On the Ground: The representative at the Asiana first class check-in counter was dressed in a white uniform to distinguish her from the representatives checking in business and economy class. That’s not the only thing that makes Asiana’s first class service stand out. Because I was a first class passenger, my bags were tied with a red and white striped ribbon before I was escorted to the lounge and they were taken in a different direction. Asiana shares its lounge with other carriers at JFK. Since it’s located before the security checkpoint, an Asiana attendant made sure I left the lounge with plenty of time to pass through security and swiftly onto the plane. (20/20)
On Board: The 747-400 out of JFK wasn’t new but it was comfortable, with 12 seats in a 2 x 2 configuration in the first class cabin and more than enough space to walk in the aisles. My seat converted to a 180-degree, lie-flat bed with a privacy barrier between my flying companion and me.
The menu on this evening flight offered a four-course meal, including my favorite Korean dish, bibimbap. Since it was late and I wanted to sleep, I reluctantly skipped the desert and beautifully displayed cheeses, but had a cup of tea.
After dinner I put on the pajamas, sweat pants and zipup sweatshirt Asiana provides to first class passengers. When I returned to my seat, the flight attendant offered to do my duvet turndown service —how could I resist? Two minutes later my airplane seat had been transformed into an actual bed, with bottom sheet, duvet and pillow. I slept for more than nine of the almost 14-hour flight.
When I awoke, rested and refreshed, I almost forgot I was still 36,000 feet in the air! The flight attendant brought over some fresh fruit upon my request. Like dinner the night before, breakfast was served on Asiana’s signature fine china. Even my bowl of raisin and bran cereal seemed special. (37/40)
Experience: During my layover in Incheon before my flight to Tokyo, I had access to the first class lounge where there were laptops, sleeping rooms and a breakfast buffet. When I arrived in Tokyo,my luggage was among the first off the plane any my beautiful ribbon barely out of place. A trans-Pacific trip never seemed so short. (40/40)
Total Score: 97/100
Did the new film Oppenheimer rouse your interest in the nefarious world of international espionage? You can go straight to the real-life setting for covert actions this November (Nov. 10–12), when La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe hosts a specially themed “Spies, Lies and Nukes” weekend. The hotel actually served as the retreat location for Manhattan Project scientists, who stayed at La Fonda on the Plaza to take a break from the stress of their work. During the weekend, the property’s La Fiesta Lounge will make a tasty nod to those days by serving up a special Atomic Martini.
Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?
Ever want handcrafted martinis and freshly shucked oysters delivered straight to your room? The Read House’s New Martinis & Pearls service has you covered. Shining in 1920s-themed decor, the historic hotel in the heart of Chattanooga offers a true Gatsby-esque experience, now further elevated with this upscale amenity. Guests can now indulge in their perfectly chilled martini, made to order, and “pearls” (oysters) in the comfort of their room.
If your idea of fun in New York City is to get the adrenaline flowing and your heart racing rather than engage in more relaxed pursuits like shopping, seeing Broadway shows and visiting museums, here are four activities that are anything but low-key:
IHG Hotels & Resorts is thrilled to announce the launch of a new mobile product feature for members: IHG Wi-Fi Auto Connect. This feature is now available exclusively in the IHG One Rewards mobile app for both iOS and Android users and will automatically connect IHG One Rewards members to WiFi upon arrival at more than 5,000 IHG hotels worldwide — no separate passwords or log-ins needed. This is in addition to the exciting benefits of being an IHG Business Edge member. IHG Business Edge provides small- and medium-sized businesses access to a user-friendly portal that displays comprehensive spending and savings data while providing the convenience of direct booking with a guaranteed discount.
There are two Hollywoods: A catch-all name for the American entertainment industry and the physical place where it was born. The latter continues to draw tourists with the original Walk of Fame; historic hotels, movie and live production theaters; and a full spectrum of pop cultural phenomena.
Whether you call secondhand fashion treasure troves “thrift stores,” “fripperies,” “charity shops,” “vintage boutiques” or something else, shifting the paradigm from “old clothes” to “new finds,” you may find the best, most conversation-starting souvenirs inside these shops and neighborhoods located in the world’s most fashionable cities and a few unexpected places.
Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.
While the 372-passenger Viking Polaris expedition ship, launched in September 2022, falls midway in size between Viking Cruises’ intimate river cruise ships and large-scale ocean ships, it is operated with the same attention to detail and personalized service.