With properties scattered everywhere from India to Indonesia, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts has always embraced multiculturalism. And in the United Arab Emirates, crossroads of rampant internationalism, the group’s new Oberoi, Dubai($$$) is one big global romp, including Arabic coffee at check-in and a general United Nations approach to hospitality. Here’s a look at some of the highlights, country by country.
India: On staff at the city’s first 24-hour spa: Priyanka Chowdhury, who won two gold medals for India in the Yoga Olympics. Relax with the shirodhara treatment, a stream of oil on the forehead.
Japan: At the open-kitchen Umai restaurant ($$$$), Takeyuki Nakagawa is one of the few chefs in the U.A.E. certified to prepare fugu, the poisonous puffer fish that’s a Japanese delicacy.
England: Classic British afternoon tea (house-made scones and lemon curd; authentic clotted cream) gets a twist with Asian-inspired pandan eclairs and Turkish halvah.
Czech Republic: The lobby is dominated by two epic chandeliers: created by the Czech firm Lasvit, each is made from more than 100,000 shimmering crystal pieces. Only in Dubai.
Hyatt recently hosted a day-long Twitter chat that it dubbed the “World's Largest Focus Group,” tapping into current travel trends among its clients. Most of the results were not all that surprising—respondents' top wish was for seamless check-in, bypassing the front desk and heading straight to the room.
But by far the most important takeaway regards business travelers' clothing preferences when working from their hotel rooms:
65 percent of women opt for pajamas or workout gear
50 percent of men prefer casual business attire
2.5 percent of both genders forego clothing altogether
Think about that the next time you receive an email from a colleague on a business trip...!
Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure. You can follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.
As the the winds pick up and the weather gets chilly, it’s only natural for we northeasterners to daydream about a sunny Florida getaway—and canines are no exception. Ladybird, above, is a fan of Miami’s EPIC Hotel for their “pet-friendly and incredible accommodations, along with the views of Miami and the bay!” And while Ladybird is on the small side (T+L Instagram follower @shmesyca says she’s an Australian Cattle Dog—also known as a Blue Heeler—and Chihuahua mix), all weights, sizes, and breeds of animals are welcomed free of charge at the hotel.
Wes Anderson's upcoming movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, stars Ralph Fiennes as the concierge of a beautiful 1920s European hotel. While most of this movie was shot at a historic German shopping center, many directors shoot in hotels where you can actually stay. For example, did you know you can stay at the plantation where Interview With a Vampire was shot? Or drink whiskey like Bill Murray's character did at the bar on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo (pictured above) in Lost in Translation. Check out more famous movie hotels over at Thrillist.
What’s it like to work in a hotel? If you’re a gamer who likes to travel, now you can find out. Radisson is launching the hotel industry’s first mobile game to simulate real-life hotel management, with Rad Hotel by Radisson.
The interactive game challenges players to design hotels and slip into a hotel operator's shoes—you’ll face challenges such as room placement for arriving guests, filling guests requests with efficiency, and expanding the hotel by creating additional rooms.
Juice Press in New York. Pressed Juicery in California. Another day, another juice bar. Over the last year, this all-liquid health food trend has captivated cities across the country—and hotels have been squeezing what they can out of it as well. A few of the latest offerings we’ve come across:
The Hotel Palomar San Francisco—home to the gluten-free mini bar—has teamed up with Pressed Juicery, which recently opened its first San Francisco location. The “Pressed, Pampered & Purified” package includes six daily juices, a cleansing guide, cooler, and complimentary use of bikes. (If eschewing chewing in America’s best food city seems like torture, try drinking them just for breakfast and/or lunch.)
If free Wi-Fi has typically been the exception at luxury hotels, there’s more hope than ever that it will soon be the rule. Case in point: this week, Mandarin Oriental has announced that they will offer free, high-speed Wi-Fi to any guest who books on the mandarinoriental.com website and fills out a guest questionnaire. Why the caveats? The brand is better able to learn about their guests, anticipate their needs, and market to their audience with the help of online profiles, and direct bookings reduce the fees and commissions associated with outside booking vendors. Plus, Mandarin promises to offer the lowest rate on their site—or beat any better deals by a full ten percent. Want the Wi-Fi without the runaround? Try Peninsula, Shangri-La, or Hilton, which recently partnered with AT&T to provide free Internet for many of its guests.
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Fiery red, amber orange, golden yellow—these autumn colors are trademarks of the season, and the perfect excuse to plan a weekend getaway along New England's coast.
Maine’s striking foliage is still in its prime, and just an easy drive from Boston. Pack up the car and course along one of America’s best fall color drives to get there, or opt for a train ride to take in the hues. (Amtrak's Downeaster service departs five times daily from Boston to Portland.) Once you arrive, the fall viewing opportunities take to the sky, literally. Step onto a private plane with The Inn at Brunswick Station, whose “Fall Foliage Flyover” package offers for an hour-long aerial tour of Maine’s coastline. Or, take the Maine Eastern Railroad further north. Passengers will get an eyeful of colorful views on the 57-mile trip along state's scenic Mid-Coast, from Brunswick to Rockland.
Westin Hotels is catering to marathoners with its new Running Concierges.
Whether it's a 5K, half-marathon, or the full 26.2 miles, finishing a distance race is no easy feat. Make it a destination race and you'll have even more to think about: what to pack and how to adjust to different time zones and temperatures, to name a few. But the T+L editors love a challange—and any excuse to travel.
Hotels are even picking up on the trend. Westin brand hotels recently teamed up with the Rock 'n' Roll half marathon series (which hosts races year-round across North America and Europe) to offer RunWESTIN participants access to its dedicated running conceirge, Chris Heuisler. Perks include a race course tour (Chris meets with local running associations in each city for insider tips), fitness and recovery advice, and a pasta dinner and breakfast to fuel up for the big day.
The hotels are celebrating their 10-year collaboration with BedHead Pajamas, the go-to sleepwear source for the Hollywood set, including fans such as Jennifer Aniston, Mariah Carey, Oprah Winfrey, and Cher.
To commemorate their decade-long partnership together, the three brands are offering limited edition holiday pajama sets for adults and children, online and at the hotels, while supplies last.