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Lodekka, Portland, Oregon

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, February 15 04:24 PM

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Portland pioneered the nation's gourmet food-truck craze. Now the city's mobile business is being taken to the next level, literally, by Lodekka, a dress shop in a bus. The 1965 double-decker originally ferried folks around Liverpool, England. Owner Erin Sutherland has no idea how the bus made it stateside, but she spent six months sanding, scraping, and painting the old clunker into one of Portland's coolest vintage boutiques.

Inside, you'll find 1970s jeans, swingy 1960s sundresses, flowy maxi-frocks, and retro souvenir pendants. Old board games and 1980s Esquire magazines will entertain the less sartorially minded. Next stop, a dance club in a 747? A salon in an Airstream? We can't wait to get on board.

Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, February 04 03:21 PM

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The most surreal experience in Florida these days isn't the flying wizards over at Universal Orlando, it's behind the walls of a new museum in St. Petersburg. The Salvador Dali Museum houses more of the surrealist's masterworks than any gallery in the world.

The 2,140-piece collection sits in a concrete fortress that appears under attack from a curving crystalline blob (Dali would have approved). Though the structure, designed by renowned architectural firm HOK, appears fantastical, there is an element of the practical to it. The building's 18-inch-thick walls are designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, to protect all those melting clocks and Dada dreams. And that is something to twirl your mustache at.

Momentum Adventure's Extreme Tours

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, January 04 12:30 PM

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If you're going to hurl yourself out of a helicopter, we can't think of a better sidekick than former James Bond film stuntman John Falkiner. This Aussie adventurer is one of a cast of intrepid outdoorsmen (British commandos, counterterrorism specialists--exactly the kind of people you want around when the chips are down) who lead the way on Momentum Adventure's bespoke extreme sports tours.

The company arranges itineraries based on your fitness level and interests, be it heli-skiing in the Rockies, ascending unconquered mountains in Antarctica (pictured), or dogsledding at the South Pole. And because these are the self-styled "Savile Row" of tailor-made trips, you can wash down a day of adrenaline with a dry martini. Shaken, not stirred, of course.

Photo: Courtesy of Momentum Adventure

Our Favorite Hotel Skating Rinks

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, December 27 05:15 PM

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The Standard NYC

Sitting at street level in New York City's Meatpacking District, the Standard's winter wonderland (pictured) is a good spot for people-watching both on and off the ice (note the sexy staff clad in custom Roxy snowsuits). Blade runners can refuel with cheese fondue and tempura onion rings. But go easy on the spiked hot chocolate, or the only thing you'll be putting on ice is your behind.

Open through winter. Tickets $12, skate rental $3.

Hotel del Coronado
Forget frozen fingers and tingly toes. At the Hotel del Coronado, in San Diego, you can practice your figure eights and work on your tan. The palm treeringed rink overlooks the Pacific, and a portion of the proceeds from each two- or three-hour skating session goes to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Open through January 2. Three-hour session: $20 for adults, $15 for kids. Two-hour session: $15 for adults, $10 for kids. Skate rental: $5.

St. Regis Atlanta
Tented in billowing white fabric and illuminated by twinkling fairy lights, the St. Regis Atlanta's rink is the place to go to win you serious romance points. Afterward, cozy up for hot chocolate and s'mores around the outdoor fireplaces or head upstairs for free leg and foot massages at the spa.

Open through January 3. One-hour session: $30 for adults, $18 for kids.

Amanyara, Turks and Caicos

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, December 15 11:18 AM

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New Year's resolutions usually start after your holiday vacation. But we've found a luxury Caribbean getaway with three top professional athletes on hand to get you psyched for a healthier 2011.

Amanyara resort in Turks and Caicos has enlisted tennis pro Peter Rennert (John McEnroe's former doubles partner) to boost your game on the hotel's two Har-Tru clay courts, triathlete Boris Talan to streamline your strokes in the 50-meter pool, and world record-holder Tanya Streeter to teach you the ins and outs of free diving.

So even if you do succumb to overeating/drinking/lounging during your stay at one of the 40 stylish glass-and-wood guest pavilions surrounded by reflecting pools, at least you'll have professionals on call to get you back on track.

Photo: Courtesy of Amanresorts

EpicQuest Heli-Ski Photography Package, Alaska

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, December 10 11:48 AM

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Half the fun of heli-skiing is the bragging rights. So why not take it to the next level and combine a heli-ski trip with a squad of professional outdoors photographers who'll capture your adrenaline-fueled adventures and teach you the tricks of their trade?

Starting in March 2011, EpicQuest's heli-ski and photography package will bring together outdoors/ski photographer Scott Markewitz, Powder magazine photo editor David Reddick, and up to eight guests on a seven-day excursion to Alaska's Chugach Mountains. The pros will teach you how to shoot on the slopes and atop remote peaks as well as from a helicopter, but it's not all about looking through a lens--you'll be swooshing through fresh powder on the steeps, too.

Finally, your aprčs-ski tales of derring-do can be backed up with photographic evidence.

