It is a familiar heartache to a photo editor that we commission beautiful images, but not all of them make it into the magazine. Luckily, I can blog photos that got left on the cutting-room floor.
Here's a wonderful outtake from our October Driving story about the Modernist architect Carlo Scarpa's works around Venice and the Veneto region, so some of the more traditional scenes did not make it into the layout. This view of Venice was shot by the talented Christian Kerber.
Whitney Lawson is a photo editor at Travel + Leisure.
The first documentary from King of New York director Abel Ferrara takes the Chelsea Hotel, that Manhattan landmark (and not in a T+L 500 way), as a subject. Since 1905, the place has been a haven for artists (Andy Warhol, R. Crumb), writers (Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams), and musicians (Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan), not to mention a fair share of drug addicts and prostitutes.
But as Bob would say, the times, they are a-changin’—two years ago, new management ousted owner Stanley Bard and several long-term residents in effort to clean up and bring in a different type of clientele, or, as Ferrara puts it in the movie, to turn the hotel “into a more expensive version of itself.”
Last night, New York City’s first politically-themed hotel celebrated its grand re-opening after receiving a $15 million overhaul. Centrally located at 48th Street just off Broadway, the hotel has 334 rooms and suites starting at the recession friendly rate of $139 a night (talk about a new deal!), where the term “presidential suite” takes on a whole new meaning—guests can book the Obama, Reagan, Kennedy or even the Nixon suite (don’t worry, it’s not bugged).
Going to Disney World but want a break from overflowing Orlando? The comparatively crowdless seaside town of Vero Beach is a two hours’ drive from O-Town’s attractions and offers up clean beaches and affordable places to stay. One, the Vero Beach Hotel & Spa was recently purchased by Kimpton, which means all those perks we love about the punchy hotel brand (kid-sized bathrobes, goodie bags, in-room goldfish)—along with a cocktail hour for adults and a pet-friendly policy—are now in effect.
No one who knows me would ever mistake me for a mountaineer. Though I’ve happily met all manner of challenges on flat ground (including Patagonian glaciers, Australian desert, and Costa Rican rainforest), high-altitude adventures have always set me whimpering.
So recently, I decided to test my fear of heights in the cushiest possible way: with a customized, weeklong guided foray into the Italian Dolomites.
I received an email invitation to this event a few days ago, got exceedingly excited, and will literally remain excited until the big day: the Chocolate Show, a worldwide celebration of All Things Cacao, is starting its world tour.
Over 65 exhibits include chefs using the miracle ingredient in unusual culinary creations, a Chocolate Beauty Pavilion (with mini-massages!), and—obviously—copious opportunities to taste. $28 to feel like a kid in a candy store again? Count me in.
Consider it Fresh Direct for the still-in-diapers set. Since 2004, Babies Travel Lite, an e-tailor of baby supplies, has been delivering goods to home addresses as well as hotels worldwide—taking the excess baggage out of traveling with an infant in tow.
The site has already partnered with Hyatt, giving guests who stay at a property within the brand a reduced service fee discount and streamlined ordering process. Disney Cruise Line recently joined the club—which means travel potties, bottle warmers, diapers, formula, and more can be shipped right to your stateroom on any of DCL’s liners.
Starting today, JetBlue will offer flights between New York’s JFK Airport and Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown, Barbados, in the lower Caribbean. To take advantage of the airline's introductory price of $99 each way, you must book before Oct. 8 for travel through December 19th, 2009 (with Thanksgiving blackout dates).
Barbados is the twelfth international destination on JetBlue’s growing route map (flights to Jamaica begin May 21, 2010).
The response was an unequivocal “no.” But, says Sun, it’s important for companies to communicate the value and authenticity behind the word. Companies like American Girl and The North Face have built premium products but have achieved success by creating a sense of value behind the products.
Samuelsson added that a new sense of luxury will come out of this downturn. People, he says, are getting back to the value of time—time spent together and the experiences they share.
And, says Blachford, that’s exactly what companies like his are trying to do—deliver value even if it comes with a high price tag.
JP also posed the following questions to the audience and asked them to indicate their answers by holding up either a green (“yes”) or red (“no”) index card:
- Do you believe in advertising in a recession? Green cards went up all around. - How about discounting in a recession? A mix of green and red. - Is the economy on a rebound? Lots of green, but a few reds. - And is Twitter here to stay? Most people said no.
And as he closed the presentation, he asked, “Did everyone have fun today?” A sea of green cards filled the air.
"Snotty, phony, pretentious is over," says Nancy Novogrod. "The new paradigm is all about real experiences—both exotic trips and inner journeys. It’s a time for re-invention and a return to values.
New sites like Kujabi.com, and companies like Pure Life Experiences are looking to help travelers get into the spirit of a place, as are new spas from Connecticut to Austria.
Restaurants, too, are returning to comfort; dishes like burgers and fried chicken are being reinvented as well. And destinations like St. Lucia are re-inventing themselves; the island has hired a team of international planning experts to build a new sustainable tourism industry.
T+L is reflecting this sensibility as well. Our mission, of course, is all about authentic experiences, and the magazine’s January trends issue will focus on connecting to people and place."