Following the destruction wrought by Super Typhoon Haiyan, which appears to be the Philippine Islands’ worst natural disaster in history, relief efforts are rapidly rising up across the world. Here, while Americans commemorate the courage of their veterans, the State Department is hurrying to organize a team of these hometown heroes to provide aid in the storm-torn Philippines.
The scale of Haiyan’s devastation is overwhelming. More than 10,000 lives are feared to have been lost in Friday’s storm, and at least 600,000 people have been displaced. Police officials report at least 80-percent of the worst hit Leyte province’s infrastructure was leveled by the 200-mph winds and 20-foot waves.
This beloved travel destination, known for its breathtaking white sand beaches and jungle-capped cliffs, is home to four of the World’s Best Hotels, and is now in great need of international support. At TravelandLeisure.com, we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by Haiyan, and we encourage everyone to do what they can to make a difference for those in need.
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.
Travel + Leisure's Sarah Spagnolo presents easy weekend getaways from Memphis on the Weather Channel's Wake Up and Go.
1. CULTURE SPOT: Bentonville, AR This small city is being transformed into a world-class arts destination, thanks in part to the Crystal Bridges Museum, which opened in 2011. It’s owned by Wal-Mart heir Alice Walton, and houses her collection of American art. WHERE TO STAY The new 21C Museum Hotel, just off the city’s town square, has contemporary art from the 21st-century—hence the name—and a buzzy restaurant, The Hive. PRICE $175 a night. BOOK NOW
2. FOODIE ESCAPE: Greenwood, MS Inspired to see the locations from the film The Help? Try Greenwood, a low-key culinary mecca just two hours south of Memphis. WHERE TO STAY The Alluvian hotel is home to 45 rooms, five suites, a Viking Cooking School, and Giardina’s restaurant, a southern spot that’s been open since 1936. PRICE $205 a night. BOOK NOW
3. MUSIC HAVEN: Nashville, TN Music City has that perfect mix of old-school Southern class and modern country flair. It’s also known for its friendly people. And we’re in the middle of Vanderbilt University’s basketball season! WHERE TO STAY The Hutton Hotel debuted on the T+L 500 list this year. A secret: there’s a complimentary wine hour from 5–6 p.m. PRICE $249 a night. BOOK NOW
While some NYC hotel rooms are still occupied by those displaced from Hurricane Sandy (with FEMA even picking up the tab), there are still vacancies in New York City and along the East Coast—with a handful of fine properties flaunting noteworthy discounts and donations in the coming days and weeks:
New York City:The Surrey Sandy Discount: $50 gift certificate to use for a future visit; $40 off spa treatments; and a glass of prosecco. Sandy Donation: 5 percent of all spa packages go to the American Red Cross.
Newport, RI:Vanderbilt Grace (pictured, top) Sandy Donation: $20 per person for Restaurant Week packages booked to the American Red Cross. Sandy Discount: 2 nights accommodation; two champagne breakfasts; one lunch; one fine dining dinner; and wine upon arrival for $575.
Travelers across the country had their plans disrupted by last week’s Super Storm Sandy. From being stranded in a powerless New York City, to getting stuck in airports far away from home, their plights yielded some lessons on how to prepare for disaster and what to do when it strikes. And travelers take note, these tips may be useful sooner than expected; a nor'easter is expected to hit the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic this week.
• Use an excellent travel agent, especially if your trip is particularly complicated or important. (See Travel + Leisure’s favorite agents here.) These travel experts can save you time, headaches, and heartache by taking care of all the rerouting and rebooking on your behalf.
This one falls in the “Are you kidding?” category: Just as East Coasters from New Jersey to Massachusetts are coming back online and picking up the pieces after the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, a nor’easter is threatening to wallop the same area this Wednesday or Thursday. Named for the direction the storm travels, this type of weather typically has many of the same characteristics as a hurricane—fierce winds, heavy rains or snow, and—brace yourselves (again) coastal residents—tidal flooding.
While this new storm is not expected to be pack the same intensity as Sandy, it is worth watching—especially in the Carolinas. Whether you live in its projected path, are planning a trip East, or just want to have smart weather forecasts in your pocket, there are five Webby Award-winning apps that should be on your Doppler radar:
Q: Is it out of the question to travel to the Caribbean in October?
A: While the odds of a hurricane in the region increase in the fall, the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao are hit much less frequently. To be extra safe, T+L A-List agent Scott Kertes suggests a cruise, since ships can steer away from inclement weather. And it doesn’t hurt to buy some travel insurance before packing your bags.
Travel + Leisure's Sarah Spagnolo presents easy weekend getaways from Cleveland on the Weather Channel's Wake Up and Go.
1. Geneva on the Lake, Ohio Ohio’s first summer resort, on sparkling Lake Erie, has both a state park (for hiking and bird-watching) as well as an undiscovered wine region. WHERE TO STAY Try the Lodge at Geneva on the Lake, a quaint cottage right on the water. The hotel’s wine shuttle brings guests to nearby vineyards. PRICE $139 a night. BOOK NOW
2. Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania Want to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water? Head 3.5 hours southeast of Cleveland to Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains. WHERE TO STAY The 1907 Summit Inn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a charming spot with an expansive deck lined by rocking chairs. Besides being the closest inn to Falling Water, it also has a nine-hole golf course founded by Pete Dye’s father. PRICE From $120 a night. BOOK NOW
3. Cincinnati, Ohio Cincy is an emerging cultural destination, and two notable stops are the Contemporary Arts Center by Zaha Hadid and the new National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Up next: the soon-to-open 21C Museum Hotel, where works by contemporary artists will be on display. WHERE TO STAY Until 21C opens later this year, try the city’s grand Cincinnatian Hotel, complete with in-room fireplaces and soaking tubs and an afternoon tea service. PRICE $179 a night. BOOK NOW
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T+L's Sarah Spagnolo presents easy weekend getaways from New York City on the Weather Channel's Wake Up and Go.
1. Litchfield County, Connecticut This posh enclave is where many of Manhattan’s boldfaced names go to escape the bustle of the city. WHERE TO STAY Falls Village Inn for bright interiors by designer Bunny Williams. Ask for the Green Room: it’s the only guestroom with a bathtub. PRICE $199 a night. BOOK NOW
Walking umbrella-free in the rain may be romantic when the temperature is warm and you’re not headed to a job interview or fancy restaurant. But how should you respond if you’re caught in a shower and want to stay as dry as possible? Common sense may tell you to run, but how can you be absolutely sure?