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Hilton Launches New Brand: Curio

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Hilton Worldwide this week has announced the launch of a new hotel collection called Curio, a group of four- and five-star boutique properties that will maintain their unique identities while having access to Hilton’s resources, including the company’s robust Hilton HHonors loyalty program. While there are plans for Curio to have a global presence, the first five participating hotels are all stateside, including the highly-anticipated, soon-to-open SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, the Sam Houston Hotel in Houston, the Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City, S.D., and the Franklin Hotel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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Camping...in New York City

201406-hd-camp-rockawayjpgFirst things first: I don’t do staycations. However, I’ve made exceptions for quirky experiences, like camping in Brooklyn’s Marine Park and checking in to Boatel, an abandoned-boats-turned-hotel/art project in Far Rockaway, Queens.

So I’m intrigued by a new potential project, also out by the beach in Queens: Camp Rockaway. The idea? A handful of safari-style tents with comfy beds, outdoor showers, private fire pits, and hot tubs overlooking Jamaica Bay. 

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Why Are We Obsessed With Taking Travel Photos?

travel photos

Peter Jon Lindberg shot 10,438 photographs in the past 12 months alone. Now he wonders where our obsession with travel images is taking us.

The summer I turned 11, my parents and I spent three months traveling around Europe, driving a tiny Peugeot from Rome to Amsterdam. It was one of the seminal trips of my life, though I don’t really “remember” it in the visual sense.

We took not a single photograph.

My parents didn’t even pack a camera. They owned a camera; they just decided not to bring it. Recently I asked my mother why.

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The Moment: Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Glacier Skywalk, Jasper National Park

2:16 p.m.: Good thing you brought your windbreaker. Despite the afternoon sun beating down from a cloudless sky, it’s gusty up here, 6,400 feet above sea level. You’ve just stepped into the void, on the outermost tip of the new glass-and-steel Glacier Skywalk, cantilevered more than 100 feet off the side of Wilcox Mountain. Ahead loom the snowcapped peaks of the Canadian Rockies; below, you can spot bighorn sheep picking their way between verdant patches of alpine moss. Later, you’ll don a pair of crampons and hike the nearby Athabasca Glacier, which helped carve out the waterfall-studded canyons of Sunwapta Valley more than 3 million years ago. The forces of nature have never felt more present than they do here. Except gravity. Because right now, it feels like you’re walking on air.

Related Links:
T+L’s Guide to Beautiful Views
World’s Coolest New Tourist Attractions
25 Selfies You Have to Take This Year

Photo courtesy of Brewster Travel Canada

Château Vaux le Vicomte's New Look

Vaux le Vicomte

Less familiar and less crowded than Versailles—but designed by the same architects—Vaux le Vicomte can now be seen as never before.

Alexandre de Vogüé and his brothers didn’t think much about growing up at Vaux le Vicomte, the 17th-century estate about an hour southeast of Paris. “All our friends had small gardens, and we had a bigger garden,” he says of the magnificent grounds, designed by landscape architect André Le Nôtre. At night, the siblings would play cat-and-mouse in the château and listen to ghost stories about its first owner, Nicolas Fouquet. That visionary patron united the talents of Le Nôtre, painter Charles Le Brun, and architect Louis Le Vau, to create one of the glories of the Grand Siècle.

Two years ago, Alexandre and his twin brother, Jean-Charles, took stewardship of the estate. This spring, visitors can enjoy their first major renovation: the installation of six giant, arched glass doors that restore the château’s transparency and vistas. Vogüé says, “Today, when you are in the grand salon, looking out, you almost dive into the garden.”

Related Links:
America’s Most Beautiful Gardens
Europe's Best Affordable Castle Hotels
Beautiful Castles Around the World

Photo © A. Chicurel – L. Lourdel

Inspired by Tulum: Coqui Coqui for Club Monaco Collection

Coqui Coqui for Club Monaco

The next-best thing to a trip to Tulum: Coqui Coqui for Club Monaco, a capsule collection overseen by Francesca Bonato, an Italian designer and co-owner of the eponymous hotel, a fashionista magnet on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. Incorporating materials such as burlap and peso coins—even the scent of musky tobacco leaves—each piece is as stylishly low-key as Tulum itself and reflects Bonato’s carefree aesthetic, the result of years of living and working in the sun-soaked region.

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L.A.'s Arts District

Arts District Los Angeles

Edgy studios and industrial-chic restaurants outnumber palm trees in L.A.’s Arts District, on the southeastern corner of downtown. Here’s how to tap into the new energy.

