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There are so many things to worry about when you’re traveling (delays, bad weather, theft, etc.), but what’s going on at home shouldn’t be one of them. In order to ease your (sometimes misplace) paranoia (did you lock the door on the way out?), I’ve found a few gadgets that will allow you to keep tabs on your home while still getting to enjoy your trip.
Nest: It took many decades for one of the home’s most overlooked features to become cool again, but a company called Nest has managed to create a lust for thermostats despite the odds. The company’s founder is no stranger to the tech world – he designed products for Apple – and it shows. The $249 Nest is perhaps the most visually stunning piece of functional art that you could ever hope to place on your wall. It’s a “learning thermostat,” which analyzes how you routinely adjust temperatures and then builds a profile in order to automatically adjust things while striving to save energy. Read more
Quito, Ecuador, is readying to reel in the tourists, intent on enticing visitors to stick around for more than just a quick stopover en route to the Galapagos. A new international airport just debuted in February, plans for a metro system are in the works, and the old colonial center – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is fresh from a $250 million makeover, adding luster to the city’s picturesque plazas, colonial churches, and cobbled streets, all surrounded by scenic snow-capped Andean peaks and distant volcanoes. Freshly back from a week on the ground there, these five Quito attractions simply can’t be missed – best of all, in affordable Ecuador, they all ring in at under $5 (and a couple are even completely free!). Read more
The City of Light is rich with haute hotels. The grandest of dames line the posh streets of Paris’ 1st and 8th arrondissements, where affordable room rates are as rare as the 130 euro entrecôte steak served at dinner.
This summer, travelers with Veuve Clicquot tastes but PBR budgets can still sample the high life at three of the city’s ritziest digs. Luxury icons Le Bristol, Mandarin Oriental, and Raffles have debuted swank summer gardens currently open to the public. From Michelin-starred snacks to Dom Pérignon by the glass, these new spots provide the perfect taste of luxe Parisian hospitality – for considerably less than your average overnight. Read more
It may not look like much from the outside, but the Homestead Crater Thermal Pool in Midway, Utah has lots to offer beneath its nondescript, dirt-covered dome.
Located at the Homestead Resort under a limestone dome that looks like a hill from the outside, this 10,000-year-old, 55-foot-deep geothermal pool is open to swimmers, snorkelers, and scuba divers. Originally, the only way in was from a hole in the top of the crater until 1996, when tunnels were created for easy access. Inside, you will find walls composed of mineral deposits left behind by the hot spring’s water. Read more
Whether you borrow a free bike for a cycle through a new neighborhood or kick off your shoes for yoga on the beach, fitness can become an enjoyable part of your vacation. And hotels are getting creative to help guests stay healthy on the road. On your next trip, skip the treadmill in exchange for one of the following fun fitness options; here are five of our free favorites!
1. Free Salsa Classes: Mezzanine, Tulum, Mexico
While clocking in 45 minutes of cardio might not sound too appealing on a beach vacation to Mexico’s Riviera Maya, how about a salsa lesson on a beachfront patio? At Mezzanine boutique hotel a local salsa school offers free classes on Sundays at 6pm, followed by a live salsa band that will provide the soundtrack to work on your new skills. Read more
Today, I learned about this incredible dining experience, and as a wanna-be-foodie, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. First thing I thought was: Leave it to Las Vegas to take something as simple as dinner and make it into a life-threatening, heart-dropping, stomach-churning experience. Enter: Dinner in the Sky. I poked around a little more into the phenomenon, and found that Sin City isn’t such an innovator, after all! The newest addition to Sin City’s roster of unique consumer experiences has actually debuted in a number of other cities and 40 countries around the world! This news sparked my curiosity: What are some of the other crazy dining experiences that I’ve never heard of? Here’s what I uncovered! Read more
For more than two decades, Nobu has delighted the palates of sushi lovers around the world, thanks to the culinary chops of star chef Nobu Matsuhisa and the Hollywood glitz of actor Robert DeNiro, who partnered with Matsuhisa in 1993 to open 27 swanky restaurants all over the world. Now, the restaurant has added a whole new element to its menu: a hotel. Opened in February in Las Vegas, the 181-room Nobu Hotel, located in the Centurion Tower of Caesars Palace, is a zen, Asian-themed oasis that offers a welcome respite from the perpetual pandemonium of Sin City. Read more
Narrowing Napa Valley’s restaurants down to a few must-try options is nearly as impossible as singling out a handful of the region’s best wines. We couldn’t include all the worthy contenders, but you can’t go wrong with these five:
1. La Toque
Chef Ken Frank heads this Michelin-starred restaurant where diners create their own multi-course experience by choosing three (or four) savory dishes plus a dessert. Selections are then served family style, allowing you and your dining partners to share a broad range of seasonal dishes such as bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, stuffed quail, and Florida frog legs. For an additional fee, the sommelier will pair wines to each course. Or, you can choose your own bottle from the more than 2,000 available selections. Read more
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