New Orleans

It’s a tradition to wine and dine your significant other on Valentine’s Day for a reason; after all, the way to a man’s heart (and many women’s as well) is through his stomach, and a candlelit meal with plenty of tasty treats and booze can be just the thing to kick off a romantic evening. With the amorous holiday falling on a Friday this year, there’s even more reason to celebrate in style, as plenty of delicious hotel restaurants are featuring special menus for the occasion. Here are the seven most romantic hotel restaurants across the U.S. for this Valentine’s Day.

Cleo at The Redbury at Hollywood and Vine, Los Angeles

redbury Aptly located at Hollywood and Vine, the Redbury is an eclectic boutique hotel that attracts a young, and sometimes famous, clientele. Along with the spacious, apartment-style rooms, the on-site Mediterranean restaurant, Cleo, is a major draw; the warm, cozy space serves tasty small plates and signature cocktails. For Valentine’s Day the restaurant is offering a prix fixe menu at $65 per person which includes mezze for the table followed by a choice of second course and entree. Dessert is a sexy flourless chocolate cake with roasted banana, chocolate parfait, and chili doughnuts.

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Forget the haunted house. Those looking for a ghostly encounter this Halloween can get up close and personal with departed spirits in the luxury of a hotel room. Because who says you shouldn’t have room service while you’re feeling spooked? These hotels across the country allegedly have some very active poltergeist activity – so prepare for some chills and thrills on your next overnight stay.

The Biltmore Coral Gables, Miami

Biltmore Coral Gables, Miami Biltmore Coral Gables, Miami

Originally opened as a playground for the rich in 1926, the Biltmore Coral Gables is not only luxurious and elegant, but is also believed to be quite haunted. The (unlucky) 13th floor served as a speakeasy during Prohibition, when the hotel saw its first premature death: Gangster Thomas “Fatty” Walsh was shot and killed at a crowded party. Years later, the U.S. government bought the hotel and converted it into a hospital for World War II soldiers, where it saw countless more untimely passings. After being abandoned for several decades, the Biltmore re-opened in the 1980′s as a hotel, and ever since then guests have experienced unexplained noises and visions. The most chilling reports, however, come from those who get dropped off by the elevator on the 13th floor, even when that button is never pushed. Read More »

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A waterfront vacation doesn’t have to mean a trip to the beach. River locales, such as charming San Antonio or rugged Snoqualmie, offer plenty of the same draws as oceans and lakes. Flowing past some of America’s best cities, around mountain ranges, and through desserts, these rivers are the optimal alternative vacation spots for boating, fishing, hiking, and more while on vacation. So get ready to dive into our favorite river destinations.

1. May River in Bluffton, South Carolina 

The May River is just one corner of gorgeous Carolina Lowcountry.

Carolina Lowcountry is a truly other-worldly corner of the United States. Here, salty marshes and mossy forests are connected by scenic waterways. The May, Cooper, and New Rivers wind through the region’s haunting landscapes, providing visitors with unique ways to soak in the beauty of the region. Boating and kayaking are popular, especially since bottlenose dolphins are common in this area. You can also go fishing, crabbing, or shrimping.

STAY:  The Inn at Palmetto Bluff

This “inn” in Carolina Lowcountry is really more akin to a sprawling estate, offering a range of recreational facilities, including golf, bicycling, tennis, croquet, kayaking, and swimming; plus, the luxury spa is highly acclaimed. Read More »

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The Mansion Pool at The Resort at Fisher Island Club; Miami, FL

The Mansion Pool at The Resort at Fisher Island Club; Miami, FL

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Oprah Winfrey recently announced plans to purchase seven villas at The Resort at Fisher Island Club.

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? A guest once asked a butler at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya how to purchase an elephant for an upcoming wedding.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino has canceled the much-anticipated Michael Jackson ONE show due to delays in construction of the main stage. Instead, the hotel is showcasing a few of the late artist’s personal items.

4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Roosevelt New Orleans has received the prestigious Chairman’s Award for its “extraordinary contribution to the development of downtown New Orleans.”

5. FACT OF FAKEOUT? The Dream Downtown just announced it will be closing the hotel’s popular Marble Lane restaurant and replacing it with Guy Fieri’s new project, The Meatpacking Grill.

 Check out the answers after the jump!

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Whether they’re on business or leisure, with the family or solo, almost all travelers consider a book (or a Kindle, whatever) a must-have while on a trip. Personally, we love curling up with a good read while we’re jaunting from city to city. But — taking it one step further — we really love enjoying a novel in the exact same place where the author once roamed There’s just something in the air — and p.s. these wordsmiths usually stayed in some pretty nice digs. So we rounded up the literary hotels where famous authors have partied, waited arrest, you name it. Hey, some even wrote while they were shacked up in their hotel rooms. Check out nine spots where famous writers have spent some time.

Cadogan Hotel, London

The Entrance to the Cadogan Hotel

Built in 1887, the Cadogan Hotel has seen its fair share of history within the walls of the stately Edwardian townhouse. In the realm of literary history, Oscar Wilde was a frequent guest, and he caused quite a scandal when he was arrested at the hotel in 1895 (though friends encouraged him to flee the country, Wilde refused).  Poet laureate John Betjeman commemorated the arrest in his poem The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel, and the hotel has renamed the room where the handcuffing went down as the Oscar Wilde Room. At the time of the arrest, it was simply room no. 118.
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Many hotels have on-site bars, even if they’re merely situated in the glorified outskirts of the lobby, where guests can grab standard drinks after a day of sight-seeing. But these days, some of the best hotels across the country are making sure they step up their scene by providing not only comfy rooms and high-end services, but hotspot bars that attract locals as well as guests. We’ve traveled across the country and have found the 12 trendiest hotel bars in the U.S. So check ‘em out, and maybe offer your friends a round at one of these hip locales.

