TOP
h
  /  Destination   /  NORTH AMERICA

Today Edge, the New York’s highest outdoor sky deck, officially opened to the public offering unparalleled 360-degree views of the iconic city skyline. Beginning at 1:00 PM, the first ticketed visitors stepped out onto Edge’s outdoor viewing area featuring a thrilling glass-floor, angled glass walls, and outdoor skyline steps from the 100th to 101st floors of 30 Hudson Yards. Visitors also experienced the immersive, multi-room ‘Journey to Edge’ show telling the history of New York City’s newest neighborhood from construction over an active rail yard to sustainability achievements and more. To mark the opening, Edge has also launched a nightly light show designed by L’Observatoire International which will run from sunset to midnight daily through 4 April. Hudson Yards also announced today a program offering New York City public school groups free visits to Edge and Vessel every Tuesday. The program kicked-off today with fifth grade students from neighboring elementary school P.S. 33 in Chelsea getting a sneak peak of the entire experience prior to the first ticketed guests. NYC Public School bookings can be made online at www.edgenyc.com/group-bookings “The overwhelming public response to Hudson Yards over the past year – making us part of everything from their morning coffee run to a place to celebrate special occasions – has been incredibly humbling. With the opening Edge, one of the final pieces of the first phase of Hudson Yards, it was important to us to extend an invitation not only to the world to experience our great city from new heights, but also to New Yorkers who have made us part of the City’s cultural fabric. We are proud to ensure Edge is accessible to New York Public School students which we hope will inspire the next generation of New Yorkers to fall even more in love with this great city,” said Stephen Ross, Chairman of Related Companies. “Our goal at Oxford is to connect people to exceptional places, and Edge is another incredible attraction that Hudson Yards has to offer New Yorkers and visitors from across the globe. It’s truly one of the best views of one of the best cities in the world, and we’re excited for everyone to experience it first hand,” added Michael Turner, President of Oxford Properties. A bar, located on the 100th floor, offers a glass of champagne or signature cocktail and light bites to enjoy indoors or outdoors on the sky deck. Situated one floor above Edge, on the 101st floor, is Peak a stunning restaurant, bar, and event space operated by hospitality group RHC. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) and extending out 80 feet from the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards, Edge redefines the New York skyline. Its monumental triangular form completes the tower’s architectural dialogue with the city. A marvel of modern engineering and structural design, the 765,000-pound observation deck is comprised of 15 sections, each weighing between 35,000 and 100,000 pounds, bolted together and anchored to the east and south sides of the building. The 7,500-square-foot outdoor viewing area is surrounded by

Research reveals that nearly six in 10 global travelers pick their vacation destination because of the great food and drink on offer. So for the cheese-lovers amongst us, why not journey further than the fridge or local cheese shop to uncover the origins of some of the world’s favorite cheeses? In celebration of the most cheesiest month, we have identified some of the cheesiest stays for cheese lovers around the world to indulge in while exploring the destination that created some of their favourites. Gouda, Netherlands For cheese fans, this Dutch city is all Gouda, with its namesake cheese accounting for a massive 60% of Dutch cheese production**. Produced in the surrounding region, travelers to Gouda can purchase wheels of the local delicacy at the city’s Thursday morning market that takes place from April through to August. Having first started in 1395, this bustling market has kept its traditional charm, with farmers and traders ‘clapping hands’ to confirm a sale in front of the historic city hall buildings. Travelers should also visit “de Goudse Waag”, which means the Gouda scale, built in 1669 and originally used for weighing - you guessed it - cheese. Now it’s home to the tourist information office as well as the Cheese and Crafts Museum, which offers cheese tasting, tours and craft demonstrations. Where to stay: The Tannery Lane holiday home is the perfect home from home for cheese loving travelers, just a short stroll from the location of the Thursday morning market. This guesthouse, which is found on the city center’s smallest street, was originally built in 1879. From the outside it boasts a traditional charm, while inside the property houses all the modern conveniences needed for a comfortable stay in Gouda. Cheddar, UK Cheddar cheese is now the UK’s most popular cheese choice, accounting for 51% of the annual cheese market locally***, but has humble beginnings in the village of Cheddar in Somerset. Local legend says that Cheddar cheese was discovered by accident when a milkmaid accidentally let a pail of milk stored in the cool caves go bad, turning it into hard cheese. Adventurous visitors to the village of Cheddar can explore these chilly caves at Cheddar Gorge, the largest gorge in the UK. After exploring and working up an appetite, cheese-lovers can stop by the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, where visitors can see the cheese being made from start to finish at the working dairy and visitor center. Where to stay: Just a short walk from the Cheddar Gorge caves, The Bath Arms Hotel offers adult-only accommodation that is as charming as the picturesque village itself. With an onsite restaurant and bar, visitors will find all the amenities they need for a comfortable stay. The restaurant serves a daily menu with traditional pub favorites and during the warmer months guests can even dine in the outdoor beer garden. Monterey, California, USA Named after both its place of origin and the entrepreneur who began selling it commercially, Monterey Jack cheese has become a staple of many Americans’ fridge or cheese board. This white, semi-hard cheese made

