Travel Inspiration By A Pro Trip Designer

Palm Beach Newcomer

Beach, Family


Palm Beach, Florida

January 2014

Happy New Year!


The Eau Palm Beach

This year my son, husband and I rang in the New Year in storied, sunny Palm Beach as guests at the newish Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spaformerly the Ritz Carlton. Our stay was a last-minute addendum to our trip, yet worked out as smoothly and ideally as if we had had months to plan it.


The contemporary glitz of the lobby

We stayed in an Oceanfront double room (pictured below) on the Club Level floor, whose 24-hour buffet service (also pictured below) was a huge addition to our stay. Though I tend to prefer small hotels, I am happy to report we enjoyed ourselves immensely during the brief 2-night stint.


A Double Guestroom


The Lounge on the Club Level Floor (4th Floor)

I chalk the root of our total enjoyment up to the variety of amenities and the general high-quality that met each one. Whether it was me indulging in a blissful maternity massage at the Eau Spa – a popular spot among PB locals (for good reason), or my young son trying on costume after costume at the kids club, AquaNets, located just below the main lobby or my husband being a great Dad and getting my son to do his first solo jumps and strokes in the large palm-accented pool, we were all smiles the whole time. Also worth mentioning was the impressive breakfast buffet, which was European Grand Hotel in its presentation and girth of options. We overate till our stomachs pleaded mercy and the best part is kids under 5 eat free.


The kids club

I am happy to say we have found a hotel we will happily return to in Palm Beach. And though its located down in Manalapan, a 15-minute drive from the action on Worth Avenue, we were happily ensconced by the beach and never even missed the retail options one bit. We even enjoyed venturing just across the bridge to the Old Key Lime House for a easy no-frills dinner on the inter-coastal, complete with an outdoor kids play area.

Rollin’ with Nolan Tip: For the family, where the mom is discerning, the kids are restless and the amenities are top-notch, this is a great option. A new FOF Favorite. Please contact me at Friend of a Friend Consulting if you are interested in booking the hotel as a VIP client.

Posted in: Beach, Family

Published by Meg, Monday, January 13, 2014 No Comments

Do You Like Pi

Beach, Caribbean, Family


Casa de Campo

Dominican Republic


What is it about the Spanish-speaking islands in the Caribbean that simply ensure a tastier Piña Colada? Is it because the drink likely originated from them (the name is Spanish after all) or  that they  cook more with coconut milk than say, Jamaica? I’m not sure, but as someone who has visited her fair share of the Caribbean islands and ordered a gluttonous amount of piña coladas in her day, I am confident in declaring the Dominican Republic as the home of the Caribbean’s best Piña Coladas, especially when they come served in an actual pineapple, like they do at Casa de Campo.

This past week I flew down to the DR – an easy 3-or-so hour flight on Jet Blue – flying into capital city, Santo Domingo, but more wisely, out of La Romana Airport, which is but ten minutes from the sprawling 7,000-acre resort of Casa de Campo. I spent four nights in a ground-floor Elite guestroom just a stone’s throw from the main pool with a terrace overlooking one of the resort’s three golf courses. The rooms have been redone in the past three years and are spacious, comfortable and very clean, thanks to twice daily housekeeping service. My fellow travelers and I were treated to multi-course meals around the resort, a boat trip to a private beach area and castaway lunch (see image above) and even a round of golf of the resorts award-winning Teeth of the Dog golf course. The highlight for me was by far and away the golf.


The course features multiple waterside holes on both the front and the back nine and plays well yet formidably with approachable tee shots and unforgiving greens. I had a wonderful round with two lovely ladies from Long Island and would have been back on the course each day of the trip had our schedules allowed for it. I would highly recommend a golf trip down to this beloved resort. I’m aware the sport fishing and the equestrian center are of equal high merit, however, as a golfer, I can’t help but steer clients towards what I know and truly enjoyed firsthand.

Casa de Campo

La Romana, Republica Dominicana

Tel: (809) 523-3333

Casa de Campo Website

Posted in: Beach, Caribbean, Family

Published by Meg, Saturday, November 23, 2013 No Comments

Happy Halloween




As I grow older, or maybe it’s as my child grows more aware, my need to make an concerted effort on holiday decorations increases. This year, I’ve decked the house out with figurines, lights, whirring ghosts and whatever else I could find stowed on my parents abuse of volume pills third floor. While I am proud to have done that, I’m off to carve the pumpkins just now – the very afternoon of Halloween. I’m looking at these few pics for inspiration and hoping that at the very least, one comes out looking decent. Happy Halloween !


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Posted in: Family

Published by Meg, Friday, November 1, 2013 No Comments

about meg

About Meg


Meg is the founder of luxury travel consulting company, Friend of a Friend Consulting. Her three books, Italian Hideaways, Caribbean Hideaways and England's Hideaways are published by Rizzoli. Passionate about travel, hotels and wine, she continues to write freelance travel pieces and is currently pursuing a Masters in Wine through the WSET.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own and do not reflect separate business relationships with the subject. Whenever posts are supported financially, they are designated as such.