Flavors of Boracay: Completing The Boracay Experience with Sumptuous Cuisine at White House Beach Resort

Flavors of Boracay: Completing The Boracay Experience with Sumptuous Cuisine at White House Beach Resort

Boracay finally reopens, and a sumptuous feast awaits at White House Beach Resort…
Boracay’s iconic White House Beach Resort welcomes summer with a mouthwatering array of fresh and bold flavors to complement the vibrant turquoise waters, pristine white sands and brilliant blue skies in one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. It’s finally open and summer’s here, bring some sunscreen and come hungry…
Months after the controversial closure and extensive rehabilitation, Boracay once again emerges as the country’s premier summer destination with its famed soft and powder white sand and clear blue waters. It also highlighted just how fragile paradise can be and without the timely intervention, may have been another sad case of paradise lost. This was my first time back at Boracay since it formally reopened late last year, and I had high expectations. This was, after all, one of the world’s favorite destinations.
Our trip began after touching down at Kalibo International Airport, followed by an hour-long van ride to Caticlan. Throughout the trip, visible signs of rehabilitation indicated there’s still so much more to be done, but somehow it still left a positive impression that at least things are moving. Reaching the port, we boarded our boat for Caticlan…
…greeted by blue skies and clear waters. I couldn’t help but notice how the whole island just seemed so spotlessly clean, bringing me back to the earlier days when I first visited Boracay. It’s definitely looking good.
Papers checked and stamped, going through the port’s arrival procedures was a breeze. It just seemed a lot more organized now. But then again, this isn’t the height of the summer season just yet. Strict protocols and guidelines are now in place to limit the number of tourist arrivals to help preserve the pristine state of the island. It’s a necessary precaution required to keep Boracay just the way we always envisioned it to be, that island oasis far away from the excessive commercialism of modern times. But there’s just something in the air one can’t help but notice, that overwhelming feeling of positive and good vibes that welcomes you back to paradise. This is the Boracay I remember…
…and it looks damn good. Infinite stretches of powdery white sand meet clear waters of pale green to deep blue tones under a bright blue sky for that familiar palette of colors Boracay is known for, faithfully restored. Simply point and shoot your camera or phone, and Boracay’s Station 1 does the rest. That’s nature in high contrast. The entire beach is decluttered, devoid of the obstructions from the past. No matter how many times you’ve been here, Boracay never fails to amaze. Boracay’s Station 1 is back on track.
And just like before, White House Beach Boracay shines brightest along Boracay’s famed Station 1. The familiar white structure with its distinctive red roof once again welcomes travelers home, to their own spot of paradise.
One of Boracay’s oldest family-run resorts, the inspiring story of White House Beach Resort began in the early nineties when Leonard and Nenette Tirol built a family beach house on their ancestral beach property. Located at the most prized and sought-after portion of the island, referred to as Station 1, the majestic white house was often called “puting bahay” by locals and early visitors back then, already an iconic fixture in Boracay’s scenic landscape. In the early nineties, the property was opened to the public and White House Beach Resort has since been one of the island’s famous attractions. And why not, the cozy family vacation home still retains that homey feel, but on a much larger scale with an epic beachfront view. Just think of it as having front row seats to one nature’s spectacular light shows everyday. And there’s nothing quite like sunsets in Boracay.
Behind the pool overlooking the beach is White House Beach Resort’s Station Juan Beach Lounge , and this is where it all happens. Offering all-day dining and cocktails, it’s the perfect spot for breakfast and cocktails. It’s also the ideal vantage point for observing the endless parade of beach lovers and the magnificent Boracay sunset. Station Juan beach Lounge also offers daily Sunset BBQ , with hot dogs, pork, chicken, chorizo, isaw, chori burger and pork liempo all fresh from the grill. What can be better than some barbecue and a cold beer while watching the sunset?
Our early morning red eye flight allowed us to experience breakfast with a view at Station Juan Beach Lounge. White House Beach Resort serves a comforting cup of freshly brewed coffee sourced from local farmers with deep, robust and bold nutty notes. Ask for a pot, trust me.
For breakfast, Station Juan Beach Lounge offers local and continental fare, including fluffy omelets, pork tocino and local sausages or longganisa with garlic fried rice and eggs. It’s the kind of breakfast that acquaints you with White House Beach Resort’s comforting culinary style. My first day at the reopened Boracay is off to a great start…
After breakfast, take a swim in the cool waters or why not go paddle boarding?
For me, enjoying Boracay means having no itinerary at all. Pick a lounge chair at White House Beach Resort’s Station Juan Beach Lounge and just take it all in…
Doing absolutely nothing, after all, is what Boracay is all about at least for me. So just lay back on the white sand and immerse yourself in Boracay’s charm. TripAdvisor recently included Boracay as one of the 25 Asia’s Best Beaches in the 2019 Travelers’ Choice Awards, and that’s with the ongoing rehabilitation. It’s a sure sign of even better things yet to come.
The Paraw, a local outrigger sailboat, is just one of many must-do activities in Boracay, if you somehow convince yourself to stand up from your comfortable lounge chair at White House Beach Resort’s Station Juan Beach Lounge. It’s also great to see the sails without any corporate logos too. And if you do decide to pull yourself up, it’s time for lunch…
White House Beach Resort ups its culinary game with its lavish and sumptuous repertoire of signature dishes at Los Indios Bravos , a gastropub offering hearty fare inspired by British pub grub. Los Indios Bravos is the very first to showcase all-Filipino handcrafted beers on tap paired with comforting pub fare from all over the world. The gastropub’s name is a fitting tribute to the vision of the historic revolutionary movement, as Los Indios Bravos blazes new culinary trails in Boracay.
Inside Los Indios Bravos, the spacious interiors exude a warm and cozy vibe with its rustic dark wood furnishings and polished concrete accentuated by nostalgic black & white prints, an homage to the original revolutionary movement from the early 1800s. This is where some of Boracay’s finest is served. What’s your favorite local craft beer?
The bar offers some of the finest local artisan craft beer on tap, you can sample a Beer Flight (P 150) with three brews including Chocolate Hills Porter and Dumaguete Dubbel by The Cebruery, Kalinga Kolsch, Lapu-Lapu Lager and Exit Wounds by Crazy Carabao; De Puta Madre by Crows Craft Brewing and Fish Rider by Joe’s Brew to name a few.
The local craft beers are definitely a draw at Los Indios Bravos. But there are other refreshing options for the family as well. Start your feast with a refreshing Lemon Cucumber Mint Slush (P 120), the Watermelon Shake (P 120) or hey, why not a Milkshake (P 150)? You’re on vacation, right?
The starters alone at Los Indios Bravos are a meal in itself, from tasty bites to salads. For White House Beach Resort’s celebrity Chef Martin Jickain , the wide array of dishes is inspired by his travels and the dishes he loves, and you’ll see that at Station Juan Beach Lounge all the way to Los Indios Bravos. Each dish is masterfully prepared and presented, completing another layer to your Boracay experience.
Take the salads at Los Indios Bravos. Using only the finest and freshest ingredients, Los Indios Bravos offers an extensive selection of healthy bowls to start your meal. Dining remains an important element in any travel experience, and Los Indios Bravos seamlessly weaves this to your memorable stay at White House Beach Resort. The Cobb Salad (P 495) combines smoky Cajun chicken, crisp bacon and smoked salmon with fresh tomatoes, red onions, celery, fresh garlic croutons and blue cheese with a sweet and tart apple cider vinaigrette…
…while the Tuna Nicoise (P 495) is a refreshing Provencal-style salad with pan-seared tuna, anchovy-flavored roasted potatoes, capers, Kalamata olives, oranges, French beans and boiled egg with a tart lemon vinaigrette, both offering distinct flavors. A chef once told me, freshness is flavor, and these salad bowls are full of it.
An escape to a tropical island isn’t complete without some fresh seafood. The Oyster Rockefeller (P 360-8pcs) is an absolute must-try. Succulent local oysters baked with sauteed spinach, bacon bits, Mornay sauce and mixed cheeses, the briny sweetness of the plump oysters just punches through followed by the bite of the cheese, bacon and spinach. Just perfect. If you want fresh oysters, Los Indios Bravos has that covered too.
And you just gotta have some Nachos (P 420) with crisp tortilla chips slathered with chili beef, Cheddar cheese sauce, tomato coriander salsa and creamy yogurt. But there’s more…
…like the Samosa (P 250), fried Indian puffs stuffed with spinach, potatoes and cauliflower served with tamarind sauce, tomato chutney and a side salad (L) and if you still can’t decide what to order, go for the Indios Platter (P 580) with Croquettes , Bitterballen , Baked Oyster , Chicken Goujons , Chicken Wings and Nachos (R).
The Shepherd’s Pie (P 420) is classic British pub grub with rosemary-infused lamb stew, peas and carrots covered in homemade mashed potatoes and cheese. The savory richness of the lamb is tempered by the sweetness of the peas and carrots, perfectly finished by the buttery mashed potatoes. This and a dark beer? Yes, please. Other savory pies offered at Los Indios Bravos include the Cottage Pie (P 350) with minced beef stew and Beef and Mushroom Pie (P 290).
Now, you’re just about ready for the mains…
Big is always better, and the impressive Dino Bones (P 2,495) adds that exclamation point to your dining experience at Los Indios Bravos. With seven to eight US Angus Beef Back Ribs, the Dino Bones are simply massive. Yet the beef is tender and fall-off-the-bone, delivering rich beefy notes with every bite.
Glazed with smoked bbq sauce for a tart sweetness, each rib easily fills up your plate. But you’ll need to leave some space on your plate for some tasty sides like Mashed Potatoes , Coleslaw and Buttered Cajun Corn with a subtle hint of soothing heat from the Cajun spices. You can also opt for Steak Fries or Steamed White Rice if you wish.
If you’re looking for something lighter, the Pan-Roasted Salmon Fillet (P 495) topped with tomato chutney and steakhouse sauce with a side salad drizzled with Passion Fruit Dressing should do the trick. Craving for wings? The Ultra Crispy Full Chicken Wings (P 295/P 540/P 760) in Garlic, Honey and Soy and Spicy BBQ are also popular.
Los Indios Bravos gets creative with the Salt and Pepper Beef (P 695), tender double-cooked US Angus Beef Riblets seasoned with cinnamon salt, chili and Spanish onions topped with stir-fried vegetables and served with steamed white rice and spiced vinegar…
…and the Braised Lamb Shank (P 950), another favorite, with fork-tender lamb on Arborio risotto topped with balsamic glazed vegetables and tomato stew dusted with shaved Parmesan Grana Padano. The richness of the lamb and risotto pack a flavorful one-two punch for another outstanding dish. Both flavor and presentation come together perfectly at Los Indios Bravos.
Los Indios Bravos also serves Certified US Angus Beef . The Ribeye Steak (P 2,200-12 oz) is perfectly grilled to medium with a juicy pink center topped with crispy onions and served with buttered corn, creamed spinach and mashed potatoes with your choice of sauce. Other options include the New York Cut and Cowboy Steak.
For dessert, take your pick among Los Indios Bravos’ indulgent offerings like the Deep-Fried Mars Bar (P 250), a personal favorite, the Chocolate and Hazelnut Bread Pudding (P 250), Apple Pie Ala Mode (P 250) or the decadent Mud Pie (P 250). Pair it with White House Beach Resort’s famous coffee, and that’s how you end an epic meal.
After a satisfying lunch, we were then led to our rooms, our home away from home at Boracay’s famed Station 1. White House Beach Resort offers a variety of accommodations to suit any requirement or budget, from Deluxe Rooms, Standard Deluxe, Superior Deluxe and Family Suites all the way to Beach House Deluxe for large groups or families.
By late afternoon, guests converge at Station Juan Beach Lounge for the much-awaited magic hour. The setting sun casts a golden glow on the white sand…
…as beach lovers take advantage of the last few rays of sun. Laid-back, casual, and just chill, the Boracay vibe is definitely back.
The white sands of Boracay’s Station 1 are the ideal playground for many beach activities…
…but it all takes a back seat to another dramatic performance of the setting sun…
…leaving a golden glow on the calm waters glistening with the remaining light. That calls for one more round of cocktails or an ice-cold beer by the beach.
By dinner, Mrs. Nenette Tirol , Chef Martin Jickain and his wife, Maggi Tirol Jickain and Chef Sau del Rosario collaborate for an epic Boodle Feast , White House Beach Resort style. A long table is draped with fresh and fragrant banana leaves and topped with steamed white rice ringed by pancit, chicken and pork adobo, inihaw na liempo, ensaladang talong, salted eggs, tomatoes, fresh shrimps, danggit and dried pusit capped by a whole roasted Cochinillo.
Guests, specially large groups and families, may arrange for a Boodle Feast at White House Beach Resort for a memorable gathering. Depending on how you want your own Boodle Feast, all White House Beach Resort needs is a day in advance to give them adequate time to prepare. More than just a feast, it’s about being together and living the moment. And you can add that to your list of dining options at White House Beach Resort.
Chef Martin Jickain then does the celebratory slice with a plate, peeling the lightly crisp layer of crackling from the juicy pork. With the cochinillo carved, we took our seats at the table and the feasting began. Comforting local flavors and a whole lot of good vibes, you’ll find it here at White House Beach Resort.
But Boracay had so many tasty surprises, like tasty bites from a local neighborhood bakery. Chef Martin Jickain also manages MarTinapay , a successful bakery and restaurant serving Filipino cuisine. A favorite among locals, this is where you’ll find them any time of day enjoying a bowl of Batchoy with a few beers. And this tasty Hopia Sibuyas (more on the fresh-baked local treats of MarTinapay on my next post, Flavors of Boracay: Nostalgic Bakery Treats from Boracay’s MarTinapay )…
Located right across Fairways & Bluewater Boracay, MarTinapay is more than just a neighborhood bakery. It’s a popular hangout among locals, and it’s packed every single day and night. What makes it a favorite among locals?
Maybe it’s the cool and casual vibe where you can just enjoy good food with drinks among friends. Maybe’s it’s the Pork Sisig topped with egg (R) that just pairs so well with an ice-cold beer. Or the satisfying Pares (L), a savory beef dish with the sweet hints of star anise and a full meal served with rice and soup…
…or the La Paz Batchoy that warms both the palate and body with its rustic flavors. Whatever it is, a stop at MarTinapay is always a good idea when in Boracay. Many local workers from various resorts flock to MarTinapay after their shift for a sumptuous meal and a few rounds of beer with friends. It’s this local vibe that gives MarTinapay it’s fun and unique character.
But it’s the local baked bread that makes MarTinapay a favorite among locals and visitors alike, serving up fresh-baked treats like Cheese Rolls …
… Spanish Bread , Banana Muffins , Banana Bread , and my favorites, the Hopia Sibuyas and Pan de Coco (more on MarTinapay on my post, Flavors of Boracay: Nostalgic Bakery Treats from Boracay’s MarTinapay ).
Early the next day, the calm waters greet another wave of visitors…
…and long walks on the cool white sand become part of your routine. The changes are immediately noticeable, gone are the distracting loud music blaring from a hundred speakers, the grills right on the beach, and banners with corporate logos. Given some time to recuperate, the white sandy beaches are back to its former form.
Mad hatters and peddlers ply the beach under the midday sun, but not in the same numbers before the closure. I hear vendors are now regulated, which is a good sign. I’ve thought about the closure long and hard, and the results clearly speaks for itself. Though far from being completely rehabilitated, Boracay is really looking good. Sacrifices have already been made, and it just makes sense to stay the course and see its completion. And as your mind wanders off, it’s time for lunch…
Los Indios Bravos lays out another lavish spread for lunch, starting with the Seafood Platter (P 2,200 serves four) showcasing the day’s freshest catch on a bed of ice with succulent poached prawns, smoked salmon, pan-seared tuna, plump fresh oysters from Roxas, Kilawin Shooters and poached mussels with tomato salsa served with traditional seafood condiments and sauces.
Like many of the dishes at Los Indios Bravos, presentation is given the same care and attention as with fresh and vibrant flavors. The Seafood Platter is an indulgent selection that feeds first the eyes before the palate. Each bite delivers the rich briny sweetness of the fresh seafood that’s perfectly washed down with an ice-cold beer.
A pair of refreshing salads adds even more flavor to the never empty table. The Chicken Souvlaki (P 495) is a Greek-style salad with roasted oregano garlic chicken, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, red onions, Feta cheese, cucumber and capsicums with a lemon mustard vinaigrette…
…while the Caesar Salad (P 450) with red beetroot-cured salmon and chili tofu is an inventive spin on a classic. None of the salad dishes, including the pair we had the day before, shared the same flavors, each one was different. And that’s what makes the extensive menu at Los Indios Bravos special, a different dining experience is guaranteed each time you visit for a meal.
White House Beach Resort has been known for its popular Chori Burger, but their signature burger deserves a share of the spotlight. The Premium Beef Burger (P 440) features a thick and juicy patty made with Brazilian “Zebu” beef topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, garden-fresh and crisp iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and onions slathered with horseradish mustard aioli on a soft kaiser bun with sour dill pickle and fries on the side. Personally, the beef patty should always be the hero no matter how many toppings you add. And one bite clearly delivers that beefy flavor, perfectly complemented by the mildly sweet and spicy horseradish mustard aioli. The soft kaiser bun completes this burger, holding up well and retaining its form all the way to the last bite.
Diners can also discover global flavors, like the Golden Paratha (P 395), a fried flaky Indian bread filled with savory curried chicken topped with fried onions, yogurt and fresh cilantro. The soft and crisp bread and the richness of the curry combine for another tasty dish at Los Indios Bravos. The variety of flavors at Los Indios Bravos means you can sample different dishes each time you visit.
Consistent with its British pub theme, the Pub-Style Fish and Chips (P 380) with beer-battered snapper served with mushy peas, chips, malt vinegar and tartare sauce is another of my personal favorites at Los Indios Bravos. The thin layer of breading is perfectly crisp with its subtle notes of beer contrasting with the soft and sweet snapper. Add a generous dollop of tartare and you’ve got one of the best fish and chips in the island of Boracay. A dip in the malt vinegar cuts the richness of the breading for balanced flavors. The chips complete the dish, crisp and seasoned for bold flavors. Pair this with a dark beer or a hoppy IPA to get into the gastropub vibe.
A decent pub worth its salt should have sausages, and Los Indios Bravos aces that with its Sausage and Mash (P 440) featuring four kinds of sausages including Bratwurst, Cheese Bockwurst, Hungarian and Kielbasa served with creamy mashed potatoes, pickled vegetables, curry ketchup and Dijon mustard. It’s pub grub elevated to a style unique to Los Indios Bravos.
The curry ketchup and Dijon mustard add that flavorful sharpness to the sausages, perfectly finished by the buttery mashed potatoes. One more round of Tropic Haze? Absolutely.
The Chicken Tikka Masala (P 440) with tender chicken draped in tomato butter curry served with sides of fried onions, tomato chutney and steamed long grain Basmati rice rounds out another epic lunch at Los Indios Bravos. From starters to mains and desserts, Los Indios Bravos has it covered. In fact, you don’t even have to leave White House Beach Resort for a satisfying meal. And that gives you even more time to, well, do nothing at the beach.
After another heavy lunch, a long walk on the beach provides some sense of clarity. The gentle breeze seem to wash away all your cares and worries as you walk the powder soft sand. Clearly, Boracay has not lost any of its magic, and all this is just a few steps directly in front of White House Beach Resort.
The early afternoon and the midday sun leaves the beach empty, except for a few hardcore sun worshippers. It’s that moment, when you have the beach all to yourself, that it becomes all too clear. This is worth all the sacrifice, and Boracay must be preserved.
While in Boracay, don’t forget to try Sirena Salted Caramel Vodka , a local small batch spirit distilled by Aklan’s very own Destileria Barako. Indulgently sweet with a velvety smooth finish, enjoy it on the rocks by the beach while the light shifts.
By mid-afternoon, more people head out and hit the beach…
…but despite that, you still feel like you have the entire stretch all to yourself. And you’re helplessly wrapped around Boracay’s charm once again.
Time passes slowly, but you don’t mind as another sunset announces the beginning of even more interesting possibilities.
Late the next day, an early lunch at Los Indios Bravos was prepared before the flight home. The classic Reuben (P 395) with fresh slabs of brined beef brisket, sauerkraut and Gruyere cheese with a generous schmear of thousand island dressing on sourdough bread is a light yet satisfying meal…
…along with favorites from the previous day’s lunch like the Golden Paratha …
…and the Pub-Style Fish and Chips . Perfectly crisp with its light layer of beer batter, the dish brings flavor and texture to play to end your last day in paradise on a high note.
It’s flavorful memories like these…
…and Boracay’s eternal summer that completes my experience at one of the world’s best beaches. And you have front row seats at White House Beach Resort.
White House Beach Resort is located at Station 1, Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan or call +632 638-7368 (Manila), +63917-595-5996 (Globe), +63999-880-2746 (Smart) or email boracaywhitehouse@gmail.com for more information and inquiries. You can also check out their FB Page at https://www.facebook.com/WHBoracay for more updates.
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Oh, the Many Ways We Love Étouffée

