Friday Fantasy Vacation: Ballynahinch Castle


There are lots of great places to go in Ireland, and many beautiful hotels and country homes to stay at. But since this is Fantasy time, I’m choosing the Ballynahinch Castle in County Galway. Set on 450 acres in Coonemara, a gorgeous wilderness area on the West coast, it’s everything I want out of a vacation. Luxurious rooms and dining, beautiful natural scenery and lots of outdoor activities that I don’t often do at home like fishing and woodcock shooting, not to mention multiple opportunities for long walks and hikes. Take a look and see yourself.


Dublin, Ireland


St Patrick’s Day is almost upon us, so it seems time to focus on one of my favorite cities in the world, Dublin. Depending on how much you enjoy crowds and parades, this time of year may or may not be a great time to visit, but whatever time you go, there’s great places to stay, eat and explore.

Where to Stay:

Dylan Hotel

photos courtesy of Dylan Hotel

The Morgan Hotel

photos courtesy of the Morgan Hotel

Merrion Mews Vacation Rental

photos courtesy of Irish Landmark Trust

Cliff Townhouse

photos courtesy of Cliff Townhouse

Clontarf Castle Hotel

photos courtesy of Clontarf Castle Hotel

The Westbury Hotel

photos courtesy of Westbury Hotel

Where to Indulge

The Winding Stair

Chapter One

The Pig’s Ear

The Exchequer

Camden Kitchen

Fallon and Byrne

Sheridan’s Cheesemongers

Guinness Storehouse and Gravity Bar

Powerscourt Centre (boutique shopping in Georgian Mansion)

Peterson of Dublin

Kevin and Howlin

Trinity College Library

Photo: Candida Hofer

photo by Candida Hofer

Day Trip: Howth

Wondering where the pubs are? I love them so much I’m doing a whole post on them at Inside Bars.

Friday Fantasy Vacation: Koh Lanta, Thailand


When a friend told me that she’s heading to Thailand for a last minute business related trip to Bangkok I knew where I was headed for this Friday’s fantasy vacation. I’ve yet to go to Thailand, but if I do I want to stay here. This resort is set on 100 acres on the southern tip of this island in the southwestern province of  Krabi. The resort itself is in a protected woodland area hidden away by cashew trees. Yes, I did say cashew trees. Besides laying around the beach, swimming and getting massages, there’s great hiking and diving and even elephants to ride. Get ready for fantasy time.

All photos courtesy of Pimalai Resort

Friday Fantasy Vacation: Todos Santos


So I’ve covered where I’d like to have my Friday evening cocktail over at Inside Bars and since I love a good theme, this week’s fantasy vacation spot is also going to be in the sunny surf town of Todos Santos on the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. I’d like nothing better than to gather a group of friends and rent this little hacienda outside of town. It’s on 5 acres and surrounded by avocado, banana, mango, lemon, orange, and olive trees and a sugarcane grove. With four bedrooms and a lap pool, the only other thing we’d need is some tequila. Who’s in?

Friday Fantasy Vacation: Huvafen Fushi Maldives


Here’s a little something to get you through to the weekend. It’s hard to imagine a location more remote but more luxurious than this. I may not ever make it to the Maldives, but while I muddle through the late-Winter cold I’ve been saddle with I’ll be picturing my toes dangling in these warm waters.

A Room For London


The concept of a pop-up store is old hat these days and there’s even been a few pop-up restaurants over the last couple of years, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise that the idea would translate into hotels at some point. A Room for London is the first of such that I’ve seen and it’s pretty fantastic. This one room installation is perched on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall along the Thames river.  It is only there through 2012 and serves as a way for visitors (only allowed a one night rental) and invited artists to take refuge from the busy city and find inspiration from the unique and panoramic view of London. Designed by David Kohn Architects, it was inspired by the boat that Joseph Conrad navigated up the Congo river before writing Heart of Darkness. While this unusual lodging concept has sold out, I can’t help wonder if it will spark imitators in other cities. I’d love to see the inspiration that could result from new and temporary views of places like New York, Vancouver or Rome.

Romance in Greece


Everyone has a different idea of what’s romantic. But while I’m sitting at my desk on this Valentine’s Day watching it hail outside my window I’m thinking that we can probably all agree that the Mystique Resort on Santorini in Greece would make for a pretty sexy getaway. Unlike a lot of “romantic” hotels, there’s no frilliness here, just a modern and relaxing design. And draw-dropping views of the Aegean Sea.

All photos courtesy of Mystique

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