Looking for a romantic getaway? T+L's digital projects editor Sarah Spagnolo spotlights five heart-pumping hotel deals for the month of February.
Want to unwind and get away from it all? T+L's features director Nilou Motamed shares her picks for the best spots for R&R.
We’re not sure what’s in the air, but the city of Miami is on editors’ minds these days. Many of us are plotting sunny getaways there, surprising our significant others with romantic weekends, and generally daydreaming about Florida’s hottest city. And, Miami news is pouring in: Last week, we covered the re-opening of the landmark Shelborne South Beach hotel; and this week we’re craving Chef Brian Massie's Italian dishes at the newly opened—and ridiculously chic—Bianca restaurant at the Delano Hotel. (The very idea of his simply grilled langoustines and homemade pasta with shaved truffles makes us swoon.)
And on the heels of yesterday’s love-inspired post, we have another fun video from GloboMaestro. Here's an excuse to get physical in Miami on Valentine’s Day—or any day! Take your first class, or show off your moves, with other passionate dancers at Miami's Salsa Mia. The Mandarin Oriental, Miami’s concierge, Giselle Mueller, shows you the way.
Travel + Leisure's February Trip of the Month is a classic two-week itinerary in Turkey. In association with Travel + Leisure Elite Traveler, our travel club for deals on hotels, cruises, and more, the Trip of the Month offers T+L readers exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime itineraries from the world’s top tour operators.
Take a dash of beachfront idyll, add a splash of sultry nightlife and an influx of travelers in search of the World’s Best City (Bangkok, according to T+L’s annual readers’ poll)—this week, Vacationist has its sights set on Thailand. Unwind poolside in Phuket, unplug at a Phi Phi island escape, or take in the raucous Bangkok scene from your perch at an open-air restaurant high above the city lights. Thanks to Vacationist, your trip to Thailand is next.
It’s often described as the Olympics of the Food World. Entering its 26th edition in 2013, the Bocuse D’Or—a biennial competition started by one of the fathers of French cooking, Paul Bocuse, that brings together the best chefs in a country, and then the world—is one of the great culinary honors.
This year, the top toque award at the U.S.A. competition went to Chef Richard Rosendale The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia. On Sunday, at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Rosendale—who’s one of only 66 Master Chefs in the country—dazzled the judges’ taste buds with a version of D'Artagnan Winter Chicken Preparations. It's hard not get hungry reading Chef Rosendale's description:
Walking down Collins Avenue in South Beach last weekend, the first thing that came to mind (besides not getting the memo about wearing five-inch-heels) was that—minus those name-bearing neon signs—the hotels essentially look the same. This didn’t come as a surprise, of course, since the art deco style of the 1940’s has been so well preserved—but I’d never really thought about how hard hotels need to work to distinguish themselves on the inside.
It was with this in mind that I stepped into the gleaming white lobby at the Shelborne South Beach, a landmark hotel since 1940, when Ava Gardner was a regular. It recently reopened following a $20 million renovation spearheaded by hotelier Keith Menin (whose uncle has owned the hotel since 1983). Some highlights: 50 redesigned rooms (50 more will be completed this spring), GuyandGirl Boutique (selling South Beach essentials like sunglasses, swimwear, and eco-friendly sunscreen), and the speakeasy-style Vesper Café (the only way to enter is through the kitchen).
A vacation on the west coast without breaking the bank? These three Vacationist hotel deals are a great excuse to head straight for L.A. and Las Vegas—or to go off-the-grid in undiscovered Hood River, Oregon, to see (or ski!) the pristine Columbia River Gorge area. In L.A., you’ll sleep in plush white-on-white beds at Mr. C Beverly Hills after dinner at the newest Cipriani outpost; in Vegas, the Signature at MGM Grand is an all-suite escape where you can avoid the frenetic crowds. And in Oregon, unpack at Columbia Cliff Villas, with views of the rushing Columbia River.
With three dining spots—Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, and North End Grill—anchoring the new Conrad Hotel (102 North End Ave.; 212/945-0100; doubles from $369), Danny Meyer is making his mark on New York’s Battery Park City. (His company Union Square Events also has an exclusive food and beverage partnership with the Conrad.) Here, he reveals his top hotel-restaurant picks.
“The winsome art collection, happening bar, and Michael Paley’s gutsy cooking make Proof on Main at 21c Museum Hotel a restaurant you don’t want to miss. Try the charcuterie plate, and anything Chef Paley does with pork is outstanding.” Dinner for two $75.
“Choose a window table with a view of the whole room at Adour Alain Ducasse in the St. Regis, and tuck in to some of New York’s most refined cooking, such as a tiny, roseate pork chop along with a lovely Aloxe-Corton—a surprisingly good value on the list.” 2 E. 55th St.; 212/710-2277; dinner for two $300.
“The formerly bohemian Hôtel Pont Royal is now a swank setting. The menu at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon changes frequently, but I once savored langoustines and thyme-roasted lamb chops with a glass of Château de Fonsalette.” 5 Rue de Montalembert, Seventh Arr.; 33-1/42-22-56-56; dinner for two $270.
“David Linley’s Dining Room at the Goring is stunningly lit by Swarovski chandeliers at night. The menu is a winning cross between modern and classic British. The lobster omelette alone is worth the trip.” 15 Beeston Place; 44-20/7396-9000; dinner for two $160.
Photo by Ellen Silverman
Staying on top of your many mileage, hotel, and rental-car programs is one of the biggest headaches for frequent travelers. Ditto figuring out whether or not you’ve accumulated enough points to book a first-class ticket for your next big getaway. But luckily, online mileage trackers have stepped in to help, letting travelers input their various member ID’s and passwords to conveniently consolidate all of their programs in one place. Besides displaying your latest balances, these services also notify you of all upcoming expiration dates, which is essential for keeping (and amassing more!) points.
Each site has its own edge: MileBlaster is particularly good at tracking your miles and alerting you whenever your points are about to expire, while AwardWallet smartly provides users with a convenient wallet-size card listing all of their loyalty numbers. We like TripIt’s iPhone- and iPad-optimized apps, which let you quickly access your details on the fly.