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David Paul Appell's Blog (205)

A Short Ode to Mexico's Modest Mérida

More than a few vacationers staying at coastal resorts on the Riviera Maya or Cancun do venture into the interior of the Yucatan peninsula, but for the most part it’s on day trips or overnighters to world-famous Maya ruins such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal. As well they should – but sometimes…


Added by David Paul Appell on November 5, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments

My Dinner With Paul (Bocuse)

Recently I came across a slightly dated item about master chef Paul Bocuse; seems this past spring, the Culinary Institute of America declared the Lion of Lyon "Chef of the Century" as part of its annual Augie Awards. No argument from me -- and it got me to reminiscing…


Added by David Paul Appell on September 20, 2011 at 6:39am — 2 Comments

9/11 and Travel, Ten Years On

On the lovely morning of September 11, 2001, I was working as usual in my 7th Avenue Manhattan office as executive editor of Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, when thanks to somebody over on the publishing side with a dinky in-office TV came word that a plane had hit the north tower of the World Trade Center. As we sat there increasingly nervous yet numbed, trying to…


Added by David Paul Appell on September 11, 2011 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

South Sudan Tourism: What Are Its Prospects?

In East Africa, bordered not just by Sudan to its north but also the Central African Republic, the Congo (the one that used to be Zaire), Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, this continent’s newly born 54th country and the world’s 258th is admittedly a hard case.  A largely black land of traditional religions, and some degree of Christianity, embroiled…


Added by David Paul Appell on July 9, 2011 at 5:01pm — 2 Comments

Boutique Eats & Sleeps in ... Cornwall?

Those who know anything about this ancient corner of southwest England love its craggy, traditional flavor -- with twee villages like Boscastle, medieval castles and ruins like Tintagel, and ubiquitous pasties (turnovers). Oh, and let's not forget The Pirates of Penzance, Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, Cornish game hens and clotted cream. But eco-friendly designer hotels? Over in Watergate Bay, just up the hill from Jamie Oliver's… Continue

Added by David Paul Appell on June 26, 2011 at 1:14pm — No Comments

Helsinki's "Pub Tram": A Streetcar Named … Hic!

I can tell you from experience that the good folks of Finland sure do like…


Added by David Paul Appell on June 5, 2011 at 10:01pm — 2 Comments

Marking the Rapture With Baked Alaska in Steamy Florida

Yesterday was a special occasion for me – no, not so much the Rapture but a relationship anniversary – though I will admit that in a bizarre way all that ruckus had made me feel like flying up to my old and still occasional New York City stomping grounds to camp it up with Harold Camping's kooky kultists in Times Square. But I'd recently had surgery and am grounded in my…


Added by David Paul Appell on May 22, 2011 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

Tango and WiFi at Buenos Aires' Mansión Dandi Royal

by David Paul Appell

Mansion Dandi Royal hotel, San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina The renaissance of BA’s most iconic world export is still in full swing, and throughout Argentina‘s elegant capital you can experience tango in infinite ways: from milongas (dance halls) and dance academies…


Added by David Paul Appell on February 26, 2011 at 3:30am — No Comments

Suddenly Amid the Dominican Palms...Olde Europe

by David Paul Appell

If you know the Caribbean and/or have been to the Dominican Republic, chances are you’ve at least heard of one of the islands’ odder (and the DR’s most popular) tourist attractions. Otherwise, coming across this ringer for some centuries-old southern European village on a…


Added by David Paul Appell on February 18, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments

In Israel, A Tel Aviv Suburb On A Museums Spree

by David Paul Appell

The suburbs of the world have generally not been considered hotbeds of serious culture (sorry, multiplexes screening Gnomeo and Juliet and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never don’t count). But in Israel, the municipality of Holon, some…


Added by David Paul Appell on February 14, 2011 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Colombia's Cartagena de Indias Tarts It Up Yet Keeps It Real

by David Paul Appell

When it comes to birthday parties in Latin America — these days at least — nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Yet here they were, a pretty young Colombian señorita and maybe a hundred or so of her family and friends, happily celebrating her quince (“Sweet…


Added by David Paul Appell on January 24, 2011 at 11:17am — 1 Comment

In Curaçao, Culture Complements Caribbean Vacations -- Particularly At One Special Resort

by David Paul Appell

The “C” in the ABC islands of the Dutch West Indies does have dandy diving, dining, nightlife, and a few sweet strands. But for me, Curaçao's single strongest suit is its fascinating culture,…


