When it comes to trip-planning, I tend to get serious: My husband E. would tell you that I sometimes spend too much time on pre-trip research and packing deliberations, but recently, I tried a different approach: I used a travel auction site to book a trip to Mexico’s Riviera Maya 12 days out and left the planning to chance. While E. and I briefly entertained Istanbul and Rome, one of our favorite cities, we quickly agreed that what we really needed was four or five days of sleeping, eating, reading, a little walking, a lot of unplugging, and a beach—without our three kids.
The musician, actor, and founder of Kravitz Design lends his eclectic ethos to the SLS Hotel South Beach, where he created the penthouse suite and a private bungalow. Here, he reveals his inspirations, his love for Miami, and why he sometimes locks himself in hotel rooms.
Q: So what does a rock star know about hotel design? A: I’ve been living in hotels for the past 25 years. When I have a day off on tour, I’ll say, “For twenty-four hours I’m not going to leave this room”—so it’s got to have a personal feeling.
The historic Sheung Wan district is abuzz with new restaurants and shops—plus a chic hotel that has solidified the area’s rebirth.
Hotel de Edge by Rhombus: Value-conscious jet-setters check in to the 32-story hotel for its streamlined rooms, free Wi-Fi, and sweeping views of Victoria Harbour. For dinner, head to the on-site Glo restaurant, which attracts a stylish crowd. 94-95 Connaught Rd. W. $$
Select 18(pictured): Discerning hipsters browse this petite spot for vintage eyeglass frames, from Moscot to Dior. It also stocks secondhand couture; look out for 1980’s Vivienne Westwood baubles and Chanel jackets. 18 Bridges St.; 852/9127-3657.
When does a hotel renovation become personal? Well, when you’ve stayed at a property so many times you recognize every changed detail. Or when the hotel is also the view from your office window.
That’s why we at Travel + Leisure have been so interested in the recent renovation of New York’s Algonquin Hotel. It sits directly across the street from our offices, and some editors (including me) look out the window directly to the hotel’s top four floors. So when we heard that the famous hotel was re-opening recently after a five-month renovation, we asked for a peek.
Opportunities to sleep outside in NYC, safely removed from traffic and filth, are few: The Bronx Zoo offers summer overnight family safaris with a sea lion wake-up call. On select summer nights, families can sleep out in the city parks, watched over by rangers. But for the most part, unless you drag a mattress onto your fire escape like the Kramdens, you’ll probably be sleeping inside.
Except if you go five-star. AKA Central Park, a luxury residence/hotel combo, is offering a night out on the 1,000-square-foot wrap-around terrace of its 17th-floor penthouse suite. You’ll get cocktails, s’mores (ingredients from Jacques Torres) to toast in front of the fireplace, champagne, a Nook e-reader loaded with campfire stories, a telescope, a TV (really?), and a bed under the stars.
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. $
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SALE ENDS IN 3 DAYS! Nolitan 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.