Friday, September 30, 2011


If you find yourself on the island of Bermuda with a hankering for a fish sandwich, then the place I've heard you should head to is Art Mels Spicy Dicy.  This is a place that you probably would not find on your own or know about, but it's the place all of the locals recommend!  Art-Mels is known for its special fish sandwich: a deep fried fish filet served on large cuts of raisin bread smothered with mayo and tar tar sauce and served with spicy french fries.  

Art Mels Spicy Dicy
9 St. Monica's Road
Pembroke HM 14
(441) 295-3965

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Summer is over, now what?  Fall officially begins this Friday and that means it's the perfect time of year to watch the leaves change color and to visit the wineries of the North Fork for Harvest Season.  The North Fork of Long Island, New York sparkles each fall when many of the local wineries open their sparkling wines.  Consider it like jet setting to France for champagne tasting (except that nothing can be called champagne unless it comes from the Champagne region in France), but this trip will be cheaper and shorter!  I have visited the North Fork many times during the summer months, but have never been out during the off-season, and I've heard that it's a wonderful time to visit too.  I tried looking to see if I could find information about when the season is and which wineries to visit for sparkling wines and it wasn't too easy to find.  I did some research and here is what I came up with:

When to Visit: September-November

Where to Go To Sip:
Sparkling Pointe- This winery focuses exclusively on producing sparkling wines because they grow all three of the traditional champagne grape varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier).  Make sure to try their Brut Seduction which won top awards at the San Francisco Wine Competition.  Sparkling Pointe also does Sparkling Wines & Oyster events that start as early as this month!  (Champagne and Oysters-  I think I'm in heaven!!!)

Lenz Winery- Make sure to try their Cuvee (a sparkling wine made 100% from Pinot Noir), also try their Blanc de Blanc (made 100% from Pinot Blanc grapes), and Blanc de Noirs (made 100% from Pinot Noir grapes).  Their Pinot Blanc won awards by Wine Spectator Magazine and at the L.A. International Wine Competition for being a pretty, delicate and good bubbly.

Palmer Vineyards- This winery produces Sparkling Brut (made 100% from Chardonnay grapes).

Several other wineries on the North Fork also produce Sparkling Wines too, but these three have recently won top awards and press for their varieties.  Three others that are great to visit include Croteaux Vineyards (with an all-pink wine list), Sherwood House and Shinn Estate Vineyards.  Now I'm going to try to find a place to stay and then book my trip.  I can't wait to head out there this fall!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


One of the questions I get most from clients is where should I jet set to and when should I go? Since we're in the month of September we'll focus on some U.S. destinations that I think are perfect for this time of year...(think of the letter "S" for September). My three picks are San Diego, San Francisco and San Juan. September may be the perfect time to visit any of these 3 cities because the summer crowds have left, the prices have gone down, and the weather often times is the warmest of the year (including- most importantly the ocean temps). In San Diego, lines to get into places like the San Diego Zoo are much, much shorter!
San Francisco has what's called an Indian Summer (meaning their summer is cool and foggy and their fall is warm and sunny).
And I know you must be thinking about Hurricane Season when I suggest jet setting to San Juan, Puerto Rico in September!  Yes, it's a risk, but this month is one of the best times to visit this Caribbean island if no hurricane is on the way.  So just purchase travel insurance beforehand and chances are you'll wind up having an awesome vacation at a "SMART" price!
So, think "S" for names of perfect U.S. destinations in the month of September, and think "S" for Smart and for Savings!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Not usually on jet setters' radar is Scottsdale, Arizona. In fact, I haven't been there since I was a child. But, the Phoenix-Scottsdale area is sure to amaze you these days. It's gone from a little cowboy town to an exciting metropolis. There's lots to see and do from hiking to playing golf, relaxing in the spas and trying some great restaurants too. This is the new Arizona jet setters!!!  And if you are going to Scottsdale, then this is the place where I would say to stay...
 Hotel Valley Ho has been around since the 1950's, but has been recently renovated and expanded, and I am definitely impressed and wanting to check it out!  Located in downtown Scottsdale, this hotel is walking distance to Old Town Scottsdale, there's also a spa, two great restaurants and from what I've heard excellent service, decor and amenities.  And in peak season (November-February), you can get a room starting at $200 per night!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


How I love September...cooler temperatures, slashed travel prices to great destinations, and New York's San Gennaro Festival!  The Feast of San Gennaro is an annual feast that brings more than a million people to the streets of Little Italy.  The celebration really began as a way to honor the Patron Saint from Naples, but many people just know it as a fun street party, which lasts for days, in a cool neighborhood in New York City.    There's music, other free entertainment, parades, and awesome street food including sausage and pepper heroes, fried zeppoles and cannolis to name just a few of the goodies!  This year the 85th annual feast lasts for 11 days from September 15-25, 2011.  So if you are looking for something fun to do in New York for the next week and a half, jet set over to Little Italy (it's cheaper than a transatlantic flight to the country of Italy)...and it's a lot of fun!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


