It's easy to get swept away by early 20th-century opulence. In our last installment in Valentine’s Day video series with GloboMaestro, Michael Bordenick, the in-the-know concierge at The Surrey hotel, takes us to one of New York City’s most intimate, and dazzling, museums in town—The Frick Collection. The former 18th-century French-style mansion home-turned-museum on the Upper East Side is home to countless European masterworks, sumptuous décor, and even a fun little secret in the basement. Watch and join Michael as he takes you behind the scenes of the former titan of industry’s residence. If nothing else, it will make you fall in love with Gotham’s Gilded Age.
Travel + Leisure's digital project editor Sarah Spagnolo highlights four romantic weekend getaways.
1. From the East: Cape Cod, Massachusetts – Chatham Bars Inn (from $250 a night). Many travelers consider Cape Cod to be a summertime escape, but the destination is serene and dramatic in the winter, without the crowds. At the Chatham Bars Inn, you’ll stay in one of 217 Cape-style cottages on a bluff overlooking the crashing waves. Many rooms have bay windows, gas fireplaces, and oversize soaking tubs. Stay through March for $250/night for two nights, and the hotel will throw in breakfast for two, champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, and a $100 credit at the streamlined spa.
This is hands down the most electrifying book cover that’s come across my desk in my recent memory: the words Love, Inshallah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women emblazoned over lacy lingerie tantalizingly dropped on an unkempt bed. If Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi, the editors of this intoxicating compilation of 25 personal narratives, are to be believed, Muslim women flirt, date, have sex, and fall in love, just like everyone else. Who knew?
The essays range from hilarious (a 14-year-old being given a crash course in the birds and the bees by her mom in a movie-theater parking lot) to heart-wrenching (a woman who realizes that her non-Muslim fiancé has an insurmountable disdain for her faith); from chaste (an endearing tale of a girl passing up a chance to make out with her model-hot trainer) to steamy (a bittersweet retelling of a passionate weeklong affair with a Muslim punk rocker). Premarital sex, arranged marriage, online dating, polygamous relationships, date rape, lesbian romances—everything is recounted with refreshing honesty and courage. My favorite section was, unsurprisingly, International Habibti: Love Overseas, full of enticing encounters in the Andes, Sri Lanka, and Cairo—who hasn’t fantasized about meeting a mysterious, accented, handsome stranger in an exotic, faraway land?
In today’s V-Day installment from GloboMaestro, Antonio Barrios, concierge at the St. Regis San Francisco takes us to Hayes Valley in San Franciso in search of exquisite chocolates, old-school cakes, and all manner of sugary treats for your sweetheart—or yourself!
For more ideas on where to find great candy, chocolates, and more, check out our new feature "Best New Sweet Shops."
It’s not your average aphrodisiac. Pulque—the frothy, vitamin-rich, rough-around-the-edges beverage made from fermented Maguey sap—has been the drink of gods and mortals in Mexico for over 1,000 years. This less sophisticated cousin to tequila is also a “must imbibe” concoction for those wanting to conceive.
Today, as part of our special love-inspired V-Day video series with GloboMaestro, we’re featuring a sexy subterranean watering hole that pours pulque by the pitcher. And, it’s in the unlikeliest of places—New York City’s Chinatown. This romantic spot also turns out some really authentic food, too. Don’t miss sharing a bowl of the sikil pak, a Mayan pumpkin seed dip served with housemade tortilla chips.
11 Doyers Street (Bowery & Doyers)
We’re pleased to announce a special Valentine’s Day series with video content partner GloboMaestro! Watch for great ideas for classic and offbeat romance as we count down to February 14.
Founded in 2011, GloboMaestro is harnessing the vast local knowledge of some of the travel industry’s most knowledgeable insiders—hotel concierges. It’s enlisted some of the very best to act as tour guides. We think it’s a pretty smart idea.
Today, Raphael Pallais Chef Concierge at The Plaza Hotel, has some fun (and unexpected) suggestions about where to enjoy a night out in New York City—or even pop the question. Next up: Miami.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg recently announced that New York City played host to a record 50 million visitors this past year. Seems like we can expect a few more in 2012: NYC & Company, the official tourism board for our fair Gotham, has rallied some extraordinary big-name luxury hotels to participate in their wintertime Third Night Promotion, where you get one free night for every three-night stay.
The list of ‘signature collection’ properties hosting this winter sale includes both elegant, storied hotels and see-and-be-seen hip newcomers. Choosing just one may be the biggest challenge of your stay:
The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel
The Chatwal New York
Hôtel Plaza Athénée New York
Jumeirah Essex House
Loews Regency Hotel
The London NYC
Mandarin Oriental, New York
The New York Palace
The Peninsula New York
The Plaza Hotel
The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park
The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
The St. Regis New York
The Setai Fifth Avenue
Trump International Hotel & Tower
Trump SoHo New York
The Waldorf Towers
As one who regularly watches these hotels for affordable offers, I can tell you that an opportunity to save 33% doesn’t come along very often. I can also guarantee that a visit to NYC this winter will be a memorable one. Whether you take the budget route of window-shopping, people-watching, and street food, or use those savings to indulge in some of the thrilling culture, cuisine, and commerce of the city—either way, you’ll leave already planning your next visit.
Top photo courtesy of Trump Soho; bottom photo of the Ritz-Carlton, Central Park © Kelly Kollar.
Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.
BBC Travel - Passport Blog | At the end of this month, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will embark on their first royal tour of North America.
The 11-day trip will begin in Canada’s National Capital Region (Ottawa, Ontario, Gatineau and Quebec) and continue into Montreal, Quebec City, Prince Edward Island, Alberta and then to the west coast of the United States. The exact itinerary for the American portion of their tour has yet to be released.
A source from St James’s Palace told People Magazine that the couple views this as a “working” trip. If you decide to trace their path, though, your royal trip can focus more on stylish luxury than “work”....
BBC Travel | After months of secrecy, the news of where Prince William and Kate would spend their honeymoon finally leaked this week. Sources say the royal newlyweds are currently in the Seychelles for a 10-day trip.
Back in February, we named "Renting a private island in the Seychelles" as one of our "Five best getaways for a royal honeymoon". It appears we were prescient, since that's exactly what the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did. Vladi Private Islands has said that it rented the secluded North Island to the royal family. Photo: Martin Harvey / Alamy.
While big, lavish nuptials hold limited charm for me (I eloped, and recommend it for its romance and intimacy), plenty of people are mad for all things wedding, and especially all things William and Kate. Even Dunkin Donuts, friend of the common man, is offering a heart-shaped tribute to the royal couple.
If you’re looking to celebrate the Royal Wedding with something more decadent than a doughnut, we’ve gathered some hotel package options.