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T+L Editors' Favorite Trips of 2012

T+L Editors' Favorite Trips of 2012: Lindsay Olander

Ever wonder what travel editors do on vacation? Get the scoop on the moments that resonated most with the T+L staff in 2012—and see photos of us on location. Happy holidays, and here's to more travel for everyone in 2013!

Photo courtesy of Lindsey Olander

Vacationist Hotel Deals: Chicago, NYC + California Wine Country


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!

Ivy Boutique Hotel, Chicago

Ivy Boutique Hotel - up to 61% off
Chicago, Illinois
A new, 63-room boutique hotel located one block from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.


King & Grove, New York

King & Grove New York - up to 51% off
New York City, New York
This Art Deco hotel feels like your very own Manhattan pied-à-terre, just minutes from Madison Square Park and the Empire State Building.


Kenwood Inn and Spa, Sonoma CA

Kenwood Inn and Spa - up to 35% off
Sonoma, California
A Tuscan-style, adults-only escape in Sonoma, California’s Valley of the Moon, with elaborate fountains and hundreds of fruit trees.


Vacationist.com is brought to you by Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com.

From top: Photos courtesy of Ivy Boutique Hotel; King & Grove New York; Kenwood Inn and Spa.

Trip Doctor: Noisy Hotel Neighbors Do's and Don'ts

noisy hotel
guest

Do

...call the manager on duty. He can dispatch security. He’ll also know when your rowdy floor mates are checking out.

...ask for earplugs. Most hotels expect some type of noise pollution, be it from tropical birds, traffic, or a wailing toddler.

Don’t

...take matters into your own hands. You want the hotel to be involved early on in case the culprit is uncooperative.

...demand that other guests move for your sake. If you want a quieter space, expect to switch rooms yourself.

Have a travel conundrum? The Trip Doctor is in. Send questions to tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Illustration by Peter Arkle

Behind the Scenes at a T+L Photo Shoot

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“We were finishing up a morning shoot in the Philippines on White Beach in Boracay, this big, long stretch of supersoft, sugary sand on the island’s western coast. It’s lined with resorts.

Before heading to our next location, we took a swim in the sea just outside our hotel. While drying off, I spotted this couple sleeping with their big, floppy, matching sun hats. They weren’t wearing bathing suits, so I assumed they were just arriving, maybe waiting to check in. For me this moment encompasses that whole feeling you get at the start of a vacation: when you know that everything’s going to be taken care of and your needs will be met. The sky is going to be ablue and the sun will be out, and the palm trees will shade you. The water is going to be warm; the drinks, cool; and the daybeds are there. It’s time to relax.” —Emily Nathan, photographer

Shot at Discovery Shores.

Photo by Emily Nathan

Trip Doctor: Hotel Tonight Launches in Mexico and Europe

Hotel Tonight app

Listen up, last-minute travelers: our favorite last-minute booking tool has gone international. As of last week, you can use Hotel Tonight (free on iPhone and Android) to make same-day room reservations in cities like Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Acapulco, in addition to the app's growing list of domestic destinations. Better yet, Hotel Tonight has simultaneously added a Gift Credits program—a digital gift card of sorts that you can share with friends—perfect for those perpetually delayed travelers who constantly find themselves on cancelled flights (we know a few of these folks, ourselves).

Among today's deals, we're excited about Edinburgh's sleek Dakota Hotel ($108 tonight) and the posh Boscolo Exedra in Nice ($155 tonight), both bargains that are tough to pass up. Of course, last-minute international airfares can put a wrench in your spontaneous plans, so don't jump the gun before getting a full picture.

For more of our favorite apps and websites, check out T+L's recent roundup of the web's best.

Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her at on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

Photo courtesy of Hotel Tonight

Hotel News: What's New in Hotels Around the World

201206-hd-b-the-plaza-hotel-newsjpg

Westin Hotels & Resorts is rolling out new gyms worldwide, all with a more spalike atmosphere—neutral colors; woven flooring—and special blue light-therapy fixtures, which (apparently) have an energizing effect.

