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V-Day Suites Come Dressed in 27,000 Flowers

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How many flowers does it take to say I love you? Renaissance Hotels thinks 27,000 should do the trick. That’s the number of multicolored blossoms bedecking the $15,000-a-night Valentine’s Day suites, which are available for the remainder of February at any of their worldwide properties. Upon booking, almost every inch of a room's interior becomes awash in a mélange of brightly-hued petals, from the bed to the walls to the nightstand.

If you can’t stomach parting with enough cash to buy a new car for a one-night stay, Renaissance is offering romance packages for the big weekend at a more palatable rate ($299.) Breakfast, cocktails, and candles are included, along with a designer floral arrangement. A conventional bouquet of roses will just have to suffice. 

Nate Storey is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Renaissance Hotels

World's First Underwater Club Debuts

Niyama resort

An ocean-side cocktail is one of the numerous hallmarks of a quintessential beach escape. Now, the Niyama Resort on the Maldives’ far-flung Dhaalu Atoll is taking that concept to a new level, inviting guests to tope drinks and party the night away—wait for it—beneath the Indian Ocean. More than 500 yards offshore and a 40-minute seaplane jaunt from Malé, Subsix is the world’s first sunken club. When the full moon sets the ocean aglow, revelers can dance to international deejays and take in aquarium-like views of sea turtles wading in the surf and tropical fish interspersed on the reef.

In such a sensitive ecosystem, it’s encouraging to hear careful measures were taken to minimalize the environmental impact. Subsix was constructed above ground and placed delicately on a swath of empty seafloor. The resort also enlisted a marine biologist and launched a coral restoration program in which pieces of defunct reef are rehabilitated and returned to their natural habitats. 

The only thing missing in this human fishbowl is the scuba diver figurine.

Nate Storey is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Niyama Resort

Our Favorite Destination-Inspired Fragrances

The Art of Scent

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but nothing evokes the memory of a place like an aroma. We asked Chandler Burr, who organized “The Art of Scent, 1889-2012”—opening this month at New York’s Museum of Arts & Design—to describe his favorite destination-inspired fragrances, as only a curator of olfactory arts can.

Chantecaille Kalimantan

Inspiration: Borneo

Fragrance Notes: Thyme, rosemary, vanilla, agarwood, and cedar

What Burr Says: “A beautiful patinaed wood, like an Indonesian house that has stood for generations in the heat.”

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme

Inspiration: Italy

Fragrance Notes: Sicilian mandarin, grapefruit peel, juniper, and bergamot

What Burr Says: “The aroma of the eternal sun-washed Mediterranean wrapped in clean 21st-century form.”

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Photographer Annie Leibovitz Takes a Shot

skyline

Photographer Annie Leibovitz has captured volumes through the prism of her camera lens during a storied career shooting rock stars, celebrities, and politicians for venerable publications like Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair. But a photo campaign for a whiskey? That’s a first for Leibovitz, who was commissioned by Macallan for the third instillation of their Masters of Photography series, capturing portraits of Scottish Actor Kevin Mckidd (Grey’s Anatomy) across Manhattan. The images will be featured on four limited edition single casks—Library, Gallery, Bar, Skyline—aged between 16 and 23 years. But you’ll have to loosen the purse strings if you want a bottle from this rare batch; the 1,000-bottle collection retails for a hefty $2,750 a pop.

Nate Storey is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Images courtesy of The Macallan.

"It's So Miami": Why the Florida City's New Slogan May Mean More Than City Officials Intended

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With a spritely klatch of scantily-clad models flying around a pop-up pool party, slapping around beach balls and cavorting to a live deejay's techno music, Florida’s most hyperactive playground kicked off a fitting new tourism campaign, “It’s So Miami,” on a recent balmy afternoon in New York City’s Union Square. The slogan is clearly more about reinforcing the Latin-infused city’s authority as America’s preeminent destination for escapism than proffering anything newfangled or undiscovered. But the irony of Miami’s decision to double down on its hedonistic caricature is that the city truly is emerging as a genuine cultural hub with gravitas and depth.

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Weekend Getaway: Hamptons Cocktail Crawl

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Want to celebrate the last days of summer in the Hamptons? There's no better place on Long Island than The Fork. T+L Deputy Editor and local Amagansett resident Laura Begley Bloom laid out a comprehensive road map that leads readers to mellow seafood shacks, rustic antique shops, and beach chic boutiques in the July issue of Travel + Leisure. But what would summer on the East End be without a little imbibing? Hop over to our new Weekend Getaways section for a guide on what and where to drink in the Hamptons burgs.


Nate Storey is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

 

 

 

Photo by Nate Storey

Palacio Nazarenas: Cuzco's Dazzling New Hotel

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The ambitious new Palacio Nazarenas was finally unveiled last week after four years of intensive excavation in the ancient Peruvian city of Cuzco. Housed in a former 16th century Carmelite convent, the all-suite property with whitewashed adobe walls and hand-carved timber balconies occupies a small cobblestone plaza near Plaza de Armas and the San Blas quarter. The exhaustive process produced a profusion of artifacts and historic finds, part of the reason archeologists were brought on board to assist with the project. The hotel is festooned in unearthed discoveries like original Incan sandals, an 18th century antique statue of Archangel Gabriel, and Spanish colonial murals and friezes restored to their original forms using flour dough.

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"Cosmic Opera" Opens in New York

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As a Kabuki-dressed opera singer was convoyed atop a platform through the crowd wailing in an ear-piercing pitch, a packed Hammerstein Ballroom wrestled in anticipation. The mezzo-soprano’s Italian lyrics serenaded the audience over an original Stephan Moore composition before slipping into a familiar tune.

In my mind, in my head, this is where we all came from
The dreams we had, the love we shared, this is what we’re waiting for

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Gehry-Designed Cultural Arts Center Opens in New York

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New York City and Frank Gehrys mutual love affair continues to evolve at a dynamic pace. With this month's opening of Signature Theatres new Gehry-designed Pershing Square Signature Center in midtown Manhattan, Gehry adds another piece to his rapidly expanding Empire State catalog. His first residential project 8 Spruce Street, a 76-story skyscraper glazed with his signature curvaceous indents crawling up the stainless steel façade, made a dramatic debut on the downtown skyline in 2011. Hes also been tapped for the forthcoming preforming arts center at the new World Trade Center. And then theres his iconic cloudy white, cold-warped glass IAC HQ building that hugs the West Side Highway in Chelsea. Sticking to his recent ambition for firsts, the unveiling of the $66-million Signature Center marks Gehrys initial contribution to the citys cultural landscape.

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Just Back: Killington, Vermont

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As a professed snow snob I scoffed when a group of friends recently proposed a ski weekend in Killington, Vermont. It’s hard to get excited about mountains that look more like the hills I used to sled down as a kid in Salt Lake City than the exhilarating, death-defying declines that tattoo the Rocky Mountains. When you grow up within an hour of seven world-class ski resorts you tend to develop a cavalier attitude about the prospects of cleaving down a worn, icy tilt and paying good money for it. So I opted to head for this quaint northeastern burg sans my snowboard. Half the fun of a ski vacation anyway is exploring the town, enjoying the fresh air, eating at great restaurants, and plunging into the après ski scene.

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