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Literally translated, étouffée means to smother or suffocate. That might sound scary in a murder-by-pillow or mother-in-law-with-no-boundaries kinda way, but when it comes to food, no. That sounds dreamy.
Who doesn’t desire mashed potatoes smothered in delicious gravy ? Or their macaroni suffocated by cheese ?
Yes, smothering in sauce when it comes to cooking can definitely be a good thing.
Étouffée (pronounced ay-too-FAY ) is a popular Cajun-Creole dish of a thick, spicy stew of crawfish (or shrimp, depending on the season) and a mixture of vegetables served over white rice. Also called crayfish, these delicious freshwater crustaceans are found in the Mississippi basin and are considered one of the official foods of Louisiana, where they also call them crawdads, according to The New Food Lover’s Companion . There’s nothing delicate about eating these flavorful crustaceans: You gotta get in there with your hands and suck out the sweet, tender meat. The New Food Lover’s Companion, $14.06 on Amazon This classic food “bible” includes more than 7,200 A-to-Z entries describing foods, cooking techniques, wines, and more. Read It
The deep, rich color and taste of étouffée come from its base of orange-brown roux, a classic cajun mixture of flour and butter or lard used to thicken sauces and soups. The term “à l’étouffée” means the method of cooking food in a tiny amount of liquid, with the lid on, and over very low heat.
Louisiana’s crawfish étouffée can be traced back to the crawfish capital of the world, Breaux Bridges, Louisiana. According to Louisiana crawfish farmers and brothers Mike and Mark Fruge’s Cajun Crawfish blog , étouffée was first served in the Hebert Hotel in the early 1920s. The Herberts shared their recipe with their friend, Aline Guidry Champagne, who later opened the RendezVous Café and served the flavorful dish there.
Cajun cooking is a robust, country-style combination of French and Southern cuisine that comes from today’s Cajuns found in the Deep South of U.S. They’re descendants of French Acadians, whom the British forced from their Nova Scotian homeland in 1785, according to the Companion . The local Indians transmuted the word Acadians to Cagians and, eventually, to Cajuns.
People confuse Cajun cooking with Creole cooking, and the truth is, the cuisines have cross-pollinated so much by now every assertion is up for debate. They’re both found in Louisiana and both claim étouffée, jambalaya, and gumbo, but some say the more genteel Creole food has more tomatoes and Cajun more spices. Cajun cooking uses dark roux and plenty of pork fat. Creole cooking loves its butter and cream. Both cuisines worship the culinary “holy trinity” of chopped green peppers, onions, and celery.
Étouffée is so similar to gumbo, it’s easy to confuse those two as well. But you can tell the difference because étouffée has a lighter-colored roux and it’s usually thicker than gumbo.
Regardless, it’s all delicious. Try some of these ways to étouffée.
Brunch: Crawfish Pie Menu Musings
Julie May creates a crawfish étouffée filling enveloped by a flaky pie crust that your brunch bunch will rave over in between sips of mimosas or bloody Marys. The filling’s ingredients include a delicious mixture of garlic, celery, peppers and crawfish tails. Get the Crawfish Pie recipe .
Lunch: Shrimp Étouffée Grandbaby Cakes
Jocelyn Delk Adams can make this dish in only 40 minutes and says the taste is bonkers. It’s easy once you conquer the roux part in the beginning. Although it uses shrimp rather than crawfish, the recipe calls to stir in all the traditional ingredients, like the onion, chicken stock, garlic, tomatoes, celery, and bell pepper. Get the Shrimp Étouffée recipe .
Appetizers:
Crawfish Étouffée Cornbread Bites with Honey Mustard Sauce Kitchen Belleicious
Take the best parts of étouffée and incorporate them into something baked that’s a cross between a muffin and cornbread and you get an appetizer that is so good, you’ll ruin your appetite for dinner. You might want to serve these next to some soup and call it a meal itself. Or bring them to a party, heat up, and serve with a classic cajun sauce. Get the Crawfish Étouffée Cornbread Bites with Honey Mustard Sauce recipe .
Fried Crawfish Étouffée Balls Geaux Ask Alice
OK, take that creamy, spicy, shellfish goodness, stir it up, roll it into a ball and fry it? Yeah, that can’t be bad. First, you’ll need to make the classic cajun étouffé using another recipe. Then you take 2 cups of that to make this. You can use regular white rice, or Alice Morrow’s preferred yellow rice. Serve with a delicious sauce. Get the Fried Crawfish Étouffée Balls recipe .
Dinner:
Broiled Tilapia with Crawfish Étouffée The Cabin Restaurant
Hey, maybe you don’t want all that rice. Ladle that deliciousness on a spiced tilapia fillet. This flavorful recipe which includes peeled crawish tails, 1/4 teaspoon of cajun seasoning, garlic and the holy trinity of peppers, onions, and celery comes from Burnside, Louisiana’s Cabin Restaurant, and it’s in their cookbook , too. Get the Broiled Tilapia with Crawfish Étouffée recipe .
Healthy Crawfish Étouffée The Healthy Cooking Blog
Making this dish healthy is possible, no lie. The secret is in the roux. You can use a healthy fat, that much-loved olive oil, instead of lard or butter. Try Holly Clegg’s slim-and-trim version and see for yourself if you feel the taste of the sauce is compromised. Get the Healthy Crawfish Étouffée recipe .

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My Andaman Adventure

By Lalitha Priyadharshini Beautiful blue of the waters, picturesque beaches, lush flora and eye catching coral reefs, make Andaman a perfect choice for a laid back vacation. A place laden with activities ranging from beach strolling,trekking to deep sea diving, Andaman is a place apt for a couple on a honeymoon and a group of friends seeking adventure sports. We left to Andaman on valentines week, where the honeymoon crowd set foot in the island. Getting there We flew from Bangalore to Port blair by air. Tickets if booked soon can be purchased at a cheap rate. The two and half hour flight got us to the island.There is no direct flight to Havelock and you have to take a ferry from Port blair. The ferry takes anywhere between 1.5 hours to 3 hours. Havelock Good to know facts! What to pack Flip-flops- Do no take shoes lest you get sand inside every part of your shoe and dampen it with sea water. You will be getting on and off the boat, into the sea so better to carry a pair of flip flops. Torch light Light clothing- Sultry climate makes it hard to wear thick clothes. Sunscreen Mosquito coil or All-out or Odomos Drivers license and documents Cash- There is an atm at Havelock which usually has big queues so better to carry cash with you. Restaurants here mostly deal with cash. Camera/DSLR with a water proof bag Print out of your tickets and bookings. BSNL Sim card Medications/Prescriptions Phone signal and internet Beware: there is no phone signal for any network other than BSNL in Havelock. Make sure to take a sim card or come near the jetty to make a call. Be prepared to be without internet for a few days. Getting around You can rent scooters at 500 rs a day and go around the island. There are only two roads in the island – one towards kalapathar beach, one towards radhanagar beach. We stayed right next to kalapathar beach , at the flying elephant resort. Food Food is a bit on the expensive side. You will find a gravy for 350 rs. Milk isnt easily found around. Sea food contrary to what we think isnt the specialty there. Restaurants use fresh water fishes (the sea fishes are all coral reef ones which are pretty and unfortunately cannot be consumed). So seafood is a bit expensive as well. That said there a many restaurants near the jetty and on road towards the kalapathar beach. You will find South indian/ bengali/north indian cuisine and a bit of continental. Petrol bunks There are just two petrol bunks on the island. One towards radhanagar beach and one on the bifurcation. Make sure you load the bike so you dont end up fuel-less on the roads after its dark. Beaches in Havelock Radhanagar beach Make sure you are here for the sunset. You can witness the most beautiful one you have seen so far. The sun sets pretty early here since island is closer to thailand. The roads back get pretty dark after 5PM. We had some innovative layered chole bature from the street shops there. Kalapathar beach We lived close to this beach so we made frequent visits. It has black rocks, thus giving its name. You can find broken branches which add to the charm of this place. The waters are a mix of azure and teal colours. Elephant beach You can trek to this beach for about an hour or you can take a boat to this beach. We took the boat package which costed 950 rs (This included complimentary snorkeling). The boat takes about 20 mins to reach. The beach is beautiful with fallen trees adding to its splendor. You will find activities like banana boat ride and Jet skiing here. The complimentary snorkeling only includes wading through the sea bed until the point where you find colorful fishes. You need to pay a premium to see the yellow fishes past that point. You will find fruit salads and chaat sold here at the beach. Make sure you plan for this ahead as the last boats leave at 3PM and the beach closes at 4PM A word of warning- the beaches here close at 5 PM and the life guards will make sure everyone is out right after sunset. Flying elephant resort We stayed at the Flying elephant resort for three days. The resort was located deep inside the island far away from the ferry port.A lonely road by the sea got us here. You can feel the moist tropical climate get to your senses. The air was awash with the smell of the sea. You feel one with the nature with flies in air and ants climbing over you. Surrounded by dense flora this place is a place far away from the hustle and bustle of the city We were greeted by Cats, dogs, ducks and hens.The room was a bamboo Hut on stilts. The bed contraption looked elegant with a white veil over it and night lamps flanking the sides Combined with wooden walls it set the perfect atmosphere to relax They have a really good cafe to chill where you can de stress ,read a book and a really cute dog to play with. Dinner at Full moon cafe We had dinner at Full moon cafe (closer to kalapathar beach). It has a good decor with candle lights and a feel of a brown bar. It has a variety of dishes ranging from Arabian, continental and Indian. Activities Scuba diving Scuba diving was on my list for long and I finally got a chance to do it with the help of Andaman bubble. They took us to a changing spot where we were given scuba suits. Make sure you sign up for the deep sea diving. We initially paid 3500 for the 6 m deep diving and then changed it to 12 m deep diving which costed 5000. We were given some training at the shallow waters. Some dead weights were strapped to our waist and then the life jacket and the oxygen cylinder. We had to keep the pipe in our mouth and breath underwater. First rule being to not stop breathing under water. The scariest part was the training. It can feel odd to not breathe through your nose and breathe dry air through your mouth for an extended time. We were given an eye mask/goggles which covered the eye and the nose. I did not think it would be this hard to just breath underwater trusting a cylinder behind your back. I decided to quit but told the trainer I would do shallow waters first. We were made to float without life jackets inflated and fins fitted to our legs. When we were about 3 meters deep we were turned around. I could see the insides of the sea- the fishes swimming peacefully and i focused on it. He lowered me inside the waters. The second rule in scuba is to equalise underwater. This is by holding your nose and blowing to your ears get adjusted. This is because the pressure inside water is much higher than on the surface. I witnessed the breathtaking view of sealife underwater, the corals and colourful fishes. I swam with the fishes- it felt like being inside an aquarium. He lowered me even more down and then I saw a statue deep down in the sea bed . It was 12m deep and I had made it. It was time to go to the surface and be human again. He took us up and there I felt relieved to breath with my nose again and stunned I could stay underwater and breathe with my mouth for about half an hour. Snorkeling It is best to carry your own snorkeling kit. The ones for rent are 200 per hour. Snorkelling session costs about 500 to 1000. It is relatively easy if you have done scuba before. Otherwise it can take a bit of practice to breath underwater through the pipe with your mouth. You can also try out the seabed walking if interested. Port blair We stayed at a homestay in port blair and explored the city for the rest of the evening. We went around the Gandhi statue, meat market, street shops and ate at Anapoorna hotel. Cellular jail We explored the cellular jail (entry 30 rs) on a sunny day. It takes about an hour to look around and read the history gallery of the place. Honorary memorial to pay homage to freedom fighters who struggled here behind the bars and underwent torture. Samudrika marine museum Sea corals and marine life fossils are on display. You can spend a nice 1 hours here looking through the fossils. Places you could visit in and around port Blair are the saw mill, Ross island, mini zoo, chidiya tapu for sunset. We skipped chidiya tapu as it was far down south and we couldn’t make it in time for the sunset. Corbyns cove beach We finally ended up at the beach to finish our trip. A calm beach away from the city where you have some games like balloon shooting and catapult to play and jet skiies. We chilled at the beach and shopped some souvenirs. Picturesque beauty Andaman waters are crystal clear with the blue mesmerizing your eyes. So with that our dose of vitamin sea for months came to an end. With salty hair, sandy toes and beach stained clothes we made our way back to bangalore!

