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Winter 2012 Ski Resort News

Campiglio Val Rendena Val di Sole ski trail

The 2011–12 season ushers in major improvements at these ski resorts.

Northstar California Resort, California
The News: Thanks to a $30 million investment, the mountain welcomes additional trails, a high-speed quad lift, a new 500-seat on-mountain restaurant—plus a 22-foot halfpipe designed by Shaun White. 5001 Northstar Dr., Truckee; 800/466-6784; one-day pass from $85.

Big Sky, Montana
The News: The remodeled, slopeside Solace Spa & Salon expands its treatment rooms and salon services, and Andesite Mountain adds 20-plus gladed acres. 1 Lone Mountain Trail, Big Sky; 800/548-4486; one-day pass $84.

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Vacationist Hotel Deals: Gifts for you—St. Lucia, Costa Rica + Barbados

201112-b-bodyholiday-stlucia-2jpgIn honor of the holiday season, Vacationist is offering members even deeper discounts on hotels we’re featuring this week. From an all-inclusive resort in St. Lucia to a six-bedroom Costa Rica villa and a recently-renovated escape in Barbados, these are warm-weather deals you won’t want to pass up. But book now! The deals are only good through 2011.

Happy holidays to you, from Vacationist!

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Hotel Spotlight: Ritz-Carlton's Hotel Arts Barcelona

Hotel Arts Barcelona

Awe-inspiring Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi may have some competition and it comes in the form of the Hotel Arts Barcelona. The five star Ritz-Carlton owned luxury hotel boasts a soaring 44 stories designed by iconic Chicago architect Bruce Graham. Stay in one of the nearly 500 rooms (or 28 very exclusive duplex apartments) with panoramic Mediterranean views and only a sunny jaunt away from the shore. When you can pull yourself away, zip around Barcelona in one of the hotel’s smart cars, complimentary as part of the Club Level package.

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Vote in the 2012 World's Best Awards Survey and Enter to Win a $10,000 Dream Trip

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Calling all globe-trotters! The 2012 World’s Best Awards Survey is live!

What tops your travel list? Click here to vote for your favorite hotels, resorts, spas, cruise lines, airlines, and travel companies—and the winners will be featured in T+L’s annual World’s Best Awards issue in August 2012.

PLUS Enter the sweepstakes! All respondents will be entered for a chance to win a $10,000 dream trip to the destination of your choice. First and second prize winners will also receive once-in-a-lifetime vacations—and all bespoke trips are planned by one of T+L’s expert A-List travel agents. Two third prize winners will each receive American Express gift cards worth $1,000.

Vote now!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. The 2012 World’s Best Awards Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia age 18 or older. To enter and view complete Official Rules, which govern this Sweepstakes, visit TLWorldsBest.com. Sweepstakes begins at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on 12/01/11 and ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on 03/31/12. Sponsor: American Express Publishing Corporation.

Briana Fasone is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Vacationist Hotel Deals: New York, New York + Costa Rica

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Rates of under $200 for prime holiday season in New York City? Unheard of! And yet, Vacationist has rooms at the Ace Hotel, one of the city’s buzziest hotels, right in Manhattan’s Flatiron District. Or escape the hustle and bustle at Richard Gere and wife Carey Lowell’s cozy winter hideaway, 45 minutes north in Bedford New York. Another option: leave the States behind in favor of Bahia Del Sol Beach Front Hotel, Costa Rica, where 28 rooms open onto private decks with hammocks, and the ocean is warm enough for swimming all year long.

For more hotel deals, including stays in Mexico and Greece, click here.

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TODAY Show: Warm Weather Getaways

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

As temps start to dip, it's time to start thinking about sunny spots to escape to this winter. But why wait? T+L Features Director Nilou Motamed shares the best warm weather deals right now.

Q&A: J.W. "Bill" Marriott, Jr.

J.W. Bill Marriott, Jr. and family

As chairman and CEO of a global hotel empire, J. W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr. knows hospitality. He tells T+L what it’s like to be the ultimate repeat guest, his favorite room-service snack, and more.

Q: What was your first job?
A:
I used to make hot-fudge ice cream cakes at my parents’ Hot Shoppes restaurant in Salt Lake City. The trick was to leave a little indent for the whipped cream and cherry on top.

Q: How can we welcome more foreign travelers to the United States?
A:
Regulations regarding visas need to be fixed. Travel is an important economic engine, and a stay at a hotel is an export.

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CBS Early Show: New Hotel Services at Airports

Who says air travel has to be a hassle? International Editor Mark Orwoll discusses the new trend of concierge-services and hotel amenities at airports.

T+L Trip of the Month: Big Sky Montana and Yellowstone National Park

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Don't miss Travel + Leisure’s December Trip of the Month, Big Sky Montana and Yellowstone National Park. 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.

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Marriott to Build Resort—in Haiti!

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In January, it’ll be two years since Haiti suffered the ravages of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Life there since has not been easy—some 1.5 million Haitians still live in tents, daily routines, health, and education are still impacted by severe lack of infrastructure, and tourism has all but evaporated. As of today, there are only 500 hotel rooms in the Caribbean country's capital city. But that’s about to change.

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