Just Back From: The City of Light

Jessica Ware is Skylark’s head of marketing and partnerships and our managing editor, but we know her around the office as the official hat rack (we’re a start-up—we all wear many hats.) We allowed her a quick trip to Paris, and after coming out of her butter and carb-induced coma, she’s ready to give her report.

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Best Ways to Escape the City This Weekend

Fall means change—in the weather, the leaves, the wardrobe. So how about a change of scenery? Here are a few quick and easy getaways from various cities that are perfect for a weekend escape. Because sometimes the most potent change you can make is the air you’re breathing.  

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The World's Spookiest Hotels

Yes, there are scarier things you can encounter in a hotel room than Harvey Weinstein in a bathrobe. We’re talking about encounters of the paranormal kind—ghosts and ghouls who haunt hotels, spooking guests and staff with strange sounds, unexplained movements, and macabre apparitions. It’s not just Bates Motel–type places that are beset by these undead spirits—some of these ghosts happen to have great taste in hotels. Hauntings have been reported at all of the luxurious digs listed below—all unproven legends, of course. But if you’re concerned, book with Skylark so we can upgrade you to an exorcised room. We’ll even throw in a smudge stick to be safe.

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Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has one of the most dynamic hotel scenes in Europe, with a slew of new boutique properties—reflecting the city’s obsession with design—joining a host of luxury entries, many of them recently revamped. What they all share: great locations (Amsterdam is compact and blissfully walkable); attentive and friendly service; and that ineffable Dutch charm. So what’s the difference? Here’s our guide to the top choices.

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The Right Way to Do Napa

Is there any other place in America that celebrates The Good Life like the Napa Valley? Extraordinary wines, impeccably prepared food, hotels that epitomize laid-back luxury, and spas that help you recover from all of the above. Those are also the reasons why Napa can sometimes feel excessively crowded, overly commercial and punishingly expensive. How to avoid those pitfalls? Here's the advice we give Skylark clients who are headed to California for a wine-country weekend. Cheers!

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How to Do Japan

If you want to experience all the eye-widening intellectual havoc of culture shock, with none of the physical discomfort, visit Japan. A trip here delivers plenty of topsy-turvy difference, from the food to the etiquette to the way residents shop and consume—but in an atmosphere that’s hyper-civilized. Everything in Japan is spotlessly clean. The cuisine is exquisite (and not just the sushi; they do everything well). Crime is pretty much unheard of. Personal interactions can be baffling, but the Japanese are ultimately friendly and eager to show you their country. Their culture seems like our own in many ways, but beneath the surface you’ll realize it’s very, very different—in ways that are a joy to discover. 

The itinerary here is one we typically use for clients on their first trip to Japan. It includes the main highlights, but it’s also infinitely adaptable, and there are plenty of add-ons not shown here. Use it as an inspiration and foundation for your own trip. As always, our advisors are happy to help you plan your exploration!

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Where to Stay in the Riviera Maya

One of our top recommendation for a quick dose of Vitamin D is always the Riviera Maya: An easy hour or so’s drive from Cancún, which has nonstop flights from just about every major airport, its string of resorts has something to suit every type of traveler. Here’s our rundown of the best options.

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Why You Should Make Your Holiday Plans Now

September 1 is a day every travel agent has circled on their calendars. That’s because it’s the day deposits are usually due for holiday bookings—and the day that many people change their minds and cancel their plans. That means a whole lot of space opens up tomorrow. This year, why not give yourself an early Christmas gift and book your holiday vacation far in advance. It saves you an enormous amount of money and grief—and you can actually get what you want.

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In Paris, How To Pick Your Palace

Paris hotels are long on romance, glamour and a strong sense of place. That’s especially true of the so-called “palace” hotels—those designated by the government tourism office as beyond-five-star exceptional. Also especially true: They’re pricey. Which makes it that much more important to choose the right one. We’ve looked at the differences between a few of the top choices to give you a bit of hotel savoir faire.

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Just Back From Napa Valley

Skylark’s Editorial Director Peter J. Frank recently returned from a long weekend at the new Las Alcobas Hotel in Napa Valley. The property, an offshoot of a hotel in Mexico, is a member of the Luxury Collection. Here is his report:

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