Larry Olmsted

Correspondent

  • Vermont, USA

Larry Olmsted is an at-large Forbes Travel Guide correspondent who lives in Vermont but regularly treks around the world as an award-winning journalist who has covered travel for more than 15 years. He writes the “Great American Bites” column for USAToday.com, previously wrote the “Life on Vacation” column for USA Today, and is the longtime contributing travel editor to Cigar Aficionado magazine. He has contributed to numerous travel guides, including the Michelin Green Guide, and writes regularly for both US Airways’ and American Airlines’ magazines. He also writes “The Great Life” column for Forbes.com.

  • On November 14, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    What’s the best time to visit Lumière Telluride?

    When planning a visit to Lumière Telluride, you should know that Telluride is a fantastic destination much of the year and really only slows down in the late spring, right after the ski season ends. In April and May, many things close and the weather is not conducive to doing much. Otherwise, from late spring through fall there is exceptional outdoor recreation, including hiking, excellent mountain biking, horseback riding, fly fishing and white-water rafting. Telluride is famous for its summer festivals, many focused on music or food, with something happening just about every weekend. From early December through March is prime ski season, the thing the town is best known for, and Telluride is an exceptionally varied mountain, and more so than any ski resort in the country. It offers a lot of skiing for every ability, from beginner to high-level expert. While most resorts skew one way or another, there is no gap here with world-class bump skiing, plenty of groomers, an entire section just for advance intermediates, uncommon blue glades, bowls, double-black chutes and precipitous hike-to terrain.
  • On November 14, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    Where is Lumière Telluride located?

    Lumière Telluride sits slopeside along the ski trails of the Telluride resort on the edge of Mountain Village with ski-in and ski-out access.  Telluride is uniquely divided into two parts. The old historic Western town, where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid robbed their first bank and the wooden sidewalks and Victorian architecture have been preserved, sits at the base of the ski resort. Mountain Village, a modern, pedestrianized enclave of hotels and luxury homes is halfway up the mountain. Forming a sort of “uptown” and “downtown” Telluride, each offers a mix of shopping, dining, bars and lodging, but with much different feels, and the two are linked by a gondola that serves as the town’s public transportation network and is free for foot passengers, running until well after dinner. Mountain Village is also connected to town by roads and is car accessible, but once there, the gondola is faster and easier to use. The luxury hotel is just a two- to three-minute walk from the main square and gondola station to the old town.
  • On November 14, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    What is the scene like at Vibe restaurant?

    Vibe restaurant is the hippest and most energetic of the top-tier dining options at Biloxi’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, and as such it tends to see a more club-oriented crowd. The atmosphere is not loud, but it is fun, and the extensive list of sushi and house signature rolls is ideal for sharing, making the restaurant popular with larger groups as well as couples. Since Vibe also has a bar focus, it’s a popular spot for cocktails and generally has a high-energy scene, though the décor remains classic, as do the professional service and presentations. It is appreciably livelier on Friday and Saturday nights when live musicians perform within the restaurant.
  • On November 14, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    When is Vibe restaurant open?

    Vibe restaurant, situated inside Biloxi’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, is open for dinner only from Wednesday through Sunday. It opens for service at 5 p.m. each day, but stops serving earlier at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and stays open 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with live music on weekends. Vibe is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. The restaurant is located on the back edge of the main casino on the lobby level of the Hard Rock, and serves a mix of seafood, steaks, chops and a long list of creative sushi rolls, with a special emphasis on local specialties from the Gulf of Mexico such as shrimp, crab, redfish and flounder.
  • On November 14, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    Where is Vibe restaurant located?

