Hotels + Resorts
Hotel-branded bikes? Been there, done that. But on New York City’s Upper East Side, The Mark Hotel is putting a new twist on the now-classic amenity. Launching in July, the hotel’s black-and-white striped pedicabs will be whisking guests to nearby attractions—Central Park, Bergford Goodman, or the Guggenheim Museum—on a complimentary basis. To add to the sweet nostalgia factor, guests can also request a seasonal picnic basket to be brought on board, courtesy of Jean-Georges’ on-site restaurant—perfect for a throwback-style afternoon on the Great Lawn.
Nikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Photo courtesy of Jon Nissenbaum for The Mark
Thanks to a new partnership with online menu platform Zuppler, in-room dining is now a lot more exciting—and easier—at Choice Hotels. Through the branded website ChoiceHotelsMenus.com or an iOS and Android app, guests can place orders for delivery from nearby restaurants; if you share your location, it will automatically bring up the hotel closest to you. A few options for those staying at Comfort Inn Manhattan Bridge: Indian from Baluchi’s, falafel from Pita Grill, and cold-press juices from Magic Mix Juicery. More than 250 Choice Hotels—which includes Quality Inn, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, and Econo Lodge—and 4,500-plus restaurant chains across the country have signed on so far.
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Photo courtesy of Zuppler
Dominican Republic: 39% off beach hotel
Beach Rendezvous package includes:
• 4 nights in a one-bedroom suite at Sublime Samana Hotel & Residences, on the island’s palm-fringed northeastern coast
• Horseback riding on the beach
• Bottle of wine upon arrival
• Outdoor spa treatment
Cost: $840 ($210 per night)
Book by August 31 for travel through December 2014.
For more information or to book, please visit Samana Hotel Dominican Republic.
Today is National Chocolate Éclair Day (really!), which seems like a good excuse to tell you about a delicious new program Le Méridien hotels is launching with everyone's favorite pastry chef, Johnny Iuzzini. The former head judge from Top Chef Just Desserts will create eight seasonal éclair recipes for the chain, revealing them over the next 12 months as he stays at different Le Méridien hotels around the world. (First up: San Francisco, to be revealed on July 27. We're hoping it doesn't involve salt-water taffy.)
In 1951, the government of Portugal fashioned a hotel within the stone towers and turrets of the 13th-century castle at Obldos, creating the first in a network of 35 pousada-hotels. The buildings aren’t all castles—some were convents, monasteries, forts, granaries, or royal estates—nor are many as traditionally outfitted as the Castelo de Obidos.
See Obidos in Europe’s Best Affordable Castle Hotels
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Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.
Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest
Like a scene pulled straight from Downton Abbey, The Ruinart Rosé Salon 1764 pop-up bar at London's historic The Goring Hotel is the perfect place to toast summer with a bubbly glass of Rosé.
It was exactly 250 years ago that The House of Ruinart created the world’s first Rosé champagne. To celebrate the anniversary, The Goring Hotel has opened its private gardens (as large as a Wimbledon’s center court) from now until July 3 for the dedicated pop-up bar.
Carla Sersale’s boutique at Le Sirenuse, the hotel she owns with her family, may be located in Positano, Italy, but it was creative, chaotic Mumbai that served as muse for her latest collection of blouses, ponchos, and tunics. “You feel this powerful sense of joy around you,” she says, “and get blown away by the vibrancy of the colors.” Here, she shares her inspirations. —As told to Shane Mitchell
1. “When you look out your windows from the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel ($$$) onto the Bay of Bombay and the moon is up, reflecting on the sea, it’s a magical show.”
2. “I fell in love with a piece by Waqas Khan at Lakeeren Gallery. He reinterprets traditional miniature painting with a Rapidograph pen on wasli paper.”
3. “I love the city’s battered yellow-top ‘Fiat’ taxis! You miss the point riding around in air-conditioned limos.”
4. “I collaborated with my niece, [Mumbai-based designer] Viola Parrocchetti, on these pillows and caftans for the new collection.”
5. “This 1920 brass statue of Shiva came from Phillips Antiques. It’s now on my mantelpiece in London.”
6. “Bungalow 8 (91-22/2281-9880) is a beautiful store full of eclectic apparel, rugs, ceramics, glass, and jewels—everything carefully blended and displayed together.”
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Photo courtesy of Subhash Sharma/ImageBrief
One of my biggest regrets from my six years living in Atlanta was never hopping in my car and making the drive to Charleston. And last year, after T+L readers voted the charming Southern town the best city in the U.S., I started feeling that pull again and decided to take action, convincing two girlfriends to join me on a weekend getaway. Stephen Colbert recently shared his top picks from his hometown, so I thought I would do the same. My biggest regret now? Only staying for three days.
London's newest members-only lounge, Clubino Piano Bar, is proving to be an exciting option for discerning locals and guests at the Baglioni Hotel London. On a recent trip, club founder Luca Del Bono invited me to preview the intimate space, tucked beneath the hotel’s park-view bar.
“I’m trying to bring back a setting where people [can] drift away,” said Clubino’s founder, Luca Del Bono, “[like] we used to enjoy back in Italy a few decades ago.”
Our favorite new perch to watch the rapid reshaping of London’s skyline: Shangri-La at the Shard, itself located in the city’s most dramatic new addition, Renzo Piano’s 1,016-foot icicle on the South Bank. For its first property in the U.K., the hotel group brings its inimitable Asian polish to the British capital, with contemporary Chinese art, Japanese cherry-blossom wallpaper in the 202 guest rooms, and an Eastern flair (soy-glazed Welsh lamb!) at the restaurant Ting. Teatime here is held in the 35th-floor lounge, where full-length windows showcase the cityscape unfurling across the Thames. Earl Grey? Gracious, no—bring us a pot of green jasmine. shangri-la.com.
Sarah Miller is Travel + Leisure's European Editor.
Photos courtesy of Simon Watson