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Checking In: Mondrian South Beach

August 21, 2014 by

MondrianSoBe1The Morgans Hotel Group, which offers a spate of stylish, upscale properties around the world, is in the midst of some major expansion. The Mondrian London at Sea Containers is set to open September 30, followed by the Mondrian Doha, and the Mondrian Istanbul. The hotel group is also preparing to open their Delano brand in Las Vegas this fall, followed by Cesme, Turkey; Moscow; and Cartagena; then another in Karaköy, Istanbul. With all this new activity in mind, we took a step back to see how their second Mondrian property, in South Beach, Miami, which opened way back in 2008, is holding up.

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Cruise Packages for Romance

August 21, 2014 by

sunset on cruise deck - Samantha Beddoes - 620

Cruise lines lure couples onto their ships with promises of romance for all ages. After all, what could be more lovely than watching the evening sky turn pink across a calm sea with your loved one?

Indeed, cruisers typically travel in pairs, says Cruise Lines International Association, with married couples representing 80 percent of the passengers. We can think of a few ways to kindle the fire on any itinerary — like cozying up with a room service dinner or making a reservation at an intimate specialty restaurant. You can always spring for a side-by-side massage at the spa and try the hot tub after dark (when kids who run around during the day will be all tucked in). Or, during a port of call, why not take a horseback ride on the beach or sign up for a two-person parasailing excursion?

But for those who want to take romance to the next level yet, cruise lines also offer many romance and special event packages that feature amenities designed to create just the right mood:

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Deal Alert: $99 Rooms at Hyatt Regency Chicago

August 21, 2014 by

hyatt regency chicago -- big bar

National Skyscraper Day, which falls on September 3 this year, is a bit obscure as most holidays days go. But here’s a related celebration that any traveler can appreciate: a Chicago hotel that’s commemorating the day with a week of $99 rates.

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Travel Porn Alert: New Sky-High Swimming Pool at London’s Shangri-La Hotel

August 21, 2014 by

Shangri-La Hotel at The ShardWho doesn’t love a new hotel pool, especially when it’s on the 52nd floor of a luxury hotel in one of our favorite cities in the world — London?

The Skypool at the Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard just opened, and we’re swooning. Not only is it the highest pool in Western Europe, it also offers views of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the London Eye, and it’s heated.

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The Adirondacks 3 Ways: For Foodies, Culture Buffs, and Adventurers

August 20, 2014 by

adirondackslakegeorgeAs the largest state-run nature reserve in the continental United States, Adirondack Park offers plenty of opportunity for outdoor activities, from hiking and fishing in the summer months, to wintertime skiing. Even if you find yourself near one of the park’s most popular resorts, Gore Mountain, outside of prime ski season, you’ll find plenty of other attractions to keep you busy. Here’s a sampling…  Read more

7 Hard Truths About Spirit Airlines, from Its CEO Ben Baldanza

August 20, 2014 by

spirit airlines 1

We’ve written extensively about Spirit Airlines, the no-frills carrier known for rock-bottom base fares and hefty fees for pretty much anything beyond one’s airplane seat. It’s most loved by those who travel simply and look for the cheapest way to get from point A to point B — and loathed by those who expect a certain standard of services.

To help travelers better understand the brand and why it operates the way it does, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza recently took on the harsh critics of Reddit in an Ask Me Anything online interview, in which the website’s users asked the CEO questions about the airline, the travel industry, and more. Here are what we think are some of the most important takeaways you should know:

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How to: Rent a Private Yacht for (Relatively) Cheap

August 20, 2014 by

sunreef catamaran 62

There’s a running joke among boat owners that riffs on the steep costs associated with such a high maintenance toy: BOAT, they say, stands for “bring out another thousand.” For those who yearn for the boating lifestyle but can’t stomach the expense or commitment, there are a number of Airbnb-style platforms that offer yacht-sharing as a cheaper alternative to ownership. Here’s the scoop on three different sites, with examples of where you’ll be able to sail and how much it’ll cost you.

