Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Travel: New York Magazine Spring Travel

New York Magazine
Spring Travel issue

By Julie Earle-Levine

Time, or the lack thereof, has squashed many a New Yorker’s getaway fantasy. The average harried city dweller can reasonably squeeze in a few long-weekend jaunts to Miami or L.A., or maybe even a week in Tuscany or Tulúm, if one is really lucky. But a paid multi-week relaxation marathon? Probably not. However, there is an argument to be made for NYC-style efficiency in trip-taking. Mark the calendar, clear your schedule, and you’re off.

The-Party-Around-The-Clocker

Brisbane, Australia
Brisbane’s booming bar, restaurant, and art scenes mean it’s no longer playing third fiddle to Sydney and Melbourne. Start at the Gallery of Modern Art (gaq.gld.gov.au), which has an exhibit of contemporary New Zealand art coming May 1 and a hot-ticket Valentino retrospective starting August 7.

The gallery-concert-venue hybrid the Fort (thefort.org.au) displays local artists and stages live bands. For dinner, you’ve got options: There’s Beccofino for spicy pizza bianche (beccofino.com.au); the Buffalo Club for a foodie-stalked fourteen-course degustation menu ($160; thebuffaloclub.com.au); and Bar Barossa (purplepalate.com) for the stellar local wine list and views of Brisbane’s Story Bridge.

Order flights of martinis at La Ruche Bar & Supperclub (laruche.com), followed by shots at mega–bar complex Cloudland (cloudland.tv). Last rounds are at the rooftop lounge of the Limes Hotel, where you can ask for a late-night check-in for $99, less than half the standard room rate (from $249; limeshotel.com.au).

The Pampered Escapist

Vieques, Puerto Rico

Vieques’s white-sand beaches, packs of wild horses, and surreal bioluminescent bay aren’t the only reasons to visit the Edenic islet six miles off the coast of Puerto Rico. There’s now an Alain Ducasse restaurant, a spa that treats seaweed wraps like a science, and a poolside cocktail scene, all courtesy of the brand-new W Retreat & Spa–Vieques Island (from $289; whotels.com), which represents the island’s first dalliance with a big-time resort.

The hotel can arrange trips to the surrounding cays to snorkel, scuba-dive, and kayak alongside leatherback turtles. Zip around the island on a moped ($50 for 24 hours; rent through the hotel), with a stop at the lush Navio beach. Last stop before sundown: Duffy’s (duffysesperanza.com), for spicy mahi mahi tacos and a Parcharita cocktail.

ends