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Waldorf Miami Beach

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, April 15 03:14 PM

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Leopard-print thongs, rollerblading grandmas, body-painted dancers...Miami's South Beach scene may be known for a lot of things, but cheap Art Deco beachfront living ain't one of them. Until now: Welcome to the waterfront, Waldorf.

Room Mate Hotels' latest budget boutique, opening this spring, was renovated from the bones of the 65-year-old Waldorf Towers (no relation to Astoria). The 44 Art Deco rooms have been given a funky overhaul, with an airy Miami vibe that hits the right balance between comfy and sleek.

The spunky Spanish chainlet attracts a young, hip set willing to trade large rooms for prime location, free breakfast and Wi-Fi, and comfy beds at affordable prices (from $139)--kind of like crashing in the (very cushy) guest room of a savvy friend. And like a good friend, Room Mate is giving you a break: 25 percent off Web rates on five standard and five deluxe rooms from the hotel's opening through October 15, 2011 (minus Memorial Day weekend). Book using code rmwaldorf, and tell 'em we say hola.

Photo: Courtesy of Room Mate Hotels

The National Museum of China, Beijing

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, April 14 03:20 PM

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China has always been a nation of superlatives, and it just added another to the list: world's largest museum. The National Museum of China, in Beijing, is the result of a decade-long, $380-million project that combined the Museum of Chinese History and the Museum of the Chinese Revolution.

The more than 1 million artifacts in the museum's collection provide an epic survey of Chinese history, from Yuanmou Man, who walked the land 1.7 million years ago, to current president Hu Jintao. With over 2 million square feet of galleries to cover--three times the size of the Louvre in Paris--we suggest you extend your trip and wear comfortable shoes.

Photo: ChinaFotoPress / Getty Images

Diana Mini JIYU Freedom Camera

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, April 13 03:23 PM

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Sometimes, photos feel more accurate when they match the dreamy, saturated memories you have of a trip. And nothing adds lo-fi love to a snapshot like shooting with a Diana camera, a 1960s-style model using 35 mm film that's found a cult following in this pixelated age.

The Diana Mini JIYU, a new cherry blossom-themed camera, was originally designed as a limited-edition homage to Japan's annual Golden Week, a time of rest in the country. After the recent earthquake and tsunami, the Diana folks pledged nearly $30,000 from sales of these cameras to Red Cross assistance to Japan. So this is one purchase that can help give everyone a better outlook.

Photo: Courtesy of Lomography

Food and Wine Trails Cruise, Australia and New Zealand

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, April 12 03:49 PM

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Beatles vs. Stones. N.Y. vs. L.A. Tyson vs. Holyfield. History's great rivalries are seldom easily settled. But a new Food & Wine Trails sailing with Oceania Cruises will take on perhaps the biggest debate of all: red wine vs. white.

Next February, the godfather of zinfandel, Ravenswood founder Joel Peterson, and the king of cabernet, winemaker Gustavo Gonzalez of Robert Mondavi, will enter the swilling ring aboard Oceania Cruises' Regatta. As they sail from Auckland, New Zealand, to Sydney, Australia, they'll host onboard tastings and dinners in an attempt to win over the die-hard oenophiles in their midst. On-shore excursions to top wine estates could spell a grape escape for whites or a crushing victory for reds. But don't expect a clean fight--spitting is encouraged.

Photo: Courtesy of Oceania Cruises

25hours Hotel Wien, Vienna, Austria

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, April 11 03:53 PM

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Despite its refined reputation, Vienna has always been a bit of a show-off. With all the operas, the balls, and the surrounding hills that are alive with the sound of music, it takes a flashy newcomer like 25Hours Hotel Wien to make any noise on this scene.

The 34-suite hotel (another 187 rooms will be added next year) has vintage big top memorabilia--a ringleader's hat here, an acrobat's hoop there--and retro circus murals that splash a brushstroke of whimsy in otherwise minimal rooms with platform beds and brushed concrete floors. It's in good company in the quirky seventh district, a hub for Vienna's next-generation artists and musicians. So step right up, kids. It's time to get in on the act.

Photo: Courtesy of 25hours Hotel Wien

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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