Alex Skjong

Correspondent

  • Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Alex Skjong is a Forbes Travel Guide correspondent based in Atlanta. The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, nurtured his journalistic foundation and the Internet did the rest, as his interest in new media forms such as podcasts and videocasts has grown over the years. He’s contributed print and online content to luxury and lifestyle publications including Michigan Avenue Magazine and Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, and social media content to the guitar website FRET12.com. When Skjong isn’t writing or tweeting, he’s recording music and tightly crossing his fingers for affordable commercial space travel.

  • On February 6, 2013
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What’s the best way to get to Cannes?

    Jet setting off to Cannes in a private chartered jet from NetJets is certainly an elegant way to enjoy an elegant city. For the traveler who spends less than 50 hours in the sky each year, a pre-paid card loaded with 25 hours of private flight time from the company is an easy and tailored experience for a year’s worth of global travels. For those who eclipse that 50-hour benchmark, buying into a fractional ownership of a jet (available in 25-hour increments and with different combinations of aircrafts) is as easy as an upfront payment. Then, as a private jet owner, you’ll be free to enjoy your private flight to Cannes in peace, thinking about nibbling on marrons glacés, hitting the after-dark scene at Da Da Da club or simply soaking in the beauty of the French Riviera scenery.
  • On February 6, 2013
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What’s the best way to get to Marrakech?

    Traveling to the Moroccan city of Marrakech is easy, comfortable and convenient with a private jet from NetJets. Through the company, acquiring an aircraft is as simple as deciding what flight plan is right for you based on how many hours you spend in the air each year. A pre-paid card stocked with 25 hours of the private jet experience is perfect for the jetsetter who flies less than 50 hours a year. As a Marquis Jet Card holder, flight time is available for 25 hours in 18 months or 50 hours in two years, with different aircraft combinations. If your in-air time increases, securing fractional ownership is as simple as an upfront payment for access to NetJets’ fleet of 650 aircraft worldwide. Once your personal jet is booked, the history-filled streets of Marrakech are just hours away, meaning less airport hassle and more time to spend exploring the artisan-rich souks, munching on a honey-drizzled beghrir and more.
  • On January 31, 2013
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  • On November 28, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What are the five best sake pubs in Tokyo?

    If you want to really uncover what's so special about sake, we strongly advise traveling to the Land of the Rising Sun. With brands like Kouro and the super premium Hiroki, the streets of Tokyo hold some of the best sake labels out there. So, our Forbes Travel Guide editors caught up with one of Japan's most well-known sake experts, Master of Sake Tasting John Gauntner, to come up with the must-hit sake pubs in Tokyo.
     
    1. Kozue, Shinjuku. Of all the sake pubs in Tokyo, Kozue stands out above the rest — literally. It's located on the 40th floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo. The design's sleek chocolate brown interior of rich woods plays second fiddle only to the stunning views of the nearby Shinjuku district and, if the sky is clear, Mount Fuji in the distance. You can choose from more than 15 different sakes on Kozue's menu, and we recommend this pub as the go-to spot on our list for non-Japanese speaking travelers.
     
    2. Sasahana, Ginza District. Sasahana's traditional and classy approach to sake sets this Ginza pub apart and makes it a high priority on our "must-visit" list. Cedar walls and white, wooden countertops help create a comfortable and traditional atmosphere, while the stainless steel kitchen on the periphery of the dining room adds a modern edge. You can order from dozens of sake brands in stock, including Kuoro, which is a super-premium ginjo-shu sake from Japan's Kumamoto prefecture, as well as other limited-edition brews served in a gourd-shaped tokkuri (sake flask) alongside a copy of the bottle's label.
     
    3. Shimomiya, Nakano. At Shimomiya, the soft lighting, black, high-back wooden chairs and simple main counter place all of the focus on two things — fish and sake. The multitudes of mackerel, pike and tuna all procured from the world's largest fish market, Tsukiji, clearly display owner Koizumi Shimomiya's passion for fresh and seasonal ingredients. However, chilling just past the countertop in large coolers is the true heart of Shimomiya — the sake. Regularly stocked with up to 200 different labels, the restaurant's selection features a range of smooth and pure sakes, including the organic "Five Daughters" brand from the Chiba prefecture and the Taketsuru brand made in Hiroshima by the family of Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Japan's whiskey industry.
     
    4. Namikibashi Nakamura, Shibuya. Namikibashi Nakamura, which is situated closely to the Japan Railway Shibuya station, is a modern sake destination, not a high-end, designer pub. The contemporary ambiance stems from the sleek architecture and deep blue tones on the seating and walls. But what Namikibashi Nakamura does have is a premium sake selection, including Hiroki and Kotobuki, both from Fukushima, owner Teiji Nakamura's home prefecture. Of course, while this may not be the most formal location, the sake and food are still served elegantly. It's only drawback? Namikibashi Nakamura is so popular it tends to be crowded.
     
    5. Akaoni, Sangenjaya. With a name that translates to "red devil," it's no surprise that Akaoni takes its sake seriously. Primarily a sake-centric location (the food is fresh and simple), this pub is in an out-of-the-way location, but once you get there, be prepared. With between 50 and 100 sake brands in stock on any give night, you can sip on ginjo-shu sakes including Junmai Ginjo, Yamada Nishiki and Omachi. The atmosphere here is unpretentious and modest, but you don't plan a trip out to this Sangenjaya destination for glitz and glamour. You head here for the sake.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What's the best way to get to Miami?

