Nancy Novogrod, editor, portrait, Travel + Leisure
Credit: Richard Phibbs

Such are the digital comings and goings of my life that on a quiet Sunday afternoon from a sofa overlooking the snowy hills of northwestern Connecticut I am being updated on the latest tourism activity in Miami. According to Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO William D. Talbert III, things are just fine, with a 16.9 percent increase in tourist-related tax collections over the same period the previous year. Fans of CSI: Miami will be interested to know that the show ranked No. 9 in Nielsen broadcast ratings for the final week of 2010. So much the better, then, that we stop by this month with local resident Tom Austin to check in on Frank Gehry’s New World Symphony campus, just north of Lincoln Road, and the latest additions to the downtown hotel scene and the Design District, as well as such classic precincts as Miami Beach and Bal Harbour. I am making the journey there myself shortly to celebrate T+L’s 2011 Design Awards; the party will be held at Gehry’s New World Symphony.

The Design Awards are above all else timely; our distinguished panel of judges from the worlds of fashion, art, architecture, and design gather to consider an ambitious range of projects and products created during the past 12 months. This year’s winners include the Yas Hotel, in Abu Dhabi; the Ashmolean Museum, in Oxford, England; and the outdoor clothing purveyors Patagonia for their M10 jacket and ultralight down shirt. On the other end of the spectrum this month is Salento, a relatively unchanged area of Puglia in southern Italy where Michael Frank’s discoveries include a basilica with early-15th-century frescoes and artisanal pasta with the freshest tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and pecorino. Though Hyderabad, in south-central India, is now a high-tech capital, traces of its former life remain from the splendor of the court of the nizams. We also take an insider look at the Savoy, in London, a 122-year-old hotel that recently underwent a $342 million renovation, and venture out on a food tour of that culinary capital of Japan. Imagine—the city’s restaurants have earned 320 Michelin stars!

Once again, we offer our readers a global selection of hotels that guarantee great experiences at good value—many of them quite surprising, from a Four Seasons in Dublin and a château in the Loire Valley to the Peninsula Manila, in the Philippines. And speaking of value, this issue also includes our annual roundup of affordable and appealing beach resorts from California to Costa Rica, as well as our “2011 Cruising Report,” which logs new ports, new ships, and new opportunities at sea. And here I sit on my sofa in New England thinking about Miami and the world.

Where to Find Me

Twitter: @nnovogro