About gbooks

Our luxury travel service puts the ultimate touch on Journeys reflecting a unique experience of a lifetime; we design Legacy Travel for our clients. Our focus on bespoke Journeys entails more than a creative idea and a few reservations. We hand select our land teams, guides, behind the scenes experts - all who reflect our passion for excellence and personalized service. I’m passionate about travel and unique experiences; interested in meeting local people,studying architecture, discovering and learning as much as possible about every city I visit. I adore Paris, yearn to see more of Africa, a recent visit to Istanbul reminds me that there is much more to see in Turkey. A passage to India allowed me to explore the rich and diverse culture, and I barely scratched the surface of this amazing country. Love to sail, discover music and indigenous food of each region, seek out the best markets and design, and of course dine at the local restaurants. I particularly love roaming Africa, recently explored Argentina and India, which deserve another visit. A devoted Francophile, love all things Parisian, world music, excellent wines & champagne.

Four Seasons Downtown New York

“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.”
— Simone De Beauvoi

This could have been my theme song for my extended stay in New York! A lovely long week discovering new restaurants, absorbing compelling theater and a few stolen moments in my favorite museums – a week combined with moving hotels three times! Intrepid traveler – always interested in the hottest dining, the latest from my favorite hotel brands…

Arrival on the first warm summer evening in the city landed me at the cutting edge recently opened Four Seasons Downtown. At the crossroads of Tribeca and the Financial District, just a block from the World Trade Center, the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown adds its classic architectural profile to the world’s most famous skyline. And does it capture your imagination!

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CUT Bar Four Seasons Downtown New York

Wednesday night, I entered the lobby to a buzzing bar and restaurant scene at celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s CUT, just off the striking lobby. The hotel has a signature fragrance, I haven’t figured out how it is achieved in these wide-open spaces, but it is an exotic scent, adding to the ambience.https://i1.wp.com/www.fourseasons.com/content/dam/fourseasons/images/web/NYD/NYD_221_aspect16x9.jpg/jcr:content/renditions/cq5dam.web.1280.720.jpeg?w=584

One of NYC’s loftiest residential towers, the hotel soars above a neighborhood that’s redrafting the local scene on a daily basis. Designed by architect Robert A. M. Stern, the hotel oozes modern luxury, with a hint of  bronze hues evidencing Wall Street, the interior public spaces reflect a very stylized architecture. Inside, global design stars Yabu Pushelberg have created chic, richly layered retreats in all 189 guest rooms and suites. Some rooms feature balconies, this neighborhood is quiet enough to sleep with doors or windows open – yes, there is a choice! My stunning corner suite provided an almost touch me, reach to the shimmering glass of the Freedom Tower, rising to nuzzle the stars. Look down from the 26th floor corner to catch a peek at the intricate ribs of the gleaming white Oculus. Did I mention the white marble bathrooms, huge by most hotel standards and a luxurious soaking tub to die for.https://i2.wp.com/www.fourseasons.com/content/dam/fourseasons/images/web/NYD/NYD_225_aspect16x9.jpg/jcr:content/renditions/cq5dam.web.1280.720.jpeg?w=584

The soaring openness of the lobby and public spaces, provide a feeling like no other New York hotel; the interiors, in a way, reflect the neighborhood, there are expansive breaks of daylight between the buildings, a horizon can be enjoyed, and you aren’t boxed in by cement or glass towers.

Escape to the peaceful spa or dip into downtown’s coolest lap pool, a glass room with a view and loungers scattered about with the utmost privacy; lifeguard included! One work afternoon, an attendant found a plug for my laptop and stretched out towels for an impromptu office – laps between emails made for a fine work session. Two walls of floor to ceiling windows provide rare natural light illuminating the 75-foot long pool. Leave your lounger office for a workout in the 6,000 sq. foot fitness center, inspired by the views of the Oculus and the World Trade Center, a long treadmill run breezes past in no time!https://i0.wp.com/www.fourseasons.com/content/dam/fourseasons/images/web/NYD/NYD_210_aspect16x9.jpg/jcr:content/renditions/cq5dam.web.1280.720.jpeg?w=584

The spa is also in this corner of the hotel. The quiet and serene very European style spa may remind some Four Seasons addicts of their stay in Four Seasons hotels in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Dubai, as the patron spa saint is the esteemed Dr. Burgener of Switzerland.

Located in Tribeca just steps from Wall Street, the World Trade Center and the new Oculus, the Four Seasons Downtown is a marvelous base for exploring lower Manhattan. It’s a brief stroll to the broad expanse of the Hudson River and its paths for walking and biking, the 911 Memorial is steps away, South Street Seaport, and a brisk walk up to Tribeca. Locals have already adopted the small park just a half a block away; if you enjoy an afternoon coffee combined with people watching, this is a slice of NY heaven. The neighborhood is audibly quieter than any area of the city. It’s busy yes, yet there seems to be an absence of the constant scream of sirens and the throbbing car horns that epitomize the city. I didn’t miss the noise!

I’ve only stayed in this neighborhood once, right after 9/11, when only the heroic had the courage to move to a new un-built corner of the island, which lacked all basic services. I honestly loved the Four Seasons Downtown, not just for the great dining, amazing spa and pool, my stunning suite with drop-dead views, the air was clean and refreshing, and to enjoy the wide berths of space between buildings and not feel confined by soulless cement was a unique New York experience – Four Seasons Downtown New York.

Highly recommend – our clients are spoiled by the Four Seasons management, let us know when you are ready to stay at the new vibrant luxurious corner of the city!

