Florence’s stately Grand Hotel closed for renovations last September and is slated to reopen quietly on May 1 as the St. Regis Florence. The already 5-star hotel’s re-branding from Luxury Collection to St. Regis signals the arrival of butler service, fewer but larger guest rooms, 19 luxury suites, a spa (individual spa suites are the thing here; no more stripping down in a locker room before your massage), and all sorts of sterling silver bells and whistles.
My experience in the world of sports piqued when I joined my local tee ball league; I spent my time in left field picking flowers and after hitting the ball, I may or may not have run to third base first. Needless to say, I don’t know a thing about sports.
That being said, I’m told that the NCAA Final Four (that’s basketball, folks) is upon us, and to celebrate, since the games are being played in Houston, Four Seasons Hotel Houston is offering some pretty cool specials. If you're a local and weren't able to score tickets (or just happen to be breezing through town), and want to enjoy the games in style, hit up the Lobby Lounge for salmon sashimi cleverly shaped like basketballs. (Just try to tell me those aren’t awesomely adorable.) For $16, you’ll score four.
Ring in spring at the historic 1885 Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. From April 2 through May 26, the property will host its 26th Annual Festival of Flowers. Come tiptoe through over 100,000 tulips planted across 8,000 acres of the Olmstead-designed land.
Events throughout the six-week celebration include live music, gardening Q+A sessions, flower-arranging and cooking demos, and a grape stomp at the on-site winery. Families are invited to join Peter Rabbit, children’s musicians, and face-painters for an Easter Egg hunt on April 24th.
Today is the last day to vote in Travel + Leisure’s World's Best Awards 2011 Survey! All respondents will be entered to win a $10,000 dream trip, among other prizes. Please take a few minutes to tell us your favorite hotels, resorts, spas, cruise lines, airlines, travel companies, and the destinations you love most. The results will appear in the August 2011 issue of Travel + Leisure.
What sets Vacationist apart from other flash-sale sites? Deals at T+L’s favorite hotels, as well as access to some of our brand’s best (and most exclusive) events. And this week, we've outdone ourselves. To start, you'll find up to 50% off at five hotels T+L readers selected as the top hotels for value, as determined in our World’s Best Awards Survey [only one more day to vote!]. Add in up to 24% off at Loews Atlanta, the sponsoring hotel for T+L’s upcoming Atlanta Food & Wine Festival (May 19-22), and you have a bevy of sales too good to pass up.
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From mid-April to mid-June, you can score some great deals at popular destinations that are just shy of their busy (and pricier) travel seasons. The weather is nice, rates are lower, and crowds are fewer! Now is a great time to book and go!
There are views, and then there are v-i-e-w-s. Starting tomorrow, any guest checking into the brand new Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong will get an eyeful of the latter—birds-eye panoramas of Victoria Harbour and the shiny HK skyline. As the world’s “highest” hotel, the record-breaking property now occupies floors 102 to 118 of the well-located International Commerce Center, with 312 rooms in all.
Sometimes all you want to do is hop in the car or take a short flight to your next destination. Which is why this week, Vacationist brings you deals at domestic hotels within driving distance of major U.S. cities, from a newly-renovated Los Angeles mainstay to a mega-resort outside of Houston and a ski lodge in Vail, less than two hours from Denver. Hit the road now.
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There’s a new hangout in Buenos Aires for guests staying at Oasis Collections properties. Six months and $200,000 in the making, The Oasis Clubhouse debuted this past weekend in the dining and shopping enclave of Palermo Soho. All patrons staying at an Oasis Collections design-focused condo, apartment, or villa in the city have access to the clubhouse.
Be in the know; here are the latest things to do and eat in Berlin.
The pork-filled spring roll with prawns and garden beans at Sage Restaurant (dinner for two $155), located on the River Spree.
A retrospective of 187 photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe at C/O Gallery (through March 27), from snapshots of Debbie Harry and Patti Smith to his controversial portraits of male nudes.
The light-filled Camper Suite at Casa Camper (doubles from $264), with views of the historic Mitte district and fiery Spanish-red walls softened by wood accents.
The retro-casual hat collection at Rike Feurstein ($155), made by hand in a range of materials (cotton; raffia; Panama straw).
Ralph Martin is a contributor to Travel + Leisure.