From the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade—which officially kicks off the holiday season—to the Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center and the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square, New York City offers unparalleled experiences for visitors and locals alike. NYC hosts classic and surprising ways to celebrate the holidays with vibrant performances, tours, lightings and more taking place from early November into January. These include the awe-inspiring window displays at stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s Herald Square and the new Nordstrom Women’s Store, and the return of the NYC Winter Lantern Festival in Staten. Following are 25 things to see and do across the boroughs this holiday season in New York City.  Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes  November 8–January 5 Midtown, Manhattan  The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes returns to Radio City Music Hall, dazzling audiences of all ages. The production sparkles with incredible costumes, festive songs and the iconic synchronized high kicks.  The Origami Holiday Tree at the American Museum of Natural  History November 25–January 12 Upper West Side, Manhattan  One of New York’s beloved traditions includes a 13-foot tree and 1,000 origami models. Hosted at the American Museum of Natural History, the  signature Origami Holiday Tree has been an annual tradition for over 40 years. Volunteers, including local, national and international origami artists, fold year-round. Each year, the tree features a different theme relating to special exhibitions or collections at the museum.  NYC Winter Lantern Festival November 20–January 12 Randall Manor, Staten Island  The NYC Winter Lantern Festival is returning for a second year to Staten Island. Sponsored by Empire Outlets and venue partner Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, eight acres at Snug Harbor will be lit up by more than 50 LED installations. The LED lanterns will be accompanied by live performances of traditional Chinese dance and art.  Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo  November 21–January 5 Fordham, the Bronx  Returning for the first time since 2007, the stunning light displays at the Bronx Zoo will cover several acres in a walk-through experience with wildlife-themed LED displays, custom Asian lanterns and animated light shows on Astor Court. Entertainment will include holiday-themed music, performances, ice carving, train rides, seasonal treats and souvenirs.  New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show  November 23–January 26 Fordham, the Bronx  Head to the New York Botanical Garden to be enchanted by model trains zipping through a display of more than 175 New York landmarks, each re-created with bark, leaves and other natural materials. The New York Botanical Garden is conveniently accessible via the Metro-North Railroad from Grand Central Terminal.  Gingerbread Lane at New York Hall of Science  November 23–January 13 Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens  Holding the record for the largest gingerbread village, Gingerbread Lane at the New York Hall of Science is back and more edible than ever. Visitors are invited to witness the vast collection of gingerbread structures which are embellished with candy canes, chocolate and frosting.  Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade  November 28 Manhattan  The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is

Latest Airbnb booking data has revealed growing interest in lesser-known destinations and eco-conscious cities across the globe, as travellers look for new, local and authentic travel experiences beyond big cities. In Thailand, emerging destinations across the country are increasingly appealing to both domestic and international travellers. Case-in-point is Buriram in Thailand’s Northeast saw 383% growth in bookings* year-over-year, propelling it into third place on Airbnb’s top 20 global destinations to visit next year. Here are the Top 20 trending destinations for 2020: 1. Milwaukee, WI, US The host of next year’s Democratic National Convention, Milwaukee makes it to the top of our trending list. This historic gem on the shores of Lake Michigan often slips under the radar but has a terrific bar and restaurant scene and fascinating cultural attractions that include a Calatrava-designed art museum. And with over 105 miles of scenic bike lanes, it’s easy to see why Milwaukee is experiencing an upsurge in interest among guests on Airbnb. 2. Bilbao, Spain Bilbao’s transformation from rust belt city to flourishing culture hub is truly remarkable. The city’s Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum put Bilbao on the map when it opened back in 1997. Since then the Basque city has been on an ever upward ascent, winning the European City of the Year in 2018. Visitors to the area are rewarded with a lively dining scene, breathtaking architecture and an unforgettable cityscape. Next year, Bilbao will also become a top destination for sports fans: it’s one of the host cities of Europe’s most beloved soccer competition. 3. Buriram, Thailand The rural province of Buriram is home to some of Thailand’s most treasured Khmer relics. Its best known monument is the incredible Phanom Rung complex which is comparable in grandeur to its much more famous Cambodian neighbor, Angkor Wat. In addition to ancient ruins, the province has also become a sporting hotspot: 2018 saw the inaugural MotoGP motor racing event at the Chang International Circuit which also plays host to the Buriram Marathon each year. MotoGP is scheduled to return in March next year. 4. Sunbury, Victoria, Australia A short drive northwest of Melbourne, the suburb of Sunbury is a popular spot with savvy locals thanks to its wildlife, wineries and Victorian-era architecture. Its biggest claim to fame is as the birthplace of cricket’s most sought-after trophy — The Ashes. In 2020, Sunbury looks to attract cricket fans from near and far as Melbourne will be hosting the ICC T20 World Cup. 5. Romania Romania, with its pristine hills and ancient rural villages, is the perfect destination for anyone looking for something off-the-beaten-track. The country has some of the best preserved virgin forests in Europe and, according to the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, ranks 15th globally when it comes to ecosystem vitality. 6. Xi'an, China Often cited as one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization, Xi'an is best known as the home of the terracotta warriors — a vast collection of prehistoric clay soldiers discovered by local farmers in 1974. Today, the capital of China’s western Shaanxi province is a major culinary melting pot while