Added by David Paul Appell on January 13, 2011 at 4:46pm — No Comments

SoBe's Latest Must-Visit Resto: Eden South Beach

Color me still underwhelmed by much of the South Beach dining scene lots of flash, but frankly longer on attitude than substance. Having said that, in recent years things have started to evolve a bit in good ways. Nonetheless, when last weekend I strolled for the first time into Eden South Beach, an eatery opened at the end of October in the space once… Continue

Added by David Paul Appell on November 25, 2010 at 9:00am — No Comments

A Cold Yet Cool Reception This Winter at Sweden & Quebec's Ice Hotels

That time of year again — starting next week, chilly chic is back once more, thanks to those clever Swedes and crafty Quebecois. First up, from December 10 to mid-April, the Swedish Lappland town of Jukkasjärvi, up north of the Arctic Circle, will be the site of the 59,200-square foot (5,500-square-meter) 21st edition of the original ICEHOTEL (you fly into Stockholm, then connect onward to Kiruna;…


Added by David Paul Appell on November 13, 2010 at 3:00pm — No Comments

At Brunei's Empire Hotel and Country Club, Cavort Like a Sultan

It’s just a decade old, but as you’d expect, this resort on the South China Sea beachfront in the small Malay sultanate ruled by one of the world’s richest men — originally built as a royal palace by the sultan’s very naughty kid brother to the tune of more than US$1 billion — has been in the front ranks of Asia’s top hostelries ever since. With 420 rooms, suites, and villas on a… Continue

Added by David Paul Appell on November 2, 2010 at 1:23pm — No Comments

"Survivor: Nicaragua" Boosts Country, Beach Town San Juan del Sur

Catch the premiere of Survivor Nicaragua? Geezers vs. punks -- advantage: punks. Jimmy Johnson gets winded, whoop-de-do; a goofy water-bucket challenge -- and OMG, poor Wendy! Yep, looks like we're in for another action-packed season of hijinks, namecalling, and bungles in the jungle -- this time shot around the beach town of San Juan del Sur, on Nicaragua's Pacific Coast. We didn't really see the actual town in the first episode (the tribal council setting is…


Added by David Paul Appell on September 16, 2010 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Bye, Bye, Brazil: A Vignette From the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Jake stood helplessly, listlessly on line, trying to keep a sweaty grip on his smudged wine glass and trying to figure out which circle of hell Dante might consign the towering inferno that was the tastings tent of this year's SoBe Wine and Food Festival. His feet were starting to ache, his stomach was starting to sour and his ears were starting to ring. Damn Angie for saddling him with writing up… Continue

Added by David Paul Appell on September 5, 2010 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Clinton Wedding Site Rhinebeck Just One Jewel of Hudson Valley

Rhinebeck, the 324-year-old New York State town where Chelsea Clinton staged the overhyped "wedding of the millennium" July 31, is certainly a gentrified charmer these days, with its bistros and Victorian architecture. But apart from being the area where I grew up (in pleasant and not-quite-so-twee Red Hook, part of Rhinebeck till 1812), the rest of the gently rolling Hudson Valley in which it's centrally located is also a trove unto itself,… Continue

Added by David Paul Appell on July 31, 2010 at 6:30pm — No Comments

So Just How Epic Is NCL's Newest Cruise Ship?

by David Paul Appell

Norwegian Epic cruise ship in Miami port

For weeks if not months now, I’ve been driving past huge signs blaring, “MIAMI-DADE WELCOMES NORWEGIAN EPIC” — and let’s not even talk about the barrage of radio and print ads of what was sounding like The Innovative Cruise Ship Phenomenon of the…


Added by David Paul Appell on July 12, 2010 at 11:30am — No Comments

In Orlando, Wizarding World of Harry Potter Mobbed by Muggles

I’m what you might call a pretty casual Harry Potter fan. I read the first book and saw most (not sure if all) of the seven movies with varying degrees of pleasure. But visiting “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” the long-awaited theme-park-within-a-theme-park at Universal’s Islands of Adventure after its official opening this past Friday in Orlando, Florida, I found myself awash in a sweaty sea of Potterphiles — many presumably so devoted to J.K. Rowling’s creation that they’ve… Continue

Added by David Paul Appell on June 24, 2010 at 12:30pm — No Comments

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