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The Waldorf-Astoria Wants Its Stuff Back!

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Thou shalt not steal from your hotel—no matter how big or small the item might be. Take New York's iconic palace of luxury, the Waldorf-Astoria. Over the years, larcenous lodgers have walked off with ornate art deco grillwork from the heating and air conditioning units. They've filched guestroom doorbells. They've absconded with brass-plated mail slots from the corridors. "Some guests will take pretty much anything," says Matt Zolbe, the hotel's director of marketing, "even if it's bolted down." The famed hostelry has embarked on an Amnesty Program to retrieve some of that long-lost plunder, specifically historic, pre-1960s swag. The question is, will the program be enough to compel high-rent kleptos to return their purloined property?

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Beat the Heat: NYC's Hotel Roof-Top Pools

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Summer in New York City can be notoriously grueling—the cement holds the heat through the night and denizens get to feeling like they are slow-baking with nary a respite. Bathtubs filled with cold water and ice cubes and day-long movie-theater marathons are formidable weapons, but there’s a more elegant strategy to beating the heat: hotel roof-top pools. Of course, this costs the price of a night’s stay, but checking in and taking a dip gives perfect staycation relief. Here are three in downtown Manhattan (consider booking back-to-back stays!) where you can find a cool, aquatic oasis.

Trump Soho
On the seventh-floor terrace of Trump Soho, service is top-of-the-line at this waterfall-lined plunge pool (ask for a Kindle to use poolside!), and a fresh menu is on offer at Bar D’Eau for 2012, featuring treats such as a Spicy Tuna Tartare with Won Ton Crisps and a Kiwi Krush Caipirinhia.

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Ritz-Carlton and Jean-Michel Cousteau Launch Environmental Program for Travelers in Puerto Rico

 201206-b-ritz-carlton-dorada-beach-2jpg Skip guidebooks and Google searches, and grab your snorkeling gear and hiking boots—there are new ways to learn about, and explore, Puerto Rico.

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Oceans Future Society, an organization dedicated to preserving the environment, is opening a Puerto Rican branch of their award-winning environmental education and adventure program, Ambassadors of the Environment. 

Located on the Ritz-Carlton Dorado Beach Reserve, the program will weave knowledge with experience.  Participants will learn about Puerto Rico’s coral reefs, wildlife, wetlands, and Taino culture via snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, archaeological exploration, and other activities.

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Vacationist Hotel Deals: London, Big Sur, Vermont + Las Vegas

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

SALE ENDS IN 2 DAYS!
201206-b-vacationist-landmark-londonjpgThe Landmark London -  up to 48% off  -  London, United Kingdom
White-gloved service, champagne cocktails, and marble, marble everywhere: the historic Landmark London has all the trappings of Victorian-era luxury.


SALE ENDS IN 5 DAYS!
201206-b-vacationist-ventana-innjpgVentana Inn  -  up to 34% off  -  Big Sur, California
This iconic, adults-only hideaway in California's dramatic Big Sur is home to 55 rooms and three cozy cedar villas, surrounded by 243 acres that front the rugged coast.

The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa  - up to 50% off  -  Essex, Vermont
Just a short drive from the thriving cultural scene in Burlington, VT, guests at The Essex soak in private hot tubs, hike the property's winding trails, and nourish their foodie aspirations with on-site culinary classes.

SALE ENDS IN 11 DAYS!
The Signature at MGM Grand  -  up to 60% off  -  Las Vegas, Nevada
Pamper yourself at this tranquil Las Vegas resort, on a side street tucked away from the noise of the Strip.

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

From top: Photos courtesy of Landmark London; Ventana Inn.


 

Tech Thursday: Three New Technologies to Make Travel Easier

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I love to travel. Obviously. I wouldn’t work here if I didn’t. And I love when I hear about advances in technology that can help make traveling easier. So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw our friends over at sister mag Executive Travel reported three new improvements that are underway that’ll help speed things up while you get to your destination, so you have more time to enjoy that beachside mojito.

The first will help you speed through the baggage check a little faster. How? By printing out your baggage tag at home, while you’re checking into your flight online. The technology was created by Unisys Corporation, and is currently being tested at Billund Airport in Denmark. When passengers show up at the airport, they simply drop their bags off at a special counter and head on over to security.

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Palacio Nazarenas: Cuzco's Dazzling New Hotel

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The ambitious new Palacio Nazarenas was finally unveiled last week after four years of intensive excavation in the ancient Peruvian city of Cuzco. Housed in a former 16th century Carmelite convent, the all-suite property with whitewashed adobe walls and hand-carved timber balconies occupies a small cobblestone plaza near Plaza de Armas and the San Blas quarter. The exhaustive process produced a profusion of artifacts and historic finds, part of the reason archeologists were brought on board to assist with the project. The hotel is festooned in unearthed discoveries like original Incan sandals, an 18th century antique statue of Archangel Gabriel, and Spanish colonial murals and friezes restored to their original forms using flour dough.

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NYC Rings in 2012 Gay Pride with Fab Hotel Deals

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It’s June and that means it’s LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Pride Month. Parades have been marching every weekend in cities and towns across the country. (For those who aren’t familiar: June was the chosen month as a nod to the Stonewall riots, regarded by most as the start of the Gay Rights movement.) This upcoming Sunday, the streets of NYC’s West Village will be lined with thousands of supporters, many from outside the city…and they’re going to need a place to crash. Lucky for them, lots of hotels are offering up great deals to show their support.

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How to Plan a Trip on a Whim—and Save

Maroma Resort

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.

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Q&A: Lenny Kravitz on His Design Concept for the SLS Hotel South Beach

Lenny Kravitz

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.

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What's New in Hong Kong's Sheung Wan District

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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.

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