Researchers Uncover 'Lost City' in Cambodia

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 16:58
<p>Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient “lost city" that was once a capital of the Khmer Empire in Cambodia.</p><p>Mahendraparvata, or the Mountain of Indra, King of the Gods, was an early site of the ancient empire and was found by on-the-ground surveying and overhead laser scanning, according to <a href="">a recent report</a> published by archaeology journal, Antiquity. The city's massive temples built from bricks and stones left their imprint on the earth and helped lead researchers to the site. </p><img alt="Research scientists discover ancient lost city in Cambodia "src=""><p>The imprint shows a sophisticated urban planning system which included neighborhoods, water management systems, agricultural networks and transportation links to other nearby cities.</p><p>Researchers have been working to build a more accurate map of the mountainous region in Cambodia — currently known as Phnom Kulen — where the Khmer Empire built many of their early cities, including Mahendraparvata. The ancient empire is estimated to have lasted from the ninth to 15th centuries. </p><img alt="Research scientists discover ancient lost city in Cambodia "src=""><p>Before the discovery, archaeologists would often refer to Mahendraparvata as a “lost city” because the only information they had was obtained from artifacts found at other sites around Cambodia.</p><p>"The work described here effectively draws to a close 150 years of archaeological mapping work in the Greater Angkor region and sets the stage for more sophisticated spatio-temporal modelling of urban form," the report said.</p><p>Researchers believe that the city was one of the first engineered landscapes of the era, and further study of it could reveal more about the Khmer Empire — which is now famous for the temple complex and <a href="">current tourist attraction</a> Angkor Wat.</p>
Categories: Travel

The MoMA Finally Reopened in NYC — and It Will Have You Falling in Love With Modern Art All Over Again

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 16:19
<p>On my first visit to New York City, I had a few hours before a friend got off of work and I knew exactly how I wanted to spend my time. The yellow taxi dropped me off at 53rd St. and 6th Ave. and I left my luggage at the coat check in the lobby of the <a href="" target="_blank">Museum of Modern Art</a>. I was a student of art and culture, and this was home to the impactful works of my most beloved artists. Now, as an NYC resident, the MoMA is where I spend at least one day a year, mostly to visit the special exhibitions. I’ve learned to dodge crowds and zip past all the works I originally saw as a tourist.</p><p>Until now, I was starting to see the MoMA as an Ikea of art; make one trip a year to see what’s new and leave feeling inspired yet exhausted. The new MoMA, however, may be a place I frequent much more often.</p><img alt="Museum of Modern Art, New York City "src=""><p>The museum is reopening its doors on Monday, Oct. 21 after being closed since June of this year. It has spent $450 million on renovations and new construction that extends its gallery spaces by 30 percent. The expansion of 165,000 square feet will accommodate an ever-growing collection of art and feature work by more artists of color and women from around the world. It will also have additional room for the annual 3 million museum-goers to navigate the galleries.</p><img alt="Museum of Modern Art, New York City "src=""><p>Founded in 1929, MoMA is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its commitment to helping the world understand and enjoy modern and contemporary art. The reopening has the art world abuzz with opinions on the freshly reconfigured galleries. The expansion has allowed curators from across the museum’s departments to reconsider the history it is presenting. Every square inch of wall space has been changed to include a larger mix of art mediums in the galleries while still maintaining a loose chronological order from the fifth floor down to the second. You’ll find paintings, sculpture, and photography in the same room that present different ideas on similar themes from the same time period to spark conversation and foster learning. </p><img alt="Museum of Modern Art, New York City "src=""><img alt="Museum of Modern Art, New York City "src=""><img alt="Museum of Modern Art, New York City "src=""><p>The museum will change exhibits every six to nine months, giving patrons even more of a reason to visit again and again. You’ll always be able to see the Picasso classics and Van Gogh’s <em>Starry Night</em>, but you'll also be inspired to spend time with artists you've never heard of before.</p><img alt="Museum of Modern Art, New York City "src=""><img alt="Museum of Modern Art, New York City "src=""><p>Being in the new space felt like my first visit — taking in every layer of paint, eyes wide. Even my old favorite by Henri Matisse felt fresh next to a colorful piece by Alma Woodsey Thomas.</p><img alt="Museum of Modern Art, New York City "src=""><p>When the MoMA reopens its doors today, <a href="" target="_blank">tourists will continue to flood in</a>, looking for the more famous pieces that have long graced its walls. Hopefully now they'll leave with new insight, having discovered new favorite artists. It’s an incredibly exciting time for the Museum of Modern Art, surely one not to miss on your next visit to New York City. And for a <a href="" target="_blank">budget-friendly visit</a>, you can view the first-floor gallery space for free without a museum ticket.</p>
Categories: Travel

Visit Real-life Sites From ‘Downton Abbey’ With an Exclusive Look at Highclere Castle on Viking's New Cruise Extensions

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 15:36
<p>After topping the box office in the UK and the U.S. after its recent release, it’s clear that "Downton Abbey" is here to stay. And thanks to a sponsorship with <a href="">Viking</a>, fans of the show, movie, and those fabulous costumes can head to the UK for privileged, private access to <a href="">Highclere Castle</a>, the real Downton Abbey — home to the fictitious Crawley family on screen, and the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon in real life.</p><img alt="Viking ocean cruise ship "src=""><p>Viking's newest cruise extension (before or after your sailing) is Great Homes, Gardens and Gin, beginning in 2021 on the <a href="">Rhine Getaway</a> and <a href="">British Isles Explorer</a> itineraries. Guests are greeted with champagne and a potential visit with Lady Carnarvon, who mingles with guests on extensions as her schedule allows. Led by a historian, guests then tour the 5,000-acre property, including the castle’s interior, grounds, and gardens for stories about the castle’s history.</p><p>During the visit, guests can sample the recently launched Highclere Castle Gin, inspired by botanicals from the castle’s gardens. This extension also includes a look at Broughton Castle, the setting for PBS’s MASTERPIECE series "Wolf Hall," and a visit out to the Cotswolds to tour Chavenage House, known from the MASTERPIECE series "Poldark." If you’re lucky, you’ll get to tour Chavenage with Caroline, a family member who lives at the property and tells about the history of the home and its tenants in an entertaining, cheeky fashion. Another big-ticket item from this extension: walking through the gardens of Highgrove House, the private home of <a href="" target="_blank">Prince Charles</a>.</p><img alt="Chavenage House "src=""><p>Viking’s popular “Oxford and Highclere Castle” pre-/post-cruise extension is another way guests can enjoy a private visit to Highclere Castle. After traveling through the beautiful English countryside, guests are welcomed with a cup of tea and given a tour of the castle’s spacious public rooms. If you’re lucky, Lady Carnarvon might be there to greet you and share some secrets of the Victorian Gothic-style castle, which was built by Sir Charles Barry, who also built the Houses of Parliament.</p><p>Also included is a trip to the village of Bampton, known as the Yorkshire village in "Downton Abbey." Here, travelers see memorable locales from the show like the church; Churchgate House, used for the exterior shots of Isobel Crawley’s house; the Grammar School building, which served as the Downton hospital; and St. Mary’s Church, which held numerous Downton weddings and funerals. This extension is available on the <a href="">British Isles Explorer</a>, <a href="">Paris and the Heart of Normandy</a>, and <a href="">Cities of Light</a> itineraries.</p><p>The third way to see the castle is on the British Collections of Ancient Egypt cruise extension, available on the <a href="">Pharaohs and Pyramids</a> itinerary. Here, guests get to see the 5th Earl of Carnarvon’s private collection of Egyptian artifacts in the cellars of the castle. The 5th Earl, George Herbert, was the benefactor for Howard Carter, the Egyptologist who discovered the intact tomb of Tutankhamun, aka King Tut. Other exclusive experiences on this extension include an early morning look at the Egyptian Collection at the <a href="">British Museum</a> before it opens to the public, and a behind-the-scenes tour at Oxford University’s<a href=""> Griffith Institute</a>, where guests can see Carter’s archives, including his notebook which details the discovery of King Tut’s tomb. While on campus at Oxford, stroll through the Bodleian Library and Christ Church, both filming locations in the "Harry Potter" film series.</p><img alt="Bampton, Oxfordshire "src=""><img alt="Bodleian Library "src=""><img alt="The British Museum "src=""><p>Even if you’ve never seen "Downton Abbey," taking in the breathtaking <a href="" target="_blank">Highclere Castle</a> and other filming locations will have you bookmarking the show for when you return home.</p>
Categories: Travel

