You may not know how to yell “fore” in Spanish yet, but Larry Olmsted, managing editor of golf-industry newsletter The Golf Insider (thegolfinsider.com), says Mexico is “the up-and-coming international golf destination of the year.” Given that they have 150 courses already in place and another 30 under way, we think he’s right. Los Cabos is the country’s hottest spot, with several Jack Nicklaus-designed courses, including the new Four Seasons Punta Mita (800-332-3442), Cabo del Sol (011-52-114-331-49), El Dorado (011-52-114-400-40), and nine brand-new ocean holes at Palmilla (011-52-114-885-25). Nicklaus is also designing 18 of the 36 holes at Puerto Vallarta’s Vista Vallarta (011-52-322-105-45), scheduled to open April 1; the other 18, by Tom Weiskopf, are due in September. The country’s east coast is sprouting its fair share of greens, too, with ten courses currently under construction around Cancun, and Cozumel’s first 18-hole course, Cozumel Country Club (011-52-98-690-355), opening June 1.
On your next trip to Hawaii, consider skipping Waikiki’s beaches in favor of the vineyards in Upcountry Maui. That’s right, there’s a wine country beyond those palm trees and volcanoes. At Maui’s Kahului Airport, rent an SUV and trek nearly 2,500 feet above sea level to Tedeschi Vineyards, where travelers can sip whites, reds, and rosés made from locally grown pineapples and Carnelian grapes. This isn’t Château Pétrus, of course – bottles range from $7.95 for Maui Splash! to $16.95 for Plantation Red – but the sweet tropical blends will go better with your lei, anyway. The Hawaiian Travel Club’s (877-879-5566) seven-day package includes a mountain- or ocean-view suite at the nearby Silver Cloud Guest Ranch, plus car rental and flights from JFK, for around $2,500 per couple.
Edmund White’s The Flâneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris is the first installment in a new travel-book series called “The Writer and the City,” from Bloomsbury Press. The novelist lived in Paris for sixteen years, and his opinionated account is meant to supplement traditional Paris guidebooks by providing a personal take on the city’s social and political history, along with helpful bits of literary and linguistic lore. So what is White’s favorite insider tip? Check out the Musée Nissim de Camondo, an eighteenth-century-decorative-arts museum that he likens to New York’s Frick. The Flâneur hits stores in March; and the next installment will be Australian novelist Peter Carey’s take on Sydney, which is due in September.
COOKING SHUL This spring, Inland Services Inc. is offering weeklong kosher-cooking classes in Provence (March 12-19) and Tuscany (May 7-14) for aspiring cooks who want to learn how to prepare dishes like terrine de tomates and risotto under rabbinical supervision. For reservations, call 212-687-9898; $2,700 plus airfare. * SMALL PACKAGES Famed dermatologist Dr. Fred Brandt understands his clients’ desire for portable products, so he’s developed Brandt to Go, a travel line of packable nylon packets that includes 30 of his most popular beauty potions, like Lineless Gel and Cleansing Lotion. Available at Bergdorf and Sephora, or by calling 800-234-1066. * HERSHEY’S FULL-BODY KISS The new Spa at The Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania pampers guests with gooey services like a Whipped Cocoa Bath (that’s a 25-minute soak in a whirlpool tub filled with milk and chocolate; $45) or the Chocolate Fondue Wrap (a chocolate-laced mud wrap; $90). For more information, call 800-HERSHEY.