A striking bar


  This isn’t the place for a practical stay. It’s a grand ballroom for the Instagram age, and a new center of gravity in the Square Mile. Doubles from $343. —Flora Stubbs Advertisement 32 of 56 Courtesy of Ventana Big Sur Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort Big Sur, California The Ventana Inn first opened in 1975, with a rambling 243-acre expanse, killer ocean views, and an unlikely Hollywood pedigree — its owner was a producer behind the counterculture classic Easy Rider, and Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw were among its first guests. Last year, after historic storms caused catastrophic damage to Big Sur and rendered the region almost entirely inaccessible, the Ventana’s current owners — Singapore-based luxury-resort group Alila — took it as an opportunity for a full rejuvenation. The result, Alila’s first U.S. offering, is a stunner that rivals the comparably luxe Post Ranch Inn, Ventana’s neighbor across Highway 1.

  Alila spent $18 million dollars to update the property’s 59 rooms, suites, and villas, striking a balance between modern and rustic décor. They’ve also added new amenities throughout the grounds, like an infinity hot tub that overlooks a redwood canyon; an ocean-view terrace abutting the redone Sur House restaurant; and a Japanese-style bathhouse. And there’s now a network of luxury campsites along a creek beneath the redwood canopy, where each safari-style tent is tastefully tricked out with plush comforts to elevate the camping experience. (For added seclusion, you can request one of five tents that require a short hike to reach.) It all adds up to a perfect opportunity to discover Big Sur all over again. Doubles from $675, campsites from $325. —Jonah Weiner Advertisement 33 of 56 The moss-covered ruins of Bali’s centuries-old canals served as inspiration for this 30-villa resort from Japanese operator Hoshino Resorts, a longtime creator of ryokan-style hotels.

  The shared Balinese and Japanese values of balance and harmony are realized in the Zen aesthetic: earth-hued structures with traditional thatched roofs that blend into the lush landscape. Uncluttered, television-free rooms decorated in miles of wood provide a comfortable yet minimalist feel but no shortage of amenities, from heated Toto toilets to sandals made with Indonesian fabric. Water — a sacred part of many Balinese Hindu rituals — is the centerpiece of the resort, with three long swimming pools modeled after the island’s ancient waterways connecting bi-level villas that offer salvation from the tropical sun. Executive chef Makoto Miyamaguchi orchestrates Balinese-Japanese fusion at the restaurant: dinner service combines a multicourse kaiseki-style meal with Indonesian flavors — think small dishes of steamed coconut chawanmushi, a Japanese egg custard, and beef rendang rice. Doubles from $670. —Kat Odell Advertisement 34 of 56 Before it was reborn as one of Singapore’s chicest boutiques, the Warehouse Hotel was the site of a notorious 1980’s disco; farther back still, its riverbank was known for opium dens and all manner of illicit trades. Today, Robertson Quay is far from a red-light district, but the Warehouse winks toward its salubrious origins. The lobby, with the original vaulted ceiling of the warehouse from which the takes its name, has a generosity of space that carries throughout the property — a rare quality in frenetic, hyper-urban Singapore.

  A striking bar, recessed several steps into the floor, adds to the lobby’s appeal, with cocktails like the banana-whiskey “BB King”, inspired by the area’s mid-century bootlegging. Onsite restaurant Po, helmed by acclaimed mod-Sin chef Willin Low, celebrates Singaporean culinary tradition: rolled popiah is the main draw, along with updated versions of classics like the veal cheek rendang. Each of the Jar Preform Mould Factory boutique’s 37 rooms has a cheeky minibar of “Vices," including both “Gluttony” (salted egg yolk potato chips, bottled craft cocktails) and “Lust” (paddles, peacock feathers, and rather racier accessories for vices of a different persuasion). But nothing beats the rooftop infinity pool, its glass walls all but begging for underwater Instagram shots.


The rooms have exposed-beam


  The location, right next to the Piazza Massimo D’Azeglio, is near perfect; before heading out to explore for the day, though, be sure to partake of the eggs, prosciutto, and baked goods offered each morning in the pretty breakfast room. Whether they’re cozy and intimate or serene and spacious, inside the walls of medieval cities or deep in the rolling countryside, Tuscan B&B’s offer some of the best accommodations for visitors to the area. The best picks in the region range from city B&Bs set right in the bustling hearts of Florence and Pisa to bucolic properties surrounded by gardens and grapevines. The rooms have exposed-beam ceilings, and are individually decorated with family antiques; in good weather, you can take breakfast (croissants with homemade preserves and jams, Tuscan cured meats) in the property’s historic garden

  Every Friday, the website’s blog posts two items for a scavenger hunt at each market. Check brooklynflea. Finders, keepers—they’re free. Think amethyst geodes on leather cording and monocle pendants. Brooklyn Flea market locations vary by day (Saturday it’s Fort Greene; Sunday it’s along the East River waterfront in super-hip Williamsburg) and vendors change weekly.