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Mardi Gras Inspired Dinner

jovina cooks
Cajun or “les Acadians” was used to describe French colonists who lived in the Acadia region of Canada (present-day New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia). With the British Conquest of Acadia in the early 1700s, the Acadians were forcibly driven from their home and eventually settled in the swampy regions of Louisiana. Those distinct areas are the levees and bayous (Lafourche and Teche), prairies (Attakapas Indian land), swamplands (Atchafalaya Basin), and coastal marshes (New Orleans area and Houma).
The Acadians were an extremely resourceful people who combined the resources of the flatlands, bayous, and the wild game of South Louisiana with its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico to create a truly unique local cuisine. While many Acadiana residents today have Native American, German, French, or Italian roots, their way of life is strongly influenced by the Cajun culture. Along with its food, this rural area of Louisiana… View original post 800 more words Share this:

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Weather_Lady said: Hello, all! I know it’s a little premature, but I’m sketching out the itinerary and thinking about dining for my family’s upcoming first (and very likely only) visit to Disneyland, at the end of August 2019. For those who are familiar with Disneyland’s dining venues, please help me with the following:
Fantasmic! : Although my family has been to WDW several times, we’ve never seen Fantasmic!. (We’ve planned to a couple of times, but we could never fill a whole day at HS, and returning to the park for it always seemed like too much of a hassle.) Since we know we’ll be spending a couple of evenings in Disneyland, we thought this would be a perfect time to finally see it.
Can you tell me:
(1) is the DL version equal to, or better than, the one at WDW, or do you otherwise consider it a “must do”?
(2) Is it necessary to purchase a dining package to get a good seat, or can we just utilize a Fastpass for it? I’ve seen diagrams of the various seating areas, so I know Fantasmic! seating is more toward the side, so I guess what I’m asking is, does that significantly diminish the expereince?
(3) If a dining package is recommended, which one? I’m equally galled by spending $30/pp for a takeout box at Hungry Bear, by the idea of spending $45/pp at River Belle Terrace (well over $200 for my family to eat fancy sandwiches), or $72/pp at Blue Bayou ($350 for my family of four by the time tax and gratuity are added!!!), so the dining package pricing seems nuts to me – but then again, I don’t know how much one’s seating for Fantasmic matters, so maybe I’m just not understanding the value of what is offered. What would you do?
Table Service Restaurants: What table service restaurants do you recommend for Disneyland/California Adventure/Downtown Disney/offsite-walking-distance guests? Specifically, I’m looking for restaurants that are well-reviewed for their food, have a diverse or interesting menu, and offer something unique – either in terms of cuisine type, or theming. I’m also avoiding character meals, truly upscale restaurants that are likely to bore the kids (11 and 13) like Carthay Circle, Napa Rose and Steakhouse 55, as well as chains we have at home, like The Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang’s.
We’ll have four evenings where we’ll be looking for a TS dinner, and so far I’m looking at: (1) Carnation Cafe, which seems to garner really terrific reviews and happens to have a couple of menu items I know my family loves (fried pickles, baked potato soup, malts), although this could easily become a lunch meal instead; (2) Blue Bayou, which has a beautiful and unique atmosphere — however, due to its prices, this would likely be a late-evening reservation for desserts, coffee and appetizer munchies only, and not for a full dinner; and (3) House of Blues, which is off property but in easy walking distance, seems to get great reviews both for the food and the entertainment, and will have live music if we time it right. Do these sound like decent choices? Any other places you recommend? We’re also intrigued by Catal (DTD), Ralph Brennan’s (DTD), and FiRE+iCE (offsite, Anaheim Garden Walk). I’d also love to add a great Japanese or Indian restaurant (or just something with some Asian fusion or inspiration, like Yak & Yeti over at WDW) but I haven’t seen anything well-recommended in the area. We’re also planning on going over to Trader Joe’s before opening time one morning so we can have some small plates and fun drinks for lunch.
Please share your thoughts, and thank you in advance! I know this probably seems like too much ado about dining, but for my family, food is a huge part of our vacation experience, and offers a chance to dine out far more often, and far more generously (for example, ordering appetizers and desserts, which is not our usual m.o.), than we ever do at home. Click to expand… Just as a side note. When your are visiting make sure to make Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln a priority sometime during your day.

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(Almost) Every Late-Night Restaurant in Los Angeles, By Neighborhood

