Towering over Singapore’s skyscrapers, the Marina Bay Sands opened in 2011 forever changing the city’s skyline. Billed as the world’s most expensive standalone casino project, the hotel features 2,500 rooms, a 1.3 million square foot convention center, a casino, a mall, two theaters and an ice skating rink. But its most stunning feature is undoubtedly the world’s longest elevated swimming pool perched a staggering 57 stories high above the city streets. Limited exclusively to guests of the hotel, the infinity pool is one of the best places on the planet to go for a swim high above a city skyline. But for those not staying at the hotel, the nearby observation deck is open to all (for a fee) and offers the best view of Singapore you’ll find anywhere.Read More
My week of balancing a business trip to New York City with quick bursts of tourism continues! Since my meetings are in Midtown Manhattan this week, my daily commute to and from the hotel includes a stroll through the theater and commercial heart of the city, Times Square. Called the world’s most-visited tourist attraction by Travel & Leisure Magazine in a 2011 survey, Times Square is known as the “Crossroads of the World.” From Broadway shows and souvenir shops to gigantic illuminated signs and naked cowboys, Times Square is true sensory overload and one of New York City’s most iconic spots.Read More
This week finds me in beautiful New York City. I’m here for a few days of book-related meetings but yesterday, I decided to play tourist. On my way back to the hotel, I happened to walk by Rockefeller Center and thought, “I’ve always wanted to see the view from the top.” So , on a whim, I went inside, bought a ticket and took the elevator up 67 floors to see New York City’s best view, from the Top of the Rock. It was a chilly spring day and not exactly warm up there but the panoramic views of the arguably the world’s best city were more than worth it. It was a good reminder for me that sometimes, in the course of business travel, it’s important to stop and “smell the roses,” especially when your business travel brings you to somewhere spectacular like the Big Apple.Read More
Just 30 minutes from the eastern shores of Phuket, tiny Khai Nok island makes a great day trip from the congestion of Thailand’s largest and most popular island. Of course, when I visited, it was Chinese New Year weekend so there was no place to escape the crowds (anywhere) but I would imagine on a more typical week, beautiful Khai Nok would be just the spot for a little serenity. With a few colorful beach bars built into the cliffs overhanging the sea and a rainbow of umbrellas dotting the beach what it lacks in size it makes up for in amenities. The island’s exotic tropical fish have no fear of humans and mingle casually with beachgoers. More than a dozen varieties can be found close to the shore making Khai Nok a treat for photographers.Read More
I didn’t run it. I wasn’t there. For once, I was actually home. But as a 13-time marathoner, a TV crew member and most importantly, as an American, this one hurts. I had a dear friend and co-worker working on the race TV crew in Boston yesterday and two friends running the race; thankfully, all are fine. I have followed the two runners with awe on Facebook for the past few months as they trained. As a 5-hour-ish marathoner myself, Boston is out of my league, but I’m truly inspired by those for whom it’s not. Trust me, it’s one thing to run a marathon. It’s entirely another to run one in 3 1/2 hours.
The Boston Marathon is the only race in the US that still has a qualifying time. Unless you’re running for charity, at least one qualifying race is required. This is a marquee race for serious runners. It’s the kind of race people aspire to all their lives and many spend years trying to qualify. You don’t just wake up one day and decide to run the Boston Marathon. The finish line was crowded with families proudly waiting to watch someone they love achieve a milestone. My heart breaks for those who lost loved ones yesterday, those who were injured and those who were unable to fulfill the dream of crossing that finish line due to this senseless act.Read More
Located on a dramatic wide bay on the southern coast of Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia, Argentina is known as the world’s southernmost city lending it the catchy nickname, “the end of the world.” Capital of the Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is fringed by the Martial Mountain Range to the north and the Beagle Channel to the south. Nearby attractions include the Tierra del Fuego National Park which can be reached by highway or by the popular End of the World Train. Ushuaia is also ground zero for Antarctic departures and from November to March expedition ships depart for the frozen continent almost daily. I enjoyed exploring Ushuaia before my recent Antarctic cruise and took advantage of the local outfitter shops for buying last-minute gear. And if you’re looking for a deal on your Antarctic sailing, spend a few days in Ushuaia and you just might find a last minute discount saving you as much as half off one of these pricey expeditions.Read More
Many of us dream of leaving big city life behind and escaping to our very own private island paradise. In 2004, a small group of expatriates residing in Singapore did just that. Disenchanted with the resort options within close proximity to Singapore, they sought an alternative. After stumbling across Nikoi Island while visiting nearby Bintan, they purchased the island with the intent to create a culturally-sensitive resort specializing in space, privacy and simple luxuries. The result is a boutique resort that feels far more like a private island home than a resort. There are no rules, no signs and no room keys. In fact, there are hardly any doors. With just 15 open-air beach houses dotting a spacious 12-acre private island, Nikoi boasts simplicity in its most decadent form. And though it’s just a 50-mile commute, it feels light years away from the roar of Singapore.Read More