    Vibe is located on the outer edge of the main casino on the lobby level of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, which sits on the waterfront in downtown Biloxi on the Gulf of Mexico. The hotel is situated right on the beach, with a marina on one side and the city’s other large casino on the opposite side, and is centrally located to most of Biloxi’s major attractions. Biloxi itself is an hour from New Orleans and about 15 minutes from the nearest airport in Gulfport, Mississippi. The restaurant features a mix of seafood, steaks & chops and sushi, with an emphasis on local specialties such as shrimp, redfish and flounder.
  • On November 14, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    What kind of skincare products are used at Rock Spa in Biloxi?

    Because Biloxi’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Rock Spa is an Aveda-branded spa, it uses almost exclusively Aveda skin and beauty products. A retail area at the entrance to the spa carries a full line of these products, plus clothing and accessories, and the hotel’s fitness center is located right next door. Full body treatments include a rosemary and mint awakening body wrap; a Caribbean body wrap with sea salt, sugarcane and rum; an herbal mud wrap; and a body polish with sea salt and steam bath. Facial options include a glycolic peel; a special sunburn treatment using a blend of Aveda products and a revitalizing eye treatment to eliminate dark circles and puffiness. Arrive early for your treatment to enjoy the sauna, steam room and whirlpool hot tub, plus a separate co-ed hot tub area with a cold plunge pool.
  • On November 14, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    Does Rock Spa in Biloxi offer couples’ treatments?

    Rock Spa, located inside Biloxi’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, features plenty of couples’ rooms and most of the spa’s massage options are available as couples’ massages. Treatments can also be enjoyed in the guest rooms or inside the private poolside cabanas. The list of options include the spa’s signature Elemental Nature massage, an aromatherapy treatment using Aveda aromatic oils; deep tissue massages; hot and cold stone massages; four hand massages (with two therapists per person); and a Chakra balancing massage. Most massages come in a choice of 50 or 80-minute lengths. Arrive early for your treatment to enjoy the locker room facilities, with shower, sauna, steam room and whirlpool hot tub, plus a separate co-ed hot tub area with cold plunge pool.
  • On November 14, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    What is the best way to get an appointment at Rock Spa in Biloxi?

    Spa treatments may be booked in advance of arrival at Biloxi’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino by phone or through the hotel’s website. Bookings can also be made on the same day or upon arrival but are subject to availability. There are several packages offered that combine a variety treatments, such as a massage, facial, manicure and pedicure package that runs from two and a half to three and three quarter hours, and these are more likely to require advance booking. Plan on arriving early for your treatment, as Rock Spa has full men’s and women’s locker room facilities, each with a shower, sauna, steam room and whirlpool hot tub, plus a separate co-ed hot tub area with cold plunge pool.
  • On November 14, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    What is the design style of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi?

    At Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi, the design style can best be described as contemporary casino with rock ‘n’ roll flair. The ground level is laid out in typical casino fashion, with a central bar surrounded by concentric rings of gaming tables and irregular pods of slot machines, with restaurants, clubs and other bars on the outer perimeter. The main distinctive design touch is the many framed and glass-encased pieces of music memorabilia, from a corset worn by Madonna to countless signed guitars and other performance costumes and instruments. These pieces line the entryway, the lobby and the casino floor, while each floor of guest rooms is themed around a particular artist with framed clothing and art carried throughout the floor. Even the door handles on the lobby entrance doors are shaped liked guitars.
  • On November 14, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    What’s the best time to visit Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi?

    If you’re considering a visit to Biloxi’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, consider going in spring and fall, which are prime times on the Mississippi Gulf Coast thanks to the comfortable climate for golf, fishing and other sports. In summer’s hotter months, beachgoers flock to the area’s white sandy beaches, one of the longest continuous stretches of sand beach in the United States. While winter is the off-season, it is often still warm enough for golf, and the fishing is good all year round. At any time of year, Biloxi is much livelier on weekends, with a lot of live entertainment; some hotel night clubs or lounges are only open on weekends.
  • On November 14, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    Where is Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi located?

