December 2010

Bathroom at St. Regis Washington D.C.

Bathroom at St. Regis Washington D.C.

Slideshow

Slideshow

Sure, Washington, D.C. may be full of suits and seriousness, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a handful of hoteliers who pulled out all the stops when designing their hotels. We’ve found the best hotel bathrooms in Washington, D.C., and we’ve put them into one fun, easy-to-view slideshow for you. And while the hotel bathrooms in this city can’t measure up to the over-the-top ones found in cities like Las Vegas or Miami, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. See which bathrooms made a splash in D.C.

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The Caribbean is home to spectacular beaches, many of them hidden away in secret spots most tourists will never find. But some of the best beaches are right on resort property. Take a look at our 10 favorite hotel beaches, and plan your ultra-convenient stay on some of the Caribbean’s nicest sand.

Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort, U.S. Virgin Islands

Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort, U.S. Virgin Islands

Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Built from a historic sugar plantation, this profoundly serene 166-room resort sits on 170 acres of a protected national park dotted with seven remote beaches. Even with a quaint pool and rustic rooms that lack TVs and phones, Caneel’s attentive service and unparalleled setting make it one of the Caribbean’s best resorts. Read More »

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Partying for New Year's Eve

There are still plenty of hotels left for New Year's Eve

Believe it or not, it’s absolutely not too late to book a hotel room for New Year’s Eve. Whether you’re looking for a romantic night with your significant other or a place to crash after a long night of partying, we’ve got plenty of hotels to choose from.

Click here to see the hotels that are still available for the night of December 31. 

Tip: Once you’ve clicked on the above link, you can narrow down your hotel search by selecting your city, price range, and other options.

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Chicken liver at Frances restaurant, San Francisco

Chicken liver at Frances restaurant, San Francisco

It may be only a year old, but Frances restaurant in San Francisco, has garnered just about every accolade around, including being a finalist for “Best New Restaurant” in the nation by the James Beard Foundation. It’s easy to see why.

Chef Melissa Perello’s compact restaurant on the edge of the Castro district, a short drive from the Holiday Inn Civic Center in San Francisco, is like your favorite pair of jeans. When you step into it, you feel comfortable and relaxed immediately. You want to return to it often because it’s reliable and just fits so well.

The snug, 45-seat restaurant is named for Perello’s beloved grandma. Perello’s mom sewed the pillows with the big buttons that grace the long, wood banquette that her father helped build.

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Float at Rose Parade

Float at Rose Parade

For more than 120 years, the Rose Parade — full of marching bands, horses, and floral floats — has taken place on January 1 in Pasadena, California, just outside of Los Angeles. The beautiful famous floats are required to be completely covered by flowers or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds or bark, making each one a marvel.

Have you ever wanted to see the infamous Rose Parade Floats up close? Watching the parade is an unforgettable experience, but seeing the craftsmanship takes it to another level. For two days each year, you can see them in detail.  They are on display on January 1st from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, January 2nd from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (7 a.m. for senior citizens and disabled visitors).  You are able to walk within a couple of feet of each float!

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The Chatwal, which opened in New York in September, makes our list for the top 10 hotels of 2010.

The Chatwal, which opened in New York in September, makes our list for the top 10 hotels of 2010.

It’s been a crazy year in the hotel world. Despite the recession, there have been a slew of luxury hotel openings — especially in New York — as well as some major new developments at existing properties. We’ve also been fascinated to see which hotels have quickly emerged as customer favorites this year. So, without further adieu, behold our 1o favorite new, improved, popular, or otherwise noteworthy hotels of the year. Read More »

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Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Hana is an isolated section of Maui, which is one of Hawaii’s main islands. While much of Maui is covered with hotels and other modern conveniences, Hana remains one of the island’s last undeveloped respites, full of waterfalls, untouched beaches, and lush, verdant growth. It’s situated on the eastern side of the island, and to get there, visitors need to rent a car and drive on the twisty, windy — and beautiful — Hana Highway, shown above in our Photo of the Week. Also called the Road to Hana, it’s a 37-mile road that curls along the side of a cliff, but the breathtaking views are worth the nerves.

Once there, visitors can stay at Hotel Hana-Maui, one of our favorite hotels in all of Hawaii. Not only is it beautiful and serene, as one might expect in isolated paradise, but guest rooms have no TVs or alarm clocks, so guests can kick back and enjoy the nature around them. The hotel offers great service, delicious cuisine using local ingredients, and a beautiful spa that’s free for guests. See our stunning photos of Hotel Hana-Maui.

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Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne

Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne

In the rush to finish holiday shopping, consider ditching retail therapy for a bit of escapism. Travel-based gifts tend to impart distinct lasting memories, and are gifts far more personalized and personal than mere objects. Below are three unforgettable, reasonably-priced, mini travel experiences within South Florida.

Tea with Versace for $551116 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, (305) 576-8003

Following Versace’s death and Donatella’s unmanageable plastic surgery bills, South Florida mogul Barton G. purchased and transformed Ocean Drive’s most historic icon, the Versace Mansion, into a 10-room boutique hotel and intimate restaurant. Now known as the Villa by Barton G., Versace’s former sanctuary is more spectacular than ever, finally permitting the public to experience the mansion’s design splendor and sophistication. Thursday through Sunday the Villa serves full afternoon tea with exotic teas, sumptuous sandwiches and freshly baked sweets presented on Versace by Rosenthal Byzantine Dreams china, exclusive to The Villa. Advance reservations required. The Villa by Barton G. is located next to the Hotel Victor, Miami.

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by Jennifer on December 22, 2010

Year-End Hotel Sale

If you’re like us, you’ve spent the last few weeks draining your wallets in order to shower your friends and family with love and affection — and gifts. So to ease the strain on your wallet, we’re offering you a can’t-miss, can’t-refuse 50% off sale on 5 fabulous luxury hotels. Travel anytime in 2011, as long as you book by January 5. What a perfect last-minute gift for the ones you love. Let the savings begin!

Sale: Trump International Beach Resort, Miami

Four-star service, a location smack on the sand, and a free kids club make this one of Miami’s premier spots for a family vacation. Comfortable, understated rooms come with kitchenettes and 42-inch flat-screen TVs. Click here to visit the sale.

See 4 more luxury sales after the jump.

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2011

Spending New Year’s Eve in Times Square is one of those crazy things that everyone should try before they die. But if the thought of standing in the cold for twelve hours with a million of your closest friends and no bathrooms has you putting it off for another year, plenty of other fun things will be happening that night. Here’s a guide to the city’s best alternatives to New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

Fireworks
Starting at 10pm, New York Road Runners will be hosting a free party in Central Park, with dancing, a laser show, and a costume parade, followed by fireworks at midnight and a four-mile run. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to participate in the run.) Activities center around the Bandshell, which is easily reached on foot from the Surrey Hotel New York.

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