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Daily Transporter: This is Not a Toy

this is not a toy exhibit at toronto’s design exchange

Multidiscipline whiz kid Pharrell Williams has added Curator to his impressive list of occupations. A 700-piece exhibit of artist-designed toys, This is Not a Toy, runs through May 19 at the Toronto Design Exchange. Williams guest-curated the show and many of the toys come from his personal collection.

Editor’s Picks: Toronto
See Toronto in World’s Coolest New Tourist Attractions
and World’s Strangest Buildings
and World’s Most Beautiful Museums

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of Toronto Design Exchange.

Complain for Change at the Power of Design Panel

Power of Design

Complaints and their potential to effect change for the better is at the heart of Power of Design 2014, an exhibition and series of talks and panel discussions hosted by the Wolfsonian-Florida International University last weekend in Miami Beach.

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Eat Like a Local Twitter Chat on Tuesday, March 25

In conjunction with our annual Eat Like a Local magazine issue, we're discussing food trends, global cuisines on the rise, and beloved insider spots this Tuesday, March 25th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST. Whether you have questions on touristy restaurants that are actually worth the hype or foodies to follow, ask the experts for their advice!

The Hosts:

Food and Hotels Editor, Jennifer Flowers, @JennFlowers

Senior Editor, Jacqueline Gifford, @jacquigiff

Associate Editor, Brooke Porter, @brookeporter1

The Panelists:

Kate Krader, Food & Wine Restaurant Editor, @kkrader

Jennifer V. Cole, Southern Living Magazine, @Southern_Living

AskMen, @AskMen

Tasting Table, @TastingTable

Chef Katie Chin, @chefkatiechin

Sarah Copeland, Food Director at Real Simple, @edibleliving 

John Curtas, @eatinglasvegas

James Beard Foundation, @beardfoundation

Natalie Zfat, @NatalieZfat

Daniel Krieger, New York Food Photographer, @smoothdude

How does it work?

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Make-A-Wish Foundation Launches Loyalty Miles Campaign

Make-A-Wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is calling on fliers to donate extra airline loyalty miles in a month-long, national campaign. Communications Manager Josh DeBerge calls airline miles one of the organization's "most critical resources," and for good reason. Each year, it grants wishes to 14,000 children with life-threatening diseases. Ranging from "being a cowboy," to "seeing pineapples grow," nearly 75 percent of wishes require air travel, and the foundation needs 2.5 billion frequent flier miles annually.

The miles campaign leads up to World Wish Day on April 29th, and since most wishes occur during the summer, every mile donated in the spring makes a difference. Supporters can visit wish.org/miles for more information.

Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.

Photo by Make-A-Wish®

InstaMeet Around the World

Instagram is able to bring people together in an instantaneous and unique way—now, it’s even happening in person, with what’s being called “InstaMeets."

In late February, 12 Instagrammers from Malayasia and Indonesia, met for a four-day #InstaMeetJiran on East Java’s active volcano, Mount Bromo.

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Empire State Building Adds New Multimedia Experience

Empire State Building

Waiting in queue at New York City's Empire State Building just got a whole lot more enjoyable, thanks to a new interactive multimedia tour. User-friendly, social-media-connected, and highly informative, the experience teaches visitors the ins and outs of the historic high-rise.

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Travel Bucket List Experiences for Auction

Gavel&Grand

Gavel&Grand, sister site of online auction house Paddle8, offers auctions of curated experiences and luxury items in support of philanthropic organizations. Most recently, they’re launching an auction featuring travel bucket list experiences found online here, that are available to bid on now through March 26th.

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Delta's New Innovation Class Reimagines Business Travel

Delta

Forget the 30-second elevator pitch: now you can have an entire three-hour flight to bounce ideas off your industry icon or dream business partner on Delta Air Lines’ new Innovation Class.

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Public Artist Stephen Powers' New Book Launches at the Strand

A Love Letter to the City

For the last few days, the public artist Stephen Powers has been leaving his mark on New York’s Strand bookstore—as he says, “sneaking around the aisles and painting little love letters to reading and writing.” It’s all to celebrate the launch of his book, A Love Letter to the City (Princeton Architectural Press; $24.95), a collection of essays, sketches, and vibrant photos of his works from Coney Island and his hometown of Philadelphia to Dublin, São Paolo, and Johannesburg.

