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Vacationist Hotel Deals: California + Nevada

201110-b-terraneajpgIt may be late October, but temperatures are still hovering around 75 degrees in California and Nevada. Where to unpack? Thanks to hotel deals from Vacationist, try Ravella, an Italian-inspired resort just 17 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, where the outdoor activities are a welcome counterpoint to Sin City's nightlife-oriented pleasures. Meanwhile, Terranea Resort, on 102 acres just 16 miles south of LAX, has all the fixings for a warm-weather escape: Pacific views from oceanfront terraces, two Jacuzzis, a 9-hole golf course—even a 140-foot water slide. Or for something more intimate, there's the charming, 16-room Hotel Les Mars, in Sonoma, a one-block walk from downtown Healdsburg.

For hotel deals in Rome, Florence, Bali, and the Caribbean, click here.

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VH1: Top 5 Celebrity Vacation Spots

Travel + Leisure's features director Nilou Motamed chats with VH1's Jason Dundas about where the stars go to get away from it all.

Hotel Staff Taught to Read Guests' Body Language

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USA Today
|  Forget calling the front desk. If you're a guest at an Affinia hotel, the staff will try to figure out what you need just by looking at you.

Starting this month, the boutique chain is bumping up personal service in its five hotels in New York City and one each in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Everyone from housekeeping to management will be tailoring his interaction with guests based on body language.

A body language expert trained employees over the summer on what cues to look for. A guest who makes eye contact while walking down the hall, for instance, may be open to conversation. A corporate trekker constantly tugging on an ear is probably stressed and may be interested in a yoga kit — or perhaps a therapeutic pillow from the hotel's pillow menu.
Photo credit: iStock

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Prince Edward Island Opens First Hotel in 25 Years

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Prince Edward Island
may be best known for its Anne of Green Gables lore and Malpeque oysters, but a sleek new boutique hotel—the island's first in 25 years—is causing quite a buzz. Located in historic downtown Charlottetown, The Holman Grand Hotel opened in August, after a year of renovation, in the former R.T. Holman department store.

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The Luxe Life on Koh Samui

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As we report in our current issue, high-end resorts are booming on Koh Samui, Thailand’s second-largest island—and three in particular now rank among the finest Southeast Asia has to offer.

But not everything is up in Samui’s rising tide. While the luxury market expands at a rapid clip, last year the island actually lost 1,800 hotel rooms, or 11% of its total supply—most of them at the budget level.

“As Samui becomes more sophisticated, the lower-end tourist trade has been pushed out to other islands like Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao,” says Bill Barnett, a Thailand-based hotel consultant, who penned a provocative white paper on the island’s future chances.

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Vacationist Hotel Deals: All-Inclusive Resorts in the South Pacific and Caribbean

200912-b-fijijpgForget what you think you know about all-inclusive resorts. The newest batch of hotels have evolved to attract discerning travelers with top-notch food choices, state-of-the-art  amenities, and stellar off-site excursions—for no extra cost, of course. A couple choices for Vacationists to consider now: the romantic Veranda, an adults-only escape in St. Philips, Antigua, or Beqa Lagoon Resort, on 10 tropical acres in far-flung Fiji. In case you’re wondering, there won’t be a wristband in sight.

For more hotel deals, including up to 60 percent off in Costa Rica, Nevis, and Italy, click here.

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A Luxe Travel Insider Launches New Website

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PR guru/savvy entrepreneur/enthusiastic globetrotter/longtime friend of T+L Melanie Brandman lives a life many would envy, traveling to all corners of the globe for her namesake company’s top-name travel clients.

And having also grown up in Australia and the Middle East, it’s no surprise Melanie’s world view is big—one that’s surely influenced and helped cultivate her good eye (and her good taste). Few know, however, that before her start in the travel industry, she worked as an editor at Vogue Australia.

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Today, Melanie officially returns to her early professional roots with the launch of The Travel Curator. The new website is her little black book of favorite finds from the road. Think of it as the short list or cheat sheet (hotels, restaurants, shops, more) for the world’s top luxury destinations mixed with smart trend coverage.

The first city in the spotlight? Sydney, of course. Melanie tips readers off to everything from a Surry Hills boutique renown for its custom textiles to what she calls “the best food truck in the Southern Hemisphere,” which sells meat pies with all the fixings around the clock. “Believe me, at 2 a.m. it’s just what the doctor ordered.” We do, Melanie!

Next month, travel with Melanie to New York City.

TODAY Show: The Results Are In - America's Favorite Cities Survey

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Which U.S. city is the cleanest? The most affordable? Best for hotels? T+L Features Director Nilou Motamed shares the results from our popular annual survey—America's Favorite Cities. For complete results—in 50 categories, go here.

Gerhard Richter Retrospective Opens at The Tate

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This year marks the 80th birthday of abstract German painter Gerhard Richter, and London’s Tate Modern is paying homage with “Gerhard Richter: Panorama,” an expansive retrospective of the artist’s career across the past five decades. Richter’s work can’t easily be pegged to one aesthetic, and the exhibit (opening October 6) — featuring photograph-based portraits, landscapes, glass constructions, works on paper and color charts—displays the full range of his often politically-charged collection.

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6 Exciting New Hotel Openings

hotel opening: Vineyard & Resort indoor pool and spa area

From a mobile safari camp to a resort on a private island, T+L rounds up the most exciting openings—plus two coming soon.

India: Oberoi Hotels & Resorts has done it again, with a 202-room property on the outskirts of New Delhi. Just 15 minutes from the airport, the Oberoi, Gurgaon (doubles from $706) features suites with private pools, 24-hour butler service, a cigar lounge, and Delhi’s first 24-hour spa—because you never know when the desire for a massage may strike.

Italy: Giorgio Armani returns to his hometown—and Italy’s fashion capital—for his second hotel venture, opening soon. Like his first property, in Dubai, the Armani Hotel Milan (rates not available at press time) promises to have as sleek a silhouette as Armani’s ready-to-wear. Sheathed in a glass box above the atelier’s flagship store, the 95-room hotel (with the city’s largest guest rooms) is just steps from La Scala Theater.

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