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Digital Detox Vacations: Dream Trip or Personal Nightmare?

Mashable.com |  Caribbean nation St. Vincent and the Grenadines is challenging travelers to leave smartphones, tablets and other gadgets behind as a part of their new digital-detox vacation package, complete with a guidebook explaining how to function on a trip without tech, and a life coach.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines — which is made up of 32 islands and cays, nine of which are inhabited – has launched a vacation package designed to wean people off their technology. Before arriving to the islands, visitors will receive tips on how to prep and de-tech for the stay, and an on-site life coach will provide advice on how to not let tech control your life.

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TODAY Show: Hotels Where You Can Unplug

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Need to decompress after the holidays? T+L Features Director Nilou Motamed has six great properties for travelers on a quest for quiet.

TODAY Show: Airport Loyalty Programs

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Looking for another reason to travel in the new year? T+L's Digital Projects Editor Sarah Spagnolo discusses tips and tricks for earning loyalty points (and perks!) at your local airport.

TODAY Show: Culinary Getaways!

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Watch and find out  T+L Features Director Nilou Motamed's picks for the best epicurean destinations. Discover where to sip truffle-infused cocktails in Chicago, sample legendary macaron cookies in Paris, and experience agroturismo, Italian style.

Hotel Staff Taught to Read Guests' Body Language

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USA Today
|  Forget calling the front desk. If you're a guest at an Affinia hotel, the staff will try to figure out what you need just by looking at you.

Starting this month, the boutique chain is bumping up personal service in its five hotels in New York City and one each in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Everyone from housekeeping to management will be tailoring his interaction with guests based on body language.

A body language expert trained employees over the summer on what cues to look for. A guest who makes eye contact while walking down the hall, for instance, may be open to conversation. A corporate trekker constantly tugging on an ear is probably stressed and may be interested in a yoga kit — or perhaps a therapeutic pillow from the hotel's pillow menu.
Photo credit: iStock

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Singapore Trend Alert: Supper Clubs, Chinese Sweet Soups, More

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Underground dining—experimental dinner parties with random strangers—is popping up around Singapore. Three supper clubs that are on the radar: Ping’s Illegal Diners Club run by food consultant focused on healthy eats; lolla’s secret suppers, hosted by champagne importers; and Social Candy, a network of like-minded amateur cooks. Locations change with each event and diners sign up via Facebook. It’s an eye-catching trend in a country that’s such a stickler for rules; we’ll see if it goes anywhere.

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Four Seasons LA Debuts iPads in All Guestrooms

201109-b-fourseasons-lajpgDo you have iPad envy? Book your next trip at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills and you can pretend like you own one during your stay. Each of its 285 rooms and suites will be stocked with iPad2s for guests to use throughout their stay starting October 3.

Each iPad comes with an innovative program called ICE (Interactive Customer Experience™) from Intelity that will make you feel like you're staying at the Jetson's. How does it work? Instead of picking up the phone to order room service, just press a few buttons and food arrives at your door. You can also make restaurant reservations, request valet parking, airport transportation, spa treatments, and housekeeping. So far, the Four Seasons LA is only hotel on the West Coast and the first Four Seasons property to offer this cool and convenient amenity.

Lyndsey Matthews in an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Hotels That Lean?! Capital Gate Looms Over Abu Dhabi

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We live in a daredevil age of architecture. Out of the fog of dreams rise colossal structures that twist, outsize, and undulate to the extreme. Among these freewheeling feats stands the tilting high-rise hotel—and its crowning glory opens this fall.

The silvery spire of Hyatt Capital Gate (doubles from $650) slices the sky above Abu Dhabi’s sultry cityscape at a sharp 18 degree angle—four times greater than Pisa’s slouching bell tower. “There was an opportunity to do something very powerful,” says Chris Jones, principal architect with RMJM, "to create a new gateway to the city."

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CBS Early Show: Hidden Hotel Fees

Did you know some hotels are now charging for early check-ins? International editor Mark Orwoll shares the latest hidden hotel fees—what to ask, and how to avoid them.

How to Sleep Comfortably in an Airport Terminal

air travel airport sleep capsule

Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport is experimenting with an innovation that air travelers have fitfully dreamt of for years:  a safe and clean place to grab a few hours’ sleep.

Installed a month ago in the AeroExpress terminal, the prototype Sleepbox shows travelers a small, private oasis in which to spend layovers.  The 13-sq.-ft. box, covered with an attractive pale ash veneer, is efficiently kitted out with two bunks, LED reading lamps, electrical outlets for laptops or phone charging, WiFi, ventilation and sound systems, under-bunk space to stow luggage, and motor-controlled blinds.  Apparently, there is even an automated process to change the linens between guests.

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