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Sweet Cheeks, Boston

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, December 09 12:03 PM

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Great barbecue north of the Mason-Dixon Line? It's not just a Yankee myth. At Top Chef alum Tiffani Faison's debut restaurant, Sweet Cheeks, they're serving up righteous Texas-style barbecue a ball's throw from Boston's Fenway Park.

The vibe is down-home folksy, with a wink and a nod; tables are recycled from old doors and bowling alley lanes. Your meal arrives on a metal tray or butcher's paper, while beverages--sweet tea, American craft beers, and moonshine--are served in Mason jars. Tuck into sustainably raised brisket, ribs, and pork belly from Tootsie, the joint's 4,700-pound, wood-powered smoker. The meat isn't the only rib-sticking goodness--leave room for shamefully good Southern sides like slaw, hush puppies, and mac 'n' cheese (a recipe from Faison's mom). We'd call that a home run.

Photo: Courtesy of Sweet Cheeks

Washington School House, Park City, Utah

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, December 08 12:53 PM

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This winter, Park City is going back to school. And we're not talking ski school. Class, let us introduce you to the new kid in town, the Washington School House hotel.

The 19th-century schoolhouse has graduated from the kid stuff to the big leagues just in time for Sundance next month, courtesy of an eight-month renovation. Reclaimed barn-wood floors, Swedish antiques, and roaring fireplaces add a rustic warmth to the modern snow-white palette and contemporary art collection in the 12 rooms. Ski to the back door of the hotel, where a valet takes care of your gear, leaving you free to cozy up by the fire or head to a heated pool tucked in a grove of trees beside the mountain. The school of hard knocks this is not.

Photo: Courtesy of Washington School House

Mougin & Piquard for J.Crew Watch

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, December 07 01:21 PM

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Time is a-tickin', folks. You've got 18 shopping days to find the perfect gift for the globe-trotters in your life. You could agonize over luggage tags and portable pillows (snooze). Or you could spare yourself the trouble and buy everyone a Mougin & Piquard for J.Crew watch ($425).

Top-of-the-line timepiece purveyor Tourneau has teamed up with J.Crew to revive the 1920s watch brand. The vintage styling evokes pilots' watches, with an outer dial for the minutes and an inner one for the hour. And the font lends the face a hint of Parisian cool. It's a timeless way to keep time. And it's number one on our holiday wish list (hint, hint, Mr. Claus).

Photo: Courtesy of J.Crew

Andaz Shanghai, China

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, December 06 01:32 PM

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The new Andaz in Shanghai wants you to make yourself at home. But in this case, home is a Jetsons-style, curving latticelike building in the Xintiandi neighborhood.

The floor-to-ceiling rounded windows give the place a certain Sixties hipness, inside and out. There's no front desk--an all-in-one concierge/doorman/bellboy/receptionist checks you in on a tablet over wine in the lounge or in the elevator. The 307 rooms have wood floors, walls covered in traditionally patterned red fabric, and glowing translucent tubs in the bathrooms, as well as adjustable multicolored LEDs. Overall, the feel is softened space age. We see jet-set membership in your future.

Photo: Courtesy of Andaz

Black Tomato Swedish Lapland Tour

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, December 02 02:57 PM

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Dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh? It's not just the stuff of Christmas carols. On the hip travel company Black Tomato's new Swedish Lapland tour, it's your mode of transportation.

After a food tour of Stockholm, you'll kick it Santa-style under the Northern Lights, sleep in a mod tree house in an enchanted forest, and fly (literally) over the icy wilderness of Lulea in a hovercraft. Reindeer meatballs are on the menu, but having a nibble of Santa's little helpers could land you on the naughty list. Consider yourself warned.

Photo: Courtesy of Black Tomato

Little Serow, Washington, D.C.

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, December 01 05:34 PM

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With all the partisan bickering in Washington, D.C. these days, you have to ask: Can't we all just get along? Well, one chef is forcing politicos to do just that, over the dinner hour at least. Behold Little Serow, a new family-style restaurant from star chef Jonny Monis of Komi.