          The Empire State Building (ESB) today announced the second phase of its top-to-bottom reimagined Observatory Experience. Opening to the public on July 29, 2019, the $165 million project presents the only museum in New York City that is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Located on the second floor of the international icon, the 10,000 sq. ft galleries invite Guests on a journey from the building's construction to its current place in pop culture. Named the most Instagrammed U.S. landmark in a study conducted by Sony Mobile, the new galleries feature immersive and interactive exhibits that fulfill the desire of today's modern traveler to share authentic experiences – all as they make their way to the one-of-a-kind views from the 86th Floor Observatory.           Led by experience designer Thinc, with team members IDEO, Squint Opera, Beneville Studios, Diversified., Intersection, Kubik Maltbie, Otis Elevator Company and Tenguerian Model, phase two follows the first phase, a brand-new Observatory entrance at 20 West 34th Street which was completed in August of 2018.           The galleries through which visitors travel to experience ESB's famous views from the center of New York City include:           The Site in the 1920s: A black-and-white panoramic image depicts the site of the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel as construction of the Empire State Building begins. Through building surveyors, Guests can look in and see the New York City streets of the late 1920s come to life in full color.           Construction: Inspired by the photography of Lewis Hine, visitors will be transported back in time as hot rivets, and steel beams fly overhead, and the sounds of New York City come alive in surround sound. Visitors can also interact with specially commissioned cast sculptures of construction workers as they work and take their lunch break.           Opening Day: The excitement of opening day is palpable with a newsboy announcing the opening of the Empire State Building as he sells his papers on the streets of 1930s New York City           Modern Marvel: The Modern Marvel exhibit outlines the specific measures taken to make the Empire State Building a world leader in sustainability and a leading example in energy efficiency.           Otis Elevators: Otis delivered the groundbreaking technology that made the towering height of ESB possible. In a dedicated exhibit, Otis showcases not only how the original elevators operated, but teaches visitors about the latest technology installed in the newest elevators, which transport more than 10 million tenants and Observatory Guests each year. Visitors will also walk through a simulation of an actual elevator shaft and feel the energy created by the movement of the cars up close.           Urban Campus: Very few visitors to the Empire State Building are aware of what goes on in the nearly 100 floors they don't see. Urban Campus offers a glimpse into some of the major tenant spaces, amenities, and hidden views of the building as experienced by those who work there. The exhibit highlights some of these contemporary internet-age businesses, visible through peepholes that give guests an insider's view of what these high-tech offices

Whether it’s an unplanned holiday trip, an epic clash to save the world, friends experiencing daily life in the five boroughs or anything in between, storytellers in film and television have long chosen New York City as their setting. No matter your favorite genre, a trip to NYC is an opportunity to see where some of these iconic scenes came to life: For the sitcom lover Friends While Friends was primarily filmed in a studio, the West Village apartment where Rachel, Monica, Joey, Phoebe, Ross and Chandler live and hang out is a real building on the corner of Bedford and Grove Streets. At its street level, you will find Mediterranean restaurant The Little Owl in the same space as the Central Perk café where Rachel works and Phoebe famously performs “Smelly Cat”. Additionally, the neighborhood houses a number of prominent Off-Broadway theaters including The Lucille Lortel Theatre, where aspiring actor Joey performs in the show’s earlier seasons. How I Met Your Mother While retracing Ted’s 11-season search for his wife, be sure to grab a drink at McGee’s, the Midtown Manhattan bar that inspired the gang’s go-to spot, MacLarens. Try what Marshall declares to be the best burger in NYC at ‘21’ Club; tour the Columbia University campus where Ted (unwittingly) first meets his wife; and have a legen

