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Lytro Camera

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, December 16 12:45 PM

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Think of a bustling street in Paris. You point your camera and shoot, knowing full well there's no way you'll do justice to that moment of your vacation. Unless, that is, you're toting the groundbreaking new Lytro camera (from $399).

This compact shooter (a lightweight 7.55 ounces) has no shutter delay and a sensor that captures 11 million rays of light to record the intensity of the scene, with the potential to do much more with the image afterward. The technology is complicated, but the low-down is that your image can be infinitely focused and refocused, shifted in perspective, and even viewed in 3-D. And the best bit of all? It's just a lens with a button. Head-scratching science wrapped in simplicity. We like it.

Photo: Courtesy of Lytro

Kutsher's Tribeca, New York City

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, December 15 12:04 PM

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Chestnuts roasting on an open fire ain't got nothing on latkes and sufganiyot. Who wants warm nuts when you can have a jelly doughnut? And there's no better place to gorge on Hanukkah fare than at the new Kutsher's Tribeca.

Consider it an early gift from restaurant mensch Jeffrey Chodorow in partnership with Zach Kutsher, whose family is synonymous with Catskills glamour. They're making classic Jewish fare sexy with dishes such as wild halibut gefilte fish with beet and horseradish tartare, and potato and leek knishes with house-cured pastrami. And with a retro-glam dining room courtesy of Rafael de Cárdenas (geometric Baltic birch walls and midnight blue banquettes), the festival of lights just got a little brighter.

Photo: Courtesy of Evan Sung

Rocco Forte Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, December 14 12:38 PM

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Hoteliers in the United Arab Emirates love a game of one-upmanship. If it's not bigger, shinier, and crammed with more decadent amenities, why bother? The owners of the new Rocco Forte Hotel in Abu Dhabi definitely got the memo.

Not only is the Rocco Forte situated at the heart of the emirate-of-the-moment, it's also a total showstopper, fashioned entirely from curved blue and green glass panels that mimic the Persian Gulf in a wavy mosaic. The hotel's 281 rooms and suites, designed by Olga Polizzi, combine rich colors, textures, and one-off pieces by artists from the region. The hotel's Blue cocktail bar appears to float in midair in the 11-story glass atrium--an ideal vantage point for surveying the spectacle of the glittering city below. Your move, Dubai.

Photo: Courtesy of Rocco Forte

Pendleton 5th Avenue Glacier Park Throw

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, December 13 01:02 PM

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Since the early 1900s, Pendleton has been making blankets inspired by America's national parks. Now these iconic striped throws have started popping up in design mags and on hip hotel beds (see Ace Portland). But while these woolly throws look awesome, they can be a little rough to the touch.

So for those of you not ready to suffer for style, there's the new 5th Avenue blanket ($138). It replaces the rustic feel of the old-school version with 100-percent superfine merino wool. It's just the kind of featherweight throw to push into your carry-on for a cozy overnight flight. Another top find to add to your holiday wish list.

Photo: Courtesy of Pendleton

Nira Alpina Design Hotel, Switzerland

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, December 12 12:59 PM

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When does a ski trip become a winter escape? At the newly opened, 70-room Nira Alpina in Silvaplana, Switzerland, it's the moment you arrive at the firelit lounge, sink into a comfy cowhide sofa--hot toddy in hand, of course--and watch the Alpenglow fade through panoramic windows.

Interiors are all restrained Swissness, full of natural materials such as spruce, suede, and granite. As the area's only ski-in/ski-out retreat, Nira Alpina provides powderhounds easy access to the 75 miles of pistes via a private glassed-in walkway to the Corvatsch cable car. And with private terraces and walls of windows, even lodge lizards can enjoy the great outdoors while waiting for their spa appointment.

Photo: Courtesy Design Hotels

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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