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EX-PATS: From New York Streets to Tulum Sands

Switching careers is always a bit of a tango, but for designer David Graziano hopping from New York City to Tulum, Mexico was a no-brainer. David spent the first 13 years of his career designing NYC nightclubs like Pink Elephant and Kiss & Fly, but it wasn’t until he left these fast-paced streets behind that he discovered his true calling. 

Moving to the sandy shores of Tulum gave David a “giant lift,” and he began building Ahau Hotel from scratch as soon as he landed. David’s only goal is to provide a paradise for his guests—and perhaps now to his wife and baby girl as well.

Need more daydream-worthy career moves? Watch the video or head to the Reserve Channel’s YouTube page for the full series of EX-PATS.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Behind the Scenes of T+L's Dog-Friendly Hotel Photo Shoot

Think it's easy shooting a bunch of pampered pooches in a hotel room? Whatever it is, it sure looks fun!

Watch this behind the scenes video of photographer Catherine Ledner and her team working with some canine talent to illustrate Peaches the Yorkie's June 2013 T+L article (as told to Kathryn O'Shea-Evans) about Dog-Friendly Hotels.

Related: Coolest Vacations for Dog Lovers and America's Best Dog-Friendly Hotels.

CBS This Morning Video: Introducing The 2013 It List

T+L's Laura Begley Bloom appeared on CBS This Morning on Friday to discuss this year's It List of the best new hotels.

Among the properties discussed: Charleston's Zero George, Bentonvile's 21C, and others. Watch the complete interview above.

Related: It List: The Best New Hotels 2013.

Wake Up and Go: Weekend Getaways from St. Louis

Travel + Leisure’s Kathryn O’Shea-Evans presents easy weekend getaways from St. Louis, Missouri, on the Weather Channel’s Wake Up and Go.

1. NATURAL PARADISE: Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, Missouri
A great family getaway set on 800 acres in the heart of the Ozark mountains, overlooking bass-filled Table Rock Lake. 81 just-renovated cabins have wood-burning fireplaces and western-inspired interiors, but who wants to stay inside when the great outdoors await? DON’T MISS Paddleboard yoga on the shimmering private marina, and, come evening, the Campfire Wagon Tours in an antique wagon. PRICE $149 a night. BOOK NOW.

2. GATSBY-ERA GLAM: Raphael Hotel, Kansas City, MO
Fronting chic County Club Plaza, one of the nation’s oldest outdoor suburban shopping centers, 126-room Raphael Hotel is a landmark 1920’s Renaissance Revival building, with custom mahogany millwork and travertine marble flooring. DON’T MISS Jazz dinners at Chaz on the Plaza, where local musicians perform Tuesday through Sunday evenings. PRICE $209 a night. BOOK NOW.

3. ART-FILLED RETREAT: 21C Museum Hotel, Louisville, KY
Designed by New York architect Deborah Berke, this 90-room property has a multi-million dollar art collection worthy of MoMa. Explore the exhibits—which are free and open to the public—or just hang out in your spare-but-polished room, with exposed brick walls and cheeky details, such as rubber ducky’s in the shower. DON’T MISS The Urban Bourbon Trail, a walking tour of 50-plus bourbons with a stop at 21c’s Proof on Main. PRICE $229 a night. BOOK NOW.

Related: T+L's Weekend Getaways

CNN Video: What the Airline Quality Rankings Mean

T+L's International Editor Mark Orwoll appeared in on CNN this weekend to discuss the airline quality rankings released last week. Watch as he discusses the rise of customer complaints about surcharges, ticketing, and personnel and offers tips about getting the seat you want and not getting bumped.

Watch: Should You Take a Cruise Now?

T+L's International Editor Mark Orwoll appeared on CNBC's On the Money With Maria Bartiromo to discuss the cruise industry this weekend. Watch as Orwoll shares his insights into the state of cruising, post-Carnival Triumph and whether it's the right time to book your trip.

Related: Best Cruises for Families and How to Choose Your Cruise

Watch: What Does the New Airline Performance Report Mean?

Travel + Leisure's Mark Orwoll appeared on NBC's TODAY Show this morning to discuss the airline performance report released this week. How will it impact you? Watch the clip (above) and find out.

EX-PATS: Chocolate Making in Grenada

Would you drop out of an Ivy League university for chocolate? Former University of Pennsylvania undergrad, David "Mott" Green did.

Originally from New York City, Mott left Penn to pursue a more altruistic (and sunny) lifestyle in Hermitage, Grenada. After noticing how exploitive the chocolate industry was on the island, he thought, Why don’t cocoa farmers produce the chocolate themselves? Since then, Mott has spent the last 25 years operating the bean-to-bar Grenada Chocolate Company. His efforts to bring Grenadian citizens back into agriculture have helped create a sustainable alternative to the harsh chocolate industry.

Ditching the classroom to eat, live, and breathe chocolate? Sounds like the sweet life to us!

EX-PATS is the Reserve Channel's YouTube series. To watch full episodes, click here.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Watch: 'Discover the Spirit of Japan' Video Goes Viral

Not every tourism board video posted on YouTube can boast nearly 1.3 million views in less than two weeks, but then, few of them have the same gentle, openhearted feel of Visit Japan's "Discover the Spirit of Japan" clip (above). As Talking Travel Tech's Kevin May noted just after the video was posted earlier this month, one secret of the clip's success may be that it focuses on Japanese people, not their country's destinations, cuisine, or activities: "The idea is to showcase the culture, traditions and history of Japan from the perspective of its population rather than simply a fancy cascade of traditional tourism hotspots such as Mount Fuji and Tokyo skyline," May wrote.

Whatever its secret, the clip is working. It's been viewed over a million more times since May wrote that on March 17. And if you read the YouTube comments—"amazing!" "Japan is amazing country with great people and great culture"—it's clearly connecting with viewers.

Check out: T+L s Guide to Kyoto, Japan and our Tokyo Travel Guide

Rihanna's Barbados Video, Plus Some T+L Recommendations

On February 10th, “We Found Love” earned R&B superstar Rihanna her sixth Grammy, this time for best short form music video. That’s nice, but the songstress has another video that T+L readers may find even nicer. It’s a tourism promotional video for Barbados, Rihanna’s home country, and one of the Caribbean’s top destinations.

Check it out:

Okay, so now that we all officially want to go to Barbados but know nothing about it, T+L can help. Here are some things the video didn’t tell us that make a visit to this Caribbean isle more enticing:

Read More

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