Hotels and Bars
An emerald palace made of gleaming green glass, the 1 Opposite House (from $366; www.theoppositehouse.com) in Beijing is the Swire Hotel Group’s first small luxury hotel. Indulgent perks in each of the 99 rooms include Egyptian-cotton sheets,LCD TVs, rain showers and deep soaking tubs, and heated floors to keep your feet warm when you’re stepping out of the shower. There’s also paperless (read: hassle-free) check-in and no fixed check-in and checkout times, which gives you all the time in the world (which you’ll need) to enjoy the six restaurants and bars at the hotel.
Recently purchased by the Personality Hotels group, the landmark York and Maxwell hotels in San Francisco are receiving makeovers and will debut this fall under the names 2 Hotel Vertigo and Hotel Frank, respectively (from $125; www.personalityhotels.com).Located in Nob Hill, Hotel Vertigo (the name is a nod to Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller, which was filmed here) has an eclectic, vintage look with a twist of luxe -- marble in the lobby, glossy orange leather chairs in the rooms -- while Hotel Frank, in Union Square, features sleek, modern decor: white sofas, teal-green crocodile-print vinyl accents, and a black-and-white houndstooth design throughout (includingin the elevator). Also of note, Hotel Vertigo will feature the first signature restaurant by chef Tyler Florence.
3 H5O Bistro and Bar at Hotel Fifty, a hip new eatery under the direction of chef Nicholas Yanes. Scrumptious dishes are prepared from mostly local and/ororganically grown ingredients and include offerings like Tea-Smoked Sable Fish and Duck Scallops with fennel, orange, and absinthe. Rivaling the food is the scenic view of the Willamette River and MountHood from the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows. (503) 484-1415, www.h5obistro.com
It’s no secret that travel takes a toll on your skin, which is why MLab’s new travel collection is such sweet news to our ears. The most powerful anti-aging skin-careline on the market today, MLab is made of 45 to 74 percent clinically active ingredients (most others only use 10 to 20 percent), and thisnifty set includes the line’s six most important products -- cleanser,toner, serum, eye cream, and day and night creams -- making it easy tograb and go, wrinkle-free. $130. www.mlabonline.com
Rememberthe joy you’d get when you were a kid and you’d hop on your bike and ride around your neighborhood? Whatever happened to those days when biking was fun rather than exercise or your own private Tour de France? Enter Shimano Coasting, “a casual biking experience” created to get the noncyclist on a bicycle. Bikes with the automatic-shifting Coasting system use a computer that shifts for you based on your speed, making for a virtually effortless ride. Fuji, Giant, Schwinn, and Trek are among the seven manufacturers that provide Coasting-equipped bikes. $450 to $800.
Saygoodbye to the days of having to unpack your laptop before sending yourbags through the airport security X-ray machine. Briggs & Riley’saptly named SpeedThru is the first checkpoint-friendly laptop sleeve of its kind to (finally!) hitthe market. Considering that more than 25 percent of travelers lugtheir laptops on flights, just think how much faster the line would move if we all had a SpeedThru. $40 to $90. www.briggs-riley.com
AT&T Keeps You in Control
Avoid prime-time withdrawal by using AT&T’s Mobile TV service,which beams full-episode broadcasts to cellular handsets 24/7 and isavailable in 58 cities. Partners include CBS, FOX, and MTV, and there’scoverage of news, sports, and sitcoms. Plans for Mobile TV range from$15 per month for basic service to $30 per month for unlimited datausage, and it’s currently supported by two smartphones -- LG’s Vu($330) and Samsung’s Access ($300). It’s an easy way to get your CSIfix. www.wireless.att.com -- Scott Steinberg
Also cool: Cheap gas. Using AT&T’s TeleNav Fuel Finder, one of the many handy features (like Traffic Alert) of the company’s GPS-based mobile service Navigator($10 a month, or $3 for a day pass), you can find the lowest-pricedpump in your area. Just click the Navigator icon on your mobile phone and scroll through the Fuel Finder list of gas stations and corresponding prices. Available on eight phones including Motorola Z9, Blackjack II, Motorola Q, AT&T Tilt, and RIM 8110, 8310, 8800, and 8820.
Extend the life of your iPhone with the Mophie Juice Pack 3G battery extender. $100. www.mophie.com
Websites We Love
Aone-stop travel-planning site that offers a trip-planning tool;geotagged photos for attractions, hotels, restaurants, etc.; mappingtechnology; and more.
Goto the website. Create a short profile that lists the brands and storesyou like. Start receiving weekly Salemails about markdowns at yourfavorite retailers.