Fran Endicott Miller is a luxury focused freelance feature writer for a variety of lifestyle publications and websites, editor-at-large for JustLuxe.com, Forbes Travel Guide inspector, and California editor for luxury travel concierge service Essentialist. Prior to her journalism career she held positions in the fields of politics, television, and professional sports, and is proud to have established the Golden State Warriors’ first community relations department and programs. Principled and genuine, she’s known for thoughtful and thorough coverage, and for the quality of her writing. When not traveling, she can be found walking her Northern California neighborhood with her beloved golden retrievers Reggie and Nate.
Find below a small sampling of her many articles.
Napa Valley vintner Dave Phinney is no ordinary winemaker. And now he's no ordinary distiller.
Beckstoffer. The name carries with it great - and grape - expectations. Quality, prestige, and distinction are synonymous with the iconic wine industry moniker.
At the helm of Sullivan Rutherford Estate since early 2018, Juan Pablo Torres-Padilla has a vision.
No matter the season, Bernardus Lodge & Spa is always a feast for the senses.
Guests at The Berkeley Boathouse are likely drawn to the sweeping, picturesque views, but it's the food that will ensure repeat visits.
The name of this AmaMagna itinerary says it all: Romantic Danube Wine Cruise.
Grand, elegant, and historic – like the city itself - Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace provides full access to the best of Budapest.
Those who ‘get it’ know; Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown is greater than the sum of its parts. More than a hotel; it’s a lifestyle.
Where to stay, where to eat, and what to do in the Emerald City.
Aboard Rocky Mountaineer, luxurious attributes combine to create a little bit of travel magic.
Surrounded by groves of fragrant eucalyptus and panoramic Golden Gate Bridge views, these two luxe hotels are San Francisco’s best kept hospitality secrets.
Open space and little traffic reveal a side of California long thought lost and gone forever, but it’s real, and it’s spectacular.
The owners of Sonoma County’s The Setting Wines Venture to Napa to Open a Chic Country Inn.
It’s a winning combination - the Four Seasons brand of luxury hospitality and California Health and Longevity Institute's personalized nutrition and fitness services.
The charming Olea Hotel welcomes guests with a level of gracious hospitality typically found in five star establishments.
The elegant Hotel Drisco blends seamlessly with the Pacific Heights mansions that surround it.
As if The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara was not already the height of elegant hospitality, the recent addition of a gracious Club Lounge sends the resort's luxe quotient soaring.
Blending seamlessly into Lanai’s pristine landscape is Four Seasons Resort Lanai, the ultimate spot from which to enjoy the island's beauty.
To stay at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is to abandon allegiance to any other favored Hawaiian locale.
An Archer stay is always filled with small surprises.
At Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, the Four Seasons brand of stellar service has never presented itself so completely.
The Dominican Republic's Casa de Campo is more than the sum of its spectacular parts.
The Big Island is home to yet another of Fairmont's dream worthy-destination hotels.
The Ritz-Carlton infuses Bacara with new sparkle and new life as only it can.
Of the multitude of resorts that line the Southern California shore, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel has no equal.
The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort affords its guests with tranquility not readily found in today's crowded world.
This winsome Relais & Châteaux inn is proof that great things come in small packages.
Just as its Royal Family muse has embraced modernity, so has Victoria B.C.'s Grand Dame, the Fairmont Empress.
Palo Alto buzzes with a palpable energy and entrepreneurial spirit that's contagious.
Arrival at the iconic Incline Village resort results in instantaneous repose.
A weekend in Carmel refreshes and rejuvenates. Spend that weekend at the newly remodeled Hotel Carmel and reap the full effects of a classic Carmel get-away.
As temperatures drop in the San Francisco Bay Area, our search for sun intensifies, leading us to varying locales across the globe.
Those in the golf world are likely familiar with Rosewood CordeValle, located in San Martin, just south of San Jose. Those who do not know of Rosewood CordeValle soon will.
WINE & COCKTAILS
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the district is known for its world-class Cabernet Sauvignons.
Harvest is undoubtedly Napa Valley's seminal season.
After more than 85 years as one of Napa's most iconic wineries, Louis M. Martini Winery now has a home worthy of its historic status.
Several Napa wineries create memorable guest experiences; Newton Vineyard is at the top of the list.
This former Dean & DeLuca wine director oversees two eponymous tasting rooms, each offering customized, private wine tastings for the most discriminating palates and enthusiastic wine lovers.
Warm, personable, and self-effacing, the former journalist and connoisseur of the luxe life now serves as director of communications at Alpha Omega Winery.
Chris Strieter, Max Thieriot, and Myles Lawrence-Briggs grew-up playing in the vineyards that they now cultivate for their Senses Wines.
The wines are delicious, but the Belden Barns backstory is equally yummy.
Each of Napa Valley Vintners' green wine tasting itineraries allows you to sniff, swirl, and sip for the greater - and greener - good.
Despite his penchant for the occasional adrenaline rush, Nico Cueva prefers to fly slightly under the wine industry radar. But as Kosta Browne continues its reign as one of the most collectable brands, Cueva’s anonymity wavers.
You know the logo: three black ravens intertwined in an art-deco circle of totality and timelessness. It's perhaps the most tattooed wine logo in the biz.
Somehow, Oakville Ranch has managed to continue its flight under the radar.
