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The Pig Hotel, The New Forest, England

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, August 09 08:16 AM

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A self-proclaimed restaurant with rooms, The Pig feels more like a friend's country home than a hotel. Located just outside the village of Brockenhurst, England, in the New Forest National Park, this locavore heaven is all homegrown vintage cool with muted earth tones, overstuffed club chairs, and roaring fires.

Overseen by chef James Golding of Ivy and Caprice fame, the menu depends on the finds of the forager and kitchen gardener (95 percent of the ingredients come from within a 15-mile radius). While you wait for your food, wander the grounds or watch the action at the wood-fired courtyard oven. After your meal, retire to one of 26 shabby chic bedrooms, some housed in the former piggery. These are sties worth wallowing in.

Photo: Courtesy of Wright on the Park

Blakes Hotel, London

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, August 05 07:00 AM

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Boutique before boutique was a thing on the hotel scene, Blakes opened in London in '78. It continues to warrant its place in the A-list firmament (check out comments by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Mickey Rourke on the hotel's Web site), especially now that it's undergoing a multimillion-dollar refurb.

All the decadent hallmarks of East-meets-West interiors by Lady Weinberg (née Anouska Hempel) have been maintained in the 47-room property. The billowy gossamer whites and French Provençal trompe l'oeil of the Corfu Suite is the stuff of dreams, and you could reenact scenes from Wuthering Heights in the dramatic Library Suite. Every room will be refreshed (half of them have been so far), and now you can take tea in The Courtyard, a Japan-inspired garden retreat lined with bay trees, and sweat off the crumpets later in a new top-of-the-line gym.

Like celebrities, true originals never go out of style--they just come back stronger after getting a little work done.

Photo: Courtesy of Design Hotels

The Historic Park Inn Hotel, Mason City, Iowa

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, August 01 07:00 AM

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You've cruised around Oak Park, gotten misty at Fallingwater, and crisscrossed the country to both Taliesin east and West, but now there's a new box to check off on your Frank Lloyd Wright bucket list: The Historic Park Inn Hotel in Mason City, Iowa. After 30-odd years of decline, the last unicorn of Wright-designed hotels is reopening August 15.

And just what does an $18-million gut renovation get you? Prairie School genius. Gone are additions that parceled the 101-year-old building into offices; fixed are the cantilevered roofline, distinctive brickwork with multicolored terra-cotta detailing, and the lobby's art-glass skylight. The original hotel and a connected bank building (also by Wright) now house 27 suites appointed with dark wood, claw-foot tubs, and salvaged tiles. Furnishings and fixtures, some reproduced from other Wright structures such as Chicago's Robie House, sit pretty in subdued earth tones.

Short of winning the lottery or nodding off at the Guggenheim, this is your best chance to sleep in a Wright.

Photo: Courtesy of Wright on the Park

Hotel Lone, Rovinj, Croatia

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, July 28 07:00 AM

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On the scale of enjoyable to soul-crushing, the typical conference hotel ranks right up there with daylong PowerPoint presentations. Until now: The new Hotel Lone, Design Hotel's first property in Croatia, is a business hotel even leisure travelers can get into.

Five minutes on foot from the beach and a ten-minute walk to the Adriatic resort town of Rovinj, the Lone looks like a cruise ship, its Y-shaped white building rising out of the Zlatni Rt pine forests. Deck chairs and wood-paneled room terraces lend the property a resort vibe, and each of the 253 accommodations has views of the sparkling sea. Inside, it's airy and minimalist, with a light-drenched central atrium decked in sandy stone and sharp-angled settees. Even if you're not there for work, don't forget your suit: The in-house spa with pool and three saunas (Finnish, Swedish, salt) requested a meeting.

Photo: Courtesy of Design Hotels

The Nolitan, New York City

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, July 25 09:55 AM

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Soho, Noho, Tribeca, FiDi--New Yorkers define themselves by their neighborhoods. Now visitors can, too, as downtown creative pocket Nolita gets its first luxury hotel, the Nolitan.

The 55-room property aims for a full-service-apartment vibe. Before check-in, you can request a fridge full of organic spritzers, hypoallergenic pillows on the bed, or even a new outfit for Poochie. Rooms are decked out in light oak floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and mod furnishings to create a warm, loftlike feel. When you're ready to roam (nearby Young Designer's Market and boutiques like John Varvatos and Selima Optique are offering neighborly discounts), a complimentary bike or skateboard will be waiting.