(Almost) Every Late-Night Restaurant in Los Angeles, By Neighborhood by Virginia Yapp in Food on March 6, 2019 11:00 AM Late night diners discuss what to order from Carnitas Michoacan’s extensive menu. (Chava Sanchez/ LAist)
When 2:04 a.m. hits and you stumble out of a bar or a show or your best friend’s cousin’s neighbor’s standup set, you’ve probably got one thing on your mind: getting something into your belly to soak up those overpriced tall boys and G&Ts. In most of Los Angeles’s nightlife-heavy neighborhoods, you’ll find taco carts, bacon-wrapped hot dogs or food trucks . But what if you want some sit-down eats? Your late-night dining options can be slim — unless you know where to look.
We scoured tons of neighborhoods and broke them down for you, eliminating fast food, major chains, spots that only serve so-so snacks and cruel establishments that close their kitchens at 10 p.m. Soon Tofu Soup and Bibimbap in hot stone bowlas from BCD Tofu House. (Chava Sanchez/ LAist)
KOREATOWN, MID-CITY, PICO-UNION Your best bet for late-night dining in Los Angeles is Koreatown, which has more 24-hour restaurants per square foot than any other neighborhood in the city. After a few beers at Frank ‘n Hank, I head to BCD Tofu House for a bubbling vegetarian hot pot and an order of crispy garlic tofu bites . My non-vegetarian friends prefer the spicy barbecue chicken or the bulgogi combo. (Bonus: BCD has a giant parking lot, a rarity in this ‘hood.) As for Korean barbecue, Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong , inside Chapman Plaza, is well worth what’s often a lengthy wait. We know KBBQ is all about the meat but we can’t stop thinking about the corn-cheese and eggs that they throw on the grill. If you want burgers and milkshakes, Cassell’s makes old-school versions of both. We’ve never left without a slice of pie. The flavors rotate by season, but hello, cranberry pomegranate. BCD Tofu House : 3575 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; 213-382-6677 (24 hours) Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong : 3465 W. Sixth St., Los Angeles; 213-384-9678 (1:30 a.m.) Cassell’s : 3600 W Sixth St., Los Angeles; 213-387-5502 (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday)
Ahgassi Gopchang (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Beer Belly (Koreatown) (1:30 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Bong Soong Ah Hak Dang (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Boolieya (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Byul Gobchang (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Chadolpoong (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Dan Sung Sa (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) DwitGolMok (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) EMC Seafood (Koreatown) (2 a.m. Monday-Saturday) Escala (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Full House Barbecue (Koreatown) (3 a.m.) Hae Jang Chon (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Haemaru (Koreatown) (4 a.m.) H Cafe (Koreatown) (3 a.m. Thursday-Saturday) Hodori (Pico-Union) (24 hours) Honey Night (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) House of the Chigae (Koreatown) (5 a.m. Monday-Saturday) Golden Pig (Koreatown) (1 a.m.) Go Pocha (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Jjan (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Kitchen Sooda (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Koginara (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Mama Lion (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Mom’s House (Koreatown) (24 hours) Mountain Cafe (Koreatown) (24 hours) My House (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Nak Won House (Mid-City) (24 hours) Pho 2000 (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Pho 24 (Koreatown) (4 a.m.) Plato (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) The Prince (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Namsan (Koreatown) (24 hours) Quarters Korean BBQ (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Sea Story (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Secret IZT (Koreatown) (2 a.m. Monday-Saturday) Shin Jung (Koreatown) (24 hours) Shuto Izakaya (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Slurpin’ Ramen Bar (Koreatown) (1 a.m.) Spare Tire Kitchen & Tavern (Koreatown) (kitchen open till 1 a.m.) Star Night (Koreatown) (2 a.m. Monday-Saturday; 1 a.m. Sun) Stone Grill (Koreatown) (1 a.m. Monday-Thursday; 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Terra Cotta (Koreatown) (2 a.m. Monday-Saturday) Thank U Pho (Koreatown) (3 a.m.) Toe Bang Cafe (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Touhmi (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Won Jo Kokerang Agurang (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Yangji Gamjatang (3 a.m. most nights; 24 hours weekends) Yang San Bak (Koreatown) (2 a.m.) Zzamong (Koreatown) (2:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday) Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank is a marvel of Googie architecture. (Chava Sanchez/ LAIST)
SAN FERNANDO VALLEY In the San Fernando Valley, the late-night options are plentiful and diverse. Is there anything better than a 2 a.m. pit-stop for pad kee mao? Visit North Hollywood’s Krua Thai , a bustling spot situated in a strip mall for all kinds of noodles, fried wontons (a must!), fried tofu (we clearly like fried food) and tom yum soup. Atmosphere is top of mind at Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks. The dimly lit old-school Mexican restaurant is where you go when you want to sit in a red vinyl booth where Cary Grant might’ve eaten lobster enchiladas, carnitas de puerco or a vegetarian Mexican pizza (OK, the latter dish is a more recent invention). If you want a Googie-style diner with tons of midcentury history, you can’t do better than Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank, where the burgers are hearty, the pancakes are stacked high, the colossal brownie sundaes are meant to be shared and, best of all, these dishes are served all night. Krua Thai: 13130 Sherman Way, North Hollywood; 818-759-7998 (11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Casa Vega: 13301 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; 818-788-4868 (11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday) Bob’s Big Boy: 4211 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank; 818-843-9334 (open 24 hours)
Barney’s Beanery (Burbank) (2 a.m.) Boneyard Bistro (Sherman Oaks) (kitchen till 1 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Catcher in the Rye (Toluca Lake) (2 a.m.) Chained Rabbit (Burbank) (2 a.m.) Conrad’s (Glendale) (24 hours) Crave Cafe ( Sherman Oaks , Studio City ) (24 hours) Dos Burritos (Van Nuys) (2 a.m. Monday-Thursday; 3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) El Indio Mexicano (Northridge) (24 hours) Fat Sal’s (Encino) (1 a.m. Sunday-Thursday; 3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Firefly (Studio City) (2 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 1 a.m. Sunday-Monday) The Gray Tavern (Studio City) (2 a.m.) Harry’s Family Restaurant (Burbank) (24 hours) Jasmine Thai Cuisine (Woodland Hills) (2 a.m.) Jerry’s Famous Deli (Studio City) (1 a.m. Sunday-Thursday; 3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Kaffe Rouge (Studio City) (2 a.m.) King Taco (Glendale) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Kolbeh Cafe (Woodland Hills) (2 a.m.) L’Ambiance Cafe (Encino) (2 a.m.) Little Toni’s (North Hollywood) (2 a.m.) The Local Peasant (Sherman Oaks and Woodland Hills) (2 a.m.) Mel’s Drive-In (Sherman Oaks) (24 hours) Mexicali Cocina (Studio City) Noho Pizza & Grill (North Hollywood) (3 a.m. Monday-Saturday) North Hollywood Diner (North Hollywood) (24 hours) Nostal Cafe (Woodland Hills) (2 a.m.) Rigo’s Taco (North Hollywood) (12:30 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Riverside (Toluca Lake) (2 a.m.) Sky Restaurant (Winnetka) (2 a.m.) The Spot (Encino) (3 a.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5 a.m. Friday-Saturday) The Thirsty Merchant (Valley Village) (2 a.m.) Wang Dweh Ji (Reseda) (2 a.m.) Wokcano (Burbank) (2 a.m.) The Woodman (Sherman Oaks) (2 a.m.) View this post on Instagram A post shared by L🅰️WRENCE (@passthetums) on May 1, 2016 at 9:38am PDT
SAN GABRIEL VALLEY Speaking of valleys, the 626 is an excellent place to be hungry at 1 a.m., especially if you’re craving Chinese food. JJ Hong Kong Cafe is Monterey Park’s go-to for its extensive menu and late hours. Among its nearly 80 dishes, the Indonesian fried rice topped with a fried egg, is a favorite. Enjoy staying up really late? Like, never sleeping? The Rowland Heights location of Sun Nong Dan is open 24 hours, so you can fill up on oxtail soup, beef neck-bone stew or other Korean soups, all of which are excellent accompaniaments to a SoCal sunrise. Then there’s Pasadena’s Lucky Boy . The Arroyo location ( recently reopened after a kitchen fire ) dishes out grub until 2 a.m., so you have plenty of time to grab a massive breakfast burrito. JJ Hong Kong Cafe: 447 Garvey Ave., Monterey Park; 626-280-3833 (7 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily) Sun Nong Dan: 927 E. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel; 626-286-1234 (open 24 hours) Sun Nong Dan: 18902 E. Gale Ave., Rowland Heights; 626-581-2233 (open 24 hours) Lucky Boy: 640 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena; 626-793-0120 (6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily)
101 Noodle Express (Alhambra) (1 a.m.) Barney’s Beanery (Pasadena) (2 a.m.) Conrad’s (Pasadena) (1 a.m.) Crest Lounge (Temple City) (2 a.m.) DuPar’s (Pasadena) (24 hours) Garden Cafe (Alhambra) (3:30 a.m.) Good Shine Kitchen (Monterey Park) (1 a.m.) Happy Kitchen (San Gabriel) (2 a.m.) The Hat (Alhambra, Monterey Park, Glendora) (1 a.m.) King Charcoal BBQ (Alhambra) (2 a.m.) King Taco (Baldwin Heights) (3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) King Taco (El Monte x2) (3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Krua Thai (West Covina) (1 a.m.) Lao Tie (Alhambra) (2 a.m.) Lu’s Garden (San Gabriel) (1 a.m.) NYC Seafood (Monterey Park (1 a.m.) Phoenix Inn (Temple City) (1 a.m.) Qin’s Garden (San Gabriel) (1 a.m.) Rocco’s Tavern (Pasadena) (2 a.m.) Roscoe’s (Pasadena) (1 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Sweethome Grill (San Gabriel) (2 a.m.) Tacos Gavilan (Azusa) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Tacos Gavilan (La Puente) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Tacos Gavilan (West Covina) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Tasty Garden (Monterey Park) (4 a.m.) U2 Cafe & BBQ (Alhambra) (2 a.m.) Uncle Yu’s Indian (San Gabriel) (1 a.m.) Xinjiang BBQ (Monterey Park) (1 a.m.) Xin Lan BBQ (Alhambra) (2 a.m.) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Matthew McBride (@matthewjmcbride) on Nov 15, 2018 at 2:09pm PST
WESTSIDE There are a few pockets on the Westside known for late-night options. If you find yourself in Culver City at the intersection of Sepulveda and Washington after midnight, you’ll have a conundrum. Do you swing through the 24-hour Cinco de Mayo , an old-school Mexican spot that has it all — burritos, tacos, pupusas, breakfast plates — and serves it round the clock? Or do you venture next door for a pastrami sandwich and a side of chili fries at Johnnie’s Pastrami , a tiny retro diner with a killer patio? Elsewhere, there’s small but mighty Daikokuya on Sawtelle, to sate your cravings for ramen or a bowl of spicy miso with an extra soft-boiled egg (for the vegetarians). Finally, when you want a modern diner that looks vintage, the Santa Monica location of Swingers is a comfort food go-to. If you can leave without ordering the cobbler (à la mode, obviously), you’re a monster, but more power to you. Cinco de Mayo: 11204 Washington Place, Culver City; 310-391-5354 (open 24 hours) Johnnie’s Pastrami: 4017 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City; 310-397-6654 (10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday-Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 10 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Daikokuya: 2208 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles; 310-575-4999 (11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily) Swingers: 802 Broadway, Santa Monica; 310-393-9793 (7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday-Wednesday; 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday-Saturday)
Almaza (Palms) (1 a.m.) Father’s Office (Santa Monica) (1 a.m.) Fat Sal’s (Westwood) (3 a.m. Monday-Saturday; 2 a.m. Sunday) Gabe’s (Rancho Park) (2 a.m.) The Galley (Santa Monica) (2 a.m. weekends) The Garage (Palms) (2 a.m.) Habibi Cafe (Westwood) (5 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 4 a.m. Sunday-Thursday) Hangry Moon’s (Westwood) (1 a.m. Sunday-Wednesday; 3 a.m. Thursday-Saturday) Hinano Cafe (Venice) (2 a.m.) Il Tramezzino (Beverly Hills) (4 a.m. Friday-Saturday) James’ Beach (Venice) (1:30 a.m.) Không Tên (West L.A.) (kitchen open till 1 a.m.) Killer Cafe (Marina Del Rey) (24 hours) King Taco (Century City) (1 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Mao’s Kitchen (Venice) (3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Margot (Culver City) (2 a.m.) Moon House (Sawtelle) (1 a.m.) Munch Late Night (Venice) (2:45 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2:30 a.m. Sunday-Monday) Pacific Dining Car (Santa Monica) (24 hours) Pho Sho (Culver City) (3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Pho Shop (West L.A.) (4 a.m.) Plancha Tacos (Venice Beach) (1 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Rock’n Pies (Santa Monica) (3 a.m.) Roscoe’s (West L.A.) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Swingers (Santa Monica) (2 a.m. Sunday-Wednesday; 3 a.m. Thursday-Saturday) Tasty Wok Cuisine (Sawtelle) (2 a.m. Wednesday-Monday) Tatsu (Sawtelle) (3 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 a.m. Sunday-Thursday) Thunderbird (Brentwood) (2 a.m.) Zinque (Venice Beach) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) View this post on Instagram A post shared by 🇪🇹 MERKATO 🇪🇹 (@merkatorestaurant) on Sep 10, 2018 at 11:04am PDT
WEST HOLLYWOOD, FAIRFAX, MID-CITY WEST The West Hollywood area has as many late-night dining options as it has trendy bars and dance clubs, and there’s nothing worse than heading out of one of these spots and into a blindingly bright dining room (looking at you, In-N-Out). The owners of West Hollywood’s sleek retro Italian joint Jones are smart enough to keep the lights dim while they serve wood-fired pizzas, skillets of spaghetti pomodoro and some of the best French fries in town. Merkato Ethiopian Restaurant , on Fairfax, is another winner and an great choice if you’re out with vegans or vegetarians. L entil samboosas for the vegans, f ried fish for the pescatarians and spongy injera for everyone. Meanwhile, if you’re hungry after a midnight screening at the New Beverly, Canter’s comes to mind. A panini-pressed mac-n-cheese sandwich won’t be what the doctor ordered but she’s not there to judge you at 3 a.m. Jones: 7205 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; 323-850-1726 (noon to 2 a.m. Monday-Friday; 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday-Sunday) Merkato: 1036 1/2 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles; 323-935-1775 (11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily) Canter’s: 419 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles; 323-651-2030 (3 a.m. Sunday-Thursday; 24 hours Friday-Saturday)
Al Layali (WeHo) (3 a.m.) Astro Burger (WeHo) (3 a.m. Sunday-Wednesday; 5 a.m. Thursday-Saturday) The Belmont (WeHo) (2 a.m.) Benito’s (Beverly Grove) (1 a.m. Sunday-Thursday; 3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Bossa Nova (WeHo, Hollywood) (3:30 a.m. on weekends) Caffe Roma (Beverly Hills) (1:30 a.m. Friday; 2 a.m. Saturday Carney’s (Hollywood Hills West) (3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Catch (West Hollywood) (2 a.m.) Cecconi’s (WeHo) (1 a.m. Friday-Saturday) C.O.D. (Beverly Grove) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Dan Tana’s (WeHo) (1 a.m. Monday-Saturday; 12:30 a.m. Sunday) Dough Pizzeria (Hollywood Hills West) (2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday) DuPar’s (Fairfax) (24 hours) El Carmen (Beverly Grove) (2 a.m.) Eveleigh (Hollywood Hills West) (12:30 a.m. Thursday-Saturday) Go Japanese Izakaya (Beverly Hills) (1 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday) Greenblatt’s (Hollywood Hills West) (2 a.m. ) Greenwich Village Pizzeria (WeHo) (3 a.m.) Guisados (WeHo) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Halal Guys (WeHo) (2 a.m. Sunday-Thursday; 3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) ISA Japanese (Miracle Mile) (4 a.m.) Itacho (Fairfax) (2 a.m. Tuesday-Sunday) Katana (Hollywood Hills West) (12:30 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Kitchen 24 (WeHo) (24 hours) L.A. Buns & Company (WeHo) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Los Tacos (WeHo) (24 hours) Mel’s Drive-In (Hollywood Hills West) (24 hours) Merkato Ethiopian Restaurant (Fairfax) (2 a.m.) Michael’s Pizza (Beverly Grove) (3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) The Nice Guy (WeHo) (2 a.m.) Oki Dog (Fairfax) (1:30 a.m. Monday-Thursday; 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Pearl’s Rooftop (WeHo) (1:45 a.m. Friday-Saturday) The Pikey (Hollywood Hills West) (kitchen: 1:30 a.m.) Pinche’s (Hollywood Hills West) (3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Pink’s (Fairfax) (2 a.m. Sunday-Thursday; 3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Pink Taco (Sunset Strip) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Plancha Tacos (Beverly Hills) (1 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Prime Pizza (Fairfax) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Pump (West Hollywood) (2 a.m.) Shalom Grill (Pico-Robertson) (1 a.m. Saturday) Spare Tire (Mid-Wilshire) (2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday; 1 a.m. Sunday-Wednesday) The Sunset Trocadero (WeHo) (kitchen: 1:30 a.m.) Sushiya (WeHo) (12:30 a.m. Friday; 1 a.m. Saturday) Sweet Chick (Fairfax) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Swingers (Fairfax) (4 a.m.) Tatsu Ramen (Fairfax) (2 a.m.) Toca Madera (Beverly Grove) (1 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) TomTom (WeHo) (2 a.m.) Zinque (WeHo) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Armi Millare 🧿 (@armimillare) on Feb 24, 2018 at 2:22am PST
HOLLYWOOD, EAST HOLLYWOOD Franklin Village’s 101 Coffee Shop is a popular hang after catching a comedy show at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Think classic diner food, only slightly less greasy and with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, like eggs with soyrizo. There’s also picture-perfect period decor you’d swear was dreamt up by Mad Men’s production designer. Head to Thai Town in East Hollywood for options. Sanamluang Cafe is a favorite for its classic Thai dishes, plentiful portions and reasonable prices. You can’t go wrong with much on the menu but the pineapple fried rice, larb and glass noodle soup have earned a special place in our heart (and our belly). Then there’s Toi on Sunset, decked out in all the leopard print and music memorabilia you’d expect from a “rockin’ Thai” joint in the heart of Hollywood. It was once our favorite spot for unwinding after a show at Meltdown Comics (RIP), and we still find plenty of reasons to visit, such as the tofu red curry and purple rice. 101 Coffee Shop: 6145 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles; 323-467-1175 (7 a.m. to 3 a.m. nightly) Sanamluang Cafe: 5176 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-660-8006 (11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Toi: 7505 1/2 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-874-8062 (11 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily)
Aroma (Hollywood) (1:30 a.m. Saturday-Sunday) Bamboo Chinese (East Hollywood) (2 a.m.) Bossa Nova (Hollywood) (3:30 a.m. Sunday-Wednesday; 4 a.m. Thursday-Saturday) Cactus Taqueria #1 (Hollywood x2) (hours vary) D’s Dubai Sauce (Hollywood) (2 a.m.) Delancey (Hollywood) (2 a.m.) El Gran Burrito (East Hollywood) (24 hours) Fat Sal’s (Hollywood) (3 a.m. Mon-Wed; 4 a.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 a.m. Sunday) Hollywood Pizza Cafe (3 a.m. Monday-Wednesday; 4 a.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 a.m. Sunday) India’s Restaurant (East Hollywood) (1 a.m.) Jae Bu Do (East Hollywood) (2 a.m.) Mel’s Drive-In (Hollywood) (3 a.m. Sunday-Thursday; 24 hours Friday-Saturday) Perfect Pita (Hollywood) (2 a.m. Monday-Thursday; 4 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Riki’s Tacos (East Hollywood) (1 a.m.) Rincon OaxaQueno (Hollywood) (2:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday; 2 a.m. Sunday) Roscoe’s (Hollywood) (2:30 Friday-Saturday) Ruen Pair (East Hollywood) (3 a.m.) ShaBuShi (East Hollywood) (1 a.m.) Stout Burger & Beers (Hollywood) (4 a.m.) Swingers (Hollywood) (4 a.m.) Tacos El Gavilan (Hollywood) (3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Te’Kila (Hollywood) (2 a.m.) Velvet Margarita (Hollywood) (2 a.m.) Yogi Dog (Hollywood) (3 a.m. Sunday-Wednesday; 4 a.m. Friday-Saturday) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Garage Pizza LA (@garagepizzala) on Jan 11, 2019 at 1:37pm PST
THE EASTSIDE, PART 1 (Silver Lake, Echo Park, Atwater Village, Los Feliz) Silver Lake, Echo Park, Atwater Village and Los Feliz don’t have a ton of late-night picks but what they lack in quantity, they make up for in quality. Silver Lake’s Garage Pizza is the spot for a slice of pie after stumbling out of Akbar, across the street. It’s usually packed but the people-watching is top notch so try not to stare as you wait for a hot slice or three of the garlic margherita. Los Feliz’s Fred62 is no longer open all night but it’s still open late and it’s a good place for pasta covered in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. The dish is as glorious as it sounds. If you’re leaving the Echoplex after a show, head to Burrito King , the patio-style dining spot that’s been around for decades, outlasting its sister location on Hyperion. Seating is limited, so scope out a spot before you belly up to the window for a California burrito and an order of nacho fries. Garage Pizza: 4339 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-668-1190 (11 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily) Fred62: 1850 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles; 323-667-0062 (7 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily) Burrito King: 2109 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; 213-484-9859 (10 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily)
El Compadre (Echo Park) (2 a.m.) Electric Lotus (Los Feliz) (1 a.m. Thursday-Saturday) Fred62 (Los Feliz) (4 a.m.) Hollywood Thai (Los Feliz) (4 a.m.) House of Pies (Los Feliz) (2 a.m. Monday-Friday; 3 a.m. Saturday-Sunday) Red Lion Tavern (Silver Lake) (2 a.m.) Silverlake Ramen (Silver Lake) (1:45 a.m. Friday-Saturday) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Master Lee (@mrleelovesscience) on Jun 1, 2017 at 10:57pm PDT
THE EASTSIDE, PART 2 (Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Cypress Park, Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights, East L.A.) Mexican food is the name of the game when you’re hanging out in these ‘hoods. Lines get long for Lincoln Heights hotspot Carnitas Michoacan , so the later you arrive, the better. Favorites include the super nachos, the al pastor tacos and the albondigas soup, which you can eat on the roomy patio out back. Lincoln Heights is also home to La Chuperia , a true hole-in-the-wall with an excellent jukebox that serves a damn fine — and damn spicy — michelada, not to mention carne asada tacos and giant nachos (aka Chuper Nachos) that you’ll probably need to share. Little Machinsito has one of the best logos around and the menu’s also great. Tucked into a small shopping center in Boyle Heights, it has plenty of seating and is known for its molcajetes and fresh juices, although you’re more than welcome to grab an order of tostilocos and a raspado. No judgment here. Carnitas Michoacan: 1901 N. Broadway, Los Angeles; 323-225-2729 (open 24 hours) La Chuperia: 1145 N. Mission Road, Los Angeles; 323-352-8721 (1:45 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Little Machinsito: 2917 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-622-9982 (open 24 hours)
El Atacor (Cypress Park) (3 a.m.) The Greyhound (Highland Park) (kitchen open till 12:30 a.m. Friday-Saturday) King Taco (Boyle Heights) (3 a.m. Friday-Saturday) King Taco (Cypress Park) (2 a.m. Friday, 2:30 a.m. Saturday) King Taco (Lincoln Heights) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) La Estrella (Highland Park) (open 24 hours) La India Bonita (Boyle Heights) (1:45 a.m.) Marcelino’s Cafe (Lincoln Heights) (2 a.m.) Mi Ranchito (Boyle Heights) (2 a.m.) Sam’s Tacos (Boyle Heights) (24 hours) Tacos Super Gallito (East L.A.) (3 a.m.) Troy Burgers #8 (Highland Park) (1 a.m. Sunday-Thursday; 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Xelas (Boyle Heights) (2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Yakisoba from Suehiro Cafe in Little Tokyo. (Chava Sanchez/ LAist)
DTLA, Chinatown, Little Tokyo After a movie at the Downtown Independent or a night of bar-hopping in the Historic Core, you’re going to need sustenance. Luckily DTLA, has just about every kind of cuisine you might crave. Sometimes, slabs of sourdough bread slathered in butter are what you need. On those nights, iconic late-night spot The Pantry is here for you, and has been since 1922. In Chinatown, Full Moon House has a late-night menu packed with traditional Cantonese dishes like Peking duck and beef chow fun, served with complimentary hot tea. Little Tokyo’s Suehiro Cafe is another great spot for after-hours dining, especially if you’ve got a craving for soba or deep-fried tofu. Last but definitely not least is Cole’s French Dip , an L.A. landmark that opened in 1908 and has been fighting with Philippe’s ever since about who invented their namesake item. Either way, the sandwiches are delicious at any hour. The Pantry: 877 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles; 213-972-9279 (open 24 hours) Suehiro Cafe: 337 E. First St., Los Angeles; 213-626-9132 (11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday-Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday-Sunday) Full Moon House: 960 N. Hill St., Los Angeles; 213-537-0792 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to midnight Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday) Cole’s French Dip: 118 E. Sixth St., Los Angeles; 213-622-4090 (11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday-Monday; noon to 2 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday)
24/7 Restaurant at the Standard (Historic Core) (24 hours) Amante (South Downtown) (3 a.m.) A-Station (Westlake) (4 a.m.)

