This All-glass Dining Room in the Catskill Mountains Is the Best Place to See Fall Foliage

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 12:30
<p>Just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Manhattan, <a href="" target="_blank">The DeBruce</a>, a cuisine-driven inn tucked inside the western Catskill Mountains, offers the kind of escape life in the fast lane occasionally requires. </p><p>The voyage to The DeBruce will swing you through Sullivan County, a breath of fresh air all its own. Sweeping country landscapes, mom and pop shops, and picturesque downtowns blossom like wildflowers along rustic roads, painting a picture of simpler times. </p><p>What makes The DeBruce such a special place is the seamless way it blends rustic charm with luxury and its ability to evoke an experience for its guests. Each night includes a multi-course dinner, each morning a thoughtful breakfast. And the views ensure you'll never forget to be in awe of your natural surroundings. </p><h2>It All Starts in the Dining Room</h2><p>The most stunning place on the property is undeniably the dining room. It’s also the focal point of the operation. The panoramic windows that plaster the walls come alive with a dramatic mountainous backdrop. The DeBruce forages from its own property and sources from top local farms to create dishes that are both artistic and flavorful. This element of bringing the region to life while gazing upon its landscape is symbiotic and creates a unique synergy between plate, aesthetic, and story.</p><p>The ever-evolving seasonal menu is the brainchild of chef Aksel Theilkuhl and his small, tight-knit band of chefs, foragers, and local producers. A two-night stay includes a steakhouse-style meal as well as a nine-course menu which rides the lines of traditional and experimental. Breakfast, served a la carte with coffee and fresh juice, serves up the same artisanal spirit found at the core of The DeBruce’s workings.</p><p>Following the conclusion of your meal, make your way to the downstairs bar which evokes an energy meant for passionate conversation. Continue your regional culinary immersion and order a Catskill Provisions Honey Whiskey on the rocks. Its natural sweetness and super smooth notes create a proper after-dinner drink. As you sink into conversation and find your glass emptying, you’ll understand why it's an essential part of the experience.</p><h2>Getting to Know the Catskills</h2><p>The DeBruce gets its heart and soul from Sullivan County native Sims Foster and his wife Kristen. The pair also own several hotels and restaurant properties in the region under Foster Supply Hospitality, and their charming presence can often be found around the property.</p><p>Foster comes with years of experience under elite hospitality brands in New York City, but his genuine passion for this region will spark a love for the area in even the newest of visitors. His properties, of which The DeBruce is the crown jewel, are doing something far more important than creating vacations, they’re preserving a way of life. The DeBruce is a place that removes the stresses of daily life, replacing them with something timeless and increasingly rare: moments.</p><img alt="The DeBruce, Upstate New York "src=""><h2>A Historic Region Brimming With Adventure</h2><p>Sullivan County was once one a premier vacation destination in the Tri-State Area. The swift and scenic car trek from downstate was a practical getaway, especially in a time before traveling by air was accessible and affordable. When that changed in the '80s and '90s, things took a turn for the worse.</p><p>“They just stopped coming,” a local once mentioned to me, her memories lingering on the county’s fading golden days. “Our tourism industry was nothing short of booming… but once people realized that they could fly, things up here started slowing down.”</p><p>Recently though, the region has enjoyed quite a resurgence among <a href="" target="_blank">openings of boutique hotels</a>, distilleries, breweries, and restaurants. If you find yourself seeking an adventure, these experiences won’t let you down.</p><p>Catch a show at the historic <a href="" target="_blank">Forestburgh Playhouse</a></p><p>Kayak the Delaware River with <a href="" target="_blank">Lander’s River Trips</a></p><p>Hang out with alpacas at <a href="" target="_blank">Buck Brook Alpacas Farm </a></p><p>Grab savory pastries at a new-age German bakery, <a href="" target="_blank">Brandenburg Bakery</a></p><p>Eat caramelized onion mac and cheese at <a href="" target="_blank">The Heron </a></p><p>Tour a revolutionary mushroom farm, <a href="" target="_blank">Agrarian Feast</a></p><p>Grab a bowl of homemade pasta at <a href="" target="_blank">Northern Farmhouse Pasta</a> (hours may vary)</p>
Categories: Travel

Right Now, Europe’s Best Shopping City Isn’t Paris or Milan

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 12:01
<p>People who’ve never been to Copenhagen tend to imagine its style in extremes: cozy comfort (a.k.a. hygge) or chic minimalism. But a casual walk along the city’s cobblestoned streets tells a more nuanced story. There’s nothing quaint or austere about the way Danes dress. And amid a general resurgence of <a href="" target="_blank">Scandinavian cool</a> in popular culture, Copenhagen has emerged as a genuine style hub, drawing a growing international crew of editors, buyers, and street-style photographers to its fashion weeks in August and late January. Color pops up everywhere, and the dominant sensibility is a cross between romantic whimsy and streetwise cool — always with sensitivity to detail and proportion.</p><p>As Pernille Teisbæk, the city’s most visible fashion influencer and the author of <em>Dress Scandinavian</em>, describes it, the classic Danish style is “a playful mix of materials.” Perhaps no brand better epitomizes this look than women’s wear label <strong><a href=";g=g" target="_blank">Ganni</a></strong>, the Copenhagen fashion industry’s biggest recent success story, whose signature mash-up — silky, flouncy florals layered with nubby knitwear and graphic sweatshirts — has amassed a following of #gannigirls on Instagram. Ganni’s statement pieces can be procured from big-name retailers online, but the Copenhagen flagship corrals everything into one sleek, golden-paneled space in the heart of the IndreBy neighborhood.</p><p><strong>Related</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">Copenhagen’s Upstart Fashion Influencers</a></p><img alt="Interior of Lot 29 shop in Copenhagen, Denmaek "src=""><p>This district concentrates a plethora of shopping options in what was once a medieval walled city, making for a destination that’s supremely walkable and just a <a href="" target="_blank">bike ride away</a> from most other attractions. Here you’ll find that Copenhagen residents have nailed the concept of elevated kicks, perhaps because their feet serve such a crucial role in transportation. Collectors are spoiled for choice: there’s <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Rezet Sneaker Store</a></strong>, a shop teeming with limited-edition specimens; <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Naked</a></strong>, which caters to the all-too-often-underserved community of female sneakerheads; and <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Storm</a></strong>, which stocks rarities by the likes of Raf Simons and Yeezy.</p><img alt="Interior and detail of the Hay shop, in Copenhagen, Denmark "src=""><img alt="Teacups for sale at Hay, in Copenhagen, Denmark "src=""><p>For more local talent, venture a block or so in either direction. <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Holly Golightly</a></strong> carries punkishly pretty jewelry by Sophie Bille Brahe and the colorful patchwork furs of wunderkind duo Saks Potts, while <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Lot#29</a></strong> features designer Cecilie Bahnsen’s voluminous dresses and <strong><a href="" target="_blank">All at Sea CPH</a></strong>, a line devoted to the possibilities of printed pajama silk. An even deeper dive awaits shoppers at <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Sabine Poupinel</a></strong>, whose eponymous owner has been sourcing crafty pieces from Denmark’s indie avant-garde set since the 1970s and continues to pinpoint clothing and accessories that look like nothing, and no place, else.</p>
Categories: Travel

