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A New Luxe Hotel Spa: L. Raphael at the Four Seasons New York

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There’s no shortage of five-star hotels here in Manhattan. Five-star hotels with top-notch spas—now, that’s another story. The Four Seasons New Yorkrecently upped its game with a complete design overhaul, replacing the crammed check-in area with a warm, silver-and-chocolate-toned lobby that feels both spacious and inviting.

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"Ladies of London" Star Marissa Hermer on Her Local Haunts

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Ask around at a cocktail party, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who isn't hooked on Bravo’s reality programming. So when I found out that my long-time pal, Marissa Hermer, was set to join the cast of Ladies of London, I nearly flipped. A Newport Beach native—but recently-crowned British citizen— Marissa and her husband, Matt Hermer, own several successful restaurants and nightclubs around the world. Among their London projects: Bumpkin, which highlights seasonal English fare at three chic locations, and Boujis, a nightlife spot that’s big with the royals. Marissa was in town the other day, and she stopped by to open up her little black book. 

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NYC’s Latest Beauty Hotspot: Paintbox Nail Studio

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As a frequent flier, I’m always searching for the perfect place to get a last-minute manicure—one that will actually stay on through the course of my trip. And on the flip side, as a tourist, I’m always searching for a cool, reliable, (and yes, clean!) nail salon when I need a quick touch-up abroad. Enter Paintbox, a chic new manicure studio in Manhattan's Soho neighborhood that is quickly developing a cult following among locals—and which should be on every traveler’s radar.

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SBE Group to Launch New Brand, SLS Lux

201405-hd-new-sls-lux-brickelljpgFamous for its design-focused properties, the SBE hotel group has been expanding quickly, with the recent launch of The Redbury South Beach (a T+L 2014 It List winner) and the debut of the 1,600-room SLS Las Vegas this August.

Part of the Sin City project’s allure? SLS Lux, an all-suite hotel experience—and separate brand—set in one of three towers. The other two will house SLS Story, with lower prices and more playful rooms (to wit: beds that sit in the center, doubling as a couch/entertainment piece), and SLS World, geared toward the business traveler.

Guests of SLS Lux will have a private entrance and access to a dedicated concierge, who could, for example, get you a last-minute seating at the chef’s table at Katsuya. On the horizon: SLS Brickell, a Philippe Starck-designed hotel and residential project in Miami’s fast-developing business district, along with the 85-suite SLS Lux Brickell, the vision of Yabu Pushelberg.

Jacqueline Gifford is a senior editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of SBE

Oscar de la Renta Designs Bath Amenities for Peninsula Hotels

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We’ve discovered a new—and very fabulous—set of bath amenities to pilfer. This fall, Peninsula Hotels will introduce a custom collection of soaps, shampoos, and lotions conceived by Oscar de la Renta into hotel guestrooms worldwide. The scent—a citrus, aromatic floral musk, with notes of mandarin, bergamot, freesia, and cedar—was developed with Firmenich, while the amenity line was produced by Gilchrist & Soames. T+L talked travel with Mr. De la Renta at the Peninsula New York’s 25thanniversary gala.

Q: Tell us about the amenity line. Why now, and why Peninsula?

A: I’ve been approached several times to do a product line for a hotel, but when this project came about, I was unbelievably intrigued. I have fond memories of the Peninsula Hong Kong and my experience there, taking the tram to the top of The Peak, and eating at the floating restaurants in Aberdeen. They kept pouring, pouring on the food!

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New York Hilton Midtown Unveils Herb N’Kitchen, its New Restaurant Concept

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When the New York Hilton Midtown—the city’s largest hotel, at nearly 2,000 rooms—announced in January that it was doing away with room service, people were shocked. The reality: Hilton saw that today’s traveler preferred a quick meal at a reasonable price, and room service was losing money. It was time for a change.

Enter Herb N’Kitchen, the hotel's new lobby dining outlet, open from 6 a.m. until 1 a.m. It’s like an upscale grab-and-go cafeteria, offering everything from made to order gluten-free corn arepas to Pat La Frieda cheeseburgers. Also for sale: bottles of wine and locally made snacks, such as Tumbador chocolate-covered animal crackers from Brooklyn. In the adjoining room (which feels more like a restaurant), guests can have a hot buffet breakfast, or just enjoy their takeaway treats. And food from Herb N’Kitchen can be delivered to the room—it just comes in a paper bag.

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