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UpSouth now in Wanowarie

Sakal Times 09.21 PM
A popular Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) chain, UpSouth has recently opened its door for customers in Wanowarie on Vitthal Rao Shivarkar Road.
A popular Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) chain, UpSouth has recently opened its door for customers in Wanowarie on Vitthal Rao Shivarkar Road. This is its sixth outlet in the Pune, besides Viman Nagar, Pune Airport, Aundh, Wakad and Phoenix Market City.
UpSouth offers great, authentic, delicious food with lightning speed of service in hygienic and LIVE Kitchen atmosphere. This is a self-service and sit-down restaurant. It is an ideal place to grab a quick bite for students and office-goers to hover and families to relax. The menu offers universal favourites like — varieties of Idli and Dosa, Medu Wada, Uthappam, Filter Coffee, Paddu, South Indian Combos, meals and many more. It also hosts its patented signature dishes like Uthly, Malabari Parota Sandwich, Sabudana Cheese Wada, Elaneer Mousse, Mango Moksha and Healthy Super Grain Paratha. On an average, per person pays between Rs 80-90 only for their food. UpSouth is the QSR brand of BillionSmiles Hospitality Pvt Ltd, one of India’s leading hospitality chain.“We are here to create convenient, affordable, hygienic and quality driven South Indian QSR chain in upscale environment.
We are looking forward to create an impactful presence in Pune market through internal investments and franchising options. South Indian cuisine is recognised as one of the most popular cuisines, and as a product is also suitable for all day dining. Hence a great opportunity for UpSouth to build a successful QSR format nationwide,” says Kumar Gaurav, vice president, BillionSmiles Hospitality Pvt Ltd.
The brand is also looking forward to open up more in the city by the year end. Tags

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My once-in-a-lifetime Ayurveda experience

News » Headline » My once-in-a-lifetime Ayurveda experience My once-in-a-lifetime Ayurveda experience By R.K. Pillai | March 3, 2019 Krishnendu Ayurveda Hospital in Alappuzha, Kerala. Photo by R.K. Pillai
Travel writer R.K. Pillai writes about the memorable two weeks he spent at the Krishnendu Ayurveda Hospital in Alappuzha, Kerala. Follow @ambazaarmag
Ayurvedic wellness and special treatment programs are getting more and more popular, especially among aging populations. Medical tourism is mostly being focused in that area now. The southern Indian state of Kerala is the number one provider of this service now. Early this year, I experienced this service at a popular Ayurvedic center in Kerala’s Alappuzha district.
I have previously visited about five such facilities in the state. I must say that Krishnendu Ayurveda Hospita was unparalleled in its service. Located in Chingoli, an ancient village, it is about 24 kilometers (15 miles) south of Alappuzha, Kerala’s housing boat capital. It is approximately 117 kilometers (73 miles) to the south of the Cochin International Airport. The distance from the Thiruvananthapuram International airport, which is to its south, is roughly the same.
Krishnendu is unique in the sense that it’s in natural rural environs, surrounded by orchards, Travancore-style architecture and terracotta-roofed buildings, which, at the same time, offers modern living facilities. It is a crown jewel among the ever-growing medical tourism facilities of Kerala, billed as “God’s Own Country.”
Kerala is one of the most highly literate regions in the developing world. Its body politics reveal its culture and traditions. Education and healthcare have been of paramount importance to its people from time immemorial. Shri Adi Sankara, a Vedic scholar and reformer, was born here about 1,200 years ago.
ALSO READ: Bagan: the land of magnificent pagodas and ancient temples (October 29, 2017)
Ayurvedic lifestyle has been prevalent among the elite classes in the area since the origin of Veda shastras (500 BCE). It is the land of abundant herbal medicinal plants and shrubs because if its tropical weather all around the year. Everyone in the world envies Kerala’s geography, which is amazingly beautiful with coconut-roofed terrains, wide lakes and backwaters, spiraling paddy fields, plantations of rubber, tea, coffee, cardamom and the wild forest on the eastern border. Exotic spices and herbs were being exported from here from the time of the Greeks and the Romans. They were naturally grown in its rain forests and costal plane land. A kind of humid weather of the coastal region, and pleasantly cold and dry hill stations are tourist attractions. Unfailing monsoon for several months a year is an experience in itself.
In January 2019, I had an opportunity to experience Krishnendu’s hospitality for 14 days. Although my visit was for a general wellness program, the doctors there intriguingly found out that I had some chronic problems that normally exist among retired or senior people. I gladly agreed to undergo their treatment plans. Now looking back, it was a wise thing to do so. They provided me a detailed write-up of all the procedures that will be administered on me in advance. That kept me aware of all their daily routines and schedules so that I could use my time effectively for my normal reading, writing and outdoor activities. I must say that some of the therapeutic procedures have to be experienced to have an idea how blissful it can be.
ALSO READ: São Paulo: the cultural capital of Brazil (January 23, 2018)
The initial day’s treatment for me was Abhyangam and Shathawadi kizhi , the application of warm medicinal oil massage followed by massaging with a warm pouch that contains some medicinal compound. These procedures continued for 60 minutes. Thereafter, for another five days, I had Abhyangam plus Snehadhara for 60 minutes every day. This was a blissful experience. As the therapists gently pour the warm medicinal oil in a systematic way, one feels that every cell in the body is being activated. That was followed by Abhyangam plus Godhoomadi Pindaswedam and Karaskara Ksheeradhara for 60 minutes. All these therapeutic procedures were amazingly enjoyable and relaxing. A hot water shower after the therapy sessions cleans not only the body, but the mind, too.
At this ISO Certified Ayurvedic facility, one can see the “people and process” interactions clearly. The therapists and the doctors know what they are doing, why they are doing it, and the importance of keeping the schedules meticulously. They knock on your door on time, every time, to get you to the treatment room as scheduled. Doctors visit several times a day to check on your status. All are encouraged to take part in the morning yoga session conducted by a yoga specialist. General purpose gym equipment are available in the physiotherapists’ area, which adds value to the daily living in Krishnendu.
ALSO READ: Fernando de Noronha: islands of serene beauty, year-round tropical weather (May 8, 2017)
I also loved the variety of food options, from no carb to controlled carb, besides all the traditional Kerala cuisines. Here the foodies can have vegan or limited non-veg items of their choice. Kanji (Kerala rice porridge), payaru (lentil curry) and pickles were my favorite for dinner. The availability of various varieties of low glycemic index cut fruits platter is a great healthy choice any time.
Another interesting aspect of my Krishnendu experience was the social life there. I met several people who come to the place , year after year, from countries such as Mexico, South Africa, Zambia, Serbia, the UAE, Kuwait, Russia, the United Kingdom, and, of course, the United States. People were very friendly and appear to be well placed in the society they come from.
Of the two people from Russia I met there, one was the finance director and other the human resource director of the largest grocery shops-chain that employs 280,000 Russians. Another person was the head of human resources of a leading engineering and construction company that employs 9,000 engineers and technicians in the Middle East.
ALSO READ: Ancient Hindu kingdoms of Southeast Asia (April 10, 2017)
I noticed that foreigners that come there for treatments also get to visit Alappuzha for houseboat experience, and visit holy temples, and ancient churches in the area. Sun-set beaches are only a few kilometers west of the place. To my surprise, the total cost of my two-week treatment, including boarding and lodging, with a bath-attached air-conditioned room, and the entire treatment plan were under $100 per day. Altogether, it was a great memorable experience for me, which is worth trying at least once in a lifetime.
(R.K. Pillai, who is based in northern Virginia, has been in the forefront of information technology and business management for over 30 years, both in India and United States.) My once-in-a-lifetime Ayurveda experience was last modified: March 3rd, 2019 by R.K. Pillai

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Recipe of the month: Mint Pulao

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 Recipe of the month: Mint Pulao This recipe is very close to my heart so it just had to make the cut on the recipe section of my blog. I always feel that I haven’t featured enough rice recipes on my blog so with this one, I feel marginally better! I don’t cook fancy food at home most of the time. Someone may have once implied something of the sort (* cough cough*…my sister…*cough cough* 😂). Far from it actually! If you come at take a look at our typical weekly menu stuck on the fridge, the usual suspects would include chapati with a generic dal or subzi, instant dosas (ragi dosa/neer dosa/rava dosa), stuffed parathas, millet pongal or bisibele bhath or one-pot rice dishes. I reserve the more time consuming South Indian breakfast dishes like akki rotti, idli-vada, guliappa, patrode and dosa, traditional Udupi-style full meals and chaats for weekends when I have time on my hands to do them justice. Some other weekend indulgences would include pasta, pizza, risotto, casseroles, black bean burgers, Indo-Chinese and a few of our favourites from Mexican, Thai and Middle Eastern cuisine. Starting this year onwards, I’ve decided to incorporate different salads into our meal plan but that is only a bi-weekly lunchbox affair. So you see, no matter what recipes you see on my blog, Indian food still reigns supreme in my household and that is always how it will be. It is the food I grew up with, the food that evokes the strongest sentiments/fondest memories and the food I will eat until my last breath ( so melodramatic I am no? 😝). So back to when I was still an unexperienced (and not a very creative) cook, there were only a handful of recipes that I could depend on when I had guests at home for lunch or dinner. This mint pulao was one of them. I think over the years, I must have made this dish for all my family members and close friends! This dish is a favourite of mine and my husband’s and it features on our weekend menu quite frequently. It has also been appreciated time and again when we have made it for other people reinforcing our trust in it. And although I have come a long way since those initial years and learnt many many more interesting dishes, I still continue to make this pulao. This is one dish that both me and the husband make with equal frequency so neither one of us claims it to be our speciality 😛 I’m pretty sure I got the recipe from somewhere but over the decade, it has gone through many improvisations that I feel like I can call it my own now. Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow at home and I have plenty of family and friends who grow their own mint. This recipe is super easy and has a basic ingredient list all of which can be easily found in any reasonably well-stocked Indian pantry. I prefer to keep this dish simple without the use of too many spices and vegetables so if you also happen to have basmati rice, coconut milk, potatoes and peas, you have pretty much most of what you need to make this pulao. Serve it with any raita of your choice, a simple green salad and papad or chips and you have a great tasting main course in less than an hour 😊 This recipe easily doubles and can be halved to serve only two people. You need this dish in your life so skedaddle! Mint Pulao

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Foreign Market Entry Strategy – Four Seasons in Brazil

