Hotels + Resorts
Hot-ticket restaurants? Check. Ultra-luxe bedding? Check. The latest battleground in the hotel wars: flower shops run by star petal-pushers. Guests at the Hotel Savoy ($$$$), in Florence, can jazz up their rooms with Sebastian Bierings’s modernist “sushi flower” arrangements (Lady Gaga and Elton John are fans). New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel ($$$$) recently welcomed a branch of the 100-year-old Gramercy Park Flower Shop, whose monochromatic, leaf-wrapped bouquets make perfect hostess gifts. In Menlo Park, California, Aili Ice has opened her first brick-and-mortar location at Rosewood Sand Hill ($$$$), showcasing designs that incorporate reclaimed wood. No wonder she’s the go-to florist of Silicon Valley VIP’s.
Illustration by Michael Hoeweler
It’s hard to believe that just a year and a half ago, Mama Shelter was a lone boutique hotel in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, serving up Philippe Starck design, in-room iMacs and high thread count sheets for travelers on a hostel budget. But the Trigano family, who previously set up a little company you may have heard of called Club Med, doesn’t play small.
Now Mama has touched down in Marseille (April, 2012), Istanbul (mid-March, 2013), Lyon (late March, 2013), Bordeaux (October 2013) and eventually Hollywood. Serge Trigano, Mama Shelter’s co-founder with the poet and urban theorist Cyril Aouizerate, made a bet that city tourism would be to the 21stcentury what beach tourism was to the previous one, and with occupancy rates ranging from 85% in Paris to 70% in Marseille, his bet is paying off.
Included in your room rate at these hotels? The chance to borrow a cool set of wheels.
Lake Placid Lodge, New York: Lexus RX 450h
Little Nell, Aspen: Audi Q7 TDI
St. Regis San Francisco: 2013 Bentley Mulsanne
51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Hotel & Residences, London: Jaguar XJ
Hotel Arts Barcelona: Smart Electric Drive
Regent Berlin: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with gull-wing doors
Illustration by Michael Hoeweler
Hotel-and-designer dream teams are offering custom canvas totes, just in time for beach season. We love the bag created by Anya Hindmarch for Le Sereno, in St. Bart’s, $358 (pictured). Here a few other faves:
Kate Spade for Starwood Preferred Guest, $199.
Missoni Home for Seaside Luxe at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, in Hawaii, $350.
Clare Vivier for Shutters on the Beach, in Santa Monica, Calif., $220.
Mimi Lombardo is Travel + Leisure’s style director.
Photo courtesy of Anya Hindmarch
You know me: Always complaining about excessive fees aimed at travelers. I've kvetched about the worst rental car rip-offs. I've bemoaned the world's most outrageous hotel fees. I've griped, groused, growled, and grumbled about airline surcharges here and here and here. But before I have to rush back to my thesaurus again for another way to say complain, let me acknowledge that there are some travel companies that are doing it right: They're giving stuff away, free. May I just say, yay.
Set on 210 yucca- and cedar scrub-dotted acres in Texas Hill Country, Travaasa Austin has 70 streamlined guest rooms, an 11-room spa and infinity pool, an equestrian center, and two miles of hiking trails. This June, the resort will debut a three-and-a-quarter-acre farm anticipated to produce a whopping 30,000 pounds of food in its first year.
We all know New York is the city that never sleeps—and now that means the director of personal shopping at Bergdorf Goodman, thanks to a new collaboration with The Mark Hotel. Up at 4 a.m. with the realization that you left the outfit you have to wear in 7 hours at home? Have no fear—a new ensemble is just a phone call away. Complimentary messenger services are another benefit of this 24/7 service.
Brooke Porter is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Photo courtesy of The Mark Hotel
This month, Travel + Leisure announced the 61 hottest new hotels of the year in our 2013 It List. In celebration of these splashy properties—from the Amanzo'e resort on Greece's Peloponnese peninsula (pictured) to Tuscany's rustic Monteverdi—we’ll be hosting a one-hour Twitter chat to discuss the latest in hotel tech, design, and industry trends. Our expert panel of luxury travel agents and T+L editors will share their secrets on maximizing your hotel stay and where to travel next.
Join the conversation on Wednesday, May 22nd from 2pm to 3pm.
Clara O. Sedlak, T+L special projects editor, @csedlak1
Jennifer Flowers, travel news editor, @JennFlowers
Nikki Ekstein, editorial assistant, @nikkiekstein
Sara Chapman, Vacationist.com, @GoVacationist
Bobby Zur, Travel Artistry, @travelartistry
Kendra Thornton, Room 77, @Room_77
Jared Simon, HotelTonight, @HotelTonight
Dawid Grausch, Design Hotels, @Design_Hotels
Tiffany Dowd, Luxe Social Media, @LuxeTiffany
Stacy Small, Elite Travel International, @EliteTravelGal
Shane Mitchell, T+L special correspondent, @shanegoesforth
Heidi Mitchell, T+L contributor, @heidismitchell
Andrew Sessa, T+L contributor, @SessaSaysWhat
How does it work?
1. Log in to Twitter any time from 2–3 p.m. ET and be sure to follow the chat host: @TravlandLeisure.
2. Use the hashtag #TL_Chat to follow.
3. To keep up with the chat in real time, head over to tweetchat.com/room/TL_Chat.
4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own answers to our questions. Or ask your own questions!
All tweets are subject to our social media terms and conditions and may be used in any and all media including editorial. See full social media terms and conditions.
Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Amanzo'e
It’s a good thing I’m heading to London this month since I just lost a button on my favorite Brunello Cucinelli jacket. A needle and thread is hard to find in a jeans-and-T-shirt world; my local drugstore sells mostly useless assortments (orange?). A good hotel, however, understands the art of the sewing kit: a discreet envelope or fitted box with a sliding top, colors I want, and—a thrill every time—threaded needles. I squirrel one away every night, hoping for another. If it doesn’t come, I’m not above filling my pockets at the housekeeper’s cart.
Photo by Sam Kaplan
Thinking of bringing Spot to the Big Apple? Guests at the Soho Grand Hotel—a dog-friendly hotel if there ever was one—now have a couple of new amenities for their furry companions. This weekend, a dedicated dog run opened its gates—complete with fire hydrant water stations, bespoke benches, and design by gardener-to-the-stars Rebecca Cole.
But make no mistake: this isn't a place where your pup will run laps on end (this is New York after all; space comes at a predictably high premium). With downtown-inspired graffiti and oh-so-chic garden decor (yes, that's ornamental kale), it's the ideal place to teach your pup about the virtues of unwinding—that's what vacation is for, right?
See: America's Best Dog-Friendly Hotels.
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her at on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Photo courtesy of SoHo Grand