HONG KONG – I’m standing atop a tall, craggy peak with a strong wind rolling off the China Sea. Small, willow-like plants bend to the power of the breeze as I gaze at steep headlands dotted with acacia trees and sweet-smelling pine. Far below my feet I can see sand traps laid out on a deep green golf course and gnarly inlets and bays of Hong Kong Island. Uninhabited islands in shades of green and sun-kissed gold dot the surrounding ocean waters. Off to my right, I see a group of surfers bobbing in the water in Big Wave Bay. ... continue reading →


The other day I talked about my favourite Canadian destinations and travel bits for 2014. Here are some thoughts (okay, a LOT of thoughts) about the U.S. and a couple Caribbean and European spots I visited during the year. Most surprising U.S. destination: Apalachicola, Florida. A super-relaxed, fun town in a quiet section of the Florida panhandle with just the right mix of old-time charm and trendy, new shops. A very good brewpub, too. Most wonderful host: The delightful Anthony Hunte of Hunte’s Gardens in Barbados. A lovely man, great conversationalist and incredible gardener. His garden is always the highlight ... continue reading →


  HONOLULU – Last week I talked about a golf beauty. Today it’s a golf beast. The Princeville Makai course on Kauai is a gorgeous setting; challenging but playable. Ko’olau Golf Club on Oahu is something much more treacherous. But just as beautiful. Where Princeville is located on a peninsula high above the Pacific on Kauai, Ko’olau is hard up against the jagged, ragged green mountains that spike up the centre of the island of Oahu. At one point the course had a slope rating of 163; one of the most difficult numbers of any course on the planet. It’s a tad ... continue reading →


NAPILI BAY, MAUI – Arguably the best beach in North America. A fabulous, small hotel founded by Canadians. A terrific restaurant with awesome ocean, neighbour island and sunset views. Lush grounds filled with manicured lawns and tropical flowers of every colour. And a weekly show that brings together the funniest and most talented musicians in Hawaii. Yeah, it must be hard to market yourself when you’re the Napili Kai Beach Resort here on Maui. I’ve stayed in a lot of fancy places around the world, but there’s no hotel I’d rather come to than this one. Mind you, I first ... continue reading →