pic pic quadruple placates Hotels and Resorts St accountgic Marketing cast for Entry into Rio de Janeiro, brazil-nut tree pic EXECUTIVE SUMMARY quartette Seasons Hotels and Resort is the mans premier sumptuosity hotel circumspection society. It is currently operating 83 hotels in 35 countries and has built an unriv al unmatchable(prenominal) last(predicate)ed reputation for reliability, trust and confederation with its guests ( quadruplet-spot Seasons, 2010). As the hotel mogul prepargons to grave brazil nut, this paper nar range in detail the groceryplaceplace train plan quaternity Seasons testament implement in the topical anesthetic geopolitical surround. brazil-nut trees show political, legal, social and sparing state draws the give awaycome that acquiring a topical anesthetic lavishness hotelier maculation utilizing its melodic phrase resources like a supply, is the best mode of entry for cardinal Seasons. Fasanos grandiose topical anaesthet ic soil recognition as a beginning(a) hotelier and partnership with brazil-nut treeian satisfyingistic- country developer, JHSF, inducts it an prototype stopdidate for quadruplet Seasons grocery store entry strategy. Exceptional personalized customer overhaul, an integral part of quatern Seasons instigator image and strategy, is similar and solelyow be reign overly transferred when accounting entry Rio de Janeiro.Acquiring Fasanos hotel in Rio de Janeiro, while simultaneously re cooking wholly of its alive staff members completelyow accomplish four-spot Seasons chief(prenominal) objectives when come in brazil nut which include 1. Providing a standardized work quaternion Seasons nates mart has come to receive and yield, while showcasing an authentic brazil-nut treeian know for its guests. 2. Establishing a genuine linkion with the topical anaesthetic community and to a lower placestanding brazil nutian gloss to turn back a sustainable wrinkle rel ationship for rising expansion. 3. Utilizing the close ffective and efficient market strategy to expedite four Seasons juggle into brazil. To guarantee a happy entry into this modernistic growth market, cardinal Integrated Communications footrace strategies will be put into place to reach out to the topical anesthetic community and worldwide consumer base. TABLE OF circumscribe I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY1 II. TABLE OF CONTENTS2 III. COMPANY AND armed helping OVERVIEW3 A. FOUR SEASONS HISTORY3 B. modern DEVELOPMENTS3 IV. food market ATTRACTIVENESS ASSESSMENT5 A. milieu OVERVIEW5 1. CULTURAL surround5 2. POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT8 3.ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT10 4. LEGAL ENVIRONMENT12 B. matched abstract14 1. MAJOR COMPETITORS14 2. SWOT ANALYSIS FOR FOUR SEASONS21 C. POTENTIAL TARGET securities industry ASSESSMENT22 1. FOUR SEASONS GUEST DEMOGRAPHICS22 2. TARGET SEGMENTS23 V. mart ENTRY STRATEGY25 VI. MARKETING flick PLAN28 A. BRAND STRATEGY28 B. PRODUCT/SERVICE29 C. PRICE34 D. PL ACE35 E. ADVERTISING AND OTHER PROMOTION35 1. Integrated Communications Campaign for brazil-nut treeians35 2. Integrated Communicates Campaign for International Travelers37 3. FIFA earthly c erstwhilern Cup 2014 & Summer Olympic Games 201640VII. CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDED RESEARCH40 A. SECONDARY RESEARCH41 B. PRIMARY RESEARCH41 1. SURVEYS41 2. FOCUS GROUP42 3. IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS43 4. OBSERVATION STUDIES43 VIII. REFERENCES44 COMPANY AND SERVICE OVERVIEW 1 FOUR SEASONS HISTORY Isadore nippy, founder of The quatern Seasons Hotels and Resorts, capable his mai hideout hotel in Toronto, Canada in 1961. A modest hotel with 125 affordable rooms, The quaternary Seasons Motor Hotel marked the beginning of a crude kind of hotel in which any customer would be treated as a particular(a) guest.Within ten years, spirit levelce hotels had been opened in Canada, leading to the interruption of the bon tons number 1 hotel oversea in London, England in 1970. oer sentence, four-spot S easons made four strategic ends that formed the pillars of the smart set. The first pillar, quality, was chosen during the initial expansion abroad in the 1970s, to continuously fulfil guest expectations from one hotel to the next. quadruple Seasons as a pock would represent particular(a) quality with a concentrate on on creation the best hotel in each location. The consequence strategic decision was to conformation quaternion Seasons combative favor in serve well. 4 Seasons was accepted for its spiffing service with the col of its first nocked U. S. hotel in Washington, DC in 1979. During the 1980s, Four Seasons continued to expand and introduce flagship hotels by dint ofout the US. The brand suck up began to develop and a distinct brand image was bring to passd. The third pillar, closed declareing, would shoo-in a square occasion in the growth of a weapons-grade brand name. The corporate culture became based on the princely Rule, which Mr. Sharp defi nes as to deal with separatespartners, customers, coworkers, every(prenominal)oneas we would want them to deal with us (Martin, 2008).In 1985, Four Seasons added branded private residences to their hotels and began to transition from a hotel owner to wholly a hotel forethought comp whatever. With the variety, the fourth pillar evolved to grow as a fill outment club and build a brand name synonymic with quality (Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts- About Us Four Seasons History, 2010). Since, Four Seasons has created a brand name worth very a lot to a crackinger extent than its real estate by convolutioning the best service to sumptuousness travelers nearly the world.Four Seasons has frameatic in ally innovated the work offered at its hotels over the years, becoming the first to offer shampoo in the shower, 24-hour room service, bathrobes, cleaning and pressing serve, a dickens-line think in each guest room, a well-lit desk, a full-service spa and 24-hour secretarial services (Martin, 2008). In 1986, the partnership went public and was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. A substantial brand name allowed the Four Seasons to engage in a series of in(predicate) hotel openings crosswise the world in the 1990s and into the new millennium.The partnership has gradually expanded its portfolio of resorts to include 83 hotels and resorts in 35 countries and continues to grow in both size and recognition today. Every hotel, from capital of Egypt to Chiang Mai to Milan, demonstrates the four pillars that Mr. Sharp has built the Four Seasons brand upon. 2 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts became the first large hotel company to manage hotels through real estate owners and developers. In 2007, Four Seasons Hotels returned to private ownership, with Bill generate and Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal each owning 47. % of the company, and Mr. Sharp owning the re maining 5% (Segal, 2009). The bribe was based on the decision to expand more aggressively, limitedally into regions non conducive to public companies (OBrien, 2008). With operations in 35 countries, it has been exceedingly successful abroad and will continue to expand into new markets in the in store(predicate) the Chinese and Indian markets argon predicted to play a vital role in the future of the company (Four Seasons CEO Sees Luxury Trajectory, 2009).As a hotel management company, Four Seasons has complete control over all hotel operations, participates in the designing of new hotels, and earns approximately 3% of r stillue from hotel owners in do-gooder to collecting fees to cover global sales, marketing, and reservations (OBrien, 2008). The major decision harborrs in the company plate currently atomic number 18 ? Isadore Sharp Founder, chairman, and CEO ? Kathleen Taylor president and COO ? Jim FitzGibbon chairman Worldwide Hotel Operations ? Nick Mutton executive director Vice electric chair Human Resou rces and Administration ?Scott Woroch Executive Vice chairperson Worldwide Development ? John Davison CFO and Executive Vice professorship Residential ? Antoine Corinthios President Europe/Middle East/Africa ? Susan Helstab Exective Vice President Marketing (Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts- About Us Corporate Bios, 2010). Four Seasons is continuously acknowledge as an outstanding company winning awards year after year. Four Seasons has remained on Fortunes coke Best Companies to Work For every year since 1998, for a total of twelve consecutive years (Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts- About Us Four Seasons History, 2010).Twenty-two of the Four Seasons properties fetch besides been recognized for excellence in the hospitality industry with the AAA quintuplet baseball diamond award in 2010 (2010 AAA/CAA Five Diamond Lodgings). This is a very prestigious award, presented single to 0. 27% of the 60,000 Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants throughout the united invokes, Canada , Mexico, and the Caribbean, truly setting Four Seasons Hotels apart from its competitors (Five Diamond Award Winning Hotels and Restaurants, 2010).The thirtieth anniversary issue of the Robb Report,published in 2006, included the Four Seasons on its list of the most exclusive brands of all condemnation alongside other luxury brands such(prenominal) as Rolls Royce, Tiffanys and Louis Vuitton (Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts- About Us Four Seasons History, 2010). CondeNast Traveler similarly consistently recognizes the Four Seasons as a leader in the hospitality industry. OnCondeNast Travelers Global Top 100 List, eighteen Four Seasons hotels have been included, which is triple the count of the next most-listed hotel train (Martin, 2008).By incorporating the four pillars into its affair strategy, the Four Seasons has developed into one of the most-recognized prestigious brands inwardly the hospitality industry. Through its constant focus on exquisite customer service in all m arkets, Four Seasons creates a brand that is immediately associated with exceeding customer impoverishments and expectations in every location. Mr. Sharp summarized the idea by saying If you dont meet it every time, you dont have a brand (Four Seasons CEO Sees Luxury Trajectory, 2009).The computer architecture of a hotel is irrelevant beca role any competitor can replicate it, until now the employees of the Four Seasons describe the company by constantly delivering the premier service promised to the guests, hence, creating the strong brand image travelers associate with Four Seasons. In addition to providing timely and sophisticated service, employees atomic number 18 trained to personalize the service pitch shot through customer name recognition and offering unique services to match guest pick outences.Training employees to deliver customized service has been a great challenge, because personal service is non nighthing you can dictate as a policy. It comes from the cultur e (OBrien, 2008). Mr. Sharp explains the effect of a strong corporate culture on the guests how you treat your employees is how you expect them to treat the customer (OBrien, 2008). Brand integrity, bring together with the corporate pride instilled in 30,000 employees worldwide, is what allows Four Seasons to charge a subsidy impairment.The company has become legendary for its unmovable standards, despite economic recessions, believe that altering room equipment casualtys will diminish the brand. Four Seasons doglike guests continually pay premium prices because they are confident the shining service that is judge will be delivered. Each Four Seasons Hotel and Resort strives to achieve the ideal balance of alineation to the topical anesthetic surroundings and standardization of the service. Four Seasons Hotels are built after comp research of the market and country to adapt to the topical anaesthetic anaesthetic style and create an authentic reckon for guests.The comp any does non have a uniform style that is common in umpteen competitors such as The Ritz Carlton. speckle the hotel is built to reflect the topical anaesthetic culture, service is standardized across all Four Seasons properties. This is a key gene to the adaptation/standardization balance as service is considered the companys sustainable belligerent benefit. Guests expect to receive the same lavishly-quality service at every Four Seasons hotel, despite being in a different country. Room rates as well spay at different properties, taking into account seasonality, economic factors of the host country, and exchange rates.However, each hotel offers a fairly large price range to reflect the different types of rooms and suites available in the property. MARKET ATTRACTIVENESS ASSESSMENT 1 ENVIRONMENT OVERVIEW 1 CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT 1 HOFSTEDE CULTURAL DIMENSIONS Country PDI IDV MAS UAI LTO CANADA 39 80 52 48 23 BRAZIL 69 38 49 76 65 URUGUAY 61 36 38 100 (Geert Hofstede Cul tural Dimensions, 2009) Although three main target segments for Four Seasons in brazil nut are non- brazilian nationals, the company must(prenominal) ac intimacy heathen differences to be properly prepared to select, train, and compensate local employees and positivistly interact with local descentes.Local firms are vital to Four Seasons subscriber line model since they have material control over spoken promotion for the hotel. In order to receive customers for conferences, giveing or extra events, a lasting relationship acquires to be built with firms in the local environment. Additionally, it is important to understand cultural dimensions to be successful in acquiring the tangible aspects of the byplay that are locally sourced. According to Hofstede measures, Canada and brazil-nut tree vary drastically on all cultural dimensions excluding masculinity.Compared to Canada, brazil nut has a very high Power Distance index (Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions, 2009). As a r esult, the Four Seasons Introductory Training Program (FSITP) whitethorn need to be modified. Currently, all new employees representing different levels of the organization, including housekeepers, department managers, non-paid interns, etc. , are placed into one large group for FSITP. Since local brazil nutians expect a sharp division between subordinates and supervisors (Gillespie, Jeannet, & Hennessey, 2007), go bad training schedules may be instituted to account for differences in responsibilities.This could pose a operose challenge because the training program is very standardized and is one of the components that go out the service competitive advantage. On account of strict boundaries between subordinates and supervisors, lower-level employees are non as comfortable with em antecedentment than those in low power distance cultures (Gillespie, Jeannet, & Hennessey, 2007). The Four Seasons managers may want to consider providing condense and clear job descriptions. If narro w job descriptions are constructed, managers must establish monitoring systems to void bureaucratic inefficiencies. The greatest difference between Canada and brazil-nut tree is on the Individualism straddleing. Compared to Canada, brazil nut is a highly socialist culture. (Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions, 2009) This facet creates a significant challenge in transaction with local businesses, whether clients or suppliers. Building and maintaining a relationship demands a substantial amount of time and effort employ to face-to-face clashs. It is non an easy task to form a business contract with Brazilians without creating a relationship.This task is increasingly difficult because Brazil is also a high uncertainty eliminateance culture (Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions, 2009). In these circumstances, it would be extremely wise to partner with a Brazilian representative. By capitalizing on a local representatives already established personal and business contacts, Four Seaso ns can conserve a great amount of resources. As it would be almost impossible for a local representative to provide every contact, a significant amount of time needs to be allocated for lengthy negotiations and contact build.Although Brazil and Canada drastically differ in Hofstede cultural dimensions, it is important to recognize Four Seasons as a profitable transnational company. It has successful father conducting its business model across motley geographical areas, including Latin America. darn the Four Seasons should non replicate their strategy entirely, it would be unwise to non utilize prior knowledge gains from countries, such as Uruguay, that are culturally very similar to Brazil. 2 EDUCATIONAL arrangement The average number of years of education for the population landing the detention is fin (Fraga & Bowler, eds. , 2008).Lack of a properly trained custody could negatively impact the internal operations of the Four Seasons. Strangely, Brazils public universitie s are excellent in pedigree to the countrys under-resourced primary and secondary schools (Fraga & Bowler, eds. , 2008). Accordingly, Four Seasons should consider partnering with local universities to provide internships, job opportunities, or management training programs. Apart from managers, Brazils shortsighted education standards may not adversely motivate Four Seasons because the company heavily emphasizes personality, rather than work experience, in recruiting and selection.Instead, Four Seasons relies on its nationwide training program to provide the skills unavoidable to perform claimd tasks and meet the companys core standards. 3 GENDER ISSUES Common among several(prenominal) Latin American countries is the notion of machismo, the belief that males are superior to females (Doing dividing line in Brazil, 2007). Machismo is perpetuated through society with the assignment of traditional roles to men and women. eyepatch this view has recently been challenged due to the influx of Brazilian women into both high education and the workforce (Doing ancestry in Brazil, 2007), managers should be aware that it exists.Furthermore, some(prenominal) customers of Four Seasons will be from foreign countries where the same gender norms are not present. 4 NORMATIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES Recognizing that normative business practices vary across borders will be pivotal in succeeding in the Brazilian market, as Brazilian local businesses comprise one of Four Seasons target markets. In addition, long-familiarity with the business culture can affect the outcome with essential local suppliers. contradictory managers can earn the respect of local associates and illustrate the importance of their relationship by engaging in the local business customs.Upon meeting an associate for the first time, men should shake hands accompanied by a pat on the shoulder or arm and women should give a kiss on each impudence (Doing backing in Brazil, 2007). plot of land Brazilians are very informal and prefer to be addressed by their first name, some sort of entitle such as Doctor or Professor usually accustoms it (Brazil First Name or Title? , 2008). Brazilians execute to be extremely extroverted and friendly and close physical contact while conversing is considered chemical formula (Brazil Conversation, 2008) also, be prepared for personal questions.Gifts are not necessary at a first meeting (Brazil Gift Giving, 2010). Since the mass of employees will be Brazilian nationals, normative business practices affect the Four Seasons internal operations in addition to immaterial relationships. Due to the countrys left-winger nature, Brazilians do not work at private desks, but instead, dispense a large space with several coworkers (Doing telephone line in Brazil, 2007). If the Four Seasons structures the work environment accordingly, managers must realize that shared workspace results in a constant mix of personal and work- tie in conversations and plan de adlines accordingly.Besides workspace, Brazils collectivist culture also impacts break schedule. Brazilians usually carry their lunch breaks simultaneously (Doing Business in Brazil, 2007). If the Four Seasons agrees to this practice, scheduling will need to account for coarse shift changes. A Canadian business manager will be horrified if unaware of the routine aspects of a business meeting. Meetings do not begin on time a meeting normally begins cardinal to thirty minutes past the agreed upon time. Once a meeting commences, the setting is very informal.A large portion of time at the onset is dedicated to personal conversations. Throughout the meeting, it is not unusual for attendees to take phone calls or leave the room. (Doing Business in Brazil, 2007) Hence, meetings do not serve as an efficient avenue to establish an immediate outcome. Negotiations require time, as Brazilian managers prefer to discuss agreements or disputes among themselves privately this stems from the coll ectivist and feminine nature of the culture (Gillespie, Jeannet, & Hennessey, 2007).These differences can be curtailed with the help of a local representative, however, each non-Brazilian manager must acknowledge the lengthy time required to close a deal in order to provide realistic schedule projections and deadlines. 