Forget the beachfront, skyscraper hotels overlooking Tel Aviv's historic Jaffa. To see what really makes the White City tick, book a boutique hotel in a Bauhaus neighborhood and absorb the design and architecture of some of the spots that have been blooming in this Middle Eastern metropolis that sometimes feels like Miami-on-the-Mediterranean.
Alma Hotel, the newest of the bunch, opened in November 2012. It was founded by siblings, Adi and Irit Strauss, who also run three of Tel Aviv’s most popular restaurants. They have woven together a patchwork of bohemian luxury in 15 studios and suites with elegant, zany decor that mirrors the eclectic architecture of its newly renovated 1925 building.
Each luminous room, some with balconies, meshes traditional décor with the contemporary, blending Eastern and Western cultures that recalls the intimate sexiness of hotels in Paris’s Le Marais district. A rooftop terrace, sandwiched between synagogues and skyscrapers, provides an urban oasis for sipping any of the Israeli boutique wines available in each room's mini-bar.
Alma also lures wealthy foodies, ranging from Israeli socialites to Russian businessmen, to its ground floor bar and restaurant. Its celebrity chef Yonatan Roshfeld (also a judge on Master Chef Israel) serves Mediterranean tapas in microscopic yet succulent portions.
Euro crisis be damned: Portugal’s capital city is loaded with style, sophistication, and old-world pleasures. For the ultimate insider tour, we turned to Alexandra Champalimaud, a Lisbon native and the interior designer who recently revamped L.A.’s Hotel Bel-Air and is working on London’s Dorchester. Her first stop? Taberna Moderna (18A Rua dos Bacalhoeiros; $$), a Portuguese and Galician tapas restaurant in the historic Alfama district. Scroll down for more of Champalimaud’s expert picks.
“When visitors can’t fit in my apartment I have them stay at Chiado16 (16-17 Largo da Academia Nacional de Belas Artes; $), a guesthouse perched on a hill in the Chiado district.”
“The wonderfully unfussy Kaffeehaus (3 Rua Anchieta; $$) is the place for brunch. Order a galão (a foamy espresso).”
“I appease my sweet tooth at Pastéis de Belém (84-92 Rua de Belém) a cozy café known for its traditional custard tarts.”
“A new restaurant in the Museum of Pharmacy, Pharmacia (1 Rua Marechal Saldanha; 351/213-462-146; $$) has inventive dishes and drinks. Get the Ibuprofen cocktail, with cachaça and lemon juice.”
Home to some of Europe’s last remaining reindeer herds, Norway’s windswept Dovre Mountains, about five hours north of Oslo by car, now offer a warm and visually stimulating spot for design pilgrims and animal lovers alike: Tverrfjellhytta. Commissioned by the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Foundation and designed by cutting-edge architecture firm Snøhetta, the site appears to be made of weathered driftwood (actually, it’s pine, sculpted by shipbuilders using computerized milling technology). Inside, the organic-looking benches face an expansive glass wall—the ideal perch for taking in a few real-life reindeer games.
Photo courtesy of Snohetta / Ketil Jacobsen
Thoughtful design makes travel better, shaping everything from fashion and luggage to hotel rooms and city skylines. Now we want to know what inspires you.
The 2013 Design Awards winners, representing 12 categories, will be chosen by a panel of outstanding experts in their fields. Jury members include architect Deborah Berke; chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson; designer Reed Krakoff; Deyan Sudjic, director of London’s Design Museum; Stephen Burks, design director for Readymade Projects; interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud; and author and style maven Amy Fine Collins.
Last year’s winners included 25hours Hotel HafenCity in Hamburg, Germany (Best Large Hotel); Harpa Reykjavík Concert Hall & Conference Center in Reykjavík, Iceland (Best Performance Space); and Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx and Camélia restaurants at Mandarin Oriental, Paris (Best Restaurant).
If you’re excited about something that we should consider for the 2013 awards, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out an application here. The deadline for nominations is Monday, October 1.
The winning entries will be published in our March 2013 issue.
Can’t get higher than this: the world’s new tallest tower Tokyo Skytree opened in late May, and tickets to its lookout are still sold out for months (if you’re in the mood for some elevation, we’d recommend booking a ticket now). At 2,080 feet, the building serves not only as an observation deck and restaurant but a broadcast tower to relay television and radio signals. Be careful up there! The observation deck has already had to close temporarily due to storms and extreme weather.
Jennifer Chen is Travel + Leisure's Asia correspondent.
Photo by MASANORI YAMANASHI / AFLO / Nippon News / Corbis
The shopping experts at L-atitude stock their site with a well-edited selection of the very best fashion, home and design finds from the most stylish places in the world. Mexico City is their latest obsession. Here, they give T+L the inside scoop on the city's best shopping spots.
Byzantine coin pendants, limited-edition Christian Louboutin, and antique taxidermy fills the wide-ranging, well-edited shop founded by art magazine editors Vanessa Fernandez and Aldo Chaparro. Comb through the wares, then recharge in the light-flooded upstairs tearoom. Darwin at the corner of Kepler, Del. Miguel Hidalgo, C.P. 11590, Mexico D.F.; /(52) (55) 2614 6031
In January, Boa Mistura, a hyperactive cooperative of Spanish artists that call themselves “graffiti rockers,” completed an eye-popping public art project in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Working with residents of Vila Brasilândia, one of the city's favelas, the artists transformed the walls, stairs, and pathways of the slum’s meandering alleys with vivid paint and positive words that appear to float, suspended above the ground like massive, pleasant thought-bubbles.
Slideshow: Best Cities for Street Art
New York City and Frank Gehry’s mutual love affair continues to evolve at a dynamic pace. With this month's opening of Signature Theatre’s new Gehry-designed Pershing Square Signature Center in midtown Manhattan, Gehry adds another piece to his rapidly expanding Empire State catalog. His first residential project 8 Spruce Street, a 76-story skyscraper glazed with his signature curvaceous indents crawling up the stainless steel façade, made a dramatic debut on the downtown skyline in 2011. He’s also been tapped for the forthcoming preforming arts center at the new World Trade Center. And then there’s his iconic cloudy white, cold-warped glass IAC HQ building that hugs the West Side Highway in Chelsea. Sticking to his recent ambition for firsts, the unveiling of the $66-million Signature Center marks Gehry’s initial contribution to the city’s cultural landscape.
Oppenheim Architecture + Design recently won the bid for the Williamsburg Hotel. Between the Williamsburg Bridge and the domed Neoclassic Williamsburg Savings Bank, a 21st-century tower is set to rise over 400 feet.
What exactly does the prospect of a LEEDS Platinum-certified green building, set in the bustling bohemian enclave of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, say about New York's ever-changing tale? We'll have to wait and see. For now, check out these interesting photo renderings:
Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers recently completed the first phase of a $150 million renovation, and the improvements are pretty sleek. The brand's flagship property has updated its guest rooms, added a state-of-the-art teleconferencing suite, and redesigned its Sheraton Club Lounge.