Today is National Chocolate Éclair Day (really!), which seems like a good excuse to tell you about a delicious new program Le Méridien hotels is launching with everyone's favorite pastry chef, Johnny Iuzzini. The former head judge from Top Chef Just Desserts will create eight seasonal éclair recipes for the chain, revealing them over the next 12 months as he stays at different Le Méridien hotels around the world. (First up: San Francisco, to be revealed on July 27. We're hoping it doesn't involve salt-water taffy.)
In 1951, the government of Portugal fashioned a hotel within the stone towers and turrets of the 13th-century castle at Obldos, creating the first in a network of 35 pousada-hotels. The buildings aren’t all castles—some were convents, monasteries, forts, granaries, or royal estates—nor are many as traditionally outfitted as the Castelo de Obidos.
Like a scene pulled straight from Downton Abbey, The Ruinart Rosé Salon 1764 pop-up bar at London's historic The Goring Hotel is the perfect place to toast summer with a bubbly glass of Rosé.
It was exactly 250 years ago that The House of Ruinart created the world’s first Rosé champagne. To celebrate the anniversary, The Goring Hotel has opened its private gardens (as large as a Wimbledon’s center court) from now until July 3 for the dedicated pop-up bar.
Carla Sersale’s boutique at Le Sirenuse, the hotel she owns with her family, may be located in Positano, Italy, but it was creative, chaotic Mumbai that served as muse for her latest collection of blouses, ponchos, and tunics. “You feel this powerful sense of joy around you,” she says, “and get blown away by the vibrancy of the colors.” Here, she shares her inspirations. —As told to Shane Mitchell
1. “When you look out your windows from the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel($$$) onto the Bay of Bombay and the moon is up, reflecting on the sea, it’s a magical show.”
2. “I fell in love with a piece by Waqas Khan at Lakeeren Gallery. He reinterprets traditional miniature painting with a Rapidograph pen on wasli paper.”
3. “I love the city’s battered yellow-top ‘Fiat’ taxis! You miss the point riding around in air-conditioned limos.”
4. “I collaborated with my niece, [Mumbai-based designer] Viola Parrocchetti, on these pillows and caftans for the new collection.”
5. “This 1920 brass statue of Shiva came from Phillips Antiques. It’s now on my mantelpiece in London.”
6. “Bungalow 8(91-22/2281-9880) is a beautiful store full of eclectic apparel, rugs, ceramics, glass, and jewels—everything carefully blended and displayed together.”
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One of my biggest regrets from my six years living in Atlanta was never hopping in my car and making the drive to Charleston. And last year, after T+L readers voted the charming Southern town the best city in the U.S., I started feeling that pull again and decided to take action, convincing two girlfriends to join me on a weekend getaway. Stephen Colbert recently shared his top picks from his hometown, so I thought I would do the same. My biggest regret now? Only staying for three days.
London's newest members-only lounge, Clubino Piano Bar, is proving to be an exciting option for discerning locals and guests at the Baglioni Hotel London. On a recent trip, club founder Luca Del Bono invited me to preview the intimate space, tucked beneath the hotel’s park-view bar.
“I’m trying to bring back a setting where people [can] drift away,” said Clubino’s founder, Luca Del Bono, “[like] we used to enjoy back in Italy a few decades ago.”
Our favorite new perch to watch the rapid reshaping of London’s skyline: Shangri-La at the Shard, itself located in the city’s most dramatic new addition, Renzo Piano’s 1,016-foot icicle on the South Bank. For its first property in the U.K., the hotel group brings its inimitable Asian polish to the British capital, with contemporary Chinese art, Japanese cherry-blossom wallpaper in the 202 guest rooms, and an Eastern flair (soy-glazed Welsh lamb!) at the restaurant Ting. Teatime here is held in the 35th-floor lounge, where full-length windows showcase the cityscape unfurling across the Thames. Earl Grey? Gracious, no—bring us a pot of green jasmine. shangri-la.com.
Sarah Miller is Travel + Leisure's European Editor.
In need of a healthy escape this June? Canyon Ranch, an award-winning destination health resort with two locations and multiple spas in the U.S., is offering a special gift this week in honor of Father’s Day. Dads and everyone else in the family will have the chance to benefit from a Canyon Ranch experience—mind, body, and wallets as well. For every gift card purchase, customers will receive a $50 bonus voucher for every $500 they spend.
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
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Appeared as "The United States of Awesome: Miami Heat" in T+L Magazine
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.