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The Beer Moth, Inverness-shire, Scotland

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, December 20 01:19 PM

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Sure, you don't mind roughing it. But you still like your mattress soft and your hearth warm. May we introduce you to the Beer Moth? Crafted from a 1956 fire truck, this flatbed B&B sits on the verdant grounds of Inshriach House in the shadow of the Monadhliath Mountains in the Scottish Highlands.

You'll lay yourself to sleep on an antique Victorian brass bed in the back of the truck, which is outfitted with oak parquet floors salvaged from a Tudor mansion. You'll warm yourself by a hearth made from an old snooker table. And you'll descend to hike the grounds via a fire escape staircase. Part truck stop, part glamper, the Beer Moth is a tall draft of personality. Bottoms up!

Photo: Courtesy of Canopy & Stars

Southern Spirit Whistle Stop Tours, Australia

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, November 15 12:08 PM

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You may have noticed that Australia is big. Really big. Only slightly smaller than the United States, in fact, with vast stretches of countryside separating its cosmopolitan cities. Flying around the country is expedient, but on Great Southern Rail's new routes aboard the Southern Spirit, you get to see all the gorgeous landscapes in between.

Passengers on Southern Spirit Whistle Stop Tours can hang ten in hip surfing town Byron Bay, quaff New World wines in the scenic Hunter Valley, pet koalas at Taronga Western Plains Zoo near Dubbo, and go walkabout in the beautiful forests of the Grampians. Now that's the spirit.

Southern Spirit six-day Whistle Stop Tours from $4,235

Photo: Courtesy of Southern Spirit Tours

Hotel J, Stockholm, Sweden

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, September 20 12:02 PM

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Americans don't always have the best reputation in Europe (who among us hasn't considered renouncing our citizenship when queried about exports like Snooki?). But there's one place that's unabashedly rolling out the red, white, and blue welcome mat with style: Stockholm's newly expanded Hotel J.

Set on the water's edge at Nacka Strand, Sweden's answer to Newport, Rhode Island, the hotel has 158 guest rooms--113 of them a Nordic homage to nautical New England, with stars-and-stripes bedding, blond wood furniture, and whitewashed moldings. The sweeping views of the Royal Djurgården, the leafy island of Lidingö, and the boats on Saltsjön bay are pure Sweden. But the friendly service extends to those of us as American as apple pie (which is served à la mode in the hotel restaurant).

Photo: Courtesy of Design Hotels

Time-Lapse Camera

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, August 10 07:00 AM

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Ever wonder how to catch those time-lapse images of a growing flower or the changing seasons? It usually involves a few thousand dollars' worth of equipment and a whole lot of patience. But now those of us who prefer to spend our vacation in a hammock nursing a daiquiri rather than sitting patiently behind a camera can get in on that pro-style photography.

Just set up this sturdy new Time-Lapse Camera (available from Photojojo, $149), click a few buttons, and leave it to its work shooting frame after frame and stitching them together into a time-lapse video. So you can bring home footage of the changing light across a cityscape, the rise and fall of the equatorial sun, or a full day of your kids frolicking on the beach. All of the payoff with none of the effort? That's our idea of a vacation.

Photo: Courtesy of Photojojo

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

Villa Godthem, Stockholm, Sweden

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, July 15 10:17 AM

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Most refurbs don't get the royal seal of approval, but when Villa Godthem in Stockholm revealed a makeover that breathed fresh life and new flavors into a once-fading 114-year-old landmark, the Swedish king and queen came a-calling.

Built in 1894, the ornate wooden structure was originally an opera singer's residence but was converted into a restaurant 23 years later. The Michelin-starred folks behind Grill and Kungsholmen have masterminded the most recent redo. Now the veranda is enclosed in windows and acts as a main dining room, with outdoor dining on an expansive and leafy patio that fronts Djurgården's idyllic Brunnsviken bay.

Signature dishes include steak or Baltic seafood served up on a wooden plank, while the rest of the menu leans toward Swedish traditional tweaked for contemporary palates: lighter, healthier, and of course, locally sourced and organic. Even if you aren't a king, you deserve to eat like one.

Photo: Courtesy of Stefan Anderson

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

Compagnie du Ponant Antarctica Sailings

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, June 09 07:00 AM

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Sometimes one megayacht just isn't enough. At least that's Compagnie du Ponant's take on the matter. Come November, the luxury cruise company will launch two new ships, L'Austral and Le Boréal, on nine round trips from Ushuaia, Argentina, through the Drake Passage to Antarctica.

The 132-cabin twin vessels double your chance to chill out with Champagne as you sail past whales, penguins, and sea elephants. After a long day of exploring glaciers with experts in hydrobiology and polar wildlife, you can retire to the marble tub in your luxury suite or get a massage in the spa. Because who wouldn't want a little extravagance on an Antarctic expedition?

