French Kiss By Lead Travel Writer, Renee Fontaine   “Is not a kiss the very autograph of love?” — Henry Fin Think of the word “French” and what comes to mind? Wine, the Eiffel Tower, and the Cote d’Azur. Now, combine “French” with “Kiss” and an entirely new image arises — lovers lips sealed in a passionate embrace. Movie lovers may conjure up thoughts of the 1995 Hollywood film, French Kiss. This romantic comedy, written by Adam Brooks and starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline combines […] Read more »

VILLA DAR LIQAMA, Marakesh, Morocco

The Red Rose of Arabia By Lead Travel Writer, Renee Fontaine   “For the sake of one rose, the gardener becomes the servant of a thousand souls” – Moon Over Morocco Dunes of pink sand and hills of red earth caught my eye as the plane started its descent into Marrakesh.  Snow capped mountains provided an enticing backdrop to this serene vista.  Ripe with eager enthusiasm, I arrived full of anticipation to experience this ancient city where the ancient past intertwines with […] Read more »

LUXURY VILLA, Korcula, Croatia, EU

A World in Miniature By Lead Travel Writer, Renee Fontaine  “Our world is made up of a myriad of microcosms, of tiny worlds, each with its own habitués, every one known to the others.” —Louis L’Amour, Education of a Wandering Man Islands hold a certain enchantment. As children, we fantasize about such places as being mystical and bearing great treasures. In fact, there are more than two million islands in the world, of which 100,000 are inhabited. Each is a world in miniature with […] Read more »


Heart and Soul By Lead Travel Writer, Renee Fontaine                                                                                                                      “True beauty is found in the heart and soul” — author unknown France — this […] Read more »

VILLA MICHAELA, Tuscany, Italy

 Tuscan Serenade By Lead Travel Writer Renee Fontaine Serenata (It.): A captivating evening concert in the open air or under the window of an aficionada.  A lovely serenade has seduced my heart. Unlike the variety sung by a handsome Italian beneath my window, the music is uniquely Tuscan. This heart-capturing song is a mélange of melodies, harmonies and rhythms that stirs the senses. The tantalizing sound of the Italian language – buongiorno, ciao bella and magnifico still whispers in my ears. The beauty […] Read more »


Dreamland By Lead Travel Writer, Renee Fontaine . “If you have a surreal life like I do, you’ve got to have fun along the way.” — Victoria Beckham . I love the word “surreal.” What word could be more fascinating? Definitions include, “having the quality of a dream, unreal, and fantastic.” The literal interpretation is “above real.” What could be better than being above reality? Surreal is the word that comes to mind when I think of Primošten, Croatia.. Signs Primosten, pronounced pre -mo-shten, rolls […] Read more »


Europe’s Best Kept Secret  By Lead Travel Writer, Renee Fontaine .     “Some secrets are too delicious not to share.” —Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay . I love a “good” secret — like expecting surprises or hidden treasures. Some secrets we encounter without intention such as receiving surreptitious news from a good friend. Others, we stumble across in our path through life when we least expect to find them. Some secrets are to be kept at the holder’s request, shared when the time is […] Read more »


A Fairytale By Lead Travel Writer, Renee Fontaine “One of the best things about folklore and fairy tales is that the best fantasy is what you find right around the corner, in this world.” — Terry  Windling Picture a fairytale — a vision of rolling hills, serene lakes, prancing deer, chirping birds, and flowering trees. As children, we are taught to believe that such places truly exist; and after a few twists and turns on the path of life, we will encounter such a paradise. […] Read more »

HAMPTON HOUSE-Westhampton Beach, NY

Enchanting Private Vineyard in European Style Setting By Lead Travel Writer Renee Fontaine .  As I passed through the tall wrought iron gates, I felt like I had entered a world of the past — a time in medieval Europe where I might expect to encounter horse-drawn carriages and knights. The driveway weaves its way through dense foliage of coniferous and deciduous trees resembling a path through the Black Forest of Germany. Just ahead, the home came into view — a country style two-story […] Read more »

ESSEX HOUSE 560-Manhattan, NY

Wonderful Central Park South Location! By Lead Travel Writer, Renee Fontaine . The Essex House opened its warm and inviting arms to me at the height of the Christmas festivities. A brightly lit Christmas tree and strands of garland accented the already elegant lobby adorned with marble floors, crystal chandeliers and rich colored woodwork. The Essex House is a prestigious landmark of Central Park South. Construction of this luxurious residence-hotel began in 1929 following the stock market crash and the arrival of the Great […] Read more »

UNION GABLES, Saratoga Springs, NY

Somewhere in Time By Lead Travel Writer, Renee Fontaine “Come back to me,” were the words brought to mind upon entry into this historic property. These famous words, spoken by Elise McKenna, played by Jane Seymore in the 1980 film Somewhere in Time, set the stage for a journey back in time. In the film, Richard Collier, played by Christopher Reeves, accepts Elise’s invitation and travels back to 1912 where they fall in love. Entering this grand historic 1901 mansion conjured up feelings […] Read more »

MERCEDES HOUSE 1646, Manhattan, NY

Flash Forward in Time By Lead Writer, Renee Fontaine   Perched atop a Mercedes-Benz dealership, the Mercedes House propels twenty-first century Manhattan to twenty-second century innovation. This 32-story residential building features a unique zig-zagging design creating courtyards and large terraces. Mexican architect, Enrique Norton, designed this residence with 28,000 square feet interior, contiguous space which includes a state-of-the-art fitness area. The spacious design encompasses 60,000 square feet of outdoor space providing a South Beach like oasis. This spiraling luxury residential development has transported the landscape of […] Read more »


The Rich and Famous By Lead Travel Writer, Renee Fontaine   “It is better to live rich than to die rich” — Samuel Johnson Living rich — what a fantastic concept! Everyone dreams of such a privilege. In Greenwich, CT “living rich” is the way of life. In 2005, Money Magazine named Greenwich number one of the 100 Best Places to Live and ranked it in the “Biggest Earner” category. In fact, according to Forbes’ 2011 list of the world’s billionaires, eight live in Greenwich. […] Read more »


A Yachtsman’s Haven on Seaview Avenue By Lead Travel Writer, Renee Fontaine Early twentieth century elegance meets twenty-first century luxury in this historic waterfront New Rochelle Home. Built by one of Wall Street’s tycoons in the early 1900s, this home has served as a haven from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan for more than a century. Just a thirty minute drive from New York City, New Rochelle, has become the preferred place to live for beach lovers and yachtsman alike. Elegance with a […] Read more »

WEST HAMPTON BEACH- Westhampton Beach, NY

Small Details Lead to Greatness By Lead Travel Writer Renee Fontaine   “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” —Vincent Van Gogh The small details in all aspects of our lives are what lead to greatness and success. From relationships, to art, to cooking, to business, there is nothing more important than the “small things.” This rule also holds true for the aspects that make a house a home. This Westhampton Beach house brings all the small details […] Read more »

ESSEX HOUSE 1101-Manhattan, NY

Two Elegant Eras By Lead Travel Writer Renee Fontaine, I arrived in the evening after dark. The doorman, finely dressed in a long black coat trimmed in gold, held the heavy door open as I entered this historic landmark, The Essex House. An icon of Central Park South since its construction in 1931, this luxurious residence-hotel has been home to the elite, including royalty, celebrities, and diplomats. The feeling of elegance and sophistication immediately enveloped me as I traversed the grand lobby, stylishly decorated […] Read more »