In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel, Gatsby refutes Nick Carraway’s assertion you cannot repeat the past: "Can't repeat the past?" he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can.”
Hoteliers seem to agree with Gatsby, as evidenced by a slew of promotions tied in with the upcoming release of Baz Lurhman’s new film, The Great Gatsby.
New York’s Plaza Hotel, which features prominently in the novel, has announced its “The Great Gatsby Getaway Contest.” Anyone who snaps a 1920’s themed picture of themselves and posts it on Instagram with the hashtag #theplazapremiere has a chance to win seats at the New York premiere of the film, along with a night at the iconic property. Hurry though, the contest ends April 24th.
Nearby, the Trump International Hotel & Tower is offering the Trump ‘Great Gatsby’ Package. Guests spend three nights in suites overlooking Central Park, enjoying some top-notch perks. Men receive a custom-tailored suit and shirt from Bergdorf Goodman and Art Deco cufflinks, while women will go home with an Ivanka Trump Art Deco jewelry and a personalized note from Ivanka herself. Dinner at Three-Michelin-Star restaurant Jean Georges, a magnum of champagne, and chauffeured car-service are also included. This Roaring Twenties extravaganza comes with a roaring price tag… $14,999.
And while not directly related to the classic novel, these other properties do their best to bring back some of that Gatsby glamour:
° The SLS Hotel South Beach: Opened this past June, the Philippe Starck-designed waterfront hotel brings a 1940 property back to its former glory. Trompe l’oeil walls, murals, and a gigantic rubber ducky by the pool add a touch of whimsy to this art-deco gem.
° Hotel Shangrila, Santa Monica: Another art-deco property, this 1939 building has recently undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation. The 71 rooms and suites feature period furnishings and decorations. This year, there are two promotional packages celebrating the renovation.
Then again, if hotel suites don’t do it for you, why not be like Gatsby and throw a party at your own private mansion? With water frontage, a grand pool, and lots of vintage charm, the Luxury Retreats villa Locusts on Hudson, in the Hudson Valley, lets you feel like you’re living in West Egg, if only for a week.
Peter Schlesinger is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
Photo credit: The Fitzgerald Suite at The Plaza, a Fairmont managed hotel, designed by Catherine Martin
At last week’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Airbus announced that it would soon offer airlines the option of extra-wide seats in coach on its A320 fleet. Good news? Debatable.
Yes, the aisle seats in the new configuration would be a spacious 20” wide (two inches wider than the current 18” seats). But to make room for the extra width, the middle and window seats would each shrink by an inch.
As Dominic Perry from Flight Daily News reported, the new configuration plans are based on airline, not passenger, feedback, and are meant to increase revenue, not comfort.
Airbus aircraft interiors marketing manager Stefanie Von Linstow explained at the Expo that airline feedback has shown preference for the aisle seat to be the widest. "Passengers in the window seat are already happy, and those in the centre seat might not be willing to pay as much for the extra width," Perry quotes her as saying.
Von Linstow admits that the new configuration is a response to what she politely labels a "growing population," and that it would be a "revenue-boosting solution that keeps a lot passengers happy."
No doubt, passengers paying a premium to be in an aisle seat would be content. As for the two-thirds of "growing" coach passengers sitting in the narrowing seats, it remains to be seen just how happy they'd be.
Photo credit: Reuters/Corbis
Q: I refuse to check bags. Can you recommend a favorite carry-on? —Kaito Tsunashima, via e-mail
A: If you can take only one suitcase, consider the new four-wheeled Biaggi Contempo roll-aboard ($219). It weighs just seven pounds and folds for easy storage (perfect for under your hotel bed). It’s not as roomy as checkable versions, but you can always have your clothes laundered by the hotel. A fresh feel is often well worth the nominal fee.
Mimi Lombardo is Travel + Leisure's style director. Packing is rarely easy-we're here to help. Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TLTripDoctor on Twitter.
Photo by Sam Kaplan
On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration officially announced its approval of Boeing’s re-design for the 787 Dreamliner. Nearly four months after a series of alarming battery fires caused the FAA to the ground the aircraft, Boeing is eager to put its fuel-efficient fleet back in the air.
Modifications to the lithium-ion battery system include extra insulation around each of the battery’s eight cells to prevent short circuit fires from spreading, enhanced venting to move smoke from inside the battery to outside of the plane, and a strengthened box to further contain fires.
These changes, according to transportation secretary Ray LaHood, "will ensure the safety of the aircraft and its passengers."
While many airlines—including All Nippon Airways and Japan Airways—are also awaiting the 787’s release, any return to service will have to wait until the FAA accepts Boeing’s completed work.
Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
Photo credit: iStockphoto
On April 30, Anthony Bourdain hosts the 10th Annual Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters benefit, which raises money for a New York school that focuses on reading and writing skills. On the night’s agenda: sampling food from the likes of Danny Bowien and Gabrielle Hamilton and cocktails by PDT’s Jim Meehan. (Tickets, which start at $250, can be found here.) Here, the peripatetic author-chef-TV personality talks about his new CNN show, Parts Unknown, why he loves to communicate in 140 characters or fewer, and other topics.
He's been blamed for the deaths of millions of his subjects—as well as the murder of his own father—the ancient Chinese emperor Yang Guang has also, apparently, put one over on thousands of tourists, even if he did so inadvertently.
According to a CNN Travel report by Frances Cha, archeologists recently discovered a tomb at a Yangzhou construction site, where tablets indicate that it was the actual resting place of the infamous ruler, who lived from 569 to 618. The site also features an adjoining tomb that may have belonged to Yang Guang’s empress.
Willie Sierra, a bellman at the Mandarin Oriental New York ($$$$), shows us how to flag down a cab like a real New Yawker.
• Step off the curb and extend your arm. It’s the best way to claim your corner. If the medallion number on the roof of the cab is lit up, it’s available.
• Need a ride to the airport? Flap your arms like a bird. Pedestrians may stare, but hacks will get the message.
• If you want a quick lift, make a “C” with your thumb and index finger—it means you’re looking for a “shorty.” You may even get an off-duty driver to pull over.
• Tell the driver your destination after you get in and just give an intersection (only tourists name an exact address).
Marguerite A. Suozzi is an associate research editor at Travel + Leisure.
Illustration by Michael Hoeweler
After reinventing his menu for Paris restaurant Vivant Table, chef Pierre Jancou has opened the wine bar offshoot to complement his cuisine. Vivant Cave’s menu is dominated by charcuterie and cheese but the few hot plates are typical to the house style: extremely simple with the highest-quality ingredients.
Plates include marinated grilled artichokes, chicken stew with al-dente pasta, and bonito with bouillon and micro root vegetables. A list of funky, all natural wines pair well with Jancou’s basic menu.
Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
In the past few years, nearly all major hotel brands have phased out their polyester bedspreads in favor of duvets with easy-to-clean covers. Westin, Marriott, and Hilton, along with Four Seasons, Le Méridien, Ritz-Carlton, and St. Regis, all wash duvet covers between each stay. Some hotels simply use sheets to shield you from duvets. Make sure to sleep under the third sheet in these instances.
Have a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at email@example.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.
Photo © Louis Laurent Grandadam/Corbis
How green is your getaway? To determine exactly how evironmentally responsible your destination is, TripAdvisor has lauched its GreenLeaders program. In the works for over a year, GreenLeaders rates green hotels and B&B’s on a scale of five levels, and broadcasts the exact details of what each of those properties is doing to operate on an energy budget.