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Ask T+L: Buenos Aires, Savannah Weekend, In-Flight Purchases

Q: My husband and I are looking for a stylish but well-priced hotel in Buenos Aires. Any ideas?—Emma Penney, Plano, Tex.

A: Set in one of the city’s shopping districts, the classic Art Hotel (doubles from $95) has 35 rooms with paintings by Argentine artists and a twisting marble staircase in the lobby, which doubles as a contemporary-art gallery. The five-room Cocker Hotel (doubles from $100), in historic San Telmo, is furnished with one-of-a-kind pieces (a Louis XV–style bed; a 1927 Remington typewriter; a General Electric phonograph). And just a five-minute walk north from Palermo Soho’s center, the 19 modern rooms at Home Hotel (doubles from $125) have vintage French wallpaper and Eero Saarinen–designed tulip chairs and nightstands.

Q:Is it true that some airlines are now accepting only credit cards for in-cabin purchases? —Claire Washington, Middletown, Conn.

A: While many airlines are still cash-only, starting next month American Airlines will join several domestic carriers—including United, Alaska, JetBlue, AirTran, Midwest, Southwest, and Virgin America—in processing only credit and debit cards for midflight trans-actions. According to Tim Smith, American’s director of national media relations, the new policy makes traveling easier for both passengers and flight attendants by eliminating the need to carry and count money. And the numbers show that passengers prefer plastic to greenbacks—some airlines have seen in-flight spending nearly double since launching cashless cabins.

Q: Can you suggest an itinerary for a last-minute weekend in Savannah? —James Reynolds, Los Altos, Calif.

A: Spring is the ideal time for a trip to Savannah: the weather is mild, azaleas are in bloom, and many of the city’s private antebellum houses are open to the public. Stay at the 126-room Mansion on Forsyth Park (doubles from $259), a meticulously restored 1888 castle with playful details—think red velvet sofas, gilded cove moldings, leather banquettes—located in the Historic District (the Mansion’s sister property, the 75-room Bohemian Hotel, makes its debut on the Savannah riverfront in June). Savannah Walks ($15) leads two-hour afternoon Gates and Gardens tours spotlighting the district’s mid-19th-century gardens. Or, take a trip around uninhabited Little Tybee Island with Savannah Canoe & Kayak (half-day trips from $55). Come evening, head to the 30-table Cha Bella (dinner for two $90), where chef Matthew Roher dishes up Georgia white-shrimp risotto with fresh asparagus and tarragon.

Ask an Expert: T+L Associate Editor Clara Sedlak

Q: “I want to go hiking in Canada this summer. Which outfitters are offering guided treks?” —Matthew Hennessy, Bangor, Maine

A: “There are great options for every skill level,” says T+L associate editor Clara Sedlak. “Country Walkers’ culture-minded Quebec trip (from $3,098 for six days) heads northeast from the capital to explore the French-speaking villages of the Charlevoix region, including La Malbaie and Tadoussac.If you’re feeling more adventurous, veteran tour operator Off the Beaten Path (from $3,495 for six days) stops in three of the country’s national parks—Banff, Jasper, and Yoho—where you’ll spot elk, moose, and golden eagles, as part of its Crown Jewels journey. And Mountain Travel Sobek’s Whistler Explorer excursion (from $2,795 for seven days) goes deep into British Columbia’s backcountry with a daylong hike along the glacial Cheakamus River to a volcanic crater created 10,000 years ago.”

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