Kate Middleton Starting a Women’s Drinking Club in College Proves She the Most Down-to-Earth Royal (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 11:30
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Kate Middleton</a> may look like a prim and proper Duchess today, but, once upon a time, she was a college party animal just like the rest of us.</p><p>According to a 2007 report by <a href="" target="_blank"><i>The Guardian</i></a>, which was recently resurfaced by <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Elle Magazine</i></a>, Middleton once founded an all-girls social drinking club while she was a student at St. Andrews.</p><p>“At university, Kate continued to grow in confidence,” <i>The Guardian</i> wrote. The website explained that the future Duchess co-founded the girls' drinking society because she was “annoyed that the old ones excluded women.”</p><p>Though Kate founded the club, nobody can really remember her getting out of control with her drinks, according to <i>The Guardian</i>. Instead, they simply remember her as being a bit of a rebel. And that includes her time on the school’s catwalk during fashion week.</p><p>“It was just a student charity event,” one person told <i>The Guardian </i>at the time. “Tickets were £20, not £200 as reported, and the room was basically full of friends. It was no big deal.”</p><p>As to Middleton’s preferred cocktail of choice, <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Elle Decor</i></a> shared that it’s likely something containing Jack Daniels. She’s also been known to enjoy a drink known as the 'Crack Baby,' which is the <a href="" target="_blank">signature cocktail served at Boujis</a>, Prince Harry's favorite nightclub. The drink,<i> Elle Decor</i> reported, is a mixture of vodka, raspberry liqueur, passion fruit and champagne.</p><p>Though she clearly likes her beverage concoctions, there is one thing you’ll never see her mix together — tea and almond milk. In January, the Duchess <a href="" target="_blank">squashed a rumor</a> that she enjoys the nut milk in her afternoon tea by telling a charity worker who offered her some “Don’t believe everything you read — I don’t even like almond milk.”</p><p>Maybe next time they should just have a bottle of Jack handy instead.</p>
Categories: Travel

Writing Fake TripAdvisor Reviews Landed This Man in Jail

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 11:16
<p>On Wednesday, a man received a nine-month prison sentence for selling fake reviews to Italian companies on TripAdvisor.</p><p>"We see this as a landmark ruling for the Internet," TripAdvisor's associate general counsel Brad Young said in a statement. "Writing fake reviews has always been fraud, but this is the first time we've seen someone sent to jail as a result."</p><p>The Criminal Court of Lecce, which handed down the sentence, also ordered the business owner to pay a fine of 8,000 euros (approximately $9,200 USD) to cover the damages.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">This Is the World's Most-booked Tour on TripAdvisor (Video)</a></p><p>TripAdvisor was first made aware of the owner's business, PromoSalento, in 2015 after several hospitality businesses forwarded his e-mails soliciting his services to the travel website. The e-mails said that his company would write positive reviews and help improve the property's ratings in exchange for a fee.</p><p>PromoSalento had attempted to submit over 1,000 reviews on hundreds of hotels and restaurants, <a href="" target="_blank">TripAdvisor said in an in-depth report</a>. Through its <a href=";cjp=7254700&amp;cjs=114047X1572903X41c206697e7acc159957eff16c7d7271&amp;m=13092" target="_blank">tracking technology</a>, TripAdvisor was able to identify these reviews before blocking or removing them.</p><p>Most companies that paid PromoSalento for fake reviews were demoted within the TripAdvisor Popularity Ranking, while some were given red badges that warned potential customers they were not to be trusted. A few of these businesses assisted TripAdvisor in its investigation by sharing bank transactions and receipts.</p><p>While TripAdvisor examined the case, the Italian police had been conducting a separate investigation into PromoSalento, and ultimately brought their case to court. TripAdvisor joined the legal proceedings as a civil claimant, and provided the prosecution with its own evidence.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">How to Spot a Fake Hotel Review</a></p><p>Since 2015, TripAdvisor has stopped over 60 paid review companies from engaging in fraudulent activities. The company wants to make it clear that "writing fake reviews constitutes criminal conduct under laws relating to impersonation fraud," citing the European Union's <a href="" target="_blank">Unfair Commercial Practices Directive</a>, which prohibits "the practice of falsely representing oneself as a consumer."</p><p>"By working together with the prosecutors in Italy, we have shown those trying to offer paid reviews that they have some skin in the game... and there are repercussions coming for their real-world actions," <a href="" target="_blank">Young said</a>.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">Our Editors’ Picks of the Best New Hotels in the World</a></p><p>In the United States people who write paid reviews are unlikely to be sent to jail. "I've never seen anything like that happen here in the U.S., but then again our laws are very different from those of Europe," Arizona attorney Anette J. Beebe told the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Boston Globe</em></a>. "The U.S. seems to see these a lot more as civil matters."</p><p>Hospitality businesses in the U.S. are more likely to sue people who post slanderous comments on sites like TripAdvisor, while others have been forced to pay massive fines for <a href="" target="_blank">invalidating negative reviews</a>.</p><p>This case could be considered a turning point for the travel site. According to the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Boston Globe</em></a>, Italian officials have previously investigated TripAdvisor for their failure to remove fake reviews from the platform, and in 2017, <a href="" target="_blank">the company received backlash for deleting reviews reporting rapes and sexual assault</a> at Mexican resorts.</p>
Categories: Travel

What to Know About Hurricane Florence If You've Got a Caribbean Vacation Coming Up (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 11:02
<p>As <a href="" target="_blank">Hurricane Florence</a> barrels its way to toward the East Coast, airlines are giving travelers the option to postpone their trips to parts of the U.S. and the Carribean in an effort to keep people safe.</p><p>If you've got a trip coming up to the Caribbean, be sure to check the forecast and the status of your flights with your airline.</p><p>“The American Integrated Operations Center (IOC) in Fort Worth, Texas, continues to closely monitor the track of these storms, and is closely coordinating with the National Weather Service, Federal Aviation Administration and local airports,” American Airlines <a href="" target="_blank">announced in a statement</a>.</p><p>American is offering refunds for any canceled or excessively delayed flights, added reduced fares for last-minute flights out of impacted areas, and is allowing passengers to change their routes. The airline has canceled about 565 flights from Wednesday to Sunday so far.</p><p>British Airways will allow all customers who are currently booked to travel to Antigua, the Dominican Republic, Providenciales, St. Kitts, St. Lucia or the Port of Spain the option to postpone their trips through Monday, September 17, <a href=";region=3&amp;m_id=Y!Y!vY!_rY!~A&amp;w_id=35137&amp;news_id=2033985" target="_blank"><em>TravelMole</em> reported</a>. The airline is also allowing passengers with travel plans to Washington or Baltimore to change their itineraries as well. Those travelers can change their travel dates through Wednesday, September 19.</p><p>Delta is allowing passengers the option to re-book through September 20.</p><p>The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association predicted this <a href="">hurricane season</a> (which runs through November 30) will be <a href="" target="_blank">average or above-average, with 10 to 16 named storms. As </a><a href="" target="_blank">of now</a>, Hurricane Florance, Tropical Storm Issac, Hurricane Helene, and Tropical Storm Olivia have been identified. For more information, here’s what to know about <a href="" target="_blank">traveling during hurricane season</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Why You Shouldn't Freak Out If You See Your Pilot Sleeping on a Flight (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 10:50
<p>Earlier this week, a United Airlines <a href="" target="_blank">pilot</a> was snapped taking a nap in the cabin of a flight from the U.S. to <a href="" target="_blank">Glasgow</a>, leaving some passengers on board the flight surprised. </p><p>A retired police inspector who allegedly took the photo of the pilot told <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Daily Record</a></em> the captain went into the aircraft’s restroom to change out of his uniform before returning and taking a nap in a seat for 90 minutes. </p><p>While travelers may not always see a pilot taking a rest during a flight, the practice is not a cause for concern in cases like flight United 161. In fact, pilots are actually mandated by <a href="" target="_blank">Federal Aviation Administration</a> (FAA) regulations to take rest periods for certain amounts of time. </p><p>In the case of the United Airlines flight, which departed from Newark, New Jersey to Glasgow, Scotland on Aug. 22, United Airlines operates the aircraft on this route with a cockpit crew of three, an airline spokesperson told <em>Travel + Leisure</em>.</p><p>Under federal aviation regulations <a href="" target="_blank">FAR 117</a>, pilots are required to take rest periods outside of the cockpit during long flights, with aircraft that have three pilots on board rotating to allot each pilot the required amount of rest time.</p><p>Rest requirements typically kick in on flights of eight hours or longer, but since the airline had three pilots scheduled for this trip, the pilot was complying with standard protocol when taking his rest, the airline spokesperson confirmed to T+L.</p><p>“The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority,” an airline spokesperson said. “On trans-Atlantic flights such as the flight between GLA and EWR, our pilots are required by the FAA to take a rest break.”</p><p>The reason why passengers ended up seeing the pilot taking a nap on the flight is because it was operated on the smaller Boeing 757-200. While larger planes allow for airlines to have separate crew rest areas above the forward galley, mid-sized planes like the 757-200 will often have one of the lie-flat seats reserved for crew rest purposes. This is the case for United, as the airline reserves one of its 16 lie-flat business-class seats on board the aircraft specifically for crew rest. </p><p>There are <a href="" target="_blank">three different classes of crew rest areas</a>, as defined by the FAA. Class 1 rest areas include bunks, typically located above the passenger compartment, class 2 areas include lie-flat first or business class seats that are typically separated from passengers through the use of a curtain, and class 3 specifies seats on the cabin or flight deck that recline at least 40 degrees and provides leg and foot support. </p>
Categories: Travel

