Hotels + Resorts
We here at T+L know that our readers are the savviest around. So when I decided to go to South Africa essentially on a whim with three weeks’ notice, I decided it would be prudent to leave the trip planning to the experts. And if Micato Safaris’ impressive showing in our annual World’s Best Awards is anything to go by—they were voted Top Safari Outfitter for the ninth year running in the 2012 survey, out in the August issue—they must be the best.
The Micato experience begins before you’ve even boarded your flight, with the delivery of a mammoth safari bag filled with a bound itinerary, helpful packing list, and some gifts (a handy flashlight and a stylish passport holder), all wrapped in animal-print tissue paper to get you in the safari spirit. But even for someone like me, who likes to plot out every detail on my trips, it was nice to surrender myself to someone else’s expertise for a week and let them handle the logistics.
New and renovated hotels are opening across the country, from quintessential Northeast towns like Nantucket, Massachusetts and Newport, Rhode Island, to Lake Tahoe, California—just in time for your last summer getaway.
After a head-to-toe transformation, this 1717 building is now a charming, 11-room boutique hotel (and sister property to nearby The Veranda House). The self-described “retro-chic” rooms feature splashes of turquoise and red, and amusing needlepoint pillows (adorned with “lust,” “gluttony,” and other deadly sins).
It’s makeover season in the City of Light—at least for high-end palace hotels. Check into the famed 18th century Hôtel de Crillon (pictured) before it closes this fall for a two-year renovation (set to include the addition of a long-awaited spa). After a sweeping top-down restoration, Le Royal Monceau Raffles became home to a stunning collection of artwork; now, the hotel is expanding into cinema with its film-centric Ciné Brunch and Ciné Snack held every Saturday (hot chocolate, Hermé pastries and popcorn included).
Created by the Trigano family (co-founders of Club Med) and French philosopher Cyril Aouizerate and designed by Philippe Starck, Mama Shelter now counts a second outpost. The hotel, located near the Port of Marseilles, is slightly smaller than its Paris counterpart. It has 127 lightly colored–pink, blue, and yellow–rooms, all equipped with iMacs.
Book now on Vacationist, and you can stay in some of your favorite hotels and resorts for up to 40% off. Plus: Only Vacationist has T+L picks of what to see and do in every destination.
Sale ends in 2 days!
Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa - up to 52% off
This cottage-style resort in northwest Michigan is ideal for active types. In the summer months, check out the one-acre outdoor water park.
Cocos Hotel - up to 40% off
Saint John's, Antigua
White-sand beaches flank the cliff-side cottages at the couples-only Cocos Hotel on Antigua's southwest coast.
Sale ends in 4 days!
Victoria House Resort - up to 30% off
Ambergris Caye, Belize
The 42-room Victoria House is polished, intimate, and within striking distance of town (but still far enough to feel like a retreat).
Sale ends in 6 days!
Ace Hotel New York - up to 44% off
New York, New York
This edgy hotel conceived by Seattle-based hipsters celebrates the downtown scene in midtown Manhattan.
Vacationist.com is brought to you by Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com.
From top: Photos courtesy of Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa, Cocos Hotel, Ace Hotel New York.
Hotels are giving loaner bikes a stylish spin. At Shutters on the Beach, in Santa Monica, California, custom bike rentals include bright-green wheels designed by Kate Spade. In New York, the Mark lends chic black-and-white cycles adorned with bells and (for a fee) a Jean-Georges Vongerichten–catered picnic basket.
Photo by David Alexander Arnold
There's no hiding this building is a hotel by the massive lettering on the facade. But can you guess which one? Log in and leave your guesses below.
Check back on Monday for the answer!
UPDATE 7/30/12: Both guessed right. The Wythe Hotel opened this past spring in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Be sure to check out the rooftop bar for fantastic views of Manhattan.
Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter @matthewslyndsey
Until recently, every visitor who’s driven or walked past the historic Nantucket Hotel in the past four years—including me—has voiced some version of the same remark: “What a shame.” Long a point of pride on the island—it had opened with great fanfare in 1891, enticing tourists with its croquet lawns, ballroom and orchestra, and invitations to try the novel pleasures of “sea bathing”—the resort had fallen on hard times. After a developer who’d bought the property in 2005 went bankrupt trying to turn it into a luxury condo club, the graceful wood-shingled manse was shuttered, its stately front staircase boarded up, its sweeping veranda a sad reminder of more prosperous times.
This summer, at last, glory days seem to have returned to the vaunted old property. In fact, thanks to the careful attention of new owners—who gave the hotel a stem-to-stern overhaul in time for Fourth of July weekend—the newly christened Nantucket Hotel & Resort seems poised to enter its most vibrant period yet.
Priceline’s Name Your Own Price bidding system was once the most novel way to find a discounted hotel room online, but a slew of innovative new booking websites and apps make it easier than ever to prevent buyer’s remorse. The seven-month-old website BackBid turns the Name Your Own Price approach on its head: instead of guests bidding on hotel rooms, hotels bid on guests. After you submit your existing hotel reservation and travel preferences to BackBid, the site invites hotels in the same area to make you offers for less expensive rooms or upgraded ones at the same price. (A five-star hotel was recently offered in place of a three-star property in Washington, D.C.) As long as you have a refundable reservation, you can cancel and book the new room.
Some of us go to Italy to spend a day (or three, or more) swooning over Caravaggios and Berninis, but all of us, deep down, go to Italy to eat. How better to get swept up in la dolce vita if not via the country’s legendary cuisine? And if food is your calling, follow my example and book a night (or three, or more) at Antica Corte Pallavicina.
Think of it like Italy’s Blue Hill Stone Barns: Michelin starred, a half hour away from the city (Parma), and an idyllic country retreat where there’s nothing better to do than indulge. Housed in a lovingly restored 800-year-old palazzo formerly owned by a noble family of salt traders, there are six rooms with original frescoed ceilings and names that hark to the original residents (Stanza del Duchi, for instance, is named for Count Sforza and his wife Bianca, who visited in 1447).