Condé Nast And T+L Wrap December Travel Story Gifts
by Richard D'Ambrosio
Condé Nast And T+L Wrap December Travel Story Gifts

T+L’s Destination of the Year is Europe’s rising star, Portugal.

Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure wrapped up 2016 with December issues that give the gift of the unexpected. While some stories feature conventional destinations, readers will journey to places that are on the edge of mainstream, or hidden gems you can sell.

T+L’s Destination of the Year is Europe’s rising star, Portugal, and writer Kevin Raub takes readers from the “capital of cool,” Lisbon, to Porto, the seaside town of Comporta and up to the country’s northern wine region, the Douro Valley. The six-page feature informs us that Portugal has 40 new hotels and air service from eight U.S. gateways, and has seen American tourism rise 20% in the last few years.

Another conventional destination covered this month is Jamaica, where model Tami Williams is adorned with the latest resort collection in various island locales.

Off the beaten path, the mystical misty mountains of Vietnam, near the China border, are the subject of a four-page story, while T+L graces the former Soviet Georgia with eight pages, including Tbilisi, the Lopota Lake Resort and the wine region of Kakheti. 

For a more wintry December scene, Adam Leith Gollner takes us snowshoeing in Vermont’s Mad River Valley. There also is a photo collage of Panama City and a visit to Australia’s Margaret River wine region to taste cabernets and chardonnays.

Also, T+L’s Travel Smarter column informs readers how to fly up front in the air and on the ground, including how to grab first-class and business-class upgrades, and live the lush life in the better airport lounges.

Condé Nast also shines the spotlight on lesser-known destinations. Sri Lanka, recovering from years of brutal repression from a civil war, has serene hideaways and vibrant urban destinations like its capital, Colombo. The publication extensively promotes Sri Lanka’s tea industry and the “Cultural Triangle” of UNESCO World Heritage Sites over ten pages.

In another departure from the typical, ­we go hunting and fishing in Argentina, with ten stunning pages of Las Balsas, the Chimehuin River Valley and Nahuel Huapi Lake.

The Greenbrier’s Presidential Suite has reopened, and Conde Nast tells some of the hidden history behind it, and also predicts “The Future of Getting There,” in a five page feature that talks about the future of aircraft, airports and hotels (smaller but better designed).

Finally, December is the annual “Travel Specialists” listing Condé Nast publishes. Paul Brady and Melanie Wynne compiled 164 “experience makers” who can help travelers get into “rarely seen pockets of Ethiopia with an anthropologist or onto out-of-bounds runs in Chile via Sno-Cat.”

These specialists were chosen not just for their expertise, the writers note, but for their ability to intuit the desires of a traveler before even the client knows what they are, and then make it happen.

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