Bar Marmont, Chateau Marmont; Los Angeles

Bar Marmont

With its butterfly-covered ceiling, stuffed peacock in the corner, and plush banquettes, this 1930s Vietnam-inspired bar is one of the best places in Hollywood to share a drink with a starlet in hiding. Beyond the celebrity factor, the Chateau’s comfortable bar is a wonderful place to enjoy the fantastic food. The “damn good burger,” we can assure you, lives up to the name.

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When traveling around the world, tourists often have famed art museums on their lists of must-see attractions. But what if the hotel they’re staying in is basically a museum unto itself? The following hotels all offer top-notch amenities and services, but they all also have such stunning art collections, you won’t even need to step foot out of the lobby to get your culture on (although we’d still highly suggest it). Here are eight hotel art collections that are worth a visit.

Egerton House Hotel, London

An original lithograph by Toulouse-Lautrec hangs in the dining room.

Housed in a beautiful historic townhouse in Knightsbridge, the Egerton Hotel features numerous period pieces, such as antique chandeliers, mirrors, and grandfather clocks. The artwork is equally, if not more, impressive. The common spaces boast original artwork by Matisse, Picasso, and Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as prints from the Illustrated London News. Guests staying in the blue Deluxe King Room can take in a Toulouse-Lautrec lithograph, hanging on the wall opposite of the bed, every morning right when they wake up.

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The Inn at Palmetto Bluff is a romantic spot in Carolina Lowcountry.

Romance is alive and well below the Mason-Dixon line, where Southern charm makes everything seem more bewitching. Couples looking for a romantic getaway will be satisfied no matter their taste, considering that the region boasts both gorgeous antebellum mansions and modern luxury stays. Choosing the most romantic spots, then, is quite a difficult task, but we think we’re up to the challenge. From intimate city boutiques to sprawling Lowcountry estates, here are some of our favorite hotels in the South that are just the trick in the romance department.

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Spring is the season for bachelor and bachelorette parties, when engaged couples celebrate their final days of freedom before their summertime nuptials. Of course, bachelor/ette parties head everywhere around the globe to embrace their fleeting singledom, but some destinations are always at the top of everyone’s list. Here, we bring you six of the most popular destinations for bachelor and bachelorette parties. But instead of limiting you to the traditional activities, we also offer alternative options for those looking for something a little different. Either way, these spots are sure to make your party memorable.

1. Las Vegas

Soon-to-be married men partying it up at Tryst at the Wynn.

This one comes as no surprise: Tons and tons and tons of bachelor and bachelorette parties head to Sin City to let loose. Chock-a-block with nightclubs, casinos, pool parties, and strip clubs, Vegas is a massive playground and even the nicest hotels offer relatively inexpensive rates. But that’s all because they know you’ll be spending your life savings on gambling, fine dining, and, often, strippers. Though it used to be just a spot where soon-to-be married men got away, now plenty of bachelorette parties choose Vegas as their destination as well; Kim Kardashian partied at Tao at the Venetian before her ill-fated marriage to Kris Humphries.

Alternative Pick: If stripper shows and packed clubs aren’t your thing, Vegas can still be a great spot for a bachelor/ette party, especially for those on the West Coast who can easily get to the area. About a 30-minute drive from the Strip, Henderson features numerous luxe hotels that are nonetheless relatively reasonably priced and feel miles and miles away. The Westin doesn’t even have a casino; instead, visitors visit the gorgeous spa, enjoy water activities at the beach, relax by the large pool, rent bicycles to explore the property, and take outdoor yoga classes.

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5 Fab Hotels for Mardi Gras 2013

by Devon on February 7, 2013

We’re super excited about next Tuesday’s boozy, beaded party known as Mardi Gras. Multiple parades make their way through the Central Business District and up until the French Quarter, with hundreds of revelers lining the streets to peek at the eye-catching costumes, floats, and borderline insanity. But before you can let your hair down — or lift your shirt up — you’ll need to find some primo digs to stay and play at. Just remember that the parades don’t go on Bourbon Street, even if the majority of the partying does. Check out our fave Fat Tuesday hotels — we promise that at least a few of them will let you catch some shut-eye.

The Hotel: Hotel Monteleone; French Quarter

The entrance to Hotel Monteleone; New Orleans, LA

The Draw: A true Southern Gem, the Monteleone is a block from Bourbon Street and has a rich in New Orleans history — with all the Creole stylings to prove it. Most notable is its Carousel Bar, which is a veritable, well, carousel, that features kitchsy decor and a chill vibe that’s all its own. Hop on one of the rotating chairs and order up a Ramos Gin Fizz, a drink that actually originated in the city itself.

Best Feature: Aside from the obviously posh accommodations, its location on Royal Street is ideal for watching the parade and reveling with the Bourbon Street partiers.

Find out more about our fave Fat Tuesday hotels after the jump!

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