Last year on my honeymoon to Southeast Asia, I was lucky enough to meet Andy Booth, the founder of the Siem Reap-based tour company ABOUTAsia (and a member of the T+L A-List). A 2013 Global Vision Awards winner, it donates 100% of profits to local schools, buying them uniforms and supplies, digging wells, and providing training and fair wages to teachers. The tours themselves—to the temples and surrounding villages—are perfectly crafted and designed to avoid the crowds; we were always going opposite traffic and even had a few of the smaller temples of Angkor completely to ourselves (an impressive feat for a popular tourist destination).
This month, while we all give thanks for our full plates and second-helpings, the philanthropic granola bar, This Bar Saves Lives, is partnering with Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Southern California to bring the campaign against world hunger to the next level. The resort’s interactive “Giving Wall” allows guests the chance to trade grateful, hand-written notes for an all-natural, gourmet snack bar. In exchange? This Bar Saves Lives donates a life-saving nutrition pack to a child in need.
Each year, T+L travels to the Phocuswright conference to hear about the latest in travel technology. This year’s gathering took place in Los Angeles at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live, where the crowd heard from major industry players as well as startups. The first day of the conference—the Travel Innovation Summit—is when some of the most intriguing new players present their new ideas and products, some of which are so fresh they’re launched at the show.
One of the most interesting takeaways? An increased focus on offline travel agents—either by building your itinerary and sending it to a live agent to price out (Going Somewhere), or, as TripScope is doing, letting users video chat with an agent to collaborate on a trip plan in real time.
You do it. I do it. We all at one point or another have taken Instagram photos. Food and culture have always remained intertwining emblems of travel and as our social media driven world has grown, so has our love of sharing our experiences. In light of the upcoming holidays, where there’s an inevitable increase in traveling and dining, why not amp up your food photography (or phoneography) skills with these great tips and tricks.
Find the light. The best food photography is taken near a window during the day (see above). The window creates a soft, natural filter, making dishes appear crisp and cool.
If you love Thanksgiving (who doesn’t?), consider planning trips through Chicago’s Midway Airport and Las Vegas’s McCarran International airport next year. Why? By the end 2015, the two airports will experience Thanksgiving-like congestion every single day. (So no more alone-time suitable for Celine Dion sing-alongs).
That’s the latest from the U.S. Travel Association and research firm Cambridge Systematics, Inc. who looked at the 30 busiest American airports in their annual study. A steady increase in demand combined with an equally steady underinvestment in infrastructure is making Thanksgiving-level congestion the new normal.
The Mark Hotel is at it again. After its quirky pedi-cab service in the summer, the hotel is launching a special holiday treat, just in time for Thanksgiving. The Mark Cocoa Kiosk will offer a special recipe with Jean-Georges Cocoa, no less, with a dollop of whipped cream and Valrhona dark chocolate shavings, complimentary to hotel guests.
As a frequent visitor of Seattle, I have a special place in my heart for Mt. Rainier. When you grow up in the New York City area, you just don’t see snowcapped mountains—especially ones that mingle among the skyscrapers in your cityscape photos.
Almost 90% of Americans who are traveling this Thanksgiving are doing so by car, says a new study by AAA. So if you’re among the road tripping set this week, you’ll need to strategize in order to avoid some of the year’s worst traffic. With the help of our friends at Google Maps, we’ve analyzed the best and worst times to drive on Wednesday—when most people will hit the road—so that you can be best prepared for a stress-free journey.
Want more holiday travel tips? Check out our holiday survival guide, here.
If you’re still searching for the perfect gift for the aviation enthusiast in your life, tickets to an authentic, first-class meal service in a perfect replica of a Pan Am aircraft might do the trick.
After boarding a refurbished Boeing 747, guests to the Pan Am Stage—a partnership with Air Hollywood—will get a blast from the past, with flight attendants in iconic, mod uniforms serving signature fare from original Pan Am flatware.
The countdown is finally over: today, the Thompson Miami Beach opens in the heart of SoBe, bringing just the right mix of sophisticated design and up-all-night fun to Ocean Drive. And we're not the only ones who are excited—as the new flagship for Thompson Hotels, it's a big move for a brand on the rise. Here, five things we can't wait to check out.
Sun Break package includes: • Seven nights at the three-bedroom Villa Rita, in the town of Cefalù. • Learn to make traditional Sicilian pastas and desserts during two private cooking classes with a local chef. • A wine tasting at a local winery • A guided tour of Cefalù, a medieval-walled port town
Cost: $2,145 ($306 per night), for six guests; book by January 31. Booking details: Valid for travel from March 1–May 30. Use code L&TIT4U
In December 2014 Gianandrea Noseda, music director of the Teatro Regio Torino in Turin, Italy, brings his opera company to four North American cities (New York, Toronto, Chicago, and Ann Arbor, Michigan) for concert performances of Rossini’s William Tell. The stirring opera is seldom performed because of the tremendously difficult tenor role, to be sung here by the young American John Osborn. The overture is famous, but Noseda predicts that audiences will be overwhelmed by the work’s transcendent final pages: “They are among the most beautiful music ever written.”
Most people will tell you that sunset is the optimal time to visit Humayun’s Tomb, the red-sandstone-and-white-marble mausoleum in Delhi that inspired the Taj Mahal. (To my eyes it’s even more beautiful than its successor.) Me, I’m partial to sunrise. In this otherwise chaotic city, it’s one of the rare peaceful times to explore its acres of Persian-style gardens planted with mango and lemon trees.