Photo: EpicQuest/Scott Markewitz

Oscar de la Renta's Ultimate Wedding Experience

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, December 07 12:31 PM

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Powdery white sand: Check. Azure sea: Check. Personal gown consultation with a fashion legend: Check.

If you book all 15 Tortuga Bay villas at the Dominican Republic's Puntacana Resort & Club for your impending nuptials, not only will you benefit from pearls of fashion wisdom from Oscar de la Renta at his New York atelier, but your wedding will include access to nine restaurants, a Six Senses spa, and a 600-acre forest preserve where you can be at one with nature (as well as each other, in the spring-fed pools). And since the resort also owns the airport, your pre-wedding nerves will be soothed by the smoothest of transfers.

Sun, sea, and style. Now that's what your big day should be all about.

Photo: Courtesy of Puntacana Resort & Club

Rainbow City, Miami, Florida

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, November 22 04:23 PM

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After years of being told "Do not touch" in art galleries, you might feel a little reticent about the hands-on approach at the Rainbow City installation that coincides with Art Basel Miami Beach

Arty think tank FriendsWithYou has created a psychedelic environment that features 40 brightly colored, toylike inflatable sculptures ranging in size from 10 to 40 feet tall--all of it intended to make you feel like a kid again. Running around, jumping on the exhibits, and generally regressing to childish ways is actively encouraged.

We've seen this kind of behavior in Miami before, but it had nothing to do with art.

Photo: Courtesy of FriendsWithYou

Canyons Resort, Park City, Utah

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, November 18 12:35 PM

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Subzero conditions may not faze you when you're powering down a mogul run, but a long, frigid ride on a chairlift can bum out even the hardiest of skiers. That's why we're drawn to a new lift at Utah's Canyons, which is adding warmth to all the right places.

The state-of-the-art lift, the first of its kind in North America, will be up and running when ski season starts on November 26 and is part of the first phase of an overall multi-million dollar investment being made at the resort. In addition to having heat in the seat, each chair is enclosed in an orange pod to block wind and glare--much like your ski goggles. It takes just nine minutes to reach the top of the mountain.

We suspect the only problem will be getting people off the lift and onto the slopes.

Photo: Courtesy of Canyons

Tattoo Artist-in-Residence, Marcel at Gramercy, New York City

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, November 15 11:01 AM

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Hotels are always trying to up the ante on extra services (seriously, do we really need pillow butlers?), but New York City's Marcel at Gramercy has come up with our favorite, by far: a tattoo artist-in-residence.

This isn't just any tattoo artist. Acclaimed Los Angelesbased inker Mister Cartoon--who has tattooed celebs, from Beyoncé to Eminem--is the man setting up shop from today until November 24 in the hotel's pop-up Ink Suite.

Check in, and not only will you jump Mister Cartoon's one-year waiting list, you'll also have a souvenir that will last forever.


Hotel guests can make an appointment by calling 917-600-5554 or e-mail MOARMARCEL@mistercartoon.com.

Photo: Matthew Dean

Discovery Adventures' Classic Japan Tour

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, November 08 04:41 PM

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Yes, Japan has the high-tech, neon-lit spectacle that is Tokyo, but seriously, people, don't you spend enough time in the fast lane? Why not slow down a little, have a cup of tea, and contemplate the wonders of classic Japan instead?

On Discovery Adventures' new nine-day tour, you can bathe in a hot spring at the foot of Mount Fuji, stroll around Kyoto's geisha districts, and get private access to a former teahouse to see traditional music and dance performances. A few days of this, and you might even switch off your cell.

And for adrenaline junkies who can't switch off, it's also possible to slot in some high-octane Tokyo time, too.

Classic Japan Tour starts March 26, 2011, from $4,399

Photo: Discovery Adventures

Mercedes-Benz Arena, Shanghai

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, November 03 03:15 PM

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No, Mercedes-Benz hasn't started making spaceships (although that would be a blessing at rush hour). This chrome "craft" in the Pudong district of Shanghai is actually an arena, which opened earlier this week.

Originally created for the city's World Expo, the oyster-shell-shaped structure has morphed from that event's cultural center into the country's first venue to offer naming rights--China's answer to L.A.'s Staples Center.

There's a lot going on inside to interest both locals and visitors, including an 18,000-seat stadium, a cineplex, an ice rink, a music club, and a mall. And in case you're still feeling skittish about aliens, rest assured the only conquering forces flying in will be the NBA basketball teams slated to play there soon.

Photo: AEG-OPG Culture and Sports (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

Día de los Muertos, Mexico

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, November 01 09:02 AM

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You can expect high spirits in graveyards, endless fireworks, and all manner of colorful decorations like papel picado (tissue-paper banners) today and tomorrow to mark Mexico's Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Stores overflow with trinkets to offer to the deceased, such as skull and coffin candies and yellow marigolds. As you can see from the drunken skeletons, this is a time to party with (or even mock) death rather than fear it.

Photo: Chan Kah, Flickr

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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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