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Spring Airlines, based in China, probably thought they had a fun promotion on their hands: Dress the flight attendants in themed costumes to liven up the flights from Shanghai. Their first idea, posted on the Facebook page? Classic, and maybe short-skirted, maid costumes. Folks like to feel that they're getting good service, right?
Indeed, from various reports published in the past months, it seems that the bad ol’ days of “Coffee Tea or Me” for flight attendants might be making a comeback. Both Ryanair and Thailand-based Nok airlines have been dinged recently for selling calendars featuring flight attendants (or models posing as flight attendants) in skimpy outfits, while Vietnam’s VietJet Air actually staged a beauty contest down the aisle of an aloft flight last year, to celebrate a new route. (In that case, at least the bathing-suit-clad contestants weren’t crew members.)
For Spring Airlines, the frilly-skirted maid joke clearly fell flat. Some bloggers and Twitter usershave taken the airline to task—for objectifying the crew members, certainly, and perhaps even for putting their onboard safety at risk, due to those teeter-y heels. The airline responded by posting on Facebook that “We'll never objectify any of our staff; in fact this idea came from our international crew of qualified Chinese, Japanese and Thailand cabin staff.”
Can you guess where this colorful house is? Head over to our Facebook page and leave your guesses there. Check back on Monday for the answer!
Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo Courtesy of Lyndsey Matthews
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.
Photo courtesy of Visit Estes Park
The Skies Belong to Us author Brendan I. Koerner points to this lovely Flickr photo album of Czech matchbox labels. Check out this great one from Czechoslovak Airlines. (Matt Haber)
The New York Times sent humorist Henry Alford to exotic Williamsburg, Brooklyn to see if he could blend in and go native. The result? How I Became a Hipster. (M.H.)
Meanwhile, across the pond, Christian Lorentzen, an American writer in London is having some trouble adjusting, as he relates in this wonderfully cranky London Review of Books essay Buck up, old boy, at least there aren't hipster there! (M.H.)
Airbnb fans take note: a new verification program requires your official photo ID, according to All Things D's Liz Gannes. (Jennifer Flowers)
Walk/Score blog's new tool allows you to find hotels within walking distance your ultimate destination and has published their Top 10 U.S. Cities to Travel Car-Free. (Ann Shields)
TimeOut London employs some cool graphics to overlay historic photos with new ones by Rob Greig to create Soho: Then and Now (A.S)
Gizmodo's Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan shares German photographer Michael Wolf's images of aging high rises in Hong Kong. Very surreal. (Peter Schlesinger)
Swissinfo's Susan Vogel-Misicka has a fascinating update on the $2 billion Andermatt Swiss Alps construction project, including the Chedi Andermatt hotel at the (formerly?) quiet Swiss village. (P.S.)
Alaska's cruise season has started, and this year there are stricter fuel standards. The Anchorage Daily News's Becky Bohrer takes an in depth look at the new law and what it means for the environment and for the cruise industry. (P.S.)
Google Now is finally available for iPhone users, and The Associated Press' Anick Jesdanun does a remarkably thorough job of putting it to the traveler's ultimate road test. (Nikki Ekstein)
CNN rounds up a list of the 10 ways our travel experience can be improved, and we agree with all 10 of them. (N.E.)
In-flight yoga? New York Times travel writer Stephanie Rosenbloom shows you how to strike a pose with just 17 inches of airplane space. (Maria Pedone)
Photo credit: iStock photo
This year’s It List of groundbreaking new hotels features 61 properties around the globe. Here are highlights in six categories.
City: Zero George, Charleston, SC
Introducing Charleston’s first truly contemporary retreat: Zero George, in the oak-lined Ansonborough district. The 18 guest rooms, scattered among five historic buildings (all circa 1805), have the signature pocket gardens, piazzas, and sprawling verandas you’d expect from hotels here, but Farrow & Ball paint colors and Kravat linens bring the look refreshingly up to date. Guests can take Lowcountry cooking classes in the former kitchen house. Rates start at $289/night.
Rustic: Pig in the Wall, Southampton, England
A dozen rooms are built into the city’s medieval walls and packed with eccentric flourishes, from mismatched furnishings to potted herbs in corners. While Pig in the Wall is too small for a proper restaurant, it maintains plenty of foodie appeal: a deli counter offers unique “piggy bites” such as house-cured lomo, while in-room larders are stocked with Piddle Lager and crisps flavored with local Ashmore cheeses. Rates start at about $195/night.
