What happens when American Airlines opens up its software to a SXSW-hosted hackathon? Hopefully, something cool, according to Skift. (N.E.)
Is free wifi the key to turning hotels into social hubs? Maybe, says Barbara De Lollis in USA Today, but we're still pining for free wifi in our rooms, thank-you-very-much. (N.E.)
Need another reason to heed the TSA's warnings against checking luggage you didn't pack yourself? You might wind up in an Argentine prison like Paul Frampton, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill physics professor who was just trying to help a friendly Czech bikini model he thought he'd met on the internet retrieve a bag with "sentimental value" in Bolivia. Maxine Swann's New York Times Magazine story must be read to be believed. (Matt Haber)
Café de Hong Kong: Homesick Hong Kongers come for comfort food such as fried rice with fish roe. 65/6255-3865.$
Combat Durian: Follow your nose to this seasonal stand that sells prized varieties of the much-maligned fruit. The buttery mao shan wang is as creamy and rich as its name implies. 65/9278-9928. $
Founder Bak Kut Teh: Plenty of shops sell bak kut teh—a pork-rib soup that’s the ultimate hangover cure—but Founder’s version has extra-tender ribs and a long-simmered broth. 65/6352-6192. $
Loong Fatt Eating House & Confectionary: A tiny bakeshop with superior tau sar piah, crumbly sesame-seed-encrusted pastries filled with sweet or savory bean paste. 65/6253-4584.$
Whampoa Food Street (Keng) Fish Head Steamboat: Slurp up every last drop of fish head steamboat, a rich stock of grouper or pomfret bobbing with thick slices of fish, prawn, squid, cabbage, and sour plum. 65/9127-6550.$
Restaurant Pricing Key $Less than $25 $$$25 to $75 $$$$75 to $150 $$$$More than $150
El Vaso de Oro, Barcelona: Among the old fishermen’s houses of Barceloneta, this sepia-toned cervecería is full of local sea dogs and other salty types who come for house-brewed lager and a dizzying array of tapas (boat-fresh squid and shrimp; flash-fried padrón peppers). And when a football match is on, forget about it: the tiny bar is as jammed and as rowdy as it gets. $
Ved Stranden 10 Vinhandel & Bar, Copenhagen: On Monday nights, the canal-side wine bar becomes the hangout for the city’s culinary scene. A guest cook—sometimes from Noma or Relae—prepares a simple, tasty one-pot dish that functions like a staff meal, except it’s open to all. $$
Travel + Leisure's Sarah Spagnolo presents easy weekend getaways from Memphis on the Weather Channel's Wake Up and Go.
1. CULTURE SPOT: Bentonville, AR This small city is being transformed into a world-class arts destination, thanks in part to the Crystal Bridges Museum, which opened in 2011. It’s owned by Wal-Mart heir Alice Walton, and houses her collection of American art. WHERE TO STAY The new 21C Museum Hotel, just off the city’s town square, has contemporary art from the 21st-century—hence the name—and a buzzy restaurant, The Hive. PRICE $175 a night. BOOK NOW
2. FOODIE ESCAPE: Greenwood, MS Inspired to see the locations from the film The Help? Try Greenwood, a low-key culinary mecca just two hours south of Memphis. WHERE TO STAY The Alluvian hotel is home to 45 rooms, five suites, a Viking Cooking School, and Giardina’s restaurant, a southern spot that’s been open since 1936. PRICE $205 a night. BOOK NOW
3. MUSIC HAVEN: Nashville, TN Music City has that perfect mix of old-school Southern class and modern country flair. It’s also known for its friendly people. And we’re in the middle of Vanderbilt University’s basketball season! WHERE TO STAY The Hutton Hotel debuted on the T+L 500 list this year. A secret: there’s a complimentary wine hour from 5–6 p.m. PRICE $249 a night. BOOK NOW
Farecompare founder Rick Seaney has great advice for people traveling in a group (including families): save money by searching for airfare one person at a time. We’d explain here, but best to just go straight to his brilliant USA Today column. (AF)
Oh, the people you'll meet. Novelist Nathaniel Rich finds himself sharing intimacies, aspirations, and a little bit of heartbreak with his fellow passengers on a two-day journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles on the Sunset Limited train in this weekend's New York Times Magazine. (AF)
What's more lonely than being in a strange hotel in a strange city all by yourself? Being without your beloved $8 M&Ms. In an essay in The Atlantic, journalist David Samuels laments the demise of the hotel mini bar. (AF)
From beachfront hotels to snowy mountain retreats, we have an easy—and affordable—weekend getaway for you.
Southeast: Florida Coast Stay:B Ocean Fort Lauderdale The 240 rooms at this hotel come with white-on-white leather furnishings and equally fabulous ocean views. There's a heated infinity pool, a spa suite, a fitness center, and a few dining options including Saia, a sushi restaurant. Guests are also treated to complimentary Wi-Fi, iPad rentals, and Aveda bath products. Doubles from $199/night on weekends.
Northeast: Catskills, NY Stay:The Graham & Co., Phoenicia, NY A three-hour drive from New York City, the Graham & Co. is a new retro-chic inn that's great for families. The décor has a Brooklyn-feel to it, notably the hanging Edison lights and reclaimed-wood tables. There's an outside fire pit, and bikes available to borrow. Special winter offers include discount ski tickets at nearby Hunter Mountain. Doubles from $99/night on weekends.