Norwegian Will Pay for Your Flight If You Book an Alaskan Cruise (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 09:33
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Norwegian Cruise Line</a> wants you to come on board for 2019 — and they're willing to throw you some serious perks to prove it.</p><p>On Thursday, Norwegian announced it will be offering free and reduced airfare for new reservations on <a href="" target="_blank">Norwegian Joy’s</a> seven-day <a href="" target="_blank">Alaska</a> itineraries from April through September 2019. But if you want in on the deal, you better act fast.</p><p>The offer, Norwegian explained in a statement to <i>Travel + Leisure</i>, will be available to the general public for just one day on Sept. 14. However, if you’ve ever been a past guest on a Norwegian cruise you will gain access to the deal one day early on Sept.13.</p><p>“Alaska itineraries are some of our most popular cruises amongst travelers nationwide, as they offer one of the best ways to see and experience the Last Frontier,” Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line, said in a statement. </p><p>According to Norwegian, the bookings must be made for a balcony room or better in order to be eligible for free or reduced roundtrip economy class airfare for up to two guests. And those guests will be able to depart and return to more than 100 airports across the United States and Canada.</p><p>Guests who book an even higher class on the Haven or Concierge level will receive complimentary airfare at all eligible airports. Guests may also instead opt for a discount of up to $1,000 per stateroom rather than receive free airfare. But the gifts don’t stop there. The airfare promotion can also be combined with Norwegian’s <a href="" target="_blank">Free at Sea</a> offering, which allows guests to select up to five amenities of their choosing before setting sail.</p><p>The cruise also offers a variety of itineraries featuring Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Holkham Bay, and Icy Strait Point, according to Norwegian, meaning guests will really get to see the best Alaska has to offer. Of course, like all good deals, additional <a href="" target="_blank">terms and conditions</a> may apply, but this may be the excuse you’ve been looking for to finally book that <a href="" target="_blank">Alaskan adventure</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Guy Fieri's New Fried Chicken Restaurant at Disney Springs Has Over 20 Dipping Sauces to Choose From

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 08:52
<p>Flavor Town has officially come to Disney, everyone.</p><p>No matter what your opinion of Guy Fieri is, you can’t deny the allure of tasty fried chicken. And Fieri knows this. And it’s probably why he brought a brand new restaurant, Chicken Guy!, to Disney Orlando Springs, according to the <a href="" target="_blank">Disney Parks Blog</a>.</p><p>Plans and details for the restaurant were <a href="" target="_blank">announced back in July</a>, and it looks like every promise Fieri made about the new fast-casual restaurant has come true. Fieri is a man of his word, after all.</p><p>“Food is the common denominator of all folks, and chicken is a common denominator in food, among all ethnicities, all cultures...Chicken is affordable, it’s healthy and is such a chameleon ... and super-sustainable. You can do just about anything with it. So we have chicken, fried or grilled, by itself or on sandwiches, with some awesome combinations for flavor,” said Fieri to <a href="" target="_blank">Florida Today</a>.</p><p>Chicken Guy!, in Fieri fashion, is an all-out chicken extravaganza, bringing customers affordable chicken tenders and sandwiches, as well as fries, fully loaded salads and, of course, all of the sauces. The new restaurant is a collaboration between Fieri and Robert Earl, owner of Planet Hollywood, according to <a href="" target="_blank">Insider</a>.</p><p>Name a sauce. Fieri has it. There are literally over 20 to choose from, including chipotle ranch, curry mayo, peri peri, and yes, donkey sauce. Frankly, we would just pick them all and never have to dunk in the same sauce twice.</p><p>Fries can be ordered plain, or get Fieri’s signature “Mac Daddy Mac n’ Cheese” seasoning, or just smother it in nacho cheese and add toppings. The world is your oyster (or your chicken coop?) at Chicken Guy!.</p><p>If you love chicken and sandwiches<i> and</i> avocado, Chicken Guy! also offers the Big Bite B.L.A.T., a sandwich made with two chicken tenders, bacon, lettuce, avocado crema, tomatoes, and buttermilk ranch.</p><p>And for dessert, you can also score some Flavortown Frozen Treats, reported the Disney Parks Blog. Soft serve ice creams with tons of toppings are the best way to finish off your fried chicken experience.</p><p>Chicken Guy! officially opened on September 4 and is serving up its juicy chicken tenders seven days a week at Disney Orlando Springs.</p><p>More information on the restaurant can be found on the <a href="" target="_blank">Chicken Guy! website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The World’s Largest Indoor Ski Resort Will Have an Ice Hotel

