• wellness without walls ™

  • Puerto Rico

    Travel to/from: Many cities fly to San Juan nonstop on American Airlines. Europe nonstop service is seasonal on Iberia, British Airways, and others.

    If using American Airlines for any flights, collect your OWN advantage miles but please provide THIS “Business Extra” number for your discount, and assisting my charity simultaneously. This does NOT raise your fare in any way or rob you of your normal Advantage Miles: #796197.

    Website: seepuertorico.com

    What to do:

    Fajardo: San Juan is busy, has restaurants, and has shopping. It also isn’t the Caribbean, but the Atlantic. It has traffic, and can seem congested. I recommend a drive all-around the island, staying at a local parador. At very least, get out to see the hotel where the Golden Door Spa is housed, the El Conquistador Resort: goldendoorspa.com. If you want to find out about great rates, the hotel puts amazing rates online at several travel websites, including tripadvisor.com and hotels.com. And to have a local experience you can consider vacation rentals which you can explore on Airbnb.com; their review system is quite trustworthy cause tenants and hosts post from each other. Golden Door Spa is the Spa whose fitness programming I both opened and ran for almost ten years. Now that the hotel has become a different chain, rules have changed and getting you complementary guest passes—like many things—has become a thing of the past.

    Natural Wonder: In Fajardo, you should also experience a bioluminescent bay tour, either by kayaking, by motorboat or the nature reserve has a walking tour (paralanaturaleza.org). This is an amazing experience after dark, best seen with no moon, when the water glows from microorganisms when agitated. Some contacts are: 787.720.7711, 787.616.9594, 787.762.3928, 787-860-1654, and787-244-1545. For the day, I recommend a nearby lighthouse tour and seafood at “Estrella del norte,” all walking distance of the hotel’s property, and a catamaran tour to a nearby island for snorkeling with Barefoot, Salty Dog, East Wind, or Spread Eagle II companies. Also there’s a mini boat tour which is excellent to explore as a couple. And parasailing, scuba and fishing charters.

    Old San Juan: Amazing shopping in beautiful cobblestone streets awaits you in this town near the airport. There is a Polo Outlet, amazing Butterfly People store, and jewelry galore catering to the hundreds of cruiseline tourists. I recommend eating at Dragonfly, Agua Viva, Parrot Club, all by the port, or Amadeus Café, up by the Old Morro Fortress. I’ve been going to those for years.

    Guides: Please find a Que Pasa guide located at most hotels and tourist places. It is your single best guidebook, in English, of what to do and see, including detailed island maps. Current copies are available in baggage claim when you await your luggage (at least at American, for sure) or online. Check seepuertorico.com the official site of the island for recent information.

    Lighthouse Tours: You can go to paralanaturaleza.org or call 722.5882 for Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve for information and times for English and Spanish-speaking guided tours, cycling tours and other activities that might be of interest from the reserve. Its lighthouse is visible from the my house. The view is quite incredible from over there. Reservations are a MUST. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes; you will be over 300 acres of mangrove and land. 1882 began the lighthouse’s first year of operation, and it continues today! Check the website for days, hours and cost of each tour. The reserve has a quite ample calendar with so many activities to choose from.

    Movies: The movie theaters in Fajardo are available at 787.863.2230, or caribbeancinemas.com and click on Fajardo. There are also Redbox machines at the nationwide pharmacies.

    Restaurants: Lawrence’s favorite, Estrella del norte, is at the bottom of the lighthouse hill in Las Croabas and they feature fresh barbecued lobster, a la parilla. You can be sure they have fresh lobsters that day by phoning 787. 863.2046. They are closed on Mondays. Qui-qui is a waiter who used to wait on my when I barely could speak English. In Las Croabas there’s several restaurants to choose from and the plate of the area are Arepas Rellenas “Stuffed Arepas” which you stuff them with any seafood you desire.

    Shopping: If you do shop in Puerto Rico, Plaza Carolina and Plaza Las Américas are the two large, well-crowded shopping malls. Both are rather close to the airport (depending on traffic) and easy to manage.

    Old San Juan: eat in Dragonfly, Aqua, Tantra, and across the street at Parrot Club. They are fabulous. Also during the day in Old San Juan, the restaurant Amadeus offers EXCELLENT appetizers for lunch and order the guava/mango mousse that isn’t on the menu; just order it. Cafe Valencia @ 764.3790 offers authentic Spanish paella at normal prices.

    All over the island you have the option to stay at homes and apartment rooms which give you a better taste of the island. Consider checking Airbnb postings such as:

    Your HUB in the East https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/276636.

