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Exclusive First Look: Thompson Miami Beach

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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.

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Could Apple Disrupt International Roaming?

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International roaming as we know it is on the verge of becoming obsolete: the EU has proposed a single network for all European countries, T-Mobile no longer charges customers when surf the web abroad, and apps like Ringo help you tap onto local networks to circumvent pricey roaming packages and overages. Now, Apple is also getting in on the act with Apple SIM, a proprietary SIM card built into the new iPad Air 2.

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What It’s Really Like To Use Starwood’s Keyless Entry

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Last year, Starwood unveiled plans to swap plastic keycards for Bluetooth technology—enabling guests to unlock their hotel rooms with a simple wave of their smartphone. We predicted it would be one of the biggest travel trends for 2014, and indeed, Hilton Worldwide and Caesars have since announced plans to bring the technology to their hotels as soon as this winter. But this week, Starwood is back in the spotlight as they pull back the curtain on how mobile entry works—and introduce it to ten properties in the Aloft, W, and Element portfolios.

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To Pack or Not To Pack: Blue Bottle and Timbuk2's Coffee Travel Kit

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As a die-hard coffee obsessive, I’m always seeking out the best brews in any city I visit. But I do need a starter cup to tide me over in the morning, and what I can get in my hotel room is rarely up to snuff (sorry, Nespresso). A new solution: the Coffee Travel Kit by Timbuk2 and Blue Bottle Coffee, a packable pour-over set roughly twice the size of your standard amenity kit. Included are a Japanese-made hand grinder with adjustable grind settings, a pack of filters, two Falcon enamelware mugs with felt cozies, a non-leeching plastic cone dripper, and—of course—a two ounce sample of Blue Bottle beans, all in a waved canvas and leather bag. So how do these expert-grade tools perform on the road? We took the kit for a test drive.

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Crowne Plaza Adds Smart New Sleep Innovation to Guest Rooms

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Big innovation can come from tiny tweaks—at least, that’s what Crowne Plaza has found as they designed their next-generation guest room.

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Westin Launches Sleep Sensor Lending Program

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It’s been a full fifteen years since Westin introduced the Heavenly bed—an icon so popular it’s since been adopted by Delta and sold to consumers worldwide. To mark the occasion, the brand is now introducing a sleep sensor lending program in collaboration with wearables company Lark Technologies—the latest in a series of wellness-related innovations by the Starwood brand.

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The Sleeper Scarf: Weird Mash-up or Necessary Object?

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Seemingly every day, we hear about the new “must-have travel accessory.” Sometimes they’re brilliant—Power solutions! Noise cancelling earbuds!—and some just miss the mark. Then somewhere in the middle are items we debate about furiously—like this Sleeper Scarf. Designed by a self-proclaimed frequent flier, the loop-style scarf (which comes in any of four colors) has a U-shaped neck pillow tucked into a hidden pocket. Blow it up and deflate it easily with a few breaths, or take it out of the scarf to cut the excess bulk.

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New App Reserve is the Uber for Restaurant Reservations


The founders of Uber have already disrupted the taxi industry worldwide—now they’re taking on the restaurant space with standalone app Reserve. The debut product by start up studio Expa (created by Uber founder Garrett Camp), launches today with service in New York City, Los Angeles, and Boston. Here’s how it works.

The Basics:
Reserve will be the everyman’s digital concierge. Plug in basic parameters such as the time, date, and party size for your reservation, and it will offer a curated list of vetted restaurants that may fit the bill. Select the ones that interest you, and it will seek out tables on your behalf, updating you by text message along the way. 

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Apple Announces New iPad Air 2

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If you were one of the thousands who lined up for a shiny new iPhone 6 last month, get ready to queue up again: Apple is back at it with next-gen iPads that are bound to become instant travel tech classics. Here’s everything you need to know about today’s big news.

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Apple Pay Launching Monday

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Last month Apple revealed Apple Pay, a mobile payment system that riffs off the same NFC-based technologies first used by Google Wallet. Today, as part of a larger announcement by Apple, it was announced that Apple Pay will be coming online starting this Monday—with a slew of travel-related partners that are impossible to ignore.

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