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Naxian Collection - up to 41% off Naxos, Greece Sea views from a clutch of bi-level villas at a petite property on the Greek island of Naxos. Sundance Resort - up to 53% off Sundance, Utah Actor-director Robert Redford's rustic-chic mountain retreat is set high in Utah's Wasatch Range, less than an hour's drive from downtown Park City.
Santa Ynez Inn - up to 41% off Santa Ynez, California Explore the small-batch wineries of California's central coast from this gracious inn, accented by Tiffany lamps and four-poster beds.
Opened in 2008, Parrot Key Resort is one of Key West’s newest properties. Each of the spacious waterfront rooms has a patio, porch, or balcony. There are four pools, tropical gardens, and if you like watersports, you can kayak, paddleboard, and Jet Ski during your stay. The resort is near Mallory Square and other attractions of Old Town. Doubles from $179/night in May (versus from $239/night in April).
Originally built for one of Brewster’s wealthiest residents, this seaside property has 337 guestrooms. Families can also choose to stay in stand-alone villas on the waterfront or around the Jack Nicklaus golf course. The resort has two year-round indoor pools, three outdoor pools, tennis courts, and access to the Cape Cod Bike Trail. Head to the town of Chatham for shopping or drive 40 minutes to Provincetown at the tip of the Cape. Although May temperatures not quite warm enough for a dip in the ocean, you can enjoy walks on the quiet beach and build sandcastles. Doubles from $119/night at The Villages, and from $175/night at The Mansion in May (versus from $250/night in July).
The airy, pastel gingerbread cottages of this inn are in a tropical garden of a former sugar plantation. Full tea service is served on the Great House veranda every day at 4 p.m.—a nod to the isle’s British heritage. Try the inn’s rum punch; they have their own 350-year-old recipe that’s a closely guarded secret. Doubles from $150/night starting April 15 (versus from $255 in high season).
At the bottom of Aspen Mountain, Sky Hotel has 90 guest rooms that were recently renovated. The lobby is a cozy gathering place, with log-beam ceilings, high-back upholstered chairs, and a complimentary wine hour from 5 to 6 p.m. every evening. The property has more than one building and some rooms open to the outdoors. Doubles from $129/night in May (versus from $299/night in June/July and from $450/night in winter ski season).
Pacific Northwest: Rosario Resort, Orcas Island, WA
Orcas Island is an ideal Northwest escape for those who love nature, outdoor activities, and cultural attractions. Rosario Resort surrounds guests with the beauty of the San Juan Islands, offering views of East Sound and Cascade Bay. The Bayside Rooms are a short walk from the Moran Mansion and Rosario Marina and feature sliding-glass doors that open onto a patio or balcony with dramatic island views. Activities include kayaking and whale watching on Puget Sound, visiting the local Farmer’s Market, and touring artisans’ studios. Doubles from $119/night April through June (versus from $149/night in July/August).
The Draw: Medieval towns, hills covered in olive groves, and more than 100 miles of Adriatic coastline define this area of central Italy.
The Experience: Eight miles south of Urbino, the Savini family’s 185-acre Locanda della Valle Nuova($) has six modern guest rooms and three apartments and arranges horseback riding, visits to artisanal producers, truffle hunting, and traditional dinners of porchetta and fried olives.
The Draw: Tuscany’s northern neighbor, Emilia-Romagna is the home of prosciutto and Parmesan.
The Experience: The late-1300’s Antica Corte Pallavicina($) is a favorite retreat of noted Italian chefs, including Massimo Bottura. Set along the Po River, the property has six rustic-chic rooms, each named after an aristocrat who once stayed there. Breakfasts include hand-squeezed blood-orange juice and farm-fresh eggs; don’t miss dinner at the property’s Michelin-starred restaurant, where chef Massimo Spigaroli serves his house-cured culatello.
The latest wine country hotels come in several varietals—some bold, others more subtle. Below, four of our favorites.