    Home away from Home https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2330076 in Fajardo.

    Beachfront apartment Luquillo https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4566846

    and enjoy the soothing sound of the waves https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/6015464 in Luquillo for a signature visit.

    San Juan:

    If you find your way into Old San Juan, eat at Amadeus for trendy, Puerto-Rican fancy cuisine at regular prices. Their guava-mango mousse is why I stop in just for two servings sometimes! 787.722.8635

    Greek Islands including Mykonos

    As a resident of Greece since 2004, I can say that consulting me works better than getting caught in tourist traps; always consult a local!

    Note: for each business whose website mentioned here, please find and follow both on their Facebook and Instagram to get the best idea for each place as the Mykonos (and European) trend is to use FB and IG for promo far over updating websites.

    Please also follow for locals with inside info:


    Special Offer:

    What’s better than experiencing Mykonos with a local resident?

    Your Own One-Night-in-Mykonos: I offer full-town afternoon/evening customized, escorted tours for you (or you and your group), bookable 6 months in advance, at 350Euros plus expenses where I escort you through the ins and outs of the pedestrian-only town, through an evening of sundowners, shopping, and supperclubs.

    Before leaving home:

    -Familiarize yourself very well with this website: www.visitgreece.gr

    -Make sure you see the movie “Shirley Valentine.” If you have additional time, see “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and “Summer Lovers.”

    -Download your maps from www.skymap.gr

    Mykonos is part of the Cyclades islands which stands for “cyclones,” so be prepared for a very windy experience on all islands outside of Athens.

    Almost all of the places I recommend below have Facebook pages and you can find contact details on tripadvisor and Google searches.

    Travel to/from Mykonos:

    I recommend flying into and out of Athens from most other countries. Emirates (from EWR), Delta and American offer most of the only nonstops from New York, but the last 2 are only in summer. If you want Mykonos, then consider flying into London, Paris, Madrid, Switzerland, Germany, Abu Dabi, Dubai directly and then take a nonstop (seasonally operating) right to Mykonos to avoid the craziness of Athens. If you want a One-World carrier, I suggest either BA or AA to London and then BA to Athens. If you want SkyTeam, then I suggest USA to Paris and then Paris-Mykonos on AirFrance. British Airways has begun seasonal daily service from London Gatwick to Mykonos without having to stop in Athens which is SO worth the extra money.

    Once in Greece, I recommend only using www.aegeanairlines.com to travel by air, or by boat check www.openseas.gr (click on English flag to get website in English) and navigate instantly among all boat companies offering affordable and fun ways to get from island to island (for example, from Athens to Mykonos, or from Mykonos to Santorini). Bear in mind that you will be tired if you arrive directly from the USA, so waiting 2-4 hours for a 2-4 hour boat ride may just make you wish you purchased a direct 15 –minute flight to one of the islands. It’s best to use boats when traveling between islands if you’ve checked the announced (and often) strikes and weather, for high winds cancel boats.

    What to do: Athens:

    · The following neighborhoods are all within walking of each other:

    · Acropolis and coffee after at Dionysius Restaurant/Café, and the new Athens Acropolis Museum is a MUST.

    · Kolonaki Square for outdoor cafes and chic shopping (eat at Me Kolonaki, Dry Spuntino, and Ruins Bar)

    · Rooftop Bar at the Athens Grand Bretagne Hotel and New Hotel Athens are worth the area and vistas

    · Tea at the Grand Bretagne Hotel and tourist walks around nearby Plaka area.

    · I can arrange a private English-speaking guide and photographer to you for the high points in Athens

    Taxi: Use metered taxis only. X95 bus from town to the airport is efficient, inexpensive, and dependable under most circumstances.

    Dining: best fish throughout Greece is Lavraki, Tsipura and Sargos; ask for these at restaurants.

    What to do: Mykonos:

    Here’s how to blend like a local: 9AM is wake-up and breakfast, check the wind and choose a beach, lunch on the beach never before 1400, snacks back in town upon arriving from the beach like crepes or Olive-oil-fried French fries with fresh oregano; shower, catch the sunset around 2030 (depending on the season), dine around 2230, and walk and shop the pedestrian town before and after dinner.

    Favorite beaches:

    Agrari (the entrance alone is spectacular) with a choice of taking sunbeds or avoiding sun beds and just using the lovely, comfortable pebbles and sand. Although it’s my favorite beach, alas, there’s no great food choice here beyond the bar which is satisfactory for drinks.

    Kapari : a bit out of the way with hard parking but spectacular, the nearby Agios Ioannis is almost as lovely with beds, tavernas (Hippie Fish), and parking.

