Presents of Mind

Gifts That Take You Where Your Body Can’t Go

While corona kept our bodies from going on any big getaways this year, there’s still time to send our minds on a trip to the destinations we most desire — via our stomachs. We canvassed our staff and correspondents around the world for the foods that remind them most of home.

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Surf and Safari

An Inviting Variety of Hotels in Sri Lanka

The most remarkable thing about Sri Lanka might just be the incredible variety that’s packed into such a compact island. The hotels are no exception.

Torchbearers

The Next Generation of Hotel Designers

We’re profiling a handful of members of a new wave of hotel designers. They’re carrying forward the influence of the legendary boutique hotel visionaries who came before them — and they’re hoping to revolutionize hospitality in the same way as those earlier design pioneers.

Clear Eyes

A View of Venice Through Gardens and Gates

A year ago Venice was devastated by some of the worst flooding in the city’s history. At the time, we wrote about the rising tides and the raft of other problems plaguing the town. Our Italian editor recently paid a visit and what she saw left her hopeful for a future that we hadn’t been so sure about.

Lions in Winter

Small American Hotels With Big Seasonal Demand

For some in the U.S., winter is a chance to dive deep into the welcoming arms of colder weather. For others, it’s a chance to go south and get warm. And yet for another group, it’s a chance to (finally) find a room at off-season destinations. Here we’ve got something for everyone.

Cruel Summer

Inside the Halting of the Hotel Industry

Few industries have been impacted by COVID-19 like the hotel industry. As the virus spread, and confusion along with it, nobody was sure exactly what to do. We spoke with a handful of hotel owners and operators to find out how they handled what turned out to be an unprecedented summer.

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Story Is Everything

Aman Knows the Power of an Idea

Among luxury hotel chains, Aman stands apart by offering much more than just unparalleled levels of service, quality, and detail. First and foremost, each Aman hotel tells the unique story of its setting and surroundings.

Unprecedented

A Hotel in Paris Was Never Meant to Close

On March 16, as France announced its COVID-19 lockdown, the C.O.Q. Hotel in Paris closed its doors. Thing is, not every hotel is meant to be closed. A city hotel like C.O.Q. is meant to welcome guests day and night through the workweek, weekends, and holidays. There was no precedent. “We aren’t supposed to cut off the water or electricity,” explained manager Florian Bitker. “We don’t even have a secure front door.”

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Running Down a Dream

Diary of a First-Time Hotel Manager

Rebecca Schönheit is back to share part two of her story about leaving Berlin and starting life over on a tiny island in the North Sea. That’s where she and her husband decided to take on the job of managing a hotel — despite having no prior hospitality industry experience. Nevertheless, they have big dreams of getting their proud little place up to Tablet standards.

Passport Queens

Statement Junky’s Mission to Change the World

At Statement Junky, a nonprofit development organization for young women of color, founder Rashell Evans seeks to introduce participants to the benefits of seeing the world — and give them the tools to, ultimately, change it.

Life Less Ordinary

It’s Not Unusual to Stay at Unusual Hotels

At Tablet, when we call a hotel “unusual” it’s the highest form of praise. It means that there are no other hotels quite like it. It’s singular, and it stands apart from the status quo. It’s not unusual to want every hotel to be a little unusual — like the fourteen exciting examples featured here.

Falling in Love with Italy

A Black American Finds Home Abroad

Stranger’s Guide is a quarterly publication that reveals the intricacies of locales across the globe, through both local and foreign eyes. We’re big fans, and we’re excited to announce that we’ll be sharing some of their stories in the Agenda. We start with a unique perspective on Rome from Saneta deVuono-powell, which can be found in the latest Stranger’s Guide, dedicated to the Mediterranean.

Thrill Country

Camp Comfort Revives a German Utopia in Texas

In the 1870s, a group of German expats built an athletic club in the Texas Hill Country. In the current century, the property is home to Camp Comfort — a relaxed, rustic, and rural boutique hotel that’s ideal for the current moment.

New Normal

Hoxton Is What Higher Standards Look Like

The Hoxton hotels have taken the best bits of the best boutique hotels that came before them and crafted a group of properties that appear poised to stand the test of time. They represent the new normal of boutique hotels. And normal ain’t what it used to be.

