Nancy Novogrod, Editor and Chief
Credit: Richard Phibbs

Talk about romantic! As I write this letter, I’m sitting at a desk in a hotel room in Cannes, overlooking the Mediterranean. Never mind that I’ve just returned from a somewhat airless exhibition hall where I met with hoteliers at an annual luxury travel show. I can hear the waves gently lapping the shore, and though it’s well past the season, there are still some very nice sports cars whizzing by, and temptingly stylish treats in shop windows lining the Croisette. Here I sit, in real-time comfort, replaying mental images of the palaces and manor houses, overwater bungalows on remote atolls, and penthouse suites with dazzling city views that I was shown. A couple of these spectacular places will, in fact, dance before your eyes too, in our roundup of “World’s Most Romantic Hotels,” ranging from Australia to Sicily and Morocco.

This month we also check in on a classic resort town that’s being rediscovered—that Rat Pack cynosure, Acapulco. In “The New Face of Acapulco” Michael Gross takes the measure of the still glamorous insider scene, and the new hotels and watering holes. We travel to Las Vegas as well with T+L editor-at-large Peter Jon Lindberg for a madcap four-day romp—not at the croupier’s tables or the slots, but sampling meals on and off the Strip at some of what Peter believes are America’s most delectable restaurants, from a 16-course tasting menu at Joël Robuchon, in the glittering MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, to Issan-style deep-fried beef jerky at the decidedly more modest Thai restaurant Lotus of Siam.

You’ll also meet some of the intriguing personalities in that storied city, Dublin, and find out where author Gini Alhadeff buys her Aran wool–covered hot-water bottles, as well as where to go for delicious ginger cookies. After all this, you may welcome a palate cleanser of sorts: Kate Betts’s amusing take on the latest upscale boot camp, the Ranch at Live Oak, where cookies—and mobile devices—are definitely not on the menu.

But for most of us, smartphones are an essential travel companion. If you’ve ever longed for advice on how to travel internationally with your smartphone without racking up a big bill (my own sticker shock following a recent trip to Spain is another story), our Strategies section this month is essential reading.

Other realities of travel these days—from housekeeping in Cannes to flying—may be harder to address. All the more reason then to enjoy Aimee Lee Ball’s lighthearted look back at the “History of the Stewardess.” The weight and age codes, not to mention certain revealing uniforms, are well in the past where they belong, but one code I’d like to bring back in full force is “service with a smile.” I know it’s tough, but we need to do what we can to maintain the romance of travel, and without a smile there can be no romance.

Where to Find Me

Twitter: @nnovogro