    Forget delays, long airport lines and getting stuck in coach — the best way to get to Miami is to take your own private plane with NetJets. With this luxury service, you’ll actually become a fractional owner of a jet (the amount you pay will be proportional to how often you fly). Your ownership — no matter how big or small — will give you access to a fleet of jets around the world. You’ll have three options: light, mid-size and large cabin. So whether you want to go to Miami for a romantic getaway (light jet) or a group outing (large cabin), NetJets can send you there in style. And the best part? You’ll get there fast. The private jet company can cut your travel time practically in half. For example, a trip from New York to Miami on NetJets is just 2.7 hours, compared to the average of 5.7. Once you land in Miami, you’ll be refreshed enough to take on the city’s nightlife scene. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend you hit up Mango’s Tropical Café for food and drinks with Latin flair, or do some celeb-spotting in SoBe. 
  • On November 15, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What’s the best way to get to Binghamton, New York?

    If business or Binghamton University is drawing you to Binghamton, New York, the best way to get there is with NetJets. The service gives you fractional ownership of a private jet (the amount you pay will be proportional to how often you fly) and access to a fleet of jets. Request a compact plane or a 14-seat jet and get to the upstate New York town quickly and comfortably. While on board, you’ll be treated to luxe amenities like gourmet snacks, comfy blankets and, on most planes, Wi-Fi. So you’ll touch down fully prepared for your business meeting or to explore the university town.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What is the best way to get to Dallas?

    The best way to get to Dallas is to fly in style — in your own private jet with NetJets. The service allows you to purchase fractional ownership of an aircraft, which gives you exclusive access to a worldwide fleet of more than 800 jets, ready and waiting to take you where you need to go. Skip the early arrival times, long lines and delays at the airport and breeze on up to a roomy plane with no more than 14 passengers that can be ready for take off in as little as four to 10 hours. NetJets has a hub at Dallas Love Field, the second-largest airport in the Dallas-metro area, where NetJets pilots and flight attendants call home. So pack your cowboy hat and your dancing shoes — and use all that time you saved to visit a museum, watch a rodeo or even go for an extra round of corn dogs at the legendary State Fair of Texas.
  • On November 15, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What is the best way to get to Austin?

    A great way to travel to Austin is to reserve your own private jet from NetJets, a service that lets you buy a fractional ownership of an aircraft, giving you access to a worldwide fleet of planes ready at your beck and call. No sense waiting in line at the airport, baggage in tow, wondering if you’ll make it through security on time, only to find out your flight’s been delayed. Instead, fly to the Live Music Capital of the World in speedy style. NetJets offers three sizes of aircraft, light, mid-size and large cabin, which can accommodate seven to 14 passengers. Feast on gourmet platters of artisan cheese and seafood and sip some bubbly while you wait to touch down in Hill Country. By using NetJets you can cut your travel time in half — which leaves more time to see a music festival, catch a football game at UT-Austin or explore the renowned Austin food truck scene.
  • On October 17, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What is Zarkana about?

    While continuing the Cirque du Soleil tradition of jaw-dropping acrobatics and amazing demonstrations of balance and physical strength, Zarkana tells the tale of magician Zark, who is on a quest to regain his powers and a loved one. An abandoned theater sets the stage for more than 75 international performers’ seemingly super-human feats: Jump ropers teeter perilously on a tight rope while fire blasts in the background. And a colorful array of jugglers and acrobats perform in front of mesmerizing backdrops that seem to morph as each scene changes.
  • On October 17, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What is Zarkana about?

    While continuing the Cirque du Soleil tradition of jaw-dropping acrobatics and amazing demonstrations of balance and physical strength, Zarkana tells the tale of magician Zark, who is on a quest to regain his powers and a loved one. An abandoned theater sets the stage for more than 75 international performers’ seemingly super-human feats: Jump ropers teeter perilously on a tight rope while fire blasts in the background. And a colorful array of jugglers and acrobats perform in front of mesmerizing backdrops that seem to morph as each scene changes.
  • On October 17, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    Is there a discount for groups purchasing tickets to Zarkana?

    Gathering a group of 12 or more Cirque du Soleil fans to see Zarkana, the latest edition of the show to hit Las Vegas, will allow you to reap a couple of benefits. If you choose to attend any of the show’s preview dates beginning Nov. 1, 2012, your group will receive a 10 percent discount on tickets priced at $180, $150, $140 and $130. These tickets must be purchased more than 14 days in advance of the performance date. When the show kicks off its grand opening on Nov. 11, 2012, the group (again, of 12 or more) ticket prices of $180, $150, $140 and $130 are still in place, but a live entertainment tax of 10 percent will be charged. A one-time fee of $15 is also added on with group orders, but all other fees are waived.
  • On October 17, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    How can I get tickets to Zarkana?

    Securing tickets to Zarkana, the latest Cirque du Soleil show to hit the Strip, is as easy as clicking a mouse. Simply head over to http://arialasvegas.com/en/cirque/zarkana and choose your date, performance time, price tier and number of attendees, and the website will do the rest. After just a few clicks, you’ll have your tickets waiting for you at ARIA Resort & Casino’s will-call. Otherwise, head over to the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel and buy your tickets directly there or ask the hotel concierge to reserve some for you.
  • On October 17, 2012
    Alex Skjong answered the question: Alex Skjong

    What can I expect to see at Zarkana?

    Zarkana stays very faithful to the Cirque du Soleil lineage, meaning that you’re sure to witness feats of almost super-human acrobatics and prop performances, and feast your eyes on visually stunning backdrops and costume design. The Las Vegas show involves a cast of more than 75 international performers who jump rope while balancing on tight ropes — as fire rages in the background — and flip and twist countless times from trapeze to trapeze, as well as juggle objects of all shapes and sizes.