Sunday, March 28, 2010

Haute Tip When Traveling With Expensive Items

When you’re traveling internationally you may want to think about getting a little insurance in case your checked luggage gets lost. Most airlines are required by U.S. regulations to compensate travelers up to $3,300 in the event their checked bags are lost, stolen or damaged for domestic travel.

Unfortunately, the same is not true when you travel internationally with checked bags. In fact, you’d be lucky to get a fraction of that because compensation for international travel is based on the weight of your checked luggage at just $9.07 per pound. So you might want to think twice about checking in grandma’s Louis Vuitton steamer trunk or Aunt CoCo’s Chanel luggage.
However, there’s a little secret that may help you recover more of what your items are worth. It’s called Excess Valuation or EV. Most people have never even heard of it because it’s one of those things that “they don’t want you to know.” You must ask about EV at check-in or take your chances in the event of the unthinkable.

EV allows you to spend about $10 on average to get an additional $1,000 of coverage. There’s only one thing to keep in mind… this only covers the contents of your lost luggage, not damage to the outside.

To find out more check with your airline before you check-in because prices and coverage may vary. Also, if you’re traveling on more than one carrier to get to your final destination, be sure to inquire about carryover coverage.

Will you buy EV to cover the contents of your luggage?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pamper Me With Healing Hands

The Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago offers a lesson in wellness and relaxation for the mind, body and soul. During my recent 24 hour stay, I indulged in a relaxing aroma blend massage followed by quiet time in the relaxation room sipping on herbal tea and eating fresh fruit.

My signature treatment began with essential oils blended just for me. Acupressure and light massage techniques were executed to perfection by Cheryl, my therapist, while I lay on a heated table with an eye pillow over my lids. I loved the steam inhalation therapy combined with the Eucalyptus essential oil that helped open my nasal passages. I inhaled and exhaled my way to a 50 minute escape high above the chic, but busy Michigan Avenue below. It was a beautiful start to my day.

To learn more visit

Is a trip to the Spa at The Four Seasons in your future?

It's Time to Exhale

Chicago is a city known for high quality spas and cosmopolitan lifestyles. So it came as no surprise when I decided to head over to Exhale Spa for a little seasonal pampering during my recent trip. Once inside this Zen-like haute spot, I took a deep breath before climbing the two flights of stairs to check in for my treatment.

After slipping out of my street gear, uggs and overcoat, I was ushered into a treatment room for a much needed Grow Restore and Nurture or G.R.N. facial from the Well Bar for the girl on the go. It’s been a really long, bitterly cold winter and my skin is showing signs of dryness and dehydration. Now that spring is just weeks away, it’s time for renewal.

The G.R.N. 30 minute facial is designed to combat the negative effects of environmental toxins on our skin. I love the fact that this particular facial is highly effective and eco-friendly. The G.R. N. paraben-free skin care products like the Blue Chamomile Face Cleanser are exclusive to Exhale Spa and formulated to blend essential oils to gently detoxify and correct skin imbalances.

My therapist was very knowledgeable about the treatment and products. She cleansed, exfoliated and added moisture to my skin before performing a purifying Thai foot message. After manipulating targeted energy points in my feet, to improve circulation and rid my body of toxins, she offered tips on how to keep my radiant glow longer.

Exhale Spa is known for merging mind and body; it’s one of the best in combining fitness and movement with spa and healing therapies to improve the total well-being.

Visit to find a location near you.

Are your ready to Exhale?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

24 Hours of Luxury

When a southern girl needs a little pampering and finds herself in Chicago, her first stop is the Four Seasons Hotel. I recently checked into this ultra luxe haute spot close to Michigan Avenue to get in a little shopping, exercise and spa hopping during my 24 hour stay.

There’s nothing like stepping into the lobby of refined comfort and pure elegance in the heart of Chicago’s gold coast, just minutes from museums, parks and Oak Street Beach. Modern interiors with mid 20th century French décor and a dramatic city skyline view from my executive suite made for an amazing stay.

A luxurious marble bath and glass shower welcomed me as I stepped through the French doors leading out of my spacious living room into my private bedroom. An array of products by L’Occitane, comfy robes and a bottle of Voss water paved the way for total relaxation.

After pouring a cup of herbal tea, I don’t remember falling asleep instead I sank into my comfortable king size bed with fluffy pillows and my eyes simply closed. After a great night’s sleep, it was time to head to the hotel’s spa for an aromatherapy massage before a stroll along fashionable Oak Street, yoga class at Exhale Spa and a late check-out. The only thing missing—a visit from the hotel’s ice cream man.
If you’re looking for a hotel with exceptional customer service and posh amenities, then look no further than the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. Isn’t it time for a little indulgence?

Will you check into the Four Seasons Hotel?