Delaire Graff Estate, South Africa(pictured): British jewelry baron Laurence Graff brings a new level of sophistication (doting butlers; world-class art) to rural Stellenbosch with his 10-villa estate, an hour from Cape Town. After a walk through the Keith Kirsten–designed gardens, take a dip in your private plunge pool. $$$$
Entre Cielos, Argentina: This airy, 16-room property in Luján de Cuyo offers more than just easy access to some of Mendoza’s top producers. Linger over perfectly grilled sirloin paired with a glass of the hotel’s own Malbec at the on-site restaurant, or lose yourself in the hammam, where Bacchus-themed treatments include a grape-seed body scrub. $$$
The London hotel boom continues with a handful of new and newly-rebranded hotels. The Nadler Soho(pictured) is scheduled to launch mid-May, entering a crowded field of other affordable hotels like Aloft, Citizen M, La Suite West, Z Hotels, and the upcoming Hudson. It will be the second London property and the new flagship from Nadler Hotels (formerly known as base2stay). The 78 rooms, with their in-room kitchenettes, will have courtyard-facing terraces or views of Soho Square. There won’t be a restaurant but the hotel promises that each of its staffers—including the “local ambassadors” at the front desk—will be able to provide insider tips on the local scene.
Also set to launch this May, in South Kensington is the Xenia Hotel, with 99 contemporary rooms in a restored Victorian building. Apparently the restaurant will bring a health-conscious Italian cuisine concept to the U.K. for the very first time, while the bar will feature a terrace with an herb garden and (of course) a cigar menu.
You already knew that the bottle of Evian on your hotel room nightstand comes with a hefty price tag. But if you happen to see a swanky, Yves Behar-designed bottle next time you’re traveling, that charge will go to a good cause.
Last week, a number of luxury hotel chains, including several Ritz-Carltons, Dusit International, Banyan Tree, Six Senses, Soneva, and others have signed on to a new campaign called Whole World Water, whereby each property will filter, bottle, and sell their own water rather than importing. The proceeds go to various clean water programs around the world, yielding an estimated $1 billion-a-year to resolve our global water crisis.
Speaking about what prompted the idea, co-founder Jenifer Willing said, "There are one billion people who live without clean water, and one billion tourists travelling the globe each year." And the idea has (sea) legs: Richard Branson, Edward Norton, Treehugger founder Graham Hill, and Charity: Water president Cristoph Gorder are all pledging support. We couldn’t agree more.
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her at on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
If you haven’t made plans yet for the Season Six premiere of Mad Men on April 7th, don’t panic. Maybe you want to watch it in Connecticut?
T+L has already discussed how the TV series boosted tourism in New York City, but after last season, which saw Pete and Trudy Campbell move to the 'burbs, Connecticut is doing its part to offer some Don Draper-inspired vacations.
Citing its collection of nearly 90 architect-designed mid-century modern homes, among them Philip Johnson’s famous Glass House, the state’s tourism board is touting New Canaan, CT, as the main destination for true Mad Men aficionados. In addition to the mid-century homes, you'll find the Elm Restaurant($$$), where you can sip a "Lucky Strike" cocktail. The drink, inspired by the old fashioned that Draper drinks while working on the Lucky Strike cigarette campaign, has cherry-wood-smoked bourbon, cherry bitters, and sherry, all topped off with a garnish of, you guessed it, ash.
When you think of an internship, chances are you imagine a young collegiate making photocopies and going on coffee runs. But what about spending two weeks living large (while getting your hands dirty) at some of Costa Rica's best eco retreats, including Lapa Rios on the Osa Peninsula, the Fica Rosa Coffee Plantation & Inn, or the chic new Kura Design Villas (pictured) on the Costa Ballena?
Cayuga Collection, the company behind eight pioneering eco resorts in Costa Rica and Nicaragua (and 2010 Global Vision Award winner) is accepting applications for what it calls "The Best Internship in the World," open to anybody with extensive travel experience and interest in getting a behind-the-scenes look at how luxury and sustainability can be compatible. According to Cayuga cofounder Hans Pfister, the successful candidate will be "a well traveled person or couple who can put our blend of high end service and responsible tourism to the test." In other words: "age doesn’t matter, attitude does."
By covering more than 4,600 hotels, IHG is certainly the largest company to make such a commitment to its loyalists of all ranks. And the IHG twist: you won’t need to be a guest of the hotel to access the internet. The service will be available free of charge even to loyalty-program members who just pop into the lobby.
Q: Is the “service charge” on my room-service bill the same as a gratuity?
A: Though the exact definition varies from hotel to hotel, service charge usually indicates a pooled tip, to be divided up by the entire room service department. If your specific attendant was particularly good, you may consider giving an extra gratuity—but are in no way obliged to do so. To be sure, ask what the hotel’s policy is when placing your order.