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Archive for hotels

The Knick in New York

By Linda Tancs

When it comes to the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City, you get the pleasure of staying not only at a luxury hotel but also of enjoying a storied building. Affectionately known as The Knick, the glamorous, Beaux-Arts style dwelling was built in 1906 by John Jacob Astor IV, scion of one of America’s most influential families. Of course, that means that it was “the” place to be for the cognoscenti and glitterati of the day. Indeed, it was home to world-famous tenor Enrico Caruso and his family and a popular meeting place for bigwigs like John D. Rockefeller and other financiers and industrialists. After Astor’s death on the Titanic, the hotel subsequently closed until its rebirth in 2015. Designated a New York City Landmark in 1988, it remains one of Manhattan’s premier luxury hotels in Times Square.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Landmark Luxury in NYC

By Linda Tancs

In 1882, prominent NYC financier Henry Villard commissioned the design of six Italian Neo-Renaissance townhouses around a Madison Avenue courtyard. Little could he have imagined that his vision gave birth to a landmark. Ultimately, famed real estate developer Harry Helmsley transformed the property into a 55-story hotel, the largest luxury hotel in the city. Now known as Lotte New York Palace Hotel, the historic Villard Houses occupy the foreground of this luxury retreat offering a storied setting for business and leisure travelers as well as for television shows and movies. Maybe this is the place to call home for the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week.

Parisian Flair in Macao

By Linda Tancs

Dubbed “Las Vegas of Asia,” you’ll find the same international flair in Macao, China, as you would on The Strip. That includes the Parisian Macao, a hotel complex featuring a half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. Watch it be illuminated every 15 minutes during the Grand Illumination Show, a blaze of color from base to tip. And you can’t beat the skyline views from the deck on level 37.

Sleep for Bibliophiles

By Linda Tancs

A haven for bibliophiles lies just miles from the English/Welsh border in Hawarden, Wales. In that small, ancient village you’ll find a “residential” library fit for a king. That’s right, a place where you can sleep, eat and drink—and read, of course. Founded by Victorian Prime Minister William Gladstone, Gladstone’s Library is a Grade-I listed building with 26 rooms surrounded by a print collection of 250,000 items accessible well after the general public has left the building. The U.K.’s only residential library, it gives new meaning to the term “bedtime stories.”

Head-to-Toe in Kent

By Linda Tancs

If you’re longing for a safari-like experience outside Africa, then a visit to Kent, England, might just be the ticket. Yes, that’s right. Kent, the “Garden of England,” offers an enviable wildlife experience at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve. The park is home to over 760 animals across 90 species, including spectacled bears, Kent’s only giraffe and the largest herd of black rhino in the UK. For added excitement, stay at one of their special lodges where floor-to-ceiling windows in each guest room afford head-to-toe views of wolves, tigers, lions, bears and giraffes in special enclosures. You can even hand-feed the giraffes at the Giraffe Lodge, just like at the Giraffe Manor in Kenya.

Dancing With Wolves

By Linda Tancs

Feared, loved and hated, the wolf is an apex predator with pride of place in stories, fables and myths. In fact, wolves figure prominently in the mythology of nearly every Native American tribe. You might naturally want to shy away from an encounter with an animal as powerful as this, but that’s far from the case at Norway’s Polar Park. The world’s northernmost animal park, the arctic wildlife centre offers visitors a close encounter with its wolves in an enclosure called WolfVisit. Those meeting basic requirements for entry will have the opportunity to interact with a group of domesticated wolves under the direction of an animal keeper. And in the middle of one of the larger enclosures is a luxury hotel experience called WolfLodge, where oversized windows give you and your furry friends ample opportunity to size each other up. The ambience is particularly spectacular in the winter because the wolves are most active now due to mating season from February to April.

Lava and Lights

By Linda Tancs

Where everything meets nothing. That’s the way ION Luxury Adventure Hotel pitches its peaceful respite less than an hour’s drive from Reykjavík. The “everything” is the luxury experience that awaits you at this eco-conscious hotel sporting prefab panelized construction that melds with a backdrop of lava fields. Enjoy the pampering, which includes options like a relaxation massage with Icelandic herbs, a warm soak in the sauna and the tranquility of a silent relaxation room. The “nothing” may be a bit of a misnomer, considering the property’s location at the footsteps of the UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park, site of a dramatic landscape formed as a result of its locale along the border between the North American and European tectonic plates. That’s part of where the “adventure” in “adventure hotel” comes in. Or you can just relax at the hotel bar, where floor-to-ceiling glass windows will give you spectacular views of the Northern Lights on clear nights.

Ireland’s First School of Falconry

By Linda Tancs

At Ireland’s Ashford Castle in County Mayo you’ll delight in an embarrassment of riches. Dating back to 1228, the glorious castle on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib set amidst 350 acres of ancient woods was once home to the Guinness family and later found fame as the respite of choice for actors in the classic film “The Quiet Man.” Now part of the Red Carnation hotel chain, the five-star property offers luxurious trappings fit for royalty (a common guest), like unique works of art, carefully sourced antique furniture, custom designed carpets and beds and exquisite towels and linens. No wonder, then, that it’s been voted one of the best hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure. Of all the estate’s activities, one of the most exciting is its falconry school. The oldest established school in the country, instruction in this ancient sport requires no previous training. Just the thing when the usual pursuits of golf, tennis, kayaking, boat cruising, horse riding, tennis or fishing just won’t do.

Portobello Gins Up Interest in Hotel

By Linda Tancs

What could be better than ginning up interest in—gin! The opening of a new gin distillery in London, England, might not garner that much interest but for the fact that you can eat, drink and sleep in it! That’s the idea behind a new hotel from the folks at Portobello Road Gin. Opening in November, the new venue (at Portobello Road, where else) will include not only a boutique hotel but also a gin museum, blending rooms, a Spanish style “Gintonic” bar and restaurant, an actual distillery and the “Ginstitute,” a mixologist’s delight. Better book early for this spirited respite.

A Treat in Newark

By Linda Tancs

The Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, New Jersey, is named for Captain Robert Treat, a colonial leader who was the governor of Connecticut and also is known as the founder of Newark. The first hotel in the city listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places, it was completed in 1916 and now celebrates 100 years. It’s also the first luxury hotel in Newark, no doubt the draw for the likes of four U.S. presidents, Martin Luther King Jr. and Albert Einstein. Thanks to premier area attractions like the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Newark Museum (the state’s largest museum) and the Prudential Center arena, the Park Place jewel is poised to remain a stalwart in the city’s ongoing development and revitalization.

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