    The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino sits on the waterfront in downtown Biloxi on the Gulf of Mexico. It is flanked by a marina, the beach and city’s other casino resorts, and is centrally located to most of the major Biloxi attractions. A beachfront resort town, Biloxi is home to several large casino resorts, a broad sand beach that runs for more than 20 miles, an assortment of locally-flavored restaurants, several high-quality golf courses and marinas offering sport fishing. Biloxi is an hour from New Orleans and about 15 minutes from the nearest airport in Gulfport, Mississippi.
  • On July 31, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    What are the best restaurants in Tahoe and Yosemite?

    Visitors to Yosemite cannot do better for fine ding than the Forbes 4-Star Erna’s Elderberry House within the Forbes 5-Star Chateau du Sureau, 16 miles from the park. Erna’s focused on local and farm to table cuisine decades before it became trendy, and offers daily multi-course chef’s menus with wine pairings. In South Lake Tahoe, the Ciera Steakhouse within the MontBleau Casino hotel is a very pleasant surprise, with top quality steaks, appetizers and sides, very professional service, and a great wine list. It is on par with better big city steakhouses, and easily the best in the area. Manzanita in the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe at the Northstar ski resort is modern upscale California cuisine at its best, with specialties such as chilled melon gazpacho and a drunken goats cheese and prosciutto pizza, all with a very heavy emphasis on local farms and natural meats, including bison.
  • On July 31, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    Where can I go to watch sports in Tahoe & Yosemite?

    Every casino has a sports bar, but some are better than others. Harvey’s in Stateline is home to the Straw Hat Sports Bar & Grille, with 20 large HDTVS and more than a dozen beers on draught. A top local choice away from the hubbub is the Brook’s Bar & Deck at the Edgewood Tahoe golf clubhouse, rated one of the world’s top 19th Holes by Golf Digest. Eat inside or out, with lots of flat screen TVs tuned in to the big game. The Hyatt in Inline Village has one of the more upscale casino sports bars, just inside the entrance to its Grand Lodge Casino, as well as one of the better equipped Sorts & Race Books, where you can enjoy cocktails – and place bets – while watching the games. Locals love the sports book at the Crystal Bay Casino, with its abundance of high definition TVs and friendly service.
  • On July 31, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    Where are the best places to hear live music in Tahoe & Yosemite?

    If there is one thing casino hotels do very well it is live music, and many have both small lounges with local entertainment nightly and bigger showrooms for name bands. In Stateline, the top venue is the South Shore Room at Harrah’s where touring groups from Robert Cray to Los Lonely Boys to Drive By Truckers perform. The hotel’s smaller but no less lively Center Stage Lunge is home to the “Party With Arty,” DJ, keyboardist and consummate performer Arthur Hervey. Across the street Harvey’s Casino has Tahoe Live, with two bars and a performance stage featuring area bands nightly. The MontBleu casino resort has both a main theater and outdoor summer performance center, both of which host known name touring acts. On the North Shore, the undisputed live music spot is the family owned Crystal Bay Casino, home to the Red Room and Crown Room, both of which hosts repeated musicians in every genre, from reggae to blues to rock.
  • On July 31, 2013
    Larry Olmsted answered the question: Larry Olmsted

    What are the best places to stay in Tahoe & Yosemite?

    For Yosemite the choice is easy – the Forbes 5-Star Chateau du Sureau is 16 miles from the park and simply one of the finest luxury lodgings in the country – with just 10 rooms. Lake Tahoe is dominated by casino resorts, but the best lodging is found at its ski resorts. Top of the heap is the Forbes 4-Star Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe, at the Northstar ski resort. Another top choice is the Hyatt Lake Tahoe on the water in Incline Village, near Mt. Rose and Diamond Peak. In South Lake Tahoe, the Marriott Grand Residence Club is located in the gondola plaza at the base of huge Heavenly Ski Resort and offers the best location in town, steps from the lifts but also steps from the casinos and restaurants of Stateline, but without the crowds and hassles.