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TODAY Show Video: America's Top Free Attractions

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Want to sightsee across the U.S. without spending a dime? Travel + Leisure’s features director and senior correspondent, Nilou Motamed, shares her tips on America’s top free attractions.

Her picks:

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CNN News: Spa Getaways

Need to detox, or just get away from it all? T+L Features Director Nilou Motamed share her favorite spots to unplug and get healthy.

TODAY Show: T+L 2011 World's Best Winners!

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What are the best hotels in the world? Travel + Leisure's features director, Nilou Motamed, shares the winners of this year's annual World's Best survey. Plus, our readers also weigh in on the best cities, cruises, famiy travel, and more. Find a complete list of award-winners here, and start planning your next vacation today!

TODAY Show: Don't Get Hit With Hidden Travel Fees

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Travel + Leisure's features director, Nilou Motamed, breaks down taxes, fees, and surcharges some airlines are burying in the cost of plane tickets purchased through rewards programs.

TODAY Show: America's Best Affordable Hotels

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T+L Features Director Nilou Motamed shares the best affordable hotel deals right now. Find luxury for less from Charleston to Las Vegas. Watch now—and read the full article here.

Sale of the Year: 25 Cents a Night for a Caribbean Getaway!

200910-b-avijpgAfter almost a decade as an editor at Travel + Leisure, I’ve developed a sixth sense about offers that seem too good to be true. Which is why I was justifiably skeptical when I ran across the U.S. Virgin Island’s CENTsational sale (while doing research for an appearance on the Today Show; watch the video here).

The cynic in me was tempted to write the deal off a a clever marketing ploy with enough fine print to fill an encyclopedia. However, after examining the details closely, I have to say that I’m sold. Here’s the back story: to celebrate the newly minted U.S.V.I. quarter, a dozen hotels on St. Thomas and St. Croix , including Marriott Frenchman's Reef Resort, are offering a 25 cent nightly rate for a three-night stay (plus nominal taxes and fees).

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Ode to Breakfast


Some people can’t wait for dessert. Me? I count the minutes till breakfast—especially when I’m on the road. When I open my eyes in a foreign country, I can’t wait to hit the streets and check out what the locals are eating for their first meal of the day. Pho in Hanoi (above), congee in Hong Kong, dosa in Mumbai, poke (POH-kay) in Maui: I’m a quick study.

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The Best Restaurant in the World?


He’s been called a mad scientist, a molecular gastronomist, a culinary genius, and the Best Chef in the World, but Ferran Adrià (with me, above) is mainly obsessed with Flavor with a capital F.

Last week, I was among the lucky 7,000 (out of 2 million reservation requests per year) to score a table at El Bulli on Spain’s Costa Brava. To call this the Meal of a Lifetime seems trite but on point: our six-hour dinner was like nothing I’d ever experienced before—or probably ever will again—yet it was delightfully entertaining and, for what seemed at times like a zany chemistry experiment, surprisingly delicious.

Don't miss my El Bulli slideshow--it's full of tips, must-know facts, and behind-the-scenes shots.

Niloufar Motamed is the features editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Peter Jon Lindberg

Behind the Scenes: Second Annual Veuve Clicquot Manhattan Polo Classic


What do you do on a too-beautiful-to-believe summer day in New York City?Head to Governors Island to watch HRH Prince Henry of Wales (Prince Harry to you and me) play polo, of course. This past Saturday, May 30, I was lucky enough to have been the guest of Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts and St. Regis New York’s brand new British General Manager, Paul Nash, at the star-studded charity event.

Just a few of the celebs who turned out to see the Prince go head to head with smoldering Argentine polo phenom Nacho Figueras: A fedora-clad Madonna (with sons David and Rocco, the later sporting a mohawk), Kate Hudson, Chloe Sevigny (in creamy Chloe), LL Cool J (in a handsome brown Kangol for his first-ever polo match), model Alek Wek (wearing a canary yellow frock and a coordinating orange cast on her wrist), designers Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan, and my Today Show pal Matt Lauer. St. Regis New York sweetened an already memorable day by serving its classic Afternoon Tea, courtesy of Adour pastry chef Sandro Micheli, just as Prince Harry claimed the winner’s trophy.

See my behind-the-scenes slideshow.

Nilou Motamed is the features editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Susan Naci


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