Growing up in Marietta, Georgia, I had only one option for ice-skating: a spiritless indoor rink, where everyone in the entire state seems to come at the same time. It was practically an ice box packed with jostling skaters, some visibly sick from too much ice cream cake (the only snack offered other than pizza), and the music director assumed we would truly enjoy top 40 jams like MC Hammer's Pray in constant rotation.
Fortunately families now have alternate options.
Recently the St. Regis Atlanta (opened April 2009) started a new tradition—transforming its outdoor Grand Terrace into a festive ice skating rink.
After five years in the making, the Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe finally opened its doors to the public today. (Lucky first guests/skiers at the 170-room property were treated to a fresh snowfall.)
2010 is shaping up to be a great year for Americans to travel to the Argentine capital, which celebrates its bicentennial next year with a wave of new hotels, a grand theater reopening, and one of the best exchange rates of the decade.
Spain-based NH Hoteles is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the country by inaugurating not one but two new Buenos Aires properties: the nominally green, 116-room NH Tango (whose décor, appropriately enough, is themed after that quintessentially Argentine dance); and the sleek, 176-suite NH 9 de Julio, so named for its position on the mammoth 10-lane boulevard traversing the city. Both hotels are located downtown, near such tourist attractions as the Obelisque and the Teatro Colon. Another addition to the city: the luxury 91-room Blue Tree Buenos Aires Ker, in tony Recoleta.
Tis the season for toys and presents, but what about getting your 2010 travel calendar in line? These three contests might make for one heck of a New Year.
Ultimate Fiji Adventurer
Now – January 1st
Make your New Year’s resolution to be more adventurous. Tourism Fiji has launched a video contest to give away a pair of roundtrip tickets to Fiji on Air Pacific (from Los Angeles) and seven nights—with meals—at Sonaisali Island Resort. Contestants must submit a 2-3 minute video explaining why they are an Ultimate Fiji Adventurer at www.fijime.tv/videocontest. After entries close on January 1st, it’s up to the public to vote on their favorite submission. We could not confirm at publilcation time, but contestants shoudle expect to pay taxes and fees.
Beverly Hills, 90210 may remind you of all sorts of things: Rodeo Drive, Bentleys, even a recently-reinterpreted television show on the CW. What likely doesn’t come to mind are hotel deals, which is what all the buzz was about during my recent visit.
The Thompson Beverly Hills on the corner of Wilshire and Crescent, brings Stephen Brandman’s chic-and-shiny aesthetic to LA. The hotel is home to the West Coast’s only BondSt sushi outpost, has a rooftop pool with panoramic views, and easy access to the shops on South Beverly. Rooms are sexy, with beds dressed in Frette linens. And the rate? A wallet-friendly $199/per night.
Ritz-Carlton Hotels announced today that it will open its first property in Israel at the marina in Herzliya, a suburb on the coast a bit north of Tel Aviv. Set to open in March 2012, the property will have 110 rooms and will also feature 85 Ritz-Carlton Residential Suites.
I'm dreaming of a Dior Christmas. Provocative designer John Galliano's holiday on ice now rises next to the grand staircase at Claridge's, a frozen confection enlivened by a lurking snow leopard, dragonflies and parrots. So whenever I holly go lightly through this glittering Art Deco lobby on Brook Street in London's Mayfair district for the next month, my season will be brightened by this Arctic orchid tree from Dior's outré elf.
Shane Mitchell is a special correspondent for Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Claridge's
When I stepped into the shower on my first morning at the new St. Regis Princeville Resort on Kaua’i, it was virtually impossible not to hum “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair.” Only a sheet of plate glass separated me from the turquoise arc of Hanalei Bay, a key location for the movie South Pacific (1958).
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.