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




  • pinitbutton SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills Offers Itself its Own Present for its Second Anniversary

by Sophie Gayot


Two years ago, Sam Nazarian set the new standard in the hotel world when he opened SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills. There was a Superb Luxurious Soirée* where Dom Pérignon was the drink of the evening for over a thousand guests who also enjoyed José Andrés’ tapas. Right after its opening, the hotel made our 2008 Top 10 New U.S. Hotels, and we named The Bazaar by José Andrés to our 2010 Top 10 Best New Restaurants in the U.S. Considering the huge success of both venues, it seems that these picks were judicious. 
Last night, in celebration of the two-year anniversary, there was a more intimate party where the hotel’s general manager Philip Dailey introduced the new concept gift shop, “Regalo.” The “shop without walls,” as he likes to call it, includes objects from only four luxury brands: Assouline, Baccarat, D.L.& C and Kiki de Montparnasse. In the exclusive video interview you can watch above, Dailey explains more about the shop located within The Bazaar whose name is Spanish for ‘gift.’

Continue reading “SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills Offers Itself its Own Present for its Second Anniversary” »

Haunted Hotels

on October 29th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Haunted Hotels
hotel andaluz lobby 300x200 Haunted Hotels

The lounge at Hotel Andaluz in Albuquerque, NM © Ramona Willis d

by Patricia Mack

Yesterday I wrote about haunted restaurants, but hotels also have spirits lurking. Unrequited love is the basis for a ghost tale at the St. Francis Inn, built as a private home in 1791 in St. Augustine, FL. The story concerns a pair of lovers, long dead, who are often seen or heard by staff and guests. Supposedly a young man who lived with his uncle, Major William Hardee, who owned the house during the middle of the 19th century, fell in love with Lily, one of the young black servant girls. When their affair was discovered, Lily was dismissed and the nephew ordered to never see her again. Deeply depressed, the young man took his own life in the attic, now Lily’s Room.

Continue reading “Haunted Hotels” »

  • pinitbutton News from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
mandarinorientalgroupnewhotels 300x165 News from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Left to right: Chad Belisario, Corporate Public Relations Manager; Alyssa Bushey, Director of Communications, Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas. Back row, obstructed: Paul Jones, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental Singapore; Kathleen Shea, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, The Americas. Back row, obstructed: Rudy Tauscher, Area Vice President & General Manager, Mandarin Oriental New York; Cliff Atkinson, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental San Francisco. Alexandra Wensley, Director of Communications, Mandarin Oriental Miami; Richard Baker, Executive Vice President, Southern Region, The Americas; Susanne Hatje, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental Boston; Sophie Gayot; Rajesh Jhingon, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas; Christian Hassing, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo; Amanda Hyndman, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C.; Tammy Peters, Director of Communications, Mandarin Oriental New York. Back row, partially obstructed: Kurt Wachtveitl, Special Ambassador, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Danielle DeVoe, Vice President of Communications, The Americas.

by Sophie Gayot

The story starts in 1974 with two very prestigious hotels: The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and The Oriental in Bangkok. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has since grown to 42 hotels in 27 countries with 10,000 rooms. Synonymous with extreme luxury and legendary service, the Mandarin Oriental properties are located in prestigious locations, each of them imbued with a distinct personality. Representatives from as far as Singapore and Prague made a recent trip to Los Angeles to present us their hotels over lunch at the new private club Soho House on Sunset Boulevard.

Before enjoying dessert, I was already fantasizing about visiting the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona on the Paseo de Gracia (the city’s most prestigious address), featuring interiors by renowned Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola; or the Mandarin Oriental Jnan Rahma in Marrakech, due to open at the end of this year. The 161 rooms all in riad-style are set in 53 acres, of which a whopping 38,000 square feet are devoted to the spa. Remember the “Abu Dhabi” hotel in Sex & the City 2? It was actually shot at the Mandarin Oriental Marrakech; a great starring role for a hotel not open yet.

Continue reading “News from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group” »

  • pinitbutton The Food Paper Newsletter for February has been Published!
febfp1 300x185 The Food Paper Newsletter for February has been Published!

The Gramercy Park Hotel, one of our Top 10 Sexy Hotels in New York

Our February Edition of the Foodpaper Newsletter is here!

Spice up your love life! Check out our list of Top 10 Places to Kiss in the U.S., our favorite sexy hotels, and our Top 10 Valentine’s Day Wines. Mix it up in the kitchen with a decadent recipe for Dark Chocolate Dipped Pineapple with Pistachio or put our list of Top 10 Aphrodisiacs to the test. We also have a Valentine’s Day Guide, a sexy Car of the Month, and much more!

  • pinitbutton The Strip Grows and Glows Even More with CityCenter
glacia at crystals 225x300 The Strip Grows and Glows Even More with CityCenter

Glacia at Crystals

by Leslie Cotterman



While other touted Strip properties couldn’t make it to the finish line (think Fontainebleau Las Vegas, Echelon), CityCenter rolled out its red carpet as promised in late 2009 (The Harmon and Veer Towers excepted).




Well-rehearsed staff populates every corner — don’t even try to maneuver this sprawling urban campus without letting them direct you to the closest tram station or one of the many restaurants.