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American Express and Boingo Join to Offer Free, Unlimited Wi-Fi to Card Members

Boingo American Express Wifi

A few months ago, Delta eliminated free Delta Sky Club guest passes for American Express Platinum, Centurion, and Delta Reserve cardholders. But credit card company seems to be making up for the loss in it’s new partnership with Boingo: free, unlimited Wi-Fi. Starting this June, Platinum, Centurion, and Corporate Gold card members will have access to more than a million hotspots in airports, hotels, and retail locations around the world on up to four devices. We know what you’re thinking, and unfortunately, the answer is no—this does not include inflight Wi-Fi.

Brooke Porter
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.


Photo courtesy of American Express and Boingo

Guess Where? Memorial

2014-b-guesswhere-memorialjpg

Do you know where this U.S. memorial is? Leave your guesses on our Facebook page. Check back on Monday for the answer.

Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter @matthewslyndsey

Photo Courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Amtrak Writers Residency Launches This Week

Amtrak

This week, Amtrak began selecting applicants for its newly launched Writers Residency.  The national rail service will grant as many as 24 lucky writers with a passion for writing on trains a round-trip, long-distance journey.

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New Book Turns Sushi into Art

Smiling Sushi Roll cover

We love this new book from celebrated Japanese food artist Tama-chan. A photo-anthology of her works, Smiling Sushi Roll showcases sushi at its most whimsical. While not all of the rolls themselves are smiling—a shockingly accurate copy of Edvard Munch's The Scream, for example, is not—readers certainly will be when they flip through the pages. The text is in Japanese, but a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Especially when it's a picture of a sushi tyrannosaurus.

Sushi Roll Dinosaur

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Have Your Fantasy Mermaid Marriage at Sheraton Fort Lauderdale

Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel

For the couple that doesn't want any-old destination wedding, they can now take their nuptials to new depths with Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort's Mermaid Wedding Package.

And yes, the tail is included. 

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Naked Tourists and New Restrictions at Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Some silly news from Machu Picchu—on the growing trend of foreign visitors stripping down for photo-ops—led us to more important news regarding the ancient Incan citadel: To combat overcrowding (of clothed and unclothed tourists) the Peruvian government has announced new regulations for the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

What's in store for travelers to the ancient citadel? According to a policy draft obtained by local newspaper Peruvian Times, here are some of the major changes:

• Everyone must visit the site with a guide
• Guides must follow three official circuits through the ruins
• Visitors can spend no more than three to five minutes at key points, including the temples of the Sun and Condor
• (And, yes, nudity is still strictly prohibited)

The T+L Take? New regulations are certainly needed to cope with the ridiculous overcrowding—for the benefit of travelers and of the fragile site itself. It's hard to contemplate the sacredness of Machu Picchu when sharing the peak with 4,000 other tourists. That said, these and other recent regulations harm the visitor experience by all but eliminating the possibility for self-reflection. If seeing one of the New Wonders of the World is on your to-do list, by all means venture to Machu Picchu. If contemplating Incan ingenuity and the meaning of life is what you're after, opt for the less-visited but no-less inspiring sites Llactapata and Choquequirao.

Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor news team.

Photo by iStockphoto

Classical Music Comes to Cincinnati

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Cincinnati is rightly admired for its rich cultural life—art museums, theaters, summer opera as well as the annual May Festival, devoted to choral music.  It also has one of the country’s leading symphony orchestras and in one of the biggest gets in the classical music world appointed Louis Langrée as its new music director. 

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JetBlue’s Mosaic Challenge Offers Free VIP Status For Flyers

JetBlue

Delta’s loyalty plan changes—which shift focus from miles travelled to dollars spent—has the travel world abuzz, and JetBlueis getting in on the action. Their just-launched Mosaic Challenge invites high-ranking members of various airline loyalty programs (Delta, America, and United among them) to try JetBlue’s VIP perks on for size—and see what they like better. The parameters: anyone with status (gold and above, in most cases) will automatically qualify for TrueBlue Mosaic for the rest of 2014. If they earn 3,750 base flight points in their first 90 days with TrueBlue, they’ll keep Mosaic status through the end of 2015.

