Which Olympic Sports Were Not Invented in Norway?

Norway is a Winter Olympics superpower. With a population of only 5 million (roughly the same as Alabama) this tiny Scandinavian country has earned 329 medals (118 of them gold), considerably more than any other country. And, perhaps, it’s not surprising. In a nation with an ideal alpine training ground and a culture that prioritizes […]

The 6 Most Romantic Places in Norway

With a galaxy of glaciers, raw and rugged coastlines, lush mountain slopes and winding, iconic fjords, Norway’s natural beauty captures hearts around the world. Here, romance is woven into the tapestry of the landscape—it is felt in the awe of the Northern Lights and the warmth of the Midnight Sun; it can be found in […]

Richard’s 10 Greatest Adventures for 2018

I’ve been reconnoitering the backs of beyond since the exordium of modern adventure travel, and have reported about quite a few. So, I combed through the dangerous catalogue and picked out what I think will be the best adventures for 2018 (and personally tested them all). 1) The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu The […]

Richard’s Picks: Best Hotels in the World, Fall 2017

Peer-to peer-hotel evaluations do a great service, but they also come up short in a number of ways. The first is that studies suggest most people who write reviews are venting, as the property and experience did not meet expectations set by the website or recommendations. Also, most reviewers don’t travel for a living, so […]

Best Hotels in the World: Spring 2017

“Fly and flop; heads in beds.” Those the early memes of Expedia. When the OTA (online travel agency) first launched in 1996, we considered hotel beds commodities, interchangeable experiences, mattress widgets sold in electronic bits and bytes, but without the burden and costs of storage or shipping (good luck, Amazon). We bought hotel room futures […]

Richard’s Pick: Best Airline in the World, 2016

Today, of course, airlines everywhere are scaling back, devising ever more ways to cut, condense, or charge customers for every amenity once considered standard. So, it is with delight I can report that one airline has gone the other direction, and is pushing the envelope of luxury, comfort and service in the sky, while at […]

Richard’s Picks: Best Hotels in the World, Fall 2016

The wisdom of the crowd is a beautiful thing, except when it’s not. When it comes to matters of taste, the pack tends to push quality assessments to a lower common denominator. That can be good when the bar is a best-surprise-is-no-surprise epistemology, but if you seek quality of a different metric…say, personality, artistic rendition, […]

Richard’s Picks: Best Hotels in the World, Spring 2016

In the early days of Expedia.com, our business strategy was based on the agency model; taking a small commission on every hotel booking. Problem was, it usually cost more to process a booking than the commission brought in, so what we lost in margin we made up for in volume. Then a brilliant colleague proposed […]

Richard’s Gold List: Hotels and Restaurants

HOTELS Northern Ireland: Lough Erne Resort We surveyed the width and breadth of the land, turned every doily, checked every thread count, and we’re pleased to announce that the Lough Erne Resort, on a 600-acre peninsula in Enniskillen, is the best hotel in Northern Ireland for 2014. And the leaders of the Free World agree, […]

mamnoon restaurant

We are proud to announce the latest addition to the Gold List. mamnoon restaurant: http://www.mamnoonrestaurant.com/ Celebrating Syria: “We couldn’t go back, so we started mamnoon instead.” “For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.” -T.S. Elliot There are so many delicious facets to this story. I first met Wassef Haroun in […]