 

 

 

The Point Resort – Oh My!

At this time of year as days get longer and the thermometer climbs higher, one might imagine the perfect day would include planing across an immense sapphire hued lake in a classic wooden boat. My recent visit to The Point Resort on Upper Saranac Lake provided several leisurely afternoons cocooned in a cozy corner of a classic mahogany Hacker-Craft. The timeless design of this traditional boat is indicative of the panache and polish of The Point Resort.

Speeding across Saranac Lake in this classic beauty!

The Point, in Upper New York State, was designed and built for William Avery Rockefeller, a nephew of the tycoon. Situated amidst a pine forest on a peninsula jutting into Saranac Lake, it’s in the distinctive style of a private luxurious Adirondack Great Camp. In the early 19th Century, wealthy industrialists, the well-known families of this era, Vanderbilt’s and Astor’s, Guggenheim’s and Rockefeller’s built their summer Camps tucked into the tree line along this scenic lake. Log cabin mansions built of native timber and stone replaced their city mansions, truly ‘roughing’ it in rustic chic luxurious wilderness camps. Families would arrive to retreat for the summer and many still do to this day. The great Adirondack Park is a summer and winter paradise, a six-million-acre wilderness spreading from upstate New York all the way into Canada, a vast forest dotted with stunning lakes.

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The Point Resort Outdoor dining

The Point Resort Guest House

If you lack a perfectly outfitted Adirondack Camp, the only Forbes five star resort in upstate New York, is the picture-perfect solution for a decadent countryside escape. The ruggedly luxurious – this is an up-country resort in which two differing descriptions can be used to describe the eleven-room resort – the rooms are spread out between the main log-cabin mansion and several stand-alone cottages. Each room has a massive stone fireplace, lake views, hand built beds and private luxurious baths. Decorated with many original to the home, fine antiques, rustic log and twig furniture, 19th century oil paintings, rich fabrics, bookshelves stacked with reading material, honestly every comfort has been carefully defined. A fully inclusive resort, one should diet before arrival as No is not in the staff vocabulary. Fully stocked bars are scattered across the property, in the great room, along a trail, at the splendid boathouse, near the bonfire pit, tucked into a massive log… one will not die of thirst.

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The Point Resort- my cozy bedroom!

Enticed yet? We haven’t even discussed the gorgeous lake, and the beautiful mahogany boats for your pleasure. Several run about classic wooden electric boats with canopies are for guest use. Knowing my cell phone had limited coverage and not trusting my complete lack of direction on land, let alone a lake, I opted for lake cruising only with Captain Dion in the 12 passenger great power boat. Plus the ice bucket brimming with Champers would certainly have created additional navigation difficulty. Captain Dion is the local expert, pointing out the old guard Great Camps of the Robber Barons, tucked into the pine coves, you might actually just view the handsome ‘garages’ used to house the summer boats.

The Point Resort- Guest Boating!

Although The Point is a summer and winter resort, due to the size of the lake, you are unlikely to encounter much traffic. Summer activities swim, fish, canoe, and water ski, or merely explore the lake in one of the resort’s swanky teak electric inboard boats. In winter, the rates include a variety of activities such as curling on the lake with a full ice bar and bonfire, outdoor snow barbecues each Saturday.

The Point Resort Dining Room

There is a genteel casualness at The Resort – in that doors don’t have locks and there is a no-tipping policy; however, refined customs are observed, as in the grand dinner served at eight pm, cocktails always precede, of course; change attire or not for the after dinner bon-fire up on the hill with a lake view. True to my must do everything when I perform site inspections, lit by moonlight, I traversed the rocky path up the hill to a roaring fire after dinner for S’mores. You might imagine a Gatsbyesque atmosphere. We, of course, didn’t refuse cognac, made successful attempts with the S’mores, but declined the baskets of truffle fries and truffle popcorn…well, maybe one nibble…but really – unfailing hospitality and beyond generous meals, it never ends here! The ever-gracious staff is extremely willing to please and is constantly offering drinks and endless delicious snacks before you even ask – they are mind readers!

On most nights, a jacket and tie is suggested attire for men for dinner. Ladies, glam up, you won’t be the only one who prefers to dress for dinner! On Saturday and Wednesday nights, regardless of the season, formal attire is de rigueur, black tie!

There isn’t a gym on property, however if you ask for workout equipment, it will be delivered to your room – for a buy out, consider using a room for a gym, hospitality, is their specialty. Drop in to the kitchen to see what Chef Loic Leperlier and staff are preparing, no problem – want a cooking class, of course! Take a well-marked hike through the fragrant pine forest and find a box of chilled water along the trail, discover Camp David, a small cottage on property and nosh on the cookies and fruit left for your arrival. Slip out of your room and multiple snacks are delivered, just in case you didn’t fill up at the barbecue lunch. Can’t say enough about the food, simply delicious, innovative cuisine.

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The Point Resort Boat House Suite

My favorite room is The Boat House, it is an airy, open hall above the boats and water where a lofty, beamed ceiling vaults over a story-book canopied bed in the very center of the room. Wide porches front the suite with swaying hammocks on each end for afternoon snoozing!

I’m sure none of my clients enjoyed this luxurious lifestyle in 1933, relish it now, at The Point Resort! A five hour drive from Manhattan, but only a 60 minute puddle jumper flight from Boston!

An incomparable Resort, quite decadent, just like Summer Camp should be!

A Great Camp along Saranac lake

Highly recommend!https://i0.wp.com/thepointsaranac.com/images/gallery-01.png?w=584