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T+L Reports: Spies Like Us

Ever wondered just how far hotels, resorts, cruise ships, and spas will go to accommodate a demanding guest?Travel Spies, a series making its debut June 13 on the Travel Channel (8 p.m. ET/PT), sends T+L senior editor Niloufar Motamed incognito to find out how hospitable the hospitality industry really is. Using hidden cameras tucked into lapels, slipped into sleeves, and secreted inside handbags, Motamed and her cohosts, interior designer Kenn Gray and hotel consultant Jeff Gurtman, travel across the country under assumed identities ranging from a wannabe New Age hippie and a Oahu surf bunny to a type A executive glued to his BlackBerry. Their mission: to find out what each property prides itself on—service, privacy, romance, or cuisine—and then put it to the test. In each episode, the trinity of spies receives a briefcase containing their top-secret assignment and characters. On come the disguises (think purple hair, prosthetics, and, yes, standard gumshoe trench coats), cameras, and outrageous requests. The result is a cross between Alias and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, plus a dash of Fantasy Island. So far, the Travel Spies have demanded that a custom toilet seat be installed for a germphobic fashionista; hoodwinked a concierge into planning an over-the-top wedding proposal; requested an in-room luau, complete with ukulele-playing staff; and asked the front desk to gather volunteers to pose in the buff for a "world-renowned" photographer's latest project. Mission accomplished.
—AMY FARLEY

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