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Epic Tomato Adventure Travel Company

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, February 28 11:17 AM

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The hip kids at Black Tomato, a bespoke British luxury travel company, have long been making U.S. travel agents look lamer than a pair of pleated khakis. Now they've kicked things up a notch with the launch of their new service, Epic Tomato.

The company will help the baddest of badasses plan seriously intrepid trips. Care to slice your own path through the uncharted jungles of Borneo? Pull a pulk across the unmapped tundra of Antarctica? Or perhaps you'd prefer to try your luck outpaddling alligators on the White Nile. If you're cool with pushing yourself to the limit, these guys have got you covered.

Photo: Courtesy of Epic Tomato

Tambo del Inka Resort and Spa, Peru

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, February 23 11:27 AM

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The new Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa is an eco-friendly property built in glass and stone that sits beside the Vilcanota River in Peru's Urubamba Valley. The 128-room complex centers on a gorgeous two-pool spa, an ideal place to relax after hiking or cycling the quinoa-covered grounds or a day trip up to Machu Picchu on the recently opened Urubamba train line.

While you're in Peru...

Eat here:
Malabar
Malabar is Peru's first outlet for haute Amazonian cuisine, served amid brightly colored furniture and a riot of artwork. Though many of the jungle's creatures, fruits, and vegetables take the form of street food in their native habitat, at this Lima restaurant chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino creates soufflés (hearts of palm), purées (yuca), and vinaigrettes (the applelike cocona).

Climb here:
Machu Picchu
The 2011 centennial of Hiram Bingham's rediscovery of the mysterious Incan ruins promises to attract bigger crowds than ever. One of the most rewarding ways to sidestep the hordes is to trek along the fabled Inca Trail. On the last morning you reach Machu Picchu's Sun Gate by sunrise, after which you can expect a tourist-free couple of hours before the buses start to roll in.

Photo: Courtesy of Tambo del Inka Resort and Spa

Hotel Fasano Las Piedras, Punta del Este, Uruguay

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, February 22 04:47 PM

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Beautiful people. Beaches. Polo. Even Marvin Gaye would have had a hard time dreaming up a combo this sexy. But those are the three steamy entities that have become bedmates at the new Hotel Fasano Las Piedras. Set on a historic ranch outside the party town of Punta del Este, this Isay Weinfeld-designed property sprawls over 1,200 acres, from a vast plateau across a cactus-dotted valley to the crystal-clear Maldonado River.

The 20 bungalows (another 12 will be available from mid March) have a please-touch vibe, all leather headboards and shag carpets, with playful touches like vintage school maps. What better place to chill out after riding horses across the estancia with those cute vacationing Brazilians you met by the natural limestone pool? Have the hotel's private car take you to see-and-be-seen beaches like La Barra and Jose Ignacio, five minutes away. Or catch an on-site polo match before retiring to the hotel bar. A few drinks there will encourage you to do what comes naturally.

The Sebastian, Vail, Colorado

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, February 17 04:32 PM

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The Sebastian (formerly the Vail Plaza Hotel & Club) is perfectly placed if you're all about the après-ski rather than the slopes. The hotel, which sits at the gateway to Vail Village, reopened in January 2011 with 107 plush rooms, a spa, and valets for everything (so you can avoid schlepping a single piece of gear). In the restaurant, Block 16, chef Sergio Howland marries Maine lobster with braised veal cheeks, but you might be more interested to hear that the hotel bar has one of the largest Scotch collections in the Colorado Rockies.

And while you're there--

Eat here:
Atwater on Gore Creek
Chef Adam Votaw's clubby dining room overlooking a slope-side stream specializes in savory meat and seafood crowd-pleasers, such as soy-glazed beef short ribs and mustard-crusted diver scallops. Leave room for dessert: Pastry chef Felicia Jablonksi adds a scoop of house-made fig ice cream to the sticky toffee pudding and pairs coconut sorbet with the flourless chocolate cake.

Play here:
Adventure Ridge
If riding a bike over the snow and through the treesat night, with only a headlamp illuminating the path aheadis your kind of thing, then head straight for Adventure Ridge. This adrenaline junkie's dream at the top of Vail Mountain is actually pretty child-friendly, too, with a long, multilane tubing hill, trampolines with bungee harnesses, and pint-size snowmobiles for kids ages 6 to 12.

Discover France: Tour de France Routes

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, February 03 02:48 PM

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The calves, the controversy, the climbsit can only be the Tour de France. And if you've got the legs (and lungs) for it, you can get out in front of the pack this July with a Tour de France itinerary from the experts at Discover France.

These eight-day cycling trips follow the same routes as the pros, over the most fearsome mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees and through fields of lavender in Provenceat times just a few hours ahead of the peloton. VIP access allows you to interact with the event's cyclists, and they'll even lend you a yellow jersey so you can commemorate your personal victories.

But our favorite part? With all that pedal-pushing, you won't have to feel bad about having an extra pain au chocolat--or three.

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

Waikiki Edition's Surf and Bikini Boot Camp, Honolulu, Hawaii

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, January 03 12:03 PM

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If there are a few feet of snow between you and the local gym, you'd probably rather stay at home and eat take-out under a blanket than hit the weights. But what if you could work out someplace warm, by the sea&like, say, Oahu? Suddenly, getting in shape sounds a lot more appealing.

Starting this month, the 353-room Waikiki Edition in Honolulu--a stylish, modern resort by hotel impresario Ian Schrager and Marriott International--offers a four-day Surf and Bikini Boot Camp. Waterfall hikes, kayaking trips, surfing and paddleboard lessons, and yoga sessions will be led by a crack team of pro surfers, naturalists, yogis, and personal trainers.

But this trip isn't all work, no play. The resort offers plenty to do (four bars, a spa, an outdoor movie theater) during your "rest" period. Never has losing your post-festivities paunch been so enjoyable.

Photo: Courtesy of Waikiki Edition

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 après-ski tales of derring-do can be backed up with photographic evidence.

Photo: EpicQuest/Scott Markewitz

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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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