Hotels + Resorts
Ben Franklin once said that “visits should be short, like a winter’s
day.” A few blocks from his birthplace, Boston’s new Ames hotel is doing its best to prove him wrong.
Occupying the Romanesque former headquarters of the Ames farm-tool company, the 113-room downtown property (which officially opened last night) is the very chic result of a collaboration between David Rockwell and the Morgans Hotel Group—the New York-based founding
fathers, so to speak, of the boutique hotel.
Though down almost a million visitors from last year, Las Vegas is gearing up for next month’s debut of MGM Mirage’s CityCenter, an $11 billion, 68-acre megaplex that seals the city’s reputation for over-the-top innovation. T+L checks in with Vegas expert Howard Lefkowitz, CEO of booking site Vegas.com, on America’s top vacation destination.
Excuse my flurry of posts but there has been a huge surge of late-breaking contests that I just had to share. All you need to do is enter:
Larkspur Hotels "I Need a Vacation Because!" Contest (closes Nov. 17)
Facebook fans of the Larkspur Hotels page can enter to win a two-night getaway to one of the Larkspur
Collections’ eight hotels (one winner per hotel) in
California and Oregon. Contestants must post why they need a
vacation in 50 words or less. Entries will be judged on originality,
creativity, humor, and substance, and from what I’ve seen on the Facebook page,
TravelandLeisure.com’s savvy and creative readers have a pretty good
shot. The prize includes $150 voucher for Southwest Airlines and a $100
to the hotel restaurant. Winners do not have to cover taxes or fees.
Visit www.facebook.com/larkspurhotels to enter.
Just in time for Caribbean travel season,
JetBlue today kicked off service between New York’s JFK and St. Lucia. We’re
big fans of the blue airline, so it’s exciting to see their destinations
expanding. It’s even more exciting to see the kickoff deal: only $129 each way.
Sure, there are strings attached: you have to act fast (book by this Friday)
and travel between November 2 and February 8, 2010 (yeah, Valentine’s Day is
going to cost more).
First there was the Donovan House. Then the Park Hyatt. Now the W has set up shop. It seems Washington, D.C. is swapping its white-shirt-and-khaki image for a little New York edge. And on a recent pop-in to the new W property, I found myself thinking, ‘D.C. is kind of cool.’
After almost a decade as an editor at Travel + Leisure, I’ve developed a sixth sense about offers that seem too good to be true. Which is why I was justifiably skeptical when I ran across the U.S. Virgin Island’s CENTsational sale (while doing research for an appearance on the Today Show; watch the video here).
The cynic in me was tempted to write the deal off a a clever marketing ploy with enough fine print to fill an encyclopedia. However, after examining the details closely, I have to say that I’m sold. Here’s the back story: to celebrate the newly minted U.S.V.I. quarter, a dozen hotels on St. Thomas and St. Croix , including Marriott Frenchman's Reef Resort, are offering a 25 cent nightly rate for a three-night stay (plus nominal taxes and fees).
Travelers to Morocco usually check out the typical attractions: the ancient alleys of Fez, the snake charmers of Marrakesh, the dunes of the Sahara. But on my visit, my friends and I were fortunate enough to discover a relatively little-known escape: the charming, blue-tinged village of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains about four hours from Fez.
After a few hectic days getting lost in Casablanca and dodging donkeys in Fez, this relaxing retreat was just what we were looking for. The tiny town is known for its stunning medina, bathed in breathtaking shades of blue. It’s the kind of magical place you plan as a 12-hour detour and wind up staying for three days.
When it won the bid to re-conceive the Best Western President Hotel at Times Square, the award-winning architectural firm Stonehill & Taylor (who have redesigned NYC's iconic Plaza Hotel in the past) again pledged allegiance to good design—this time embracing its patriotic side.
Last night, New York City’s first politically-themed hotel celebrated its grand re-opening after receiving a $15 million overhaul. Centrally located at 48th Street just off Broadway, the hotel has 334 rooms and suites starting at the recession friendly rate of $139 a night (talk about a new deal!), where the term “presidential suite” takes on a whole new meaning—guests can book the Obama, Reagan, Kennedy or even the Nixon suite (don’t worry, it’s not bugged).
With so many people—and companies—“going green” these days, it’s hard to know who’s in the Eco Revolution for real. When it comes to buildings, however, there is one way to be certain: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The strict guidelines developed by the U.S. Green Building Council focus on construction and energy consumption. In the world of travel and hotels, this seal of approval helps separate serious change agents from so-called green properties touting towel re-use programs. Every little bit helps, but there are shades of “green” to be sure.
To date, there are only 16 LEED hotels in the U.S., with a handful more pending the arduous certification.
On October 1, Ritz-Carlton will open its first-ever LEED-built property in Charlotte, North Carolina’s Uptown neighborhood. (We even hear the president, CEO, and founding chairman of the USGB, Rick Fedrizzi, will be doing the ribbon cutting.)
On October 1, the first Waldorf Astoria outside New York City will open in Bonnet Creek, a development area adjacent to Walt Disney World. Alongside it (and opening the same day) is the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.