Cain wines are definitely not for everyone. But fans claim there is nothing quite like them.
A peek at her Facebook page and Instagram feed reveals that Ransome Rombauer is not like other teenage girls...
Since the winery’s founding in 1972, Bo Barrett has been involved with every vintage.
Robert Parker has dubbed her the Queen of Cabernet, but Heidi Barrett is also known as the hardest working winemaker in Napa.
Goosecross recently released its 2014 vintage varietals – its first vintage from dirt to glass.
Wheeler Farms is a stellar second act for Daphne and Bart Araujo.
Nine Suns winery shares its fabled Pritchard Hill address with viticulture powerhouses that could easily intimidate or overshadow the new kid on the block.
If one is to truly experience today’s California wine country, one must venture to the central coast’s producers.
Alpha Omega is an example of the levels to which a vintner will go to achieve well-deserved distinction.
Warning: Friendship with Chris Strieter may lead to unforeseen entrepreneurial activity.
St. Helena's Freemark Abbey finally has a visitor center worthy of both its esteemed history and its extensive library of luscious vintages.
Take your wine wanderlust a bit further than Napa and Livermore and explore Italy’s Piedmont region.
It was May 24,1976 when a simple, blind wine-tasting, organized by an English wine merchant in celebration of the American Bicentennial activities in Paris, changed the world of wine forever.
The personal liquor lockers that line one wall at The Vault provide a tongue-in-cheek nod to the restaurant's former life as a true bank repository.
Chef, teacher, restaurateur, cookbook author, television personality, and travel guide. Joanne Weir has worn all of these hats – most often at the same time
Three Michelin star Kenzo in Downtown Napa is a destination eatery attracting Kaiseki fans the world over.
Fred and Elizabeth Stassen are doing something (actually many things) right at their cozy Piedmont Ave. eatery.
As the elegant gentrification of Yountville continues to evolve, a new entrant on the hospitality scene is commanding the spotlight.
PLāYT is place to return again and again in order to experience every delicious menu item and every crafted cocktail.
Located in the heart of Downtown Napa’s bustling Oxbow District, CIA at Copia has once again become the ultimate destination for exploring, experiencing, and enjoying food and wine.
How this SF fave stays ahead of the fine dining curve.
If you’re wondering where all the action is in downtown Napa, look no further than Archer Napa and its signature restaurant – Charlie Palmer Steak.
San Francisco classic Scoma's is primed for (re)discovery.
Most restaurateurs will concede that maintaining a restaurant’s popularity over the course of nearly 25 years is not an easy proposition. So how does One Market do it?
To a certain generation, the legendary Sammy Hagar will forever be known as The Red Rocker and onetime front man for Van Halen. But to a generation raised on Rihanna and Bieber, Hagar is perhaps better known as that cool dude who owns rockin' bars and restaurants around the country.
From it's engagingly tactile front entry, to bold and exciting menu items, Downtown Napa's newest eatery is a feast for the senses.
Lucy Restaurant & Bar, located at Yountville's famed Bardessono Hotel & Spa, is itself a singular destination.
Palo Alto's reputation as the innovation capital of the world has not necessarily extended to culinary breakthroughs, until now.
Pronounced 'kwa,' the moniker's French to English translation is 'speechless,' and that is exactly the state in which many diners find themselves after enjoying a stunning meal at this haute jewel.
Little Gem, located at the corner of Grove and Gough in San Francisco, is a new kind of restaurant - a kind that is destined to become the new normal.
The Big Four, a Nob Hill mainstay since 1976, might not be the most au courant of San Francisco spots, but its traditional, clubby atmosphere could be just what the hipsters ordered.
Fans of celebrated chef Dominique Crenn and her lauded eatery Atelier Crenn will be pleased to know that the French-born chef now has as many San Francisco restaurants as she does Michelin stars.
'Blown Away' is great entertainment; but why settle for television when you can experience the real thing?
AmaMagna’s experienced guests cautioned that I had started at the top of the river cruise ladder – that there is no better ship. After seven days and nights of pampering, fine dining, and exquisite wines, I knew this to be true.
Move over California State Capitol. Downtown Commons, aka DOCO, is quickly moving up the 'reasons to visit Sacramento' ladder and is taking a well-deserved spot as the area's top entertainment attraction.
Torontonians share a passion for fashion, food, and culture - the fusion of which is found in the tony village of Yorkville.
You know those fantasy ads and commercials that portray a singular couple strolling a vast white sand beach, with no one else in sight? This is the Punta Mita reality.
This favored destination of oenophiles, art aficionados, spa lovers, foodies, and outdoor adventurers is described by locals as 'what Napa used to be' - quaint, authentic, and unspoiled.
This former U.S. Army post is home to miles of hiking and biking trails, a golf course, museums, gourmet restaurants, and two luxury inns.
Once considered merely a gateway to the ultimate destination of San Francisco just to its north, San Mateo County now finds itself a star Bay Area attraction in its own right.
Santa Barbara beckons anew with splendid resiliency. Only have a day or two? Here’s how to make the most of even the briefest visit:
Having long been considered a pass-through to other popular wine country locales such as Yountville and St. Helena, Downtown Napa is now considered a glamorous wine country destination unto itself.
Three very different, soul-stirring ways to experience California luxury travel.