v.p. on ack

November 25th, 2008

Rumor has it that Vice President-Elect Joe Biden and his family will be on Nantucket for Thanksgiving.  The quiet island is abuzz with Secret Service agents.  We wonder how he’ll get over there, since we know Amtrak service doesn’t extend that far… 

Our recommendation for families relaxing on the “Grey Lady”? Walk through the cranberry bogs, Squam Swamp, and other lovely, forested spots.  And next week, December 5-7, go for the last hurrah of the season: the Christmas Stroll.  Main Street closes down for pedestrians, carolers dressed in Victorian costumes sing while the Town Crier rings his bell, and all of the shops beckon with big sales.

michelin star for palace luzern

November 21st, 2008

We’re thrilled to announce that Jasper at the Palace Luzern, the grande dame hotel on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, has just been awarded its first Michelin star.  Perhaps it was the red deer burger that did the trick?

Jasper‘s cuisine combines the Swiss tradition of locally-sourced ingredients and hearty fare with influences from neighboring Italy, France, and Germany.  Listed on the current menu is the aforementioned red deer burger, served on brioche with caramelized apples, as well as the smoked perch, caught in Lake Lucerne (just a few feet away from Jasper’s tables), served with Colonnato bacon over a stew of artichokes and figs. 

Each menu features “Spa Food,” such as the healthy “Jasper salad” of pears, grapes, pumpkin seeds, and vanilla bourbon, and “Mood Food,” created to enhance well-being using a variety of ingredients: pineapple to fight frustration, tuna to help the winter blues with Omega-3 fatty acids, and chocolate to kick up endorphins. 

We love the clean décor of the lakeside restaurant, which features French limestone, cream-white walls, and suspended lamps of opalesque glass.  And we especially love haute cuisine that doesn’t rely on heavy creams and sauces…after dining at Jasper, you’ll wake up ready for an Alpine hike the next morning.

Visit http://www.palace-luzern.ch/en/.

eat like a rockefeller

November 21st, 2008

The legacy of the Rockefellers lives on at The Woodstock Inn and Resort, which unveiled its new restaurant, The Red Rooster, this fall.  While it’s a well known fact that renowned philanthropist and conservationist Laurance Rockefeller vacationed in Woodstock with him family, a more detailed glance into Laurance’s history at the Inn reveals a whimsical painting of a red rooster that hung in his suite.  The painting has since been lost, but it’s playful spirit lives on in the laid-back, Vermont casual atmosphere of The Red Rooster restaurant.

The Red Rooster interior

The dining concept, created by New York’s esteemed Blue Ribbon Group, draws from the best purveyors in New England, emphasizing fresh, local ingredients such as specialty cheeses, shellfish, and heirloom fruits and vegetables.  The new décor, designed by Peter Guzy Architects, is comfortably chic, with tamarack woodwork in the form of wainscoting and a natural bar, furnished entirely in Vermont marble.  

For an appetizer, try the Braised Pork Belly, followed by Blue Ribbon’s Northern Fried Chicken with Maple Syrup.  Desserts like the Maple Walnut and Banana Bread Pudding are sure to become instant classics as well.  Looking for a family favorite?  Stick to the signature Oysters Rockefeller as a throwback to the great John D. 

Visit http://www.woodstockinn.com/

bern baby bern

November 19th, 2008

As anyone who has ever gone to Art Basel (the Swiss original, not the Miami offshoot) knows, finding a decent hotel room is next to impossible.  The good hotels are spoken for months in advance, leaving auction house and gallery assistants scrambling.  However, the well hasn’t run completely dry:  capitalize on Switzerland‘s stunningly efficient national rail system and consider staying in a nearby town like Bern, a quick one-hour ride to the center of Basel.  The only five-star hotel in the Swiss capital of Bern, the Bellevue Palace, is certainly worth the short trip.

