Pull up a barstool and join us as we share a nightcap with International Woman of Mystery Teresa Rodriguez. Oh behaaave! Teresa is the author of many leather-bound books and writes two travel websites geared towards women traveling alone and women traveling with kids. With such an extensive travel history, Teresa is ready to share some of her favorites with us.
NightOwl: You’ve traveled all over the world–what are three of your favorite places?
Teresa: I do love Buenos Aires! It might sound so cliché, but the energy there is fabulous. They still love Eva Peron, and the city has an incredible European vibe. Since it’s in the Southern Hemisphere, if you go during winter here in the US, it’s summer there. I took Tango classes, ate delicious steaks and drank way too many bottles of Malbec. It’s just divine!
I absolutely adore Thailand. It is a Buddhist country, so it is very peaceful and serene. The people are kind, and the food is wonderful. Traveling through the country is very easy.
For people with some cash that love adventure, Iceland is the place to go. It is not cheap there. A gin and tonic set me back $17! But the place is magical and otherworldly. It’s a very small country and the Icelanders are beautiful and incredibly friendly. Only go in summer, or you will freeze to death. It’s called Iceland for a reason.
NightOwl: You live in San Francisco. Who are your favorite local chefs and bartenders?
Teresa: My all-time favorite is Michelin-starred La Folie. The world-famous chef Roland Passot opened it with his wife Jamie, and now his fun-loving brother George runs the bar. In 2009, they opened a quaint bar next door, which is the perfect place to go if you want a lovely glass of French rosé and a little bite to eat.
Roka Akor chef’s Roman Petry is a mastermind who creates beautiful architectural sculptures from raw fish. The Japanese food is not only stunning; it’s delicious. Their bartenders Alex Riddle and Allen Zhang have a cool offering called ‘cocktail omakase.’ Each omakase features five to seven alcoholic drinks made from local spirits and seasonal ingredients.
Chef Andrew Greene is an artist-turned-chef who is a master craftsman with his culinary creations. Officially, he is the executive chef at Social Kitchen and Brewery. But he is best known for his pop-up dining experiences at places like Naked Kitchen. He’ll create a 5-course dinner and have each dish paired with a specific wine created by the guest winemaker that evening. And since the seating is family style, you always meet great people.
NightOwl: With your incredible international travel experience, what is your favorite hotel bar and why?
Teresa: Favorite hotel bar? Oh gosh, that’s like asking what is my favorite child! Here are my top 5:
Faena Hotel in Buenos Aires – This place is like a scene from a techocolor Fellini movie. So dramatic! There are three bars, all fabulous! The hotel is a work of art, so it’s fun walking around and finding new places to explore.
Banyan Tree in Bangkok – The Vertigo and Moon Bar. The views are absolutely breathtaking! You do feel like you are on top of the world at 61 floors up.
Mena House Hotel in Cairo – The 139 Lounge Bar is in the shadow of the Great Pyramid. You can just picture Winston Churchill walking across the lawn.
Four Seasons in Budapest – The lobby bar is an Art Deco masterpiece in the Páva Udvar (Peacock Passage) that takes you back in time. It is a stunning palace that was renovated into a hotel after the Second World War. History is hidden under each mosaic tile.
Galaxy Macau – They have a private club called China Rouge and it’s a stunning 30’s Shanghai-style club and bar with epic Tiffany glass lighting. It’s known for the many famous performers who play in its super intimate setting. One of the most over-the-top venues I have ever enjoyed a glass of champagne in.
NightOwl: What was the most fun night out you ever had while traveling alone?
Teressa: Oh gosh…another hard one! Well, I did enjoy that night in Barcelona where I met up with a group of travelers from Australia on a bus tour of the city. It was my last night in Barcelona and they had been there for weeks. So, they took me out to secret little hideaway bars and nightclubs. My favorite bar was La Fira which is set back in what looks like a carnival with fun house mirrors and seats from old carnival rides as chairs to sit on. We stayed all night and I literally ran into my hotel room, packed my bags and had to go straight to the airport to catch my flight back home that morning. Traveling alone gave me a chance to meet new people and see the world through their eyes. It was magnificent!
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