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Insider’s Florence: Tips from the City’s Top Hotel

Florence, La Giostra

Claudio Meli, the plugged-in general manager of the stylish hotel J.K. Place Firenze—and author of J.K. Essential Guide to Florence—shares the city’s lesser-known pleasures.

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The Rebirth of Indonesia’s Sumba Island

Hiking

“Can you believe this place?” asked James McBride as he led the way to the beach.

“It sort of endorses your lunacy, in a funny way.” In his pink shirt and straw fedora, McBride was hopping over rice paddies like a giddy schoolboy. Every 50 yards we paused to take in another improbable view: rippling fields of emerald green, pandanus palms teetering on a clifftop, a rocky headland pummeled by surf.

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Iglu-Dorf Igloo Village Openings

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Live like an Eskimo would for a day, but with a luxurious twist. The German company Iglu-Dorf is in the midst of opening their annual igloo villages along the Alps and Pyrenees, offering a unique winter getaway experience for all ages. From the outside, the igloos appear to just be a big pile of snow, but walk through the icy entrance to find a frozen paradise.

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Hyatt Throws Down the Gauntlet, Offers Free Wi-Fi to All

If the recent announcements from Starwood, Taj Hotels, and Marriott are any indication, free basic Wi-Fi is on its way to becoming the norm at big-name hotel groups. But now, Hyatt has upped the ante, offering complimentary service across all brands to all guests, regardless of membership status or where the reservations are booked. (At Starwood properties, for example, only loyalty members who book through Starwood channels will get the perk.) In addition, Wi-Fi will be available on unlimited mobile devices and laptops—unlike Taj, which limits it to three.

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Six Things We Hope Won't Change at Kimpton Hotels

IHG Kimpton

Luxury behemoth Intercontinental Hotels Group went out and got itself a sexy Millennial hotel brand, dishing out $430 million in cash for Kimpton Hotels on Tuesday. As IHG remains mum on its future plans, fear that our favorite little boutique collection’s soul will be corrupted is washing over us at T+L. Here, six things we hope won't change at Kimpton.

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Q&A with Canyon Ranch Spa Co-Founder and Wellness Visionary Mel Zuckerman

Mel Zuckerman

As its 35th anniversary year comes to a close, Canyon Ranch and its co-founder, Mel Zuckerman, are eyeing a bright future—one that explores new frontiers in health and wellness—and includes brand-new campuses.

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Marriott and Taj Hotels Offering Free WiFi—But There’s a Catch

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UPDATE: Starwood has joined the free Wi-Fi ranks. The hotel behemoth recently announced that it will offer complimentary service for all members of the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program beginning in February. One hitch: you only get it if you book through an official Starwood channel, including hotel brand websites, SPG.com, and the SPG app.

Hyatt and Hilton: the ball is in your court.

 

In the last few weeks, two major hotel brands have announced that they will start offering free WiFi: Taj Hotels started November 15, and Marriott next year, on January 15. But before you start cheering, there is a catch: the internet speed is only fast enough for checking email, browsing the internet, and updating social media. All things we do while on the road, sure, but if you were hoping to stream any video or download large files, it’ll cost you.

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Spread Holiday Cheer With Peninsula's "Snowpage"

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The Peninsula Hotels have found an adorable way to spread both holiday cheer and charitable good this season, and you can take part too.

Guests at Peninsula properties worldwide will find SnowPage, a smiley plush snowman, decorating the hotels’ public spaces. For every image of the stuffed animal posted to social media with the hashtag #SnowPage, Peninsula will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which helps children with life-threatening diseases fulfill their dreams.

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Why to Visit Fez in 2015

Medersa

For more than a decade, Marrakesh has been the Moroccan destination on everyone’s list, with its ever-more-luxurious hotels, nightclubs, and attainable whiff of the exotic. Fez, about 240 miles northeast of Marrakesh, was often an afterthought. Those who went there raved about the medieval medina—still totally inaccessible to cars, still genuinely Moroccan. But with few upscale places to stay, conservative Fez was never more than a quick stopover.

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Of Herbs and Smoke: Peru's Payment to the Earth Ritual

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When Anibal Clavijo Ubaldo and his family acquired a Peruvian plot of land from the local Andean community in Aguas Calientes, they called upon the local shaman Willko Apasa to bless the property before building the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel.

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