George Clooney and Lin-Manuel Miranda Joined Forces to Help Puerto Rico and There’s Coffee Involved

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 13:00
<p>George Clooney and Lin Manuel Miranda are on a mission to revive Puerto Rico's coffee industry, one cup of joe at a time. </p><p>The famed actor and beloved playwright are teaming up with coffee brand Nespresso and nonprofit organization the Hispanic Federation to bring awareness to coffee farming on the island. The partnership comes as Puerto Rico's coffee industry is still suffering from the aftermath of 2017's <a href="">Hurricane Maria</a> and <a href="">Hurricane Irma</a>, which together destroyed 80 percent of the island's coffee trees and harvest.</p><p>From Oct. 21–27, the A-listers are encouraging coffee drinkers everywhere to donate to the Hispanic Federation <a href="" target="_blank">on Nespresso's website</a>. Those who contribute will have early access to the coffee brand's limited-edition flavor, Cafecito de Puerto Rico.</p><p>Proceeds from the caffeinated venture will go towards an effort to plant 2.25 million new coffee trees in Puerto Rico. To date, Nespresso has committed $1 million as part of a three-year initiative to revitalize Puerto Rico’s 50,000 coffee bean-producing trees.</p><p>Aligning with Nespresso's existing efforts in sustainability, coffee afficinatos can further support the effort by recycling their capsules using a limited-edition recycling bag. Each bag — designed with original artwork by Puerto Rican artist Gerardo Cloquell — represents one tree that will be planted on <a href="">the island</a>. </p><p>Clooney has been appearing in Nespresso ads since 2006 and is also the brand's ambassador. Miranda — who revealed in <a href=";">the promo video for the partnership</a> that he has an ankle tattoo of a coffee cup — also has close ties to the Hispanic Federation as he was this year's chairperson at their April gala. His father is also its founding president. </p><p>Cafecito de Puerto Rico will become widely available for purchase on Oct. 28. </p>
Categories: Travel

This Famous Italian Chef's New Inn Is the Ultimate Foodie Paradise

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 11:31
<p>“Don’t hesitate, come to Modena. In the middle of the food valley, we created a beautiful place… in which you’re going to experience the real Italy,” chef Massimo Bottura says, welcoming visitors to his latest venture, <a href="">Casa Maria Luigia</a>. “We want to feed your emotions.”</p><p>Known across the globe for his three-Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana (famously named the No. 1 restaurant in the world by <a href="" target="_blank">The World’s 50 Best Restaurants</a>), Bottura opened up an elegant country estate with his lovely wife, Lara Gilmore, just outside Modena — in Italy’s food capital, Emilia-Romagna. The 12-room country house functions as a proper bed and breakfast, but is so much more.</p><img alt="Casa Maria Luigia "src=""><p>Upon arrival, a lengthy, tree-lined driveway reveals the stately 18th-century mansion with a cream-colored facade, sage shutters, and large wooden doors. But then you see it: two oversized bowls of gelato — complete with plastic spoons — flanking the structure’s central balcony and dripping onto the veranda.</p><p>Bottura commissioned Italian artist Giorgio di Palma to create the whimsical gelato sculptures, portraying heaping scoops of chocolate-pistachio and strawberry-vanilla. “We wanted to give people a heads up: Things might not be as you expect them to be. This isn’t exactly the Tuscan, old-fashioned villa. Things can get a little funky in here,” Gilmore said. At first impression, guests will know they are in for a treat.</p><p>The inn has multiple dynamic rooms, each decked out in a striking mix of vintage and contemporary art, furnishings, photographs, and sculptures from renowned international artists. In the main living room, an ornate, vaulted ceiling covered in pastel-hued frescos contrasts with a large, black-and-white Lego triptych from Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. On another wall, Jack Pearson’s "Truth" is spelled out in bold, oversized letters.</p><p>The handsome cocktail lounge — complete with a 1950s-era sofa and self-serve spirits bar — displays Barbara Kruger’s graphic “Stay/Go” screen-print. And in the music parlor, lively jazz plays through a state-of-the-art sound system that’s surrounded by thousands of vinyl albums from Bottura’s personal collection.</p><img alt="Casa Maria Luigia "src=""><p>Everywhere you look reveals another artistic element accumulated by the couple throughout the years. “We like art to be playful and provocative, and not tell you things but ask you questions, get people curious,” Gilmore said.</p><p>Equally as unique and stylish, each of the 12 guest rooms and suites boast high-end amenities, comfortable beds, modern bathrooms, and original artwork (one even has a Warhol). Savory snacks, hunks of aged Parmigiano Reggiano, and a complimentary minibar filled with local beverages welcome tenants into their new dwellings.</p><img alt="Casa Maria Luigia "src=""><p>Once outside, visitors can explore 12 acres of impeccably-manicured grounds, including a swimming pool, tennis court, and grotto pond, with relaxation nooks and sculptures scattered throughout. Occupying the top of the property is a vibrant garden, where much of the inn's produce hails from. Here, you’ll find everything from sun-ripened tomatoes and plump eggplants to incredibly fragrant basil.</p><p>The couple wanted to create a "home away from home" experience. Guests will gravitate to the airy, eat-in kitchen, where they can open the fridge to find delicious goodies from the garden, light snacks, freshly made ricotta and breads, herb-infused waters, and bottles of Lambrusco wine — ready to enjoy at any time of day. “Make yourself at home, pour yourself some wine, make yourself a coffee,” said Gilmore, who can often be found mingling with visitors and pitching in around the property.</p><img alt="Casa Maria Luigia "src=""><p>While the spotlight on art, design, and hospitality is evident, the heart of Casa Maria Luigia is the unparalleled culinary experience — as might be expected from one of the world’s most distinguished chefs. After his Netflix <em>Chef’s Table </em>episode helped catapult Bottura into global super-stardom, snagging one of the few tables at his Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana is one of the hardest, and most sought-after, reservations in the world.</p><p>Luckily, guests at the inn have a guaranteed seat at Francescana at Maria Luigia. The new restaurant serves a classic Osteria Francescana menu in an entirely different way — trading the white-table cloth, formal affair of the original for communal tables in a gorgeous carriage house-turned-dining room, with an open kitchen and a conceptual Damien Hirst collection on the walls.</p><p>There’s just one seating per night, but the biggest difference is how this setup invites interaction with fellow diners and the chefs. During the multi-hour service, Bottura and Gilmore (when they are in town) and their head chef, Jessica Rosval, will captivate the room, sharing personal and funny anecdotes while explaining the dishes. Essentially, diners will be consuming some of Bottura’s most vivid memories and emotions — all precisely translated to the plate through food as an artistic medium. And everyone is encouraged to get up and watch the kitchen action, take photos, and chat with the team.</p><img alt="Casa Maria Luigia "src=""><img alt="Casa Maria Luigia "src=""><p>A succession of nine exquisite courses — including some of the best-known dishes like "The Crunchy Part of the Lasagna," "Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano, in Different Textures and Temperatures" and "Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart" — gets complemented by noteworthy Emilia-Romagna wines, further reinforcing the sense of place.</p><p>And the eating doesn’t stop there. Every morning, rich aromas of wood-fired focaccia, <em>cotechino</em> (pork sausage), and roasted vegetables waft through the property. Breakfast, also served in the carriage house, is a decadent spread showcasing Emilia-Romagna flavors. Here, sweet and savory items — such as mortadella-blanketed g<em>nocco</em><em> fritto, </em>caramelized onion quiche, and juicy peaches over yogurt — can get showered with even more Parmigiano Reggiano, topped with foamy <em>zabaione</em>, or drizzled with Bottura’s own aged balsamic vinegar.</p><p>Every thoughtfully curated detail at Casa Maria Luigia is executed with an exceptional level of quality, yet it has a refreshingly welcoming atmosphere. “We want to create the idea that you’re staying in Francescana’s home,” Gilmore said. And once you enter this <em>casa</em>, it’s easy to become that houseguest who never, ever wants to leave.</p>
Categories: Travel