That tram, by the way, is quite efficient, and shuttles passengers like clockwork between sister MGM MIRAGE properties Bellagio and Monte Carlo Resort & Casino, with a stop at CityCenter’s Crystals in between. So if the restaurant Michael Mina Bellagio is booked, you can zip right over to the chef’s American Fish at ARIA Resort & Casino.

   Continue reading “The Strip Grows and Glows Even More with CityCenter” »

  • pinitbutton Of the Good Use of Math in the Hospitality Industry
img 21831 262x300 Of the Good Use of Math in the Hospitality Industry

The Nautilus shell, 450 million years old is still a mystery and an inspiration for mathematicians

By Andre Gayot


Usually, hotel meeting rooms bear grandiose names like “The Imperial Room” or “The Majestic Room.” But in The Indigo, a San Diego boutique hotel, their modest function space is dubbed “The Fibonacci Room.” Many visitors would immediately assume the Italian name in such a location refers to some variety of pizza.


Shame on us! We should be taught in first grade to pay respect to the genius Fibonacci (1175-1250), whose real name was Leonardo Pisano, who changed our lives when he changed the way we represent numbers way back in the XII, I mean 12th century. Fibonacci helped the world to adopt Arabic numerals instead of the Roman numbers that were then in use. He also popularized the use of the figure zero despite the resistance of the traditionalists, who, as usual, did not understand the concept and were up in arms against it. Hey! Zeros and ones: does that ring a bell for you, computer nerds?

Continue reading “Of the Good Use of Math in the Hospitality Industry” »

  • pinitbutton The Pink Lady with Two New Babies on the Way
sophiegayotbeverlyhillshotel 300x225 The Pink Lady with Two New Babies on the Way

Alberto del Hoyo, General Manager of The Beverly Hills Hotel showing Sophie Gayot the tennis courts before they disappear

By Sophie Gayot


You don’t have to be a hotel guest to serve and volley on the two tennis courts at the famed Beverly Hills Hotel, but you only have until September to play your match.


Last week, during a lunch at the hotel, general manager Alberto del Hoyo declared that the courts will soon be covered by two new guest bungalows. Each will be over 3,000 square feet, with all the luxury and tech amenities imaginable, including a fitness room. The announcementof the new accommodations, which won’t come cheaply, is actually very optimistic news considering the current economy.



The hotel, also known as the Pink Lady due to its coral-pink façade, has made a few of our top hotel lists:

Los Angeles Top 10 Hotels

Los Angeles Top 10 Romantic Hotels

Los Angeles Top 10 Spa Hotels

Top 10 Brunch Hotels in the U.S.




  • pinitbutton A New Star on Famous Sunset Boulevard
sophiegayotdemimoore 299x300 A New Star on Famous Sunset Boulevard

Demi Moore & Sophie Gayot at the opening of ANdAZ

by Sophie Gayot


What a better way to hold a grand opening a few days away from the Oscars when all the stars are in town. The building, where the hotel ANdAZ is located in, has a long history with the City of the Angels and celebrities. It was formerly the Hyatt on Sunset made famous by the memorable parties thrown by rock ‘n’ rollers like Led Zeppelin.

Continue reading “A New Star on Famous Sunset Boulevard” »

  • pinitbutton RH, a New Restaurant on the Sunset Strip
img 8711 300x225 RH, a New Restaurant on the Sunset Strip

Sophie Gayot with chef Sebastian Archambault, his team, and general manager Michel Morauw

 by Sophie Gayot

Last night I experienced the latest Sunset Strip restaurant, located in the new ANdAZ hotel, a reincarnation of the Hyatt on Sunset made famous by the memorable parties thrown by rock ‘n’ rollers like Led Zeppelin. These intense blow-outs earned the hotel a nickname, “Riot House.” The restaurant, RH, pays tribute to that part of the hotel’s history, which has even seen a TV fly out of its window.

Chef Sebastien Archambault prepares a clean, home-style cuisine. I liked the vegetables—lots of them—that accompanied the red snapper, and the Kurobuta pork, which were also served as an amuse-bouche.

Both the restaurant and the hotel will officially open on Thursday, Jan. 8. General manager Michel Morauw’s motto is “Everyone can be a VIP at the hotel.” By the way, “andaz” is an Urdu (a Central Indo-Aryan language) word meaning “style”. ANdAZ is a new brand operated by Hyatt Corporation. The first ANdAZ opened in London in November 2008; the property in West Hollywood is its American debut, to be followed by two in New York and one in Austin.

 minilogo RH, a New Restaurant on the Sunset Strip

Our Best Wishes for 2009!

on December 31st, 2008
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  • pinitbutton Our Best Wishes for 2009!


newyear2008 300x225 Our Best Wishes for 2009!

 On this last day of the year, we at would like to thank you for your trust in our site.


We look forward to bringing you more culinary delights, restaurant news, reviews for the top restaurants and cheap eats as well as the best travel information on hotels, 72-hour vacations and business trips.


Let’s not forget that we like to drink wine, Champagne and more (moderately), be showered with gifts, pampered in spas, watch good movies, and drive the car that best fits our budget, all information to be found right here.


Let’s be interactive and communicate in the New Year. To that effect, we have set up a forum area in our Community where you can share ideas with other users. Follow us directly in our blog;  and post promptly your restaurant and hotel experience that will appear on the site in our in our “WRITE YOUR OWN REVIEW” section located at the end of each review.




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