Jay-Z's "Open Letter" says all it takes to go to Cuba is an OK from the President, but CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg isn't about to let you believe it. Over on his blog, he sets the record straight for those who aren't buddies with the First Family (or prefer to do things legally). (Nikki Ekstein)
If you're reading this, chances are you're a fan of Travel + Leisure and our sibling publications, Food & Wine and Departures. Now, all three publications are teaming up with Celebrity Cruises to turn passengers into expert travelers.
American Express Publishing and Celebrity Cruises are proud to announce a collaboration that will provide Celebrity's guests with insider facts, travel tips, and amazing finds from around the world thanks to Celebrity's Global Insiders, a group of experts in everything from food to fashion.
Meet Celebrity's Global Insiders:
° Kate Betts, an award-winning magazine editor and the author of Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style. Betts is a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure and Time and was previously the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, and the fashion news director of Vogue. ° Julia Dimon, a journalist, TV correspondent for Outside Today, and nationally syndicated columnist. Dimon has been featured as a travel expert on ABC, NBC, MSNBC and in The New York Times, among other publications. ° Jack Ezon, president of Ovation Vacations, a company specializing in luxury travel experiences. He appears on the Travel + Leisure A-List and is one of the most influential travel advisors in the U.S. ° Marc Murphy, executive chef and owner of Benchmarc Restaurants, Landmarc and Ditch Plains, as well as Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy. Murphy also is a judge on Food Network’s top-rated show, Chopped. ° Alisa Ng, founder and CEO of L-atitude.com, a curated online marketplace for travel and fashion enthusiasts. Ng launched the site in 2010, and it has since become an e-commerce partner for Travel + Leisure, and was included in “Best of the Web” features in InStyle, Departures and Town & Country. ° Adam Sachs, a freewheeling travel, food and lifestyle writer. Sachs is a contributing editor for Travel + Leisure and Bon Appetit, and also writes for GQ, Details, and T, among other publications.
T+L's editors will also be creating destination guides packed with details and information about Celebrity's worldwide destinations. The destination guides will cover 150 of Celebrity Cruises’ ports of call and include insider tips, local hidden gems, and “must see” experiences at each destination. Celebrity will feature the content on its web site, in brochures, and onboard.
We all know airport food isn't what it used to be—and that's a good thing. CNN's Beth Kaufman takes things a step further by ranking the best bites at terminals across the country, from FLL to LAX. (Nikki Ekstein)
Calling all futurists! Each year, the Crystal Cabin Awards highlight the best ideas for in-flight innovation. You might not see any of them at 35,000 feet just yet, but Skift picks out the most viable (and interesting) finalists before the winners are announced next week. (N.E.)
Opened in 2008, Parrot Key Resort is one of Key West’s newest properties. Each of the spacious waterfront rooms has a patio, porch, or balcony. There are four pools, tropical gardens, and if you like watersports, you can kayak, paddleboard, and Jet Ski during your stay. The resort is near Mallory Square and other attractions of Old Town. Doubles from $179/night in May (versus from $239/night in April).
Originally built for one of Brewster’s wealthiest residents, this seaside property has 337 guestrooms. Families can also choose to stay in stand-alone villas on the waterfront or around the Jack Nicklaus golf course. The resort has two year-round indoor pools, three outdoor pools, tennis courts, and access to the Cape Cod Bike Trail. Head to the town of Chatham for shopping or drive 40 minutes to Provincetown at the tip of the Cape. Although May temperatures not quite warm enough for a dip in the ocean, you can enjoy walks on the quiet beach and build sandcastles. Doubles from $119/night at The Villages, and from $175/night at The Mansion in May (versus from $250/night in July).
The airy, pastel gingerbread cottages of this inn are in a tropical garden of a former sugar plantation. Full tea service is served on the Great House veranda every day at 4 p.m.—a nod to the isle’s British heritage. Try the inn’s rum punch; they have their own 350-year-old recipe that’s a closely guarded secret. Doubles from $150/night starting April 15 (versus from $255 in high season).
At the bottom of Aspen Mountain, Sky Hotel has 90 guest rooms that were recently renovated. The lobby is a cozy gathering place, with log-beam ceilings, high-back upholstered chairs, and a complimentary wine hour from 5 to 6 p.m. every evening. The property has more than one building and some rooms open to the outdoors. Doubles from $129/night in May (versus from $299/night in June/July and from $450/night in winter ski season).
Pacific Northwest: Rosario Resort, Orcas Island, WA
Orcas Island is an ideal Northwest escape for those who love nature, outdoor activities, and cultural attractions. Rosario Resort surrounds guests with the beauty of the San Juan Islands, offering views of East Sound and Cascade Bay. The Bayside Rooms are a short walk from the Moran Mansion and Rosario Marina and feature sliding-glass doors that open onto a patio or balcony with dramatic island views. Activities include kayaking and whale watching on Puget Sound, visiting the local Farmer’s Market, and touring artisans’ studios. Doubles from $119/night April through June (versus from $149/night in July/August).
Strange things are afoot in the travel world today. It seems like our inboxes have been flooded by announcements of weird and wonderful innovations. Here's a selection of the most interesting news of the day (that would be April 1, by the way).
Ever the publicity hound, Richard Branson announced that his engineering team has secretly developed the world's first glass-bottom airplane. (Picture above) The plane's underbelly will be completely see-through, allowing travelers the "opportunity to look down on the beautiful scenery of Great Britain as they fly." But rest assured: Cabin crew will be trained to calm the nerves of vertigo-prone fliers. (Amy Farley)
A Norwegian economist is in the spotlight after proposing that airlines charge passengers according to their weight, a move that he claims “may provide significant benefits to airlines, passengers and society at large." CNN's James Durston has the scoop. (A.F.)
The most terrifying hotel-based horror movie of all time now has a documentary dedicated to its most obsessive fans. Rodney Ascher's Room 237, which presents various interpretations of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, is out in limited release and is being hotlydebated. Back in July 2010, The Atlantic's James Parker checked into The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado to experience the place that inspired Stephen King's novel. (M.H.)
It's been a lonely six months for Lady Liberty, who's been all alone in the New York Harbor without any visitors since Hurricane Sandy forced away the crowds. But the National Parks Service has just announced that the Statue of Liberty will reopen on--guess what day?--July 4. (Nikki Ekstein)
Another entry for the What Took them So Long? files: American Airlines began quietly testing a new boarding process that allows fliers without carry-on bags to board before their wheelie-toting counterparts. Blogger Johnny Jet broke the story. (Amy Farley)
Fans of Indiana Jones movies will not want to miss the real life swashbuckling tale of one man's journey in the jungles of the South Pacific to find a lost temple of Israel. Matthew Fishbane's 'Solomon's Island' is a collaboration between Tablet Magazine and The Atavist. For $2.99 you can read the entire 20,000-word story with maps and timelines. (Matt Haber)
Sick of hearing what the pundits and analysts are saying about the economic crisis in Cyprus? Why not read New York's brief interview with Antreas Achilleos, whom they describe as "a random guy from Cyprus." Sample question: "What should Cyprus be famous for, other than Russian money-laundering and economic turmoil?" The answer: really good cheese. (M.H.)
Slate presents a slideshow of hunters and their prey by photographer David Chancellor. Some of these images might be familiar to readers of The New York Times Magazine, which featured several last year, but they're still as surprising and engrossing the second tome around. (M.H.)