Books can take you to new and exciting places—completely new worlds, even. This World Book Day (23 April 2019), let Lifestyle+Travel and Agoda take you on a literary journey like no other. On your next holiday, trace the roots of some of your favorite authors by stopping by their hometowns—some of which have inspired their most seminal works. Here are some must-visit spots for book-lovers roaming around Asia… Kobe, Japan Literary Hero: Haruki Murakami Notable works: “Kafka on the Shore” and “1Q84” available from Shinchosha Must-see attractions: Ikuta Shrine, Arima Onsen, Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge Murakami grew up in Kobe, where a few of his stories, such as his debut novel “Hear the Wind Sing”, are set. Murakami’s works have surrealist elements, often with melancholic themes which in some ways, is reflective of the quiet beauty to be found in the many serene shrines and breathtaking nature scenery in the small seaside city. Internalize the relaxing minimalist side of Kobe when you stay at Arimakoyado Hataya Ryokan. Camarines Norte, Philippines Literary Hero: Ricky Lee Notable works: “Para kay B” available from Philippine Writers' Studio Foundation Must-see attractions: Calaguas Islands, Apuao Grande Island, Bagasbas Beach More than his novel “Para kay B,” Ricky Lee’s body of work encompasses screenwriting and playwriting. He has worked with revered Filipino directors like Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal and has even published a screenplay manual called “Trip to Quiapo” which has since been a staple resource for communication colleges in the Philippines. Visit Lee’s hometown of Camarines Norte in the central Bicol region of the Philippines and enjoy its beautiful beaches like those on Apuao Grande Island and the Calaguas group of islands. Keep comfy by making One Platinum Hotel your home base while in the area.   If you’re in the Americas, head to… New York, USA Literary Hero: Jenny Han Notable works: “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” available from Simon & Schuster Must-see attractions: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Broadway Though Han originally came from Virginia, her time in New York shaped her career as a young adult fiction writer. Book the cozy Jun New York Midtown III apartment, and feel right at home when you take a break from all of that sight-seeing.   Aracataca, Colombia Literary Hero: Gabriel García Márquez Notable works: “One Hundred Years of Solitude” available from HarperCollins, “Love in the Time of Cholera” available from Penguin Classics Must-see attractions: Casa Museo, Casa del Telegrafista   The municipality of Aracataca is built along the river of the same name and boasts Nobel Prize winner for literature Gabriel García Márquez as one of its sons. The village of Macondo in García Márquez's celebrated novel, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is fashioned after Aracataca. Take a day trip out to explore García Márquez's reconstructed childhood home-turned-museum and the Casa del Telegrafista, then settle down at the charming Agoda Home in Parque Los Novios in the nearby city of Santa Marta, where you can also visit Colombia’s famous Tayrona National Natural Park. If you’re venturing to Europe, then consider visiting…  Edinburgh, Scotland Literary Hero: J.K. Rowling Notable works: The “Harry Potter” series available from Bloomsbury Must-see attractions: Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Dynamic Earth, Underground Edinburgh, The Scotch Whisky Experience Potterheads, unite! While Rowling was born in Yates, England, it was during her time in Edinburgh that she

The Empire State Building (ESB) today announced that it will utilize two EarthCam video cameras to give fans around the world 24/7 access to footage of ESB and of the views from ESB via a livestream on www.empirestatebuilding.com . One camera is installed on the rooftop of One Grand Central Place, a property in the portfolio of Empire State Realty Trust, the company that owns and manages the Empire State Building. The EarthCam footage allows fans all over the world to view in real time the beloved ESB tower lightings, New York City sunsets, and the signature hourly sparkle effect that occurs daily for five minutes every hour between sunset and 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The second camera is installed on the south corner of ESB's 103rd floor and will capture the stunning views of New York City and beyond. Users will have the opportunity to view extreme weather conditions and even watch the sunrise from the heart of New York City. The two different viewpoints allow visitors to witness the World's Most Famous Building 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and to enjoy a preview of the ESB Observatories' 360-degree panoramic views. Fans are encouraged to take advantage of the screenshot function provided by EarthCam and to share images on social media by tagging the Empire State Building in their posts.