There's no word other than "AMAZING" to describe the M/V Aria- the newest ship of Aqua Expeditions. Aria is a luxury vessel that cruises the Peruvian Amazon. The ultimate river boat  has a very modern and streamlined design and much of the exotic wood you'll find on-board comes from a sustainable forest.
Amenities include a top-deck plunge pool, outdoor jacuzzi, sun deck, fitness center, a restaurant with a menu put together by an award-winning executive chef, and this air-conditioned observation lounge...
There are 16 suites with floor-to-ceiling glass windows so you can see all of the safari-tour from the comforts of your room. 
The sister ship is called the M/V Aqua which also cruises remote parts of the Amazon River.You can choose from three-, four-, and seven night itineraries that start from $2,550 per person. It's not cheap, but if you want to splurge (perhaps for your honeymoon or anniversary), this is the way to jet set around the Peruvian Amazon!

Monday, September 12, 2011


Labor Day weekend has come and gone, and now the weather forecast is already calling for cooler temperatures in New York City by the end of this week...where has summer gone? I do love fall (especially the fashion), but I'm just not ready yet to give up on summer. A lot of my clients have asked me about jet setting to the Caribbean in September and October, and I always caution them about Hurricane Season. But, one island that is almost never affected by hurricanes is Bermuda...and that's why I always recommend it as a great island destination for September and even October! (It's located 1,000 miles north of the Caribbean and 700 miles of the coast of the Carolinas- so usually not in the path of most hurricanes).

Bermuda is a British overseas territory, and is an island that I would say has more of a formal and sophisticated feel it to. It has more churches and golf courses per square mile than anywhere else in the world...and Bermuda is only 21 square miles long!

The last time I was there was in September 2008 (my hubby and I went for just one night!) Crazy, but definitely romantic! ;) This was our itinerary:

Fairmont Southampton- This hotel sits atop Bermuda's highest point. It's a large and luxurious resort that overlooks the ocean and the bay. It has its own beach, an amazing golf course and incredible restaurants! We had a beautiful room that was spacious, clean, and had gorgeous views.
The Pickled Onion: Noisy, but fun. I would say this place is half tourist trap, half fun bar- but they do serve good food, especially for brunch or lunch. We went for lunch before heading to the airport and grabbed a burger and a fish sandwich- both were yummy. This restaurant overlooks Front Street which is the main boulevard, so there's lots to see!

The Seahorse Grill at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel...having an amazing lobster dinner!

Trying one of Bermuda's National Drinks- a "Rum Swizzle" at the bar at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. A Rum Swizzle is made with rum, fruit juice (often including lime, orange, pineapple juice and grenadine).

Trying the other of Bermuda's National Drinks- a "Dark and Stormy" at the Fairmont Southampton Hotel. A Dark and Stormy is made of dark rum and ginger beer and is served over ice with a slice of lime.
It's an order that when you jet set to Bermuda, you must have at least one day of sun bathing, swimming, or doing fun water activities like snorkeling, para sailing, jet skiing, or going on a boat. You must check out the pink sand beaches in Bermuda (especially on the south shore of the island). The beaches are beautiful, the sand is so soft, and the water...unlike anything you've ever seen! We spent our time at the beach of the Fairmont Southampton which was spectacular! I've also heard that Horseshoe Bay is pretty too!

And always make a little time for shopping on Front Street!

I definitely look forward to jet setting to Bermuda again soon!

Friday, September 9, 2011


A good friend of mine who has lived in different parts of Northern California for years says there's one place and one place only where you should stay when visiting Napa Valley: Hotel Yountville. The recently renovated property gets it right in so many ways, with a great mix of aesthetics and comfort!

One of the most pleasing aspects of this hotel property is its rooms. (Try not to drool as you look!) The rooms are spacious, impeccably clean and are furnished in a modern/elegant style. While they are not inexpensive, they are not too pricey either when you compare to other properties right in Yountville.

The lobby is very soothing, and the outdoor fireplace lounge and pool are almost movie-set perfect!

In addition, Hotel Yountville made Conde Nast Traveler Magazine's 2011 The Hot List as a 'WINE COUNTRY WINNER.'

Trust me Jet Setters...this is one of my Top Picks in Napa Valley!
And remember, Jet Set Smart is here to help you book all of your travels from Yountville to Napa to Sonoma and beyond!