Down in the lobby salon, Phaidon has curated a library, and a 2,400-square-foot roof deck just begs for having friends over for cocktails. No worries if the party goes late: 2 pm checkout comes standard. Time to call U-Haul; move-in starts August 1.

Photo: Courtesy of the Nolitan

InterContinental Porto Palacio das Cardosas

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, July 21 07:00 AM

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Port used to rank alongside boxed wine on the oenophile scale of hipness. But the cool kids have rediscovered the complex little sipper and the Portuguese city that gave it its name. And now, the vintage-lovers heading to Porto to drink at the source have a wine-centric spot to lay their heads, the new InterContinental Porto Palacio das Cardosas.

Housed in a 200-year-old palace on the main city square, the hotel makes an ideal base for exploring the region's wineries. Or you can taste your way through the dedicated port wine cellar in the clubby hotel bar. The 105 guest rooms create a sense of occasion, with grand upholstered sleigh beds, handsome inlaid floors, Art Deco-style chests, and entire walls of antiqued mirrors. Because this is the kind of vintage worth reflecting on.

Photo: Courtesy of InterContinental

Maison Martin Margiela Hotel, Paris

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, July 18 12:23 PM

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Amid the hand-sewn baubles and boundary-bending styles of this month's Haute Couture Week in Paris, something sexy launched that we all can slip in to: the Maison Martin Margiela hotel.

The 17-room hotel near the Champs-Élysées dates back to 1864 as the homestead of Princess d'Essling--but under Margiela's postmodern eye, it has been elevated to the realm of stagecraft. White-on-white on grays and black, it's all sharp lines, furnishings faceted like diamonds, and elaborate trompe-l'oeil paintings. Think a little surreal, a little Kubrick 2001, and a whole lot of jaw-dropping cool. Style like this never goes out of season.

Photo: Courtesy of Martine Houghton / Maison Martin Margiela

David Citadel Hotel Playroom, Jerusalem

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, July 14 10:54 AM

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Kid-friendly hotels are like magnets: On the one hand, we're attracted, knowing we're welcome to tote our lil' jet-setters along, but on the other hand, we're discouraged imagining all the other children running wild through the corridors. Yet with the opening of a new activity space for children at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem, it's all positive.

Bright and poppy and oh, so mod, this kid zone feels like the Pritzker Prize-winner of playrooms. With a wry playfulness, Israeli designer Sarit Shani Hay has deftly incorporated local iconography: a Jerusalem lion embedded on a cushy chaise, a windmill, a padded cave, the Mahane Yehuda Market with wooden fruit for mini hagglers. There's over 1,000 square feet of space for young explorers to expend excess energy, while flat-screens and computer stations keep older ones content.

Parents can stay or leave kids to play. Although with Mamilla Avenue shopping just a block away, we recommend the latter--let their inner Eloise roam.

Photo: Courtesy of Epoque Hotels 

25hours Hotel HafenCity, Hamburg, Germany

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, July 11 01:06 PM

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The Beatles were always ahead of the curve. But they were way ahead when they sailed for Hamburg. Half a century later, this once seedy city has morphed into a hip destination. And its latest opening, the 170-room 25hours Hotel (special opening rate from $140 per night through mid-August), is worthy of that reputation.

Located within HafenCity, the biggest urban renewal project in Europe, the arty hotel draws inspiration from the nearby docks. The check-in desk resembles wooden shipping crates. A tattoolike heart and anchor are etched into the glass showers. Plus, the walls are inked with graphic seafaring illustrations.

A vinyl lounge with an extensive collection of albums, including those of a certain floppy-haired foursome, anchors the hotel to Hamburg's musical past. Mop-tops and mariners may make for a motley crew, but we say ships ahoy.

Photo: Courtesy of 25hours Hotel

Lamai Serengeti, Tanzania

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, July 05 07:30 AM

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The annual wildebeest migration through Kenya and Tanzania is one of nature's greatest shows. But as with any hot ticket, you can be sure you'll be jockeying for position among herds of eager onlookers. That is, unless you stay at the new Lamai Serengeti.

Situated in the remote northern Serengeti, the 12-room open-air lodge perches on the rugged granite outcrop of the Kogakuria Kopje, overlooking the Mara River valley. From late July through October, the migration of those 1.5 million hairy beasts (not to mention the lions, leopards, and hyenas that dine on them) will be on your elegantly decorated doorstep. Interiors are understated and stylish, a blend of canvas and plaster walls with pops of blue or red against a cream-and-white backdrop. The secluded location ensures that the tourists won't outnumber the four-legged animals. It's wildly civilized.

