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If all you know about Mexican food is nachos and tacos, get ready for a mouth-watering surprise. Modern Mexican cooking encompasses just as much variety and sophistication as any other cuisine, especially in high-end hotels and resorts. On a recent trip to San Miguel de Allende, I had the opportunity to sample the cooking of two rising chefs making their marks on the Mexico food scene.
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, which opened in March 2011, incorporates local flavor into just about everything, and dining is no exception. The main restaurant is 1826, named for the year that the town adopted the name San Miguel de Allende, in honor of an important figure in the Mexican independence movement. Chef Carlos Hannon (pictured above) makes use of herbs and other ingredients from an on-site garden, while an open kitchen means diners have full view of the food preparations.
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 Champagne and Burgundy yet the vintages are quality and the scenery – from bucolic countryside dotted with old stone farmsteads to seaside villages backed by terraced, cliff-hugging vineyards – is just splendid.
We packed in a dozen wineries, 50+ vintages, and plenty of cheese and olive tapenade in our boozy five-day visit. My only regret is not packing an extra bag to bring home a whole lot of well-priced French wines! C’est la vie. The good news: Many of these winning bottles are exported to the U.S. (at a mark-up, unfortunately). Here’s a round-up of some of my favorites and where you can sample them in the U.S. Read more
Rome may be the Eternal City, but there’s always something new to discover in the Seven Hills. We’ve rounded up the latest finds in our Rome Travel Guide. Here are a few hotels that are definitely worth checking out for your next trip:
- Hotel Raphael boasts its own collections of Picasso ceramics and Mayan art, as well as a superlative rooftop restaurant.
- Hotel Lancelot is within walking distance to the Colosseum and the Forum, and some rooms have terraces with views of the city.
- The Marriott Courtyard Rome Central Park is a good moderate option that underwent a top-to-bottom refurbishment in 2010.
See more great lodging picks in our guide to Rome Hotels.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals to Rome.
The sprawling Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, has certainly seen its share of change. Given the resort’s age – the place has been around since 1778, when the American Revolutionary War was still raging – you’d expect the storied hotel to have some curious lore. Tidbits like the fact that it served as a military hospital during World War II, that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor often slumbered here – or that the 710-room retreat was once home base for a hush-hush government bunker until a Washington Post journalist uncovered its covert coordinates in 1992.
In 2009, the resort made history of another kind, when it filed for bankruptcy. It was a pivotal moment for the glorious Allegheny Mountain hideaway, which had hosted generations of families and American presidents (26 of them) alike. For local coal baron, Jim Justice, it was a new beginning – both for him and the hotel.
Let’s say it’s your fourth day in Buenos Aires, and you’ve already dined at steakhouses like Cabaña Las Lilas, El Obrero, and La Brigada (where they carve the “special cut” with a spoon), and now you’re ready to take matters into your own hands. Let’s even say you’ve picked up a few new friends along the way, and you want to invite them to dinner.
Then Fierro Hotel Boutique in Palermo Hollywood might just be your answer. Check into the 535-square-foot eighth-floor Terrace Suite (a steal at just $250/night!), where along with all the basics (king-sized bed, rain shower, 32-inch LCD TV, iPod dock, Nespresso coffee maker, complimentary Wi-Fi and iPad to use during your stay), you get a large red eucalyptus deck, with its own built-in outdoor brick barbecue pit, better known as a parilla in this part of the world. It even has a spit, so you can decide at the last minute to cook an entire Patagonian lamb instead. If you don’t slip into a meat coma, you and your newfound friends can also take advantage of the terrace’s outdoor Jacuzzi, where there’s a view of the leafy skyline…if it occurs to you to look that way.
This spring I found myself in Manila, perhaps an unlikely choice for a city vacation, but the obvious first stop if your ultimate goal is to loll on any of the Philippines’ 7,107 islands, as mine was. Most visitors to Manila spend a layover night at the better-known chain and luxury hotels in the Makati commercial/financial district, but I opted for the city’s grande dame, the Manila Hotel. It sits on Manila Bay across from Intramuros, the 158-acre walled settlement the Spanish built in 1571, and Rizal Park, named for José Rizal, the national hero the Spanish then executed by firing squad in 1896. Overlooking both, the hotel is testament to the end of Spanish occupation two years later, and the start of American influence in this part of the Pacific. It’s also a pretty comfy place. Read more
Most visitors to Buenos Aires know the Río de la Plata as the widest river in the world, reaching 136 miles across. But by the Dársena Norte in Puerto Madero, it’s only 14 miles – or 75 minutes by Buquebus ferry – to the Uruguayan coast, making it perfect for a day trip or multi-day excursion.
So consider now the ease of visiting the Four Season Resort Carmelo, just two hours by car from the Uruguayan port town of Colonia del Sacramento (you can also condense the trip to less than 25 minutes by flying from Buenos Aires to Carmelo by private plane). Set along the banks of the Río Uruguay in a eucalyptus and pine forest, the 110-acre resort is a haven for weekending Argentinians, who make up three-quarters of its guests. As a result of these particular demographics, you’ll find the lowest rates of any Four Seasons resort in the world, starting at $240 per night, but as low as $180 for three-night stays. Read more
Our team has been hard at work revamping our Orlando Travel Guide with some fab new finds in Orlando and Walt Disney World. Whether you’re there for the theme parks or just some relaxation in the Florida sun, we’ve got you covered for hotels at every price point:
- Budget-minded families visiting the Mouse should head to the Holiday Inn in the Walt Disney World Resort, where kids eat free and there’s free shuttle transfer to the parks.
- In the moderate range, Nickelodeon Suites Resort provides non-stop entertainment with a 4-D theater, slime experience, and visits from Nick characters.
- Those looking to splurge will find a zero-entry swimming pool, nine-hole putting course, and fine dining at the Hilton Orlando.
Don’t let the Mill Street Inn’s National Register of Historic Places status fool you – the hotel’s interiors are completely modern, with spacious suites and marble bathrooms, along with amenities like flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Even the word “inn” is a bit of a misnomer, given that the 23-unit, all-suite property lacks any of the quaintness you’d find at a traditional New England bed-and-breakfast.
On the other hand, Mill Street Inn is a proper B&B with a generous breakfast spread – in the warmer months, it’s hosted on the inn’s gorgeous rooftop – with gourmet coffee, fresh-squeezed juices, a half-dozen cereal choices, yogurts, fresh fruit, and even homemade smoothies.
For a small rooftop terrace of your own, book one of the townhouse suites (shown above). These 2nd/3rd-floor duplex units sport comfortable sitting areas downstairs and king-sized feather beds on the upper level. All suites can sleep up to four people.
The inn offers free parking in a small adjacent lot and underground garage. Note there is no elevator, so request a ground-floor room if stairs are an issue. Rooms start at $225/night in the summer months, but spike sharply on weekends. www.millstreetinn.com
For general trip-planning information, see our Rhode Island Travel Guide.
A just-launched update to our San Francisco Travel Guide has got us thinking about a City by the Bay getaway. (Though our resident expert tells us fall is actually a better time to visit, as summers tend to be foggy and cool.) For inspiration on your San Fran escape, check out the new hotels in our guide:
- With a combination of glitzy interiors, prime city views, and a historic location, the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco is known as one of the finest hotels in the world.
- The Omni San Francisco delivers five-star service at more wallet-friendly prices, with lots of free perks (like Wi-Fi and beverages delivered to your room) to boot.
- Book a room at the St. Regis San Francisco for easy access to some of the city’s best museums, including the MoMA.
Find other top picks in our San Francisco Hotels guide.
Contact a travel agent for assistance in planning your next vacation.
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