Dominican Republic Tourists Died of Natural Causes, Not Tainted Alcohol, FBI Report Says (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 11:18
<p>On Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released the toxicology reports on the Americans who <a href="">mysteriously died</a> in the <a href="">Dominican Republic</a> earlier this year. According to the FBI report, all of the tourists died of natural causes.</p><p>“The results of the additional, extensive toxicology testing completed to date have been consistent with the findings of local authorities,” a State Department spokesperson told <em><a href="">The Hill</a></em>, despite initial assumptions that the tourists died due to tainted alcohol served at several resorts. “Methanol poisoning from tainted alcohol was ruled out by the FBI in these cases during the toxicology screening, and it was not the finding in any other cases of U.S. citizen deaths investigated by Dominican authorities.”</p><p>According to additional reporting by <em><a href="">Fox</a></em>, the FBI has delivered the results of those toxicology reports to the families of the deceased. </p><p>These findings may help boost tourism to the Dominican, which has greatly suffered following the deaths of at least 10 tourists.</p><img alt="Punta Cana, Dominican Republic "src=""><p>In June, <a href="">ForwardKeys</a>, which analyzes more than 17 million flight bookings a day, released a report showing <a href="">summer bookings to the Dominican</a> from the United States fell by 74.3 percent compared to the same period in 2018.</p><p>“My deepest sympathies go out to the families of the American tourists who have passed away. Their recent and tragic deaths appear to have had a dramatic impact on travel to the Dominican Republic,” Olivier Ponti, vice president of insights at ForwardKeys, said in a statement. “Our analysis of leisure travel shows a striking correlation.”</p><p>Ponti added that the deaths amount to “a dreadful image crisis for the Dominican Republic because the USA is the number one source market for tourism to the destination and its economy is highly dependent on foreign visitors.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Video Shows Great White Mega Shark Shaking a Diving Cage With Divers Still in It

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 11:05
<p>If you’re the type of person who couldn’t get through "Jaws" or feels queasy at the mere mention of <a href="" target="_blank">Shark Week</a>, definitely avert your eyes for this one.</p><p>A chilling but equally amazing video taken by a diver off the coast of Guadalupe Island, Mexico, shows a great white mega shark biting and rattling a cage with a group of divers inside. </p><p>Luckily, no one was hurt in the encounter, though the shark suffered a chipped tooth, according the excursion company's <a href="">Facebook post of the encounter.</a> </p><p>The company, Island Charters, Inc, explained that the shark goes by the name of Bullet, and she’s apparently 17 feet long.</p><p>Lasuzzo can be seen in the video celebrating the experience, pumping her fists and throwing a peace sign to the camera. “I hope this story shows people you need to respect great white sharks, but you don’t have to be afraid! So grateful for this experience of a lifetime,” <a href="">she wrote on her own Facebook page.</a></p><p>Clearly a happy customer, <a href="">she also wrote a glowing review</a> on Island Charter Inc's Facebook page.</p><p>"I will never forget the feeling of being in the cage with three other ladies when beautiful Bullet, the 17 ft female Great White Mega Shark, came to visit our cage," Lasuzzo gushed. "When she started to 'play' with the float on the cage, there was surprisingly no fear from any of us. We were in awe and amazed at the power she had."</p><p>The adventurous diver also explained that seeing Bullet was the highlight of the trip because "her size was so much greater than the sharks we had seen the last day and a half."</p><p>Great white sharks have been known to occasionally come in close contact with humans, for better or worse. Back in July, a <a href="">great white was spotted</a> trying to swipe fish away from fishermen off the coast of Massachusetts. Divers in Oahu, in January, also came into contact with <a href="">one of the largest great whites on record</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Everlane Just Launched Fall's Coziest Sweaters — and You're Going to Want One in Every Color

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 10:32
<p>With <a href="">sweater weather</a> in full swing, it's the perfect time to shop for seasonal staples, especially when that means <a href="">ultra-soft cashmere.</a></p><p><a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Everlane's</a> latest collection includes the <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Women's ReCashmere Stroopwafel Turtleneck</a> and Crew sweaters. Both styles are made with 60 percent recycled cashmere and 40 percent extra-fine merino wool. In addition to being impressively comfortable and<em> </em>cozy, the material reduces environmental impact by 50 percent. </p><p>The turtleneck style features relaxed fit, wide rib detailing, and a high-low hem. You also have four colors to choose from — Heathered Sand, Heathered Aqua, Black, and Bone. </p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="">Everlane Just Launched Four New Colors of Its Best-selling, Long-lasting Sneakers</a></p><img alt="Cashmere Turtleneck "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $155</p><img alt="Cashmere Turtleneck "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $155</p><img alt="Cashmere Turtleneck "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $155</p><img alt="Cashmere Turtleneck "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $155</p><p>The <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">ReCashmere Stroopwafel Crew</a>, on the other hand, has a wide neckline, relaxed shape, and tapered sleeves for a casual yet polished look. This style comes in four colors, too — Heathered Sand, Heathered Ink, Faded Siena, and Bone. It's perfect for wearing on its own or over an Everlane <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">Air Turtleneck</a> if you're going for a layered look.</p><img alt="Cashmere Sweater "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $150</p><p>%image7 </p><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $150</p><img alt="Cashmere Sweater "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $150</p><img alt="Cashmere Sweater "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $150</p><p>You can shop these styles and the rest of Everlane's ReCashmere collection for <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">men</a> and <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">women</a> online.</p>
Categories: Travel

