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.
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Encore Las Vegas

The five-star, bronze-tinted tower of Encore Las Vegas and its neighboring big sister, The Wynn (just a corridor away), mark the de facto northern end of the Central Strip. The Encore’s swank rooms afford fabulous views through wall-to-wall windows and remote-controlled lighting and drapery. The resort’s casino gets great... Read More

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Hotel Punta Tragara

Punta Tragara sits high on the rocky cliffs of Capri across from the Faraglioni Sea Stacks, about a 10-minute walk from Capri Town. The splashy 44-room villa-cum-boutique hotel has hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Eisenhower, Churchill, and, more recently, Jonathan Adler and Trina Turk. I checked in a... Read More

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Hacienda San Angel, Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta’s superlative colonial-style Hacienda San Angel comprises multiple villas with commanding views of the muddled village and bay. The owner of the 2008 Smart Luxury Winner spent six years collecting fine colonial furniture and artwork (from quirky folk pieces to intricate religious art) to fill the spaces. A... Read More

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The Biggest Loser

If you’re motivated by the Biggest Loser series but would prefer to shed your extra lbs off camera, you can actually check in to a Biggest Loser Resort. There are two existing locations, in Invin, Utah, and Malibu, and a third on the map for the Eastern Seaboard in... Read More

Ravella at Lake Las Vegas

Ravella at Lake Las Vegas, the former Ritz-Carlton, opened this past February and is a Mediterranean-style palace fronting its gleaming private lake. There’s fly-fishing, boating, hiking trails, golf, a stellar spa, and complimentary transportation to/from the Strip. 349 classy rooms come with plush beds, views of the Mojave Desert... Read More

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Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago

Chicago’s Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, the first Radisson Blu in the U.S., is taking reservations starting today for opening nights beginning this October 31. The exterior of the 81-story architectural stunner (the hotel takes up the first 18 floors) features a trippy, wave-like design, envisioned by Jeanne Gang of... Read More

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Saving Grace app

No matter how many lists I make and how many times I go over the innards of my suitcase in my head, I always gasp 10 minutes in on my cab ride to the airport when I remember the first of usually a few forgotten items. Never fails. But... Read More

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The Alexander Hotel, Cayman Brac

Scoop up half-price rates at the 2-year-old Alexander Hotel on Cayman Brac, a 12-mile island off the coast of Grand Cayman. The boutique hotel sits on a salt water lake and has a courtyard pool surrounded by sand to give it a beachy feel (pristine shorefronts are only a... Read More

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Bolongo Bay Beach Resort

Hankering for an easy and affordable island fling? Head to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands (no passport required) and save 35 percent off nightly rates at the boutique Bolongo Bay Beach Resort. 62 beachfront rooms, a hammock-strung shoreline, unlimited non-motorized water sports, catamaran sails, and a happening... Read More

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Hudson New York

Book your room at least 21 days in advance and score savings of 20 percent at the Hudson New York. We ran through several dates in late July and August and found that prices remained in the $194–$230/night range. The Hudson Hotel still maintains bragging rights for its 15th-floor... Read More

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Hotel Victor South Beach

Score up to 60 percent in savings on a swank South Beach getaway, now through December 27. Hotel Victor is offering every third night free on top of discounted rates (slashed 35 percent off winter prices). Redesigned by Jacques Garcia, with its trademark jellyfish tank in the lobby, the... Read More

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Manrarin Oriental Paris

The Mandarin Oriental Paris, located on Rue Saint-Honoré – a stone’s throw from the Louvre, opens today. From website renderings, the place looks slick with rooms featuring art deco touches and splashes of bright color. The spa has a mosaic vitality pool, while Michelin-star chef Thierry Marx mans two... Read More

South Seas Island Resort

Located at the north end of Captiva Island, 40 minutes from the causeway, the 330-acre South Seas Island Resort encompasses about one-third of the island. The grounds include 11 pools and two hot tubs, a championship 9-course golf course, 19 tennis courts, two and a half miles of private... Read More

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Yotel New York

The new high-tech Yotel in New York’s Times Square employs a “Yobot” (bag-checking robot) to do it’s heavy-lifting. Essentially a 20-foot robotic arm parked in the lobby stores luggage in lockers for guests pre- and post-check-in/out (no Johnny 5-like bot qualities, unfortunately). And the techie... Read More

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Joie de Vivre

Burgeoning Indie artist? Karaoke king? Maybe your pipes aren’t paying the rent just yet, but they can score you a free room upgrade at five California Joie de Vivre Hotels if you can belt out a song without sounding like a first-round American Idol reject. The song list comprises... Read More