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 08:20
<p>It will soon be possible to hit the slopes from Shanghai without leaving the city, in what is expected to be the world’s largest indoor ski resort.</p><p>Wintastar will spread across almost 1 million square feet and allow visitors to experience perfect skiing conditions 365 days a year — no matter what’s happening outside, <a href="" target="_blank">CNN reported</a>.</p><p>Those who wish to stay in cold conditions can even book a room at the on-site ice hotel. There will be three other hotels at varying price points, offering different experiences like ski-in/ski-out lodgings or après-ski entertainment.</p><p>Visitors will be able to choose from three different slopes, <a href="" target="_blank">one which promises to meet</a> the “Olympic standard for training,” measuring more than 1.8 miles (3 km).</p><p>Guests at Wintastar will get to see “world-class winter sport competitions, ice sculpture shows, several theatres showcasing a wide variety of theatrical shows, concerts and multi-dimensional cinematic displays,” <a href="" target="_blank">according to the developers</a>. There will also be restaurants and retail spaces throughout Wintastar.</p><p>The Wintastar doesn’t yet have a date set for completion, but construction has already begun. It is likely that the project will be completed before the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022.</p><p>The company behind the project is the same that built <a href="" target="_blank">Ski Dubai</a>. The UAE indoor ski resort was the largest in the world when it was built back in 2005. The facility in Shanghai will be almost three times larger.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Hello Kitty Café in California Is the Perfect Place for Fancy Cocktails and Sugary Treats (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 08:14
<p>A new café in Southern California is serving up treats that are way too adorable to eat.</p><p>A new, permanent Hello Kitty-themed establishment, <a href="" target="_blank">the Hello Kitty Grand Café</a>, will open at the Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine, California this Friday, and will be your number one place for afternoon tea and cocktails, as well as sweets like mini donuts, macarons, and various cakes, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Lonely Planet</em> reported</a>.</p><img alt="Hello Kitty Cafe in Irvine, California "src=""><p>It’s also a paradise for everyone who is obsessed with the Japanese cartoon kitten, Hello Kitty, and the rest of her Sanrio-created friends.</p><p>The café, now decked out in white, gold, and pink as well as Hello Kitty insignia and artwork, was once a pop-up café at the Irvine Spectrum Center, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Mashable</em> reported</a>. Originally, it was a Southern California food truck that started in 2014.</p><p>Now guests can indulge in their own Hello Kitty heaven. Serious fans can even make private reservations in the Bow Room, which is like the Hello Kitty version of a speakeasy hidden inside the café. Otherwise, walk-ins are welcome.</p><img alt="Hello Kitty Cafe in Irvine, California "src=""><p>A full afternoon tea costs $55 per person, and includes a wide range of snacks like cakes, fruit, cucumber sandwiches, and cookies. Cocktails are served from Wednesdays through Sundays after 5 p.m. (to adults 21 and over).</p><img alt="Hello Kitty Cafe in Irvine, California "src=""><img alt="Hello Kitty Cafe in Irvine, California "src=""><p>Many cocktails have cutesy names that are 100% Kitty approved, like the Pink Bow (gin, raspberry, lemon, liquor 43, aquafaba) and the 1974 (your choice of a negroni or an old fashioned with a Hello Kitty ice cube, named after the year the cute kitten came into the world).</p>
Categories: Travel

Book a Getaway to Costa Rica Starting at $196 Round-trip

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 07:45
<p>If you're looking to take a relaxing beach vacation or go on an outdoor adventure through a rainforest, <a href="" target="_blank">Costa Rica</a> is a great choice — and now's the time to score a cheap flight. Flights are starting at $196 round-trip.</p><p>The cheap airfares are available from several U.S. cities from late September through December. Prices typically start to go up in January, depending on your home airport.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">The Best Times to Go to Costa Rica for Every Type of Vacation</a></p><p>Flights to Costa Rica's capital San Jose <a href="*SJO.FLL.2018-10-20;c:USD;e:1;sd:1;t:f" target="_blank">start at $196 round-trip from Fort Lauderdale</a> and <a href="*SJO./m/0ply0.2018-11-14;c:USD;e:1;sd:1;t:f" target="_blank">Orlando</a> on Spirit Airlines. (Spirit is a budget airline, so double check any fees before booking to make sure you're getting the deal you want.)</p><p>Round-trip flights to San Jose start at <a href="*SJO./m/0f2rq.2018-10-18;c:USD;e:1;sd:1;t:f" target="_blank">$277 (on United) from Dallas</a>, as well as from <a href="*SJO./m/0d35y.2018-10-18;c:USD;e:1;sd:1;t:f" target="_blank">Phoenix (on American)</a>. There are also round-trip flights to San Jose starting at <a href="" target="_blank">$285</a> from Houston, Baltimore, Boston, Denver, Detroit, Newark, Washington, D.C., and more.</p><p>While most of the deals are to San Jose, there are also cheap flights to Liberia, including $332 round-trip from New York City.</p><p>From either airport, travelers can drive into Costa Rica’s <a href="" target="_blank">La Fortuna de San Carlos region</a>, which took the top spot for TripAdvisor’s best destination for travel experiences with activities that include everything from volcano hiking to waterfall treks and sloth spotting.</p>
Categories: Travel

Prince William Is Going to Africa This Month — Here's His Itinerary

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 07:29
<p>Earlier this week, Prince William attended an event for the Royal African Society (RAS), where he revealed he will be making a last-minute trip to the African continent later this month. </p><p>During his remarks, the prince explained that he will be taking a working visit to Namibia, Tanzania, and Kenya to help bring attention to animal conservation efforts in those nations, the <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Daily Mail</i></a> reported. </p><p>William, who has been a patron of RAS since taking over the role from his grandmother in 2016, told the crowd that “Africa's wildlife is suffering as well as its people.” He added, “Like so many others, I am deeply saddened by the numbers of elephant, rhino and pangolin who have been illegally slaughtered for their tusks, horns and scales. But the illegal wildlife trade also has a devastating human impact.”</p><p>Prince William additionally noted that too many rangers have been killed by poachers this year alone. “Communities see their tourist livelihoods threatened. And the proceeds of the illegal wildlife trade fund broader criminal networks and threaten security.”</p><p>This, he said, is why he remains so committed to doing anything and everything he can to end this “global crime.”</p><p>“This will be a particular focus of my upcoming visit to Africa, and of course the conference on the illegal wildlife trade taking place here in London in October,” he said.</p><p>William has been traveling back and forth to Africa since his childhood, first falling in love with the continent alongside his mother, Princess Diana.</p><p>“Africa is both the oldest and the youngest continent in the world, being both the birthplace of humankind and the continent with the youngest population," he said. "My patronage of the Royal African Society is an honour and I will certainly continue to be a passionate advocate for Africa here in the UK.”</p><p>You can have a prince-worthy trip to Africa, too. The next time you look into taking a safari, just make sure to check out these <a href="" target="_blank">12 safari outfitters that are saving the world</a> to ensure your vacation dollars are well-spent.</p>
Categories: Travel

Onboard the 'Lucky' Yacht That's Hosted Jennifer Lopez, Billy Joel, Winning Sports Teams, and 1,000 Marriage Proposals