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Taking Baby Archie to America for Thanksgiving

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 10:28
<p>Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have just returned home from their whirlwind <a href="">royal tour of Africa</a>, but it appears they are already prepared to hop on a plane to a new destination. And their next trip will be a deeply personal one for Meghan.</p><p>According to a royal source who spoke to <a href="">CNN</a>, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are planning to take a few weeks off from their royal duties starting in November. The pair will reportedly then head off with their son, Archie, for a much-needed vacation to the United States around <a href="">Thanksgiving</a>. It will mark the first time Archie has visited the United States, where his mother Meghan is from.</p><p>According to <a href=""><i>The Sunday Times</i></a>, the couple and their baby will spend the holiday in Los Angeles with Meghan’s mother, Doria.</p><p>The low-key family trip couldn’t come soon enough for the couple, but especially for Meghan.</p><p>Over the weekend, ITV journalist Tom Bradby shared a clip from his upcoming documentary on the royal couple’s trip to Africa. In the video, Bradby asks Meghan about her emotional state and how she’s dealt with the media attention surrounding her life. The Duchess clearly chokes up when asked the question, replying, “Any woman, especially when they're pregnant, you're really vulnerable and so that was made really challenging. And then when you have a newborn, you know...especially as a woman, it’s really, it’s a lot, so you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed it’s, yeah, well I guess.”</p><p>She thanked Bradby for asking the question, adding, “And also thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I'm OK. But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”</p><p>Fans of the royal family shouldn’t hold their breath for any photos of the family on their American vacation. This is, after all, an actual vacation, meaning no official events will be on their calendar. So it will be just like any other family’s Thanksgiving break, right?</p>
Categories: Travel

Southwest's Companion Pass Is One of the Best Deals in Travel, and Now It’s Even Harder to Score

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 10:16
<p>Southwest Airlines’ Companion Pass is one of the most coveted and best deals in travel, but the airline just made it harder to get one.</p><p>The changes to the point structure for the Companion Pass comes as <a href="">Southwest adjusted several facets of its Rapid Rewards program</a>. And while one was undoubtedly good (points no longer expire), others made it harder to cash in on being a loyal customer.</p><p>As of Jan. 1, 2020, customers will now need to earn 125,000 qualifying points to obtain the Companion Pass for the following calendar year, up from the 110,000 qualifying points a customer needed before. According to the airline, you can still get your hands on the beloved pass if you fly 100 qualifying one-way flights — that won’t change.</p><p>If you’re already working toward a Companion Pass, you can still earn one by reaching 110,000 qualifying points by the end of this year.</p><p>With the Southwest Companion Pass, eligible fliers can invite one other person to fly with them for practically nothing, they just have to pay the taxes and fees.</p><p>“While the earn qualification for Companion Pass has not changed since 2011, the cost of providing the industry’s best perk has,” a spokeswoman for Southwest told <i>Travel + Leisure</i>. “This modest increase will ensure that we are able to continue to provide the fantastic perks our Companion Pass Members.”</p><p>While it may be harder now to obtain a Companion Pass, Southwest is making up for it by ensuring that Rapid Rewards points won’t expire. Before, a customer had to earn points at least once every 24 months to keep their account active. Now, that’s no longer a concern, according to the airline.</p><p>In addition to those changes, the airline made a small adjustment to its standby service for A-List and A-List Preferred members. While same-day standby is typically free for these members, starting in 2021, they will have to pay the government taxes and fees that result from a change.</p><p>While these changes make the Rapid Rewards program a little more cumbersome, it’s still one of the <a href="">best perks in travel</a>.</p><p>So start planning your next vacation — the pristine beaches of Hawaii sound really great to us right now and Southwest happens to <a href="">fly to the islands directly from the mainland</a> — and take advantage of the airline’s <a href="">Low Fare Calendar</a> while you’re at it. You’ll need to start racking up those points, after all.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Airline Is Developing Traveling Robots so You Can Fly Across the World — or Home for Thanksgiving — Without Getting on a Plane

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 10:00
<p>Whether it's a fear of flying, difficulty due to a disability, or just bad timing, there can be so many roadblocks for people looking for an amazing getaway or a trip back home for the holidays. </p><p>Cue Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA HD) who has solved the issue with their unveiling of plans for a “telepresence robot,” called Newme, that allows you to travel around the world without boarding a plane.</p><p>“Our vision of a better-connected planet will rely on the latest innovations in haptic robotics, VR/AR and AI to transform the way that humans interact," said Shinya Katanozaka, president and CEO of ANA HD, <a href="">in a statement.</a> "By placing the world at your fingertips, Avatars will open up new possibilities and help reshape everything from business and education to healthcare and entertainment.”</p><p><a href=""><em>Lonely Planet</em>,</a> details that Newme is about 5 feet tall and has a tablet attached to the top. The robot wheels around your destination, interacts with people, and pretty much does your traveling for you — all thanks to a remote control you can use from the comfort of your couch.</p><img alt="ANA HOLDINGS INC. (hereinafter "ANA HD") is unveiling its new “avatar-in” service platform at CEATEC 2019 "src=""><p>Of course, for many travelers, this can be seen as a drawback, since they’re technically not traveling and can achieve a similar experience with a quick YouTube search. However, Newme amps up the virtual sight-seeing experience with customizable body accessories and a VR headset. </p><p>It is primarily intended for people with mobility challenges, disabilities, or any circumstance that would make traveling difficult, but introverts or those who are out of vacations days are welcome to give it a try. </p><p>Newme is not yet offered on the ANA website but the company plans to debut 1,000 robots by summer 2020. </p>
Categories: Travel

