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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
As one of the industry’s most sought-after stylists, Serge Normant is the ultimate globetrotter—a shoot in Paris one day; overseeing his New York City salons the next. The man behind Hollywood's most luxurious locks (he’s styled the likes of Julia Roberts, Reece Witherspoon, Gisele Bündchen, and more) sits down with T+L’s Katie James to reveal his tips and tricks for mastering summer hair—at home and abroad.