Not to mention, Bern is an infinitely more charming place to wake up in each morning.  The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with medieval streets full of kooky boutiques (Gothic gear, handmade wooden toys, avant-garde kitchen items) set against a backdrop of the River Aare and a perfectly Swiss alpine landscape.  The hotel sits next to the Swiss Parliament, and some say that more decisions are made over lunch on the Bellevue Palace terrace than in the halls of its more official neighbor.  For more information on the Bellevue Palace, visit www.bellevue-palace.ch/en.

AMPR Calendar: 2009 Fairs in Basel: BaselWorld, Watch and Jewelry Show – March 26 through April 2, 2009 / Art Basel – June 10-14, 2009  / Basel Wine Fair –  October 24 through November 1, 2009

ampr presents…beauty marshall case 11.12

November 12th, 2008

Case 11.12:  Two Timing

VICTIM: One very lonely lovely. Working long days and nights has become the norm for both her and her honey, leaving little time for togetherness.

MARSHALL’S ORDER: Revamp your relationship routine and spend some time with your sweetheart in a serene spa with one of these romantic spa treatments for two:


inaugural pomp and circumstance at park hyatt washington

November 12th, 2008

For a blowout way to celebrate the upcoming Presidential Inauguration, the best place to check in is the Park Hyatt Washington.  From the swanky, newly-renovated and apropos Presidential Suite, guests booking the “American Talents” package from January 17-21, 2009, will toast the new administration with:

    * exclusive use of a Tony Chi-designed Audi A8
    * behind-the-scenes curatorial tour of the Corcoran Gallery’s Richard Avedon exhibition
    * VIP tickets to a Kennedy Center performance featuring the National Symphony Orchestra
    * dinner reservations for the Chef’s Table in Blue Duck Tavern
    * personal butler service
    * in-room couple’s massage
    * complimentary bottle of Park Hyatt’s exclusive California wine
    * all-American apple pie at turndown

WHAT ELSE…? (more…)

thai cuisine 101

November 12th, 2008

For someone visiting London for the first time, it might come as a surprise that on any city street corner, one is just as likely to spot a Thai restaurant as a traditional English fish-n-chips shop.  It seems that even the pickiest meat and potatoes eaters have succumbed to the exotic flavors of the east.  If only we knew how to cook Thai food ourselves…

Fortunately the Halkin hotel of London is offering a series of Thai cooking classes for 2009 at its restaurant, nahm – the very first Thai restaurant in Europe to earn a Michelin star. 


wild nights: an arabian safari

November 10th, 2008

Gazelles, giraffes, and oryx – oh my!  All are found on Sir Bani Yas island, just west of Abu Dhabi in the UAE where last month Anantara opened Desert Islands Resort & Spa

Once the private Royal Nature Reserve of the founder of the United Arab Emirates, the island is dedicated to the well-being of its wildlife.  Through hunting restrictions, veterinary care, and efforts to preserve the lush vegetation, the reserve is home to a variety of indigenous species such as the oryx, reem, antelope, cheetah, hyena, and desert wolf.  (more…)

masters of food & wine

November 10th, 2008

The Malbec will be flowing February 10-15 2009 at Park Hyatt‘s annual Masters of Food & Wine festival.  Located in Argentina for the third year in a row, Palacio-Duhau Park Hyatt Buenos Aires and Park Hyatt Mendoza will open their kitchens for a series of intimate gourmet meals and wine tastings, highlighting the best of Argentina while combining the talents of guest chefs from around the globe (Alain Passard and Jean-Francois Rouquette, for example).

This five day culinary celebration serves up lunches, dinners, and culinary demonstrations held in spectacular settings such as private homes, vineyards, and distinguished local establishments, all at the foot of the Andes Mountains.  Mendoza’s wines will be the feature as acclaimed sommeliers and wine experts present special wine pairings at each day’s repast.

For more details, visit http://www.mfandw.com.ar.

all-american salute: winter travel in the united states

November 10th, 2008

Following the excitement of the debates, polls, and elections of the last 21 months, citizens of all parties are proud to be American. Embrace the right to travel at some top All-American destinations this winter. (more…)