Celebrating 100 Years w/ Champagne and Roses

Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa in Chicago nails it with the luxurious Champagne and Roses pedicure in celebration of their 100th Anniversary. I was only in town for 24 hours, but getting pampered and polished was on the top of my list of my things to do. After a whirlwind day, I headed over to the spa and stepped inside the red door to kick my feet up and indulge in a warm foot bath with roses. Once I began soaking my feet in the water, Flori, my therapist began exfoliating with a scrub of champagne and rose extracts blended with shea butter, grape seed oil and vitamins A, C, and D. A footlogix callus softener was applied before my nails were trimmed. A warm neck pillow was brought out for a more relaxing experience, while I enjoyed my Caesar salad with grilled chicken lunch.

Once my nails were filed smooth, a nice moisture-sealing paraffin treatment followed. It was in a word—decadent! My silky smooth feet were removed from the cute little white booties and plastic wrap about seven minutes later, a reflexology-like massage was now in order. Before long, it was time to paint my toes haute pink! Flori polished them to perfection and topped it off with a few more rose petals sprinkled around my toes.

The Champagne and Roses pedicure is a special offered for the month of March at Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa with 31 locations nationwide.

To learn more visit

Haute Tip: Get 15% off your visit by telling them you were referred by Haute Travels! See the website for details and restrictions.

My New Sweet Haute Spot

American food with a healthier approach to southern classics is served up at Sweet Auburn Bistro. This charming little haute spot is located along Atlanta’s historic Auburn Avenue where history and culture meet. Executive Chef and Owner Glenn Law is the creator of the “new southern” cuisine infused with Caribbean flair offering flavorful food at affordable prices.

Once inside you’re transported to a modern day version of 1955 Atlanta where the smell of Georgia Shrimp and Cheese grits and double crust peach cobbler along with rhythmic beats fill the air. This cozy little gem offers a menu of dishes featuring exotic creations like the Sweet Auburn Chips made with black pot kettle fried potato chips, drizzled with melted blue cheese, red onions and scallions and Scallop Risotto prepared in Mediterranean fashion. You can also get soups, salads and 171 burgers while you dine with friends or alone for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Casual conversation over Cabbage Town fried green tomatoes, Hotlanta wings or decadent desserts along with a selection from their extensive wine list makes this the place to be during Monday's live music night or any day of the week. WiFi is also available.

Sweet Auburn Bistro is open seven days a week. To learn more visit

Will you check out Sweet Auburn Bistro?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What's Haute in My Travel Bag?

What’s new in my travel bag? A pair of After Soles, the portable, rollable ballet flats for the diva on the dance floor or on the GO! When my high heels, wedges or shoes (that hurt my feet) have run their course, I pull out my After Soles and keep it moving. I love the little bag designed to store your shoes, while you wear the flats. They’re perfect for carry on, handbags or totes.

They’re stylish and comfortable in silver, gold and black and cost just $14.95. So if you find that you’re in need of a little relief just slip them on and make those stiletto-induced sorrows disappear.

To learn more visit

Will you add a pair of After Soles to your travel bag?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Flow With Haute Hair and Make Giving Back Beautiful

Tucked inside the land where wigs, weaves, and natural hair reign supreme among trend-setters is a hair salon that makes giving back beautiful. In a loft-like space with flowing water and master stylists working their magic sisters Najah (pronounced like the river Niger in Africa) and Lateefah Aziz are watching their dream come true with every color, cut and style.
“I loved doing hair as a child, but I took the corporate America route,” says Najah Aziz. But after more than 16 years in corporate America¸ she began thinking that it was time to follow her passion and open a salon. “It took courage to give up everything to get something I truly wanted.” Soon after, her sister joined her bringing an expertise in customer service and business management.

Just two years later with a roster of professional women, socialites and girls, who just love their hair as clients, the Aziz sisters have become a force in the Atlanta area beauty industry. They pride themselves on being different and offering amazing hair care through trendy styles, cuts and healthy practices using PHYTO products. In “black Hollywood” where haute hair is serious business—they rule!

Najah, known for her fierce, precision cuts for women who love their hair short, is the creative one. For her, hair is more than an occasional fling—it’s her passion! “I work to improve and learn every day by watching instructional videos, taking classes, practicing on mannequins and learning from our talented staff,” she says with pride. “That’s when you know it's a passion.”

Guests entering this urban sanctuary in Inman Park are greeted by warm earthy tones with a dash of blue. Hardwood floors and chocolate furniture coupled with flowing water offer peace and tranquility for those looking to escape the urban grind of this southern city. Amazing stylists like Nia Simmons greet you with a smile and punctuality! Nia washed and conditioned my dull, dry, lifeless hair before a stimulating steam hydration treatment to restore moisture. After she trimmed and pressed my hair, it went from drab to fab in about one hour.

Perhaps what really sets this salon apart from others is their charitable giving. The sisters have made it part of their business practice to offer free hair care and beauty services to battered women, breast cancer survivors and trouble teens quarterly. “We donate our time and talent to women who otherwise might not receive professional services,” says Aziz. “My staff and I get as much out of servicing them as they get out of it because we just believe it's our responsibility.”

If you love haute hair and giving back flow with Like The River.

To learn more visit

Will you visit Like The River?