Jennifer Lawrence Threw a Rager of a Wedding at This Historic Rhode Island Mansion — See Inside (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 09:50
<p>Over the weekend Jennifer Lawrence married her longtime beau Cooke Maroney in an over-the-top ceremony in one of <a href="">Rhode Island</a>’s greatest historic mansions, Belcourt of <a href="">Newport</a>.</p><p>The home, according to its own <a href="">historical records</a>, was built in 1891 for Oliver Belmont. It was built to “serve as a summer cottage for him and his many horses.”</p><img alt="Belcourt Mansion of Newport, RI "src=""><p>Belmont’s Rhode Island home, designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, came with an “enormous carriage room and stables—with cream and maroon tiles lining the walls, yellow brick pavement, and a central marble trough.” The website adds, “Belmont could ride his horses from the stables to the grounds and all the way to the ocean. The mansion had a single bedroom in it, so he could live in privacy with his horses.”</p><img alt="Belcourt Mansion of Newport, RI "src=""><img alt="Belcourt Mansion of Newport, RI "src=""><p>Since its original construction, the home has changed hands many times and is currently owned by Carolyn Rafaelian, the CEO of the jewelry line, Alex and Ani.</p><p>The home was the ideal venue for a wedding as romantic — and as massive — as Lawrence’s. According to <a href="">E! News</a>, the wedding was attended by 150 guests including celebrities like Adele, Emma Stone, Amy Schumer, Kris Jenner, Ashley Olsen, Nicole Richie, Cameron Diaz, and Sienna Miller.</p><img alt="Belcourt Mansion of Newport, RI "src=""><p>"Guests were greeted on a lawn with cocktails served in copper mugs," a source shared with E! News. "The wedding had all the touches of fall with dark-colored flowers, apples in baskets and open fire spits roasting beef. All the food was prepared outdoors with wood-roasted fish and heirloom roasted carrots and squash as part of the menu."</p><p>According to the source, all the guests went inside following the ceremony for an absolute banger of a reception,</p><img alt="Belcourt Mansion of Newport, RI "src=""><p>It kicked off with guests eating family-style at long tables in the mansion’s reception all. Then, they all took the dance floor for the rest of the evening.</p><p>"They had a DJ and everyone danced for hours," the source said. "They played all the classics from Jackson 5 to Aretha Franklin. Nobody wanted to leave. Many stayed until 2 and 3 a.m.”</p><p>Don’t worry, Lawrence fed all her guests late-night snacks too. According to <em><a href="">People</a></em>, she enlisted the help of Boston’s Baddest Burger Food Truck and Maine-ly Lobstah to serve her guests chicken sandwiches, French fries, and hamburgers into the wee hours of the morning.</p><p>But, they didn’t stop there.</p><p>"It was an all-night party," the source added. "Jennifer and Cooke didn't leave Belcourt until 5:30 a.m. They were the last guests to leave. The looked very happy but tired. Jennifer had on a long-sleeved jeweled dress. Her hair was up with strands framing her face."</p><p>Now that the big day is over hopefully the two can spend a few extra days enjoying everything <a href="">Newport has to offer</a> all season long. Want to see the venue for yourself? Check out the mansion's tours available every weekend. <a href="">Advance tickets available here</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Qantas Just Successfully Tested the New World’s Longest Flight

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 09:32
<p>Qantas Airlines completed the world’s longest nonstop flight on Sunday, flying 19 hours and 16 minutes from New York to <a href="" target="_blank">Sydney, Australia</a>.</p><p>The Australian airline completed the 10,066-mile test flight with 49 people onboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.</p><img alt=" Qantas sets record with nearly 20-hour commercial flight from New York to Sydney "src=""><img alt=" Qantas sets record with nearly 20-hour commercial flight from New York to Sydney "src=""><p>“Overall, we’re really happy with how the flight went and it’s great to have some of the data we need to help assess turning this into a regular service,” Capt. Sean Golding, who led the team of four pilots, said in a statement.</p><img alt=" Qantas sets record with nearly 20-hour commercial flight from New York to Sydney "src=""><p>During the flight airline staff completed “a series of experiments to assess health and well-being onboard,” according to a press release. The data collected from these experiments will be used to help shape customer service on the airline’s future ultra long-haul flights, including <a href="">“Project Sunrise,”</a> its tentative regular service between Australia’s East Coast and New York and London.</p><p>Much thought was given to the flight service’s schedule in order to <a href="" target="_blank">reduce passenger jet lag</a> while crossing the globe in 19 hours. The flight started with lunch service and cabin lights were kept on for the next six hours to match the time of day in Sydney, its destination. By starting to get passengers adjusted to the time zone as they board their flight, the airline hopes it can reduce significant jet lag.</p><img alt=" Qantas sets record with nearly 20-hour commercial flight from New York to Sydney "src=""><img alt=" Qantas sets record with nearly 20-hour commercial flight from New York to Sydney "src=""><p>In order to keep active while trapped in the cabin, Professor Marie Carroll from the University of Sydney, who was onboard the flight, said that passengers got up from their seats for regular group exercise at assigned intervals. “We did the Macarena in the economy cabin,” she told <a href="" target="_blank"><i>USA Today</i></a>.</p><img alt=" Qantas sets record with nearly 20-hour commercial flight from New York to Sydney "src=""><p>The company plans to test flights from London to Sydney next. The airline will decide whether or not to launch regular service by the end of the year. It said in a statement that all carbon emissions from the test flights will be offset. If tests are successful, regular ultra-long-haul service would begin in 2022 or 2023.</p>
Categories: Travel

JetBlue Agent Faces 20 Years in Prison For Giving $785,000 Worth of Free Travel (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 08:13
<p>A former JetBlue employee is facing up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to scamming the airline for almost $1 million in flights.</p><p>The Boston Logan Airport gate agent, Tiffany Jenkins, encouraged friends and family to purchase inexpensive tickets from the airline (like the $45 tickets from Long Beach to Las Vegas) and then she would switch their cheaper tickets to a pricier international destination.</p><img alt="JetBlue gate at airport "src=""><p>Jenkins used the “involuntary exchange” computer function that is typically used for when passengers experience a death in the family or miss their flights, <em><a href="">The Boston Globe</a></em> reported. </p><p>Over the course of 15 months, Jenkins upgraded 505 flights for more than 100 different people.</p><p>All of these incidents left a paper trail, making it easy to discover exactly what Jenkins was doing. <i>The Globe </i>reported that Jenkins scammed the airline out of approximately $785,000 in the scam. </p><p>She plead guilty to three counts of wire fraud and now faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, <a href="">according to a statement</a> from U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling released on Friday. Jenkins was arrested for the crime in November 2018. </p><p>Her sentencing is in January 2020.</p>
Categories: Travel

Tornado Tears Through Dallas, Leaving Thousands Without Power

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 06:32
<p>A <a href="">severe tornado</a> touched down near <a href="">Dallas</a> Love Field Airport on Sunday, leaving damaged property, fallen trees, downed power lines, and gas leaks in its wake.</p><img alt="Tornado in Dallas, Texas, USA - 21 Oct 2019 "src=""><p>The National Weather Service reported that the tornado touched down around 9 p.m and moved northeast. <a href="">According to <em>The Associated Press,</em></a> three people are currently being hospitalized for non life-threatening injuries. </p><p>Dallas residents are now waiting for power to be restored in many parts of the city.</p><p><a href="">According to <em>ABC News,</em></a> more than 167,000 households were reported to be without power across the state of Texas, with 65,000 of those households within the city alone. Six schools within The Dallas Independent School District canceled classes on Monday due to “extensive damage." Authorities are still assessing the extent of the damage caused by the tornado and storms. </p><p><br />The city opened a local recreation center at 2 a.m. Monday morning for anyone seeking shelter, <a href="">according to local NBC affliliate in Dallas</a>.</p><p>The storm also effected surrounding states including Missouri and Arkansas — where one person was killed by a falling tree. According to <em>The AP</em> Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee will be hit with thunderstorms. </p><p>Commuters have been asked to avoid affected areas when traveling to and from work. </p>
Categories: Travel

