Los Angeles: If you’re planning a stay in the L.A. area, book today at the iconic Langham Huntington, in Pasadena, and get 25% of the best available rate, with free valet parking through December 29. Rates start at $172. Book here with code CM2013. And if you’re in L.A. today, grab lunch today at Culina (pictured), the fabulous restaurant of the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, for $25, including a glass of Prosecco. Or come for dinner tonight and take 30% off the bill (mention the deal when you call for a reservation at 310-860-4000). Then massage all the holiday stress away at the hotel spa. Save 20% off all treatments booked today for appointments through December 30.
New York City: Yes, we’re biased since we live here, but we think there’s nothing so romantic as New York in winter. So book today through December 6 and you can get discounted rates at the NY Hilton (from $199/night) and the Waldorf Astoria (from $229/night) for stays in January and February (plus a few dates in December at the NY Hilton). Check it out here.
Manhattan’s latest crop of boutique properties have one thing in common: classic styling with a modern twist.
High Line Hotel Location: Occupies a slice of the 1895 Gothic-style General Theological Seminary, in Chelsea. Ideal For: High Line explorers; gallery-hoppers. Nod to the Past: Original stained-glass windows; well-worn handwoven carpets. What We Love: A desktop stationery embosser to personalize postcards and envelopes. Choice Bite: Cult bakery Mah Ze Dahr’s caramel-oatmeal bars, served from the hotel’s 1963 Citroën van parked by the entrance. Smallest Room: 275 square feet. Details: 180 10th Ave.$$$
Packing the perfect holiday outfit just got easier for New York-bound travelers. The Hyatt Union Square New York is now offering “The Accessories Butler,” a curated closet of seasonal jewelry, scarves, cufflinks, and more where each item is available for loan. Guests can browse then borrow any item that happens to catch their eye, from a sparkling set of earrings by designer Kevia to luxe fur boot wraps by Hugrz (above). The service is convenient for guests who may have forgotten outfit staples like a watch or belt, and just plain fun for those of us who like to play dress up. Organized by style expert Pamela Pekerman, the Accessories Butler is free of charge to all hotels guests, who can flaunt their new wardrobe piece for up to 12 hours after submitting an information form. Having a mini fashion closet at your disposal? Now that’s an amenity we can get behind.
Maria Pedone is on the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.
Travel shouldn’t be so complicated: “This one’s too big…This one’s too small…This one is just right.” Hyatt Place wants to get it right the first time for today’s busy travelers with practical amenities and the best overall experience.
From what to bring on a business trip to how to maintain a healthy lifestyle on the road, Hyatt Place wants to know what’s on travelers’ minds. They’re enlisting experts to offer advice and insights, in a crowdsourced, real-time approach to their guest experiences.
Travelers are invited to share topics and questions on the Hyatt Place Facebook page, join upcoming Twitter chats, and comment on the expert’s social channels.
Nowadays it’s easy to find hotels that stick to one subject. But at what cost?
The world’s first panda-themed hotel opened a few months ago in Sichuan, China. Guests at the Panda Inn luxuriate in black and white surroundings overlooked by panda paintings and enormous panda teddy bears. Meanwhile in Buenos Aires, fans of the Boca Juniors soccer team are luxuriating at the new Hotel Boca, self-billed as el primer hotel temático de fútbol en el mundo—one of those phrases that fleetingly raises one’s hopes of having acquired the ability to comprehend all of Earth’s languages. The décor pays only discreet homage to the team colors of yellow and blue, but balances this restraint with pictures all over the place of the world’s least restrained man, former Boca superstar Diego Maradona. Even in gritty, unpretentious Liverpool, visitors now have a choice of nautically themed hotels: one modeled on the Titanic, the other, more disconcertingly, on the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine.”
The latest “it” handbag designer knows a thing or two about L.A.’s hottest hoods: she lives in Echo Park and her namesake store is in boho Silver Lake. Vivier leads us around her east-side haunts.
