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Arts & Culture
When it comes to crafting the perfect NYC itinerary, few are as skilled as the agents at Luxury Attaché, a high-end concierge service which prides itself on helping visitors experience the best of New York, whether that means nabbing a last-minute reservation at Per Se, or an after-hours art gallery tour. The agency has been around since 2005, though unless you own a suite at Madison Square Garden, or a multi-million dollar Park Avenue penthouse, most travelers have never even heard of them.
That’s all changing now, as the company expands into the hospitality sector with a series of hotel partnerships. This month, The Quin became the first New York hotel to employ a dedicated team of Luxury Attachés, available 24/7 to all guests, from the minute they book their reservation to the minute they check out. But with rates starting at $599 a night, it’s designed with a particular (ie, wealthy) traveler in mind.
Luckily for you, we recently sat down with one of the Quin’s top Luxury Attachés, Susy Schieffelin, who happily offered up her tips on New York’s best wintertime activities. Here’s what she had to say: Read more
Planning a trip to China’s gambling capital? With private, walled-in gardens, public beaches, and historic sites that reference the city’s strong Portugese influence, you’ll have plenty to do, whether you’re hitting the slots or not. The best part: We’re featuring a great deal this week that includes this destination, and saves more than $1000. Not bad. Now, what should you pack for your trip?
As Boston braces for colder weather – and revels in the World Series success of its beloved Red Sox – this small city with a big cultural pedigree offers plenty to see, and plenty of bargains. While a sunny stroll through the picturesque Public Garden might be out of the question, or at least an endeavor to be approached with caution and a really thick scarf, Boston’s indoor delights shine bright in winter. Here’s a sampling of winter activities in Boston, many of which cost twice as much in warmer months.
Winter travel tends to involve more indoor activities (unless you’re heading to a white sandy beach, in which case, we’re jealous!), and that can often mean visiting more museums. But what if you’ve been to all the big ones already? MoMA… Asian Art Museum… Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Snooze. This season, a new batch of museums is offering visitors across the country a chance to see something a little out of the ordinary. But the thing is, you probably haven’t heard of them. Places like Toledo’s new Maritime Museum, or Cancun’s Maya Museum, offer world-class exhibits, but haven’t yet made it onto tourists’ radars quite yet. This all works in your favor, since lesser-known museums are generally queue-free, and cheap (or free) to enter. Take our advice and make a point of visiting one – or all! – of these places on your next trip to… Read more
With 12 restaurants, a co-hosting segment on ABC’s The Chew, and the coveted “Iron Chef” title under his belt, Chef Michael Symon is something of a mogul. But at his core, he’s also just a food-loving guy from the midwest, whose enthusiasm for Cleveland’s rapidly-growing dining scene is positively infectious. Ahead of his upcoming appearance at The Borgata Hotel & Casino this weekend in Atlantic City (where he, alongside Bobby Flay will be smoking “several hundred pounds of pork chop” for an expected 1200 people at an indoor street food festival on Saturday), Chef Symon sat down with us to share his thoughts on kielbasa, Cleveland’s hottest neighborhood, and why he can’t stand Chicago-style pizza.
They say there’s no such thing as too much fun, but in Miami, we wonder sometimes… Sure, it’s an impressive place (that beach! those hotels!), but after a third or fourth (or sixteenth) visit, you might suddenly find yourself under-dressed, trolling Collins Avenue in hopes of finding somewhere to “relax” that won’t charge you $20 at the door. Good thing Miami’s friendly neighbor to the north offers an easy alternative to all the velvet ropes, Mercedez-Benz dealerships, and designer labels.
Fort Lauderdale, as accessible from all U.S. airports as Miami, is a laid-back, low-key, and – most important of all – cheaper way to do southern Florida. Here are just a few things we love about this beach-y, balmy paradise… Read more
What could be more fun than a daytrip through Area 51? Or a road trip through Dracula’s hometown? On the eve of the season’s spookiest holiday, we’re looking back on our recent travel stories that made us go “Aah!” (or, at the very least, contained awesome photos of electric guitar-playing skeletons and UFOs). Now, grab your passport – and a flashlight – and read on! Read more
One and a half hours by car (or bus) from Boston, the city of Newport, RI is a laid-back, quintessential New England coastal town that’s a good alternative to more toursity destinations like Cape Cod and Nantucket. Its cultural associations call to mind images of wealthy heiresses swinging polo clubs in private country clubs, and in many ways, that’s half right. The Vanderbilts, the Astors, the Tennis Hall of Fame, the Newport Jazz Festival, the famous mansions along Belleveue Avenue: all of these point to Newport’s rich heritage of outdoor sports, architecture, and the high life. But for first-timers to the Northeast, a visit to Newport’s historic downtown is a must. Read more
Every year, the hype surrounding Halloween seems to get bigger and bigger, but in many Mexican cultures, one of the season’s liveliest celebrations falls on November 1 and 2. Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, blends indigenous and Catholic influences, with the most traditional celebrations taking place in cemeteries in central Mexico. There, families gather at gravestones to honor deceased loved ones, but the tradition has become more popular in the U.S. as well, especially in places with thriving Latin American populations.
