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Vacationist Hotel Deals: America’s Great Outdoors

201108-b-rustyparrot-3jpgThe final weeks are summer are best spent outside—particularly in the backyards of some of T+L favorite hotels, from the Wyoming’s Rusty Parrot Lodge, in Jackson Hole, to Hotel Madeline Telluride, a resort we love for its high-altitude massages and it’s easy access to hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails—all more than 8,000 feet above sea level. Is preppy New England more your style? Consider a stay at Boston’s XV Beacon, ranked No. 3 Small City Hotel in this year’s World’s Best Awards, where you can unwind before exploring the rugged landscape of Boston’s North Shore. [Click here for a new late summer cyling tour!]

Head to Vacationist now, for these hotel deals, plus Belize, Madrid, London and more.

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Destination Radio: Emirates Airline Launches a (Cool) New App

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With the invention of the iPod and the digitalization of music, listening to the radio seems to be almost prehistoric. Whenever I start a sentence with the phrase, “I heard on the radio today…” my friends are at first confused, then immediately flabbergasted that I would partake in such a seemingly unhip activity (I guess it’s my nostalgic nature, or the fact that I’m too lazy to play DJ all the time).

But radio has been making a comeback, especially when Pandora Radio was launched in 2005, introducing the masses to the digital (i.e. cool) version of its dashboard predecessor. And now, with the iPhone spurring on the creation of a plethora of apps, radio is back.

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Radiation-Free Full-Body Scanners

BBC Travel's Passport Blog |  As controversy simmers surrounding the levels of radiation used in full body scanners, a small company based in the United Kingdom has developed a machine that emits no radiation at all.

Last year, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began installing two types of full body scanners at airport security checkpoints across the country. L3’s Provision millimetre wave scanners beam radio waves through clothing to detect potentially dangerous objects hidden by terrorists. Rapiscan backscatter scanners use low-dose x-rays to do the same.

While both companies and the TSA say the radiation emitted by these machines is at safe levels, the scientific community has not reached a strong consensus either way....

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Just Back: Summer Action in Minneapolis

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Am I really the last person to "discover" Minneapolis? Until recently, I probably knew more about the religious capital of Kandy, in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, than I knew about Minneapolis. Turns out that this bike-friendly metropolis has a lot to offer visitors beyond Grain Belt Beer, long winters, and Mary Tyler Moore reruns. Here are just a few of the activities I tried during my recent visit.

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Montreal Musician Shows and Tells

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Over the years, I’ve found one of the best ways to know a city’s best-kept secrets is to talk to its artists. I recently connected with one of Montreal’s rising stars—award-winning filmmaker and musician Daniel Isaiah, who's signed, appropriately, with music label Secret City Records.

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Off the Grid in Malibu

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A “no-options” regimen at The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu, a boot camp for building physical strength, endurance and discipline—this was my summer vacation of choice.

Requirements:

- 8-10 hours of hiking, weights, yoga and other exercise daily in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountain range
- massage (of course!)
- a daily intake of 1200-1500 calories (no dairy, no sugar, no carbohydrates, no caffeine, no alcohol)
- living BlackBerry/smartphone-free

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Rogue 24: A New 24-Course Tasting Menu in D.C.

Last month saw the opening of Rogue 24, a new restaurant by James Beard Award-winning chef RJ Cooper, in Washington D.C. Chef Cooper, previously the chef de cuisine at D.C.’s acclaimed Vidalia, was inspired to create his own restaurant concept after “going rogue” at his former post—creating a new, 24-course tasting menu for Vidalia diners.
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Airlines Roll Back Fare Hike as FAA Taxes are Reinstated

USA Today |  Airlines are rolling back the fare hikes they added following the partial shutdown of the Federal Administration on July 22. The move comes as previously suspended federal taxes are again being applied to airline tickets.

Since July 22, the FAA shutdown prompted some federal taxes to be removed from the cost of airline tickets. However, most major U.S. airlines opted to raise fares instead of passing that "tax holiday" on to consumers.

But, with the FAA impasses resolved—at least for now—the taxes are again being applied to tickets.