2 POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT 1 POLTICAL brass Brazil instituted a federal republic system of governing body in 1985 following the end of military rule. The structure grants a substantial power to the elected president who holds office for four years with the opportunity for one additional term if reelected.The president reserves the right to elect his/her cabinet, while the people elect members of Congress. Congress represents Brazils twenty-six states and repair federal district of Brasilia through two groups an 81-seat Senate and a 513-member sleeping accommodation of Duties. Within Congress, majority power constantly transitions as representatives switch political pa rties often. (Background bring down Brazil, 2010) 2 POLTICAL SITUATION Currently, Luiz Inacio da sylva is nearing the end of his second term of presidency.The upcoming election is scheduled for October 3, 2010 for a new president. President Luiz Inacio da Silva is using his popularity among Brazilian citizens to support candidate Dilma Rousseff. Rousseffs main opponent, Jose Serra, currently holds an early poll advantage. Regardless of the winner of the October election, the Four Seasons will not be significantly affected as both candidates are judge to continue economic reform and the privatization of industries. (The scotch Intelligence structure block class, 2010) 3 DOING BUSINESS IN RANKINGS Canada Brazil Rank Doing Business 2010 Doing Business 2010 Ease of Doing Business 8 129 brainiacting a Business 2 126 Dealing with Construction Permits 29 113 Employing Workers 17 138 Registering Property 35 great hundred Getting Credit 30 87 Protecting Investors 5 73 Paying Taxes 28 150 Trading Across Borders 38 100 Enforcing Contracts 58 100 Closing a Business 4 131 (The World blaspheme Group, 2010) While conducting business in its home country is practically easier than it is in Brazil, Four Seasons operates in more than thirty-five countries, two of which, India and Syria, rank below Brazil in Ease of Doing Business (The World edge Group, 2010). Seeing as the Four Seasons is a successful multinational opening move with deep pockets, the struggle to receive credit in Brazil does present a considerable hurdle for the company.To avoid difficulties related to trading across borders, Four Seasons should obtain necessary tangible components of its operations from local suppliers. In addition, local intersections will facilitate a good relationship with the local environment as well as provide a more authentic experience for guests. Areas that would be of trouble to Four Seasons include enforcing contracts, dealing with construction permits and registering property at heart Brazil. Fortunately, because the company specializes solely in management, much of the responsibilities associated to troublesome aspects will be shifted to their partner. A local Brazilian partner would be pick outimal since strong networking and contacts can help save the burdens related to obtaining contracts and permits.Although Brazil is characterized as a new growth market, the World Bank Groups Doing Business Rankings demonstrate Brazils institutional failinges that are more align with a developing market. For instance, employing workers is extremely difficult in spite of appearance Brazil compared to the rest of the world. A need of transaction facilitators, such as executive headhunters, makes it extremely burdensome to locate and recruit employees that cause the necessary skills to be successful at Four Seasons. This absence curiously poses a challenge to Four Seasons because its sustainable competitive advantage of superior custo mer service is facilitated through its employees. Although not as difficult as employing workers, enforcing contracts presents a significant threat to businesses operating at heart Brazil.Due to a lack of adjudicators, firms will find it arduous to verify payment or reliability of contractual partners. This problem is further exacerbated by the nonexistence of believability enhancers and informational analyzers that assist with partner selection. 4 POLITICAL RISK According to The Coface Group, Brazil received an A4 in both Country Rating Risk and Business Climate Risk (2010). An A4 rating indicates an wobbly political and economic environment (The Coface Group, 2010). Volatile conditions pose an long threat to Four Seasons due to the amount of direct investment needed to offer its service. Unlike a product offering, the Four Seasons does not have the ability to immediately exit, or temporarily leave, the market.In an effort to curtail the effectuate of drastic changes, Four Seas ons should create a managerial position solely dedicated to environmental scanning. This person should be aware of the significant changes and how they will affect company forecasts. An unstable environment can greatly deter customers from visiting the Four Seasons, peculiarly the primary target segment of brand loyal guests. If a brand loyal guest is interested in visiting Latin America, they have the option of staying in a Four Seasons located in costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina, or Uruguay if Brazil appears dangerous and/or un effective. 5 CORRUPTION enhancer International stratified Brazil 75 out of 180 countries with a score of 3. 7 out of 10 0 represents high decadency (2009).Despite the Four Seasons experience in highly corrupt countries such as China, Argentina, Egypt, India, Mexico and Syria (Transparency International, 2009), Four Seasons must adequately prepare for the effects of subversive activity in Brazil. It should hold the knowledge gained from the past by consu lting senior managers tough in highly corrupt countries to produce contingency plans. However, it is important that the company recognizes differences between countries. For this, Four Seasons should consider using a Brazilian partner. A local partner possesses knowledge of the local community and business environment and can offer an insider perspective on solving obstacles that arise out of corruption.Furthermore, a local partner holds local contacts that may be utilise to sidestep corrupt organizations or dealings. 6 FOREIGN RELATIONS Brazil remains open and friendly toward the majority of countries, particularly its South American neighbors. Recently, Brazil has focused on expanding relations with its neighbors through associations such as the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI), the Union of South American Nations (UNASUL), and Mercosur, a customs union between Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil, with Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador as associate members. (Background Note Brazil, 2010) Openness toward foreign nations ensures embargoes, or other forms of impediments, will not interrupt imports.While Four Seasons should procure components from local suppliers to enhance its relationship with the environment, the company does not need to spend time concerned over pitch of its imported supplies. For imported aspects, Four Seasons should examine countries that are involved in the Mercosur customs union to take advantage of less costly tariffs and/or taxes. Apart from products, Brazils openness ensures that travelers will not watch burdensome procedures to enter the country or hostility from Brazilian citizens when visiting. 3 ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT 1 OVERVIEW Due to a shift toward market liberalization, Brazil has more than doubled its treat wind flows in the past four years.While portfolio investment has outgrowthd, foreign direct investment inflows hit remember levels in 2007 and 2008. However, in 2008, Brazil registered i ts first current-account deficit in five years as a result of a sudden increase in imports. President Luiz Inacio da Silva has focused on a floating exchange rate, lump targeting, and primary fiscal surpluses to enhance macroeconomic policies, and therefore, increase Brazils global competitiveness. These factors have lead Brazils economy to shift toward a more service-oriented market. Nevertheless, the agricultural sphere of influence and diverse industrial base continue to function as enormous drivers of growth. (Fraga & Bowler, eds. , 2008) 2 CURRENCYThe modern real was introduced on July 1, 1994 to stabilize the broader Brazilian economy. When introduced, the real was set like to 1 unidade real de valor, a non-circulating notes which ultimately set the real equivalent to 1 US dollar. Initially, the real climbed against many major currencies. Strong capital in-flows supported a strong real through late 1995. By 1996, the Central Bank of Brazil instituted tight controls over th e real to bring the currencys prise down. The currency depreciated slowly through 1998, but the Central Bank relaxed controls in 1999 and the real experienced a sudden devaluation. From 1999 to 2002, the currency remained relatively evaporable vis-a-vis major orld currencies. By mid-2002, the real reached an all-time low against the Canadian dollar, along with many major currencies, including the US dollar. The presidential election in late 2002 brought long needed stability to the Brazilian currency. From late 2002 to October 2008, the real slowly appreciated against the Canadian dollar and other major currencies. When the fiscal crisis hit in late 2008, the currency bounced from rates not seen since 2001 to around R$2C$1. Since the crisis, the currency has again been slowly appreciating against the Canadian dollar. In recent months, the real has been slightly depreciating against the Canadian dollar.Overall, the Brazilian real remains a relatively stable currency, especially a mong Latin American currencies. This will benefit the Four Seasons, as it repatriates profits to headquarters and pays local suppliers. However, as with any foreign currency especially those in new growth markets immunity from fluctuation isnt a rule. stark naked regimes can negatively affect currency, as well as Brazils significant current account deficit, significant government expenditure on the World Cup and Olympics and susceptibility to inflation. Four Seasons plans on determine in US dollars, which appeals to many of its target markets and is consistent with Four Seasons across the globe. 3 INFLATIONSince 2003, Brazil has been successful in easing inflation pressures on account of strict monetary policy and an appreciation of the corporeal (Fraga & Bowler, eds. , 2008). Yet recently, inflation has rose in recent months owing in the first place to the global recession as well as increase fight and inertial pressures within the country. The Central Bank of Brazil has se t a target of 4. 5% for 2010. The Economic Intelligence building block is optimistic, predicting that inflation will fall 4. 8% to 2. 5% between 2010 and 2011. (The Economic Intelligence Unit Group, 2010) Four Seasons must constantly monitor the inflation rate once within Brazil. If the EIU is correct, a 2. 3% change in the inflation rate will have an enormous impact on the operations (The Economic Intelligence Unit Group, 2010).Brazil will need to constantly change their prices in order to keep up with large-scale changes. Fortunately, the majority of price postings occur through the companys website allowing the company to avoid grand costs required to reprint materials. Higher inflation translates into higher prices not single for Four Seasons guests, but also for components the hotel buys from local suppliers or imports from other countries. Additionally, Four Seasons may consider using employee contracts that adjust for inflation to check over anger associated with loss of purchasing power. Luckily, the EIU predicts inflation to decrease and remain relatively stable in the future at 2. % (The Economic Intelligence Unit Group, 2010), limiting negative consequences beginred by operations. 4 LABOR CODES The Brazilian government requires all companies, foreign and domestic, to provide ad hoc elements to its employees including thirty eld of yearly leave, an annual bonus equal to one months salary, and rupture pay if dismissed without a cause. Additionally, if a firm employs more than three employees, Brazilian nationals must account for two-thirds of the total employees and payroll. Brazil has instituted a system of labor courts to handle workplace disputes involving working conditions, wages, dismissal, etc. (The incision of Commerce, 2009) It would be ill advised to ignore government employment requirements.Not only would the company risk being forced out of the market, Four Seasons would incur a tarnished reputation within the global arena. When h iring and scheduling future employees, Four Seasons must account for each single(a)s thirty days of leave the firm must decide whether it will assign holiday time or negotiate with employees for specific requests. If two-thirds of payroll must be distributed to Brazilian nationals, Four Seasons should scan the local environment for senior management positions, as these executives tend to comprise a large portion of pay. As Four Seasons offers a service requiring an array of different workers, the company must find a way to ooperate with highly unionized Brazilian workforce currently, over 16,000 unions exist who are very well organized and are not hesitant to use aggressive methods (The division of Commerce, 2009). A local partner may possess pertinent information to help alleviate any contentions that may arise. 5 INFRASTRUCTURE President Luiz Inacio da Silva announced the Growth Acceleration Plan in 2007, which committed a US $296 million investment in infrastructure by the end of 2010. Although the GAP is promising, Brazils infrastructure remains one of the largest obstacles within the economy. Poor quality and numerous deficiencies remain in roads, ports and airports no rider trains travel outside the suburbs of major cities and only 12. 5% of the existing roads are paved. (The Department of Commerce, 2009)While the 2016 Summer Olympics should increase incentives for private companies to amend infrastructure, Four Seasons must contemplate the effects of a poor tape drive system. It may want to consider sourcing the majority of its tangible components from nearby local suppliers to ensure secure and fast delivery. Furthermore, imports are more likely to be priced higher on account of the inefficiencies within the infrastructure. A foreign direct investment is an option to increase efficiency and satisfaction Four Seasons should check options near the hotel in addition to routes travelers predominately use. For example, it could form a strategic adhe siveness with other firm to enhance the roads to and from the airport. 4 LEGAL ENVIRONMENT 1 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTYBrazil is a signatory to various agreementsTrade Related Aspects of clever Property (TRIPS) Agreement, the Bern Convention on Artistic Property, the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and the Paris Convention on Protection of Intellectual Propertycommitting the government to stringent protection of capable property rights. The decision to take part in international contracts was the countrys first realistic step toward putting an end to issues such as procure infringement, however, piracy and counterfeiting remains a problem within Brazil. (The Department of Commerce, 2009) While Four Seasons does not possess a substantial amount of intellectual property that would threaten its existence, it does need to consider violations when procuring components for its hotel, particularly authentic furniture, decorations and artwork.It would be wise for Four Seasons to implement a syste m used to differentiate genuine pieces from others. 2 ENTRY MODE Four Seasons, or any foreign or domestic private entity, may establish, own, and dispose of business entities allowing the company to chose any entry mode grounded solely in its own decision making (The Department of Commerce, 2009). Although a lack of government jurisprudence offers the firm freedom of choice, it would be extremely useful to use a local representative to own the hotel building itself. As previously mentioned, Brazil is a highly collectivist culture that requires an extensive amount of time dedicated to relationship building to be successful in procuring supplies, building contracts, permits, etc.A local partner possesses established networks that can be utilized to sidestep regulations and corruption in addition to knowledge specific to the Brazilian environment. 3 IMPORTS Brazil imports are subject to three separate taxes Import Duty (II), Federal Industrialized Product tax (IPI) and the State Merch andise and Service Circulation tax (ICMS) (The Department of Commerce, 2009). Because both the IPI and ICMS are value-added taxes (The Department of Commerce, 2009), imports end up becoming very expensive for customers. Unless a specific tangible component is critical to the success of Four Seasons, it would be in the countrys best interest to purchase supplies from local businesses to avoid high prices pushed down to the customer because of high taxes.High import taxes paired with Brazils poor infrastructure will threaten the safe and efficient obtainment of products. If the Four Seasons depends on certain aspects from headquarters, or some other Four Seasons location, it should be aware that the foreign entity must register with Foreign Trade Secretariat (SECEX) in order to conduct trade with Brazil. 4 TRADE AGREEMENTS Brazil has established bilateral investment agreements with numerous countries including Belgium, Luxembourg, Chile, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ital y, res publica of Korea, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Venezuela however, the Brazilian Congress has not that formalize any of these. (The Department of Commerce, 2009)Brazil has signed Mercosur, a regional trade agreement, between itself and Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil, with Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador as associate members (The Department of Commerce, 2009). If imports are required, Brazil should heavily consider sourcing from countries involved to significantly decrease costs associated with imports. Furthermore, Brazil maintains a double taxation with Canada, making imports from its headquarters extremely expensive. 5 LABELING Labeling requirements should not present Four Seasons with a notable barrier. Firstly, the primary focus of the company is services, not products. Besides the gift shop and food menus, Brazil will rarely encounter barriers in labeling. Secondly, The Brazilian Customer Protection polity does not call for unconventional or outlandish.Specifically, labeling must provide the consumer with accurate and easily readable information about the products quality, metre, composition, price, guarantee, ledge life, origin, and risks to the consumers health and safety (The Department of Commerce, 2009). The only hurdle Four Seasons may encounter relating to labeling is a Lusitanian translation and metric equivalent to the requirements listed above. 6 PROMOTION Direct mail is emerging in Brazil as a very useful method for reaching Brazilian consumers citizens receive an average of 9. 3 pieces of direct mail every month and 74% of Brazilians prefer direct mail to create awareness of a new product or service (The Department of Commerce, 2009). Four Seasons is encourage to use direct mail to target local businesses and community members within its promotional aspect of its marketing campaign.It should especially use Veja, the most popular magazine in Brail with an average of one million copies discharge a week, and Folha de Sao Paulo, the largest newspaper with an average of 317,000 copies distributed Monday through Friday and 400,00 on Sunday (The Department of Commerce, 2009). Media in Brail is still heavily controlled through the public heavens foreign ownership is limited to 49% (The Department of Commerce, 2009). This should not affect Four Seasons greatly since the company avoids advertisements in mass media outlets. Also, the majority of Four Seasons target segments does not reside in Brazil. 2 COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS Many multinationals, especially Four Seasons traditional competitors, have yet to enter the Brazilian market or only have a gauzy presence in Rio de Janeiro.Additionally, there are only a sodding(a) number of luxury local brands in Rio de Janeiro that are capable of competing with Four Seasons. In many regards, Brazil remains a relatively untapped market, though a number of international brands have recently begun eyeing the market, including Hilto n. With the increase opportunity in Brazil, now more than ever may be a great time to enter the young market, armed with the experience learned through other brands ventures. 