The term "authenticity" is one we've heard again and again (tired of it yet?), though it remains on the tongue of industry insiders thanks to an influx of travelers who continue to seek out local experiences around the globe. At the recent travel conference ILTM Asia, in Shanghai, which brings together travel agents, hoteliers, and the media, T+L's Sarah Spagnolo once again dug into the trend of connecting travelers with local culture. Watch the video for a couple examples of new programs.
Shanghai's Former French Concession is the city's style hub: a leafy area filled with boutiques, bespoke tailors, and traditional crafts. A few of must-see sites: Helen Lee's headquarters, around the corner from her atelier, which showcases this season's collection—a collaboration with Disney in honor of the new Disney resort opening in Shanghai soon. Germain Tailoring channels Neapolitan style in its meanswear collection. Stop by Charles Philip on Gao An Road, to find a custom shoe in shape, pattern, and material to fit any style. Head north across town, where Coin Qian's showroom is stocked with her paintings, plus pillows, bags, and other home goods that feature her feminine designs.
T+L's Sarah Spagnolo explored the area on a arts tour coordinated by luxury travel show ILTM Asia and the Portman Ritz-Carlton, and led by Shanghai style insiders Selina Schleh of Time Out Shanghai and Monique Madsen of Zan Style Shanghai. Check out "Where to Shop in Shanghai," and for more, go to the T+L Guide to Shanghai.
Who doesn't need a beach escape within easy reach? Watch this quick video for three T+L favorites.
There’s not much to do in the low-key island village of Islamorada in Florida’s Upper Keys, and guess what? That is precisely the point. Start with a rum runner cocktail from the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar before unwinding at Cheeca Lodge, a popular beachfront hotel that gets bonus points from moms everywhere thanks to its stellar kids camp.
What does luxury adventure mean now? At Phulay Bay, A Ritz Carlton Reserve in Krabi, Thailand, guests can enjoy a luxury stay with days on the beach as well as elephant rides. General Manager Carlos Tarrero describes the option for a raw cooking class, where guests gather ingredients at the local market and try their hand at Thai cuisine. The reserve is on 50 acres of wild, beautiful land, so guests can expect a secluded but luxurious experience.
In a summer of new thrill rides and roller coasters, there's yet another to steal the show. Verruckt is now the world's tallest water slide—it opened last Thursday at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas. Before stepping into a three-person raft, all three riders must be measured and weighed (each rider must be at least 54 inches tall and together, they cannot surpass 550 lbs.). The two heart-pumping drops include one from 168 feet—or about 16 stories high—and speeds can reach as fast as 70mph. Arrive early to the base of the ride: that's where you reserve a scheduled ride time in advance, then return about 30 minutes before you're set to take the plunge. The standby line is another option, but rides aren't guaranteed.
What else will keep you busy at Schlitterbahn Waterpark? The Black Night Tube Slide, Storm Blaster water coaster, and for a relaxing break, the peaceful Boogie Bay beach lounge.
This summer’s roller coaster rides are sure to get your heart pumping. Coney Island recently introduced the Thunderbolt roller coaster—the boardwalk's first new, custom-built coaster since the opening of the wooden-track Cyclone in 1927. North of Cincinnati, you'll find Ohio’s Kings Island, and the new $24-million-dollar The Banshee ride, an inverted coaster that turns thrill seekers upside-down seven times!
Shanghai, China is a modern metropolis with thriving business and arts culture, as well as some of the World's Best hotels. While in Shanghai for luxury travel conference ILTM Asia, T+L's special correspondent, Sarah Spagnolo, traversed the city from end to end to pinpoint the best of the glamorous properties on either side of the Huangpu River. From the Fairmont Peace Hotel’s historic touches to the glamorous and youthful Puli Hotel and Spa, there are hotels that suit every type of traveler.
A new agreement between The Port Authority of New York and wireless provider Boingo means that travelers passing through JFK, LaGuardia and Newark—along with Stewart International Airport in upstate Newburgh, New York—will soon be able to access 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi.
Read between the lines: New York City is finally making strides to update its notoriously low-tech offerings.