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L'And Vineyards Resort, Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, June 03 04:49 PM

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Like wearing white after Labor Day or boat shoes with socks, spending the warm months indoors is its own kind of gauche. Thankfully, the 22-suite L'and Vineyards, nestled in the rolling hills of Portugal's Alentejo wine region, has opened just in time to help you avoid summer sacrilege.

A slick wood and slate palette and bold architecture make a modern play against the pastoral landscape, and the Sky suites raise the roof (literally): Above your king-size bed is a retractable ceiling that lets in fresh air and reveals the constellations above, adding thousands of stars to the resort's already commendable five. Think of it as a boozy camping trip for people who don't like camping.

Photo: Courtesy of L'and Vineyards

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, June 03 07:00 AM

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Putting on the Ritz is generally a pricey proposition. But on June 10, ten lucky travelers will be able to reserve a room at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne for a mere tenner. That's right, for less than the cover charge at your average Miami club, you could be curled up beneath Frette linens, soaking in a marble bath, or lounging by one of two oceanfront pools.

Interested? The offer--to celebrate the resort's tenth anniversary--is available for stays on July 5-7, 10-13, 18, and 25-26. If you want to keep the $10 theme going while you're there, try a $10 spa treatment, enjoy a $10 three-course dinner in the resort's Italian restaurant, or toast your good luck with a $10 bottle of Champagne.

Have your phone at the ready at 10 am ET on June 10, because the bargain rates are first-come, first-served. The all-important number to have on speed dial is 305-365-4582. Competition will be fierce, but who knows, sometimes life's a beach.

Photo: Courtesy of Kikor Photography / The Ritz-Carlton

Sunpocket Glasses

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, June 02 07:00 AM

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The future is looking bright for you, dear traveler. Especially now that Sunpocket has solved the problem of where to store your shades when it's, well, shady.

This hip Swedish company has revived a cult '80s foldable frame that fits into a teeny carrying case and slips into your pocket, which keeps your hands free when you dip into a dark bar or dim boutique. The lenses are nonglare with 100 percent UV protection and are, they say, unbreakable. But we were sold after one look at the retro-chic design ($65).

Photo: Courtesy of Sunpocket

Avalon Hotel, Göteborg, Sweden

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, June 01 07:00 AM

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Design exhibitions can be a bit frustrating, especially when the works on show--say, an Eames lounge chair just pleading to be sat on--are behind glass. But now that the fashion-, design-, and decorative arts-focused Röhsska Museum has paired up with Sweden's Avalon Hotel, you can look, touch, and swivel with verve.

In conjunction with the museum's Past-Present-Future exhibition (through September 30), design covetables from the collection have been replicated in the hotel's public areas and key guest rooms. Our faves include a tangerine Verner Panton Cone chair, a classic of late 1950s Scandinavian modernism; the full-size Horse lamp and Pig tray tables, quirks of design stars Moooi; and a DVD of Swedish FRONT design group's Blow Away Vase, showing in the elevators. Free workshops and design tours are offered for the truly obsessed. How novel: design that's actually within reach--at least for a night.

Photo: Courtesy of the Avalon Hotel

Beijing to Shanghai Bullet Train

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, May 31 01:55 PM

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What's that, China? Is that gloating we detect? Okay, fine, we'll give you this one. While we could barely brush the sand off our shoes and get back to work today, the roaring tiger has gone and built itself a $34-billion Beijing to Shanghai high-speed rail link, opening this June--almost a year ahead of schedule.

Granted, there have been a few modifications of the original plan: A proposed lie-flat premium class has been canned and speeds curtailed for safety. Once intended to best the world record set by France's TGV (357.2 miles per hour, mon Dieu!), China's train has registered a top test speed of 302 mph, with actual operating caps at about 185 mph (to be sure, that's still very fast). What does this mean for travelers between the two megacities? An 818-mile journey will clock in at an easy, breezy five hours instead of ten. Meow, Amtrak, meow.

Bullet train tickets from $80 to $165

Photo: Courtesy of Qilai Shen / Bloomberg / Getty Images

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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