The spare, mint-colored dining room includes communal seating and a set seven-course menu of shareable plates. The northern Thai dishes might include deep-fried pork skins with green chile sauce or sausages with Kaffir lime and basil. Everything about the place is done in a spirit of equality, from the seating policy (first come, first served) to the china (fashioned to look like paper plates) to the price tag (a cool $45 for the prix fixe). Democracy never tasted so good.

Photo: Courtesy of Dakota Fine for Brightestyoungthings.com

Suno x Warby Parker Sunglasses

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, December 01 02:03 PM

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Celebs turn to shades when they're going incognito. But if you have no need to fly under the radar, we suggest that you slip on a pair of wild new sunglasses from Suno x Warby Parker ($175).

The spectacle marriage of two fashion It brands, these oversize frames announce your arrival with intricate prints inspired by Kenya, India, and Peru. Choose from a slick aviator shape, mod circular shades (pictured), or Buddy Holly-inspired frames. Oh, and for each pair you buy, Suno x Warby Parker will donate one to an eyeglass charity. Guess you have more in common with Ms. Jolie than you thought.

Photo: Courtesy of Suno x Warby Parker

Inn at Lost Creek, Telluride

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, November 30 12:40 PM

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Christmas has come early for ski bunnies: Heavy snowfall in Colorado has set the scene for a killer season. And two new packages at Telluride's Inn at Lost Creek can make it an affordable one. Sign up for the Pre-Season Ski Adventure and get four nights for the price of three, including transfers, breakfast, and two three-day lift passes, or nab the Altitude Adjuster, which is all that plus oxygen therapy and massages for two.

The homey-luxe inn has 32 suites (decked out with fireplaces, hot tubs, and steam showers), plus one of the most brag-worthy ski-in, ski-out positions in the San Juan Mountains. Oh, and did we mention the two rooftop hot tubs? Talk about taking it to the next level.

Pre-Season Ski Adventure from $1,809 (double occupancy), from December 1, 2011 through December 18, 2011; Altitude Adjuster from $2,301 (double occupancy), from December 1, 2011 through April 8, 2012

Photo: Courtesy of db2stock, Getty Images

The Shelborne, Miami Beach

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, November 29 01:27 PM

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It's all about grand entrances in Miami. And tomorrow's unveiling of the Shelborne South Beach, a 70-year-old Art Deco/MiMo masterpiece reimagined to the tune of $20 million, is no exception.

The big reveal starts when you drive up to the Morris Lapidus-inspired floating porte cochere (the robotic garage will take it from there). Check into one of the 200 beachy-pink guest rooms, then sashay down a glass-railed catwalk from the infinity pool to a new elevated sundeck. The approach from the beach is just as stylish, in a more laid-back way: Grab a taco and tequila at Lucy's Cantina Royale before settling in for some sandy people-watching. In a place as over-the-top as South Beach, sometimes simplicity is the grandest gesture of all.

Photo: Courtesy of Add Inc.

Boxpark, London

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, November 28 12:34 PM

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Ah, holiday shopping: those glaring fluorescent lights, the high-stakes fight for parking, the gratingly cheerful soundtracks. It's enough to make you want to flee the country. May we suggest London?

Our cross-pond neighbors are rethinking the mall experience with the new Boxpark. Made from 60 repurposed shipping containers, the shopping complex in the hip East End neighborhood of Shoreditch will peddle funky jewelry, streetwear, books, and bikes from a mix of up-and-coming and established brands. Add to that some coffee shops and cafés and an art gallery or two, and you've got a happy holiday. Our excitement cannot be contained.

Photo: Courtesy of Boxpark

The Dutch, Miami Beach

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, November 23 12:10 PM

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When New York City's arty set flies south for Art Basel Miami Beach next month, it'll feel right at home at the new South Beach outpost of the Dutch, Andrew Carmellini's Soho restaurant. Located in the glitzy W South Beach, this cool spot combines driftwood beams with white brick and vintage photos of old Florida to create a homespun cocoon of class.

