Author Archives | Alex Palmer

Alex Palmer - who has written 22 posts on Swell City Guide.

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Roman Polanski’s ‘Weekend of a Champion’

Posted on 14 November 2013

Two old friends reminiscing about a long-gone weekend probably seems more like the stuff of holiday gatherings than packed theaters. But when the two chums are Formula 1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart and Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski, it’s the kind of thing that draws crowds. At least that’s what the two men, along with […]

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Grand Hotel – Minneapolis

Posted on 05 June 2012

The lion in the lobby tells visitors a lot about what they can expect from the Grand Hotel Minneapolis. Reclining on a raised platform, the white marble statue looks relaxed and regal, while also seeming to invite you to hop on (I resisted the urge but at least two children I saw gave it a […]


The Liberty Hotel – Boston

Posted on 24 March 2012

The moment you enter The Liberty’s expansive lobby, you know this is unlike any hotel you have seen before. Exposed-brick walls rise to a vaulted ceiling. At each floor is a wraparound “catwalk” overlooking the main rotunda. Large circular windows at the ceiling beam in large rays of sunlight. It’s an expansive and striking design […]


Mama’s Fish House – Maui, Hawaii

Posted on 23 January 2012

Purple Fork review by: Baron Gordon Mama’s Fish House is the vision of Floyd and Doris Christenson. Floyd, business man turned sailor, discovered his calling. Following his passion and dream to sail with his wife Doris and son Keith (4 years old) to the south pacific. The Christenson’s set sail from San Diego headed to […]

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Pan American – Nolita

Posted on 05 January 2012

Located in the heart of Nolita, the Pan American’s ambiance mixes Mexican with flashy 60s retro in a wonderfully energizing way (though be warned: if you do not like the color turquoise, this may not be the spot for you) and accented with framed postcards of everywhere from Denver, Oaxaca, Havana, to Bermuda. With a […]


Semiramis Hotel – Athems

Posted on 28 July 2011

Compared to the beach paradise of the Greek islands, Athens is sometimes dismissed by travelers as a bit too urban, gritty or colorless for their taste. They might rethink this after spending a night at the Semiramis hotel. Located in the center of Athens’ upscale Kifissia neighborhood, the Semiramis is an explosion of bubblegum color, […]


Mandarin Oriental – Washington DC

Posted on 04 June 2011

Located a few blocks south of the National Mall, the Mandarin Oriental Washington D.C. feels like a separate oasis in this busy city. It’s a fitting location for a hotel that draws on Asian décor and themes like zen and tranquility in its design.  Those staying in any of the Tai Pan Club Rooms on […]


Malmaison Glasgow’s Dark Charms

Posted on 15 May 2011

I knew I had arrived somewhere special before even setting foot into Malmaison Glasgow. Set inside what was formerly St. Jude’s of Blytheswood Square, a 19th century church, the 72-room hotel still boasts the place of worship’s striking Greco-Egyptian edifice. Located on West George Street, just a few blocks from Glasgow’s teeming shops and museums, […]


Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery – Glasgow

Posted on 14 May 2011

Perhaps the best way to begin discussing Two Fat Ladies’ The Buttery (or just “The Buttery” as locals call it) is to describe what it is not. First, it was not actually created by two chubby women, and certainly not the hosts of the BBC cooking show “Two Fat Ladies,” which many visitors assume. The […]


Sketch, The Gallery – London

Posted on 13 May 2011

It makes sense that Sketch’s Gallery restaurant is actually an art gallery by day, bringing modern art creations to London’s stylish and moneyed Mayfair area. Entering The Gallery, guests encounter a huge open space with a mix of furnishings that are works of art themselves. A massive video projection covers the entire top half of […]

Four Seasons – Canary Wharf

Posted on 12 May 2011

Relaxed on a large window seat, glass of wine in hand, looking out across the city, from the London Eye to the Gherkin, as the sun sets across the River Thames. This is how to experience London. This astonishing view was just one of many things I loved about the Four Seasons Hotel at Canary […]

Quadrato – Canary Wharf

Posted on 05 May 2011

Those seeking a taste of northern Italy with a stylish twist may find what they are looking for at Quadrato. On the lobby level of the Four Seasons Canary Wharf, in London’s burgeoning business district, the restaurant puts an emphasis on the freshness of its ingredients. Guests pass a sideboard of olives, bread and proscuitto […]


Mandarin Oriental – Bermuda

Posted on 31 January 2011

Bermuda is home to one of the strangest statues I’ve seen. On the shoulder of a busy roundabout stands a bronzed bearded man in a hat, six-and-a-half-feet tall, with a smile on his face and both arms raised, like he’s waving both hands or running to embrace one of the passing cars. We passed the […]


Turks & Frogs – West Village

Posted on 27 December 2010

Originally an antique store, Turks & Frogs was converted into a wine bar by its owner, Osman Cakir, in 2004. Little of its sense of history was lost in the process, as the location now not only offers Middle Eastern appetizers and an impressive wine list, but continues to sell antique pots and lanterns, which […]


Pó – West Village

Posted on 08 September 2010

On a slightly overcast day, a delicious meal with the feeling of home is hard to top. We had the opportunity to sample some of the high-caliber Italian food on offer at Pó, located on the relatively quiet Cornelia Street in the West Village. What first appeared an expansive restaurant when I first entered, I […]