For generations, mariners navigating the Cuckolds, as the granite islands off the coast of Maine are known, heeded the fog horn and were steered by the gleam of the beacon of the Cuckolds Lighthouse.  After a century of use the historic signal station dating to 1892 and lighthouse from 1907 were threatened with destruction, but thankfully saved by a group of preservation-minded citizens.

This summer marks the opening of the Inn at Cuckolds Lighthouse, the culmination of the renovation of the historic, and truly unique property.  Guests of the inn have the opportunity to stay on their own private island along some of Maine’s most stunning coastline.  The inn features two stunningly appointed guest suites inspired by the maritime history of the property.  Enjoy the sea breeze, catch up on relaxation time, or have a cocktail by the sea.

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Charming common spaces invite guests to relax, read, play a game, enjoy cocktails, conversation and fabulous home cooked meals. The sweeping, 360 degree ocean views and the rhythmic sounds of crashing waves make this location an ideal retreat for artists and writers looking for inspiration;a unique setting for a milestone anniversary or birthday celebration; or a cozy, romantic couples’ oasis.

Of course, guests can expect stunning views and the rare opportunity to stay inside an active lighthouse that doubles as a superbly appointed luxury inn.  Guests may opt to dine on the island but are also able to enjoy the restaurants and activities of Maine’s Boothbay region via the property’s boat transfer.

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I’ve had the good fortune to fly on Etihad’s fantastic first class product a number of times.  The airline’s hard product is arguable the best first class suite currently in the air – spacious, elegant without being over the top, and supremely private.

Well, that’s all about to change. Yesterday, Etihad unveiled the much anticipated product that will appear onboard its new A380 and 787 aircraft and, short of flying private, it is like nothing currently in the air! The airline clearly has the objective to impress and deliver supreme luxury in the air.

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Aboard the A380, passengers will find two types of first class, the Residence featuring a private living room, double bedroom, and private bathroom, and its First Apartments, featuring separate reclining lounge areas, plus a full bed, personal mini bar, and vanity. Aboard the 787, passengers may avail themselves of redesigned First Suites with luxuriously appointed Poltrona Frau leather, a uniquely curved aisle, and center seats that can be combined to transform into a double bed.

Business class passengers will find new Business Studios, elegant and tastefully appointed business class seats featuring all the latest amenities and a very private experience.

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I am writing this on my second night at Bon Ton and Temple Tree, two connected, very eclectic, boutique properties on the island of Langkawi, Malaysia, and I am still not quite sure what to make of them.

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Both properties are collections of antique houses from Malaysia that were disassembled, transported to Langkawi, and rebuilt on site. Bon Ton is a collection of hundred plus year old Straits Chinese stilt houses.  Their rustic wood features intricate carvings, slatted wood floors, and thatch roofs.

It’s next-door neighbor, Temple Tree, is a collection of colorful villas of Chinese, Malay and Indian origin. For the most part, they are larger than their siblings over at Bon Ton, and certainly feature much more color and variety.

I had the chance to stay at both properties and I have to say that they will certainly be some of my most unique hotel experiences.  On my first night at Bon Ton, the monsoon weather began early with a tremendous downpour rolling through.  Rain came spraying in through the slatted windows on one side of my room, despite closing the shutters, but it was kind of magical.

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Georgetown, Malaysia’s Famed Eastern and Oriental Hotel

April 14, 2014

I checked into the Eastern and Oriental Hotel in Penang, Malaysia after a long overnight journey from Colombo.  A weary traveler, I was immediately put at ease by one of the most comfortable and well-appointed suites in which I have ever stayed. The Eastern and Oriental, or E&O as it is more popularly known, dates […]

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Bangkok’s Delightful Oriental Residence

March 17, 2014

The moment I stepped into my suite at the Oriental Residence in Bangkok, I felt like I was home, and that’s exactly what this hotel is hoping for.  Part residences, part luxury hotel, the Oriental Residence offers apartment-like suites for short and long term visitors to Bangkok. The sleek, curving, glass and steel building sits […]

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Explore the Wonderful Hansar Samui

February 26, 2014

After staying in the Hansar Hotel in Bangkok, I knew that its sister property, the Hansar Samui, on the beautiful island of Koh Samui would impress and delight me – and it did.  The 75-room boutique resort is located in the Bophut area of Koh Samui, in a cute section known as Fisherman’s Village. What’s […]

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A Journey to Phuket’s Indigo Pearl

February 19, 2014

When I arrived in Phuket from Malaysia for a stay at the much acclaimed Indigo Pearl, I was not quite sure what to expect.  The resort sits about ten minutes from the international airport along Nai Yang Beach.  At about 175 rooms, the property is the largest resort on my six-week trip. Indigo Pearl’s lobby was […]

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137 Pillars House – Chiang Mai’s Fantastic New Hotel

February 10, 2014

I stepped through the entrance of 137 Pillars House and immediately knew that I had not only found the best new hotel in Chiang Mai, but also the favorite of my six-week tour through Southeast Asia.  I also knew that I was not alone in my thinking; since opening in early 2012, 137 Pillars House […]

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Thailand’s Luxurious Kirimaya and Muthi Maya Resorts

February 3, 2014

After a few days in Bangkok, I decided to escape the heat and humidity of the city. Looking for a change from Thailand’s typical beach excursions, I headed to Khao Yai National Park, located in a mountainous region about two-and-a-half hours northeast of the city by car. I’d heard great things about two hotels, Kirimaya, […]

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The Wallawwa – The Perfect Last Stop in Sri Lanka

January 27, 2014

I arrived at the Wallawwa for an overnight at the end of my Sri Lankan journey.  The seventeen-room boutique, located just fifteen minutes from Bandaranaike Airport, offers a serene way to begin or end your Sri Lankan journey and a pleasant way to avoid the chaos and traffic of Colombo. (While it is the capital […]

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