Sailings from November 2011 through February 2012, from $4,860

Photo: Courtesy of Philip Plisson, Compagnie du Ponant

L'And Vineyards Resort, Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, June 03 04:49 PM

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Like wearing white after Labor Day or boat shoes with socks, spending the warm months indoors is its own kind of gauche. Thankfully, the 22-suite L'and Vineyards, nestled in the rolling hills of Portugal's Alentejo wine region, has opened just in time to help you avoid summer sacrilege.

A slick wood and slate palette and bold architecture make a modern play against the pastoral landscape, and the Sky suites raise the roof (literally): Above your king-size bed is a retractable ceiling that lets in fresh air and reveals the constellations above, adding thousands of stars to the resort's already commendable five. Think of it as a boozy camping trip for people who don't like camping.

Photo: Courtesy of L'and Vineyards

New York Rooftop Gardens, teNeues

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, May 26 07:00 AM

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New York is one of those cities where, even if you're having the time of your life, you can't help but wonder if you're missing out on something even more fabulous (you probably are). But here's one way to see something that visitors hardly ever get to access: NYC's rooftop gardens.

New York Rooftop Gardens, a coffee-table book with 200 stunning color photographs by Charles de Vaivre gives you an eyeful of the oases nestled high above the concrete jungle. While most of these leafy, lofty spots are reserved for Manhattan's lucky few, don't despair--there's always the egalitarian elevated gardens of New York's High Line to stroll along (Section 2, from West 20th to West 30th Street, opens in June).

New York Rooftop Gardens, teNeues, available early summer. Click here to preorder.

Photo: © 2011 Charles de Vaivre. All rights reserved. www.charlesdevaivre.com

Get Two Trips for the Price of One

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, May 11 11:00 AM

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Train journey, or cruise? Canadian Rockies, or Alaska's Glacier Bay? If you're finding it tricky to decide on your next vacation, cruise company Holland America and Canada's luxe private train operator Rocky Mountaineer are offering 12 innovative Rail & Cruise packages that will appeal to the indecisive traveler.

All packages include seven days cruising along the west coast of Canada into Glacier Bay, Alaska, passing porpoises and whales on the way to hardscrabble frontier fishing villages like Sitka and Ketchikan. While rail options chug past rocky peaks and trees as far as the eye can see--which is pretty far, thanks to the panoramic glass-domed viewing carriages.

Train stops can include top Canadian Rockies highlights (Jasper, Yoho, and Banff) and overnights at posh hotels such as the Fairmont Banff Springs, depending on class of service. Keep an eye out for the Silverleaf option, a new mid-range level debuting on select routes. Think of it as the ultimate ode to enjoying the journey.

Rocky Mountaineer Rail & Cruise Packages, departures from Seattle or Vancouver May 8 through September 11, 2011, starting at $2,755

Photo: Courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer

Harbor Hotel, Provincetown, Massachusetts

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, May 03 04:29 PM

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Quaint
is king in Provincetown, the salty artists' colony and beach resort on the tip of Cape Cod. You can't fling a flip-flop without hitting a lovingly restored B&B or weathered fisherman's cottage. But now there's a fresher catch in town: the newly renovated Harbor Hotel.

The 119 rooms and 10 suites, unveiled this past weekend, pop with lime walls, honey-colored wood, stained concrete floors, and mod amenities (flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, all-day coffee bar). Outside, there's a cozy fire pit and the poolside Cabana Bar, complete with a grill menu; inside, the arty Whaler Lounge serves up pub grub.

But Harbor also plays to Provincetown's classic strengths, with spectacular seaside sunsets visible from every room and easy access to briny tidelands across the street. Free shuttles and bikes help you make short hops to the area's famous dunes and into town for the galleries, restaurants, and quirky nightlife. Because in Provincetown, quaint also means queer, in every sense of the word.

Photo: Courtesy of Harbor Hotel Provincetown

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.

St. Regis Lhasa Resort, Tibet

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, November 16 11:09 AM

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There's no end of hotels boasting great views, even if that "great view" turns out to be a scrappy piece of greenery. But if you're serious about what's outside your window, the newly opened St. Regis Lhasa, in Tibet, offers the kind of spectacle that can only be found on the Roof of the World, 12,000 feet above sea level.

The first international luxury hotel in Tibet, this 150-room property promises to immerse guests in its surroundings. It's not just the view that will remind you of where you are: Guest rooms have traditional lattice wood furniture and photography depicting local life. Eating options include a Tibetan and Nepalese restaurant, Si Zi Kang. The tearoom serves local blends, some of them aged up to 25 years, and in the spa, you can opt for Tibetan herbal treatments.

If you're looking to live the high life, this is the place.

Courtesy of the St. Regis Lhasa Resort

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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