It’s all about the moment—not the hour, the day, the weekend, or the week—when it comes to my best travel memories. Small things stand out like snapshots on a photo-sharing site. My recent trip to Hawaii yielded an assortment of images: the view of Waikiki stretching toward Diamond Head from my hotel room at the Halekulani; the graceful expanse of beach rimming the Pacific on the Big Island from the terrace at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel; the sashimi platter at Morimoto Waikiki, Oahu’s buzzy new high-design Japanese restaurant at the Modern Honolulu; afternoon tea at the Veranda, in the Moana Surfrider, a classic Waikiki hotel, now freshly renovated, that has catered to vacationers for more than a hundred years. My too-heavy suitcase that I dragged between flights, the few moments wilting in the airport when the air-conditioning failed, the disappointment that every single spot for lunch was closed in Hawi, the Big Island’s atmospheric hippie-revival town, don’t stay with me, or do so only for texture.
Of course, Travel + Leisure’s feature stories unfurl over time, but here, too, distinct images stand out—the towering beauties with clipboards minding the velvet ropes at the new W London - Leicester Square (“London’s Hottest New Hotels,” by Stephen Drucker); gold-panning in the rushing waters of the Río Tigre (“Exploring Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula,” by Andrew McCarthy); breakfast at Bills, in Surry Hills, a shrine to spongy ricotta hotcakes and, my personal favorite, Australia’s answer to lattes and cafés au lait—flat whites (“Sydney’s Next Great Neighborhood,” by Mark Ellwood). There are picture-worthy moments everywhere—a farm-fresh meal and richly flavored local Pinot Noir in Oregon’s Willamette Valley; the quiet streets of Mineral de Pozos; T+L’s short takes on a new luxury hotel in Israel overlooking an ancient crater; and on Manhattan’s Chelsea in Heather MacIsaac’s “A Facebook Tour of NYC,” the first in a series, with content from social networking. This month, too, we advise on a fleet of new cruise ships that may have sailings that are right for you and unveil the winners, from the most attractive people to the best museums, in our fifth annual America’s Favorite Cities poll.
In each issue, T+L brings together a star-studded assortment of destinations, as well as knowing advice to launch you in your travels. The lasting images you collect are entirely up to you.
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