Shermans Travel » Blog » Smart Luxury
If you were in search of one of the top-rated hotels in the United States, you probably wouldn’t think to look for it in Ohio. Nevertheless, 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati was recently named the second best hotel in the country by readers of Conde Nast Traveler. (Last year it was ranked #1.) So, what makes this hotel so special that it beat out much-hyped properties in bigger destination cities like Los Angeles and New York?
It’s just about time to pack up the beach gear and wave goodbye to this year’s summer season. But before you do so, a collection of Nantucket properties beckons travelers to the island for one last time with an enticing last-minute deal.
Any good hotel can offer high end amenities, plush mattresses, and fine linens. But to truly capture the tastes and textures, history and culture, and people and personalities of a city is a much harder feat. Sometimes, it’s impossible.
That is, unless the hotel is ingrained in the founding and very being of that city. Then the hotel is no longer just a nice place to sleep within it, but a living part of it and a representation of what makes that city what it is. Such is the case with Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton, a true Grande Dame hotel that is as much a part of Chicago as deep dish pizza and Wrigley Field — and is affordable to boot.
It seems like “green” hotels are becoming more mainstream than ever before, with properties old and new adopting an overall ethos of eco-friendliness. But to the average traveler–someone who might not self-identify as environmentally conscious–what’s the real draw? Below, check out five hotels with perks that appeal to every type of traveler.
Ever dream of driving a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or McLaren at warp speed on a racetrack? Track experiences are popular for their pure adrenaline rushes and frequently top bucket list items. They typically begin with some classroom instruction from pro race drivers about understeering, oversteering, down-shifting, and anticipating turns. You then get to feel the throaty roar and ridiculous horsepower of a six-figure supercar on a twisty racetrack for yourself.
We dug up the top three racecar offerings for your next daredevil adventure. While they aren’t the cheapest of thrills, the bragging rights are priceless. Ditto for the value of your lessons, which are bound to make you a safer, smarter driver in any car.
Autumn in the Southeast is a glorious time to visit as summer’s humidity dies down to make way for cooler days. And there is nowhere more posh than Jekyll Island Club Hotel, a former private retreat turned tony hotel on its namesake barrier island off the coast of Brunswick, Georgia, midway between Jacksonville, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia.
Captain’s Manor Inn isn’t a full-fledged hotel, but the label “bed and breakfast” hardly seems to do it justice. Don’t get us wrong — we’re huge fans of B&Bs, so we don’t mean it derisively by any means. The intimacy and character of an independent inn, after all, is something that big hotel chains are actually trying to emulate. But when’s the last time you stayed at a bed and breakfast with a dedicated housekeeping staff, with a regular afternoon tea hour in its “bistro” and rain showers in guest bathrooms?
Bucket lists are all well and good, but what about a getaway that’s truly off the beaten path? Take our quiz to find your perfect paradise. You might just discover that your ultimate vacation is in a place that you’ve never even heard of.
In these days of AirBnB and Couchsurfing, travel that highlights the local experience is becoming more attractive. Traditional travel companies need to compete; this is how some hotels are doing just that.
Lots of hotels have impressive art collections, but these ones go a step further and function as stand-alone museums as well as accommodations.
Benesse House, Japan
The Tadao Ando-designed Benesse House is located on the tiny Japanese island of Naoshima, a fishing community turned “art island” that hosts the Setouchi Art Triennal and is home to several permanent art installations and excellent museums. Guests of the Benesse House are granted access to the museum even after typical hours and have exclusive access to a six-seat monorail that runs up to the hotel’s Oval annex. Guest rooms in the museum are available in four styles and are decorated with drawings, paintings, and prints from the artists on exhibit. Rates start at $330.
You know you can ask the concierge to arrange a jeep tour or recommend a local restaurant. But did you know they’ll also hunt down the perfect souvenir or replace those dress slacks you forgot to pack while you lounge by the pool?
Most concierges want to do whatever it takes to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. The best part is that the concierge’s time and expertise is usually complimentary, though you’ll of course be charged for items and services purchased on your behalf. Gratuities aren’t mandatory but are always appreciated (a simple thank you in person or a sincere email when you return home go a long way, too).
Here, some surprising requests that you can ask of your concierge:
When you’re on vacation, the restaurants where you choose to dine can be as much a part of your experience as your hotel, or the sites you visit. If you’re heading to Los Angeles’s Beverly Hills neighborhood and want to splurge on a meal that truly suits the neighborhood’s ambiance, try the local outpost of Hakkasan. With locations in such far-flung locations as Dubai, Mumbai, and Las Vegas, the restaurants are known as much for their low-lit, dark-wood interiors and chichi clientele as for high-end Chinese cuisine.
Open since October of 2013, EK Hotel is a modern boutique hotel in one of Bogotá’s ritziest neighborhoods. Within a few minutes’ walk, you’ll find restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and shopping; especially centered around Calle 85, the T-Zone neighborhood, and the tree-lined plaza called Parque 93. Even closer, there are a few restaurants that share a plaza with the hotel, such as the newly opened Black Bear, recommended for its raw bar, sharing plates, and craft cocktails. However, with the on-site Cafe Bar Lounge serving all day, you don’t need to leave the hotel for a meal or drink.
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