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Global travel exposes us to all sorts of cheap eats from roadside vendors, whether it’s dim sum in Hong Kong (pictured) or a hot dog with relish in New York City. New this spring, Peninsula Hotels gives a nod to this kind of street food with room service menu items called “Snacks & the City.” I’d like to know what street cart is selling Kobe beef sliders and fries with truffle aioli, like the Peninsula Chicago, or filet mignon hoagies, like the Peninsula Beverly Hills. Also, buying “street food” on the street is kind of half the fun. However, as room-service options these new menu items really spice up the old stand-bys, and they’re available 24 hours a day (unlike food trucks or street vendors). Though prices may start at street fare levels of around $3, expect to pay a bit more for many of the upscale delights. Participating Peninsula locations also include Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Bangkok, and Manila. www.peninsula.com
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Marriott International announced today that it will open five new hotels for Edition – the company’s boutique, luxury lifestyle brand – on three continents. Plans are underway for Editions in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Bangkok, while contracts have been signed for additional hotels in Los Angeles and Gurgaon, India. Marriott Edition enlisted the help of Ian Schrager, hotelier and real estate developer, to pioneer the creative design and positioning of the hotels. Schrager is well known for Studio 54 and the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, among others.
Manhattan’s Clock Tower building, on Madison Avenue, will be home to the New York Edition; the renovation and transformation of the historic building are set to begin in late 2012. The Bangkok Edition, opening in 2015, will be in one of the tallest buildings in the city, and will be part of a mixed-use development. Read more
The official word is that Thailand is once again safe for tourists, according to Thailand Tourism, and hotels like the Metropolitan Bangkok should feel relieved. To encourage travelers to once again experience the invigorating city that combines the ancient and modern in one luscious jumble, the COMO hotel has rolled back its rates to a mere $80 through July, allowing you to experience the smoothly designed rooms decorated with art by Natee Utarit, Michelin-starred restaurant, and the Shambhala Urban Escape spa.
THE VALUE: $80/night (2,600 baht) is 69% off regular rack rates of $260. The rate is for a City Room.
THE CATCH: Most dates we checked actually had rates $82-85 per night.
Thailand’s indigenous wildlife, aromatic cuisine, and Zen-worship ignite wanderlust in many – a call not gone unheard by the cruise industry. However, recent eruption of civil conflict in Bangkok has had implications for voyages scheduled during the next few months. Roused by growing economic disparities between the Thai plebeian class and government officials, protesters arrived from rural areas of Thailand, taking refuge in temples located in the affluent business center of Bangkok. The government responded by sending in troops and blockading zones harboring protesters. With 53 dead and 399 injured, the tension remains thick.
Thai Airways is rolling out the red carpet for business-class passengers by offering a complimentary overnight hotel stay in Bangkok, Samui, Krabi, Hua Hin, Phuket, Pattaya, or Chiang Mai. Economy class passengers can also receive a free hotel stay if they book the Royal Orchids Holidays program, which includes 3-night hotel accommodations and airfare starting from $1,167. This offer is valid through October 31 at over 100 hotels in Thailand. In addition, passengers flying from Los Angeles can also receive a free domestic flight to be used within Thailand when traveling before May 20. (We love it when airlines play nice.)
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