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Ralph Lauren's Classic Sports Cars, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, April 22 01:27 PM

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The fashionable set rarely summers in Paris (that's what the Riviera is for). But Ralph Lauren is breaking with tradition by sending some of his favorite cars for a summer sojourn at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in the western wing of the Louvre.

Starting this weekend and running through August 28, the museum will exhibit 17 automotive gems from the designer's extensive collection, including a 1938 lipstick red Alfa Romeo 8C (pictured), and a 1955 Jaguar XKD that would look right at home in the Batcave. Still in perfect working order, the cars are more than worthy companions to the museum's more famous masterpieces. It's not like the Mona Lisa can take you for a spin along the Champs-Élysées.

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Furman

25hours Hotel Wien, Vienna, Austria

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, April 11 03:53 PM

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Despite its refined reputation, Vienna has always been a bit of a show-off. With all the operas, the balls, and the surrounding hills that are alive with the sound of music, it takes a flashy newcomer like 25Hours Hotel Wien to make any noise on this scene.

The 34-suite hotel (another 187 rooms will be added next year) has vintage big top memorabilia--a ringleader's hat here, an acrobat's hoop there--and retro circus murals that splash a brushstroke of whimsy in otherwise minimal rooms with platform beds and brushed concrete floors. It's in good company in the quirky seventh district, a hub for Vienna's next-generation artists and musicians. So step right up, kids. It's time to get in on the act.

Photo: Courtesy of 25hours Hotel Wien

Orient-Express Art of Travel, Europe

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, April 05 04:01 PM

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Seeing a masterpiece is one thing, but living it is another. That's the idea behind a partnership between the National Gallery in London and Orient-Express, which has launched 13 new train journeys this spring that expose travelers to famous paintings and the regions that inspired them.

You might view Monet's soft-focus landscapes before chugging through the French countryside to the artist's home in Giverny. Or perhaps you'll get lost in the vibrant Venetian cityscapes of Canaletto before riding the rails down to those self-same canals and waterways. National Gallery experts travel with you on Orient-Express's gilded Art Deco train--a masterpiece in itself.

Photo: Courtesy of Orient-Express

Tickets, Barcelona

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, April 01 04:06 PM

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What do you do once you've revolutionized haute cuisine and your Michelin-lauded restaurant pulls in over a million reservation requests a year? If you're Ferran Adrià of El Bulli (closing this summer), you exit victorious, wizard those laurels into caviar droplets, and serve them up as tapas in Barcelona.

Newly opened Tickets, Adrià's second act, is like a buzzing avant-garde food court with a bright and Pop-y interior. Five bars handle different facets of the menu: La Presumida (oysters, seafood, charcuterie), La Estrella (the main area for drinks), El Garatge (grilling, pa amb tomàquet), La Dolça (desserts), and Nostromo 180286 (cheese serums, crunchy ham powders, sparkling mayonnaise, and other items of molecular gastronomic trickery). A sixth small cubicle, in English "the Marx Brothers' Cabin," crams in drink swillers hoping to jump on a cancellation.

Therein lies the best innovation: online-only reservations. Unlike at El Bulli, with its lottery system, seats here open three months prior, so Tickets is accessible with some planning. July in Barcelona is lovely, by the way.

Photo: Courtesy of Sergi Vicente Puig

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, February 25 04:54 PM

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The hottest ticket in England these days isn't the royal wedding, it's scoring a table at Dinner. The new restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is the first London outing of Heston Blumenthal, the patron saint of modern British cooking.

A departure from the mad scientist fare at The Fat Duck, Blumenthal's three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Berkshire, Dinner aims to resurrect centuries of British food tradition with dishes such as turkey pudding with cockscomb and rice and flesh. The elegant dining room has playful touches, such as porcelain sconces in the shape of antique jelly molds and a wall of 16th-century British cookbook prints that appear and disappear, depending on the light. Just the kind of magic that will keep them coming back for ages.

Uniworld River Cruises, S.S. Antoinette, Germany

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, February 24 03:18 PM

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The 82-room S.S. Antoinette, Uniworld River Cruises' newest boutique vessel, is a ship of firsts. It's the first river vessel to have an on-board cinema. The first to have deck-level guest rooms with open-air private balconies that convert to enclosed conservatories. And it makes a majestic first impression: The two-story lobby is lit by a 10-foot Baccarat crystal and sapphire chandelier; Brazilian marble shines on the walls and floors; and a 19th-century Venetian glass mirror multiplies all the sparkle.

