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Q&A with Cécile Adam: Founder of Mendoza's Entre Cielos Wine Hotel + Spa

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Entre Cielos, which translates to “between heavens” and “between skies,” is a holistic hospitality concept nurtured to life by three Swiss friends in the foothills of Mendoza, Argentina.

Daniela Wäger-Spreafico, David Wäger, and Cécile Adam dreamed of a wine hotel and spa where guests could reconnect with themselves, commune with nature, sip wine, and delight in impeccable gastronomic experiences. A worldwide pursuit for the perfect location led the group of three to Vistalba, Mendoza, where they invested their savings to purchase a 20-acre plot of land with sweeping views of the Andes mountains.

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Merry Christmas from America's Sweetest Hotels for the Holidays

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Aside from more affectionate holiday themes like peace and joy, Christmas to me means one thing: sweets. Whether it’s fresh-baked fruitcake, intricately iced gingerbread cookies, or chocolate squares straight out of an Advent calendar, Santa’s not the only one indulging this season. But hotels are pushing the candy-coated envelope when it comes to desserts this holiday. A festive take over at the Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens in Las Vegas (above) includes an eight-foot-tall reindeer coated in chocolate and a life-size candy house, while an elevator lined in gingerbread bricks at Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower shuttles guests to and from the property's Michelin-starred restaurant Sixteen. Read on for more of America’s Best Hotels for Christmas.

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Hyatt Place & YouTube Star Sonia Gil Name the Perfect Holiday Gifts for Travelers

Need a gift for a traveler in your life? Or better yet, want to give someone a little inspiration on what to get YOU this season?
 
Globetrotter and YouTube Vlogger, Sonia Gil of “Sonia’s Travels” shares the perfect small gifts for the holidays (think stocking stuffers, Secret Santa, and holiday grab-bag!) on Hyatt Place's new Seamless Travel Series, which is designed to arm travelers with tips to ensure that their travel experience is just right.
 
From packing cubes to gear ties (I need these), and tips on what to do if you forget your charger, her video includes great gifts for travelers.
 
For more on Sonia's expert tips and Hyatt's Seamless Travel Series, visit Hyatt on Facebook.

Gabrielle Blitz is associate social media editor at Travel + Leisure.

Instagram Hits The Wall at Portland's Hotel Lucia

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This month, a wall in the lobby of Portland’s Hotel Lucia became the first permanent installation of futuristic social art. 

Like a scene from The Outer Limits, Intel Labs has installed a massive projector with custom software and optical sensors to display images from Instagram tagged #LuciaWallPDX. Everyone, from hotel guests to local Portlanders, is encouraged to drop in and swipe through the pictures, arranged as an enormous and ever-changing collage.

The immersive experience blends science fiction, social media, and art, allowing users to tag their emotional response and complete the circle by uploading their own photos to the wall.  

Melanie Lieberman is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Hotel Lucia

Shangri-La Paris Hosts Afternoon Tea Inspired By Works of Art

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What better way to pass a Wednesday in Paris than with three of the great European passions—art, pastry, and tea?  

Since October, the Shangri-La Paris has been hosting ARTea Time, a curated experience celebrating the city’s most spectacular art exhibitions.

While enjoying a cup of Bentjeman & Barton tea with finger sandwiches and sweets at the famed La Bauhinia restaurant, guests are presented with an art-inspired pastry.  

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The Ritz-Carlton's Plan for World Domination

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By now, we’re used to hearing the big news that Trip Advisor has acquired some smaller company—it seems to happen about once a week. But the past couple months, we’ve also been hearing big news almost every week from a very different type of company: the Ritz-Carlton.

The luxury hotel company has unleashed a flurry of new properties on the world in the past couple months, opening three in October (Chendgu and Tianjin in China, and Bangalore, India) and two in November (Almaty, Kazakhstan and Aruba), with another on the way mid-December (Herzliya, Israel).

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Streamlining Hotel Check-Ins for Business Travelers

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After a long day traveling, the last thing any road warrior wants is to wait at a hotel check-in desk.

Don’t fret, frequent travelers: hotels have heard our pleas and help is on the way. New technologies promise to let guests skip the front desk, although it might take several years for all of us to reap the benefits.

Let’s start with the problem.

I still have bad flashbacks to a business trip to Florida several years ago. I arrived at the hotel late at night thanks to a flight delay, only to find a front-desk clerk who wanted to make small talk. Lots of small talk. Call me heartless, but all I wanted to do was go to bed. I’m sure the rest of my stay was fine, but all I recall of that hotel today was the overly friendly welcome.

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Thom Browne's Travel Style

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The New York–based fashion designer made his name on a prim, classic, and sometimes offbeat look, a credo that is echoed in his travel style. “I’m a horrible creature of habit,” he admits. “I pack more simply than most people—I don’t bring much stuff.” We take a peek at his well-ordered universe.

The Women’s Collection: Browne made a splash last January when Michelle Obama wore a coat he designed to the inauguration. This look (pictured) is in stores now.

The Suit: Browne is rarely caught not wearing one of his ultra-trim suits, which can cause unintended confusion. “People think I’m a pilot,” he laughs. “I’ve been offered discounts at Starbucks.”

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Cyber Monday Travel Deals

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Los Angeles: If you’re planning a stay in the L.A. area, book today at the iconic Langham Huntington, in Pasadena, and get 25% of the best available rate, with free valet parking through December 29. Rates start at $172.  Book here with code CM2013. And if you’re in L.A. today, grab lunch today at Culina (pictured), the fabulous restaurant of the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, for $25, including a glass of Prosecco. Or come for dinner tonight and take 30% off the bill (mention the deal when you call for a reservation at 310-860-4000). Then massage all the holiday stress away at the hotel spa. Save 20% off all treatments booked today for appointments through December 30.
 
New York City: Yes, we’re biased since we live here, but we think there’s nothing so romantic as New York in winter. So book today through December 6 and you can get discounted rates at the NY Hilton (from $199/night) and the Waldorf Astoria (from $229/night) for stays in January and February (plus a few dates in December at the NY Hilton). Check it out here.

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5 New NYC Boutique Hotels

NYC Boutique Hotels: Viceroy

Manhattan’s latest crop of boutique properties have one thing in common: classic styling with a modern twist.

High Line Hotel
Location: Occupies a slice of the 1895 Gothic-style General Theological Seminary, in Chelsea.
Ideal For: High Line explorers; gallery-hoppers.
Nod to the Past: Original stained-glass windows; well-worn handwoven carpets.
What We Love: A desktop stationery embosser to personalize postcards and envelopes.
Choice Bite: Cult bakery Mah Ze Dahr’s caramel-oatmeal bars, served from the hotel’s 1963 Citroën van parked by the entrance.
Smallest Room: 275 square feet.
Details: 180 10th Ave. $$$

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