    Agios Sostis : far away but a lovely beach with no umbrellas and a lone tavern with a 2-hour waiting list (see elsewhere here)

    Beaches & Meals: The best meals are the lunches. Here’s where to eat at each beach. Your beach choice will be made for you based on the WIND.

    When there is NORTH WIND:

    Paranga Beach: eat at Nikola’s Taverna (the world’s best fried calamari) and tell the kitchen when you order their organic vegetables from their garden and fish from the sea in front of their tavern that Lawrence sent you. Then walk up the hill to have a coffee at the spectacular Scorpio’s Restaurant.

    Psarou Beach: the VERY chic Nammos (reserve a corner table for 1500: 22890.22440).

    SuperParadise Beach: Jackie-O for the beach or pool is awesome, and eat here even just ordering the lovely jars of appetizers and the breads baked in flower pots is enough; sunset drag shows are great fun, though there is no sunset itself from the mountain. Nobody regrets coming here.

    When there is SOUTH WIND:

    Fokos Beach: eat at Taverna Fokos (tell owner and chef Canadian Kate and daughter Marissa that Lawrence sent you).

    Agios Sostis Beach: Taverna Agios Sostis (the most spectacularly-romantic barbecue spot for lunch under a very old tree on the planet; tell Vasilis that Lawrence sent you). They take no reservations. The advantage to going at 1230pm is to be the first round of tables served, even though it’s early; the advantage to going late in the day around 1900 is that there is no queue, but most salads and other choices are finished by then. The nearby beach has NO umbrellas for shade and NO opportunities for purchasing water.

    Ornos Beach: just outside of Ornos beach is Apaggio with spectacular views and faery lights. Book a waterfront table when there is no wind. Elsewhere on Ornos is Porto Ornos for drinks and Kuzina to eat Greek and Sushi in the sand on the main beach.

    Bowl Mykonos (@bowlmykonos FB and IG https://bowlmykonos.co): in Ornos offers vegan, vegetarian, and amazing all-day breakfast, always served in a bowl. They also have staff just dedicated to teas and coffees and has California communal seating as well as tables individually placed in sun or shade. Bowl Mykonos is the island’s only real healthy, sustainably sourced healthy yummy place in my neighborhood. They make their own almond and other milk substitutes and source everything with conscience.

    Dining in the Town of Mykonos Town (Chora)

    Many restaurants on Mykonos are tourist traps. Following are my recommendations of places that I go:

    Before dining, catch the sunset (a major happening throughout all Greek islands) at Kastro Bar (my favorite bar-restaurant in the world) or another bar along the “Little Venice” Kastro area: Kastro or Verandah or Caprice are the others to patronize. Their restaurant is also a GREAT place to eat, and anytime of the day you should have (truly) their world-famous Kastro Coffee as well as stay for dinner as the food truly is memorable. Tell Nikos or Kostas or their son Alex that Lawrence sent you. If there’s no wind, table #34 outside, or any of the 3 private balconies -- if you’re lucky enough and able enough to get them-- is the single most romantic table in Mykonos for dinner.

    Waterfront Dining in Chora/Town:

    It’s difficult to get a bad meal, but locals and residents go to:

    Raya, Captain’s, and Kazarma.

    Town Drink Choices: the bar at Kastro Restaurant https://www.kastrosmykonos.com, the Roofdeck at 54/The Townhouse Mykonos https://www.mykonostownhousehotel.com, Lola Bar, and Alley

    Town Food Choices: Niko’s Taverna (choice 1: IG https://www.instagram.com/nikostavernamykonos/) or

    Kastro’s (choice 2: IG https://www.instagram.com/kastros_mykonos/) or

    Cantina (choice 3) … or these restaurants along the waterfront when there is NO wind: Raya or Kazarma or Captain’s.

    Taverna Nikos in the center of the action where the pelicans are (tell owner’s daughter Stella or the owner Nikos himself that Lawrence sent you). Stella also has her own fabulous bar next door called Thalami that gets going after 2AM. You must eat here at Niko’s Taverna once; it’s an institution and the very center of town. Go first into the kitchen to see the displayed food, then look at the menu, then order from your table. You must get their giant beans and their chocolate mousse, and everything in-between.

    Cantina: JackieO have opened along the waterfront harbor in town w/unique, high-quality food.

    Nobu Restaurant inside of the fabulous (and white) Belvedere hotel (if you see the General Manager Christoforos who is my neighbor in Mykonos and tell him Lawrence his neighbor sent you).