What inspired screenwriter John Fusco (of Hidalgo fame) to create Marco Polo, a new Netflix series based on the life of the 13th-century Venetian explorer? An epic journey of his own—guided by nomads through Central Asia on horse and camel. After that 2007 trek (and later trips to remote corners of China), Fusco resolved to turn the story of the world’s first globe-trotter into a TV drama.
This fall, I’ve been crushing on a new fragrance line: Philippe Neirinck’s La Parfumerie Moderne, which evokes the glamorous, Art Deco days of travel. (The streamlined labels are even a nod to vintage luggage tags and hotel logos.) The collection of three perfumes, all unisex, includes Désarmant—a lilac scent with heart notes of cinnamon, ylang ylang, and rose, as well as base notes of osmanthus and vanilla, among others.
Nyakio Kamoche Grieco reflects on the Kenyan origins of her cult-favorite beauty brand.
While working at a talent agency in L.A., first-generation Kenyan-American Nyakio Kamoche Grieco was exposed to beauty brands from all over the globe. Noticeably missing, she realized, were the rich ingredients of her parents’ homeland. “I felt like the sophistication of Africa was underrepresented,” she says. In 2013, she founded her namesake skin-care line, using kola nut, marula oil, and other elements from the continent to create products that work for all skin types. She spoke to T+L about her inspirations.
In the West Indies, there are as many combinations of rum + fruit juice + spice as there are islands to sip them on. Here, four standout renditions.
So entrenched is the recipe for Bajan rum punch that it’s known by a timeless rhyme: “One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, four of weak.” The combination of lime juice, simple syrup, Mount Gay rum, and chipped ice is pretty much inescapable.
Where to Sip It: John Moore Bar (246/422-2258), a rum shack on the beach in St. James Parish.
Only six months after the famously egalitarian carrier debuted its new premium Mint class, JetBlue is taking another step toward becoming more of a traditional airline by introducing, in mid-2015, a tiered airfare structure that will bundle checked bags and other, yet-to-be-named benefits into ticket prices.
Forget about the Old Boys’ Club, musty libraries, and leather club chairs. Harvard just unveiled a highly anticipated renovation of its art museums sure to bring a breath of fresh air to the stately old campus. On Sunday, the university’s three art museums will reopen to the public, united under one roof for the first time.
Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef(Phaidon) is the credo of Massimo Bottura, who celebrates 20 years at the helm of Osteria Francescana, in Modena, Italy, with this beautifully produced book of recipes, stories, and photographs.
For the 20 million travelers who fly through Newark Liberty Airport’s Terminal C each year, a $120 million redesign should vastly improve their experience at the United Airlines hub. Partnering with OTG, United announced the finalized plans this morning, with some changes already underway.
Around the world, once-obscure, old-fashioned spirits are enjoying a youthful revival.
Japanese Whisky: Bartenders everywhere are embracing this lighter, sweeter alternative to scotch, be it single malt (Suntory Yamazaki 12-year) or blend (Hibiki 17-year). At Tokyo’s Bar High Five, it’s poured over an ice “diamond” hand-carved from a huge block.
“This line is about the casual side of life: traveling, the weekend, lounging at home,” Tomas Maier says of his first full namesake collection, composed of comfortable pieces ideal for long flights. For women, that means unfussy items such as dark denim shirtdresses, buttery leather skirts, and pantsuits that aren’t overly structured or formal; for men, there are relaxed blazers, slouchy trousers, and reimagined parkas and peacoats. Swimwear and accessories, including bold wooden jewelry, pointy flats, and roomy totes, make an understated impact. For Maier, versatility—neutral colors; clean shapes—is a priority. “I’m interested in separates that pair together in various ways. They can be a little dressy or very casual, but always make you look and feel good when you travel.”
Los Cabos has long been popular with American and Canadian travelers. In addition to its hotels and resorts, golf courses, water and adventure sports, and eco-tourism, the destination at the tip of the Baja California peninsula is also a magnet for Hollywood—its producers, directors, and actors, many of whom have houses in the destination. The recent Los Cabos International Film Festival, in its third edition, took advantage of its geography (Los Cabos is less than a two-hour flight from Los Angeles) to showcase the best in feature-length, as well as independent movies and documentary film from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and world cinema.
9:19 p.m.: I remember a cauldron filled with molten beeswax, and my mother handing me a piece of string. I was seven or eight. It was Christmas, at a holiday market in Zurich. I dipped the string into the wax and pulled it out a few dozen times, and there was something amazing, even magical, about how the string turned into a candle, and about the smell of the wax, and the wintry crowds and the lights and the sounds. Today, 30-odd years later, the Mitteleuropa-style Christmas market is thriving, in Zurich, Prague, and Munich, in Frankfurt and Vienna—celebrations of the season and places where families can still make memories of their own.
Luke Barr is the former features director of Travel + Leisure.
The state with nearly 200 breweries is the ideal place for a suds-fueled adventure. Here, our favorite stops in Beer Land, U.S.A.
The city’s best Belgian-style brewery, the Commons has gone from the founder’s garage to greatness in just over three years. Start with the grassy Urban Farmhouse saison and work up to limited-release sours and other novelties.
Craft beer’s communal ethos is on display at Ex Novo Brewing Co., where all profits go to charity and an eclectic crowd comes for beers such as the piney Eliot IPA.
When it comes to beauty, the word “peel” has acquired a lot of negative connotations over the years. So naturally, when I was invited to test out BeautyRx’s new Peel Bar at the Butterfly Studio Salon, in NYC’s Flatiron District, I was somewhat hesitant, never having undergone a glycolic facial peel at the derm’s office. The result, I’m happy to report, deserves only positive associations.