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Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Washington, D.C.

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, August 31 07:00 AM

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With all the partisan bickering and national debt doomsaying, it's hard to find a ray of hope in Washington, D.C., these days. Perhaps we can all draw inspiration from this quotation from Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope." It was the impetus behind a new national memorial to the civil rights leader, which was to have been dedicated last Sunday, on the 48th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech. (The ceremony was delayed by Hurricane Irene, and a new dedication date will be announced here.) The first National Mall memorial to an African-American, the 30-foot granite statue depicts a resolute King staring toward the horizon encircled by walls inscribed with excerpts of his speeches. Let's hope some congressional leaders take a page from his book. We can dream, can't we?

And while you're in town...

Eat here:
Rogue 24
The new Rogue 24 restaurant has an open kitchen and serves up 24-course tasting menus that push the culinary envelope. That might mean a sliver of shrimp sausage atop a sphere of grits filled with corn milk or a lavender meringue with shaved foie gras smeared in berry jelly. Rogue indeed.

Stay here:
The Liaison Capitol Hill
A Pop art portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr., watches over the lobby of this Capitol Hill hotel; King is just one of the world leaders that the Liaison brings together both on and within its walls. The 343 rooms were made for comfort, with velvet and leather headboards and toffee-and-cream color schemes punctuated by turquoise throws and crimson pillows. Leaders from across the aisles come together at the rooftop bar and locavore restaurant Art and Soul. This is a D.C. liaison that won't land you in the tabloids.

Photo: Courtesy of Jason Rosenberg

45 Park Lane, London

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, August 30 07:00 AM

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Travel can be tricky these days, particularly if you have to leave your butler at home. Fortunately for the service-minded traveler, the Dorchester Collection's latest property, 45 Park Lane, opens in London on September 1. Although it will be the first completely new hotel to open in Mayfair in the past 100 years, it's pulling a trick straight out of the Gosford Park playbook: Every guest gets their own host.

Part personal assistant, part butler, part concierge, hosts will be assigned to each of the property's 45 rooms and suites. They'll greet you, escort you to your room for a private check-in, and arrange everything just so (expect a call prior to arrival). The overall effect is like staying at a well-located private residence, one replete with screening room, Wolfgang Puck in the kitchen (the in-house Cut restaurant is his first European venture), and rich Deco-inspired contemporary interiors by Thierry Despont. Capital holiday, old chaps.

Photo: Courtesy of the Dorchester Collection

Hôtel Americano, New York City

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, August 25 10:11 AM

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Mexican-owned, French-designed, Japanese-styled, NYC-outfitted: Like our great national stew, Chelsea's latest design hotel is an exercise in delicious eclecticism. Hôtel Americano, indeed. Opening in early September amid art galleries on a gritty stretch of West 27th Street, Grupo Habita's first property north of the border fits in brilliantly with the patchwork of New York City.

Outside, an industrial chain-link facade shields the rooms from prying eyes on the High Line. Inside, the 56 midcentury minimalist rooms are reminiscent of an urban ryokan, thanks to wooden platform beds and gallery-style white walls. Denim robes from Loden Dager, Latin-French room service in bento boxes, and mezcal and harmonicas in the minibar add just the right amount of quirkiness. In lesser hands, all this mishmash might appear muddled, but as conceived by interior designer Arnaud Montigny (of Colette fame), the easy je ne sais quoi of cool feels just like home.

Photo: Courtesy of Hôtel Americano

Jumeirah Frankfurt, Germany

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, August 18 07:00 AM

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We've come to expect a lot of innovation from luxury hoteliers Jumeirah--after all, these are the brains behind Dubai's sail-shaped Burj Al Arab and Shanghai's techno-Zen Himalayas Hotel. But at the new 218-room Jumeirah Frankfurt in Germany, the most impressive feature is taken from the oldest page in the book: location, location, location.

The 25-story glass tower anchors the PalaisQuartier complex, a new mixed-use development built around the 18th-century Thurn-und-Taxis-Palais. The financial district is within walking distance, the "Rodeo Drive" Goethestrasse next door, and the airport a 20-minute subway ride away. In other words: business or leisure, Jumeirah is the hub. And with interiors decked out with silk carpets, mosaic rain showers, and warm honey and walnut tones, plus high-tech gadgetry (body heat detectors and motion sensors regulate room temperature), it's a rather plush hub at that.

Photo: Courtesy of Jumeirah Frankfurt

Del Carmen Concept Hotel, Guadalajara, Mexico

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, August 12 07:30 AM

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Pssst...you can tell us. That ashtray on your side table used to reside in a Kenya safari lodge, didn't it? And those Egyptian cotton robes, could they be from a certain Paris boutique hotel? Well, sticky fingers, the newly opened Del Carmen Concept Hotel in Guadalajara, Mexico, is ready to make an honest traveler out of you. Here's the concept: You like it, you can buy it in the hotel's boutique.

Smartly designed in vivid hues, each of the nine rooms and suites pays tribute to a specific Mexican surrealist artist with custom-made furnishings and objets d'art handcrafted by regional artisans. Those chessboards in the Belle Epoque-style bar, the eclectic keys hanging from the ceiling of the lobby, even the crockery in the Kahlo-inspired Mexican restaurant--all are available in Del Carmen's Catalogue of Curiosities. Personal concierges will arrange shipments, large or small, anywhere in the world. Sure beats "borrowing" those towels from the housekeeping cart.

Photo: Courtesy of MexicoBoutiqueHotels.com

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

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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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