    Lodging: Stay at an amazing part of the island where I first stayed upon arriving Mykonos and stayed every year for 12 years until my home was finished: Mr. Nikos Apartments. Just outside of the noise of town (5 minutes walk), you’ll have a kitchen, beds, daily maid service, and the most spectacular view of the island. Call to reserve your apartment and guarantee a room: be sure to specify you are calling on the request of Lawrence, King of Mykonos…Mr. Nikos Kousthana: +306944433173 (from the USA substitute 011 for the “+”). The best way to reserve the apartments or the Mykonos Bay Hotel (same owners) is to reach via their website or booking.com

    Mykonos Bay Hotel has a great pool open to everyone all day long and the truly only hotel on Mykonos that has rooms right on the beach. They do great sunset cocktails. Their food menu served all day long is innovative, fresh, and exciting. Check them out on Tripadvisor and tell the owners Mr. Nikos and Ms. Evangelia that Lawrence sent you. Anna manages the outside bar at the pool all day and through sunset. This is the home base camp of the Mind-Body Retreats we run in Mykonos with spectacular oceanfront rooms. This property also has Villas on the adjacent mountainside. https://hotelscheck-in.com/mykonosbay-hotel/en/

    Just outside of town a short walk from the gym is the Starbucks of Mykonos and, very new, next door the new Liberty Café that does breakfast all day long, offers a great wine list, and spectacular views with and with and without wind. They do special sweet & savoury pancakes and a full yogurt buffet bar in the morning, but note kitchen closes about 1500.


    The only legal gym in Mykonos that I have worked at, where I work out at, and that recommend you work out is BodyWork Gym. Tell owners Ioanas (Ion) and mother Ankie that Lawrence sent you. Ankie does privates in yoga and Pilates and is one of the best teachers I’ve ever known and has trained in the USA, UK and Athens.

    BodyWork Gym


    Bikes and Cars: Very near Bus Station is Fabrikas rent a car and ask for Dimitris and tell him I sent you: +30 694 4765132 and +30 2289 028028 and fabrikas@otenet.gr

    Clothing : for clothing made in Greece from Greek cottons by Greek designers (the father of the family empire), check out Salachas Mykonos which is next to the only Catholic Church at the bottom of the hills of the famous windmills and tell them I sent you. Almost all of my cotton clothes and pajamas (I tag them constantly) come from these 2 stores, and many items their Mama Rania still makes by hand. They have FB and IG (@SalachasMykonos).

    Luxury : Cavo Tagoo (a short walk outside of town) is spectacular with many private pools, great breakfast and evening restaurant, and lobby. Tell the GM Tasos Didimiotis I sent you when requesting rates. I designed their menus and their Golden Spa.

    New York

    This is not a comprehensive guide to NYC but a selection of the things I opine you must do on a special trip to NYC.


    • Laduree and Balthazar in Soho
    • Breakfast at Landmark in the Time Warner Building and see the Wholefoods in the basement
    • Weather permitting, the Boathouse in Central Park and New Leaf (newleafrestaurant.com) by the Cloisters.
    • Rosa Mexicano chain throughout NYC
    • SushiDen (one of the few restaurants in NYC whose sushi is not frozen); tell Shimura-san the manager that Lawrence sent you. I had TWO properties for my 50th here. There are two locations and Shimura works at the location on Madison Avenue and everyone, I mean everyone, gets them mixed up because they are not far apart.
    • Chop’t Salad chains all over the city.
    • Beyond Sushi chains for sushi-less sushi.
    • Relaise de Venise is where I had my 50th birthday dinner. They take no reservations but you’ll eat just like in Paris. They only do one thing and do one thing well: steak frites.http://www.relaisdevenise.com/newyork/
    • A fun, touristy, but also very very historical thing to do is Tavern on the Green in Central Park.


    Bergdorf Goodman NYC on Central Park SouthEast and find Roberto Vargas of the Francis Kurkdjian counter and tell him I sent you. He’s in charge of that counter but we all refer to him as the "mayor" of Bergdorf’s. Have a drink at the bar upstairs at BG restaurant w/a spectacular view and tell Mark and Eric at the bar I sent you.

    Across the street, the VERY upscale food court in the basement of the Plaza will wow you - and a great place to use the loo as well.


    St. Malachy’s the Actor’s Chapel does a Saturday night 11pm mass after theater which is usually full of dancers and actors from the shows.


    Arrange for tickets to have NYC at your feet with breathtaking views from topoftherocknyc.com.

    Cloisters (and eat at New Leaf, see above)

    Guggehneim and Metropolitan Museum of Art (visit Bloomingdales in between these two for a bite to eat)