Hotels + Resorts
October is Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month, and what better way to raise awareness than by celebrating the season with our canine companions? Come October 19, Dogtoberfest kicks off in Austin, Texas. The annual festival—now in its sixth year—features a slew of activities where your pups take center stage. Weiner dog races, a canine costume contest, and DogtoberTROT, a 1K stroll around Austin’s Domain mall, are among the most anticipated.
Don’t live in the area? No worries—Austin’s newest pet-friendly addition, Hotel Ella, just opened today. There’s no size or weight limit for dogs, which means whether you have a dachshund or Doberman pincher, specialty biscuits, beds, and in-room dining are all up for grabs.
Maria Pedone is part of the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.
Some hotels put bags on absolute lockdown, in private rooms equipped with security cameras. (Hats off to Vegas.) Others simply stash luggage behind the bellman’s desk. Before dropping your bags, evaluate the setup and ask how the area is secured. And consider carrying with you anything valuable enough to go in the hotel-room safe.
$1 Million: The rumored value of jewelry stolen from a hotel room during the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Have a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.
Photo by Bernd Vogel / Corbis
New York City’s Columbus Circle has been on the music map for almost a decade, thanks to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s outpost in the Time Warner Center. On the fifth floor, its Dizzy’s Club brings jazz “out of the basement,” showcasing the genre’s best acts and serving up soul food—all with a Central Park and skyline view.
Now, thirty flights directly above Dizzy’s, the Mandarin Oriental, New York—a T+L World’s Best Award winner seven years straight—is adding its own take on the jazz club with a weekly series of concerts in its Lobby Lounge. Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., musicians from the Juilliard School perform, while hotel guests and visitors soak in the lounge’s 35th-floor panorama of the city—and maybe a cocktail or two.
Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure. You can follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.
Photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental, New York
When the Chinese travel abroad, what do they want? Traditionally, they’ve been more focused on luxury products than luxury hotels. But as more Chinese develop a taste for high thread counts, that trend is changing—quickly. One important sign of this change: Ritz-Carlton has just launched on the Twitter-like Chinese-language social media site Sina Weibo, joining other luxury hoteliers like Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons (as well as luxury brands like Mercedes Benz and Burberry).
After much back and forth, the New York Port Authority has chosen famed hotelier André Balazs to transform the former TWA terminal at JFK Airport into a hotel.
Completed in 1962, the Eero Saarinen-designed building is on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as a ceremonial entrance of sorts to JetBlue's Terminal 5. It's been largely unoccupied since 2001.
Balazs—known for his Standard hotels in Miami, Los Angeles, and NYC—had long been listed as a contender for the project, although the New York Post reported in August that his style had clashed with the Port Authority's hopes for the terminal. Now, according to the same newspaper, Balazs is the only designer in the running.
Over-the-Rhine (OTR)—known for its Italianate architecture—has gone from historic to hip.
Inventive Japanese gastropub and sushi bar Kaze amps up its ramen with littleneck clams and red miso broth; turkey sliders are piled high with sugar bacon, shiitake mushrooms, and house-made pickles. 1400 Vine St. $$$
The founders of 21c Museum Hotel set their sights on a landmark building for their second art-filled property. Technically just outside of OTR, it displays works in unexpected places; take the lobby floor, where a panel of wormlike neon patterns changes as you walk on it. Make sure to grab a drink on the rooftop terrace. 609 Walnut St. $$
Hold on to your hat: the most dramatic bluff-side hotels in the world are as breezy as they are beautiful.
Barbados: Built in 1887, the Crane Residential Resort ($$$$) sits above a pink-sand beach accessible by a glass-front elevator or 99 stone steps. Opt for a room in the original building with stone-coral walls and a hand-carved mahogany bed.
Brazil: Escape Florianópolis’s frenetic beach scene at the nearby Ponta dos Ganchos ($$$$), on a private, crescent-shaped peninsula. Guests can relax with passion-fruit caipirinhas on one of the eucalyptus-fringed decks or head to the tiny island just offshore.
Atlantic City’s boardwalk hummed with activity on a balmy Saturday afternoon in July. A cavalcade of families roamed the sandy platform, dawdling over soft-swirled ice cream cones and baskets of fried Oreos, flanked by the umbrella-laden Jersey Shore. A gaggle convened outside Caesars for the annual food and wine festival, this year headlined by a group of Food Network stars: Robert Irvine, Rocco DiSpirito, and Pat and Gina Neely. Kitschy shops were full of tourists snatching up t-shirts and knickknacks. The scene was a snapshot of Americana at its best, a throwback to AC’s heyday.
But despite the robust crowds on this weekend, it has been a frenetic road for a relic that once thrived as the eastern seaboard’s entertainment epicenter. The Great Recession, Hurricane Sandy, and overall tourism shifts (Pennsylvania is now the northeast's gambling capital) have taken their toll. The gleaming 2012-opened, $2.4 billion Revel was supposed to be the antidote, a Las Vegas-grade temple to Michelin-star restaurants, clubby pool parties, and an ultra-luxe spa. The brain trust used Sin City’s evolution as a template, one that focuses on self-indulgent pleasures over blackjack and roulette tables; gambling was supposed to be an afterthought. A $111 million loss and March bankruptcy later, the hotel is now switching its attention, unveiling slot machine promotions and advertising campaigns—“Gamblers Wanted”—to draw visitors to their casino (they’ve even lifted the ban on smoking).
Thanks to an interesting new partnership between Hilton HHonors and AT&T, members of the phone carrier—or those with Gold and Diamond HHonors status—can now enjoy free Wi-Fi at more than 3,000 Hilton hotels worldwide as part of the joint StayConnected program. It’s a first for the hotel industry, where free Wi-Fi is shamefully difficult to come across—and we can’t help wonder if other such collaborations are soon to follow. Verizon and Starwood: we’re looking at you!
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Did you ever think that you would have a “Countdown to Winter”? Whether you’re looking for a beach getaway or a ski-break, Destination Hotels and Resorts wants to hear from you. Now through October 15, enter in their Facebook sweepstakes for a chance to win a grand prize of 5 nights’ accommodations for 2 adults and a $200 resort credit.
Find out more details and how to enter here.
Gabrielle Blitz is the Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo Courtesy of Destination Hotels & Resorts