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Watanabe Designer Globe Inspires Talk and Travel

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In an age where single-dimensional cell phone screens often guide us to our next getaway, the Nendo Watanabe Globe is a pretty reminder that the earth is indeed round. This collaboration between Monocle and Japanese designer Nendo Watanabe, distinguishes major cities in bold type against a clean black and silver background. Nendo’s corona globe is the perfect piece to inspire travel. 

Maria Pedone is a contributor to TravelandLeisure.com.

Photo by Need Supply Co.

Louis XIII Cognac: A Taste of France

Cognac

Cognac is one spirit that grants its drinkers instant gratification. Produced in the Grande Champagne region of Cognac, France, strict distillery guidelines distinguish the drink from brandy—and the history of Louis XIII de Remy Martin sets the brand apart from its competitors. One sip and each layer of complex, century-aged flavors emerge: smoky oak wood, ripened figs, Cuban cigars, dried apricot, sweet vanilla.

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One-of-a-Kind Bikes Inspire American Travel

Will Leather Goods Bike

Throughout the coming months, Will Leather Goods, an Oregan-based lifestyle brand, will release seven on-of-a-kind bikes at random times and locations. Each leather-wrapped bike will be reflective of a specific period in American culture. The attached bike is inspired by a pre-revolutionary time when the main form of transportation was horseback. The brand's founder, Will, hopes to inspire American travel and exploration with these pieces.

Related Links:
America’s Best Cities for Hipsters
World's Top Biking Cities
15 Tech Innovations That Will Change the Way You Travel

Photo by Will Leather Goods

Test Your Africa Smarts With This Speedy Game

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Think you know Africa? Guess again. YouDontKnowAfrica.com will test your knowledge of all 54 countries nestled in the world’s second-largest continent—a challenge for even the most seasoned traveler. Start the game off slow with 20 random countries and work your way to the “super-difficult” level (that’s 50 countries, and no hints!). Keep at it and you’ll be an Africa-aficionado in no time, from the Saharan sands in Morocco to Zambia’s mighty Victoria Falls. 

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is contributor to TravelandLeisure.com. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian

Photo Courtesy of YouDontKnowAfrica.com

SLS Brickell Hotel in Miami Preps for Swanky 2015 Opening

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Miami’s SLS Brickell hotel won’t open its doors until 2015, but elaborate plans from designer Philippe Starck already have us obsessed. 

Like Starck’s existing properties in Beverly Hills, South Beach, Las Vegas and New York, the SLS Brickell will flaunt a playful-but-polished vibe, attracting Lincoln Road regulars and an artsy crowd from the nearby Perez Art Museum Miami and upcoming Brickell CitiCentre complex.

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Top Facebook Check-Ins During Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Fat Tuesday marks the end of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but we’re still reminiscing about the flaky slices of King Cake and over-the-top parades. These numbers, officially crunched by Facebook, show the most popular bars, hotels, and neighborhoods in NOLA from 2013, based on the volume of and increase in Facebook check-ins during the week leading up to Mardi Gras. Only check-ins within a 15-mile radius of the city center made the cut, so vicarious revelers couldn’t skew the stats. Read on to see how many of your 2014 party spots racked up against last year’s.

Places to Hang Out and Watch the Parades

1. St. Charles Avenue

2. Lee Circle

3. Uptown

4. New Orleans City Park

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Carnival Celebrations Around the Globe

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Carnival—the final soiree before Lent when people fast, avoid indulgences, and refrain from partying—culminates over the next week with vibrant costumes, wild dancing, and self-expression, found worldwide this year until March 4th. For many, Carnival is a fun way to let go, whether you're family road-tripping to Louisiana or a couple jet-setting to Italy. In case you don't have a chance to join in the revelry, here are a few colorful Carnival-inspired experience that caught our eye:

Venice

Just steps from St. Mark’s Square, the historic Luna Hotel Baglioni (above and below) will be prepping its guests for festive balls with private costume fittings—including embellished masks and cloaks—by Atelier Flavia. Traditional gowns will grace the ballroom floor during the hotel’s Grand Baglioni Party this Friday, February 28, and the Gran Carnivale Party on Saturday, March 1, where guests can sit back and enjoy the “Dance & Opera Show,” or join in on the display themselves. Housed in a Venetian palace, the hotel's stately ties to the past reach from its proximity to Piazza San Marco—where celebrations first began during the Middle Ages in 1162—to inside the Marco Polo Ballroom, where original fresco paintings of the XVIII Century of the School of Tiepolo adorn the walls.

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Kimpton Shows How to Make Your Bed Like a Hotel Pro

If you’ve ever wondered how Kimpton hotels gets their beds to look so darn inviting, the staff at the Hotel Monaco Chicago is here to show you how. While we've already showed you our step-by-step approach, we have to admit this video turns the often-loathed chore into an exciting dance-fest. Time to grab five of your fellow hotel geek friends and start corner folding!

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is a Digital Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

Mumbai Airport Unveils New Terminal 2 to Public

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Mumbai's international airport unveiled its new four-level Terminal 2 to the public this week, after much anticipation. The stunning airport section, originally slated to open in January, took five years to complete, and will provide relief to the millions of fliers streaming in and out of India’s busy Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

Sprawling 42 square meters of space, the terminal was built to handle up to 40 million annual passengers and to effortlessly escort them to their departure gates via 37 travelators, 48 escalators, and 72 elevators. Outside, the 5,200-car parking area is beautifully concealed by the city’s largest open garden. While inside, travelers can spend their layovers window shopping or eagerly purchasing items throughout the 21,000 square meters of retail space—more than four times the size of the airport’s original shopping area. An art museum—India’s largest, might we add—may also be of interest, with over 6,500 artifacts to contemplate while waiting. Finally, a terminal with more to explore than the nearby bar.

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Walk Across 11 Countries In This Classic Travel Video

Travel videos add an element beyond still photography to truly transport you to a destination. Here, an oldie but goodie video from STA Travel Australia depicts three guys lightheartedly walking across 11 countries over the course of 44 days—a definite inspiration to never stop exploring.

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is on the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

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