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Happy Magic Watercube Waterpark, Beijing

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, August 17 07:00 AM

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Ever since Michael Phelps left the building, the National Acquatics Center in Beijing seemed a bit like a fish out of water. But now, the Happy Magic Watercube Waterpark has opened in the translucent bubble-covered building to put the sparkle back in its splash.

Ribbons of color sail wavelike through schools of pink and blue jellyfish suspended from the ceiling, and a rainbow of slides twist their thrill-ride tentacles down into splash pools. Swimmers can seek out swells in a wave pool, float around a lazy river, or brave a near-vertical speed slide. Seems Mr. Phelps isn't the only one who knows how to live life in the fast lane.

Photo: Courtesy of Happy Magic Watercube Waterpark

Casa de La Flora, Khao Lak, Thailand

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, March 21 06:44 PM

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Lots of hotels try to up the luxury ante with amenities you never knew you needed, but the decadence of having a private place to float and chill still tops our list of favorite perks. And few hotels do plunge pools with as much style as the new Casa de La Flora in mellow little Khao Lak, Thailand.

Each of the property's 36 cubelike villas opens onto a private ebony-bottomed plunge pool, obscured from view by lush hedges or stone walls. The angular structures, with minimal mod interiors and Apple in-room technology, pay homage to midcentury Brutalist architecture. But we fail to see anything brutal in those floor-to-ceiling Andaman Sea views.

Photo: Courtesy of Design Hotels

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.

Templar Hotel, Toronto

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, January 31 11:19 AM

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The grass (or in this case, glass) is always greener on the other side. And that'll definitely be the case at the Templar Hotel, a Canadian newcomer opening in Toronto's entertainment district at the end of February.

This design-conscious glass and aluminum hotel will undoubtedly draw style-seekers to its lobby full of modern art and its 27 retro rooms with custom-built furnishings. But we recommend making a beeline for the bar. Looking up through the Monk Lounge's transparent ceiling into the Onsen Spa pool, you might get a sudden urge to drink less and take better care of your body. Meanwhile, the swimmers peering down will probably be hankering for a post-dip cocktail.

No matter which way you look at it, the Templar has the appearance of a hot spot in the making.

Photo: Courtesy of Design Hotels

 

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, November 04 03:28 PM

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For many of us, the end of daylight saving time on Sunday means one thing: the start of a long, cold winter. But don't despair--book a vacation for January, when the festive sparkle of the holidays is gone and you're frozen to the bone. It just so happens we've found somewhere you can chill (in a good way) in a mild climate to beat your winter blues: Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, in Mexico, opening January 20.

This city resort--67 rooms, all with balconies or terraces--slots seamlessly into San Miguel's winding, cobbled streets lined with colonial-era buildings. The hotel has a Mexican restaurant, two swimming pools, a spa, and a rooftop tapas bar.

Go on, picture yourself here come January--suddenly the next few months don't seem so bad, do they?

Photo: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

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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