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For a once-in-a-lifetime ski experience, head to Niseko, Japan. Not only can you ski an active volcano, you can spend all your downtime soaking in volcanic spring water — think of it as extreme hot tubbing. I was there last year and stayed at a ryokan in the woods called Zaborin, which looks like a hidden mountain lair for a Bond character. They even have a matcha master on the property to show you the proper way to mix the foamy green tea. – Amelia,
Coachman Hotel in Lake Tahoe is one of a handful of new accommodations rethinking the motel concept. The 42-room property, a 1960s-era motel refurbished by Brooklyn-based Studio Tack, comes with many of the fixtures one would expect from an elevated hotel experience, like design-forward furnishings, curated minibars, Woolrich blankets, Malin Goetz bath products, a pool jacuzzi, bar, and prime location. With rooms starting at $88, let's hope this trend continues. – Daniel, editor
As a long-time fan of design duo Roman and Williams (the folks behind good-looking spots like Greydon House on Nantucket and several Ace Hotels), I couldn't wait to see Guild, the stunning new shop/cafe space they opened in Soho. It does not disappoint! For the extra-curious reader, check out this with Garance Dore. – Berit, senior editor
While Chiang Mai in Thailand or Bali in Indonesia are better known among global freelancers, Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam is growing in popularity. With over 20 co-working options, high speed internet, affordable living, and fabulous food, Saigon has plenty going for it. – Stuart,
That's right. The Japanese retail giant is opening hotels in Shenzhen and Beijing this winter. The property design revolves around an "anti-gorgeous, anti-cheap" concept, employing streamlined furniture and the repurposed walls of traditional Chinese houses throughout. As you might expect, the hotels will house MUJI shops as well as MUJI Diners, the brand's minimalist cafe concept. – Daniel
I'm dreaming of a quiet getaway on one of Japan's new minimalist floating hotels. – Berit
We brought in the New Year by spending it one of our favorite cities, Austin, Texas. We made our way to Goodall’s Kitchen for brunch. They serve delicious New American dishes, including one of the best chilaquiles we've ever had and Goodall’s Hash — the perfect hungry man breakfast to get the day started. We will be sending everyone to Goodall’s when they're in Austin. –R'el and Marcus,
In the Canary Islands, there's an ancient practice of climbing up palm trees and tapping them for their sap, which then gets made into a distinctive regional syrup called 'palm honey.' We were fascinated by this slow-paced yet fairly dangerous pursuit, which is done on the 143-square-mile island of La Gomera. Listening to and watching this guarapero, you see that there is a kind of Zen to it. To me this is part of what travel is all about: meeting people who do things you'd never heard of, who are interacting in a meaningful way with their particular corner of the planet. – Darrell,
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