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V-Day Hotel Getaways From Maine to Marrakesh

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Hotels realize that there is no single recipe for romance (though you might conclude that if there were one, chocolate-dipped strawberries and Champagne would be at the top of the ingredient list).   While some guests may swoon at the sight of a petal-strewn bed, others may dismiss it as hackneyed. 

Here’s a selection of ten Valentine’s Day packages that may strike your fancy: from no-holds-barred extravaganzas to simpler intimate breaks.   Find the recipe that works for you.

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10 Dirtiest Hotels in Europe Exposed

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It's time again for what easily ranks as one of TripAdvisor.com's most talked-about annual lists: Dirty Hotels. Who doesn't want the dirt on where stay in Europe—and where to avoid?

eTurbo News |  The list of Europe's ten dirtiest hotels was released today.

The list of shame is dominated by just three destinations, with London, Amsterdam and Turkey's Aegean coast collectively responsible for Europe's ten dirtiest hotels. The two Turkish hotels top the list, followed by four properties each in London and Amsterdam.

"Despite the average overall rating for a property on TripAdvisor rising to four out of five, it is clear that a minority of hotels are still not delivering the minimum standard of experience travellers deserve, especially in relation to cleanliness" comments Emma O'Boyle, TripAdvisor spokesperson. (Photo by iStock)

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Vacationist: Costa Rica + Thailand + San Diego

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As we type, fluffy snow is falling on the streets of New York City—it's no wonder we editors are highlighting special offers from three warm-weather hotels this week! Read on for more on a beachfront hideaway in Costa Rica (pictured right), a palm-strewn resort on a Thai island, and a West Coast seaside retreat tucked amid meandering lagoons.

Not a member of Vacationist? Join here.

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Trend Alert: Hotels Implementing the Latest Tech Devices

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I was discussing with my colleagues earlier today my relative inability to unplug myself from the world, no matter where I am. So it’s fitting that, shortly after this discussion, I received an e-mail from the Lanesborough in London, telling me about their newest guest service: the installation of Mac minis in each of the hotel’s 95 guestrooms. (Which, when you think about it, is an interesting contrast: the sleek, stylish white devices surrounded by the Georgian-style décor of the hotel.)

This additional resource lets guests access more/better TV and movie choices, as well as a place to plug in their own personal iPods, iPhones, and iPads—even personal digital cameras and jump drives, if need be. (Not to mention, access to the Internet and programs standard on any new Mac, like iLife.)

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Vacationist: Charleston + London + Belize

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Dear Vacationist,

In our opinion the only thing better than daydreaming about escaping the winter doldrums this time of year, is actually planning a trip—and of course, shaking off cabin fever in an exciting new locale. Good thing this week's featured hotel destinations offer something for everyone—history and charm in Charleston, big city sophistication in London, and a tropical escape in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Read on for details.

Not a member? Join here.

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Four Seasons Giftcard Winners Announced!

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Congratulations to Patrick McClinchy of Gilbert, AZ, and Ann Ennis of Addison, TX, each winners of a $450 giftcard redeemable at any Four Seasons property in the world!

2011-b-fourseasonsjpgWhat did these two lucky travelers do to win? They simply logged into TravelandLeisure.com during the giveaway period and/or registered as members—and told us what type of trip they were planning for 2011: City, Domestic; Foreign; Beach/Island,Rainforest, Mountains, Other.

Check back in the coming months for more exciting giveaways.

Images courtesy of Four Seasons

Royal Treatment: Versailles to Be Luxury Hotel

201101-b-versailles-2jpgNPR |  If you've ever dreamed of spending the night at the Palace of Versailles, you might get your chance. A building at France's cherished cultural landmark will soon be turned into a luxury hotel.

Hundreds of shivering tourists line up across an immense cobbled courtyard to visit Versailles.

Home to the French monarchy since Louis XIV, Versailles is a monument to royal grandeur. Soon, the palace may also become known for its five-star hotel. (Photo by Lyndsey Matthews)

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Vacationist: Sonoma + Thailand + Mexico

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Truth be told, we’ve been obsessing over the Farmhouse Inn—in Sonoma, California’s Russian River Valley—since the property’s renovation in 2009. And now that Vacationist is offering rates of almost 30% off at the 18-room hotel, you may find us at tasting local wines with the property’s master sommelier, or perhaps unwinding after a treatment at the hotel’s rustic spa. Prefer exclusive beach villas to country charm? This week Vacationist brings you Cabo San Lucas and Phuket, as well.

Not a member? Click here to join.

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Oh Joy: Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai

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I am staying at the Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai and it is possibly quite the most beautiful hotel I have ever seen. As you know, the Sassoons built it on the Bund in 1929 and it was the Cathay Hotel. Stuck in bed here the following year with flu, Noel Coward wrote Private Lives.

The restoration is exquisite. It is classic art deco using the finest marble, gilt, bronze. The rooms are gorgeous—both in decor and facility. The restaurants and bars and lounges are fabulous—and the Chinese government must have spent gazillions on it.

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The T+L 500 iPad Edition Launches Today!


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Want an in-depth look at the top 500 hotels around the world, as chosen by you, T+L readers? Then look no further than the App store now. Download the FREE T+L 500 digital edition for your iPad today!

Pinpoint where to stay around the globe, find insider tips, rooms to book, exclusive videos, and much more! It’s your favorite places plus T+L’s hotel expertise.

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