The Madewell Tote Shoppers Call the 'Perfect Bag' Is on Sale Now

Travel and Leisure - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 06:01
<p>Finding a simple, yet functional tote bag for travel or daily use is easier said than done. Madewell's Medium Transport Tote, however, is the perfect combination of style and service. Plus, it's almost $30 off right now. </p><p>The bag is made from buttery soft vegetable-tanned leather, which holds up with wear and even looks better as it ages. You can carry the tote two ways — with the top handle or with the detachable shoulder strap — for maximum convenience.</p><img alt="Madewell Leather Tote "src=""><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a>, $130</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="">The Best Bag Organizers to Keep Your Purse From Becoming a Jumbled Mess</a></p><p>There's also a place for everything in this bag, thanks to minimal yet perfectly placed pockets. There's a large, flat external pocket to keep essentials within reach, as well as a zippered interior pocket for valuables. </p><img alt="Madewell Leather Tote "src=""><p>Shoppers can't seem to get enough of this bag, as demonstrated by rave reviews on Madewell's site.</p><p>"This is a perfect in-between size — I can still carry my laptop, wallet, planner, a couple of books, and a snack," said one reviewer.</p><p>Another buyer commented on the bag's convenient features. "I love the big exterior pocket and the interior zipper pocket. The shoulder strap is the perfect length to allow the bag to hang not too low, not too high at your side."</p><p>One shopper even mentioned that the bag was the perfect accessory on her recent travels. "I just returned from a trip to Mexico City and the bag was easy to keep safe, carried a lot, and stood up to a harrowing full speed run through an airport without breaking or spilling my things all over the floor." </p><p>Whether you're looking for a commuter bag to hold your laptop and a few other essentials or one to carry throughout a day of travel, this tote is the perfect compact option. As an added bonus, you can personalize your tote with up to 10 characters in a variety of colors for $10 when you shop in-store or <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank">online</a>. </p>
Categories: Travel

Do Pilots Actually Avoid Flying Over the Bermuda Triangle?

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/21/2019 - 14:00
<p>The Bermuda Triangle has always been <a href="">shrouded in mystery</a>. It’s a place of <a href="">alien abductions</a>, strange disappearances, and <a href="">ghostly sightings</a>, so naturally people get a little nervous when they think about flying over it.</p><h2>What is the Bermuda Triangle?</h2><p>Also known as the Devil’s Triangle or Hurricane Alley, this area of the Atlantic Ocean has been credited for causing a mass disappearances and a number of wrecks over the years. While people love to throw around conspiracy theories about each of these Bermuda Triangle stories, there may be perfectly logical explanations for all of them.</p><p>Still, the superstition continues around this relatively small slice of ocean, so much so that some people refuse to travel around it. Despite the spooky stories, you’d be surprised at how many times people have sailed or flown over the area and not noticed anything out of the ordinary.</p><h2>Where is the Bermuda Triangle?</h2><p>The Bermuda Triangle, according to the <a href="">Encyclopedia Britannica</a>, is an area of the Atlantic Ocean that doesn’t necessarily have an agreed-upon boundary, but it is generally considered to be the area bounded by the southeastern coast of the U.S., Bermuda, and the islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and, Puerto Rico. According to some calculations, the area makes up anywhere between 500,000 and 1.5 million square miles and is triangle-like in shape. It’s a pretty big area of ocean in general, though relatively small considering the ocean covers about 70 percent of the planet, or about <a href="">139.7 million square miles</a>.</p><p>According to Encyclopedia Britannica, there’s no telling how many ships or planes that have “disappeared” in the Bermuda Triangle, but some estimates guess around 50 ships and 20 aircraft have gone missing there. Despite these figures, data does not show that disappearances are more likely in this spot. There are two incidents that are considered mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle, specifically the disappearances of Flight 19 in 1945 and the USS Collier in 1918. There is no clear indication that these disappearances have anything to do with the supernatural, but they are still unexplained.</p><h2>Have people gone missing in the Bermuda Triangle? </h2><p>Conspiracy theorists have proposed many different, though mostly superstitious and inconceivable, reasons as to why disappearances and disasters occur in the Bermuda Triangle. Some have theorized that the area is a hotbed of alien activity, positing that these extra terrestrial beings are abducting humans for study, according to the <a href="">New York Post</a>. Alien theorists have considered this spot to be a sort of maritime Area 51. Others have suggested that it’s the real-life locations of the lost continent of Atlantis, therefore making it a portal to another dimension, according to <a href=""></a>.</p><p>The most likely culprit for these mysteries isn’t really a mystery at all. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), most scientific explanations include the many tropical storms and hurricanes which pass through this area and the Gulf Stream Current, which can cause sudden and extreme changes in the weather. There may even be some evidence that suggests that this area has a particular geomagnetic anomaly that can cause a ship or plane’s navigation to point to “true” north rather than “magnetic” north. This can lead to navigation failure, though it should be noted that magnetic fields are found all over the world and are not exclusive to this area. Other theories also include explosive methane gas that can float up to the water’s surface and cause ships to sink, according to <a href="">Live Science</a>, and simple, human error. In the case of Flight 19, according to Live Science, it is most likely that the squadron of bombers ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean. It’s a tragic disaster, but it may not be a true mystery.</p><p>The superstitions and stories still prevail, mostly because this area is perceived to have more disappearances or tragic accidents than other parts of the world. However, this is actually untrue. According to the <a href="">Huffington Post</a>, the World Wildlife Fund found the most dangerous waters on the planet, but the Bermuda Triangle isn’t one of them. In fact, it’s not even mentioned in the <a href="">report</a>.</p><p>According to Live Science, a third of all of all registered and privately owned ships in the U.S. are registered in the area considered to be part of the Bermuda Triangle, and about 82 percent of incidents in 2016 were due to people having little experience at sea. Inexperienced people using road maps or their smartphones to navigate, rather than specialized equipment, may also be contributing to the so-called mystery.</p><h2>Do pilots actually avoid it?</h2><p>Considering the superstition surrounding the Bermuda Triangle, many people assume that airline pilots actively avoid this area of the ocean. Of course, anyone who has flown from Miami to San Juan, Puerto Rico probably knows that’s not true. In fact, if it were, pretty much everyone’s Caribbean vacation would be ruined. A check on <a href=",-69.53/6">Flightradar24</a> will show that there are many flights that crisscross over the Bermuda Triangle, so it’s clear that the area is not actively avoided.</p><p>In terms of navigation, flights are constantly monitored by air traffic control, so pilots have support if there is a navigation failure. Weather conditions are also closely tracked every time a plane is scheduled to take off. Accidents, of course, still happen, but not any more so than in other parts of the world.</p><p>Investigating Bermuda Triangle conspiracy theories, in general, is more of a paranormal pursuit than a scientific one, so if there are any pilots who do avoid the Bermuda Triangle, they are probably just interested in the supernatural or UFOs. While entertaining these theories can certainly be fun, you can rest assured that the airline industry definitely doesn’t plan its routes around campfire stories.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Parisian Palace Was Once Home to Royalty — and Now You Can Book a Room With Views of the Eiffel Tower

