At this year’s PhoCusWright Conference—an annual gathering of the world’s most influential travel innovators—all eyes were on the Innovation Summit and the presenting entrepreneurs. But not all of the talent in attendance was on stage. In a short Q+A series we will introduce you to three new companies that are also poised to change the way we travel.
First up, is Cheryl Rosner, the visionary behind Stayful.com, a website whose proprietary bidding system allows travelers to suggest their own rates at amazing independent and boutique hotels in six (soon to be 10) U.S. cities. As the former Hotels.com president and president of Expedia Corporate Travel, Rosner is a discerning traveler who prides herself on seeking out unique properties with great design and enduring character—but who also likes a bargain.
Eyebrows were raised in October, when Luc Besson’s luxe First movie theater opened in the new Aeroville mall near Charles de Gaulle airport north of Paris. For €25, First gives you a spacious leather seat, a smoked salmon and tarama snack, and a flute of Champagne, orderable from a seatside tablet. “Mais c’est la crise!” said the local press, unsure whether such luxuries make sense as France’s economy remains sluggish.
Such questions do not trouble the hotel Le Royal Monceau Raffles, in Paris’s tony 8th arrondissement, with a clientele to match. Here an even posher proposition awaits the film buff, in the private screening room of the Philippe Starck-designed five-star: the just-debuted Sunday Night Film Club.
Day Two of the International Luxury Travel Market was a busy one for the almost 3,000 exhibitors and attendees roaming the Palais des Festivals, in Cannes. We checked in with a handful of industry leaders, including A-List agent Jack Ezon of Ovation Vacations and T+L's editor-in-chief, Nancy Novogrod, for their thoughts on this year's travel trends.
Sarah Spagnolo is special correspondent & new media editor at Travel + Leisure.
Think of it as the StubHub for hotel rooms: with new site Roomer.com, travelers are able to offload non-refundable reservations onto anyone looking for a good deal. Unlike the ticket scalping site, bookings are re-sold at a discount—and often a steep one. On a recent search, we found half-priced rooms at the Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental Miami, as well as rooms under $100 in New York City (yes, seriously). Here’s how it works: those looking to book simply browse through Roomer’s search engine and pick where they’d like to spend a night (or more). Each reservation must stick to the same dates as the original booking—one key downside—but Roomer takes care of transferring the reservation details to your name and credit card. We love the way the site puts the “current market value” next to your discounted price on numerous listings—it’s that kind of data that really gets a bargain hunter going!
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Think your trip to Paris or voyage to Sydney was totally unique? Think again.
French artist Thomas Jullien took viewers around the world in 852 Instagrams when he released his short film a few weeks ago. On foot, bike, plane and train, we see some of the world’s most beloved landmarks—the Arc de Triomphe, the Sydney Opera House, and the Statue of Liberty.
Jullien’s travelogue highlights how eerily similar 852 individual Instagramers picture the world through the same 16 frames and filters.
Melanie Lieberman is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
We here at T+L have been reading a lot about Bitcoins lately.
The virtual currency—unaffiliated with national institutions and easily traded anonymously—has seen its value skyrocket to over $1,000 per “coin.” Whispers abound of a potential bubble (remember Tulipmania?). Today those whispers turned to full on warnings, when Chinese banks instructed financial institutions not to trade in the digital money. Yet while the news briefly caused the prices to tumble, they're once again on the rise.
In addition to the Art Basel buzz, Miami is getting extra attention today with the opening of the Pérez Art Museum Miami. The three-level, $131 million state of the art building took 28 months to build. Notable features include 200,000 square feet of program space, floor-to-ceiling hurricane resistant windows, and views of both the downtown skyline and Key Biscayne. Verde, the museum's restaurant by Steven Starr, will offer seasonal dishes, craft cocktails, and quick bites like pastries and sandwiches. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the venue was inspired by Stiltsville—the atmospheric collection of shacks off the coast of Key Biscayne. Tip: Stay at a Bal Harbour–area hotel for free admission to PAMM and three other museums.
The Transportation Security Administration (a.k.a. TSA) is opening its first Precheck enrollment center, at the Indianapolis International Airport today. Until now, PreCheck has been available only to loyalty-program members of the TSA's partner airlines and people enrolled in one of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Trusted Traveler programs, such as Global Entry. Today marks the first time any traveler, regardless of frequent-flier status, can sign up to get expedited security privileges. All you need is $85 (which covers five years), proof of citizenship (though not necessarily a passport), and a little extra time at the airport. The TSA plans to roll out an additional 300 such centers by spring 2014—with the next ones coming to New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.