1 MAJOR COMPETITORS 1 PESTANA HOTELS AND RESORTS (PORTUGAL) Pestana is Portugals largest tourism and vacant group, operating 41 hotels across 3 continents in countries with former colonial ties to Portugal (Pestana, n. d. ).Pestana entered Brazil via Rio de Janeiro in 1999 with a local partner, Renato Albuquerque Group (Grupo da Madeira investe US$25 milhoes no Brasil, 1999). Rather than building a new establishment, the company acquired the Carlton Rio Atlantica hotel, modernized the establishment, and added a new business perfume to attract business travelers (Grupo Pestana lanca cartao no Rio, 2001). Since 1999, Pestana has been heavily investing in Brazil and considers Rio de Janeiro a focal point for the company (Grupo Pestana lanca cartao no Rio, 2001). By 2001, Brazil accounted for 20% of Pestanas hote l business (Grupo Pestana reforca atuacao no Pais, 2001). By 2004, the company had opened 6 hotels across Brazil with the stated goal of opening 10 more hotels within the next 10 years.The companys significant investment in the market $110 million by 2004 has brought increased legitimacy and credibleness to the Brazilian market as an opportunity for luxury and business travel, according to Francisco Rabelo, financing director for Bank of Northeastern Brazil. This significant growth has been fueled by the companys success in the country the company has achieved an average annual return of 31% on its investments and the country is already its best performing territory in Pestanas portfolio. The Director of the Finance and Investment Promotion Department of Brazils Tourism Ministry verbalize the group was one of the largest hotel groups in Brazil by 2005 the company was expected to have 400,000 room-nights in the country, more than any other hotel chain (Renata, 2006). iodin of Pes tanas most palpable assets is its intimate sagacity of Portuguese culture, being a Portuguese company. Brazils cultural and colonial ties to Portugal make the Brazilian market a particularly attractive market for Pestana, and as the companys exceptional returns have demonstrated, Pestana is taking full advantage of its country-of-origin effects. With the companys high knowledge of local culture and Brazils cultural similarity to Portugal, the company is able to keep the services within Brazil appear as very localized without adapting its standardized services much. This is a trend Pestana has demonstrated in the past, as it only enters markets with cultural ties to its home market (Pestana, n. d. ).In this sense, Pestana can maintain a relatively standardized offering while appearing to be adapting to the local context. This intimate knowledge of Brazilian culture will be rewarding, as other multinationals dont have access to or credibility with local culture. Another unique advant age that Pestana has is its ability to build pousadas within Brazil. Pousadas are boutique, luxury hotels that encapsulate Portuguese culture. Until 2003, the Portuguese government was creditworthy for developing and managing the hotels. Pestana bought the sole rights to building pousadas from the Portuguese government in 2003, though the government maintains highly involved in overseeing each new pousada to ensure it meets minimum standards (Pousadas de Portugal, n. d. ).Pestana has expressed interest in bringing these unique products to Brazil and completed the construction of one in 1999. The company plans on expanding its offerings in the coming years in tandem with its commitment to building 10 hotels in the coming 10 years (Renata, 2006). These hotels automatically connect with locals and foreigners abroad who want an authentic experience in Brazil. No other hotel chain can emulate these boutique hotels even localizing a hotel as much as possible wont replicate a pousada as i t wont have the unique stamp by the Portuguese government. Moreover, pousadas are often located in historic buildings, making them even more of an attractive destination (Pousadas de Portugal, n. d. ).Pousadas have the possibility of attracting travelers interested in an authentic experience without the risk of traveling to an unknown hotel. Travelers can experience wondrous accommodations and proved service in the local context of pure and authentic Portuguese culture, service and food. In fact, Brazils Minister of Tourism has state that pousads will attract a higher class of tourists who are uncoerced to pay additional money for the unique experience (Renata, 2006). Another readiness Pestana has demonstrated is its ability to connect with locals and operate efficiently within the local political and economic environment. Across Brazil, Pestana has demonstrated a tendency to enter cities by acquiring local hotels, as it did in Rio de Janeiro and Natal.This ensures that the hote ls Pestana operates have a distinctly local flair and enable the company to penetrate the market quicker, avoiding lengthy construction times. The company also enters local markets with local partners, though it uses different partners in different cities. This willingness to share ownership gives the company sinewy local allies and gives the company legitimacy among locals. These are important volumes, as many other multinationals are less successful at navigating Brazils complicated and corrupt government. Moreover, entering a market with a local partner shifts risk and offers the company invaluable local knowledge.A possible weakness the group has is its organizational structure. The group maintains an International grade Organization structure. While Pestana only operates in markets based on the Portuguese culture, countries with similar histories still vary greatly in terms of market power, government regulation and destination type. By clumping all international destination s under one group, the company may fail to fully take advantage of each market or understand each market. The companys lack of resources committed solely to Brazil may enable competitors to build a structure that is more flexible and responsive to trends and changes within the Brazilian market.Further, as the company begins expanding outside Brazil into other South American countries, the company may continue to dilute its attention to Brazil, thereby make many of its potential specializations as much less poignant. A concluding weakness of the company is its intense focus on growth. Between its 10 hotels in 10 years policy in Brazil, and its overarching 30 hotels in 30 years policy, Pestana may begin to focus on quantity above quality. While the companys unique products and intimate knowledge of Portuguese culture may attract luxury travelers at first, maintaining the high quality and service standards demanded by the business traveler and luxury leisure traveler may to be diffi cult amidst such an emphasis on growth.Finally, as the number of hotels owned by Pestana surges, the company may bang up the market and devalue the novelty of its brand. The hotels may become less beguiling and less of a destination as they become ubiquitous and commonplace. 2 STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS (UNITED STATES) AND GOLDEN TULIP HOSPITALITY (SWITZERLAND) Starwood is one of the worlds largest and most geographically diverse hotel and leisure companies. The company is primarily a hotel management corporation, creditworthy for luxury brands The Luxury Collection, Regis, W and Le Meridien and other midrange brands Westin, Sheraton and Element (Starwood Hotels & Resorts). Until recently, the companys sole impression to Rio de Janeiro was its three Sheraton hotels, two of which lacked a spa.While the hotels have meeting faculties, the hotels dont appear in trade magazines as specifically targeting the business community. As such, these three hotels are not considered to be in dir ect competition to the Four Seasons because they do not focus on any of our target markets. On June 12, 2009, Starwood acquired Golden Tulip Hospitality, a global hospitality company with a strong focus on the corporate traveler. Tulip manages three hotel chains, including the upscale Golden Tulip, which focuses on business travelers, and the deluxe Royal Tulip, which focuses on leisure travelers (Golden Tulip Hospitality). Tulip has one property in Rio de Janeiro, the Golden Tulip Ipanema Plaza.The property has a spa and complete business center. The hotels focus on corporate travel finally endorses Starwood as a possible competitor in the Rio de Janeiro market. Tulip is a unique hotel insomuch as it relies on international standards of service, yet has been relatively successful at integrating local flavors into its brand. The company advertises its local touches through its advertising campaign, International standards, local flavors. Tulips worldwide presence also lends it st rong appeal and betrothal worldwide, especially among the luxury and business traveler. This is, in part, due to its global standards of service that international travelers have come to know and rely on.Tulips ability to incorporate local culture into a standardized brand is a aright competitive advantage. Maintaining standard levels of service is important to the international traveler, as it assures him/her what to expect when traveling and builds brand integrity. However, by maintaining these standards and adding local culture into each property, Tulip finds a middle ground between standardization and adaptation. This is a strategy that enables the company to remain flexible to local demands and local clients, but also cater to international travelers. One strength of the Starwoods acquisition of Tulip is Tulips acceptance among the international elect.Until the acquisition, Starwoods two luxury brands St. Regis and the Luxury Collection did not have properties in Brazil. This acquisition gives Starwood immediate penetration into Rio with a familiar and turn up portfolio of properties. With Starwoods and Tulips feature international experience, the group can effectively begin targeting the elite traveler more vigorously. Co-branding opportunities and brand university extension opportunities also exist, as both hotel companies have more luxurious brands they could deploy in Rio de Janeiro if the Golden Tulip proves successful. Moreover, Starwoods large reserve of loyal guests gives the acceded company an automatic target market from which to draw.A final strength of the merger is Starwoods and Tulips global footprint and established luxury brands lend it credence among the international elite. The companys brand equity is an important strategic asset that can be used to connect with world travelers and attract them to their properties in Brazil. Starwoods skill at managing a portfolio of multiple brands is important, as Tulip becomes another brand that Starwood can leverage, advertise and use to attract travelers. One potential weakness of the merger is the possibility that ill-matched corporate cultures may stymie the companies ability to synergize strengths and build a comprehensive network.As with any merger, it takes time to fully integrate a new company into an existing company, and Starwood must be able to keep Tulips corporate culture in tact if it hopes to reap the benefits of the companys strengths. If Starwood tries to change or adapt Tulip too much, it will lose Tulips connections with the business traveler and the companys unique ability to combine international standards with local adaptation. Starwood must focus on maintaining Tulips brand identity and equity, while simultaneously merging the company into its portfolio to fully realize a competitive advantage. Another possible weakness is Starwoods limited exposure to the Brazilian market, especially Rio de Janeiros luxury market.While Tulip has been in Brazil for some time, and both companies have experience in the luxury segment, Starwood is less familiar with the luxury hotel segment in Brazil than some of its existing competitors. This lack of experience could prove to be harmful if Starwood is not careful in executing operations, especially since the Brazilian market has proven to be difficult for international brands to tap. Starwood and Tulip both lack a positive country-of-origin effect, as the Brazilian market has proven to be fiercely loyal to local and Portuguese brands. Assuming that the namesake of its hotels will make the company successful could prove to be an unsuccessful route for the company to head. MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL (UNITED STATES) Marriott is one of the worlds largest lodging companies with over 3,000 hotels spread across 67 countries. Marriott primarily franchises under an array of brands, including the luxurious J. W. Marriott and Ritz Carlton and other full-service and other mid-tier hotels (Marriott). Marrio tt entered Rio de Janeiro in 2001, focusing its efforts on attracting luxury business travelers to respond to the countrys bourgeoning market (Hotels check into Brazil). The opening of the J. W. Marriott in 2001 marked the citys first new five-star resort in over 12 years (A new Rio de Janeiro Marriott Hotel, 2001). The J. W.Marriott is one of Brazils two multinational hotels on Travel + Leisures Worlds Best Hotels 2010 list, a comprehensive listing on the worlds 500 best hotels (T+L 500 Worlds Best Hotels 2010, n. d. ). The hotel offers a full-service spa, executive blast, complete business facilities and banquet halls and on-site restaurants. Before opening the hotel, Marriott sold off its stake in the hotel with the help of a local consulting firm. However, the acquisition of land along with the initial costs and design were all sponsored by Marriott without the specific help of locals. Marriott retained control over management of the hotel (Rede Marriott e Odebrecht colocam ho tel carioca a venda).Marriott is the largest and most recognized multinational brand currently in Brazil. The J. W. Marriott brand, in particular, has resonance with our target markets, especially luxury travelers, as demonstrated by its placement on the Travel + Leisure rankings. This is a powerful asset, as the combination of brand equity, name recognition and recognized quality may connect with luxury world travelers. Moreover, the companys worldwide presence and name recognition may also happen upon with business travelers who are already familiar with the brand and trust the hotel to be a quality establishment. A major weakness the hotel faces also stems from its name. identical other multinational chains discussed, Brazilians prefer local hotels.The negative country-of-origin effects have hurt Marriott, as US flags are not unavoidably familiar locally since Brazilians exposure to these brands is significantly more limited and Brazilians tend to be attracted to local brands. This is a weakness the company faces when targeting local visitors and businesses, another target market that the Four Seasons is hoping to target. Another weakness Marriott faces is its lack of local partnerships. When entering the market, Marriott did not search for a partner. This is in stark contrast to other successful chains, especially since Marriott lacks experience in the Brazilian market overall. According to the CEO In order to move forward, we will need to find common ground with the Brazilian business model and likely take some equity positions in some of the developments to gain market knowledge and brand acknowledgement.A second option is to enter with our existing relationships through local partners to implement our manage-franchise business model (ONeill & Chao, 2008). Coming from a country with significantly different normative business practices and limited exposure to Brazilian culture despite its significant international presence has proven a difficult obs tacle for Marriott. This is an important weakness to consider for all multinational companies, especially those unfamiliar with the Brazilian marketplace. A final weakness Marriott faces is its pricing structure, which is higher than many of its competitors. While the hotel has higher rankings than other multinationals, if the benefits of the brand are not properly communicated, the hotel may seem overpriced.Moreover, if the hotel does not brand itself as luxurious, the company may face problems persuading international travelers to choose an American hotel chain over a more localized chain. 4 COPACABANA castle BY ORIENT-EXPRESS HOTELS (BERMUDA) The Copacabana castle is a historic, luxury hotel built in 1923. It is considered by many around the world as the place to stay in Rio (Doyle, 2009). The Copacabana Palace is one of three hotels on Travel + Leisures Worlds Best Hotels 2010 list located in Brazil (T+L 500 Worlds Best Hotels 2010, n. d. ). Additionally, the hotel is a membe r of the 5 Star Alliance, an online travel agency that partners with the worlds most luxurious hotels.Owned by the Guinle family of Rio de Janiero until 1989, the hotel is now owned by Orient-Express (Five Star Alliance, n. d. ). Orient-Express purchases individual luxury hotels across the globe. The company does not advertise itself as a chain, rather positioning each property individually. Properties are managed locally every hotelhas its own name and personality (Orient-Express, n. d. ). Following its purchase, Orient-Express renovated the hotel, outfitting the fifth floor as an executive business center to focus on business travelers. The hotel includes meeting facilities and banquet facilities, all aimed at business travelers needs (Five Star Alliance, n. d. ).The hotel also focuses significantly on elite travelers, as its reputation for service and quality attract politicians, royalty and actors. The hotel has a complete spa and two restaurants, neither of which serves Brazili an cuisine (Five Star Alliance, n. d. ). An important advantage the Copacabana Palace has is its legacy and long-term association with Brazil. From its beginnings, the company has been intertwined into local culture. The owners were local and today, Orient-Express continues to manage the hotel as an independent property. Many view the hotel as the nations preeminent local option, and foreigners who want an authentic experience may opt to stay at the Copacabana Palace over other multinational chains.The hotels brand equity is particularly strong, as it is a clear favored among elite travelers. The companys increased focus on business travelers further expands the hotels brand equity and product scope. Another strength the Copacabana Palace is its long history in Rio de Janeiro. The companys experiences in Rio de Janeiro give it a level of knowledge foreign multinationals cant match. Moreover, the companys success in Rio de Janeiro reflects its ability to work within the countrys leg al and political structure. As investment increases in Rio de Janeiro and new multinational chains enter the market, Copacabanas deep understanding of local cultures and the regulatory environment will be exponentially more valuable.While the company is known to Brazilians and the well-traveled elite, a lack of a unbent multinational brand name may stymie some elite travelers. Not only does the company lack a network of brand loyal patrons, the lack of an internationally recognized brand name may make some travelers hesitant. Additionally, the hotels high price may make other, more familiar options more appealing to travelers, who are sure of the level of quality to expect. 5 FASANO HOTELS (BRAZIL) Fasano is one of the few remaining local competitors yet to be acquired. The company was established in 1982 as a frontmost restaurant the company remains recognized for its culinary achievements.The restaurant pioneered the gastronomical movement in Brazil and continues to uphold its e legant blend of coeval and traditional Brazilian cuisine. In 2003, Fasano opened its first hotel in Sao Paulo. In the same year, Fasano became a member of the Leading Small Hotels of the World (Five-Star Alliance) and was ranked as one of the worlds 50 best hotels in Travel + Leisure (Fasano, 2010). Fasano opened a hotel in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 amid great hype and reviews, eclipsing the fabled Copacabana Palace as the top play den for Brazils rich and famous (Beehner). From its foundation to the finishing touches, Fasano is a local competitor. This is a significant strength the hotel has, as its numerous restaurants all share the spirit of Fasanos famed culinary expertise.The hotel is designed in Bossa Nova-chic style and Brazilian touches compliment every aspect of the hotel. More than any competitor, Fasano remains a localized and focused hotelier, and has limited experience outside the growing Brazilian market. Fasano is a travelers only real option, when he/she wants to stay at a local, luxury resort. Every other luxury boutique hotel has been acquired or is at a different tier of service than Four Seasons. Another strength Fasano has is its long-term, strategic partnership with real-estate developer JHSF. This has attached Fasano access to the Brazilian market and enabled the company to take less gaga positions in its hotels as JHSF has a 50. 1% stake in the hotel.This also frees up capital for other ventures, as the company is currently building additional properties in Brazil and Uruguay. A possible weakness of Fasano is its lack of experience managing hotels and meeting the expectations of guests, especially foreigners. As Brazils most expensive hotel, the elite guests who frequent Fasano have incredibly high expectations. While multinationals have experiences with such clientele, Fasano does not have the same expertise in dealing with this segment and may be overextending its existing resources in an adjudicate to compete with world-class conten ders. Indeed, excitement over the hotel has faded since its opening in 2007 and the company continues to charge a significant premium over every other Brazilian hotel.Another weakness is the companys

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