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St. Regis Washington Ballet Package, Washington, D.C.

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, April 29 04:21 PM

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When Natalie Portman pirouetted onto the ballet scene in Black Swan, the dance world was spun into the spotlight. Now you can go behind the scenes (minus the feather freak-outs) courtesy of a partnership between the St. Regis and the Washington Ballet, in D.C.

Hotel guests will attend a private dress rehearsal and the opening night performance of Carmen on May 19, plus a backstage tour by the Washington Ballet's artistic director, Septime Webre. You'll party afterward at a gala reception with company dancers and ballet VIPs. Then you'll debrief with Webre the next day over lunch at the hotel's Alain Ducasse restaurant, Adour.

The $5,000 price tag includes four nights in a swanky St. Regis suite with private butler service, so you know your stay will be en pointe.

Washington Ballet Aficionado Experience, $5,000 for four nights, May 17 to 21, 2011.

Photo: Sona Kharatian by Steve Vaccariello

Simplethings Sandwich & Pie Shop, Los Angeles, California

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, November 12 10:55 AM

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Feeling overwhelmed? The complexity of life getting you down? We have the answer: Pie. There are few things more comforting--perhaps it's the taste of simpler times, when your meals were home-cooked and you didn't have to pay rent. From next week, Angelenos can get back to basics at Simplethings, a quaint little shop selling pies and sandwiches that's sure to become a standout among L.A.'s innumerable girly cupcake and frozen yogurt joints.

This Third Street shop will offer five or six sweet and savory pies daily, as well as two or three specials, including executive chef Carrie Cusack's signature Missouri Mud Pie. And since they come in individual four-inch sizes, you can also take home a sampler six-pack. Now, that's a whole lot of comfort.

Photo: Simplethings

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

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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