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 06:51
<p>lf the walls on the <a href="" target="_blank">Calypso</a>, a 74-foot yacht docked at 59 Chelsea Piers in New York City, could talk, there would be a tidal wave of celebrity buzz. Luminaries as diverse as Henry Kissinger, Katie Holmes, Billy Joel, Blake Lively, and the Jonas Brothers (when they were a group) have chartered the boat for all kinds of occasions.</p><p>A favorite location for film crews, the yacht’s owner, Frank Giordano, can point out the exact spot on the aft deck where Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta “killed” someone while filming their NBC series, <em>Shades of Blue</em>.</p><img alt="Katie Holmes "src=""><p>The Calypso, which has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, was built in 1973 for Jack Wrather, an oilman who produced iconic series such as <em>Lassie</em> and <em>The Lone Ranger</em>. Giordano, the third owner, who purchased it 18 years ago, claims the boat’s a lucky charm.</p><p>“Since I’ve owned it, there have been at least 1,000 wedding proposals on it. Every single one has said yes,” he says. “We had the Dodgers on and then they beat the Mets. The Cleveland Browns were on, and then they beat the Giants.”</p><img alt="Karrueche Tran Alice+Olivia "src=""><p>Speaking of luck, during New York Fashion Week, three fortunate couples got to have a sleepover on the Calypso, (temporarily dubbed "The Fashion Yacht") on three separate nights as part of a partnership between <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and Alice + Olivia. </p><p>The sassy fashion brand presented a luxe world travel-themed show inside Chelsea Piers’ studio that was designed in vignettes that aimed to transport guests to enchanted locations such as Positano, Paris, and Morocco. The vivid colors and theme extended to the yacht, which got a temporary makeover in signature fabrics, and decorative accents representing the fashion collection. It was first come, first serve for the guests who booked the overnight stay at for a mere $59.</p><img alt="Master Stateroom "src=""><p>For the promotion, the Calypso stayed docked. But for folks who want to travel celebrity style, there are three-hour cruises which generally go down the Hudson and East River, where travelers can see “the best skyline in the world,” says Giordano. The cost for 20 guests is $5,280 and includes a complete dinner package and a five-person crew. The Calypso is certified to carry up to 34 guests and beyond 20 the charge is an additional $156 per guest all-inclusive. For more information, go to <a href=""></a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Hurricane Florence Is No Joke, but Instagrammers Are Posting #Hurrication Photos Anyway

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 06:27
<p>Make no mistake — <a href="" target="_blank">Hurricane Florence</a> is no laughing matter.</p><p>On Thursday, the massive storm hit peak wind speeds of <a href="" target="_blank">110 miles an hour</a>, making it a category two hurricane. And with all that rain and wind will undoubtedly come destruction. But, before it hits, locals living up and down the Carolina coast attempted to have a least a little bit of fun.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">How to Protect Your Home and Your Valuables During a Hurricane</a></p><p>While anticipating Hurricane Florence's arrival, locals began posting to social media using the hashtag <a href="" target="_blank">#Hurrication</a> (hurricane vacation, get it?) to show how they were enjoying their coastline and days off in the calm before the storm.</p><p>“Making the most of it,” one local commented in one of the more than 11,000 photos using the tag on Instagram.</p><p>“Calm before the Florence,” another added.</p><p>“Final Florence beach day,” another Instagram user posted.</p><p>Though these people may seem like they're taking a potentially dangerous situation too lightly, Instagram user Gary Belcher gave a bit more insight into why people wanted to spend their last bit of time relaxing in their hometowns before evacuating.</p><p>“This, friends is <a href="">what fully prepared and fearless humans do</a> in the face of danger,” he wrote on Instagram alongside a post of people enjoying a day at the beach. “Like us, these two couples enjoyed a bit of ecstasy this morning in the face of an oncoming monster. Riding the rather calm waves was a bit surreal. As of this photo, hurricane Florence was forecast to land within mere miles of this exact spot in roughly two days. Yet, that force of nature’s arrival didn’t scare away the well-prepared and strong of heart. Good for them! While we had to depart a planned B&amp;B stay a day early, we had the luxury of evacuating to the comfort of our own home. I must say that it felt a bit surreal to drive into the path of a massive storm. Towards danger. But, it was amongst the best -- albeit short -- beach trips I’ve ever had. Stay safe, y’all!”</p><p>Although it is ill-advised to ride out a hurricane when told to evacuate, if you can’t leave for whatever reason make sure you’re prepared by following these <a href="" target="_blank">30 tips from the Hurricane Center</a>. </p>
Categories: Travel

How Princess Eugenie Is Making Her Royal Wedding Bigger Than Harry and Meghan's

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 16:36
<p>Princess Eugenie is on a mission to have the biggest, baddest, and most over-the-top royal wedding of all time with her fiance, Jack Brooksbank.</p><p>According to the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em>, the Queen’s granddaughter is ensuring her wedding, which will take place on Oct. 12, is far more spectacular than <a href="" target="_blank">Prince Harry and Meghan Markle</a>’s May nuptials by inviting hundreds of more guests to her big day.</p><p>Just how many people received an invite? About 850, which is about 250 more people than Harry and Meghan had at their wedding. Eugenie’s nuptials will be held at the same church as Meghan and Harry’s: <a href="" target="_blank">St George’s Chapel</a> on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The only problem is the church holds a maximum of 800 guests, meaning about 50 royal wedding watchers will be left out in the cold.</p><p>Some of the people who could be left in the standing room only section reportedly include some <a href="" target="_blank">crossover guests from Harry and Meghan’s wedding</a>, like George and Amal Clooney, David and Victoria Beckham, Robbie Williams and Ayda Field, and Tracey Emin, according to the <em>Daily Mail.</em></p><p>And the similarities between the two weddings don’t stop there. After their wedding, Eugenie and Jack will also embark on a short carriage ride through a sea of well-wishers. They will then attend a wedding breakfast hosted by Eugenie's grandmother and father, Queen Elizabeth II and Andrew, Duke of York.</p><p>Like Harry and Meghan, Eugenie and Jack will then host a more intimate night party for 400 guests at the family home, Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.</p><p>One person who may miss out on the wedding is Eugenie’s grandfather, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The 97-year-old is not only recovering from hip surgery but apparently can’t stand Eugenie’s mother, Fergie.</p><p>“He absolutely adores Eugenie. He can’t stand up for very long, which makes church services hard work, and he can’t stand Fergie, but he wants to see Eugenie married and, if he is fit enough to be there, he will be there. It won’t be easy,” an insider told the <em>Daily Mail</em>. “Philip and Sarah will be in relatively close proximity to each other and Sarah’s very nervous about it. People have been giving her some friendly advice. As long as she doesn’t go over the top on the day, it should all be fine.”</p><p>And, like Harry and Meghan's, this wedding too will come with a massive price tag. The dinner alone is reportedly setting the Yorks back $130,000. It better be tasty.</p>
Categories: Travel

Save 40% Stays at Select Oberoi Hotels & Resorts in India and the United Arab Emirates

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 15:00
<p><em>T+L launched Operation Vacation to inspire workers to use their days off and get away, offering exclusive travel discounts as incentive. For the latest deals on hotels, airfare, cruises, and trip packages, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a></em></p><p>India: 40 percent off at the <a href="" target="_blank">Oberoi Hotels &amp; Resorts</a>, a collection of unique properties prized for their luxe amenities and five-star service. </p><p>T + L Exclusive Oberoi Vacations includes:</p>Create your own itinerary of six nights or more (including two nights at city hotels) at any combination of participating hotels (see below)Complimentary 60-minute couples massage at each hotel visited as part of your itinerary<p>Participating hotels include:</p>The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra The Oberoi Rajvilas, JaipurThe Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur The Oberoi Vanyavilas, RanthambhoreThe Oberoi, Mumbai The Oberoi, BengaluruThe Oberoi Grand, Kolkata The Oberoi, GurgaonWildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas – An Oberoi Resort The Oberoi Sukhvilas Resort &amp; Spa, Siswan Forest Range, New ChandigarhThe Oberoi, Dubai The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al ZorahThe Oberoi Motor Vessel Vrinda, Kerala<p>Original Price: From $1,000 per night</p><p><strong>T+L Price:</strong> From $600 per night; book by September 30, 2018 for travel through February 28, 2019.</p><p>Booking details: Use rate code TLOB when booking <a href="" target="_blank">online</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Cruise Company Took 10 Years to Unveil a New Ship — and It Was Worth the Wait

