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The Iconic Pool at the Biltmore, Miami

Biltmore Hotel pool, Miami

Why the pool at the Biltmore Hotel, in Coral Gables, Florida, deserves a place in the iconography of travel.

Miami was built on a grandiose dream that somehow came true. The Biltmore’s fanciful half-acre pool—flanked by a Moorish tower and faux-Roman statuary—embodies the infinite possibilities of this city of whimsy. The winter headquarters of the Roaring Twenties, the hotel survived the 1930’s with Busby Berkeley–style aquacades starring Esther Williams; Johnny Weissmuller, in pre-Tarzan days, was a swim coach. By the 1970’s, the derelict Biltmore had become the local version of the hotel in The Shining—as kids, we’d sneak in and use it as a spooky clubhouse. Over time, both hotel and pool reopened, but every swim remains a dip into myth, enveloped by glittering ghosts. $

Hotel courtesy of The Biltmore

Vacationist Hotel Deals: Manhattan, Scottsdale, Bali + a Destination Spa

Book now on Vacationist, and you can stay in some of your favorite hotels and resorts for up to 40% off.

SALE ENDS IN 3 DAYS!
201205-b-vacationist-nolitanjpgNolitan Hotel - up to 35% off - New York City, New York
The first boutique hotel to open in Manhattan's Nolita (North of Little Italy) neighborhood, the Nolitan exudes both low-key hipness and local charm.

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TODAY Show Video: Affordable Beach Vacations

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Looking to plan a seaside getaway—with hotel rates under $200 a night? Hear Travel + Leisure's deputy editor, Laura Begley Bloom's, best tips for an affordable beach vacation right now.

How to Tip Your Hotel Housekeeper

tipping your housekeeper: envelope

If you want to make absolutely sure that your tip is distributed evenly, follow this rule of thumb: leave $5 to $10 for each day in an envelope at the front desk. Note your room number and dates of stay on the envelope, and that you’d like it divided among all your housekeepers.

Have a travel dilemma? The trip doctor is in. Send your question to Amy at tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Photo by iStockphoto

Weather Channel Video: Weekend Getaways From Chicago

 

T+L's Sarah Spagnolo presents easy weekend getaways from Chicago on the Weather Channel's Wake Up with Al.

1. Family-Friendly Resort: Kohler, Wisconsin
Founded in 1918 by the man behind Kohler bathroom fixtures, this destination, three hours north of Chicago, is known for its iconic resort, where travelers can choose between dozens of activities, from tennis to golf, croquet, hiking, swimming, and more. WHERE TO STAY The 240-room American Club Resort, which offers storytelling by an outdoor firepit on Friday nights. Plus, all the rooms have state-of-the-art showers and whirlpool bathtubs. PRICE $289 a night. BOOK NOW

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TODAY Show Video: Last-Minute Memorial Day Ideas

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix
Phoenix’s grande dame was built in the 1920’s by disciples of Frank Lloyd Wright, and unlike many Phoenix resorts, it’s understated and elegant—a sophisticated gray stone carved with Wright’s signature angles. Rooms are small and cozy and feature earth-tone furnishings. Explore eight pools and numerous nooks and crannies among the 39 acres, including the Catalina pool; Irving Berlin reportedly wrote “White Christmas” while afloat here. This summer, it’s hosting the third annual Hollywood & Wine Festival.

Deal:From $80/night ($119/night and third night free), available through Labor Day. Use group code “ZU” when booking online or call 800-950-0086.

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Update: Average Hotel Rates Across the U.S.

United States

T+L’s annual report takes a closer look at the latest crop of guest review sites. Plus, how to snag a great rate, loyalty-program news, noteworthy spin-off brands, and the price of Wi-Fi and water in cities across the country.

By and large, you can expect to pay more for your hotel room this year in the United States. Here, a snapshot of average rate increases in six cities.

San Francisco
Average Daily Rate: $158
Rate Change Since 2010: 13.9%
Occupancy: 79.3%

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Photographer-Turned-Hotel-Creative Director Matthew Rolston

He’s shot covers for countless magazines and directed music videos for Madonna. Here, Rolston opens up about his inspirations and his latest project in New York—plus we get the first look at a video he produced about the making of Hollywood’s Redbury hotel.

Q: Your first hotel project, The Redbury, opened in October 2010. What inspired the design?
A:
The first thing that popped into my head was the 1960’s psychedelic period in San Francisco. And then I thought, “Who do I know who has a home like this?” Music producer Rick Rubin. He used to live in an amazing house above Sunset Boulevard that was filled with crazy old wallpaper and broken down chandeliers. Then I looked at hippy era interior design and 1970’s Victoriana. That crazy stew of ideas turned into The Redbury. 

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Close Your Eyes and Think of England: Royal-Themed B&B in London

20120509_royalroomjpg

A nice lady in the northwest London suburb of Wembley has created a guestroom for a very particular traveler: one who cannot get enough of the royal family, even in this Windsor-giddy period between Kate and Will's wedding and the Queen's Jubilee.

The Sandringham Suite, a visual explosion of Union Jacks and Diana portraits, is available to rent for rates from $121 per night from rental site Wimdu.com. If sleeping amidst more than 10,000 artifacts is not enough, you can supplement the experience by renting a corgi for the day.

Via the Daily Mail.

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.

Image courtesy of Wimdu.

 

Best Openings from Around the World

Montreal

From hotel openings to cultural happenings, we’ve got the latest in five buzzing cities.

BARCELONA
Stay: Primero Primera

A stylish boutique hotel in a tucked-away bourgeois barrio alto. Doubles from $255.

Eat: Fábrica Moritz Barcelona
Tapas restaurant set in an old Moritz beer factory and made over by French architect Jean Nouvel. 34/93-426-0050; dinner for two $55.

Do: Museu d’Idees I Invents de Barcelona
A two-story showcase for wacky inventions such as a mop with a microphone. —Suzanne Wales

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