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The Moment: Hayman Island, Australia

Hayman Island, Australia

6:24 p.m.: You’re on the verge of sensory overload. It’s golden hour at the new 160-room One&Only Hayman Island, a green haven on the Great Barrier Reef, and you’re reliving the day’s adventures. It began with a seaplane flight over this, the world’s largest living structure, touching down to snorkel in a pristine lagoon that exploded with color: rainbow-hued parrot fish bobbing among forests of staghorn coral, glowing purple and pink; green turtles and manta rays commuting casually by. (And don’t forget the giant clams, whose magenta lips slowly closed into contented grins as you swam past.) Lunch was a picnic and a chilled Barossa Valley rosé on the blazing-white sands of Coconut Beach. Now you’re back in a breezy cabana, met by a server with a tray of tart passion-fruit daiquiris to cleanse your palate for the evening ahead. What next? Take a short hike to Sunset Peak to catch the day’s last light? Maybe. Book an “Ocean Dreaming” massage, performed as you float on the warm tides of the Coral Sea? That sounds more like it. Then you remember you’ve planned a kayak trip tomorrow morning to one of Hayman’s secluded coves, and decide it’s best to tuck in early. So you head back to your suite, order up a platter of Sydney rock oysters, and count the shooting stars.

Photo by Petrina Tinslay Photography

Unlocking the Past with a Vintage Souvenir Collection

Vintage keys

For much of the 1970’s, my father was a traveling salesman, moving across the country by car and plane. Upon returning home, he’d empty his nicked hotel keys into a green wooden crate. The box lived on the top shelf of my parents’ closet, and I used to pull out a chair and stand on my tippy-toes to reach it, then lie on the floor and sort the 200 or so keys by fob shape, destination, or hotel chain. For a little girl in a one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, that box of keys was a window to the exciting world outside.

Each key tells a story. There’s one from the Host Motel, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where Dad found himself during the historic flood of 1972. There’s another from the scary Rodeway Inn in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he knew to put a chair under the doorknob at night. (“But they had great ribs,” he insisted.) There are the many Ramada Inns, from exotic places like Portland, Oregon, and even more Howard Johnsons and Holiday Inns, whose purloined towels hung neatly in our bathroom—I imagined the stylized star to be our family crest. One lone cast-iron key from the King David Jerusalem was pilfered during my parents’ honeymoon; the Quality Inn in Omaha was from the night I was born, Dad off to chase a deal. My father would rave about the gym at Chicago’s Hyatt Regency O’Hare because it was such a luxury—those keys signified boom times.

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Hotels.com Reveals Where to Find Luxury for Less

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The city where travelers can find the most affordable five-star hotels in the world? Warsaw, Poland, where the average luxury room went for just $130 a night in the first six months of 2014. This is according to the annual Hotel Price Index from Hotels.com, which looks at how much people spent for rooms at properties across the globe over the first half of the year.

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Nancy Novogrod: The Exit Interview

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Before we let longtime Travel + Leisure editor in chief Nancy Novogrod walk out the door to pursue new opportunities (including writing a book), we had a few questions for her. As you can imagine, after 21 years traversing the globe on behalf of the magazine, Nancy has some opinions about travel—how it has evolved, where it’s going, and what experiences and destinations rise to the top. Here, the Nancy Novogrod Exit Interview. 

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The Best Hotel Loyalty Program Promotions for Fall 2014

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These days, competition is heating up in the hotel industry. The big chains are not only competing against each other, but they’re also competing against online travel agencies and startups like Rocketmiles and Hotelied for your business. When you book through the hotel directly, it’ll give you points, whereas reserving through online travel agencies generally disqualifies your stay from earning valuable hotel points and possibly even getting your elite status. So if you want those points, book directly with the hotel—especially during the busy fall travel season when many brands offer lucrative promotions.
 
Here are the major hotel chains and their promotion details. You should always double check and make sure that the hotel you want to book isn’t listed as an exclusion—a lot of hotels opt out of these promotions because they get charges for the extra points. You may also want to plan your stays around the days where you’ll earn the most points.
 
Starwood: More For You
 
SPG members can earn either double or triple Starpoints depending on which nights of the week their stay is with Starwood. This promotion is valid for stays between September 15 and December 15, 2014.

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Affordable New Hotels Video

Less than $200 a night and brand new. Meet the latest crop of affordable new hotels in the U.S.

The Remote Outpost: Outlook Lodge, Colorado Springs, Colorado

To get to the new Outlook Lodge, in Colorado, you’ll set off along a dirt road into the Rocky Mountains. After being welcomed by a strapping host, you’re on your own to explore the area trails or just grab a book and relax on the rustic porch.

For more Travel + Leisure videos, click here.

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Zurich's Dolder Grand to Hold Food Festival

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Zurich’s Dolder Grand hotel is launching a new annual food festival, dubbed the Epicure.

The Dolder’s own Heiko Nieder, whose talents have earned the hotel’s restaurant two Michelin stars, will host top European chefs during four days of culinary programming, beginning September 18th.

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Hotel Commonwealth Unveils Punk-Themed “Rat” Suite

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The Rat. Besides having the single best name for a nightclub ever—short for The Rathskeller, which no one ever once called it—the cramped and dingy Kenmore Square dungeon known as “The Rat” was Boston’s most celebrated and notorious rock club, in an era when Boston had one of the nation’s great rock scenes. Between 1974 and 1997—from the protean days of punk through its latter-day revival—every band that mattered passed through that scuzzy, smoky basement: The Ramones, the Talking Heads, the Police, R.E.M., Husker Du, and local heroes like the Cars, Mission of Burma, and the Pixies. The club’s former owner recalls to the Boston Globe the subzero February night when Metallica played at the Rat—for six people.

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Floral Design Classes in Full Bloom at Hyatt Union Square New York

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Floral design superstar Michael Gaffney has cracked “the DaVinci Code of flower design,” and he’ll be the first one to say it. If you’ve have ever marveled at professional bouquets and wondered why your own arrangements look so disorderly, book a spot at the pop-up Floral Design Classes at Hyatt Union Square New York.

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Eat a Healthy Breakfast While Traveling

Eating Healthy While Traveling

We asked Bonnie Taub Dix, a New York City–based registered dietitian and author of Read It Before You Eat It, how to start your day the healthy way.

Continental:

Choice of pastry, bagel, or toast with butter and preserves; orange or grapefruit juice; coffee or tea.

"Carb-heavy breakfasts will give you a burst of energy–followed by the desire for a nap. Go for whole-grain toast, but ditch the butter and preserves and use nut butter instead. (No, that doesn't mean Nutella!) I travel with packets from Justin's. Juice is a good source of nutrients if it's made from 100 percent fruit."

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