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 13:01
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Azamara Club Cruises</a>, the small but mighty upmarket brand from Royal Caribbean, has debuted a new ship. <em><a href="" target="_blank">Azamara Pursuit</a> </em>is the first addition to the fleet since the brand launched a decade ago — and it’s part of a larger expansion that will connect Azamara to more destinations and communities than ever before.</p><p>This is the third ship for Azamara, a brand that started out with two: sister ships <em><a href="" target="_blank">Journey</a> </em>and<em> <a href="" target="_blank">Quest</a></em><i>. </i>The fleet stayed small for a decade before deciding to strategically expand. “Azamara is a brand with purpose,” said Larry Pimentel, the company's President and CEO, at the ship’s naming ceremony. “Small is also beautiful.”</p><p>According to Pimentel, having more ships in rotation will allow Azamara to “stay longer in each place, with more night cruising, overnights in port, and late night excursions than any other cruise line.”</p><p>The ship has had several lives before joining the Azamara fleet, sailing for Renaissance, Fathom, and P&amp;O. Azamara’s design team executed a bow-to-stern renovation, technical update, and rebrand to echo the soft, natural tones, elegant touches, heavy woods, and upmarket character of its sister ships.</p><p>“Our guests appreciate the gift of travel,” said Pimentel. “They have an explorer’s state of mind. They love experiences. We simply focus on our guests’ passion.” <em>Pursuit</em><i> </i>itineraries will sail to 61 destinations new to Azamara, including 15 new ports of call. </p><p><em>Pursuit</em> will also be offering “country intensives” — routes that incorporate several places in one country to experience its many facets and spend more time immersed in the culture. “We realized guests have bucket lists,” he said. “What if we could completely circumnavigate Japan, for example, or New Zealand?”</p><p>Travelers love Azamara because it provides a different type of cruise experience than other major lines, focusing on the time on land rather than time spent at sea. “It’s about thinking outside the ship,” said Pimentel, noting that <em>Pursuit</em><i> </i>routes will offer extensive time in port, nighttime excursions and locally focused experiences, and a slower <a href="" target="_blank">cruise experience</a> — less time hopping from port to port, and more time exploring the destinations.</p><p>I recently traveled to Southampton, England, for the <em>Azamara Pursuit</em><i> </i>Naming Ceremony and celebratory voyage, traveling across the Channel to Cherbourg, France, and exploring the beautifully-renovated ship. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest addition to Azamara Club Cruises.</p><h2>Ship Design</h2><p><em>Pursuit</em><i> </i>has a total of 351 staterooms and suites, spread across decks 4, 6, 7, and 8. There is plenty of open public deck space and a number of lounges spread throughout the ship. There are nine guest decks with room for 702 passengers at double occupancy — a crew size of 400 makes for a nearly unmatched guest to crewmember ratio. At 84 feet wide and 592 feet long, this is a midsize ship that feels neither suffocatingly small nor overwhelmingly large.</p><p>Originally built in 2001, <em>Pursuit</em><i> </i>headed to Belfast, Northern Ireland, for a complete renovation. It is now decked out in the classic Azamara aesthetic, with the addition of several spa suites, new restaurants and entertainment venues, and expanded public and outdoor space. Walking onto the ship for the first time, I was impressed by the tasteful design and color scheme, which harken back to an era of more exclusive ocean liner travel: dark hardwoods, plush velvet and quilted upholstery, brass patina, and touches of marble and stained glass.</p><img alt="Club Ocean Suite on board the Azamara Pursuit "src=""><h2>Staterooms</h2><p>There are four types of stateroom, ranging from the least expensive interior (windowless) rooms to larger staterooms with balconies over the water. I stayed in a <a href="" target="_blank">Club Veranda Stateroom</a> on deck 6, which included a comfortable sitting area and writing desk, plus a table and chairs on the balcony perfect for a nightcap over the water.</p><p>For those desiring more space or privacy, a number of suite levels are also available. The largest <a href="" target="_blank">Club World Owner’s Suite</a>, of which there are only six on board, provides over 600 square feet of interior space — including a separate master bedroom — plus a marble bathtub, separate dressing room with a vanity, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening onto a 230-square-foot veranda at the stern.</p><p>Azamara employs an all-inclusive model, covering meals, beverages and spirits, self-service laundry, and shuttle services. Amenities for passengers staying in suites include the assistance of an English trained butler, in-suite afternoon tea service, complimentary dining at the ship’s specialty restaurants, and more.</p><img alt="Prime restaurant on board the Azamara Pursuit "src=""><h2>Dining</h2><p><em>Pursuit</em>’s elevated main restaurant, Discoveries, serves a rotation of buffet dinners and a la carte menus inspired by the day’s destination. For a more casual experience, try the Patio, a poolside outdoor space, or the Windows Cafe, a buffet setup that includes a live cooking station where chefs use ingredients purchased in port. For coffee, head to Mosaic Café, serving up Nespresso drinks, pastries, and sandwiches. After your meal, grab a digestif at one of the ship’s several bars, or head to Swirl &amp; Top for a frozen yogurt dessert.</p><p>There are also two <a href="" target="_blank">specialty dining venues</a> on board, with reservations available for an additional fee (waived for suite guests). At Aqualina, you’ll find dishes from the extensive culinary canon of Italy, served in a refined setting with floor-to-ceiling windows over the water. The menu includes comfort foods like minestrone, eggplant parmesan, and tiramisu, as well as specialties like <em>Sogliola di Dover</em><i> </i>and a duck confit risotto with forest mushrooms. Prime C is the ship’s classic surf and turf venue, with a richly-decorated dark wood dining room and an extensive wine list to complement the indulgent fare. I chose to split one of the large format entrées — the Chateaubriand for two, carved tableside — which was a standout. </p><h2>Wellness</h2><p>Like its sister ships, <em>Pursuit</em><i> </i>features the <a href="" target="_blank">Sanctum Spa</a> and outdoor terrace, complete with a saltwater whirlpool bath looking over the water at the bow. An extensive menu of treatments is available by appointment, including facials, massages, body sculpting services, and an array of all-day packages. Azamara is noted for offering acupuncture services at sea, employing experts in Chinese medicine who can also offer nutritional consultations and traditional herbal treatments.</p><p>Also on board is an extensive gym and indoor track, with complimentary group classes from cycling to deckside yoga, plus personal training services and boot camp programs. The onboard salon offers a variety of hairstyling services, manicures and pedicures, and other beauty rituals.</p><img alt="Entertainment on board the Azamara Pursuit "src=""><h2>Entertainment</h2><p>Nightly entertainment in <em>Pursuit</em>’s <a href="" target="_blank">Cabaret Lounge</a> will include brand-new shows, including classical performances by Miami-based Magic City Opera and the exclusive 54 Below at Sea, featuring performers from the famous New York City cabaret Feinstein's/54 Below. Live music, film screenings, and onboard seminars are also on offer.</p><p>Each sailing includes classic Azamara events, including the famous <a href="" target="_blank">White Night Party</a>, held poolside with live entertainment and a decadent al fresco dinner. But the highlight is the beloved <a href="" target="_blank">AzAmazing Evening,</a> a signature event that Azamara continues to expand with more exclusive locations and over-the-top programming. During one of the frequent late-night stays in port, guests will be whisked away to a one-of-a-kind venue — a Greek amphitheater, say, or a historic estate — and treated to a site-specific dinner with local specialties and performers. (Their first ever such event featured three Italian tenors with a private performance in a medieval castle).</p><img alt="Scenic Bergen, Norway "src=""><h2>Destinations</h2><p>The ship’s inaugural season will take it around <a href="" target="_blank">Europe</a> and the <a href="" target="_blank">Mediterranean</a>, before heading on a transatlantic voyage for itineraries in <a href="" target="_blank">Central</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">South America</a> (and even Antarctica). In spring of next year, it will head back east for various sailings around Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and beyond. Eventually, <em>Pu</em><i>rsuit </i>will head to destinations entirely new to Azamara, including <a href="" target="_blank">Hawaii and French Polynesia</a>, and the line will have roots in over 400 ports on all seven continents.</p><p>With <em>Pursuit</em>, Azamara is beginning to pioneer the concept of “Destination Intensives,” with deep dives into popular countries and regions. Upcoming itineraries include a series of Greek Isles Intensives, with stops on Mykonos, Santorini, Patmos, <a href="" target="_blank">Paros</a>, and more, as well as intensives in destinations that are less commonly seen by sea, such as Israel, Japan, and Cuba.</p><p>When it comes to excursions, Azamara’s motto is “cruise global, connect local.” Recognizing guests’ interest in meaningful, immersive travel experiences, the programming puts an emphasis on local connections — dinner with a local family, for example, or a neighborhood tour led by a resident — and the groups are limited in size.</p><p>Azamara collaborates with operators on the ground in each port, and no two excursions are alike. Examples include a home-cooked meal at the Americas’ oldest continuously-inhabited house, in Lima, Peru; catching and cooking King Crab on the Norwegian island of Magerøya; or a nighttime tour of Shwedagon temple in Yangon, Myanmar.</p><p>To book: <em><a href="" target="_blank"></a>, 3-night cruises from $1,199.</em></p>
Categories: Travel

