The term "authenticity" is one we've heard again and again (tired of it yet?), though it remains on the tongue of industry insiders thanks to an influx of travelers who continue to seek out local experiences around the globe. At the recent travel conference ILTM Asia, in Shanghai, which brings together travel agents, hoteliers, and the media, T+L's Sarah Spagnolo once again dug into the trend of connecting travelers with local culture. Watch the video for a couple examples of new programs.
Always on the cutting edge of everything, the Land of the Rising Sun is now spearheading the train of the future. A modern spin on old-school travel, the JR East Cruise Train is set to launch in 2017, and, as can only be expected of the work from a designer who dreamt up Ferraris, Porsches and Maseratis, the train is decadent, exclusive, and expensive.
It’ll also cost around $50 million to build.
Play along with as Kathie Lee and Mark Orwoll as they quiz the Today Show audience on the world's most popular tourist attractions.
1.) What city is home to the world’s tallest Ferris Wheel?
B) New York City
C) Las Vegas
It’s been a terrible week in aviation. This morning, reports confirm that at least 51 passengers are feared dead following an accident on regional Taiwanese TransAsia flight GE222, from Kaohsiung to Magong. The short, 35-minute flight was stymied by extreme weather on its course and crashed after a failed attempt to land; the wreckage has been found near the village of Xicun, where the plane is said to have gone up in flames. 54 passengers, including four children, were on board, along with four crew members—all of whom are currently thought to have suffered injuries or fatalities from the crash.
Still prefer real books to e-readers—but hate having to lug them in your suitcase? Shutters on the Beach, the iconic Santa Monica hotel, is introducing a new Beach Book Bag program, allowing guests to order their beach reads before stepping foot on the plane.
Shanghai's Former French Concession is the city's style hub: a leafy area filled with boutiques, bespoke tailors, and traditional crafts. A few of must-see sites: Helen Lee's headquarters, around the corner from her atelier, which showcases this season's collection—a collaboration with Disney in honor of the new Disney resort opening in Shanghai soon. Germain Tailoring channels Neapolitan style in its meanswear collection. Stop by Charles Philip on Gao An Road, to find a custom shoe in shape, pattern, and material to fit any style. Head north across town, where Coin Qian's showroom is stocked with her paintings, plus pillows, bags, and other home goods that feature her feminine designs.
T+L's Sarah Spagnolo explored the area on a arts tour coordinated by luxury travel show ILTM Asia and the Portman Ritz-Carlton, and led by Shanghai style insiders Selina Schleh of Time Out Shanghai and Monique Madsen of Zan Style Shanghai. Check out "Where to Shop in Shanghai," and for more, go to the T+L Guide to Shanghai.
On a Thursday night in June, the open-air communal living room at Urban Cowboy—a new four room B&B on a leafy Williamsburg, Brooklyn, block—is echoing every stereotype about a borough that’s now considered the universal fulcrum of cool.
After news of a rocket attack near Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport, the FAA is prohibiting all U.S. airlines from flying into or out of the country's main international airport for 24 hours. The Earlier today, Delta diverted its once-daily flight between New York JFK and Tel Aviv to Paris instead. US Airways, meanwhile, canceled its Philadelphia to Ben Gurion service before the plane departed. United Airlines canceled both of its Newark-Tel Aviv flights for Tuesday. The U.S. Department of State has also issued a new Travel Warning for Israel, cautioning U.S. citizens to consider deferring non-essential travel to the country.
This comes less than a week after a missile shot down Malaysia Airways flight 17 over the Ukraine, killing all 290 passengers and crewmembers aboard. Questions remain as to whether the airspace where the plane was flying should have been subject to restrictions given the growing ground conflict below. American carriers are obviously now approaching the conflict in Israel with an abundance of caution. This will be appreciated by many passengers, but could be devastating for Israel’s air connectivity.
UPDATE 7/23, 12:50 PM: In a new release, the FAA is extending its ban over Tel Aviv-bound flights for at least another 24 hours. Some airlines, such as British Airways and El Al, are continuing their normal operations. In a similar move, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceana, sister cruise lines, are modifying itineraries to avoid stops in Haifa, Israel's northern port town.
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto
Dubai is making headlines again, announcing plans to construct an indoor city that will be 100 percent temperature-controlled.
An official statement from investment company Dubai Holding, Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid's latest project will be called the Mall of the World. Yet with 20,000 hotel rooms in the pipeline, it's far from the average shopping complex.
How do you become a more efficient jet-setter? We're discussing the best travel apps and websites in our Twitter chat on Tuesday, July 22nd from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Join along to ask the experts for tips and advice!
T+L's Tech Correspondant, Tom Samiljian, @SamJam
T+L's Assistant Editor, Nikki Ekstein, @nikkiekstein
Google Travel, @GoogleTravel
Weather Channel's Jen Carfagno, @JenCarfagno
Fortune Magazine, @FortuneMagazine
Cruise Critic, @CruiseCritic
TechCrunch's Josh Constine, @JoshConstine
How does it work?
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.
Throngs of people young and old gathered, many in full wizard robes, in 100-degree Orlando humidity. The Wizarding World’s much-anticipated expansion, Diagon Alley, was greeted with much sweat and even more tears of happiness when it opened its doors to fans earlier this month.
Who doesn't need a beach escape within easy reach? Watch this quick video for three T+L favorites.
There’s not much to do in the low-key island village of Islamorada in Florida’s Upper Keys, and guess what? That is precisely the point. Start with a rum runner cocktail from the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar before unwinding at Cheeca Lodge, a popular beachfront hotel that gets bonus points from moms everywhere thanks to its stellar kids camp.
