United States Travel Guide

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Topnotch Resort Brings Hamptons-Style Pool Parties to...Vermont?

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  Site Where: 4000 Mountain Rd. [map], Stowe, VT, United States, 05672
July 15, 2014 at 6:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

Skiing is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Stowe, Vermont. (And quite possibly Anywhere, Vermont.) But non-New Englanders might not realize it’s quite the summer resort too. There are towering Green Mountain views, and it’s only 45 minutes away from big, blue Lake Champlain.

And bringing a little extra bump and grind to the pastoral land of bed and breakfasts is Topnotch Resort and Spa, which reopened last summer after a major renovation that turned it into a sleek, almost citified destination that appeals to well-heeled thirty-something crowds that want craft beer scenes and tiered patio pools, not crocheted couch slipcovers. And this season they’ve upped the ante with “Topnotch Summer,” a so-dubbed series of pulse-quickening programs.

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McCarren Hotel & Pool in Brooklyn Has a New Look (And New Poolside Passes)

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  Site Where: 160 North 12th Street [map], Brooklyn, NY, United States, 11249
July 15, 2014 at 1:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

Views of the Manhattan skyline from the new rooftop lounge, Sheltering Sky, are truly incredible - and your hair style remains relatively intact

Only a couple months into the launch of Chelsea Hotels, a family of five New York hotels, things are moving along swimmingly for the Brooklyn resident, McCarren Hotel & Pool (formerly Hotel Williamsburg.) The hotel wraps up its latest renovations and unwraps a new lobby, revamped rooftop lounge, and plenty of outdoor summer fun.

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AC Hotels to Also Arrive in Asheville, North Carolina

July 14, 2014 at 8:14 PM | by | Comments (0)

AC Hotels by Marriott are working towards opening their first hotel in New Orleans in October, followed by South Beach, and Kansas City with JFK Airport and Chicago on the (tentative) horizon as well. And now, AC will open in Asheville, North Carolina too.

According to the Citizen-Times newspaper, design review approval was given to the owners of the BB&T building's parking garage. The garage will be razed and in its place a nine-story hotel--with 132 guest rooms, a restaurant and a bar--will be constructed.

Yay, exciting and that jazz. But what's also interesting, is that the BB&T building itself will be turned into an upscale, boutique hotel topped with six floors of condos. Naturally, we assume this brand has to be a Marriott-branded hotel as well. And if we had to place our bets, we'd put our money on a Renaissance Hotel which is definitely Marriott's boutique brand, after Edition of course. But the condo element has us a bit thrown off. So...what will it be? We're gonna go with Renaissance but only time, and maybe a loose-lipped developer or designer, will tell. Hint, hint.

[Rendering via AC Hotels]

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Trump Plaza in Atlantic City Might Be Going from Bad to Worse

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  Site Where: 2500 Boardwalk [map], Atlantic City, NJ, United States
July 14, 2014 at 10:47 AM | by | Comment (1)

It's starting to look like a bummer summer for Atlantic City.

First, came the news that the Revel Hotel, a brand new, gorgeously modern resort and casino could shutter as soon as next month if it didn't find a new buyer. Now, comes news that weathered Trump Plaza, located next to Caesars Atlantic City, could also close in September due to low revenues. Unless Trump can find a buyer or get an injection of money from somewhere, then the casino will shut down and roughly 1,000 workers will be laid off.

Despite having an excellent location in the center of the boardwalk across from the beach, the Trump Plaza has seen better days. There might be Chihuly (or Chihuly-inspired chandeliers) found on the casino floor, but overall, the property is in bad condition. We were shocked at the level of disrepair we saw last year in the public spaces. And the room photos on the website have us scared. It looks like nothing has been updated since the 1980s.

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Thompson Chicago Now More Luxe, Thanks to New Lexus Rides

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  Site Where: 21 E Bellevue [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
July 11, 2014 at 12:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's not a rare 1961 Ferrari GT California but it is pretty sweet.

Thompson Chicago has revved up their offerings for hotel guests, thanks to a new partnership with Lexus.

Guests can ride around town in a sleek Lexus IS 350 convertible or a ginormous LX 570 LUV--luxury utility vehicle--without any mileage restrictions, i.e. no one telling you the ride is only good for a one-mile radius from the hotel. The rides are complimentary and feature a pre-programmed navigation system with addresses to Chicago landmarks and nearby road trip destinations outside of Illinois. But of course, you'll still rely on Google Maps anyways.

Guests can also choose to ride in the house car, which is an LS 460 L flagship sedan, driven by a personal chauffeur and equipped with complimentary bottled water, the Chicago Tribune newspaper and Wi-Fi mobile hotspot functionality.

Rates next weekend at Thompson start at $429 a night so having the use of a Lexus during your stay makes that a little more bearable. And if you already own a Lexus, you can book the Thompson Chicago through the Lexus Drivers Site and get a $100 hotel credit which can be used towards dining and drinks at the hotel's Salone Nico or Nico Osteria.

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One Island, Two Suites, One Amazing New England Lighthouse Inn

July 11, 2014 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Home, sweet, holy crap we're in the middle of the ocean this is freaking awesome.

Does your idea of the perfect getaway involve the lapping ocean, the fresh sea air, and as few meddlesome other human beings as possible? We’ve found your dream vacation spot.

Suite. Sweeeeet.

Behold the just-opened Inn at Cuckolds Lighthouse, a two-room respite located on a craggy island off the coast of Maine. Yes, you heard right: the inn, part of a century-old lighthouse in the middle of Boothbay Harbor, only holds two accommodations — an East Suite and a West Suite.