Disney is Turning This Singapore Street Into a Winter Wonderland for the Holidays

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 12:31
<p>Ahead of the holiday season, Disney is taking over a street in <a href="" target="_blank">Singapore</a>. The street has been lit up for Christmas every year since 1984, but this year popular Disney characters are adding extra festivities.</p><p>Starting November 11, <a href="">Orchard Street will become the epicenter of holiday cheer</a>. Underneath a halo of twinkling Christmas lights, Disney characters will parade up and down the 1.8-mile shopping belt, entertaining visitors of all ages.</p><p>Each building along the belt takes part in the fête. As you’re walking through, cast your vote for the “best-dressed” holiday building. Pop-up stores from Häagen-Dazs, SK-II and Uniqlo, among several others, will help you complete your holiday shopping without having to leave the festive spirit.</p><p>A <a href="" target="_blank">holiday market</a>, called the Endless Wonder Christmas Village, will have an array of activities for kids, including bouncy castles, live music and yuletide treats. Decorations will transform the street into a “Frozen” wonderland or a “Toy Story” jamboree.</p><p>Other attractions include a “snow room,” DIY workshops and several different themed photo booths.</p><p>Christmas Eve plans are particularly decadent this year. Dance the night away at a countdown party with holiday drinks on tap. The whole shebang ends in a firework display at midnight.</p><p>The event will last for six weeks, with lights on display through January 1.</p>
Categories: Travel

10 Easy Ways to Make Your Economy Flight Feel Like First Class

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 12:00
<p>Splurging on a first class ticket isn’t the only way to <a href="" target="_blank">guarantee a pleasant flight</a>. In fact, getting a luxury experience from an economy reservation can easily be done. Though it’s going to take some effort to <a href="" target="_blank">mimic the premium dream</a>, these life hacks will make all the difference. Before packing those bags, study our tips for making the most out of your budget-friendly moment in the sky.</p><h2>Food, first</h2><p>Just because a meal is included with your economy fare, it doesn’t mean you have to settle for mediocre airplane food. Do yourself a favor and purchase your favorite foods prior to boarding. Whether it’s a sweet treat or a yummy cheeseburger, eating something you actually want will instantly put you in a good mood. Don’t believe us? See what <a href="" target="_blank">Anthony Bourdain had to say about airplane food</a>.</p><h2>Check-in early</h2><p>A <a href="" target="_blank">mobile boarding pass</a> will make you feel more like a VIP than you think. Not only will it get you through security faster and keep you out of long check-in lines, being one of the first to check into a flight increases your chance of ending up with a better seat. If you wait until you arrive at the airport, most of the seats may have been assigned, leaving you with way less options and the chance to be <a href="">stuck in the dreaded middle seat</a>. </p><h2>A better amenities kit</h2><p>Instead of fretting about not being offered <a href="" target="_blank">in-flight essentials</a>, why not put together your own? Pamper yourself with a pair of <a href=";tag=tlfeelslikefirstclass-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B07FL5H6TB&amp;linkId=f9111af52768913f29a9f910d5b9363f" target="_blank">slipper socks</a>, a toothbrush, high-end <a href="" target="_blank">skincare products</a>, and more in a convenient and sleek pouch. Trust us, these little details go a long way. For a simpler solution, you could opt for the premade <a href="" target="_blank">Aria travel kit</a> that includes everything you need to relax and unwind on your next flight.</p><h2>Extra leg room is key</h2><p>From landing an exit row to stuffing your personal item into an overhead carry-on, it’s important to have as much space as possible. Make sure to keep an eye out for empty rows or window seats and then ask a flight attendant to move once everyone is seated.</p><h2>Bring your own alcohol </h2><p>Free wine and beer on long-haul flights may be nice, but nothing beats your go-to beverage. There’s no shame in grabbing some bubbly or top shelf airplane bottles for the ride. And whatever you do, <a href=""><em>don't</em> forget to bring a bottle of water</a>, too. </p><h2>It’s all in the loungewear</h2><p>Even though plenty of first class passengers <a href="" target="_blank">wear suits and heels</a>, many of them change into more comfortable clothing shortly after boarding. The trick is to look the part before takeoff, but be a travel-pro by packing luxe pajamas or chic athletic wear for a smoother flight.</p><h2>Soundproof your space</h2><p>Complimentary economy earbuds are no match for the noise-canceling headphones included in first class. However, even that luxury amenity isn’t comparable to <a href="" target="_blank">investing in your own high-quality pair</a>. Plus, being able to tune out a crying baby or chatty seatmate is priceless.</p><h2>Go to a lounge</h2><p>Regardless of your seat number, you can pay to have access to an airline lounge. Being able to eat, drink, and shower ahead of a flight or during a layover takes things to a new level. Look to apps such as <a href="" target="_blank">Priority Pass</a> or <a href="" target="_blank">Lounge Buddy</a> for discounted prices.</p><h2>Upgrade the entertainment</h2><p>Having movies or TV shows downloaded from a streaming platform on your tablet or laptop can make time fly. They might even be a step up from the available programming on the plane.</p><h2>Try to get some sleep</h2><p>Forget the flimsy blanket and tiny cushion provided. Give yourself more of a chance to fall asleep with a <a href=";tag=tlfeelslikefirstclass-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B004ZIKWJW&amp;linkId=59156cfa446cf308f912e153aed3d458" target="_blank">memory foam travel pillow</a> and a soft, <a href=";tag=tlfeelslikefirstclass-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=B0797N4BW9&amp;linkId=ceed9fa15b384c8549ebcb0d5602a8fc" target="_blank">lightweight comforter</a> for a true first class experience.</p>
Categories: Travel