Q: We’re off to Buenos Aires, and I want to pack light. Can you recommend some dual-purpose clothing? —Patricia Broder, Santa Monica, Calif.
A: If you’re headed to the tango-shoe capital of the world, you’d better pack light—you’ll need lots of room in your bag for new acquisitions, especially footwear. We’re excited about Derek Lam’s affordable DesigNation line for Kohl’s—it looks good but isn’t too precious to throw in a suitcase. Our pick for your trip? The wood-grain-print cotton shirtdress ($70), to be worn alone or over leggings. We also adore this space-saving Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent dress ($298)—it can be worn with the V-neck in front, in the back for a boatneck look, as pictured, or over your swimsuit as a cover-up.
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 John Lawton
Love the portability of a MacBook Air and the versatility of the Surface? Somewhere right in between is Dell’s XPS 12 (from $1199), which hit shelves last October with a slick, rotating touchscreen that flips around from laptop to tablet. You won’t get bogged down with this one in your carry on—it weighs in at under 3.5 lbs (less than a pound heavier than its Apple competitor) and its 12-inch monitor feels substantial enough for productivity, with the advantages of a full chicklet keyboard and Windows 8 Pro (which we prefer by leaps and bounds to the less-intuitive, tablet-specific Windows 8 RT). Unlike other ultrabooks, the XPS12 comes with 256 GB of storage in a Solid State hard drive—doubling most of its close competitors—but all this means you’ll want to use it as a laptop first, and tablet second.
Nikki Ekstein is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her at on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Photo courtesy of Dell
You’ll sooner find Berliners dancing all night than eating a proper meal—which is why see-and-be-seen restaurants are popping up inside the hottest nightclubs. One of the pioneers of the latest is Cookies Cream, which serves upscale vegetarian under the glow of enormous peacock lamps at the 1920’s-inspired club Drayton. And at the Grand, a bi-level, supper-club-style spot in Mitte where a posh crowd samples beef tartare and truffle-spiked risotto. Katerschmaus, on the third floor of the graffiti-covered KaterHolzig, is known for modern takes on German dishes like turnip ragôut with crisp herb dumplings.
An expanding population of Jewish expats from the U.S. and Israel has helped spur the recent boom of Bubbe-style cuisine. The recently renovated Jewish Girls School in Mitte—four floors of contemporary art galleries and restaurants—includes everyone’s favorite deli, Mogg & Melzer, which specializes in house-made pastrami. The Kosher Classroom hosts a four-course Shabbat dinner (with traditional favorites such as smoked salmon and kreplach soup) and a Sunday brunch of Mediterranean meze. On Torstrasse, Israeli-inspired dishes are found at Hotel Mani’s intimate Restaurant Mani, where guests sample upscale street food (think saffron-spiced cauliflower, falafel with prawns).
The locavore movement came late to Berlin, but chefs are finally embracing the farm-to-table ethos. Michael Hoffmann of Restaurant Margaux uses produce from his nearby farmland, while restaurants like Little Otik, Lokal, and Katz Orange are sourced from local hunters and gatherers. The trend’s hub is the revived 19th-century Markthalle 9, in Kreuzberg, where you’ll find artisanal bakery Soluna Brot und Öl, Big Stuff Smoked BBQ, and the city’s first microbrewery.
Photo courtesy of Cookies Cream
A few years after JetBlue’s new-and-improved Terminal 5 opened at JFK, the airport has pumped $1.4 billion into Terminal 4, set to reopen this month. In anticipation of the expanded space, Delta Air Lines has launched an experiential pop-up in SoHo, open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through May 22. Called "T4X," it comes complete with an upstairs Delta Sky Club (where you can charge your phone and relax with a copy of The New York Times), and an interactive digital 3-D model of the new terminal.
The pop-up is a preview of what’s to come in Terminal 4, where travelers will find Shake Shack and Blue Smoke from famed New York restaurateur Danny Meyer; a street food-inspired concept and a New York-style brasserie from Marcus Samuelsson; and an outpost of Nancy Silverton’s La Brea Bakery. To which we say: arrive early, arrive hungry.
Brooke Porter is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Photo by Anna Webber