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/21/2019 - 13:01
<p>The Eiffel Tower views, the indulgent French pastries, the quaint homes lining cobblestone streets — it’s hard not to have a magical time on a trip to Paris. But if you’re traveling from afar and hoping to return home with truly unforgettable memories of the City of Light, a stay in an <a href=";utm_medium=tlsite&amp;utm_campaign=parisian_palace&amp;utm_content=shangri_la">actual Parisian palace</a> may be up your alley. And if you book now through <a href=";utm_medium=tlsite&amp;utm_campaign=parisian_palace&amp;utm_content=shangri_la">Skylark</a>, you can snag some extra perks throughout your stay.</p><p>The elegant Shangri-La Hotel on the quieter west side of Paris was originally built in the late 1800s as a glitzy home for Prince Roland Bonaparte, the grand-nephew of Napoleon. Re-opened as a hotel in 2010, it now boasts an indoor pool (a space that was once a stable for Prince Roland’s horses), restored grand salons, and 101 spacious-yet-cozy guest rooms. The former royal residence sits directly across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower, meaning half of the rooms feature picturesque, close-up views of the monument that may or may not have been the motivation behind your whole trip. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, maybe the quick 15-minute taxi ride to the Louvre will.</p><img alt="Shangri-La Paris "src=""><p>The location and palace interior alone are enough to make any traveler swoon — but it’s the special gifts and services guests can access through Skylark that really takes a Shangri-La stay into luxury territory. Skylark perks at the hotel include a $100 food and beverage credit, daily breakfast for two, complimentary one-way airport transfer (for guests staying in suites), and more. In total, Shangri-La guests will receive more than $385 worth of perks when they use Skylark to reserve their room. And to stay in a palace that once housed a French prince, we’d say it’s a pretty royal deal!</p><p>Book this deal at <a href=";utm_medium=tlsite&amp;utm_campaign=parisian_palace&amp;utm_content=shangri_la"></a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Have a Witch Read Your Tarot Cards at This NYC Hotel — and I Tried It Myself

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/21/2019 - 11:30
<p>When I enter a hotel, I usually don’t feel nervous. But this time, as I walked into<a href="" target="_blank"> The James Hotel – Nomad</a>, a little shiver crept up my spine.</p><p>Unlike my <a href="" target="_blank">usual jaunts to hotels</a> around New York City to check out the bar or people watch in the lobby, this time I was heading straight to the penthouse to meet with a witch.</p><p>Yes, a witch.</p><p>This year, The James decided to truly embrace the spirit of the Halloween season by hosting a “Witch-in-Residence” at the hotel. Melissa Madara — said Witch-in-Residence and co-owner of <a href="" target="_blank">Catland Books</a>, “Brooklyn’s premier metaphysical boutique," — was waiting to introduce me to the occult and give me a private tarot card reading.</p><img alt="The James Hotel Nomad "src=""><p>Riding up the elevator, I thought back to the previous tarot readings I’d had at gimmicky parties or themed nights at bars. Nothing about it ever felt <em>real</em>, I’d say, because I didn’t know the person who would be laying out my future for me. This time was different, and I <em>felt</em> that; Madara lives and practices this craft every single day. In fact, I’d walked past her shop many times on the way to my favorite bar to watch “RuPaul’s Drag Race” every Thursday or Friday night for the last four years. I was just never brave enough to go in - but that all changed this day. </p><p>When I got to Penthouse 1, I took a deep breath and knocked. Then, as casual as ever, Madara opened the door and let me into the suite. There were no crystal balls, no black hats or spiderwebs on the wall. It was just me and her — both dressed like every other New Yorker — sitting in a nice living room separated by two decks of cards.</p><p>Ignorant, I started with the basics before we jumped into whatever the cards had in store for me, asking “What is the occult?” As it turns out, it simply means what is hidden, and to each person that can mean something totally different, Madara explained. For her it came naturally; her mother had been involved, so she grew up in it.</p><img alt="Catland Books "src=""><p>Like religion, this practice can be small or large, private or public, but for many, it’s simply just spiritual. In <a href="" target="_blank">Brooklyn</a>, it’s easy to get involved, and a trip to Catland Books in Bushwick is an easy introduction. In other parts of the country, it's a little more difficult to connect with the occult community. Enter: the perfect marriage of Madara and The James, teaming up to host private tarot card readings in the hotel every Wednesday for the month of October.</p><p>“What do you want to talk about?” she asked me while I shuffled the two decks. At previous readings this wasn’t a question asked; the reader just blindly told me what she found in the cards.</p><p>I rattled off the things constantly nagging at the top of my mind: money (duh), career, and health. And for the next 20 minutes we had less of a “reading,” per say, and more of a conversation about the things I was thinking and what the cards had to say about them.</p><img alt="Tarot Cards "src=""><p>While I won't tell you how the cards think my credit score is going to do in the future (blah!), I will say I left feeling vulnerable with my mind turning (in a good way). Before, I’d simply been told “you have a good life,” and maybe “be careful with the next person you meet.” But Madara took the time to explain each card, how she interpreted it, and how it might (or might not) apply to my life.</p><p>That dream I have of opening a furniture store? Maybe put it on hold for a while. My Health? Up and down (which is true), but nothing serious (in the near future, at least). I was satisfied.</p><p>I may not be a witch, but I don’t need tarot cards to see that as hotels are working to make super tailor-made experiences for guests — we’re talking <a href="" target="_blank">water concierges</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">in-room recording studios</a> — they’re also helping us take risks and explore areas outside of our comfort zones. And isn’t that the point of travel?</p><p>Had I not had the chance to visit The James’ Witch-in-Residence, I probably never would’ve stopped into Catland to get a true reading. But they made it easy for me, and now, when I’m unsure about something in life, I might just head to Bushwick to ask the cards again.</p><p>Until then, head to The James Nomad for “<a href="" target="_blank">Witching Wednesday</a>” and book a session between 15 minutes and an hour (prices start at $30). If that’s not enough, take “Potion Making 101” with Madara on Oct. 28 to “learn how to make your own take-home potion for personal spell-casting,” according to <em><a href="" target="_blank">Departures</a></em>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Where to Stay in London: The Best Neighborhoods and Hotels for Every Type of Traveler

