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France Dispatch: Mama Shelter Rolls Out Another Hotel

201206-b-mama-marseille-2jpgCreated 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.

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Vacationist Hotel Deals: Northern Michigan, Antigua, Belize + NYC

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!
201207-b-vacationist-crystal-mountainjpgCrystal Mountain Resort & Spa - up to 52% off
Thompsonville, Michigan
This cottage-style resort in northwest Michigan is ideal for active types. In the summer months, check out the one-acre outdoor water park.

201207-b-vacationist-cocos-hoteljpgCocos 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!
201207-b-vacationist-ace-hotel-new-yorkjpgAce 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.
 

Hotel Trend: Chic Custom Bicycles

custom bicycle rentals

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

Guess Where? Hotel

201103-b-guesswhere-128jpg

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

New Life for Nantucket's Oldest Resort

>Nantucket Hotel exterior

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.

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Money-Saving Hotel Booking Sites

Money-Saving Hotel Booking Sites

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.

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Editor Find: Secret Foodie Getaway in Italy

201206-b-italy-2jpgSome 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).

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Vacationist Hotel Deals: A World’s Best Awards winner, Caribbean, Sonoma + More!

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!
screen_shot_2012-07-13_at_21927_pmpngRed Mountain Resort
Saint George, Utah
This just in! The Red Mountain Resort is No. 1 Destination Spa in the T+L 2012 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey! Book now and save on this 130-room resort and health spa in Utah's Grand Circle, near Zion and Bryce Canyon.


201207-b-vacationist-light-house-bay-barbudajpg

Lighthouse Bay - up to 25% off
Barbuda, West Indies
This nine-suite waterfront gem offers total serenity on Barbuda, a quiet Caribbean island beloved by solitude seekers.

Sale ends in 5 days!
201207-b-vacationist-hotel-les-marsjpg

Hotel Les Mars - up to 35% off
Healdsburg (Sonoma County), California
Looking for an elegant home base while touring Sonoma’s wine country? Try this downtown Healdsburg mainstay.

Sale ends in 6 days!
Hotel Chimayo de Santa Fe - up to 29% off
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Authentic New Mexican touches are on display at this 56-room Santa Fe hotel, which takes its inspiration from a tiny town 30 minutes north.

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

From top: Photos courtesy of Lighthouse Bay; Hotel Les Mars.

Berkshires Buzz: Tanglewood and Stonover Farm

Berkshires: Stonover Farm

For Tanglewood...
Our favorite summer music festival—held at the country home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra—celebrates its 75th anniversary this season. Highlights include performances by Yo-Yo Ma and Diana Krall, plus a Fourth of July extravaganza with unofficial Tanglewood bard James Taylor. Nothing beats hearing Sweet Baby James sing about the “dreamlike” Berkshires in the actual Berkshires. Through Sept. 2.

Stay at... Stonover Farm (pictured)
A 15-minute walk from Tanglewood’s front gate is what appears to be your archetypal New England farmhouse inn, complete with the requisite duck pond and willow trees. But the suite interiors are more Giorgio Armani than Norman Rockwell, with elegant fabrics and warm neutral tones. On cool evenings, owner Tom Werman—a former L.A. record producer—lights the flagstone fireplaces, cues up some Bill Evans, and pours wine for guests. $$$

Photo by Kevin Sprague

Tips from Housekeeping: How to Make a Bed

How to make a bed
Ana Lissa Sison, director of housekeeping at the Peninsula New York, can make a king-size bed in five minutes flat. Her method:

1. Pillows: Karate-chop down the middle to fluff feathers. Fold in half lengthwise and insert into case. From the outside, pinch a corner of pillow; pull case down. Set aside.

2. Bottom Sheet: Use a flat sheet (more durable than fitted). Tuck in top and bottom. At each corner, lift overhang to form a triangle. Pull and tuck sheet under.

3. Top Sheet: Tuck in bottom, leaving sides hanging. Fold top of sheet back six to eight inches.

4. Duvet, Part I: Fold duvet cover in half, with opening facing headboard. Fold duvet as mirror image, and place at foot of bed.

5. Duvet, Part II: Grab duvet at bottom right; pull into right corner of cover. Repeat on left. Holding cover in place, pull it completely over duvet.

6. Finish: Leave duvet untucked, smoothing out wrinkles and crisping corners. Place pillows on top and align patterns. Add accents to taste.

Illustration by L-DOPA

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