May 2013

Summer is here! And it’s got us dreaming of a long (island) weekend to kick things off in style. But when heading to Long Island for a little fun in the sun, visitors have to make a choice between staying at an uber-luxe spot and staying at a nice spot that’s not quite as pricey.

Our first option is the gorgeous Panoramic View hotel in the Hamptons, where rates for Memorial Day weekend start at $175 per night. The hotel has a lovely pool overlooking its stretch of private beach, and great views from the in-room balconies and patios. The slightly more upscale Allegria Hotel on Long Beach also boasts ocean views from its stunning pool and spacious rooms, but charges almost $400 per night on the same holiday weekend.

Can you tell which view is from which hotel? Take a guess in the comments section below, and then find the answer after the jump!

Option 1

Option 2

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Los Angeles may be sunny and star-studded year-round, but summer is the prime time to grab a seat and some grub outdoors in La La Land. Al fresco restaurants around L.A. serve up delicious bites alongside ideal locations for spotting celebs — whether they are dining at the restaurant, or just walking by on the way to designer shops and exclusive clubs. So even though we’d hate to have you snag our reservation, we’re giving you the down-low on the best hotel restaurants for dining al fresco. Bon appetit!

THE Blvd at Beverly Wilshire Beverly Hills – A Four Seasons Hotel

THE Blvd at the Beverly Wilshire

Talk about a spot to see and be seen! Located along Wilshire Boulevard, the aptly-named Blvd restaurant is book-ended by luxury boutiques frequented by stars — who also pass by on their way to Rodeo Drive. Over a third of the seating is outdoors, so diners can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner outdoors. The restaurant boasts an extensive wine list, but the dessert menu is perhaps more decadent, with options such as a candy cart, a “chocolate experience,” and even birthday cake.

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Shelling out thousands of dollars a night for a hotel room may not be in the cards for most of us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a voyeuristic peek at the jaw-dropping suites that command these high price tags. From high-roller villas in Las Vegas to the uber-decadent suite in Istanbul where Madonna shacked up with her beau, these suites are designed to make you drool — and sold at prices that will make you gag.

New York Palace, New York City

  • Name: The Royal Suite
  • Price: $17,000/night

Royal Suite at the New York Palace

One of New York’s most visually stunning hotels, the New York Palace has a gilded, grandiose style, huge rooms, a luxe spa, and a fantastic gym. Its Royal Suite is among the most opulent — and expensive — suites in the City, with lavish Louis XV and XVI decor. See more photos of the Royal Suite »

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Plenty of business people find themselves traveling to New York City for work. And while New York has plenty to offer all kinds of travelers, it can be tough for business travelers to find some time to enjoy the city’s many perks. Fortunately, we’ve gone through our database and have found the top business hotels that are perfect for mixing business and pleasure.

For the Sports Fanatic: ONE UN New York

Tennis courts at the ONE UN New York

Across the street from the UN, the ONE UN is a popular choice among diplomats and dignitaries, and thus is well-equipped for business travelers. Business-minded amenities include 7,500 square feet of meeting space, room service, a new coffee bar, and rooms with large work spaces. Sports and fitness fanatics will be particularly happy at this hotel, which boasts a 24-hour fitness center, a lap pool with an on-duty lifeguard and great city views, and an indoor tennis court; the ONE UN is the only New York City hotel to have one.

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Mixing business with pleasure? Trying to trade your business suit for a bathing suit? As much as we love getting away from the office, it’s sometimes hard to think about all the work piling up back at our desks. (Emphasis on sometimes.) So for those instances when we need to check our emails or send out those TPS reports while getting some R&R, these gorgeous tropical retreats have us covered, and with more than just a phone jack. Whether they feature ample meeting spaces, dedicated business staff, or any number of other great work offerings, these properties are sure to please any productive vacationers, so you’ll have just the right mix of business with pleasure. Enjoy your bizcation!

Work and Play At: Porto Bay Rio Inernacional Hotel, Rio de Janiero

We'd trade in our desks for this setup any day

Rio is both a beautiful beach getaway and a mountain-lined urban hub, so it’s no wonder that many of the city’s hotels try to appeal to both business and leisure guests simultaneously. The Porto Bay Rio Internacional Hotel is one of these hotels. Located directly across from the Copacabana beach and offering a stocked, 24-hour business center, the property also boasts some pretty incredible ocean views from the fitness center, meeting rooms, and restaurants, so you never really have to tear yourself away from the beach to get Johnson those TPS reports.

