For years, Grant Thatcher rattled around Asia gathering wisdom about where to find the perfect martini in Bali, how to buy furniture in Bangkok, or who makes the smartest tweed jackets in Hong Kong. When friends started pestering him for tips, he decided to launch the Luxe City Guides in 2002. Now available for 22 cities in Asia, Europe, and North America (luxecityguides.com), the Luxe Guide is a three-by-six-inch, 20-panel accordion-pleated guide that will fit in a shirt pocket. "I want them to be sharp, acerbic, cheeky-like a smack in the mouth," says Thatcher, who edits each one himself. We caught up with Thatcher recently in Hong Kong for his always colorful take on travel.
What is it: For my money the Mandarin Oriental is the most glam hotel in London. Its not unusual to see movie stars or models milling around the foyer, while its location near Hyde Park and the shopping mecca of Harrods and Harvey Nichols also make it a place for the seriously monied.
Remember the romance of Prague in the early nineties -- the faded façades, the atmospheric bars, the thrill of discovering a secret city? During the summer, when you're elbow-to-elbow with beer-swilling tourists in the Old Town, those halcyon days seem far away. But fairy-tale Prague is there, especially if you visit in winter, when the crowds have dispersed.
and pamper yourself with an unforgettable weekend in New York City. Or you can spend a full week kicking back at one of the plush resorts that dot the American West. Either option will set you back the same $5,000. The first one delivers more anything-can-happen excitement and variety. The second promises more of the one thing children don't add to your life: free time. --DONNA ROSATO AND KATE ASHFORD ...