You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Israel’ tag.


Chic Traveler:  Marla Maples

Occupation:  Actress, songwriter/singer, radio & talk show host, deep thinker, seeker and lover of the Divine in all!

Hometown:  Bicoastal at last and looking forward to more time exploring the world & its many inhabitants!

Dream destination?

Machu Picchu

What’s always inside your carry on?

Lots of vitamins

What’s on your plane play list?

Abraham Hicks/Eckhart Tolle

Your guilty pleasure while traveling?

Airport massages

The Stephanie Johnson bag / bags that always make the trip?

The ML Traveler is a personal fave.  I also use a jewelry roll and just recently picked up a Katie Folding Cosmetic.  All I can load up!!

Any tips or must-pack items for making your hotel feel more like home?

I always bring a mini-aromatherapy candle and my spiritual books including the Zohar!


Is there a particular destination that inspires your creativity?

Anywhere in the mountains, by the sea or flowing rivers . . . but especially when they are together like Big Sur, the Oregon coastline or the Rockies.

What’s the most stylish city/locale you’ve visited?  Anywhere in particular where the fashion/beauty/women’s personal style really blew you away?

I love Rome and how freely the women express their style.

Any travel misadventures you’d like to share?

The time Tiffany and I took a slow ferry to Tangier, Morocco with our filmmaker friend Marek.  We were so excited to be in this mystical land, we were going to eat couscous, drink tea, shop the bazaar and Marek planned to take many photos of our adventure.  Well he got his photos, as we paused to take a breath while running through the tiny stone pathways from the local men who were not too happy with Americans at the time.  The most frightening time in my life, but we have amazing photos!

If you were introducing a world traveling friend to SJ for the first time, what’s the first piece you’d recommend they buy?

All of them!

Is there a favorite possession you’ve acquired during your travels?

Anything from Africa hand made by locals.

Your personal travel style: (Do you like a luxury resort? A private hideaway? Do you prefer to lie on the beach? Explore the countryside?)

I love adventure . . .  and spiritual journeys.  I’m much happier taking a trip with purpose.  Traveling across Israel on a sacred trek, visiting orphanages in Malawi, or exploring ancient pathways in Spain or Italy.


Your happy place / Favorite travel destination? 

The Galilee in Israel or just being home on the streets of New York!

Do you have a favorite menu item you indulge in when you’re on the road?  Perhaps a dish or a type of cuisine you can’t get back home?

I try to be adventurous with eating and go for what the locals love.

How do you pack for a trip? (Are you a list maker? Do you pack in outfits? Throw caution to the wind and shop when you arrive?)

My fantasy is to experience the last description . . .  be that free spirit!

 Favorite pre-travel or travel-friendly beauty routine?

My Galvanic Spa

First drink in the air:  H2O, champagne or OJ?

Water, then perhaps a glass of red.  Then more water, water, water. . .

Go-to luggage brand?

Briggs & Riley

Plane food or bring your own?

Bring my own when I have time to cook it up, or wrap it up, but I always order non-dairy veg. just in case.

Any tips for breezing through airport security?

Lots of smiles & fun – leave the stress behind.

Window or aisle?

Gave up the window when Tiffany, my daughter, was old enough to ask.

Your flight’s delayed:  best way to kill time at the airport?

Catching up on emails, texts, and calls.

Next on your Stephanie Johnson wish list?

An iPad cover.  But first I need the iPad!


Tel Aviv is the city where my husband grew up and is in fact the city where we met. Each year we make our way back for what always seems like too short a visit no matter how many extra days we tag on.  Here are some of my favorite spots in ‘ The White City.’


Hotel Montefiore is hot.  A three story renovated Bauhaus building in ‘the heart’ of town, Hotel Montefiore houses small elegant rooms on the top floors and a seriously good restaurant and bar below.  Rooms are white with comfortable beds and modern baths.  The place has a chic bed and breakfast feel with a friendly and knowledgeable staff.  Tell them you are beach bound and they will outfit you with a beach bag complete with towels and sunscreen.

The Varsano Hotel is a newcomer in the hotter than hot Neve Tzedek neighborhood. More like staying in your own pied-a-terre, each of the rooms has its own entrance from a courtyard with larger rooms, each with a kitchen, washer/dryer, living area and bedroom.  I loved the Smeg refrigerators and Nespresso machine in each room.


If you’ve been reading my blog you may have guessed that I’m obsessed with bikes!  And Tel Aviv is the latest city to offer bikes for hire from stations all over town.  They had just installed the stations when I was there and hadn’t yet put in the bikes.  Can’t wait to explore this option when I return.

Tel Aviv is all about the beach and there are about a dozen to choose from. LaLa Land is always a favorite with low tables and chairs sitting in the sand under a ceiling of wall to wall white umbrellas.  Order fresh watermelon and feta and keep your toes cool in the sand while watching the kite surfers roll the waves.  Or play backgammon under the stars. . .

Stroll down Rothschild Boulevard at dusk and take in all the Bauhaus architecture that lines the way.  Food kiosks and Petanque ball courts dot the grassy median.

Visit Carmel Market to take in all the local sounds and smells.  Buy local produce and try a fresh pressed pomegranate juice and a Jerusalem bagel.

Adjacent to the Carmel Market is Nahalat Binyamin, a local crafts market.  Open two days a week, local artisans come to show their work.  I bought my daughter hand sewn soft toys like a telephone, camera, and a tool kit from a former lawyer who was sewing at a machine right on the spot!

Looking to get your culture on?  Start your evening with a performance by the critically-acclaimed Batsheva Dance Company at the Suzanne Dellal Center for the Arts.


I love to wander the streets and find gems tucked away on small streets in the Neve Tzedek.  Hafatzim is a beautiful home store there that makes me want to call Tel Aviv home.  Jewelry stores abound.

COOL FACT:  Tel Aviv is know as ‘The White City’ because of its’ collection of over 4,000 Bauhaus buildings.


What can I say?  I love to eat, and Tel Aviv has some of my favorite restaurants on earth.  There are so many culinary delights, I’m devoting my next blog to dining in Tel Aviv!  Stay tuned. . .


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 63 other followers

Click here to receive our Monthly Email Newsletter


%d bloggers like this: