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"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”—Seneca, a Roman philosopher but we know this line best from Semisonic’s song, "Closing Time."
Ever since HotelChatter published its first story in 2003, we’ve been on an incredible journey with all of you dear readers, who, we were delighted to discover, are just as hotel-obsessed as our team of contributors and editors.
How many times did we gripe together about the insanity of peek-a-boo bathrooms, or get frustrated over yet another hotel opening delay? What about when we shared our pics of killer views and surprise suite upgrades? You were there every hotel room of the way.
And it was because of you that we were able to launch Jaunted and fly all sorts of airlines in different cabins, explore hot new destinations, and discuss useful travel hacks. It was also because of you that we were able to launch VegasChatter and cover everything in the mercurial city of Las Vegas from its restaurants, shows, hotels, and casinos, while doling out a few gambling tips here and there, too.
But alas, the cabin doors have closed, the room bill has been settled and the last of our chips have been cashed. Thank you for all the memories and we hope to meet you again in a hotel lobby, airport or casino someday soon.
In the meantime, you can keep up with your travel addiction at CNTraveler.com. If you’re signed up for our newsletter, you will automatically receive the Condé Nast Traveler newsletter going forward. If you aren’t signed up, you can do so here.
HotelChatter, Jaunted and VegasChatter
Travel News Briefs / Conde Nast Traveler / Jet Blue / Baggage Fees / Greece Travel / Tunisia Travel / Eurostar / Travel Noire / Lounge Buddy / Cathay Pacific / → All Tags
These Travel News Briefs were compiled by Conde Nast Traveler
JetBlue’s expected move to charge for at least some checked bags goes into effect today. The airline is “charging, effectively, $15 for the first checked bag versus most other airlines’ fees of $25,” Barbara Peterson reports. “It’s also reducing cancellation and change fees, which surveys show are among the most detested of the myriad fees imposed by airlines. That leaves Southwest, with its ‘two bags fly free’ policy, as the lone holdout among major domestic airlines.” (Condé Nast Traveler)
While many carriers charge for checked bags now, Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines both promise to deliver luggage within 20 minutes of arrival. Those policies are two of “a few bright spots where airlines inject a bit of humanity back into our journey” these days, Scott Mayerowitz reports. (AP)
“Traveling to Greece? Here’s what you need to know.” (Condé Nast Traveler)
Rose Wine / Air France / Business Class Travel / Wines / Travel News / Conde Nast Traveler / Jet Blue Mint / Airline Fees / Brazil Travel / In-Flight WiFi / Train Travel / Rick Steves / → All Tags
With summer officially in swing, we no longer feel the need to hide our rosé
drinking problem obsession. (Even though it's possible to drink rosé all year long, the blush pink wine is typically meant for summertime.)
While rosé is popular at restaurants and bars all over right now, we were quite surprised when we found a Cotes de Provence Rosé on the business class wine list aboard Air France, as usually airlines just offer white or red, but never in between. Paired with the rich butter cookies, it made for an excellent pre-meal treat. (However, if you're looking for rosé champagne, you'll have to fly Qatar business class for that.)
We'll have more on the rest of business class meal, and the flight, later this week but for now, sip on these travel news tidbits compiled by Conde Nast Traveler:
Conde Nast Traveler / Beaches / Beach Travel / European Beaches / Europe Travel / Greece Travel / Spain Travel / Islands / Croatia Travel / Cornwall Travel / → All Tags
This year's Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards produced a fascinating list of top island beaches in Europe, from strands of sand in the North Sea to Croatia's Dalmatian Coast. Add these to your beach vacation bucket list!
12. Corfu (Ionian Islands), Greece
Cape Drastis, on the northwestern tip of Corfu, is barely 50 nautical miles from the heel of Italy across the Ioanian Sea. The peninsula is studded with tiny beaches, accessible only on foot or by water.
11. Sardinia, Italy
Cala Goloritzè is one of Italy’s most enduringly famous beaches, located at the base of a ravine on the island's northeastern coast. It’s super tiny, but no less beautiful with its limestone cliffs, soft ivory sand, and striking, blue-green ocean. It's so special, it was even made a UNESCO site in 1995.
10. Hvar (Dalmatian Islands), Croatia
For a quiet spell away from the lively Renaissance port town of Hvar, head south to the tiny pebble beach of Uvala Dubovica. Get there early if driving as parking is limited, or rent a boat and swim ashore. A gorgeous 17th-century manor house anchors one end of the cove, while pine trees for shade sit at the other.
9. Crete, Greece
Balos Beach, on Crete's most northwesterly peninsula, is most easily accessed by ferries from Kissamos port—much better than the long, rugged dirt track or a 3-hour hike. A mix of bright white and pinkish sand and incredibly vivid turquoise water in the lagoon have made this one of the most photographed spots in Crete.
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Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards. The award categories cover the best cities, islands, hotels, cruise lines and airlines. For now, we're going to focus on those last twothe forms of transportation.
We've only noted the top three airlines in each category below, but see the complete rankings over at CN Traveler.
We always end up feeling kind of superior when we write up intercultural tipping posts. If there's one thing in the entire breadth and depth of international travel that Americans do more politely than Europeans, it's that we tip instinctively and we tip well.
The inverse also tends to be true. More than once we've had a dinner where a European friend magnanimously insisted on paying the bill, only to dramatically undertip the server. Awkward!
But it's a wide world out there, with subtle customs and complex rules. Tipping practices can vary by country and sometimes even by region. Violating local etiquette can range from the merely de classe to the positively dangerous.
To help you avoid mistakes, Conde Nast Traveler (a relation to the Jaunted/HotelChatter/VegasChatter family) just published a huge guide to global tipping practices. Covering more than 35 major countries across every inhabited continent, it describes in detail who, when, and how much you should be tipping.
The folks over at Condé Nast Traveler recently sent three writers on a mission to Moscow and gave each of them a different tool to use in completing some touristy activities. One writer was armed with an iPhone, the other was given a new BlackBerry Bold phone and the last writer was left with an old-school guidebook from Eyewitness Travel.
Interestingly enough, the writer saddled with the guidebook ended up completing the required tasks much faster than the other two with the internet at their disposal. And here's why:
It's that time of the year again, folks: the CN Traveler Hot List Awards! While it's no secret that the recipients of the titles of "Best Hotels," "Best Spas," "Best Nights" and "Best Tables" are often big players in the city scene (hidden gems, these are not), it's always fun to check off where we've been and where we'd give our right arm to have a simple appetizer.
Launching right into those honored for having the best "tables" in the world, we're intrigued by the fact that Dubai only garnered one winner: Ossiano at the new Atlantis Palm Jumeirah Hotel. Wait, but isn't Dubai spending its days and nights tacking up fancy new restaurants who in turn spend their days and nights drizzling gold-tipped china with fancy new sauces? Frankly, we expected more.
Traveler editor-in-chief Klara Glowczewska speaks at the Readers' Choice Awards in New York City.
As she opened the Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards in New York last night, publisher Elizabeth Henriques Hughes quoted recent cover boy Matt Damon and his conviction that "if people had thick passports" the world would be a better place. Of course, Jason Bourne sought out exotic destinations largely to kill people in them, but we get what she was saying.
Still, to visit many of the places honored at the awards, readers displayed not only their thick passports but their thick wallets. The silliest of the 18 awards given out at the ceremony, held at the New York Public Library (and reference to "Sex and the City" completely intended), pitted three Four Seasons resorts against each other to determine Hawaii's best.
Four Seasons CEO Kathleen Taylor pointed out in her acceptance speech (for the Maui resort at Wailea) that all three resorts have won before--well, the readers know what they like!
After the jump, the host's embarrassing travel moments and our chat with "30 Rock" actress Katrina Bowden.
If The New York Times, Budget Travel and National Geographic Traveler can do it, then so can Conde Nast Traveler! The glossy travel mag that's farmed out its web operations for so long has decided to build a new website of its own--and the magazine needs your help to do it.
Consumer News Editor Wendy Perrin, who is web savvy enough to have a Twitter account, announced the news on her blog:
Conde Nast Traveler's Web site, CNTraveler.com, will be spinning off from the Concierge.com mother ship next year and voyaging into cyberspace on its own. We're building our brand-new site from scratch--which has us all very excited--and I've been in a lot of discussions lately about what the new CNTraveler.com should be and what features it should have. Of course, we'd love to hear from YOU as well.
Crowdsourcing: Hotter today than it was in 2006!
Disclosure: Jaunted was acquired by CondeNet in April, but no one working there asked us to write this post!
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After John McCain used footage of her in a campaign ad, Paris Hilton is striking back with an absolutely hilarious video of her own, in which she presents her energy policy and plots an escape to Maui to get a great tan.
So what's that magazine she's consulting? It's the August issue of Conde Nast Traveler. Sorry T+L!
Travel Hell / Travel Media / Conde Nast Traveler / Travel Tips / Holiday Travel / Airlines / → All Tags
It's the time of year for Travel Hell, and here to save us is the December issue of Conde Nast Traveler. Wendy Perrin and her crack squad of travel industry experts pieced together a lengthy article on the how's and why's of holiday air travel, which we don't have to tell you sucks. Here are four things you need to know this season to keep you sane--at least until you get to your in-laws' house:
· More and more people are getting bumped--voluntarily or not--from flights, so be prepared: it could happen to you. If the airline asks for volunteers, it's up to you to sweet talk good compensation, be it free tickets or vouchers. CNT has a tip: "Cash doesn't have blackout dates."
· To avoid getting bumped all together, check into the equipment being used on flights. The bigger the airplane, the better the chance some people won't show.
· You may be able to avoid all this if JetBlue flies to your airport. They never overbook flights. But caveat emptor: They also have one of the lowest on-time arrival rates of major carriers.
· If you are flexible, you should be able to avoid delays. Flying early in the morning on Saturdays or Tuesdays is best, CNT says. And look up historical on-time data before booking.
Good luck out there!
· Escape From the Airport [CNT]