As at the Soho original, the focus here is a cross-cultural stew of culinary influences, from Morocco to Italy and the coastal South, sourced locally and tweaked to a Miami Latin palate. Think Florida avocado and citrus smoked pepper salad, lobster in a spicy coconut sauce, and sour orange pie for dessert. Cocktails nod to SoBe with pineapple-infused mezcal, house-made jerk bitters, and fresh-squeezed cantaloupe juice. A perfect toast to the avant-garde.

Photo: Courtesy of The Dutch

Hotel Williamsburg, Brooklyn

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, November 22 02:08 PM

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As if Brooklyn needed any more feathers in its hipness cap, the Hotel Williamsburg has just opened, promising a bed for luxe-seeking scenesters. Think panoramic rooftop bar, buzzy restaurant, and a lot of tattoos and facial hair digging the summertime swim club.

Half of the 64 rooms have Manhattan skyline views, and all pop with a mod-meets-vintage decor of orange leather against woodsy wallpaper. Rooms also feature free vinyl to play on Crosley record players. And like a good Brooklynite, the borough's first full-service luxury boutique hotel is thinking local: uniforms are by Brooklyn Industries, and there's a signature suds on tap, brewed by Brooklyn Brewery just around the corner. Even the coffee, delivered 24/7 in retro green Stanley thermoses, is roasted by the oldest family-owned shop in New York.

Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Williamsburg

Horizon & Co. Titanic Expedition Cruises

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, November 21 12:01 PM

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A cruise to see the world's most famous shipwreck on the 100th anniversary of its sinking? Yeah, that gave us pause, too. But if you're willing to tempt fate, you can get up close to the disaster that launched a thousand Celine Dion remixes.

Horizon & Co.'s 15-day Titanic Expedition Cruises, departing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, include a dive 12,500 feet below the surface in a Russian Mir submersible piloted by members of the Titanic movie's expedition team. Back on the surface, there will be lectures and seminars, a memorial service, and as on all cruise ships, lots and lots of food. Sorry, Leonardo DiCaprio isn't part of the package.

Horizon & Co. Titanic Expedition Cruises, from $12,498 per person (excluding the dive) and $66,257 per person (including the dive). 2012 sailings depart July 12, July 27, and August 6

Photo: Courtesy of A.F. Archive / Alamy

Whitehall, New York City

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, November 18 12:09 PM

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Whitehall, in the heart of London, is where you'll find the Houses of Parliament and the Prime Minister's digs at Number 10 Downing Street; it's also the catchall term for the seat of government in old Blighty. And now the recently opened Whitehall in New York's West Village is the seat of modern British cuisine in the city. No debate.

The folks behind NYC's Scottish restaurants Highlands and Mary Queen of Scots have crossed the border to bring you poshified British fare courtesy of Australian chef Chris Rendell. Mushy peas come as fritters topped with mint sauce, and roast chicken breast is served with goat cheese butter that's as delicious as it is artery-lining (that's the British way, of course). The industrial-chic interior has reclaimed wood ceilings, brickwork and railway tile walls, and Edison bulbs aplenty. And we love the bench seating that's straight out of Hyde Park.

Oh, and there's lots of excellent gin--over 50 types, to be exact. Chin-chin.

Photo: Courtesy of Daniel Krieger

HootRoot Travel Tool

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, November 17 12:01 PM

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To be (green), or not to be, that is the question. When it comes to traveling, the answer is usually "not." But website HootRoot, which has just won a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency award, aims to change all that.

Plug in your start and end points (say, Boston and New York City), and HootRoot cleverly scans Google Maps and HopStop for routes, travel times, and carbon dioxide emissions for various modes of transport. For the Boston-New York City trip, for example, flying takes only 29 minutes (minus airport time) but emits a whopping 428.9 pounds of CO2, while driving clocks in at four hours and 238.84 pounds. Transit, which takes just minutes longer than a car trip, whittles one's carbon footprint to just 18.07 pounds. Consider it ready ammo for making green decisions--and saving a bundle on offset credits.

Photo: Courtesy of HootRoot

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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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