Photo: Courtesy of Nomad Tanzania

StandART 2011, The Standard Hotels

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, June 29 07:00 AM

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Feeling guilty for spending your trip shopping and boozing instead of getting your culture on? Well, the fine folks at The Standard Hotels have partnered up with arty nonprofit Creative Time to absolve you of your vacation sins with StandART 2011.

Contemporary artists including Terence Koh and Slater Bradley have created a video art installation to run on all televisions in The Standard's hotels in New York City, Miami Beach, Downtown L.A., and Hollywood until the end of the year. From social commentary to bunny narratives, they're a real trip.

Photo: Allison Schulnik's Forest, courtesy of The Standard Hotels

Hotel Pulitzer Buenos Aires, Argentina

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, June 27 10:03 AM

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If you're all about checking into a property that embodies the spirit of a destination, Buenos Aires--that sexy city of retro '50s gilt and modern porteno glamour--has finally met its match in the new Hotel Pulitzer.

The 104-room property in the Microcentro combines Art Deco and midcentury-modern style with touchy-feely textures (buttery Argentine leather on the headboards, cowhide rugs, tufted velvet chesterfields). Rooms have a sophisticated bachelor-pad vibe courtesy of bold graphic artwork, color schemes that pack a punch (such as midnight blue and bright orange), and steamy onyx-tile bathrooms. Blackout curtains stand at the ready should you require a midafternoon siesta after a night at the hotel's 13th-floor bar. See? The devil is in the details--that's why we think Pulitzer takes the prize.

Photo: Courtesy of Epoque Hotels

Singita Explore, Tanzania

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, June 23 01:30 PM

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Did you know that safari actually means "journey" in Swahili? Ponder this nugget as you experience exactly that with Singita Explore, the brand-new luxury mobile tented experience from Singita Game Reserves. So, just as animals roam the 340,000 dramatic acres of Tanzania's western Serengeti, now you can, too.

You'll camp with the crickets and cawing and crick-crack of who-knows-what shuffling in the bush. But fear not, you'll hardly be roughing it. Accommodations are pared back to finely tuned yet high-class basics (a plush bed, and leather, rubber, and timber furnishings) in custom-designed, eco-friendly en-suite tents. The caravan itself is a private jaunt of 2 to 12 people. Just because you're following the herd doesn't mean you have to be a part of it.

Book two nights and receive a third night free with Singita Explore introductory promotion (from $2,600 per person sharing for three nights through December 2011)

Photo: Courtesy of Singita Game Reserves

Guest Regattas at Jumby Bay, St. John's, Antigua

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, June 22 07:00 AM

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Fore and aft and jib and jibe all sound like jibber-jabber to you. Still, a turn at the wheel of a mighty yacht--the wind tousling your hair, the salty spray tickling your lips--sounds appealing, doesn't it? Thanks to a new yacht offer at the private 300-acre island resort of Jumby Bay, two miles off Antigua's coast, you can now go from landlubber to regatta racer faster than you can say "sea legs."

The two-hour program allows guests at the 40-room/11-villa, British colonial-style resort to sail 40-foot racing yachts in Jumby Bay's exclusive regattas. Perfect for groups with various skill levels; newbies can get their feet wet, while more seasoned sailors can sharpen their skills. If pulling ropes and climbing rigging sounds like too much hard work for a vacation, you can opt for a smoother sail--just leave it to the professionals as you lounge on deck and watch the Caribbean sunset.

Photo: Courtesy of Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort

Château Les Carrasses, Languedoc, France

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, June 10 07:00 AM

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Provence, we love you, but after a New York Times best seller and a Russell Crowe movie extolling your beauty, it's time to bid you adieu. We've been seduced by the lesser-known Languedoc and its charming new hotel, Château Les Carrasses.

There are 28 new suites and villas (10 with heated private pools) within this 19th-century château complex. The modernized interiors have a country-chic charm, with traditional French furniture and a sand and cream palette, while the private gardens and terraces (complete with barbecues) give the whole place an air of self-contained luxury.

The original winery is up and running once again, with the first bottles ready to uncork this fall. In the meantime, you can sip other local vintages in the Orangerie, rumored to have been designed by Gustave Eiffel himself. Book now before the writers and movie stars get wind of it!

Photo: Courtesy of Chic Retreats

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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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