Prince William and Kate Middleton Love This Hidden Wine Region — Here's How to Visit (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 11:30
<p>In 2016, <a href="" target="_blank">Prince William and Kate Middleton flew across the Atlantic to visit Canada</a> as part of their Commonwealth tour. It was then that the rest of the world learned about one of the world’s best-kept secrets: <a href="" target="_blank">British Columbia's wine country</a>.</p><p>Along their journey, the Duke and Duchess stopped in to taste the local fare, including food and drink sourced from the Okanagan Valley, a small region in Western Canada that is also home to <a href="" target="_blank">Mission Hill Winery</a>.</p><p>“We are incredibly grateful and humbled to have The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Mission Hill Family Estate,” <a href="" target="_blank">Mission Hill Winery owner Anthony von Mandl</a> said at the time. “This is truly a gift for the Okanagan Valley and will provide an unprecedented opportunity to showcase to the world the very best of British Columbia’s wine and food industry.”</p><p>It’s no surprise that the couple fell in love with the drop-dead gorgeous winery thanks to its picturesque rolling hills, perfectly planted vineyards, and a tasting room so well designed that the royals probably thought they were back in Buckingham.</p><img alt="The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk along Mission Hill Winery in Canada "src=""><p>The best part about their trip is you can experience it too. Here’s everything you need to know about paying a visit to the von Mandl Family Estate's various wineries across the Okanagan Lake, which make for a great and affordable road trip (so long as you have a designated driver, of course). </p><h2>The von Mandl Family Estate is made up of several wineries across the Okanagan Valley. </h2><p>Mission Hill Winery may be the main attraction visited by the royals, but the company has a lot more going on that would be worthy of a return visit by Will and Kate.</p><p>The von Mandl family also owns <a href="" target="_blank">Martin’s Lane</a>, a vineyard just across the lake with a modern elegance that can only be experienced by appointment. There, art lovers will be delighted by giant sculptures modeled after Daniel Baker, who won a contest as the world's closest <a href="" target="_blank">lookalike to Vincent van Gogh</a>, and a lakefront tasting room with views that will leave any visitor in awe. In total, there are more than 200 wineries dotting the region. </p><p>About 80 minutes down the road from Mission Hill, von Mandl also recently opened up a small tasting room at its <a href="" target="_blank">CheckMate Artisanal Winery</a>. The room is a glass cube sitting in the center of the vineyard, which is a temporary fixture as the winery’s larger building is finished. The room’s simple aesthetic means all the focus stays squarely on the world-class wines.</p><h2>The Okanagan Valley has an ideal wine-making climate. </h2><p>You may think a northern country like Canada has a less than ideal climate for growing grapes, but it turns out the Okanagan is the near-perfect location for these tiny fruits to thrive. </p><p>To be precise, the wineries of the Okanagan are all located around latitude 50 and longitude 49 and sit 400 meters above sea level. Because the vineyards are located so far north, they experience more hours of sunshine during peak growing season, thus helping the grapes to mature faster. According to the <a href="" target="_blank">Canadian Encyclopedia</a>, the region receives an astonishing 2,000 hours of sunlight per year, and is home to Canada’s only true desert at the very tip of the <a href="" target="_blank">Great Basin Desert region</a>. CheckMate is the best vantage point to see this desert region while sipping a glass of Chardonnay.</p><p>Of course, this exceptional climate is great for more than just grapes. The area has long been known for <a href="" target="_blank">growing stone fruits</a> such as cherries and peaches, and produces 80 percent of Canada’s apricots, and around 40 percent of its pears and plums.</p><h2>Mission Hill isn’t the only vineyard in town, but according to its many awards, it is the best.</h2><p>There are plenty of <a href="" target="_blank">fantastic wineries dotting the Okanagan Lake</a>, but Mission Hill and its partner wineries are the best places to experience some of the area's award-winning wines. </p><p>"We're writing the history of this area right this second. This is Napa before it was Napa," Graham Nordin, director of wine experience at Mission Hill Winery, told <em>Travel + Leisure.</em></p><p>He further explained that in 1994, Mission Hill’s 1992 vintage won "Best Chardonnay" at the <a href="" target="_blank">International Wine and Spirit Competition</a>, making it the very first Okanagan winery to receive such high recognition. In 2011, the Martin’s Lane Pinot Noir followed suit by winning best <a href="" target="_blank">Pinot Noir under £15</a>. In 2013, Mission Hill did it again and won the first trophy for a Canadian wine at the <a href="" target="_blank">Decanter World Wine Awards</a>.</p><p>Von Mandl truly put the Okanagan on the map with these awards and more, Nordin said, proving the Okanagan was “more than just beaches and peaches."</p><h2>Will and Kate enjoyed quite the wine flight on their tour.</h2><p>While on their 2016 visit, the royals were lucky enough to taste a few of the vineyard’s more recent additions, including its <a href="" target="_blank">Bordeaux-style blend Oculus 2012</a>, with tasting notes that include plum, blackberry, boysenberry, leather, and spice. The royals also enjoyed its single-estate Chardonnay, Perpetua 2012, which is part of its legacy collection. That wine has much lighter notes including pear, lemon curd, and baking spice flavors.</p><p>For those looking to indulge like Will and Kate, Nordin revealed that the couple “really enjoyed the Oculus” and shared that at home, they are typically Merlot drinkers. The couple even packed a few bottles of wine to share with their family and friends back home.</p><h2>Mission Hill welcomes royals and non-royals all year round.</h2><p>The Windsors aren’t the only ones who get to see and taste all of Okanagan’s offerings. Commoners are welcome to join the wineries' sommelier-guided experiences, too.</p><p>At Mission Hill, those experiences each begin with a glass of the winery’s finest offerings before guests are escorted through the grounds to learn about the wine-making process, see where the barrels are aged, and learn more about how the estate is putting the Okanagan on the global wine stage. Along the way, guests can even discover a few hidden treasures such as its ancient wine relic case located in the wine cellar. There, the family’s personal collection of ancient wine decanters is housed inside an alcove carved directly into the hillside’s volcanic rock. <b> </b></p><p>As for the best times to visit the area, that totally depends on what you’re after. May to October are ideal months to visit to see the wine-making process in action, while the first two weeks of August are the optimal days to see the grapes start to ripen. As for seeing a harvest first-hand, visitors will want to focus their vacation days in on September.</p><p>But, if those dates don’t work that’s OK too as Mission Hill offers exclusive events all year long, including cooking classes featuring locally sourced Okanagan ingredients.</p><p>Now, all you need to do is put on your royal crown and reserve your spot in advance.</p><h2>Getting there is easy for U.S.-based wine lovers.</h2><p>Depending on where you’re coming from, you could either choose to fly or drive into the Okanagan. Alaska Airlines, West Jet, Delta, United, and Air Canada all have flights directly into Kelowna Airport, which sits in the heart of the Okanagan.</p><p>For those with a bit of time, road tripping from Vancouver to Kelowna will provide you with stunning natural views and plenty of places to stop along the four-hour drive. Just make sure to appoint someone as the designated driver before entering wine country.</p><p>As for where to stay, Kelowna offers something for everyone. For a more inclusive stay that’s perfect for couples or families, book a night or two at the <a href="" target="_blank">Marriot Grand Okanagan Resort</a>. There, guests will find spacious rooms, several dining options, an outdoor pool, and unparalleled views of the lake. Those looking for a chance to explore more of downtown should stay at <a href="" target="_blank">Hotel Zed</a>, a retro-style, hot pink boutique hotel. There, guests will be delighted by the bright colors and amenities including a rooftop bar, pool, and even a mini-disco.</p>
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