All posts by Stephanie Johnnidis

Stephanie Johnnidis, Hotels Editor and Sherman's Travel veteran, has been covering the hotel beat since 2003. The New York native caught the travel bug while studying in London, jump-started her career at Budget Travel magazine, and has since been vetting hotels across the globe for Sherman's Travel magazine and website. Whether bunking down in an airy bungalow under the Costa Rican jungle canopy or beneath the vaulted ceilings of a former monastery restored to 5-star hotel brilliance, Stephanie is intent on discerning the exceptional from the ordinary. She's a stickler for comfy beds, smart design, and, above all, personality.
Caneel Bay, St. John

Rosewood’s Caneel Bay, a former sugar plantation turned 166-room luxury resort, is located on a picture-perfect, national park-protected bay on St. John. The tropical sanctuary—that counts seven beaches among its natural assets—is offering excellent savings this April in honor of Earth Day (April 22). Guests who book overnights from... Read More

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Shangri-La Paris

While Paris doesn’t have the upcoming Olympics to hurry hotel openings along (though we’re expecting many Olympics-attendees to tack on a few nights in the City of Lights to their London trip), the city is welcoming a handful of exciting newcomers at a respectable clip. And, boy, are they... Read More

Pali Hotel Melrose Room

Officially opening on February 1, Palihotel Melrose will offer designer digs, a killer location (especially for shopaholics) on Melrose Avenue, and insanely affordable rates. 32 rooms, though petite at 250 square feet, come with major Boho personality: brown and blue walls, distressed wood furnishings, and balconies (in some). The... Read More

La Samanna Resort & Spa

The perfect location (on one of the island’s prettiest beaches), villa-style accommodations, and fantastic French-Caribbean fare make La Samanna St. Martin’s leading luxury hotel. White-washed Mediterranean villas perched above Baie Longue feature 83 newly renovated rooms and suites (since November 2011), complete with white travertine floors, marble bathrooms, shabby-chic... Read More

Sahara Las Vegas

2011 has been a big year for hotels—we’ve scooped dozens of exciting hotel openings across the globe. On the flip side, we must bid farewell to a few monumental hotels that have closed. Here are a few of the goners we’ll miss most. A moment of silence, if you... Read More

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The Saguaro

The Saguaro, the first Joie de Vivre property outside of California, opened in downtown Scottsdale in November. Departing from the commonplace adobe white-washed architecture in the area, Stamberg Aferiat architects played off the colors of local wildflowers to create a vibrant, eye-popping palette. The resort’s 194 rooms come with... Read More

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Shelborne South Beach

A pair of hotel openings hit Miami Beach this week, just in time for Art Basel. Whether down south for the art or the sun, check out these two affordable newbies. Surfcomber The totally renovated and rebranded Surfcomber (now a Kimpton Hotel) opened yesterday on Collins Avenue. The 186-room oceanfront... Read More

Collioure Rs

To really get a proper taste of Languedoc, France, we recommend taking the scenic route (outlined below) which will let you explore several corners of the lesser-known wine region in the South of France. Rent a car, get a good map, and enjoy the ride through gorgeous countryside, hilltop... Read More

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Aloft London Excel

Quite a few noteworthy openings have come across our desks recently. Here’s a quick round-up of the latest and greatest. Aloft London Excel Aloft’s first property in the United Kingdom has opened with time to spare before the 2012 Olympics. Located close to Olympic Park in East London, the 252-room Aloft... Read More

Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa

Escape to New York’s bucolic river country and bed down (for less!) at Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa, a gorgeous hideaway located on 70 wooded acres fronting the Hudson. The upscale, intimate inn offers everything from stunning scenery with apple orchards, lush river banks, waterfalls and ponds; a working... Read More

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Fly to Australia this February through May, and count on a three-night complimentary stopover in Tahiti with luxe accommodations included. This is how we see it: You’re preparing for a killer flight halfway around the world to your dream down-under destination (ahem, Auckland or Sydney), so how clutch is... Read More

Languedoc France

I’m just back from Languedoc-Roussillon in the South of France, where I tasted some of my new favorite wines. The region stretches up to the east of the Rhone and down along the Mediterranean coast – its bottom sits atop Spain and the Pyrenees Mountains. It’s much lesser-known than... Read More

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Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles

On October 14, the iconic Hotel Bel-Air in Beverly Hills will reopen its doors after massive renovations that lasted two years. Now owner, Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, has upped the luxury ante with new villa suites, complete with private infinity pools and outdoor fireplaces; a La Prairie spa... Read More

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Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club

Considered LA’s only waterfront hotel (it’s located on King Harbor near the Redondo Beach Pier), the recently made-over Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club offers 161 beachy-chic rooms and new swank suites with private balconies and ocean views that may include a few frolicking sea lions (a colony resides in... Read More

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Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi

Out of all the dreamy spots visited on our recent Amalfi Coast escapade, Amalfi’s “city center” and its nearby Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi were highlights. The coastal town has a compact little village (aka the city center) tucked behind the port, while the hillside Grand Hotel Convento, a... Read More