Follow the Shepard Fairey and Kim West street murals to find the Box, mixed-media star Paul McCarthy’s contemporary exhibition space. Look for an international roster of experimental filmmakers and performance artists. 805 Traction Ave.

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Photographer Ben Watts Captures Australia's Byron Bay

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Photographer Ben Watts trains his lens on Australia’s hippest beach colony.

Two hours outside Brisbane, Byron Bay is a long way to travel—its remoteness edits who comes here. The hippie-chic spirit is similar to other bohemian outposts: Bali, Ibiza, Montauk. One of my favorite things is the diverse mix of people—everyone from artists to backpackers to celebrities.

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The Coolest Bus Stops in the World

201406-hd-thrillist-coolest-bus-stopsjpgWaiting for the bus sucks. You're subject to inclement weather. The shelters are like magnets for garbage and bodily waste. And your payoff is... riding on a public bus.

But it's a whole other story in Krumbach, Austria, where passengers wait in some of the most stylish kiosks ever to pave the public transportation route.

Sure, London has impossibly perfect benches on its streets, but this humble Austrian town of just 1,000 residents has taken transport utility to a new height of aesthetics. The local cultural institution, kultur krumbach, commissioned seven internationally acclaimed architects -- Rintala Eggertsson Architects from Norway; Ensamble Studio from Spain; Sou Fujimoto from Japan; Wang Shu from China; Smiljan Radic from Chile; Alexander Brodsky from Russia; and Architecten de Vylder Vinck Taillieu from Belgium -- to design a bus stop, in return for a free vacation in the quaint European region.

SEE MORE AT THRILLIST

Photo by Yuri Palmin

Google's New Tools Improve The Way We Travel

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“Google, when does my flight leave?” I asked Google Now aloud.

Within seconds, the app accessed my flight reservation and created a travel card, announcing that Virgin Atlantic flight VS45 from London to New York had been delayed 45 minutes.

This is just one way Google is trying to make travel easier for users, along with a handful of other recently unveiled new and updated tools.

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Irresistible USA Travel Twitter Chat on Tuesday, June 3

From favorite beach spots to where to go for camping (or glamping!) join our Irresistible USA Travel Twitter chat this Tuesday, June 3rd from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST. We'll be asking experts about hometown dishes to try, favorite shopping destinations, quirky roadside attractions, and more. Join along and ask them for their insider advice!

The Host:

T+L Associate Editor, Brooke Porter Katz, @brookeporter1

The Panelists:

Trip Advisor's Wendy Perrin, @wendyperrin

Travel Channel, @TravelChannel

Foursquare, @foursquare

Amtrak, @Amtrak

Southern Living Magazine, @Southern_Living

Sunset Magazine, @SunsetMag

Fashion Accessories Designer, Rafe New York, @RafeNewYork

NY1's Jamie Stelter, @JamieStelter

Chef Rick Bayless, @Rick_Bayless

Natalie Zfat, @nataliezfat

Vegas.com, @Vegascom

Catharine Hamm, Los Angeles Times: @CatHamm

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.

How To Get a Free Camera (Or Running Shoes) Tomorrow

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If you own a DSLR and are in New York City, you may be eligible for a free camera upgrade. Tomorrow, Samsung is hosting #DITCHtheDSLR Day, a pop-up event dedicated to their lineup of mirrorless models--and why they're just as powerful as their bulkier counterparts. Head to Times Square between noon and 6pm to take their top-of-the-line NX30 SMART Camera for a spin (with the help of professional photographers, there to take you on photo walks and offer their best shooting tips). If you like what you see, you can trade in your old DSLR and get an NX30--for free. (That's a $999 camera, for those of you keeping track.) But get there early and bring any kit lenses or batteries that came with your dinosaur, as only a limited quantity will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Heathrow's T2: A New Model for Airport Design

Video: Update on Heathrow Airport's T2

Intuitive design, natural light: what New York’s JFK can learn from Heathrow’s T2.

You’ve got to give Spanish architect Luis Vidal points for standing before an audience of hardened, JFK-weary New York City travel reporters and declaring, “Terminals today are the cathedrals of the twenty-first century.” Vidal designed the newest addition to London’s Heathrow Airport, the $4 billion Terminal 2, opening this month. T2, also called the Queen’s Terminal, is one of those sunlight-bathed, technologically of-the-moment facilities popping up in airports from San Francisco to Mumbai, restoring a degree of pleasure to air travel. But cathedrals? Vidal argues they were once “gathering places and icons” of every city. And that, he reasons, is what airports are today.