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Summertime is all about quick weekend getaways to enjoy some pampering in the sun. And what better way to relax and soak up the scene than heading to the Hamptons – home to luxe boutique properties, beautiful beaches, and a hip, see-and-be-seen crowd? We’ve visited numerous boutique hotels throughout this Long Island hot spot and have found the best of the best. After all, luxury and the Hamptons go hand in hand. So check out our list of the top five boutique hotels in the Hamptons.

East Hampton Art House Bed & Breakfast

East Hampton Art House Bed & Breakfast

This elegant B&B in East Hampton is exactly what its name suggests: a house full of art. It was designed and decorated by the owners, Michael and Rosalind, who combine mutual talents in art and hospitality. While there are only a few rooms for rent, the hotel has all the amenities of a larger property, including endless communal spaces, an outdoor pool, and fitness center. Although big in scope, the Art House retains all of the personalized charm of staying with friends, making it a distinctive option in the Hamptons.

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Lobby at The Jade Hotel, New York City

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The boutique Jade Hotel may only be a few months old, but it has already has some pretty famous visitors. Last week, Cameron Diaz was spotted getting drinks at the bar and flirting with strangers.

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Westin St. John is one of three Starwood properties that make up the first shift towards the brand reducing its carbon footprint worldwide. The new green initiative will include the installation of high-tech water savers that will reduce wasted water at the hotel by 50 percent.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Wyndham Hotel Group added Singapore to its destination list this week with the opening of a Days Inn and a Ramada.

4. FACT OF FAKEOUT? The general manager of the Lancaster London, along with numerous other volunteers, scaled up the side of the hotel in order to raise money for Kickstart Programme.

5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Room service is pricey no matter where you go, but in a recent study, TripAdvisor found that Denver and Dallas offer the best value as far as room service. Not surprisingly, New York City and Honolulu offered the worst.

Check out the answers after the jump!

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For many New Yorkers, heading to the Hamptons isn’t just about the beach — it’s about the hopping nightlife. When the weather gets warm, it’s the Hamptons,  not Manhattan,  that becomes the place to see and be seen after dark. The first step in planning your Hamptons party weekend is choosing where to sleep when the partying is done, and we’ve saved you time by selecting five hotels to suit different tastes — and pairing each with a cool party spot of a similar style. Don’t forget your designated driver.

Stay: The Trendy Hot Spot

Capri Southhampton

The 24-room Capri Southampton received a beach-chic makeover in 2011, and the new owners brought in a BLT Steak and Lacoste uniforms for outdoor staff. These brand names attract a certain social crowd — the kind that drinks champagne and munches on seafood while mingling poolside.

Party: The Bathing Club

At this trendy hotel, the party is at your front door — literally. The rooms are all on the first floor and doors open up right to the grounds that surround the pool lounge, dubbed The Bathing Club. Lounge music pumps through the outdoor speakers, and live DJs spin on Fridays and Saturday nights. Guests can relax on daybeds and cushioned chairs, and on the weekends cocktails are served by the pool until 2 a.m.

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The Pool at the Magdalena Grand

An upper-middle-range beachfront property, the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort (like many resorts on Tobago) offers rooms at reasonable rates; the price covers a buffet breakfast, bicycle rentals, shuttles to a nearby beach, and numerous other freebies. Facilities include a fitness center, large pool, and nearby spa, and the hotel has numerous restaurant and bar options (although the restaurants can be overpriced). Rooms are simple, and some furniture shows wear and tear, but all feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and best of all, ocean views. So as we say every week, sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is the Magdalena Grand.

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Hidden among the Caribbean’s many mega-resorts are some of the most unique, intimate boutiques travelers can imagine. With laid-back, eco-friendly attitudes, these petite hotels are some of the best in the region, offering personalized service and truly relaxing atmospheres. So consider passing on that 500-room all-inclusive and indulge in some intimacy at these wonderful boutiques.

1. Fowl Cay Resort, Bahamas

The gorgeous Fowl Cay Resort feels more like a private home than a hotel.

Crowded beaches are unheard of on this private island resort where a maximum of 28 guests at a time have free range of 50 acres and three beaches. Personal boats for daily excursions, on-call service, spacious villas with fully stocked kitchens and wet bars, and a host of all-inclusive activities make Fowl Cay a standout gem in the ExumasRead More »

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