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Last Minute Travel: Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival

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You probably mapped out your Labor Day weekend months ago. Wait. What? You're still looking for something to do? If you're down for a little last-minute travel, I highly recommend going to the second annual Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival in Piscadera Bay from September 2-3. With headliners like Sting, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, and the Bradford Marsalis Quartet, it should be an amazing weekend on this beautiful island. (Located well outside of the hurricane belt, might I add?) Tickets are $185 and are still available at www.curacaonorthseajazz.com.

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Jules Reid’s Summer Shirt

Jules Reid shirt

Our freshest summer find: this hand-embroidered cotton-and-silk voile top by Virginia-based designer Jules Reid ($295). With its vibrant kiwi print, it works at the beach or out on the town.

Photo by Lars Klove

TODAY Show: Best Travel Apps + Websites

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Features Director Nilou Motamed dishes on the best travel apps and websites right now. Check out Travel + Leisure's top must-know resources for the connected traveler.

Contest Watch: Win a $6000 Trip to Tahiti!

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Quick! Make use of your lunch break today by answering four "Mutiny on the Bounty" trivia questions on the Air Tahiti Nui Facebook page. The first round of questions must be completed by Tuesday, August 9th. Then check back to finish the remaining questions by August 23rd to enter the drawing for a six-night escape for two to Tahiti.

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Shops from a Can: DeKalb Market Opens in Brooklyn

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What do you do with a stack of pre-Credit Crisis megaloplex plans and a 1.5 million square foot, post-Crisis cement hole?  Why, make lemonade, of course!

Since 2008, not-Ft. Greene-not-DUMBO (NoFUMBO?) has awaited 60 stories of neo-ultra-Wow where Brooklyn’s Albee Square Mall once stood.  We’ve scanned the Brownstoner and wondered, watching that blue plywood fence sway in the wind.  Till now.

Now, from Manhattan Bridge to DeKalb, Flatbush Ave. is transformed.  Kiosks direct tourists and Manhattanites. That blue fence?  Gone.

Instead, broad steps descend past produce beds to a canopied dining area.  Shipping containers become boutiques, concessions, a radio station...

Downtown Brooklyn, meet DeKalb Market.  DeKalb Market, DoBro (as promoters say).  Lemonade, anyone?

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Air Travel Tax Refund Procedure Still Fuzzy

CNN |  If you're traveling by air this month, there's a good chance the government owes you money.

Don't believe me? You can thank Congress and its inability to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration. Here's how you can get your money back, though be prepared to wait a little while for things to settle.

Congress periodically has to renew the authorization of the FAA to do a variety of things, and one of those things is collecting taxes on air travel. As with everything in Washington, the left and the right all try to sneak in politically charged riders that prevent the FAA reauthorization from moving forward to fund important projects such as the NextGen air traffic control overhaul.

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Guess Where? Hotel Lobby

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This week, we sent one of our writers to explore NYC and we asked our Facebook and Twitter followers to tell her where to go. Can you guess where she is in this photo? She writes, "Daylight flickers in the lobby. . . filtered not just through a skylight but through the second floor swimming pool. Funny to look up and see the undersides of feet paddling around." What do you think?

Log in and leave your guesses below and check back on Monday for the answer.

UPDATE 8/08/11: Congrats to denise.lao and kittiekatkixazz! You both were right. This is the lobby of the Dream Downtown on the edge of New York's Meatpacking District.

To join the conversation follow us @TravlandLeisure and www.facebook.com/travelandleisure.

Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Yosemite to Cut Down Trees to Preserve Views

 

Yosemite falls

This fall, after many of the 3.7 million annual tourists have packed their cameras and left Yosemite National Park, the National Parks Service will begin culling young trees to open up views of the iconic granite faces and dramatic waterfalls that ring the valley.

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Vacationist Hotel Deals: California, Belize, Zihuatanejo

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No matter what you love to do when you travel—golf, dive, or hike—Vacationist presents a hotel that suits your style. From a nine-hole par 3 course on the California coast; to access to the Blue Hole off the shores of Belize; even an earthy escape in Zihuatanejo, where a private eco-reserve is the spot for wildlife viewing, there are plenty of places where you can unwind the way you want to—all for up to 60 percent off standard rates.