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New Miami Hotels for Your Next Stay in South Beach

Miami Hotels: Metropolitan by Como

New hotels are revitalizing Collins Avenue. Here’s where you may be staying on your next trip to South Beach.

The Redbury Hotel South Beach ($$) has quickly become a hit thanks to Lorenzo, chef Tony Mantuano’s Italian spot. Drop in for the wood-fired pizzas and Salvia cocktails—a mix of grappa, pear purée, egg whites, and lemon. Close by is the first U.S. property from Singapore-based Como Hotels & Resorts: the Metropolitan by Como, Miami Beach (pictured; $$). Paola Navone designed the 74 rooms, which have a white-and-pale-mint color scheme; in keeping with the brand’s wellness ethos, there’s an intimate spa. The Setai, Miami Beach ($$$$) just debuted Ocean Suites ($$$$$), a hotel-within-a-hotel concept in the residential tower; airport transfers and breakfast are included. On the horizon: 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach ($$$$), with a farm-to-table restaurant from Tom Colicchio; Faena Hotel Miami Beach (rates not available at press time), aesthetically fine-tuned by Baz Luhrmann and his wife, costume designer Catherine Martin; and Miami Beach Edition (rates not available at press time), which will have sleek interiors by Yabu Pushelberg, two pools, and an ice-skating rink.

Video: Miami Travel

Hotel Pricing Key
$ Less than $200
$$ $200 to $350
$$$ $350 to $500
$$$$ $500 to $1,000
$$$$$ More than $1,000

Appeared as "The United States of Awesome: Miami Heat" in T+L Magazine

Related Links:
Best Places to Eat Like a Local
Best Tacos in America
Best Mexican Restaurants in the U.S.

Photo by Claudia Uribe

Bywater, New Orleans: The South's Next Great Neighborhood

Bywater New Orleans: Booty's

This area is growing by the minute, while still preserving its cultural authenticity. Chef Jonathan Lestingi’s New American gastropub, Oxalis (3162 Dauphine St.), serves up terrific whiskey cocktails and shareable plates. Order the Cajun-spiced hot buttered rum popcorn. Baskerville (3000 Royal St.; by appointment), a nonprofit center, offers letterpress printing workshops; the presses themselves are works of art. Tigermen Den (3113 Royal St.) is an ever-evolving event space that hosts everything from art exhibits to weekly Sunday brunches with a ragtime band. Try the Peruvian-style ceviche or Puerto Rican yuca mofongo at Booty’s (pictured; 800 Louisa St.), which serves a global street food menu.

Video: New Orleans Travel

Appeared as “The United States of Awesome: The Bywater, New Orleans” in T+L Magazine

Photo courtesy of Booty's

Daily Transporter: Chilean Mummy

cowgirl in the atacama desert

Last week, a group of Chilean school kids on a field trip uncovered a Chinchorro mummy that may predate Egyptian mummies by 4,000 years. The students were digging near the border with Peru, in an area that had experienced a landslide in April.

See Chile in World’s Coolest Hot Springs

Editor’s Picks: Chile
World’s Prettiest Mountain Towns
Most Romantic Hotel Fireplaces
World’s Strangest Statues

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnycGet the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo: hajarali

Daily Transporter: New Traditions in Vienna

new public space

The fight over which institution—the Hotel Sacher Wien or Demel Bakery—could claim to serve the “original” sachertorte raged on nine years before the hotel took the cake, but Vienna has embraced some new traditions, too: the Museumsquartier, pictured here, has become a favorite summer hot spot for culture and people-watching.

See sachertorte in Food and Travel: Reader Photos

Editor’s Picks: Vienna
World’s Coolest Observation Decks
World’s Greatest Public Bathrooms
Celebrities’ Favorite Places

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo: Jessica Sample

Daily Transporter: Golf Death Valley

sand trap

Even if you can’t brag about a low golf score, you can play the lowest-altitude golf course in the world: the links at Death Valley’s Inn at Furnace Creek sit 214 feet below sea level.

See the Inn at Furnace Creek in Great National Park Lodges

Editor’s Picks: Death Valley
America’s Coolest Ghost Towns
World’s Strangest Natural Wonders
Beautiful National Parks: Readers’ Photos

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Daily Transporter: Game-Changing Ferris Wheels

aerial shot of ferris wheel

Attractions like the London Eye and this Ferris wheel on Chicago’s Navy Pier have been luring tourists downtown; now, cities like NYC, Orlando, and Dubai are climbing on board. Las Vegas adds its own spin to the phenomenon: you can get married on the new 500-foot High Roller.

