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Jose Garces Pays Tribute to Mothers with International Bloody Mary Menu

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Bloody Marys have been a brunch staple since 1921, when Fernand Petiot began serving them up at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris.

As families across the country prepare to toast mom this Sunday, Iron Chef Jose Garces has created an internationally inspired Bloody Mary menu for Renaissance Hotels, each recipe evoking the flavor and style of a global hot spot. A few not to miss: Dat Eye Opener, a blend of green tomato juice, creole seasonings, and garnish of pickled okra inspired by the Big Easy; Hong Kong’s Bloody Pearl, mixed with black vinegar, Chinese hot sauce, and ground caraway seeds; or San Jaun’s Puerto Maria, a zesty combo of Spanish onions, green bell peppers, cilantro, plantain, and ají dulce (sweet peppers). Other destinations-inspired riffs include New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Tuscany.

The entire menu is available at participating Renaissance Hotels throughout May. So bring your mom and raise a glass for all that she does—if she’s anything like mine, god knows she deserves it!

Nate StoreyNate Storey is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter at @StoreysTL.

Photo ccourtesy of Renaissance Hotels/ Jose Garces

V-Day Suites Come Dressed in 27,000 Flowers

flower suite

How many flowers does it take to say I love you? Renaissance Hotels thinks 27,000 should do the trick. That’s the number of multicolored blossoms bedecking the $15,000-a-night Valentine’s Day suites, which are available for the remainder of February at any of their worldwide properties. Upon booking, almost every inch of a room's interior becomes awash in a mélange of brightly-hued petals, from the bed to the walls to the nightstand.

If you can’t stomach parting with enough cash to buy a new car for a one-night stay, Renaissance is offering romance packages for the big weekend at a more palatable rate ($299.) Breakfast, cocktails, and candles are included, along with a designer floral arrangement. A conventional bouquet of roses will just have to suffice. 

Nate Storey is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Renaissance Hotels

New Year's Eve in Times Square: The App

Times Square New Year's app

In this digital age, it seems that we’re constantly hearing someone say “there’s an app for that.” Well, if you’ve always wanted to be in New York’s Times Square for New Year’s Eve, but never wanted to deal with the crowds, T+L can help…There’s an app for that!

The 2013 Times Square Ball App offers the chance to have your face flash on the big screens of Times Square during its iconic December 31st celebrations. Submit your New Year’s Eve photos to the app, and whichever images receive the most “likes” will appear on the Toshiba Vision sign - located at the center of attention underneath the famous crystal ball.

On top of the photo contest, the app also lets you stream a commercial-free webcast of the Times Square festivities on your phone or tablet. Hosted by TV and radio personality Allison Hagendorf (host of "The Next" on the CW), the show will cover all of the musical acts, celebrity appearances, and of course, the midnight countdown and Ball Drop.

To download the free app, available on Android and Apple mobile devices, visit timessquareball.net.

Peter Schlesinger is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Toshiba

Holiday Travel: Overhyped or Underrated?

Holiday Travel

Overhyped:

• New Year’s Eve in Times Square with a million of your closest friends

• Jokes about fruitcake

• Hotel lobbies playing Mariah Carey’s Christmas record

• Holiday staycations

• Flight attendants wearing reindeer antlers

• Buying presents on Black Friday

Just Right: Saving a slice of pie for the trip home

Underrated:

• Shipping presents ahead

• Pilots who dress up like Santa

• Flying on Thanksgiving or Christmas day

• Hotel lobbies playing SiriusXM’s “Bing Crosby Christmas Radio”

• Panettone, the thinking person’s fruitcake

• New Year’s Eve in Samoa (you’ll be first!)

Photo © Rob Corbett / Alamy

Making Doomsday Plans? Think Turkey, France

Sirince, Turkey

Looking for a relaxing place to spend the holidays?

Two spots in Europe may offer some respite from this year's holiday stress—if, that is, your major concern this season is the possibility of the ancient Mayanprophesied Doomsday on Dec. 21, 2012.

Indeed, while the rest of us are out vainly shopping for Furbies and iPads, other travelers are making long-term plans. UK travel search site Skyscanner recently announced that searches for one-way tickets to Turkey, for travel on the days leading up to Dec. 21, have spiked by nearly a third, while similar searches to the South of France have gone up by 41 percent.

Read More

Vacationist Hotel Deals: Hotels For The Holidays + Colorado

Book now on Vacationist, and you can stay in some of your favorite hotels and resorts for up to 40% off.

Sale ends in 3 days!

Riviera Palm Springs

Riviera Palm Springs - up to 35% off
Palm Springs, California
HOLIDAY DATES AVAILABLE A $70 million renovation of this former Rat Pack playground restored the razzle-dazzle of this historic 1959 property. Golfers love its proximity to the area's championship links; sun worshippers love the poolside scene.

Red Mountain Resort - up to 40% off
Saint George, Utah
HOLIDAY DATES AVAILABLE Framed by southwestern Utah's red-rock cliffs, just 15 minutes north of St. George, this 130-room resort and holistic health spa provides access to one of the Southwest's most memorable landscapes: an area called the Grand Circle, where Snow Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon parks converge.

Sale ends in 5 days!

Hotel Madeline in Telluride

Hotel Madeline Telluride - up to 46% off
Telluride, Colorado
Outdoors-loving travelers return again and again to the Hotel Madeline in Telluride, an independent property with Pratesi linens, in-room fireplaces, and an unbeatable location within walking distance from winter ski slopes.

