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
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.
Do 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
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."
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.
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.
The Hotel ICON is owned by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and helps educate students at the School of Hotel & Tourism Management. But this is no bare bones facility. Top architects and designers like Terence Conran and Vivienne Tam were recruited to create the restaurants and suites, and the general manager comes to the hotel from the luxury Shangri-La chain of hotels.
With the private member’s dining room, open-air pool and Angsana Spa, hotel guests may never realize they are part of a learning experience. But 100 interns from the school will be working alongside the professional hotel staff to get on-the-job training and mentoring.READ MORE
Photo credit: Hotel ICON
Leading Korea's new culinary wave is Jung Sik Dang, where chef Jung Sik Yim takes local ingredients to prepare dishes like kimchi consommé, pork jowl with yuzu, and even an amuse bouche with grasshoppers. Less experimental is Bistro Seoul, which presents Korean standards in an austere space. While Japanese and Chinese have long happily paid through their noses for expensive renditions of their cuisines, Koreans—like Thais—are just experiencing the phenomenon of taking familiar fare, gussying it up, and serving it in lovely locations. It’s not fusion, but modernization. You’re seeing this elsewhere in Asia—KL has some notable modern Malay restaurants. And while the Thais are kicking and screaming about this trend, other parts of Asia are embracing it.
Jennifer Chen is Travel + Leisure's Asia correspondent. You can follow her on Twitter at xiaochen6.
Photo of Jung Sik Dang courtesy of TomEats/www.tomeats.com
Baby showers aren’t typically something we cover here at T+L, but I went to an adorable one recently that I simply had to write about. The excited parents-to-be are major globe-trotters, and so the theme chosen by the hostesses was, fittingly enough, Tiny Traveler.
Just how popular is bacon? Google the word and you’ll get 144 million results (and how many of those are really about Francis Bacon?). There’s practically a tweet every minute under #bacon. There’s bacon ice cream, bacon cocktails, and, of course, burgers piled high with bacon in cities across the U.S. What gives?
Who cares! This salty meat treat has become a dietary staple—it’s practically an honorary member of the food pyramid (or plate, or whatever it is now). So go join a grease feast: the Des Moines-based Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival is taking its show on the road, to Keystone, Colorado for the Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour from June 24-26. It’ll be an all-bacon, all-the-time weekend, with bacon tastings, bacon lectures (?!), and bands made up, one would assume, of non-vegetarians.
We’d go if we were closer—it’s only $30 for stuff-yourself-silly (i.e. unlimited) bacon tastings—but we’ll have to satisfy ourselves with New York–style bacon: with an egg, on a roll. And, hey, that’s not so bad.