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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

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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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4 Affordable Wine-Country Hotels

Auberge on the Vineyard

A stay in a wine-region hotel doesn’t have to cost as much as a rare vintage. Here, four of our favorite finds.

France: Olivier Leflaive opened Burgundy’s La Maison et la Table d’Olivier Leflaive (doubles from $146), an inn with 13 bright rooms in the vineyards of his famous Puligny Montrachet wines.

California: The Avia Napa (doubles from $229) makes a perfect base from which to visit the area’s 17 tasting rooms. In Sonoma, Auberge on the Vineyard (doubles from $125) offers on-site workshops on pruning, blending, and barrel-tasting.

Spain: The family-run Echaurren (doubles from $112), in Rioja, houses four restaurants (one of them Michelin-starred) serving local pours from a 300-label cellar.

Photo courtesy of Auberge on the Vineyard

Vacationist Hotel Deals: Palm Springs, New York + Las Vegas

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

Sale ends in 3 days!
201204-b-riviera-palm-springsjpg

Riviera Palm Springs - up to 41% off
Palm Springs, California
A $70 million renovation of this former Rat Pack playground once again lures travelers to this historic 1959 property. Golfers love its proximity to the area's championship links; sun worshippers love the poolside scene.

201204-b-blakelyjpg

Blakely New York Hotel - up to 20% off
New York, New York
The family-friendly property in midtown Manhattan has some of the largest hotel rooms on the island, and guests receive complimentary breakfasts every day—a rarity in a city known for top-dollar dining.

Tropicana Las Vegas - up to 35% off
Las Vegas, Nevada
Located on the southern end of the Strip, the classic Tropicana is once again top of mind, thanks to its tip-to-toe renovation last year.

For more deals, including Palm Beach, Grenada, and Costa Rica, click here.

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

From top: Photos courtesy of Riviera Palm Springs; Blakely New York.


 

Video: Travel Tips for New Orleans

From hotel deals to cooking classes, Travel + Leisure's digital projects director, Sarah Spagnolo, shares her favorite tips for making the most of New Orleans right now.

Just Back: Arctic Circle

arctic circle

When I had the chance to take a bucket list trip to explore the pristine beauty of the Arctic Circle I jumped at the chance (after cobbling together frequent flier miles). First stop: the world famous IceHotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, where the walls, tables, beds, and everything else are made of ice and snow.

While spending a night on ice in 23° F degrees is a big part of the IceHotel’s draw, a thrilling daytime excursion by snowmobile (booked through the hotel) was the main event for me.

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