Sonnenalp Resort of Vail
- up to 35% off
Vail, Colorado
Head to Sonnenalp for a dose of Bavarian chic nestled in the Rocky Mountains. There you'll find a full-service spa, three award-winning restaurants—even a piano bar and lounge.

Vacationist.com is brought to you by Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com.

From top: Photos courtesy of Riviera Palm Springs; Hotel Madelline Telluride.

Trip Doctor: New Data Shows Some—Not All—Holiday Fares Rising

Holiday Travel: Hong Kong airport

If you felt that booking holiday airfare was especially taxing to your wallet this year, it’s possible you weren’t imagining it. According to new data by Travelocity, fares were indeed higher this year than last—by a full 9% for domestic flights and 6% for international tickets on average. But there’s a silver lining: the most popular routes are becoming more affordable, as flights connecting major airports—like New York’s JFK and Chicago’s O’Hare—are proving to be cheaper than last year’s average, even during the holiday rush.

And if you’re still undecided about where to spend Christmas, consider this: the greatest savings come by booking a flight that leaves on the 23rd or 24th and returns later in the same week.

Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team.

Photo by istockphoto

Trip Doctor: Thanksgiving Travel Advice

holiday travel

The busiest travel days of the year are upon us. Aviation trade group Airlines 4 America, forecasts some 24 million people will fly during the Thanksgiving holidays, with planes reaching 90 percent capacity on the busiest days: today, Sunday, and Monday. Here, eight strategies for getting through the terminal without losing your patience—or your mind.

Load up Your Phone: Check your flight status and get instant updates on any delays with the FlightTrack and the FlightAware Flight Tracker apps; stay on top of weather patterns (and potential problems) with the Weather Channel app; and use iFly, Kayak, and PointInside to navigate the airport like a pro.

Read More

Thanksgiving Travel Expectations and Values

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With nearly 24 million travelers on the road and in the skies this Thanksgiving weekend, Travel + Leisure gives you the lowdown on the busiest travel days, how much that flight will cost you, and where you can find hotel values this holiday season. 

What to Expect:

A TripAdvisor® Thanksgiving travel survey projects that 35 percent of travelers are planning to travel this Thanksgiving, up from 34 percent who did so last year. Thirty eight percent of those traveling for Thanksgiving are planning to fly, while 58 percent will drive.

Related: Top Holiday Travel Strategies

U.S. airlines expect the number of passengers traveling from Friday, November 16 through Tuesday, November 27 to increase by 150,000 people, slightly higher than last year (but below peak years of 2006-2007), according to Airlines for America. The busiest travel days are expected to be the Sunday after Thanksgiving (2.4 million), the Wednesday before (2.3 million), and Monday November 26 (2.3 million), according to Airlines for America, with planes close to 90 percent full on those dates.

Read More

TODAY Show Video: 5 Spooky Halloween Trips

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Captain Fairfield Inn, Kennebunkport, ME

This classic 9-room inn a block from the Kennebunk River is hosting a pumpkin carving contest this Halloween. Pick up a pumpkin at nearby Patten’s Berry Farm and take it to the pumpkin carving station. The pumpkins will be displayed on Halloween night, when a panel of judges will select the winner. The prize is a free night’s stay to be used anytime between October 2012 and the end of April 2013. Doubles from $159/night. www.captainfairfield.com

Related: World’s Most Mysterious Buildings

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO

The inspiration for Steven King’s The Shining, this hotel has an on-staff paranormal investigator who will take you on a five-hour ghost hunt—if you’re brave enough. There is a range of other ghost and history tours available, and the hotel puts on a Murder Mystery Dinner on Friday, October 26, and a Shining Ball on Saturday, October 27 ($89 per person). Doubles from $169/night. www.stanleyhotel.com

Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Orlando, FL

Book this package for a 3-night stay at Loews Royal Pacific Resort (on-site at Universal Studios Orlando), a 2-day ticket to both Universal Orlando theme parks, early park admission to Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and one night admission to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal, where you can experience mazes and haunted houses featuring “The Walking Dead: Dead Inside” based on AMC’s series and “Welcome to Silent Hill” based on the video games and film franchise. From $609/adult ($203/night per adult). www.loewshotels.com and www.halloweenhorrornights.com

Virginia Hotel, Cape May, NJ

A restored 1879 landmark building just a half a block from the beach, the Virginia Hotel has cottages as well as rooms in the main house. Its Creepy Cape May package includes continental breakfast, two drinks at the on-site Ebbit Room, special Fat Witch treats, and a Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour through the town’s Victorian streets with a guide who will relate the paranormal findings of ghost writer Craig McManus along the way. Doubles from $140/night. www.virginiahotel.com

The Orlando on Third, Los Angeles

A recently renovated 95-guestroom boutique hotel near Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, The Orlando offers a “Holly-ween” package. It provides Bloody Brunch for two at the on-site restaurant, The Churchill, a personal fitting at costume store Trashy Lingerie, two tickets to the “Dia De Los Muertos Festival” at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on October 27 for anyone who books for Halloween night, and late-night transportation to and from the West Hollywood Halloween Festival. From $289/night. www.theorlando.com


More From Travel + Leisure:

World’s Most Haunted Forests

America’s Coolest Ghost Towns

Funny Signs From Around the World

World’s Strangest Beaches

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