Hotel Safety DailyMail TV

I love a list! Here are more tips from my Daily Mail TV story on hotel safety to keep in mind when you are traveling by yourself. You can watch my segment on DailyMail TV by checking your local listings.

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  • Have the bellman escort you to your room.
  • Make sure the door has both a deadbolt, security latch or a chain lock.
  • Stay on floors 3 thru 6 and avoid the first floor at all costs. In the event of a fire, you can be rescued from these floors by a fire truck with a ladder.
  • Leave the “Do Not Disturb” or “Room Occupied” sign on the door all the time.
  • Leave the television on. This makes it appear like someone is in the room.
  • Check safety reviews of the hotel and also the surrounding areas.
  • If someone tells you they are a hotel employee, verify that with the front desk if you are in doubt.
  • Cover the peep hole on the door.
  • When traveling alone, walk in or out of the hotel with other people. This way no one will know you are traveling solo.
  • Pull your drapes so people can’t see inside your room.
  • Keep your room number private at all costs.
  • Call the front desk from your cell phone. Ask for yourself and tell them you aren’t sure of the room number. If they give you the room number and connect you, ask for another room. They should always say, “Let me connect you.”
  • Always leave your room key in the same place, ideally next to your bed. You won’t waste time looking for it if you need to leave in a hurry.
  • Check the phone in your room to ensure that it is working properly.
  • Pick up a few business cards with the hotel’s information on them. In the event something happens to you, this will be an indicator as to where you are staying and who to call.
  • Keep your valuables including your computer and iPad locked up when you are not in the room.
  • Get on the elevator last and stand near the buttons. If someone suspicious looking gets on, get off!
  • If you leave your beverage sitting on a table or bar, when you return order another one. This eliminates the chances of someone spiking your drink with drugs.
  • Check to see if there is a government issued travel warning to where you are traveling.
  • Just because a hotel is inexpensive, does not mean it is safe. Is getting a good deal worth risking your personal safety and possibly your life?

These tips aren’t meant to scare you away from traveling. They are simple reminders of things to do and what to look for so that your trip of a lifetime doesn’t turn into the trip from hell. I can not stress enough the importance of RESEARCH! Take the time to read about where you are traveling to and the areas near where you will be staying.

Antarctica – The White Continent

 When you ask someone how many continents they have visited, you might suspect that Antarctica would be missing from their list.  Luckily for me, it is not missing. Australia, yes. But,  Antarctica?  Check!  Been there, saw it and have a tv episode to prove it! Watch as I chill with the penguins and dance on the ice!   It was truly a trip of a lifetime that I will never forget!

I spent my time on board the Orion with many well traveled members of Exclusive Resorts.  By the end of the journey we’d all become better acquainted with each other as you’d expect after spending nearly two weeks together!  I even met Scott Forstall, former Apple executive, turned Tony award winning Broadway producer of Fun Home.  Forstall is spending his post-Apple time traveling the world, producing shows and helping the authorities crack down on the on-line sex trade when he’s not at dance lessons with his kids back in California.

If you want to see Antarctica be prepared to drop a lot of Benjamin’s as it is not an inexpensive journey to the bottom of the planet. But I promise you, it is well worth every single penny spent!  You’ll go for the penguins, whales and seals but you’ll want to book your return trip to see the ice!

Meet Me There – New York

Our first episode of Meet Me There – New York is live! You can see some of my favorite off the beaten path things to do in New York City.    Me and the crew at Exclusive Resorts are taking you to some of our favorite luxury destinations in this travel show.  Of course, New York City is one of my very favorite places on the planet and it is where we kick off the show.

A little note about this episode – If you find yourself on Crosby Street in SoHo, make sure you stop into Saturdays Surf.  They’ve got great coffee and some really cool things for the gents.  And if just you want to LOOK at some cool gents, stop in Saturdays Surf!  Just sayin’!

If you haven’t subscribed to my blog post, I’d love for you to do so!  The “subscribe” link is on the right hand side.  This will ensure you get a little joie de vivre in your inbox!