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Deal Alert: $99+ at Omni Hotels & Resorts

August 19, 2014 by

omniamelia

The Omni Hotels and Resorts brand launched a 72-hour sale this morning, which means the clock is ticking if you want to take advantage it. Until midnight on Thursday, August 21, the brand’s Labor Day Special is offering rooms for $99, $119, $139, $169, $199, and $229 in select cities for stays from August 24 through September 7. Just in time for a last-minute Labor Day weekend getaway.

Sample rates include $199 at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, which, with its paddle boarding, golfing, island hoppers, and Segways, makes for a great family getaway;  $119 at Omni Rancho Palmas in Palm Springs, and $159 at Omni New Haven at Yale – handy for parents dropping their children off for the start of the school year. To get that attractive $99 rate, you can head south to steamy Texas where, at Omni Fort Worth Hotel, you can cool off in their rooftop pool.

A $60 Hotel in Crete and 6 Other Hotels So Remote You Can Only Get There By Boat

August 19, 2014 by

By Claudine Zap

Really want to get away from it all? Consider a hotel that’s so remote, you can get there only by boat (or seaplane if you’re a tycoon). Think Robinson Crusoe without the shipwreck. Here, some of the standouts.

A $60 Hotel in Crete and 6 Other Hotels So Remote You Can Only Get There By Boat

The dock leading to paradise — Ilet Oscar Guest House (Photo: Ilet Oscar Guest House)

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Deal Alert: Soho House Chicago

August 19, 2014 by

Soho House Chicago tiny and small rooms

Autumn in Chicago is heavenly — and the city’s newest boutique hotel is just as sweet. Earlier this month, Soho House opened a Chicago outpost of its luxe collection, a mix of hotels and member clubs in cities like New York City, West Hollywood, and, of course, London (home to the brand’s flagship).

Now through August 31, special introductory rates at Soho House Chicago begin at $240 a night. This is for a “tiny” and “small” room category between 200 and 350 square feet. Come September, per-night costs will spike up to $320, although some select weekdays in September and October will dip down to $260-$300.

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For Your Bucket List: 7 Luxe, Once-in-a-Lifetime Travel Experiences from Four Seasons

August 19, 2014 by

FPO_BUE_403It’s not uncommon for upscale hotels and resorts to offer guests extraordinary excursions and activities, but Four Seasons takes it to a whole new level. From dining center stage at a historic opera house to designing a custom pair of Lucchese boots, here are a few exclusive Four Seasons that we love dreaming about.

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Want to Get Upgraded to Business Class? On airberlin, You Can Bid for It

August 19, 2014 by

airberlin_business_classLast week, airberlin began offering an auction for business class upgrades on long-haul flights. The feature is being dubbed “airberlin exquisite,” and it’ll allow those who already have a confirmed economy seat to bid on a business class upgrade up until 72 hours prior to takeoff. At this point, the notion of bidding for an unsold business class seat isn’t new. Here’s how this budget airline is handling it…

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For Your Fall To-Do List: A Luxe Yoga Retreat That Saves You Money

August 18, 2014 by

Jamaica InnTaking a vacation in Jamaica doesn’t necessarily mean napping in the sun for a week. Lately, we’ve been seeing more and more vacations that include fitness classes, adventure treks, dance lessons, and other kinds of physical activity. For a week of soothing, and highly focused fitness, check out this beautiful yoga retreat that we recently discovered.

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This Flight Charges How Much for Wifi?

August 18, 2014 by

lufthansa wifiWe recently raved about our first (and probably last) experience flying business class on EVA Air, when we cashed in all of our points for a 15-hour-flight. Between the lie-flat beds and the lobster meals, there was lots to love on their Boeing 777-300ER planes. But the one thing that absolutely made us cringe? The wifi charges.

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Hotels Offering Free Car Rentals to Guests

August 18, 2014 by

Ocean House

These days, hotels are offering more extra perks than ever to tempt potential guests. Some go with a bottle of water, others throw in breakfast, and free WiFi is becoming more common than ever. Brands like Andaz and Kimpton also grant free minibar access (for reward program members). But when it comes to over-the-top treats, three properties have gone above and beyond in the generosity factor in lending luxury cars to their guests — allowing visitors to save while exploring their surroundings in comfort and style.

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