Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.




  • pinitbutton 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show   Car News
mb sls amg 300x180 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show   Car News

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series making its debut at the 2012 LA Auto Show

World-Class Car Convention

From PCH to the Sunset Strip, Southern California was made for cruising, and there’s no bigger celebration of the Southland’s car culture than the annual Los Angeles Auto Show. Open to the public November 30 through December 9, the 2012 LA Auto Show promises to rev SoCal car fans into a frenzy, with nearly 50 vehicle debuts including both concept cars and soon-to-be-available production models. Among the anticipated unveilings at this year’s show is the world debut of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series, as well as the North American debuts of the Jaguar F-TYPE and the BMW i8 Spyder plug-in hybrid concept.

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  • pinitbutton InterContinental Hotel Group Adds Car Charging Stations   Travel News
better place electric charge station 300x245 InterContinental Hotel Group Adds Car Charging Stations   Travel News

Better Place electric car charge station

The InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) is driving to a greener future. Or at least it’s hoping its guests will. The hotel chain recently installed electric car charging stations in the car parks at some of its Australian hotels in New South Wales. IHG recently announced five new participating hotels: Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach, Crowne Plaza Terrigal, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, Holiday Inn Sydney Airport and Holiday Inn Old Sydney. This brings the number of IHG hotels with charging stations to eight.

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  • pinitbutton A James Bond Getaway at DUKES Hotel, London   Travel Special
dukes hotel aston martin 300x162 A James Bond Getaway at DUKES Hotel, London   Travel Special

An Aston Martin outside the DUKES hotel in London

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond film “Dr. No,” DUKES hotel in London is rolling out two red-carpet-worthy package specials. Now through January 13, 2013, guests can live out their 007 fantasies at the legendary hotel that author Ian Fleming used to frequent.

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  • pinitbutton RelayRides Offers Peer to Peer Car Rental Service   Car News
relayrides logo 300x171 RelayRides Offers Peer to Peer Car Rental Service   Car News

RelayRides provides a safe and easy way for car owners to rent their vehicles

Rent Out Your Car for Extra Cash

With urban dwelling on the rise and gas prices sitting stubbornly above the four-dollar mark across much of America, car sharing is catching on as a smart alternative to traditional vehicle ownership. While services like Zipcar have helped pave the way for by-the-hour car rentals, San Francisco-based start-up RelayRides has taken things one step further by providing a platform for vehicle owners to rent out their rides to other licensed drivers. Launched in 2010 by Harvard Business School grad Shelby Clark, RelayRides boasts some 20,000 members sharing 1,000 vehicles — and hopes to continue expanding its fleet as more and more drivers open up to the possibilities of peer-to-peer car rentals.

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  • pinitbutton St. Regis New York Introduces Bentley Suite   Travel News
The Bentley Suite at The St. Regis New York entryway 300x205 St. Regis New York Introduces Bentley Suite   Travel News

The entryway of the Bentley Suite at the St. Regis New York

Following collaborations with Tiffany and Dior, the St. Regis New York has turned to the automotive industry for inspiration in designing its latest signature suite — and found an ideal partner in Bentley Motors. The Bentley Suite, which debuted September 19, 2012, showcases a stylish synthesis of the iconic British badge’s unique aesthetics with the luxury hotel’s discerning eye for quality and comfort. Featuring one bedroom, one-and-a-half bathrooms, an entryway foyer, a spacious dining room and a living room replete with floor-to-ceiling windows on the fifteenth floor, the suite isn’t cheap at $9,500 a night; however, the fees also include access the St. Regis’ opulent array of amenities. Guests staying in the Bentley Suite are treated to an in-suite Champagne bar, butler service, and complimentary chauffeur service within a ten-block radius of the hotel.

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  • pinitbutton Volkswagen Achieves Highest Ranking in Total Quality Survey   Car News
volkswagen golf 300x170 Volkswagen Achieves Highest Ranking in Total Quality Survey   Car News

The Volkswagen Golf is one of Strategic Vision’s top-rated vehicles of 2012

The Volkswagen Group of America once again took the top spot in Strategic Vision’s annual Total Quality survey, which measures overall customer satisfaction with new car purchases. The marketing and consulting firm cited consumer favorites like the Audi A4 and A8, as well as the Volkswagen Golf, Eos and Tiguan as factors in VW’s ranking. The Chrysler Group and Ford Motor Company followed close on Volkswagen’s heels in a tie for second place, with the Ford Flex and F-Series pickup, as well as the Fiat 500, all earning high marks in the Total Quality survey. Along with its namesake brand, the Volkswagen Group also owns luxury car badges Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Porsche and Lamborghini.

