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The Ultimate Girlfriend Staycation!

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When my best friend Rachel came to visit recently, I decided to treat us to a one-night staycation (and give her a brief respite from sleeping on my couch). But where to go? New York City is a trove of hotels raring to roll out the red carpet for a glorified pajama party. Eventually I settled on midtown’s iconic New York Palace (once the mansion of a 19th-century railroad baron, it’s now a member of the Dorchester Collection, topped with a skyscraping tower, and remarkably luxe).

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English Country Hotels On Our Radar

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Longford Fivehead - 

Dewsall (above)
The always spot-on tasteful Lulu Townsend of Chic Retreats has just added a lovely—and rather unorthodox—new property to her portfolio. Dewsall is a gorgeous listed and restored Regency house in Herefordshire, near the Welsh border, which can be rented in its entirety—when, that is, it’s not in its other guise, that of a chic little pop-up hotel a few weeks a year. The house is perfectly, ravishingly restored, with huge ensuite bedrooms, entertainment rooms (with all the mod cons) and a kitchen to make regular World of Interiors readers sigh with longing. A bonus: their Great British Safari—whereby guests hike into the Black Mountains, take kayaks or canoes from Glasbury to Hay, or go pheasant shooting—complete with luxury tents and gourmet meals.

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Vacationist Hotel Deals: America’s Great Outdoors

201108-b-rustyparrot-3jpgThe final weeks are summer are best spent outside—particularly in the backyards of some of T+L favorite hotels, from the Wyoming’s Rusty Parrot Lodge, in Jackson Hole, to Hotel Madeline Telluride, a resort we love for its high-altitude massages and it’s easy access to hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails—all more than 8,000 feet above sea level. Is preppy New England more your style? Consider a stay at Boston’s XV Beacon, ranked No. 3 Small City Hotel in this year’s World’s Best Awards, where you can unwind before exploring the rugged landscape of Boston’s North Shore. [Click here for a new late summer cyling tour!]

Head to Vacationist now, for these hotel deals, plus Belize, Madrid, London and more.

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Off the Grid in Malibu

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A “no-options” regimen at The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu, a boot camp for building physical strength, endurance and discipline—this was my summer vacation of choice.

Requirements:

- 8-10 hours of hiking, weights, yoga and other exercise daily in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountain range
- massage (of course!)
- a daily intake of 1200-1500 calories (no dairy, no sugar, no carbohydrates, no caffeine, no alcohol)
- living BlackBerry/smartphone-free

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Guess Where? Hotel Lobby

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This week, we sent one of our writers to explore NYC and we asked our Facebook and Twitter followers to tell her where to go. Can you guess where she is in this photo? She writes, "Daylight flickers in the lobby. . . filtered not just through a skylight but through the second floor swimming pool. Funny to look up and see the undersides of feet paddling around." What do you think?

Log in and leave your guesses below and check back on Monday for the answer.

UPDATE 8/08/11: Congrats to denise.lao and kittiekatkixazz! You both were right. This is the lobby of the Dream Downtown on the edge of New York's Meatpacking District.

To join the conversation follow us @TravlandLeisure and www.facebook.com/travelandleisure.

Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Vacationist Hotel Deals: California, Belize, Zihuatanejo

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No matter what you love to do when you travel—golf, dive, or hike—Vacationist presents a hotel that suits your style. From a nine-hole par 3 course on the California coast; to access to the Blue Hole off the shores of Belize; even an earthy escape in Zihuatanejo, where a private eco-reserve is the spot for wildlife viewing, there are plenty of places where you can unwind the way you want to—all for up to 60 percent off standard rates.

Still not a member? Click here to book.

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6 Fab Fashion Items Designed for Select Hotels

caftan, bag, sandals
These six vibrant pieces were specially designed for select hotels around the world.

A limited-edition silk-georgette caftan ($1,650) from Samba Soleil by Tina Bossidy is perfect for a sunset stroll around the Cove Atlantis, in the Bahamas.

These braided leather sandals ($315) by Maloles for One&Only Resorts can go from day to night.

The screen-printed cotton-canvas Virginia Johnson tote ($98) from the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico, works for shopping or beach-going.

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Saudi Arabia Plans World’s Tallest Tower

Financial Times Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s investment vehicle, Kingdom Holding, has announced that an associate company will partner with the country’s Bin Laden Group to build a tower near Jeddah that would replace Dubai’s 828m Burj Khalifa as the world’s tallest building. …

The 1km-tall building will include a Four Seasons hotel and apartments, luxury condominiums and offices. The tower is the first phase of the 5.3m square metre Kingdom City development to be built north of the Red Sea city of Jeddah, according to a statement on the Saudi bourse, Tadawul.

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L.A.’s New Vintage-Inspired Hotel

Mr. C Beverly Hills

A Bellini with your room key? That’s a given at the just-opened Mr. C Beverly Hills. After all, that’s C as in Cipriani—known for legendary restaurants and cocktail lounges around the world. Brothers Ignazio and Maggio created a hotel in the former Loews Tower that is true to their Italian roots, with Old Hollywood touches: a travertine-and-rosewood-clad lobby, decked out with Eames loungers and Egg chairs, gives way not to a check-in desk (which is hidden from view) but to a swank, Jazz Age–style bar and Italian restaurant serving freshly baked pizzas and house-made pastas. An updated 1930’s ocean-liner glamour defines the 138 rooms—vintage black-and-white photos and burgundy Chesterfield sofas line the neutral-toned walls—while private balconies overlook the teak pool deck. In a city where dramatic entrances are de rigueur, Mr. C has just made his. 1224 Beverwil Dr., Beverly Hills; 877/334-5623; doubles from $349.

David Keeps is Travel + Leisure's Los Angeles correspondent.

Photo by Jessica Sample

Vacationist Hotel Deals: The Grenadines, Hawaii + Phuket

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Looking for excuses to sport your new swimwear? Your first stop should be Vacationist, where we’re offering deals of up to 50 percent off stays off tropical hideaways in The Grenadines, the Big Island, Hawaii, and Phuket (plus even more!). Your picture perfect beach vacation awaits.

Book now and save.

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