Still not a member? Click here to book.

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TODAY Show: Cruise Deals (Mediterranean from $71 a night, more!)

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Features Director Nilou Motamed reveals Travel + Leisure's top picks for the very best fall and shoulder season cruise bargains. Find out how to set sail and save!

6 Fab Fashion Items Designed for Select Hotels

caftan, bag, sandals
These six vibrant pieces were specially designed for select hotels around the world.

A limited-edition silk-georgette caftan ($1,650) from Samba Soleil by Tina Bossidy is perfect for a sunset stroll around the Cove Atlantis, in the Bahamas.

These braided leather sandals ($315) by Maloles for One&Only Resorts can go from day to night.

The screen-printed cotton-canvas Virginia Johnson tote ($98) from the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico, works for shopping or beach-going.

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Adventure Photo Contest Voting Open!

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The Adventure photo contest is now closed! With over 650 submissions, T+L Editors narrowed it down to Top 10 semi-finalists. Now it's your turn to you to vote for the winner! Click here to vote for the one you think deserves to win.

You have until August 31, 2011 to vote, so vote now and vote often! The winner will receive Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 7S Instant Film Camera and publication in Travel + Leisure.

If you missed the submission period for this contest, there's still time to enter your photos in other categories, including Road Trips, Animals, and Food.


Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Saudi Arabia Plans World’s Tallest Tower

Financial Times Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s investment vehicle, Kingdom Holding, has announced that an associate company will partner with the country’s Bin Laden Group to build a tower near Jeddah that would replace Dubai’s 828m Burj Khalifa as the world’s tallest building. …

The 1km-tall building will include a Four Seasons hotel and apartments, luxury condominiums and offices. The tower is the first phase of the 5.3m square metre Kingdom City development to be built north of the Red Sea city of Jeddah, according to a statement on the Saudi bourse, Tadawul.

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A Jazzlover's Guide to Summer

jazzjpgIn the sunny homestretch of summer, I like to stay fine and mellow with jazz. And there's so many great performances to gorge on this season. With the help of a few insiders, we're on top of the music beat like a snare drum.

T+L’s Pick: Piano in Bryant Park, in New York (until Oct. 14)

For fans of the 52 keys, Piano in Bryant Park remains one of the city's best-kept secrets. The summer-long program gathers at the shady upper terrace on weekday afternoons, quietly featuring New York's most storied performers (Junior Mance was Dizzy Gillespie’s bandmate). A vibrantly eclectic crowd mixes devotees with eavesdroppers and eccentrics—next to me, a shoe-less man taps his tube-socked toes. Did I mention the shows are free? If you want to get fancy, reserve an outdoor table at Bryant Park Café, an earshot from the action. Insider Tip: Performers sometimes tinker with timeslots, call ahead.

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Video Q&A: Ramadan Road Trip

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The holy month of Ramadan, which involves fasting from sunrise to sunset for 30 days, began on Monday. While this may sound grueling, most Muslims have created their own cultural ways to celebrate. But a pair of New Yorkers have managed to come up with one of the most quintessentally American ways yet: a road trip, of course!

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In-flight Wi-fi Slow to Expand Outside the US

BBC Travel's Passport Blog |  While in-flight wi-fi is fairly common on domestic US carriers, its availability on flights elsewhere in the world has been growing at a much slower rate, a frustrating issue for frequent travellers who have become reliant on staying connected at all times.

"In-flight internet makes my time in the air equivalent to time in the office,” said North Carolina-based Ramsey Qubein, who flies more than 300,000 miles per year on writing assignments. “When I’m flying overseas, it's frustrating that I cannot access my email. While I relish the time away from the office, it leads to a bit of mayhem upon landing when I am in no mood to handle multiple emails."