See the High Roller in 25 Selfies You Have to Take This Year

Editor’s Picks: Great City Trips
World’s Coolest Ferris Wheels
World’s Coolest New Tourist Attractions
World’s Coolest Tram Rides

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Daily Transporter: French Trains Too Fat?

paris museum

Sleek regional trains ordered by the French government are not quite sleek enough: 1,300 train platforms will have to be slimmed down to allow the wider trains. (The Gare d'Orsay, now the Musée d’Orsay, closed in 1939 when its short platforms didn’t match the length of the newer electric trains.)

See the Musée d’Orsay in World’s Most Beautiful Museums

Editor’s Picks: Paris
World’s Most Amazing Views
World’s Coolest Hotel Bathrooms
Best Instagram Photos of 2013

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Jay Z Has Opened a Nightclub at the Atlanta Airport

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Sure Hov, why not? If you find yourself killing time during a layover at the Atlanta International Airport anytime soon, stop by Jay Z’s elite club, now conveniently located in Concourse D.

Yup, the third location of Hov’s swanky 40/40 club has officially opened at at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Associated Press reports. And really, why not? Jay Z can do whatever the heck he wants. Remember: he’s not a businessman, he’s a business, man.

The original 40/40 is in Manhattan, with an additional location in Brooklyn. This new airport version will basically be a “scaled down” replica of original club, and there are plans in the works to create a special VIP section. Otherwise, details are pretty scarce.

Here’s hoping the soundtrack exclusively consists of Aziz Ansari’s club anthem, because it feels like it would be a great fit. Plus, it talks a lot about jets:

Samantha Grossman is a reporter for Time magazine. This article originally appeared on Time.com.

More from Time:
Jay Z, Solange and Beyoncé: ‘We Have Moved Forward’ 

The 2013 Time 100

Everything You Need to Know About the Solange-Jay Z Elevator Fight

Photo from iStock


Sydney Opera House is All Lit Up During Annual Festival

Every night through June 9, the sails of the iconic Sydney Opera House will be awash in colorful lights and 3D projections as part of Vivid Sydney, the largest light, music, and ideas festival in the Southern Hemisphere. The spectacle was designed by the creative agency 59 Productions, known for their work on the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games.

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

Video: Watch Lightning Strike London's The Shard



London's the Shard—Europe's tallest buiding and home to the newest Shangri-La hotel—made headlines last week when it was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm on Thursday. The video above has since gone viral, with nearly 1 million views.

For those of you concerned about safety, a hotel employee assures me that no guests or staff members reported feeling or hearing the strike.

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

 

A Weekend Trip Around the World

Around the world in a weekend—why not? UK-based Austravel is offering package tours that leave London on Friday, take you to Australia, and have you back for work in London by Tuesday morning.

Social Media 101: How To Shoot Travel Videos People Want To Watch

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, Hollywood film director (and the man behind the SMITTY-award winning Virgin America in-flight safety tutorial) Jon Chu shows us how to give your homemade vacation videos blockbuster appeal. 

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Social Media 101: How To Take Cooler Instagram Photos

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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. 

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Social Media 101: How to Get the Most from Tweeting on the Road

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, Twitter’s Head of Travel Mike De Jesus explains how to leverage your social clout  - and reveals the one hashtag you shouldn’t be traveling without.  

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Social Media 101: How To Become A Travel Blogger

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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, Renee Blodgett, founder of We Blog The World, tells us how to bring travel writing into the 21st century and reach mobile, multi-tasking readers all over the globe.

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Meet Globetrotting Latte Artist Michael Breach

201405-hd-michael-breach-latte-art-nicolas-cagejpg

In the age of #selfies, Tinder swipes, Instagram, and Facebook, it can be challenging for faces to stand out from the plethora of media muck hailing down on us 24/7. But, every once in a while, someone gets a lucky break. Such is the case with bored-night-shift-hotel-barista turned international-latte-portrait-artist, Michael Breach.

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Crazy Cliff-Diving Competition Comes To Texas

cliff_divingjpgThe first time I visited Acapulco, like any tourist I wanted to see the famous cliff-divers leap from the craggy heights of La Quebrada 135 feet into the foaming Pacific below. I learned a life lesson that day: Never be stupid enough to jump off a cliff like that. You’ll break your neck! Not everyone has learned that lesson, though—in particular, the newest breed of cliff divers now fighting it out in the 2014 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. Next stop on the series tour: Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas, 80 miles west of Fort Worth, on June 6-7. 

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