Sticky in Grand Cayman

fish-smallWhen I first visited Grand Cayman many years ago on a Thanksgiving break with Exclusive Resorts, I was looking forward to some downtime, warm weather, island cocktails and fresh fish. When my friend Sara recommended Calypso Grill out in West Bay, I knew I would have to secure a reservation and try it out. Sara told me the fish sourced from the dock next door was fresh, delicious and well prepared. But the highlight of the night out for dinner would be the sticky toffee pudding.

I LOVE dessert and often times feel like it should be served first and not last. However, sticky toffee pudding didn’t strike me as an island inspired dessert that I must consume in order to make my Grand Cayman trip complete. Boy, was I wrong.

Chef George Fowler has made this delectable concoction a mainstay on the island. The dining experience in his French inspired restaurant is relaxed, yet has a proper feeling to it at the same time. The open air restaurant spills out onto the deck which offers an amazing starlit setting at night. My family has spent at least one night during all of our trips to Cayman dining on that deck, gazing at the stars and enjoying the breeze off of the bay.

When the waiter arrived with my Sticky Toffee Pudding, I was surprised at what was placed in front of me. This delicious smelling dish did not look anything like toffee or pudding. It did, however, look sticky!

 

Sticky...but not looking like pudding.

Sticky…but not looking like pudding.

Regardless of my biased pre-dessert arrival ideas of this calorie heavy dessert, I dove in for my first taste. That was the point when I started making a lot of guttural sounds that you make when you are really digging the taste of something for the very first time!  This Sticky Toffee Pudding was incredible!

Sticky Toffee Pudding is basically a light piece of cake, with a rich sauce drizzled over it and served with a scoop of ice cream.

DJ Duckworth and Chef George

Chef George and me – pre-dessert induced coma

Chef has fans far and wide and was even summoned to personally deliver some to Steven Colbert, comedian and soon-to-be replacement for David Letterman on the Late Show, for his birthday! Talk about top shelf service!

I’ve never been to Calypso Grill and not enjoyed the Sticky Toffee Pudding. It’s just part of the experience. While I really love trying out new dishes and different foods, sometimes sticking with what I know I love is the best option – especially when serious calories are involved! When dessert is in question, I know exactly how long I’m going to have to work out in order to keep my backside from spilling out of my bikini! I’d hate to waste all of those calories and gym minutes on a lack luster dessert. Sticky Toffee Pudding is well worth the work out!

You can see more about Calypso Grill and watch me and Corbin swim with the stingrays in this episode of Meet Me There! If you are so inspired, here is a recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding if you want try it out at home.

DJ Duckworth and Corbin at Calypso Grill

See y’all next time, Calypso Grill

Grand Cayman – Meet Me There

smallfishGrand Cayman is a destination I have returned to many times.  It’s a beautiful place for starters. It’s super easy to get to from New York City on a direct flight on Jet Blue out of JFK.  The sting rays, star fish, sea turtles, sunscreen, sand, sunsets, 7 Mile Beach and star gazing are the things that always take me back to the island in the Caribbean.  This trip is brought to you by the letter ‘S’ it seems!  Check out the Meet Me There episode with me and Corbin!

 

Costa Rica and the Pura Vida

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According to the calendar, Spring is approaching!  Thank God!  This has been a tough winter to say the least.  In December, I headed down to Costa Rica to shoot this Meet Me There episode with my crew from Denver and Los Angeles.  It was fast and furious and we covered more ground and went on more eco-adventure excursions that I can really recommend in such a short amount of time!  You can catch the action in the episode below.  I’d love for you to like, share, and subscribe to the episodes on Exclusive Resorts You Tube page in this link.  Enjoy the show!

Hawaii – Kohalo Coast Meet Me There

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Kohala Coast magic isn’t a hard thing to conjure up.  Just stepping off the jet at the airport and inhaling is a quick way to hit the reset button. I unearthed some of the island’s hidden gems in this episode of Meet Me There.  Watch and enjoy!