Travel and Leisure - Mon, 10/21/2019 - 11:01
<p>Whether you want to walk in the footsteps of the <a href="">British royal family</a> or simply find the perfect afternoon tea, every traveler should visit The Big Smoke at least once in their life.This international metropolis is not only the capital of England and the United Kingdom, but its roots date back to the Roman era.</p><p>Related: <a href="">London Insider's Guide</a></p><p>Regardless of your age or who you’re traveling with, London offers something for everyone. From famous historic landmarks like Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, to modern art galleries and markets, there’s plenty to <a href="">see and do in the U.K. capital</a>. Whether you spend your trip shopping on Oxford Street or twirling around the London Eye, here’s where to stay for your upcoming trek across the pond.</p><img alt="Buckingham Palace in central London, UK. "src=""><h2>Where to Stay in London With Kids: St. James's </h2><p>Kids and parents alike will love staying in the St. James’s neighborhood of London. Booking a room in this area means you’re practically neighbors with the Queen herself, with Buckingham Palace located just a short walk away. The family-friendly St. James’s is near 3 of the royal parks- Hyde Park, Green Park, and St. James’s Park- making it the perfect place to stop for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Kids will love running around the parks and checking out the famous swans while parents enjoy a picnic on the lawn. As you tour the area, you can book a show at one of the nearby theaters or pop into the National Gallery to view works from the likes of van Gogh and Michelangelo. For lunch, nibble through <a href="">Fortum &amp; Mason’s </a>expansive food hall, filled with traditional British snacks, before venturing to nearby Piccadilly for more shopping. This is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in London, but you can find reasonably priced eats if you know where to look!</p><h2>Best Hotels in St. James Place</h2><p><a href="">DUKES London</a></p><p>As an independent luxury hotel in the heart of London, <a href="">Dukes</a> provides a bit of privacy for you and your family, thanks to their private courtyard near Green Park and Buckingham Palace. This 100-year-old hotel has comfortable, large suites, ideal for larger groups and families with kids. </p><p>Address: 35 St James's Pl, St. James's, London SW1A 1NY, UK</p><p>To book: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p><a href="">The Stafford London</a></p><p>A hop and a skip from the plentiful sights of the West End, <a href="">The Stafford</a> is an ideal spot for families that value privacy and space on vacation. Each suite is individually designed, and they come at various price points and sizes depending on your needs. At The Stafford, you can pick from rooms in 3 buildings with distinct atmospheres, from the grandeur of the Main House to the countryside vibe of the Carriage House, and more.</p><p>Address: 16-18 St James's Pl, St. James's, London SW1A 1NJ, UK</p><p>To book: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p><img alt="Covent Garden market in London, England "src=""><h2>Where to Stay in London as a First-time Visitor: Holborn and Covent Garden</h2><p>If you’ve never touched down in London Town, having a central location is essential to exploring every last nook and cranny of the city. There’s no better place to do this than the Holborn and Covent Garden neighborhoods. These adjacent areas encompass a large section of England’s capital, and they contain a plethora of attractions, covering everything from entertainment to history. Plenty of tube lines run through this area, so you’ll easily be able to explore the city via public transportation. Covent Garden is home to endless pubs, museums, restaurants, markets, and shops, and a majority of the famous West End theaters are also located in this neighborhood. The central location of Holborn and Covent Garden is perfect for first-time visitors hoping to make the most of their time in London.</p><h2>Best Hotels in Holborn and Covent Garden</h2><p><a href="">Rosewood Hotel</a></p><p>In the epicenter of London on High Holborn, the Rosewood Hotel was the first headquarters of the Pearl Assurance Company in 1914. Today, it is a modern luxury hotel that still features the original carriageway entrance, a marble staircase, an outdoor terrace, a lounge, and more. The hotel also offers some incredible onsite dining- don’t miss the art-themed afternoon tea in the beautiful Mirror Room or the live jazz at the Scarfes Bar. </p><p>Address: 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN, UK</p><p>To book: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p><a href="">ME London</a></p><p>With a just-about-perfect location that puts you in the middle of theaters, nightclubs, and tourist spots, ME London offers everything first-time visitors need! Book one of the 157 guestrooms or 16 suites on this flagship ME property for a five-star luxury experience, complete with a fitness center and valet parking. </p><p>Address: Strand, London WC2R 1HA, UK</p><p>To book: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p><img alt="Facade of opulent British Victorian Edwardian terraced flat in red bricks in Chelsea, London. "src=""><h2>Where to Stay in London for a Local Experience: Chelsea</h2><p>If your wanderlust inspires you to mingle with locals everywhere you go, it’s important to stay in an area that isn’t overrun by tourists. The Chelsea neighborhood is known among Londoners as a posh place to be, and you’ll find plenty of high-end boutiques and restaurants along King’s Road. During the day, you can explore an art exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery or see a play at the Royal Court Theater. At night, check out one of the many pubs and bars in the area like Juju or The Bletchley.</p><h2>Best Hotels in Chelsea</h2><p><a href="">Sydney House Chelsea</a></p><p>Just off of the bustling King's Road, you'll find Sydney House. This Georgian townhouse offers 21 comfortable, modern rooms with historic touches. For a bit of fresh air, upgrade to a room with a terrace, or book the room on the top floor for access to your very own rooftop garden! </p><p>Address: 9-11 Sydney St, Chelsea, London SW3 6PU, UK</p><p>To book: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p><a href="">Belmond Cadogan Hotel</a></p><p>Located on Sloane Street in the heart of Chelsea, <a href="">this historic hotel </a>features all the amenities you’d expect out of a five-star stay. Staying at this hotel gives you access to the Cadogan Place gardens, a spa suite, and a library, all located just steps from some of London’s best shopping.</p><p>Address: 75 Sloane St, Chelsea, London SW1X 9SG, United Kingdom</p><p>To book: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p><img alt="People crossing Bethnal Green Road a rainy day. It´s located in Shoreditch, near Brick Lane Market. "src=""><h2>Where to Stay in London for Nightlife: Shoreditch</h2><p><a href="">Shoreditch</a> is London’s trendiest neighborhood, attracting young Londoners and visitors alike with its ever-expanding art scene and vibrant nightlife. Here, you’ll find endless street art, clubs, bars, restaurants featuring cuisines from across the world, and beyond. Staying in this London neighborhood gives you a local’s perspective on the UK capital, but it’s still just a short ride on the tube away from major tourist attractions. Staying in this neighborhood will give you an opportunity to see what it is like to live in London-not just visit.</p><h2>Best Hotels in Shoreditch</h2><p><a href="">The Hoxton Hotel</a></p><p><a href="">The Hoxton</a> opened recently in 2006, but it has already solidified its reputation as one of the coolest hotels in the area. Here, you’ll find contemporary-style rooms, affordable rates, and more. The boutique style is less fussy than other establishments, and the cocktails in the lounge are not to be missed.</p><p>Address: 81 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3HU, UK</p><p>To book: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p><p><a href="">The Z Hotel</a></p><p>With a truly urban vibe, this off-the-straight-and-narrow hotel is budget-friendly and different than anything you’ve ever experienced. It was built into a former office building, so don’t expect too many bells and whistles, but you will feel like part of the neighborhood as you return home from a long day of sightseeing. </p><p>Address: 136-144 City Rd, London EC1V 2RL, UK</p><p>To book: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="" target="_blank"></a></p>
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