You can build a neighborhood from scratch, but that alone can't give it heart. Luckily for Copenhagen, a flashy tilting hotel is transforming a day-stroll district to a destination with a pulse. Rising from the southern flatlands on land reclaimed by the sea, the 3XN-designed Bella Sky Comwell Hotel (doubles from $420) has fast become a centerpiece for Ørestad City, a master-planned enclave founded nearly two decades ago.
We live in a daredevil age of architecture. Out of the fog of dreams rise colossal structures that twist, outsize, and undulate to the extreme. Among these freewheeling feats stands the tilting high-rise hotel—and its crowning glory opens this fall.
The silvery spire of Hyatt Capital Gate (doubles from $650) slices the sky above Abu Dhabi’s sultry cityscape at a sharp 18 degree angle—four times greater than Pisa’s slouching bell tower. “There was an opportunity to do something very powerful,” says Chris Jones, principal architect with RMJM, "to create a new gateway to the city."
In the sunny homestretch of summer, I like to stay fine and mellow with jazz. And there's so many great performances to gorge on this season. With the help of a few insiders, we're on top of the music beat like a snare drum.
T+L’s Pick: Piano in Bryant Park, in New York (until Oct. 14)
For fans of the 52 keys, Piano in Bryant Park remains one of the city's best-kept secrets. The summer-long program gathers at the shady upper terrace on weekday afternoons, quietly featuring New York's most storied performers (Junior Mance was Dizzy Gillespie’s bandmate). A vibrantly eclectic crowd mixes devotees with eavesdroppers and eccentrics—next to me, a shoe-less man taps his tube-socked toes. Did I mention the shows are free? If you want to get fancy, reserve an outdoor table at Bryant Park Café, an earshot from the action. Insider Tip: Performers sometimes tinker with timeslots, call ahead.
Cheesy travel slogans are a dime a dozen. There's something decidedly square in the art of selling destinations, and rightly so. Not only must you lure new travelers, you also have to represent the locals who live in these places—and you probably shouldn't tick them off.
So, it's all the more interesting to notice some chance-taking of late. A few brave tourist boards—hoping to zap awake a sleepy economy, defibrillator-style—have unveiled a slew of over-the-top, playfully arm-twisting slogans.
Ever wished you could hold up a photo to a search engine and say, “Hey computer! Find me this, and make it snappy!”?
With Google Search (free; iPhone, iPod, iPad), a picture is worth a thousand keywords. The newly upgraded app makes it even easier to scour the Web with images straight from your smartphone camera.
Imagine if your everyday hardcover book came with rules about where you could read it. Sounds crazy, but in the digital world we hardly bat an eye about similar restrictions. For instance, iBooks titles must be read on Apple devices.
For e-bookworms who love the platform, but could do without the Apple pits, Google just debuted the largest multi-platform cyber-bookshop, Google eBooks, with over 3 million titles (most of which are free). What sets the site apart—and has charmed several top travel publishers—is its quest for open access. Reading materials aren’t tied to a device; they’re stowed in the digital cloud. So, users enjoy limitless storage, as well as compatibility with more than 85 devices, including the Android, Sony Reader, and iPad.
No matter how miserable your shoveling chores were this morning, I bet you wouldn't trade places with a stranded traveler in a snowstorm. Flight delays typically mean another day or five stuck in a strange city without an itinerary.
—That is, unless John Boris can help it.
Over the past year, when severe weather or natural disaster has trapped tourists at the airports, Lonely Planet Americas’s executive vice president and managing director has been making his popular city-guide apps (iPhone, iPod; iPad) completely FREE for download at iTunes for 72 hours. (Normally, they sell for as much as $5.99!)
Smart travel is all about consolidation. One of the best ways book-lugging adventurers can streamline is to invest in an e-reader that can store thousands of books—and other reading material—in a single lightweight device. But with so many e-readers on the market, choosing the right one can be maddening. Here's your rope out of the consumer quicksand.