 Retro connoisseurs love Jellyroll Vintage (B-16) for its quality threads, from 1950’s circle skirts to mod minidresses. Don’t miss Smorgasburg, the new all-food Saturday market in Williamsburg, with about 100 stalls for greenmarket produce and cheap eats. Flux Productions (V-2) sells one-of-a-kind totes and bike bags made from vegetable-tanned leather and lined in colorful screen-printed fabrics. With porcupine quills poking from vintage brass vases and tortoiseshell-lined old army cases, Hunters & Gatherers (W-9) is your one-stop curiosities and home shop..com for directions and updates.

 For handmade ceramic bowls, coasters, and vases patterned after cable-knit sweaters, milk bottles, and Mason jars, stop in at Wholesale pet valve gate preform bottle mold Alyssa Ettinger (E-25). Here, we explore its original location, in the historic Fort Greene neighborhood. Species by the Thousands (B-13) has edgy handcrafted jewelry. One highlight: Asiadog, a haute hot dog stand with toppings like Japanese curry and kimchi apples. Olde Good Things (C-18-20 ) offers immaculately restored vintage furniture and massive mirrors framed in reclaimed tin ceiling tiles. You’ll find them at She Hit Pause Studios (B-7).September 13, 2011 Since 2008, the market has grown from a DIY experiment in a public-school parking lot to an indie shopping mecca with spin-offs around the borough. The ultimate Brooklyn keepsake? One of Matt Schwartz’s dreamy Coney Island prints, fashioned from large-format Polaroids


You can avoid contracting


  I got horribly sick on my last visit to Central America.China Pet Mould Manufacturers Other TD tips: Don't use ice cubes if you don't know the water's source; don't brush your teeth with untreated water; and wipe off the surface of any bottles or cans that you plan to drink from — they may have come in contact with tainted water. Perhaps the worst souvenir you can bring home, traveler's diarrhea (also known as TD) is usually picked up from contaminated food or water. Y.orient-expresstrains. Carbonated soda, beer, wine, and bottled water are usually safe as long as they're topped with an unbroken serrated-seal safety cap instead of a cork. We regret that questions can be answered only in the column. I am looking for a fabulous hotel in South Beach for less than $200 a night.com or mail them to: Ask T+L, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, 10th floor, New York, NY 10036. a. For example, Alamo tacks on a daily $25, while Dollar's surcharges in many locations run as high as $34 or more (New Yorkers between 18 and 20 who rent from Dollar can expect a whopping $73 per day on top of the rental fee). The Alexander (5225 Collins Ave., Tempe, Ariz. How can I make sure I won't come down with something on my next trip?—R. Are people under 25 allowed to rent a car?Our college-age son wants to drive home for the holidays. Can you recommend a good tour operator?tours from $2,790 per person); and Abercrombie & Kent, which offers a three-day cruise down the Yangtze River as part of a 13-day China trip . I've always wanted to take a river cruise in Asia. The Pandaw makes several sailings yearly on the Chindwin and Irrawaddy rivers, including a 21-day tour with stops in Mandalay, Pagan (with its 11th-century gold-domed pagodas lining the river), and Inle Lake, where fishermen stand on one leg to pole their pontoons through the water.

  . Don't forget to check your insurance policy to see if rental-car liability and collision are covered.; 800/327-6121 or 305/341-6500, fax 305/341-6553), a Deco marvel that backs onto the beach, has one-bedroom ocean-view suites at only $189 a night (after December 22, the price returns to $289). The Irrawaddy Flotilla Co. —D.abercrombiekent., Springfield, Ill. This rate includes daily buffet breakfasts, a frozen beverage at check-in, and $100 in coupons good for poolside cabana rentals or Aveda treatments in the hotel's Facemaker salon., Sacramento, Calif. tours from $4,496 per person).S.L. In most states, drivers have to be at least 21 to rent a car (except in New York, which lowers the age to 18), but watch out for extra charges on the bill., founded in 1865, was once the world's largest privately owned fleet of ships, with 650 barges that sailed up and down the rivers of Burma, now known as Myanmar. Orient-Express, which has a seven-day Myanmar package, including four nights aboard the luxe ship Road to Mandalay 

You can avoid contracting TD by restricting your intake of fresh fruit (if you can't peel it yourself, you shouldn't eat it), raw meat and shellfish, and uncooked vegetables. The company has only one vessel currently on the water, but it's a beaut: the Pandaw, a refurbished 1947 paddle steamer with staterooms decked out in tropical hardwoods and brass fittings (a similar ship will be added late next year).W..a. The good news is that it typically doesn't last more than three or four days; the bad news is … well, you know the bad news