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Tickets, Barcelona

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, April 01 04:06 PM

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What do you do once you've revolutionized haute cuisine and your Michelin-lauded restaurant pulls in over a million reservation requests a year? If you're Ferran AdriÓ of El Bulli (closing this summer), you exit victorious, wizard those laurels into caviar droplets, and serve them up as tapas in Barcelona.

Newly opened Tickets, AdriÓ's second act, is like a buzzing avant-garde food court with a bright and Pop-y interior. Five bars handle different facets of the menu: La Presumida (oysters, seafood, charcuterie), La Estrella (the main area for drinks), El Garatge (grilling, pa amb tomÓquet), La Dolša (desserts), and Nostromo 180286 (cheese serums, crunchy ham powders, sparkling mayonnaise, and other items of molecular gastronomic trickery). A sixth small cubicle, in English "the Marx Brothers' Cabin," crams in drink swillers hoping to jump on a cancellation.

Therein lies the best innovation: online-only reservations. Unlike at El Bulli, with its lottery system, seats here open three months prior, so Tickets is accessible with some planning. July in Barcelona is lovely, by the way.

Photo: Courtesy of Sergi Vicente Puig

Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, March 31 07:23 PM

Ritz-Carlton-Hong-Kong 
The new Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, kicked things up a notch when it opened this week...well, quite a few notches. The world's highest hotel towers more than 1,600 feet above the city, stretching from the 102nd to the 118th floor in Kowloon's International Commerce Centre.

In the 312 rooms, luxe textures are featured in the leather headboards and in velvet armchairs arranged around the floor-to-ceiling windows. The 10,000-square-foot spa, five restaurants, and an open-air bar and pool with a 2,100-square-foot ceiling LED screen on the 118th floor are as over-the-top as the views of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong Island, and the surrounding mountains. Welcome to the high life.

Photo: Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton

Caribiana 23-Foot Sea Skiff

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, March 30 07:19 PM

Caribiana-23-Foot-Sea-Skiff 
Anyone who has seen a James Bond movie knows the appeal of a vintage skiff, its buffed wood deck glinting in the sunlight as it darts through some bustling Italian waterway. Now a new handcrafted vessel by boutique boat maker Caribiana has brought that retro romance into the 21st century.

The slick Caribiana 23-foot Sea Skiff ($95,000) has the timeless buttery leather upholstery, bronze hardware, and teak and mahogany woodwork, but there's also a powerful four-stroke engine and a custom-colored hull. Each craft is personally delivered with a case of Champagne and Steuben toasting flutes--because a boat this handsome should be christened in style.

Photo: Courtesy of Caribiana

Electric Literature Broadcastr App

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, March 29 07:16 PM

Electric-Literature-Broadcastr-App 
There's nothing quite like eavesdropping on an interesting story. Electric Literature's new Broadcastr app plugs you into some really juicy tales, making it both socially acceptable and useful to "listen in" while traveling.

The free app uses a geolocator to find and play stories about your location, anywhere in the world. Some come from famous writers and comedians such as Michael Showalter, some from oral history organizations, including the project run by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. But most are insights from local folks who really know the neighborhood you're in. And if you have a good tale to tell, you can submit it, too.

It's like having a tour guide, a friend, and a window into all the little heartbreaks and triumphs that make up the life of a destination.

Photo: Courtesy of Broadcastr

Hotel Chocolat, St. Lucia

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, March 28 07:09 PM

Hotel-Chocolat-St.-Lucia 
If a tropical resort built on a cocoa plantation sounds like someone has dipped into your wildest dreams, we're just about to make your day. St. Lucia's newest arrival is Hotel Chocolat, the brainchild of two British chocolatiers. Go on, pinch yourself.

On this 140-acre, 18th-century plantation, you can learn the entire chocolate-making process, helping to harvest and roast the beans and, of course, taste the finished product. Or you could simply retire to one of the six cocoa- and cream-colored cottages with gauze-draped four-poster beds, ocean-facing chaise longues, and open-air rain showers. (Eight additional villas will open in October.) The restaurant takes its inspiration from the hotel's crop, with dishes like yellowfin tuna with cacao pesto. Talk about a delicious getaway.

Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Chocolat

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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