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  • pinitbutton Nissan to Add New High Performance Models to Lineup
nissan nismo z 300x187 Nissan to Add New High Performance Models to Lineup

The 2013 Nissan NISMO 370Z in action

Following in the formidable footsteps of Mercedes‘ AMG line and BMW‘s M badge, Nissan is planning to expand its own “NISMO” division of (more affordable) high-performance vehicles. Featuring fifteen per cent more power, distinctive exterior designs and sport-tuned suspensions and steering, the first wave of new NISMO-badged cars are scheduled to hit showrooms early next year, beginning with a 285-horsepower Nissan Juke boldly styled with eighteen-inch wheels and bright red highlights. Also in the works is a NISMO Leaf expected to generate 125 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque — a significant boost in performance for the all-electric hatchback. Other models expected to receive the NISMO treatment include the GT-R and an updated version of the NISMO Z.

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  • pinitbutton Starwood Hotels Announces a Global Partnership with Bentley Motors   Travel News
bentley 300x197 Starwood Hotels Announces a Global Partnership with Bentley Motors   Travel News
Bentley Continental GTC

Starwood Hotels and Bentley Join Together to Provide Signature Experiences for Customers

Internationally known for their heritage and superior quality, Bentley Motors and Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ top brands — St. Regis and The Luxury Collection — have announced a global partnership. Together, the two companies will create signature experiences for guests, residents and customers with driving programs, special events, brand initiatives and house fleets at flagship hotels around the world. According to Paul James, Global Brand Leader for St. Regis and The Luxury Collection, “We are committed to providing experiences that far surpass [our guests'] expectations, and this partnership with Bentley enables our discerning guests to explore must-see destinations in unparalleled style.” Joe Ashworth, head of customer relations at Bentley Motors, adds, “At Bentley, we are committed to maintaining our position as the definitive British luxury car company. It is therefore important that we partner with a pinnacle brand that underpins our own values of craftsmanship, style and sophistication.” To this end, Bentley house fleets at St. Regis properties around the world will include models such as The Continental Flying Spur (priced from $184,200). And at The Luxury Collection properties, recent partnership events have included the unveiling of Bentley’s newest Continental GT and GTC V8 at the Marques de Riscal, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Ilciego, Spain.

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  • pinitbutton General Motors Buys Stake in Peugeot
cadillac deville1 300x204 General Motors Buys Stake in Peugeot

Cadillac, the iconic car of GM

When GM means Grand Marriage

by André Gayot

I love reunions, reconciliations, rapprochements, consolidations, alliances, coalitions, engagements and weddings. They all contain a sign of peace and while they are not always evidence of love, in many cases they demonstrate the power of reason. That’s why I find myself rejoicing at the announcement that American General Motors plans to acquire 7% of French Peugeot. It’s the nicer side of globalization: a marriage of convenience and — even better — perhaps also a marriage of love.

GM (which in this instance could stand for Grand Marriage) has always loved things French. Perhaps this is because it was co-founded by William C. Durant who also co-founded Chevrolet with Louis Chevrolet of French –Swiss descent. Chevrolet later merged with GM, which baptized its prestigious machines with French names like DeVille, Biarritz, Orléans, LaSalle, Pontiac and Corvette. The name of its iconic brand Cadillac, synonymous the world over with luxury, elegance and quality, is borrowed from the French explorer Antoine de la Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac who founded the city of Detroit — another French name.

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  • pinitbutton Jaguar Suite at 51 Buckingham Gate
jaguar suite living room2 300x207 Jaguar Suite at 51 Buckingham Gate

Jaguar Suite living room at 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residences in London

The Night of the Jaguar

by André Gayot

Undoubtedly, we are a car civilization. The automobile is an ordinary object in our spoiled world, a dream in the barren parts of the planet and a nightmare at a quarter to nine a.m. on the 101 freeway in downtown Los Angeles. We find cars a convenient instrument to go to the stores and take back home the stuff of which probably we bought too large a quantity at our local Costco. A car is more practical than a backpack and a bicycle, but more polluting — as we are told by ecology — and more expensive, as we can see by the price soaring at the pump.

OK, it’s our way of life. But some of us are in love with automobiles. They admire the beautiful machines, their engineering, their design and their power, regardless of the speeding tickets and hefty insurance premiums they may have to face.

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