Stay: “The Moroccan-style Figueroa Hotel($), a former YWCA residence, is soulful like the Chateau Marmont—but very affordable.”
Eat: “I’m half Mexican, so tortillas are important. The ones that Bar Amá($$) serves with its fajitas and tangy ceviches are delicious. At Taix($$), a classic steak-frites-and-mussels brasserie, I always sit in the dimly lit bar area, which attracts everyone from hipsters to cops.”
Shop: “Mohawk General Store carries great clothing, including Japanese-inspired knitwear from local line Black Crane. En Soie, a heritage label from Zurich, is filled with textiles and pottery—plus hard-to-find E. Porselli ballet flats.”
Do: “Echo Park, which has been immortalized in so many movies, was just beautifully restored; you can rent a paddleboat for the lake.” —as told to David A. Keeps
In the season of giving, nothing is more satisfying than knowing your gift is appreciated. Now, Andaz Hotels are ensuring online shoppers that their thoughtful presents will bring smiles near and far with the first-ever Andaz Holiday Bazaar. The boutique hotel group has partnered up with local artists from around the world (think trendsetting cities like New York, London, and Shanghai) to create an eclectic collection of items for purchase on Joyus.com. Not only will your loved one take pride knowing that the hip-hugging Alexander Campaz dress you bought them is one of a kind (seriously—only one was made), but you can take solace that all proceeds from the sale will be donated to Women for Women International (WfWI), a nonprofit organization helping to rebuild the lives of women in war-torn countries like Afghanistan and Rwanda.
Talk about a dream team: renowned German photographer Juergen Teller, London-based author Will Self, and chef Antonio Guida—whose restaurant at Tuscany’s luxurious Hotel Il Pellicano has earned two Michelin stars—have all come together for Eating at Hotel Il Pellicano(Violette Editions). The pink-paged cookbook highlights 11 multi-course menus, each named for a prominent hotel guest of the past and present; think Missoni, Borghese, and Noguchi. Dishes range from surf (roasted lobster with masala, hazelnut oil, and couscous) to turf (suckling pig with celeriac purée and Campari-marinated beetroot) to sweet (beignets with chocolate, gold leaf-wrapped caramel ice cream, and rosemary sauce). But you’ll likely spend more time gawking at the beautiful photographs than you will trying to recreate the recipes in your own kitchen. The chef himself concurs, writing in the intro that they are “too challenging for a home cook without a brigade behind him or her.”
Brooke Porter is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Early booking specials and last-minute deals are ubiquitous in the travel industry, so we at T+L are always fascinated when someone gets creative with their pricing.
A collection of hotels in Switzerland have done just that with their "Pay What You Want" two-night stay offer before the holidays. Guests pay the normal rate for the first night, and then decide what they'd like to pay for their second night based on the service they receive. And given that each of the 18 participating hotels were voted some of Switzerland's Most Welcoming Hotels in 2013, it's likely their award-winning service will have guests paying full price or more for their second night stays.
With properties scattered everywhere from India to Indonesia, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts has always embraced multiculturalism. And in the United Arab Emirates, crossroads of rampant internationalism, the group’s new Oberoi, Dubai($$$) is one big global romp, including Arabic coffee at check-in and a general United Nations approach to hospitality. Here’s a look at some of the highlights, country by country.
India: On staff at the city’s first 24-hour spa: Priyanka Chowdhury, who won two gold medals for India in the Yoga Olympics. Relax with the shirodhara treatment, a stream of oil on the forehead.
Japan: At the open-kitchen Umai restaurant ($$$$), Takeyuki Nakagawa is one of the few chefs in the U.A.E. certified to prepare fugu, the poisonous puffer fish that’s a Japanese delicacy.
England: Classic British afternoon tea (house-made scones and lemon curd; authentic clotted cream) gets a twist with Asian-inspired pandan eclairs and Turkish halvah.
Czech Republic: The lobby is dominated by two epic chandeliers: created by the Czech firm Lasvit, each is made from more than 100,000 shimmering crystal pieces. Only in Dubai.