Rejected

The Five Best Stories We Never Published

We’re constantly looking around for interesting travel stories to fill the pages of The Agenda. Sometimes we hit. Sometimes we miss. And sometimes, we abandon the idea entirely. Why? It’s hard to explain. Easier to show you.

Think Different

A Tech Titan Goes Crazy on a Medieval Farm

The story of Belgium’s Indrani Lodge is the story of a tech titan unimpressed with the status quo. Philippe Brawerman has always done things differently, a quality that took him from being the “crazy” president of Cisco Systems to the proud owner of a yoga-centric hotel and organic farm. As you’ll see, Brawerman’s is the kind of crazy that makes you wonder why anyone would want to be sane.

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Accidental Tourist

A Story of Being Stuck Far From Home

In the midst of the global pandemic, stories of stranded travelers, aborted trips, and international uncertainty abound. Based in Manila, our French editor Manon Tomzig describes getting out from under a harsh lockdown in the Philippines only to wind up a trapped tourist in France.

Four Columns

The Roots of Farm-To-Table Dining in America

When Charles Mallory decided to buy the Four Columns Inn and bring it back to life in 2015, he knew the Vermont hotel was historic. He just didn’t know the extent of it. This place — one he’d driven by countless times — was home to what might be the first farm-to-table restaurant in America.

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Small Plates

Less Is More in Spain

For the fifth edition of our Staying Small series we look to Spain, the land of tapas, where small hotels throughout the country combine to create a vision of hospitality that’s notable for its clear-eyed focus and lack of pretension.

The Pledge

Hotels Are Ready to Welcome You Back

As hotels reopen, it’s crucial that you know what steps they’re taking to increase cleaning protocols and implement social-distancing measures. That’s why we’re launching a new program to keep you informed about how our hotels are ensuring the safety of guests and staff.

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Since We’ve Been Gone

The Most Exciting New Hotels of 2020

When COVID-19 grounded the travel industry earlier this year, we were in the process of adding a slew of terrific hotels to our selection. You might not be able to visit any of them for a while, but we figured you’d still like to see the ones we’re most excited about.

Starting Over

What It’s Like to Begin a New Life

Many people dream of dropping everything and starting a new life somewhere different. Rebecca Schönheit did it. She traded a law career and the familiarity of her home in Berlin for a tiny island in the Wadden Sea. That’s where she and her husband decided to start over as directors of a small hotel — with dreams of getting it up to Tablet standards.

Big Sur

The Price of Perfection on the California Coast

You don’t get a piece of land as spectacular as Big Sur without a lot of providence. And you don’t get to keep it that way without a lot of protection. Big Sur is a success story in many ways, but not without cost.

On Holiday

The Golden Age of Travel That Never Was

Holiday magazine reached its zenith during the Golden Age of travel and publishing. But like everything born out of nostalgia, the “golden age” wasn’t quite as golden as it seemed.

Independents Day

American Small Batch Hotels

Smaller hotels tend to be independently-owned, and with COVID-19’s destructive effects on the travel industry, their futures are less certain than the massive mega-chains. Volume #4 of our Staying Small series gives a little love to some of our favorite modestly-sized American hotels.

Northern Slight

A Sampler of Small Hotels in Northwest Europe

It’s no slight to call these hotels slight. Because of their modest size, they’re particularly well-suited to address guest concerns about COVID-19.

Best Laid Plans

Our ‘Take Me Away’ Contest Winners

A little while back, we asked you to tell us which hotel you most dreamed of visiting once you could travel safely again. These were our favorite responses.

French Quarters

Château and Country House Hotels of France

For the second entry in our Staying Small series, we turn to France, a country that’s mastered the art of hotels that are both small and spacious.

Modest Proposal

A Little Something for Everyone in Italy

If there’s something we can all agree on, it’s that Italy has more charming rural hotels than anywhere else. They’re iconic, and as the country reopens to tourists, they’re exactly the type of lodging people are looking for.

High Definition

Palisociety Broadens the Meaning of Bespoke

The word “bespoke” conjures up images of intimacy and a high degree of detail. Can it also be used to define a hotel group that’s in the midst of a significant expansion? Palisociety is rising to that challenge.

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