Los Angeles: If you’re planning a stay in the L.A. area, book today at the iconic Langham Huntington, in Pasadena, and get 25% of the best available rate, with free valet parking through December 29. Rates start at $172. Book here with code CM2013. And if you’re in L.A. today, grab lunch today at Culina (pictured), the fabulous restaurant of the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, for $25, including a glass of Prosecco. Or come for dinner tonight and take 30% off the bill (mention the deal when you call for a reservation at 310-860-4000). Then massage all the holiday stress away at the hotel spa. Save 20% off all treatments booked today for appointments through December 30.
New York City: Yes, we’re biased since we live here, but we think there’s nothing so romantic as New York in winter. So book today through December 6 and you can get discounted rates at the NY Hilton (from $199/night) and the Waldorf Astoria (from $229/night) for stays in January and February (plus a few dates in December at the NY Hilton). Check it out here.
Staying at Upper Saranac Lake's Dry Island will cost you $4,000/night, but it comes with a full staff, unlimited wine and 14 boats. Better yet? The entire island is yours, and yours alone, for your stay. Want to rent a private island in a warmer spot? Off the Florida Keys, Charlie's Island sleeps up to eight people for $2,795 for a full week. When you break that down, it's only about $50/night per person to have an island just for you and your friends. Turns out private islands aren't just for billionaires anymore.
Wes Anderson's upcoming movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, stars Ralph Fiennes as the concierge of a beautiful 1920s European hotel. While most of this movie was shot at a historic German shopping center, many directors shoot in hotels where you can actually stay. For example, did you know you can stay at the plantation where Interview With a Vampire was shot? Or drink whiskey like Bill Murray's character did at the bar on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo (pictured above) in Lost in Translation. Check out more famous movie hotels over at Thrillist.
Savvy travelers probably know that feeding the pigeons in Venice's St. Mark's Square could get you slapped with a fine, but did you know that it's also illegal to wear high heels to the Acropolis or wear camouflage clothing in Barbados? Find out more about these and other unusual laws that could land you in jail over at Thrillist.
When the Chinese travel abroad, what do they want? Traditionally, they’ve been more focused on luxury products than luxury hotels. But as more Chinese develop a taste for high thread counts, that trend is changing—quickly. One important sign of this change: Ritz-Carlton has just launched on the Twitter-like Chinese-language social media site Sina Weibo, joining other luxury hoteliers like Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons (as well as luxury brands like Mercedes Benz and Burberry).
In an attempt to shrink the gap between Africa and Europe, African artists and photographers in “Invisible Borders” are capturing their experiences across some of the continent’s most misunderstood areas, CNN Travel reports. (Maria Pedone)
Those in L.A. should hold off on camping—according to ABC, a plage-infected squirrel was captured in Angeles National Forest, closing campgrounds off for the entire week. (M.P.)
If you've ever had your beauty products confiscated by TSA, you'll appreciate Benefit's new Glam Up & Away kiosks: vending machines selling full and travel size mascara, foundation, and blush opening in airport terminals nationwide, according to TimeOut. (M.P.)
Popular Science finds one Brooklyn-based company, Final Frontier Design, that's betting on the eventual popularity of space travel—this week, they unveiled their new "3G" Space Suit, which promises to bring a stylish and comfortable edge for lay folk venturing outsize earth's boundaries. (Nikki Ekstein)
As a four-season destination, it’s hard to beat Vermont: warm summer days, vibrant fall colors, great ski resorts. So we’re excited to see a newly unveiled renovation in Stowe, at the Topnotch Resort & Spa.
The $15 million re-do brought some big changes. Gone is the flowery, bright-colored décor, replaced with a darker, starker, more modern look. You’ll find a pair of new restaurants: an all-day spot called Flannel, as well as a new lobby bar and restaurant, The Roost, featuring a shuffleboard table (!) made by a local artist.
Add two pools for those warm summer days, as well as a location surrounded by fall color and just minutes from winter skiing. We can’t wait to check it out.
Pop quiz: Where did John Lennon write the lyrics to “Imagine”? Wandering the greenery of Central Park? Sitting at a piano in his Dakota apartment? Nope—it was at Midtown New York’s Hilton, on a piece of hotel stationery. (The original hangs in Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.)
That happened in 1971, when the New York Hilton Midtown was just 8 years old. Now it’s celebrating its 50thbirthday. That means it opened in 1963—the real Mad Men era. (Check out their archival video footage here.) And while the Hilton today stands out by its sheer size—it’s the largest hotel in NYC with 1,981 rooms—it’s easy to forget how groundbreaking this venue has been. A couple fun facts: At opening, it was one of the world’s first hotels to feature original art in guest rooms. In 1999, it was the first hotel in America to have a “smart card” keyless entry system. And earlier this month, New York’s first permanent ice bar, Minus5, opened at the hotel.