Runaway Bay, Jamaica Runaway Bay's white-sand shores are blissfully less crowded than those of nearby Ocho Rios. Private beaches, a championship golf course, and daily children's programs make the recently rebranded Jewel Runaway Bay an all-inclusive retreat for the entire family.
Think we’re making progress in lightening our footprint on this planet? We've got a long way to go. Emily Badger of the Atlantic Cities reports on a project involving NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey, Google (of course), and other organizations to turn 30 years of satellite photos into timelapse videos of anywhere on earth. The resulting GIFs are sobering. Don't miss the map tool that lets you zoom into any location to see the change over time. (Amy Farley)
Google Maps just blew everyone else out of the water, unveiling new apps for Android and iOS (coming to an app store this summer) that integrate all the content, innovations, and intelligence of its varied recent acquisitions, as our friends at Skift report. Apple, your move. (A.F.)
It really is the week of Google news: as the Verge reported on Thursday, the company has officially unveiled a redesigned Google+ that automatically retouches the photos you upload (or that are automatically uploaded from Android phones everywhere). Creepy, cool, or just a last-ditch effort to get people to care about Google+? You decide. (Nikki Ekstein)
Unearthing the culture of a destination fascinates me. To get a true look into a Hawaiian local's perspective, pick up Kristiana Kahakauwila's new short story collection, This is Paradise. Her writing is as captivating as the politics behind it. (Maria Pedone)
And last but not least, in Berlin, a new Barbie Doll Dream House has opened to the delight of many fans and the horror of many feminists. Protesters see the plastic doll as an unworthy role model that reinforces strict gender roles, and formed the group Occupy Barbie Dream House, as detailed by Mark Johanson from the International Business Times. See pics of the pink palace on this BBC slideshow. (P.S.)
Book now on Vacationist, and you can stay in some of your favorite hotels and resorts for up to 55% off.
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The Saguaro Palm Springs - up to 55% off Palm Springs, CA Reminiscent in its design of Palm Springs' heyday as Hollywood's desert playground, the Saguaro is located in the heart of bustling downtown.
Hotel Sax Chicago - up to 53% off Chicago, IL The 353-room Hotel Sax is located next door to Chicago's House of Blues, one block north of the Loop.
Sale ends in 12 days!
Koro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spa - up to 41% off Vanua Levu Island, Fiji A former coconut plantation is the setting of a collection of villas on 150 acres on Fiji's second largest island. There's no better spot from which to explore the South Pacific.
Kyoto’s cherry blossoms hit their peak last month, but when the famous trees burst open again next year, the city will also be buzzing about a new Ritz-Carlton. The luxury hotelier just announced the opening of a new property there in February 2014—a 136-room low-rise building on the Kamogawa River that mixes modern and traditional Japanese designs.
The announcement is just the latest news from this fast-growing company. Six of their hotels are slated to open in the second half of 2013, including one in Aruba in November. We’re already looking forward to escaping the New York City winter.
Think it's easy shooting a bunch of pampered pooches in a hotel room? Whatever it is, it sure looks fun!
Watch this behind the scenes video of photographer Catherine Ledner and her team working with some canine talent to illustrate Peaches the Yorkie's June 2013 T+L article (as told to Kathryn O'Shea-Evans) about Dog-Friendly Hotels.
Book now on Vacationist, and you can stay in some of your favorite hotels and resorts for up to 40% off.
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Club Med Ixtapa - up to 32% off Ixtapa, Mexico Relaxing on the beach, staying fit with yoga or tennis, or keeping the children busy with kids' club activities, this all-inclusive Pacific Coast resort, about a 3½-hour flight from Los Angeles, is all about options.
The Resort at Isla Palenqe - up to 40% off Isla Paleqnque, Panama Set on a pristine 400-acre jungle island in the Gulf of Chiriquí, this sustainable resort features 16 luxury rooms nestled between old-growth trees.
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Whiteface, Lodge - up to 29% off Lake Placid, New York This elegant, woodland 94-suite lodge, about five hours north of New York City, offers a rustic but deluxe resort experience in Lake Placid, abutting the six-million-acre Adirondack Park.
Not every mashup makes sense, but we love this one: Colorado’s Stanley Hotel, in Estes Park, was the spot that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining. And through this weekend, the historic hotel is hosting The Stanley Film Festival, with appropriately named films like Macabre and Frankenstein’s Army. There’s also the controversial Room 237, which explores the supposedly hidden meanings of Stanley Kubrick’s film version of The Shining.
It all takes place in the hotel, which has undergone major renovations. When you’re ready for a break from the horror gore, check out the redone antique Whiskey Bar, which dates to around 1909 and now features Colorado’s largest whiskey collection. And when you need some fresh air, step outside and right into one of America’s best national parks for wildlife spotting. Just keep an eye out for any zombies.
Book now on Vacationist, and you can stay in some of your favorite hotels and resorts for up to 76% off.
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Zannos, Melathron - up to 76% off Santorini, Greece It's an unbeatable combination: Relais & Châteaux's ace service, a medieval castle-like construction, and stunning views of Santorini's legendary sunsets.
Cerf Island Resort - up to 29% off Cerf Island, Seychelles Indulge in a private-island fantasy at this Seychelles resort on tiny Cerf Island: 24 renovated villas overlook the Indian Ocean, and the revamped hillside spa, pool, and bar mean you don't have to live like a castaway.
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Hotel Punta Islita - up to 30% off Playa Samara, Costa Rica The far-flung tropical vibe makes this a perfect spot for romantic getaways that are both rugged and luxurious—ideal for couples who like to follow a wild gallop on horseback with a dip in an infinity-edge pool..
Photo: Christos Drazos/Courtesy of Zannos Melathron