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by Martha Burr
A cutting-edge destination for eco-tourism, Rwanda’s top luxury safari lodge borders the continent’s largest mountain rainforest and offers extraordinary chimpanzee trekking.
Rwanda offers a luxury boutique resort experience not to be missed at the edge of one of the continent’s oldest mountain rainforests. Nyungwe Forest Lodge sits like a dream on a rolling hilltop in the midst of the vast working Gisakura Tea Estate, with airy private bungalows that sometimes offer fleeting views of monkeys springing past in the forest.
Located in the heart of San Francisco’s bustling financial district, this posh property is more than just a high-end business hotel. Occupying the top eleven floors of the city’s third-tallest building, the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco provides incomparable sweeping views that stretch from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge. The hotel caters to a sophisticated traveler clientele, whether it’s those who like to call it home while on business, or visitors who prefer a luxurious and comfortable resting place while touring “The City by the Bay.”
by Becky Sue Epstein
In the lobby of this stylish hotel, everything is oversized, from ceiling height to furniture. Peering through the sheer white curtains to the left, guests will see a sprinkling of cool-looking people around the pool table at any hour of the day or night. Behind another set of white sheers on the right is the restaurant Tempt, with a menu that claims to be an “updated takes on Southern and New Orleans cooking.” In-room dining, handled by the same kitchen, is offered from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. As an antidote, the gym is complimentary.
by Becky Sue Epstein
All things “Yo” come to Manhattan this June with the opening of New York City‘s first Yotel, just off Times Square. Founded by English business partners Simon Woodroffe and Gerard Greene in 2007, Yotel specializes in small, budget-priced rooms that have previously only been seen in European airports like London‘s Heathrow and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Inspired by Japanese capsule-style accommodations, Yotel has in the past been criticized for its cramped quarters and often noisy corridors. Given the quirky chain’s less-than-stellar reputation, I was expecting the worst when I went to a pre-opening reception for Yotel’s NYC outpost. Cringing, I entered the giant building a few blocks west of Port Authority. Despite the polite black-clad hosts, it was pretty stark, and made more so by a demonstration of Yobot, the large machine that grabs and stores luggage, on view behind a giant plate glass window which made it seem like we were in a factory.
However, up on the fourth floor, the space was more welcoming. First, there were more people, and second there was food — always a draw for me. This floor has several lounge, bar and restaurant areas, with various seating options, in an open, mid-century modern/Asian setting. Well-known chef Richard Sandoval (of the Zengo restaurant empire) offers fusion cuisine that includes European and New World, with a touch of Asian. Asia also influences the design of the items in the lobby shop kiosk floating near the elevators.
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