InterContinental Hotels Group, meanwhile, has announced a new wellness-themed brand called Even Hotels. Rooms will have jump ropes and exercise balls; breakfasts include free smoothies. The first property is expected in early 2013, perfectly timed to help with New Year’s resolutions.

Read More

Vacationist Hotel Deals: Hotels For The Holidays + Colorado

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!

Riviera Palm Springs

Riviera Palm Springs - up to 35% off
Palm Springs, California
HOLIDAY DATES AVAILABLE A $70 million renovation of this former Rat Pack playground restored the razzle-dazzle of this historic 1959 property. Golfers love its proximity to the area's championship links; sun worshippers love the poolside scene.

Red Mountain Resort - up to 40% off
Saint George, Utah
HOLIDAY DATES AVAILABLE Framed by southwestern Utah's red-rock cliffs, just 15 minutes north of St. George, this 130-room resort and holistic health spa provides access to one of the Southwest's most memorable landscapes: an area called the Grand Circle, where Snow Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon parks converge.

Sale ends in 5 days!

Hotel Madeline in Telluride

Hotel Madeline Telluride - up to 46% off
Telluride, Colorado
Outdoors-loving travelers return again and again to the Hotel Madeline in Telluride, an independent property with Pratesi linens, in-room fireplaces, and an unbeatable location within walking distance from winter ski slopes.

Sonnenalp Resort of Vail
- up to 35% off
Vail, Colorado
Head to Sonnenalp for a dose of Bavarian chic nestled in the Rocky Mountains. There you'll find a full-service spa, three award-winning restaurants—even a piano bar and lounge.

Vacationist.com is brought to you by Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com.

From top: Photos courtesy of Riviera Palm Springs; Hotel Madelline Telluride.

Whiskey a No-Go: Trump and Glenfiddich on the Rocks

The Donald

It’s been a bad year for Donald Trump when it comes to elections.

His latest voter-based imbroglio, however, has less to do with Washington, and more to do with hotel bars, golf and feisty farmers.

The real estate and resort mogul recently banned Glenfiddich whisky at all of his properties, reportedly after taking offense at some implied opposition to his new Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. (The resort has no hotel yet: one obstacle is Trump’s dispute with a neighboring wind farm project, but that’s a whole other drama.)

Read More

Ritz-Carlton Expands its Behind-the-Scenes Videos

In September, the Ritz-Carlton gave T+L exclusive early access to its new video series, the Art of the Craft—a behind-the-scenes look at key employees who influence the guest experience. But the company didn't just stop with four videos, and they've again given us exclusive early access to their newest: a florist in Barcelona and a steward in Washington, D.C.

Its not exactly reality TV—there's no screaming Gordon Ramsay–type character screaming (though let's face it, we don't really need more of that). But the videos do a good job showcasing the efforts of people we might otherwise underappreciate—knowing how much passion and experience goes into a hotel's flower presentations, for example, helps us all better understand all the intricacies of operating a luxury hotel.

Read More

World's First Underwater Club Debuts

Niyama resort

An ocean-side cocktail is one of the numerous hallmarks of a quintessential beach escape. Now, the Niyama Resort on the Maldives’ far-flung Dhaalu Atoll is taking that concept to a new level, inviting guests to tope drinks and party the night away—wait for it—beneath the Indian Ocean. More than 500 yards offshore and a 40-minute seaplane jaunt from Malé, Subsix is the world’s first sunken club. When the full moon sets the ocean aglow, revelers can dance to international deejays and take in aquarium-like views of sea turtles wading in the surf and tropical fish interspersed on the reef.

In such a sensitive ecosystem, it’s encouraging to hear careful measures were taken to minimalize the environmental impact. Subsix was constructed above ground and placed delicately on a swath of empty seafloor. The resort also enlisted a marine biologist and launched a coral restoration program in which pieces of defunct reef are rehabilitated and returned to their natural habitats. 

The only thing missing in this human fishbowl is the scuba diver figurine.

Nate Storey is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Niyama Resort

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