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  • pinitbutton Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik, Croatia   Hotel Review
excelsior dubrovnik view 500x255 Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik, Croatia   Hotel Review

The view from Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik


by Ben Narasin


In Croatia, one of eight Balkan states created from the breakup of Yugoslavia, the oceanside walled city of Dubrovnik showcases a mélange of three styles. These distinctive styles will be familiar to any traveler who has visited an ex-eastern-bloc Soviet Union component state: the historic European beauty that predates communism, the cinder block and cement utilitarian ugliness that embodies it, and the trappings of tourism and trade that has been newly installed upon the Communist party’s departure.

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  • pinitbutton Holiday Season Starts Panoramically at Top of the Mark
top of the mark tea 500x408 Holiday Season Starts Panoramically at Top of the Mark

Holiday tea service at Top of the Mark


by Anneli Rufus


What could possibly be more inviting on a chilly day in the big city than a pot of hot tea flanking a multi-tiered tray fully stocked with French pastries and finger sandwiches, perfectly appointed with such dainty details as herb sprigs, raspberry halves and striped chocolate curls? The answer to that one is easy: all of the above, plus scones, Champagne and one of the most spectacular vistas anywhere in the known world.


Keeping up a nearly century-long tradition beloved by many generations of San Franciscans, the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins hotel has just announced a series of lavish holiday celebrations at its world-famous rooftop restaurant and bar, Top of the Mark
.

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  • pinitbutton Ocean House, Rhode Island   Hotel Review
ocean house exterior 500x288 Ocean House, Rhode Island   Hotel Review

The exterior of Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island


by Meryl Pearlstein


Set on a bluff overlooking the town of Watch Hill, Ocean House is a meticulous, $149-million recreation of the original 1868 hotel of the same name. While it has decidedly 21st-century luxuries and conveniences, it conveys the mood of an earlier era, when its namesake was the last of eight grand Watch Hill resorts built during the area’s heyday, which lasted into the 1920s.

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  • pinitbutton Alila Ubud, Bali, Indonesia   Hotel Review
alila ubud pool1 500x261 Alila Ubud, Bali, Indonesia   Hotel Review

The pool at Alila Ubud in Bali


by Evelyn Chen


Just five kilometers north of Bali’s Ubud village, the Alila Ubud is hidden away in the Ayung Valley. With the lush landscape as its backdrop, a postcard-perfect infinity pool that seems suspended in midair symbolizes the retreat’s paradisiacal ambience, and the property thrives on its reputation as a place for communing with nature. This harmony begins with the hotel’s own construction. The bamboo-pillared lobby overlooks verdant fields from which alang-alang is harvested for the thatched roofs, while the banks of the Ayung River supply the river stones that stud the walls and pavements.

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15

Oct

  • pinitbutton The Four Seasons Hotels Food Truck?


by Sophie Gayot


When the Four Seasons Hotels take it to the streets, they take it in the form of a food truck! The Four Seasons Hotels Food Truck is an idea developed during a corporate meeting that was two years in the making. The truck is currently touring cities in the western United States which are home to Four Seasons Hotels, starting in Palo Alto and ending in Santa Fe.

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  • pinitbutton When the Hôtel Plaza Athénée Closes Its Doors
alain ducasse francois delahaye 500x492 When the Hôtel Plaza Athénée Closes Its Doors

François Delahaye, Hôtel Plaza Athénée general manager, chef Alain Ducasse with Sophie Gayot


by Sophie Gayot


Although I missed the 100th-anniversary celebration of Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris in April of this year, I was there last night for its “unofficial” closing ceremony. Yes, you read that correctly, the Plaza’s last day was September 30th. Rest assured, it is closing for a good cause: to reopen with even more grandeur (if that is even possible).

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  • pinitbutton Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai   Review
guest room 500x333 Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai   Review

A guest room at the Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai


by Evelyn Chen


Between the busloads of tourists and the history buffs that flock to this Bund landmark to experience a piece of Shanghai’s history, the public spaces at the Fairmont Peace Hotel might not quite embody its name. But what the property lacks in tranquility, it more than makes up for in iconic status, given its storied past as the Cathay Hotel, built in 1929 and then owned by one of the city’s most notable businessmen, Sir Victor Sassoon.

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  • pinitbutton The US Grant, A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego   Review
exterior 500x324 The US Grant, A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego   Review

The exterior of The US Grant hotel in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter


A Historic and Storied Gem in the Gaslamp Quarter


Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The US Grant hotel has been a San Diego icon since its debut in 1910. While the handsome hotel itself is a sight to see, its history is what makes this property so fascinating. The land (which was once owned by the Kumeyaay tribe) was the home of San Diego’s first major hotel, Horton House Hotel, until it was bought and demolished by Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., son of the eighteenth U.S. president. In its place, he built The US Grant (named after his father), an eleven-story, luxury hotel in what is now the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego.

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  • pinitbutton Beaches Turks and Caicos   Hotel Review
Beaches Beach Vista 500x334 Beaches Turks and Caicos   Hotel Review

Beach Vista at Beaches Turks and Caicos


A Caribbean Gem for Families


By John and Sandra Nowlan


As we approached our resort, our friendly driver boasted that the Turks and Caicos offer the best of all worlds — British passports for its 30,000 citizens, the American dollar as its currency and a Canadian banking and health care system. Located where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic just southeast of the Bahamas, this tranquil and tropical archipelago of 40 islands and cays (eight of which are inhabited) also offers the clearest and brightest turquoise water we’ve ever seen, fantastic white sand beaches and several resorts that rate among the best in the world.

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  • pinitbutton Washington School House Hotel, Park City   Review
pool 500x397 Washington School House Hotel, Park City   Review

The rooftop pool at Washington School House Hotel in Park City, Utah


Old School is the New Cool


Park City hasn’t always been the winter and summer sports mecca it is today. The city’s fame originally developed through the discovery of gold, silver and lead and the establishment of silver mines in the 1860s. To provide for the influx of migrating miners and their families, three schools were built — Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson (Washington School House is the only remaining today). After a series of tragic events — World War I, the Great Depression, a fire that almost destroyed the city and an explosion that killed 34 miners — the local mining industry collapsed. Luckily, the city was able to capitalize on something that would prove to be more profitable and long-term: ski tourism. Its first ski resort opened in 1963, and today, Park City houses more tourists than residents. That explains the metamorphosis undergone by the Washington School House in its 120-year history, from school to bed-and-breakfast and now ultra-luxe boutique hotel.

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