures envelop the island of Manhattan, callously taunting the jocularity of our summer revelries, take comfort in the natural healing powers of the perfect alternative to The Hamptons – the good ol’ fashioned road trip.  Miles of open road await you and that special person, beckoning you with picturesque vistas and floral notes teeming with life.  A couple of ideal destinations include the Hudson River Valley and Monticello, New York, home to North America’s premiere automotive resort.

Tracy Stern at the Vanderbilt Estate

Parlor at the Vanderbilt Mansion

Decadent Design at the Vanderbilt Mansion

So rev your engine, drop that top on your Bentley (or Zipcar) and begin your lazy journey to a place one of America’s wealthiest families used to vacation, Hyde Park.  But going on an empty stomach is senseless when you have an institution like Stew Leonard’s right outside the city limits; homemade rice cakes seasoned with apple and cinnamon, chilled lobster and mussel/sun-dried tomato salads will assuredly inspire your palette.

Farm to Table Gourmet Dining In Rhinebeck, NY

Already eating like a king and queen, it is only fitting that your next stop should be the retreat for one of this nation’s wealthiest clans.  It’s no surprise that the Vanderbilt family, an American dynasty with a zest for luxury, was enthralled by the majesty of the Hudson River Valley, a beauty so majestic that it transfixed and informed the sensibility of artists such as Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church.  Frederick Vanderbilt’s immaculately preserved mansion, in all its classical splendor, still stands proudly as a symbol of American prosperity and as homage to ingenuity and industrialism.

Just a few effortless minutes north on Route 9 lies a quaint village called Rhinebeck.  Right now, Rhinebeck is in the throes of a local organic food renaissance, the beneficiaries of whom are the diners, who have their choice of literally dozens of cutting-edge restaurants.  We were treated like royalty at Liberty Public House, where we enjoyed melon gazpacho, kale salad with dried cherries, pistachios and white balsamic and shellfish.  Another visually stunning dining establishment along Montgomery Street and one that has received numerous accolades is Terrapin.

For those of you eager to document your journey in style, Paper Trail’s presentation of stationaries and travel accessories couldn’t be any more well executed.  A high-end kitchen supply shop, Bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy is chockfull of necessary and desirable objects.  And for a book about the local history or one covering a less conventional subject, Oblong Books & Music’s eclectic stock will have you mesmerized for hours.  And the affable staff welcome hassle-free perusing, a serious plus for the bibliophiles amongst us.  In short, the Hudson River Valley represents an exquisite destination and an ideal day trip.  Bonne route!

From Monaco, With Love


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After close to quarter of a century, Tracy Stern, my Muse and soul mate, and I reconnected. Amazingly, it was as if time had stood still for us. Although admittedly I take every opportunity to shout this miracle out to the world, it’s truly apropos here. The idea for this travel guide series (Tracy’s naturally – she’s a one-person think tank) was born during our second trip out of the country together, easily two of the greatest vacations of my adult life. The first was Vancouver, where Tracy opened a new SALONTEA store.    The second was Monte Carlo, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever laid eyes on.
After forty years of travel, including such faraway destinations as the West Indies, Asia and Europe, and flights that would’ve made a despot find sympathy in his blackened heart, I never thought I’d see the day when a seven-hour flight would actually seem enticing. Yet with Tracy, everything in life, even the most mundane tasks, have acquired profound meaning. Coach never felt so intimate and dare I say, romantic. Collaborating on this guide will be effortless.
But enough about us for the moment (Ebullience is a rare feeling and one to be embraced in case you haven’t noticed). Let’s focus on the subject of this debut guide. Monaco is a magical enclave in the South of France, a place everyone should see at one point or another during the course of his or her lifetime. Topographically and culturally, it’s captivating, even awe- inspiring. Tracy has referred to it at as Continue reading