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Meet Killington, Nantucket's Golf Cart-Crazy Innkeeper

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  Site Where: 24 Old South Wharf [map], Nantucket, MA, United States, 02554
July 11, 2014 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

Other hotels call themselves pet-friendly or talk about VIPooches. On Nantucket, it seems, they speak a little more baldly. Enter the Woof Cottages at The Cottages and Lofts at the Boat Basin: 12 dog (and cat)-friendly cottages on the waterfront, presided over by two resident innkeepers: Killington and Ellie.

Killington, pictured above, loves leaping on a golf cart to greet guests even more than he loves napping. Ellie (the Westie here), meanwhile, concerns herself with the doggie welcome amenities: tennis balls, raw hide bones and on-the-go water bottles being her top picks.

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From Beer To Bourbon, Four Seasons Is Getting Its Spas All Boozy

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  Site Where: 120 E Delaware Pl [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
July 10, 2014 at 12:47 AM | by | Comments (0)

Possibly not the scrub selection

First it was massage with beer. Now it’s with bourbon. Are Four Seasons trying to tell us something?

Yes, hot on the heels of FS Vail’s bro-tastic beer massage comes word of FS Chicago’s Vintage Bourbon Massage – and this one is far classier than the last.

First comes the scrub: a wicked scrub of brown sugar, ginger, pecan and Kentucky bourbon. Then, once your pores have been suitably boozed up (and back bacteria slaughtered by the bourbon), comes the massage – not just any massage, but one with hot stones.

Does it get any better than a bourbon scrub and a hot stone rub? Indeed it does. The treatment ends at the bar: not the poncy spa bar, but the actual hotel bar, Allium, where you’ll sample its signature single-barrel bourbon. Presumably you’ll be expected to change out of your robe for this part.

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Not Weird at All: The Millennium Boston is Taking Teddy Bears Out for a Picnic

July 9, 2014 at 6:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

“Ask Alfred.” What is it? It is an advice column penned by Batman’s butler? (“How do I get Catwoman’s litter stains out of my cape?”) Is it a post-Aughties revamp of a long-forgotten search engine mascot? (RIP.)

No (too bad!) and no (thank heavens). It’s a teddy bear.

Because tomorrow is Teddy Bears’ Picnic Day,, seriously, the Millennium Hotels and Resorts brand is seizing the moment to import its “Ask Alfred Children’s Concierge” to North American properties.

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What to Order at Morimoto at The Andaz Maui Resort in Wailea

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  Site Where: 3550 Wailea Alanui Drive [map], Maui, HI, United States, 96753
July 9, 2014 at 2:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

There is no shortage of great places to eat in the Wailea resort zone of Maui, especially not with a Fairmont, a Four Seasons, and a Waldorf-Astoria lined up next to each other.

But skip a little further down past these resorts to the Andaz Maui and one of the best meals of your vacation will await you at Morimoto, the eponymous sushi restaurant from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

The Andaz resort is pretty spectacular in itself, with about four different levels of public spaces, the first two which are pools and the second two which are restaurants, bars and lounge spaces. We'll have more on the Andaz and its rooms and spa shortly but today it's all about Morimoto.

The restaurant is located at the bottom of Andaz Maui, overlooking the main pool and the beach. This means it's easy to access from Wailea's Coastal Walk, which runs along the water and which everyone staying in Wailea uses everyday. There is both indoor and outdoor seating at the Morimoto but this is Maui, of course, you are going to sit outside. (That said, the inside is a lovely modern take on island decor.)

Now here's what we ordered when we popped in for lunch during our own vacation the other month:

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This New Manhattan Hotel Is Getting Ready To Riff On 1980s Nostalgia

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  Site Where: 300 West 30th Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10001
July 9, 2014 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

Shhh. There’s a new hotel – or hotel chain – gearing up to hit Manhattan, but it’s preparing under the radar. Why? Our best guess is that they don’t want any riff raff hearing about it.

Or any raff, at least. Riff is just fine – fitting, in fact. Because the chain will be called Riff Hotels, and the first property – opening next month – will be Riff Chelsea, a “musically-inspired” 44-room hotel at W30th St and 8th Avenue.

The creative theme is in its genes – formerly the Chelsea Star (indeed still the Chelsea Star for now – it’s remaining open, while being converted room by room, and will be officially rebranded in August), it was a pulling point for artists in the 1980s. Madonna stayed here, and the hotel rumor has it that Lucky Star was inspired by the hotel.

The Chelsea Star looks pretty non-descript right now, but as the Riff, the hotel will be channeling the 80s: the lobby will house pictures of early New York Madonna by Richard Corman, there’ll be a performance space curated by artist collective Chashama, and rooms will be “retro-contemporary”, designed by Steed Hale, who worked on Studio 54. We don’t have pictures or even renderings yet, but you’ll need sunglasses at the ready if they’re anything like the hotel is promising:

Bold colors and eye-catching graphics will make every guest room different, with pop-art photography, edgy graphics, and bold, buzzy Jonathan Adler wallpaper.

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Boston is Going to Get Another Four Seasons

July 8, 2014 at 3:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

Watch your back, 90210.

According to a just-released report from CityLab, Boston zip code 02199 — which reflects the city’s tony Back Bay neighborhood — is among the 10 Most Expensive Zip Codes in America. With median home values of $3.3 million, the Back Bay is #5 — not far behind Lisa, Kyle, and Brandi’s champagne-soaked stomping grounds ($3.5 million). And if that surprises you, it’s only because wealthy Bostonians are perfectly content to bankroll hospitals and universities instead of launching flavored vodka lines or publicizing-slash-embarrassing themselves on TV. [Sips tea.]

Point is, perhaps it’s no surprise that a new Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts in the Back Bay will make Boston one of only a few international cities with multiple properties from the brand.

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