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OpenTable Offers New Program for Last-Minute Reservations

OpenTable

The most frustrating part of planning a trip? Not being able to score the right restaurant reservations (well, for this foodie, anyway). Several city-specific tools have cropped up to serve those of us who are both discerning eaters and poor planners (SoonSpoon.com in Boston; TableSavvy in Chicago; New York’s @LastMinuteEatin’ on Twitter), but today OpenTable is announcing a new program that will take the model coast to coast.

With Hot Tables, OpenTable lets VIP users (those who make at least 12 reservations a year) sign up for alerts when their preferred restaurant is already booked—anyone who has signed up for the alert will get a text message notification the second a table opens up. (In other words, there will still be competition.) Sound a lot like Rezhound? That’s because it is—the independent site had been offering the exact same service without being under OpenTable’s purview, proving just how much demand there might be for an official product.

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Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi Debuts New Look

Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi

The Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi—six-time World's Best Award-winner and perennial Santa Fe favorite—is debuting a new look this week after a total renovation of the guestrooms.

Designed by the same firm that built the Inn's interiors 22 years ago, the rooms now boast brighter, earth-toned walls and local terracota ceramics. Bathrooms, previously done up in green, have quartz counters and white porcelain tiles. Not everything is new, however. the kiva-style gas fireplaces located in each of the property's 58 rooms? Thankfully, they are staying.

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From Thrillist: Germany's V8 Hotel Lets You Sleep in Your Favorite Cars

201403-a-v8hoteljpg

Giving new meaning to the phrase "asleep at the wheel", the V8's a 34-room German hotel dedicated to all things car that boasts a vintage auto museum, elaborately themed rooms tricked out with original parts/ memorabilia, and its own brew pub.

READ MORE AT THRILLIST.COM

Photo Courtesy of V8 Hotel/Frank Hoppe

Win a Trip to Seattle

Win a Trip to Seattle

What makes a weekend getaway even better than just spending a few days out of town? When it's free, first-class, and involves Pike Place Market.

Delta is giving fans a chance to win a trip to Seattle, including two First Class tickets, accommodations, and more by visting their Facebook page here.

Enter now till March 31 and you could be spending a future weekend in the Emerald City.

Gabrielle Blitz is Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo: iStockphoto

Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage Now Accepting Reservations

201403-hd-rancho-mirage-firepitjpg

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage will begin accepting reservations today for the property, set to reopen on May 15th.

Closed for seven years, the resort sits high above Palm Springs on a bluff in the Santa Rosa mountains. Guests will choose from 244 rooms and suites, each featuring Frette linens and Asprey amenities. Natural stone, wood, and a muted color scheme dominate, embracing the desert surroundings and blurring the line between inside and outside—a smart design choice, given the resort's enviable location and many outdoor activity options. The resort is also within easy striking distance of dozens of world-class golf courses.

Also on site will be a double-decker spa and two new restaurants—one a test kitchen, and the other a luxe steak and seafood spot. For reservations, which go on sale today, visit the hotel's website.

Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor news team.

Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage

All-Inclusive Getaways Twitter Chat on Tuesday, March 18

All-inclusives can deliver luxury, great service, delicious food, and even bettera predictable price. We'll be discussing all-inclusive getaways this Tuesday, March 18th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST. Whether you have questions on hidden costs or unknown destinations with all-inclusive options, join our Twitter Chat and ask the experts for their insider advice!

The Hosts:

Jacqueline Gifford, Senior Editor, @jacquigiff

Ann Shields, Senior Digital Editor, @aegisnyc

The Panelists:

Havaianas, @havaianas

Travelzoo, @Travelzoo

Colin Cowie, Celebrity Event Planner and TV Host, @colincowie

The Knot, @theknot

Sunset Magazine, @SunsetMag

Sarah Greaves Gabbadon, Caribbean Travel Expert, @JetSetSarah

Jessica Griscavage, Luxury Travel Advisor with McCabe World Travel, @JessicaJourneys

How does it work?
1. Log in to Twitter before the chat starts at 2pm ET and be sure to follow @TravlandLeisure.