At the heart of the celebrations are ofrendas – altars or offerings of food, drink, and alcohol – which are believed to guide the spirits of the deceased back to Earth to spend time with their family and loved ones. Día de Los Muertos celebrations also include processions, musical performances, and tons of great, skeleton- and skull-inspired art – and, a refreshing break from the over-the-top commercialism of Halloween. What’s more, they’re almost always free, too. Here, five great places to get into the spirit of the Day of the Dead.
Upon first setting out for a 5-day road trip through southern Transylvania, your first thoughts will probably be focused on the country’s best-known cultural export, Dracula-ah, ah, ah. And, well, who can blame you? After countless movies, TV shows, and even a Marvel comic book series, the word “Transylvania” has been iron-branded onto our collective consciousness as the grim, blustery, far-far-away native land of the original Vampire.
But that is precisely why a 5-day road trip through central Romania is so necessary: it helps show that the mythical, Hollywood-ized land is a real, live place, with people (not vampires) and cars (not horse-drawn carriages, though you’ll see a few of those, too) and bustling city centers (as opposed to whatever Bram Stoker would have us believe). Which isn’t to say we base our opinion of a place by how many bright-lit shops and cafes line its streets; in the case of Transylvania, however, those modern establishments throw the country’s exceptional history, not to mention its stunning, centuries-old architecture, into sharp relief.
Below, an itinerary for your 5-day trek through Transylvania, including where to sleep, eat, church-hop, and plenty of off-road sightseeing stops along the way! Read more
Whether you’re coming to see the Rockettes, or gaze at the decked-out store windows along Fifth Avenue, New York makes for an incredible holiday vacation destination. Weeks before Thanksgiving, though, the city is already starting to prep for winter, beginning with the opening of its iconic ice rinks. Here’s a guide to what’s open, how much it costs, and what you can expect before and after you strap on your skates. The best news? There’s a lot more ice in New York City than just Rockefeller Center.
We’re not about to sit here and tell you that Milan is Italy’s newest “it” destination, or that it beats out Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast when it comes to scenery. However, several recent developments in the travel world have made us stop and reconsider the northern Italian city’s tourism potential.
Saratoga Springs is best-known for its thoroughbred horse racing track; the oldest in the country. But what if you find yourself in this small upstate New York City outside of racing season? Well, we think you’ll be in for a treat: the crowds will be gone, the prices will be lower, and all of Saratoga Springs’ lesser-known attractions will all still be available.
Before the thoroughbreds arrived in town, Saratoga Springs drew visitors who wanted to reap the benefits of the town’s naturally carbonated spring waters. “Taking the waters” is still believed to have a number of healing benefits: stress reduction and an increased red cell blood count, to name just two.
You can pick up a brochure that maps out each of the springs’ locations and healing properties from the Saratoga Springs Visitors Center (or print it out from here). Trent Millet, who calls himself the Saratoga Water Witch, offers independent tours of the eight springs located in the 2,300-acre Spa State Natural Park. The tour leaves from the Roosevelt Spa, a WPA-era bathhouse in the park, on Saturdays at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and on Sundays at 10 a.m, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The tour is donation based, meaning you give what you can. There’s usually a $6 vehicle entrance fee for the state park but, if you say you’re coming in to collect water, the fee is often waived.
When you think of Texas, funky beach towns probably aren’t the first things that come to mind; it’s more likely that you’ll think of cowboys and barbecue. But with 300 miles of coastline, “Texas” and “beach” are a great match (and Texas has a quite a few beach surprises up its sleeve). Galveston, which is actually an island, has an offbeat, oceanside vibe, making it the perfect place to change the way you think about southern beach towns. And when it comes to exploring the island, you can see the best of it without spending a fortune.
From a pier with a Ferris wheel, to incredible gumbo, an awesome Mardi Gras scene, and a beachfront strip with enough unusual bars and restaurants to quench anyone’s thirst, the town has a lot to offer. It’s also full of gorgeous Victorian architecture that was meticulously preserved after the devastating Great Storm of 1900, and there are enough museums and history tours to keep any culture buff busy for weeks. Plus, with summer humidity on its way out, it’s easier than ever to save money and enjoy all the eccentricity that makes Galveston feel worlds away from the nearest mainland super-city, Houston. Here are my top choices for getting to know the culture of Galveston, for less. Read more
Singapore may have a hard time competing with US cities like Chicago, Miami, Portland, and NYC when it comes to “up-and-coming hotel neighborhoods,” but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great new hotels to be found. This fall, a spate of new 4-star and upscale properties hits the market, marking the city’s astonishing growth and development over the past few months, and making it hard to walk a few blocks without running into some new property rising up out of the ground. The trick, of course, is finding a way to sift through all the new-ness until you end up with a bargain.
Luckily, that isn’t hard to do. Despite the fact that Singapore is home to a few of the world’s most lavish (and, by definition, priciest) hotels, the newer properties manage to strike a balance between high-design and affordability. Take the Amoy Hotel (pictured above), for example, which sits right around the corner from Raffles Place – one of the busiest stops on Singapore’s MRT subway line. The brand new, 37-room hotel combines a sleek, modern aesthetic with influences from the Chinatown neighborhood that surrounds it (the building was in fact a former “shop house”). Inside, guests can choose between a “cosy” single room (compact spaces with replica wooden ceiling beams, large vanity mirrors, and full minibar) or a “deluxe” double room (slightly larger spaces with French double doors). Scheduled to open at end of 2013. Read more
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