Openings & Closings
October is Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month, and what better way to raise awareness than by celebrating the season with our canine companions? Come October 19, Dogtoberfest kicks off in Austin, Texas. The annual festival—now in its sixth year—features a slew of activities where your pups take center stage. Weiner dog races, a canine costume contest, and DogtoberTROT, a 1K stroll around Austin’s Domain mall, are among the most anticipated.
Don’t live in the area? No worries—Austin’s newest pet-friendly addition, Hotel Ella, just opened today. There’s no size or weight limit for dogs, which means whether you have a dachshund or Doberman pincher, specialty biscuits, beds, and in-room dining are all up for grabs.
Maria Pedone is part of the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.
Among fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld’s new side projects? A Monte Carlo pool with serious style cred. T+L reports.
“Work is making a living out of being bored,” Karl Lagerfeld once quipped. If that’s the case, he’s been exceedingly bored lately—and focusing his eagle eye on the world of travel. Lagerfeld just unveiled a slick redesign of the pool, patio, and Odyssey restaurant at Hotel Metropole (pictured; $$$$),in Monaco, where he had a house for 10 years and maintains a close friendship with Princess Caroline. Surrounded by the lacy garden rooftops of Monte Carlo, the new space is strikingly graphic, with angular ebony-and-ecru furniture, square umbrellas, and a backlit black-and-white photo mural depicting models in the mode of Odysseus, togas and all.
It’s an incongruous sight: sleek white boxes on stilts above the rocky, windswept coast of a small island off northeastern Newfoundland. But the 29-room Fogo Island Inn is actually infused with the area’s DNA. It’s the vision of Zita Cobb, a local fisherman’s daughter turned tech entrepreneur, who launched an ambitious arts program on the island in 2006. For the new inn, Cobb tapped Newfoundland-born architect Todd Saunders, who also built the four on-site artists’ studios. The interiors were a collaboration between international designers (including the U.K.-based Ilse Crawford) and island craftspeople; quilters created bedspreads and other textiles, while boatmakers made furniture. Guests can learn about Fogo’s icebergs and humpback whale population from experienced guides, and mingle with residents at the restaurant and art gallery. What’s more, all profits go back to the community. In other words, it’s a white box with soul. $$$$
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Photo by Iwan Baan
The food world is buzzing about brothers Joan, Jordi, and Josep Roca, whose restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, in the Catalonian river town of Girona, was recently crowned No. 1 on the planet. But we’re sweet on their other spot nearby: Rocambolesc Gelateria. The pint-size ice cream shop, decorated with vintage machinery and pipes that look like candy canes, dispenses a rotating roster of soft-serve flavors (baked apple; tangerine sorbet) topped with such novelties as caramelized sheep’s milk and lychee-strawberry “cloud”—and not a sprinkle in sight.
Photo by Alvaro Leiva
Ask a New Yorker where to get a salad in Midtown Manhattan, and you’ll likely get an answer that includes “too expensive,” “wilted lettuce,” or other unenthusiastic sentiments. As of tomorrow, however, there will be another response: Sweetgreen, a new organic, farm-to-table salad shop at the Nomad hotel.
Founded in 2007 by three then-seniors at Georgetown University, Sweetgreen became a fast favorite in Washington, D.C., and over the last six years, expanded to 20 locations in Virginia, Maryland, Philadelphia, Boston, and, now, New York. (A Tribeca location will open in December.) All of the ingredients are locally sourced; a chalkboard lists the New York or New Jersey farm where each originated. As for the prices, nothing on the signature menu costs more than $11.85 (the "District Chopped"), and that one comes with roasted chicken, goat cheese, bacon, and avocado—a who’s who of costly add-ons at most other spots. Beyond salad (which are big enough to last two meals), you’ll find fresh-pressed juice, gazpacho, and “sweetflow” tart frozen yogurt. Try it all tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the Nomad location is inviting diners to pay what they want, with all proceeds going to City Harvest.
Brooke Porter is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Photo courtesy of Brooke Porter
Keith McNally’s New York institution recently cloned itself in London—but does the buzz match that of the original? T+L hops across the pond to find out.
For me, entering Balthazar London ($$$$) is an out-of-body experience—as if I’ve been beamed up from New York City to Covent Garden, where Keith McNally’s new brasserie is a dead ringer for the 16-year-old original, or—as we Balthazaristas call it—the Mother Ship. I walk in, expecting to see familiar faces—is that Meg Ryan?—but instead hear the whispers (the British are not subtle), “Is that Gwyneth?” “Is that Nigella?” “Is that…?”
Yes, it is Alan Bennett, the English playwright, with the cast of his latest show, People—and indeed, Balthazar is a grand, gorgeous, beautifully lit set. Both of them are. Distressed French mirrors, brass rails, red leather banquettes—this is Paris of the imagination.
Between his Craft restaurants and his role as head judge on Top Chef, Tom Colicchio is one of the food world’s biggest stars. Now he has a new title: innkeeper. At Topping Rose House, an 1842 Greek Revival mansion in Bridgehampton, New York, he oversees 22 rooms and cottages with interiors by Alexandra Champalimaud. The food, of course, takes center stage, and the locavore menu reinforces Colicchio’s passion for fresh and sustainable ingredients. His inspiration? European country inns with restaurants: “It’s all an extension of hospitality. We want this to be the place where once you’re here, it’s a warm embrace.” $$$$
Photo by Melanie Dunea/CPI Syndication
Coming soon to Universal Orlando: long lines of middle-aged guys waiting to get their pictures taken with Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob.
The Orlando theme park recently announced that it will expand the area around the simulator-style Simpsons Ride to embody all that is magical about the Springfield hometown of Bart, Homer, Marge, Lisa and Maggie. According to its release, the new Springfield area of the park will open this summer and include one new ride—the hopefully-not-too-aptly-named Twirl ’n’ Hurl—as well as a line-up of Simpsons-inspired food and beverages that would make any would-be Homer swoon, such as "Krusty-certified meat" at Krusty Burger, a "Taco Fresho" with Bumblebee Man, and an array of donuts (“is there anything they can not do?”) at Lard Lad.
As proof that theme parks have become as much for grown-up kids as actual kids, Springfield will also feature a Moe’s Tavern and Duff Beer, “brewed exclusively for Universal Orlando,” according to the release. And hey, for any parent who has waited hours so their child could get an autograph from a giant mouse or princess, a cold beer with a donut may sound like a family vacation dream come true.
Photo credit: 2013 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.
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.
Kyoto’s cherry blossoms hit their peak last month, but when the famous trees burst open again next year, the city will also be buzzing about a new Ritz-Carlton. The luxury hotelier just announced the opening of a new property there in February 2014—a 136-room low-rise building on the Kamogawa River that mixes modern and traditional Japanese designs.
The announcement is just the latest news from this fast-growing company. Six of their hotels are slated to open in the second half of 2013, including one in Aruba in November. We’re already looking forward to escaping the New York City winter.
Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company