2. Head over to http://twitter.com. Enter the hashtag #TL_Chat into the search bar and select the "All" search option to follow the chat in real time.

3. Remember to always add the hashtag #TL_Chat to your tweets.

4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own responses. Or ask questions of your own! 

All tweets are subject to our social media terms and conditions and may be used in any and all media including editorial. See full social media terms and conditions.

Gabrielle Blitz is Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.

First Look: Priceline Debuts New Hotel and Flight Search Tools

Priceline's Hotels Near Me

Priceline’s introducing some exciting new features today—and we’ve gotten a sneak peak at what to expect. Exclusive to users on iPhone and iPad, the upgrade includes a partnership with intelligent fare search Routehappy as well as a location-based hotel search tool. When looking for a place to stay, the Deals Near Me feature will now scan the thirty mile radius around you to find great room discounts in the vicinity—it pulls from Priceline’s entire database, featuring both Express Deals and retail prices. As with any dynamic zone hotel search, this lends itself best to last minute bookings, but don’t count it out as a planning tool—you can manually change your position on the map to anywhere in the world, accessing deals that are say, walking distance from the Prado—and search for reservations months out in the future.

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Little Passports Inspires Newbie World Travelers

Little Passports

A new kids program, littlepassport.com, promises to turn your toddlers into international pen pals. Here's how it works: your kids get real, actual, non-virtual mail every month from Sam and Sofia, two characters who travel around the globe embarking on various adventures. The first delivery is your Explorer's Kit, with a tiny suitcase, a personal letter from the mini-globetrotters, a world wall map, a passport, activity sheets, and special access to games online. Every time Sam and Sofia visit a new country-Italy, France, Brazil, Japan-you'll get another package with stickers and photos of famous landmarks, souvenirs, and a note detailing their journeys. It's sure to inspire wanderlust in you and your little ones.

Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @csedlak1.

Photo courtesy of Little Passports

Guess Where? Courthouse

2014-b-guesswhere-buildingjpg

This building used to be a courthouse and is now a museum. Do you know where it is? Leave your guesses on our Facebook page. Check back on Monday for the answer.

Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter @matthewslyndsey

Photo Courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Chef’s Tour: L.A. County with David Lefevre

David Lefevre

David Lefevre is making waves with Fishing with Dynamite, his seafood restaurant in Manhattan Beach, California. He’s even been shortlisted for this year’s James Beard Awards—the “Oscars of the food world”—in the category of Best Chef: West. We caught up with him last week when he cooked at New York City’s esteemed James Beard House, where he shared with T+L his perfect day of L.A. eating.

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Loews Hotels and FIAT Announce New Partnership

Fiat

Guests checking in to select Loews Hotels have an exciting new amenity to look forward to this week—chauffeured service in the latest vehicle from Italian car brand FIAT.

The New York-based hotel group recently unveiled the exciting partnership, which takes place at properties from New York City to Washington, D.C., and offers guests the chance to be driven around town in the all-new (not to mention adorable) 2014 Fiat 500L.

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Put Your City On the Map

201404-hd-pilot-and-captainjpg

Retailer Pilot and Captain celebrates the "good old days of planes, trains, and discovery." Their exclusive collection of city-specific t-shirts, prints, and travel products are perfect for the for the always-on-the-go adventurer.

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Beauty Road Test: GrandCentralBeauty S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting Mask

GrandCentralBeauty S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting Mask

The Product: GrandCentralBeauty S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting Mask, $75 for 4 application set.

Pros: I’m not one for selfies, but Grand Central Beauty’s S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting mask left my skin #nofilter flawless: shine-free, super soft, and just the right amount of glow. To be honest, that wasn’t even half the fun. I felt like a mad beauty scientist mixing the mask (it comes as pre-measured dosages of a powder and booster), and then peeling away the botanical and mineral-rich concoction once it dried. Bonus points for travel-friendly packaging—the tub breaks down to a lid and mixing dish, perfect for packing a single application.

Cons: This mask requires a bit more cleanup than other treatments, but the geniuses at Grand Central Beauty already thought of that: the mixing dish is designed for quick and easy tidying. It’s as simple as wiping away the excess mixture, no water required.

Verdict: Packable. 

Photo courtesy of GrandCentralBeauty

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