Like the ship itself, the Antoinette's inaugural itinerary, Castles Along the Rhine, promises to be a regal affair when it launches on March 27. The eight-day journey includes Alsatian wine tastings, excursions to the medieval town of Koblenz, and walks through the Black Forest. Or you can simply size up the royal competition through windows framed by Figueroa silk-taffeta drapes.

Photo: Courtesy of Uniworld River Cruises, Inc.

You Are Here Sunglasses

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, February 18 04:39 PM

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If you can rock a pair of retro shades with neon pink detailing, you undoubtedly have a good sense of who you are. And these limited-edition You Are Here glasses with iconic skylines on the lenses will prove that you're a card-carrying citizen of the world of cool.

For the fascinating new All Access World exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (all about the ways in which well-known monuments and landmarks shape our identities), artist Agathe Snow customized 200 pairs of the hip German brand Mykita's specs. Choose from either New York City's skyline or the pyramids of Giza, painted in a fine gold line on the lenses--don't worry, you can still see through them. The sunglasses are a cheeky reminder to view the world through its grandest accomplishments.

The Istanbul Edition, Turkey

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, February 07 04:01 PM

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Istanbul is fast becoming one of Europe'sand Asia'shippest cities. And though there's no lack of luxury hotels, few tend to embody the modern sophistication of the city's cutting-edge nightlife scene.

That's why we're counting down the days till the March opening of the Istanbul Edition (the second property in a collaboration between megahoteliers Ian Schrager and Marriott). The hotel is all understated urban glamour, with loftlike rooms of polished rosewood and bronze. There's a two-story, 18,000-square-foot spa with sexy couples' beds suspended from the ceiling. And they're courting local tastemaker types with buzzy nightlife. The Web site is now open for booking. Get clicking, party people.

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.

150 at The May Fair Bar, London

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, January 21 03:13 PM

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Conspicuous consumption may have fizzled out over the past few years, but it's certainly bubbling back up again at the May Fair Hotel in central London, with the opening of 150. The stylish watering hole gets its name from the magnums (150 cl) of Champagne on the menu, which deep-pocketed guests can order alongside specially matched small plates by Brit star chef Silvena Rowe.

The fizzy parties start at $1,000 for four magnums of Moët & Chandon Impérial, including one blinged out with the name of the host in Swarovski crystals. But the real indulgence is the $6,800 Dom Experience: four magnums of 1998 Dom Pérignon Rosé paired with canapés like pomegranate-glazed foie gras and West Mersea oysters with Sevruga caviar and Szechuan-spiced butter. Now that's what we call bottle service.

Photo: Courtesy of the May Fair Hotel

La Terrasse, Bern, Switzerland

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, December 09 11:52 AM

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If you like the idea of watching a chef at work but prefer to keep your distance from sharp knives and hot sauces, La Terrasse at the grande dame Bellevue Palace hotel in Bern, Switzerland, is the place to eat.

Diners already use an iPad to browse the French dishes on the menu. Now they can use the tablet to watch head chef Gregor Zimmermann cook their dinner. And beginning next year, it will also be possible to connect to the kitchen directly via instant messaging to say hello or share some "constructive criticism."

We're told the communication will be one-way, so you won't hear what the chef thinks of your culinary advice. Probably just as well.

Photo: Courtesy of the Victoria-Jungfrau Collection

Canal House, Amsterdam, Netherlands

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, December 06 12:35 PM

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A bit tulip-sniffing organic, a bit debauched, Amsterdam is a city with a split personality. Now a new hotel, opening in January, is looking to bridge the divide.

Comprised of three 17th- and 18th-century canal houses perched on a particularly elegant stretch of the Keizersgracht, the Canal House hotel will include a dusky bar and 23 rooms with a seductive black, purple, and copper palette, plus come-hither open bathrooms that would seem custom-made for an illicit tryst. The tulip-sniffing side? The Great Room restaurant, carved out of a former ballroom, will serve Dutch locavore dishes, and a hidden garden out back includes a Garden House folly for private dinners.

Photo: Amy Murrell

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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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