Gogo, the leading provider of in-flight internet in the US, began installing a network of ground-based wi-fi antennae throughout the continental US and southern Alaska in 2006, which has been key to its fast growth since the service debuted in 2008. …

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The Pour: Paris’s New Global Wine Bar Has a ‘Top Chef’ Connection

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At a time when everyone’s a stickler for provenance, the wine atelier O Château has struck a chord with its wine-and-tapas bar concept on the Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau near Les Halles. The concept, in addition to regularly scheduled wine tastings, is to offer a selection of exceptional wines by the glass. The house wine list offers 500 varieties (!) from around the world, with a selection of 40 wines by the glass (!) featured daily. Adding to the charm is the location: this landmark building was once a hotel particulier belonging to Madame Pompadour. A more recent claim to fame is that the chef, Tiffany Depardieu, was recently a contestant on Top Chef. An ideal location and great excuse, as if any were needed, to get to know your Latours from your Margaux. 68 rue Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1st. tel 33-1/44 73 97 80.

Tina Isaac is Travel + Leisure’s Paris correspondent.

Photo Courtesy of O Château

L.A.’s New Vintage-Inspired Hotel

Mr. C Beverly Hills

A Bellini with your room key? That’s a given at the just-opened Mr. C Beverly Hills. After all, that’s C as in Cipriani—known for legendary restaurants and cocktail lounges around the world. Brothers Ignazio and Maggio created a hotel in the former Loews Tower that is true to their Italian roots, with Old Hollywood touches: a travertine-and-rosewood-clad lobby, decked out with Eames loungers and Egg chairs, gives way not to a check-in desk (which is hidden from view) but to a swank, Jazz Age–style bar and Italian restaurant serving freshly baked pizzas and house-made pastas. An updated 1930’s ocean-liner glamour defines the 138 rooms—vintage black-and-white photos and burgundy Chesterfield sofas line the neutral-toned walls—while private balconies overlook the teak pool deck. In a city where dramatic entrances are de rigueur, Mr. C has just made his. 1224 Beverwil Dr., Beverly Hills; 877/334-5623; doubles from $349.

David Keeps is Travel + Leisure's Los Angeles correspondent.

Photo by Jessica Sample

Just Back: Tacos in Tamarindo

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If you follow the dusty, pebble-scattered dirt road to Playa Langosta from Tamarindo on Costa Ricas dense Pacific coast, youll observe a small stop sign jutting from tropical foliage, demanding you to halt—for tacos. The sign serves equal parts recommendation and warning, as its the last place to catch a bite before Tamarindos ubiquitous eateries give way to Langostas private beach estates.

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5 Great Places to See Art in the Hamptons

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Too many sun-drenched days on those pristine sand-dune beaches?  Need respite from your designer-boutique shopping spree? It's easy to forget that the Hamptons have maintained a long history of hosting world-class artists and their ever-so-generous patrons.  So, send the kids off to the beach with the nanny (or bring 'em along) and enjoy an art-filled afternoon at any one of these great spots:

1)  The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center: If nowhere else, this is an absolute must.  Put on the museum’s little booties and walk over the paint-splattered studio floor, where most of Pollock’s famous works were produced.  Let the idyllic harbor setting help you imagine the historic artist colony that was once East Hampton. (830 Springs-Fireplace Rd., East Hampton; (631) 324-4929; $5/$10 with guided tour.)

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Spy Games in Colonial Williamsburg

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When this package came across my desk, I couldn't help but be intrigued.

Turns out it contained my set of orders for RevQuest: Sign of the Rhinoceros, a new alternate-reality game going on through the end of the August at Colonial Williamsburg. Geared toward "spies" ages eight and up (though history-geek adults like me apparently make up a huge chunk of the players), RevQuest begins with a top-secret mission that is explained in hushed tones by Agent 368 at Mr. Prentis's Shop.

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UK Milliner Creating Chic Hats for Hotel Guests

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To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Ascot Racecourse, Dorchester Collection’s Coworth Park (doubles from $768), nearby, tapped British milliner Stephen Jones to create a line of chic chapeaus for its guests, including a headpiece resembling a peach-blossom branch.

Photo courtesy of the Dorchester Collection

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