Last month marked the debut voyage of Pearl Seas Cruises, a new small-ship luxury operator that’s offering itineraries through the Canadian Maritimes, the Great Lakes, and the St. Lawrence Seaway, with Caribbean journeys starting in 2015. A sister company to American Cruise Lines, it currently has one vessel: the 335-foot-long, 210-passenger Pearl Mist, complete with six decks and a balcony on each of the 108 cabins. (There are plans to add another ship in the future.)
If you bring your family to a top luxury resort, it's only natural to expect the finest culinary offerings. But while you feast on organic grass-fed filet mignon, your baby is usually stuck with the glass jar purees you brought from home. Esperanza, an Auberge Resort, in Cabo San Lucas, aims to change that. The property recently rolled out a farm-to-table menu just for little ones with ingredients sourced from local farms and the resort's gardens. Among the highlights: pear with banana and cinnamon, baby carrots and zucchini, and baked sweet corn and parsnip carrot. I wonder if they deliver?
Clara Ogden-Sedlak is Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Esperanza, An Auberge Resort
The city of waltz and opera also shimmers with cultural innovation. Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, head of the Museum of Applied Art, and his art historian wife, Karin, take in its highlights.
Swedish director Lasse Hallström gives T+L the dish, as his latest release, The Hundred-Foot Journey, starring Helen Mirren, hits theaters.
The scissor siren will oversee on-site salon services (in addition to his Fifth Avenue flagship and outpost at the W Fort Lauderdale); provide cuts for high-end clients that include Angelina Jolie and Lupita Nyong’o (a service that will set you back $1,200); and, most importantly—take on the newly minted role of Style Curator.
Big news for business travelers: For the first time since being introduced in 1997, the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC)—which provides pre-clearance and expedited immigration processing at airports and seaports in every APEC country—is accepting applications for U.S. citizens.
Surf-to-fork food, Wyeth paintings, and pebbly beaches—the Midcoast is where even Mainers go to find the real Maine.
The glamorous oceanfront retreat is a treasure trove for style seekers.
When I was told I was flying to an Indian literary festival via Kuwait Airways, I was ready to arrive in style. Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways—the region is known for its luxurious, pampered version of air travel. Perhaps Kuwait Airways would have a new Airbus A380 with an onboard lounge? High-thread-count bathrobes? Personal air butlers? In any case, I hoped the wine menu would have a nice dry Riesling to help me ease into a different climate, and, heck, some free spa products would be nice.
Hearing words like "smooth," "smoky," and "floral" might bring to mind thoughts of bourbon, tequila, or gin, but those terms could also describe roobios, green or black teas. The subtle similarities between teas and spirits make them perfect companions in a cocktail. Across the U.S. this summer, mixologists are capitalizing on this trend by infusing cocktails with everything from chamomile to Darjeeling.
After teaming up wtih LeAnn Rimes to DJ the performance of her new single, "Help Me Make it Through the Night," Wednesday on The View, I sat down with the Grammy Award-winning singer to get her travel picks. And don't miss the debut of LeAnn & Eddie, airing tonight at 10:30 p.m. EST on VH1.
Q: You guys are on the road so much. What’s an ideal Saturday when you’re home in L.A.?
A: Riding Eddie’s Harley to Malibu, then ending the day at Moonshadows, a waterfront spot with freshly caught seafood, or Malibu Country Mart. There’s an amazing Greek restaurant there called Taverna Tony—we always get the roasted baby lamb!
Breaking, horrifying news coming out of Europe today: a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 came down earlier today en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur while flying through Ukrainian airspace. U.S. intelligence officials, according to the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets, are saying that the plane was hit by a surface-to-air missile. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members; three of the passengers were infants. There are no survivors.
For the third year, Travel + Leisure's Social Media in Travel and Tourism (SMITTY) awards is recognizng the brands and companies transforming the industry with their online innovations (think digital concierges and exclusive social giveaways).
To help you leverage the digital boom on your next trip and cash in on the latest social currency, we tapped four platform experts for their outreach strategies and insider tips.
This week, viral Instagrammer and photo app developer Cole Rise shares his tricks for creating epic travel photos with serious regram potential.
Fashion equals function for Sebastian Kaufmann, purveyor of utilitarian chic.
With a couple of key accessories (shown here with the iPhone 5S), you can turn your camera into a bona fide powerhouse.
Just as airline loyalty programs are making it harder to cash in on rewards, hotels are upping the ante, letting guests earn points for tweets and social media interactions—not just night stays. The latest to join the nascent trend is Kimpton, who today announces a new loyalty program to replace InTouch. The name, Karma, says it all—the more love you give Kimpton, the more love comes back to you. Here’s how it works:
What’s better than a Twitter chat? Actually talking, face-to-face—with no concern over character limits. Which is why, every year, T+L celebrates our Social Media in Travel + Tourism (SMITTY) Awards—recognizing the travel industry’s best work on social platforms—by making them truly social, with a party celebrating the winners.
So, for the 3rd consecutive year, SMITTY winners tumbled into New York, and T+L went all out. Last week, we hosted a party on the roof of Manhattan's Refinery Hotel, in the shadow of the Empire State Building.
In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where the water can be 10,000 feet deep and the waves proportionally enormous, a 22-foot long rowboat equipped with a small cabin and fishing rods, is manned by Riaan Manser and girlfriend Vasti Geldenhuys. A waves comes, flipping the boat with Vasti strapped in, and throwing Riaan into the sea. The vessel somehow rights itself as the tide turns it over in a full 360.
Riaan and Vasti manage to complete over one million strokes, which took them from mainland Africa to New York City. This is real life; no script involved. Their journey lasted just over four months, with 133 days at sea. As Manser proclaims, no two humans have done it before.