Posts Tagged 'Travel+Leisure'

The Death of the Dollar in T+L

   

When the economy’s demise has people choosing between food, gas, or medication, spending on travel is almost unthinkable. So what should travel glossies do to keep from closing up shop? Travel + Leisure’s October issue is hopeful. Coverlines say it all: “25 Emerging Destinations Where the Dollar Still Goes Far.”

 T+L editors took a break from the usual $400 a night hotels and scoured the globe for cheaper retreats. The focus on Mexico, Asia, and—surprisingly—the Mediterranean, plays up the exotic, omits the humdrum, and even manages to squeeze Europe into the picture.  

A little troubling and almost too sneaky was the way the story was cut up. The destinations occupied 10 and a half pages in all, interrupted by huge features on Los Angeles and New Delhi (and a half-page ad on Shanghai). Now I don’t know if this was a cheap trick to make readers think L.A. and India wLLere part of the list, or if it was just poor pagination, but it was quite unsettling (or brilliant, for the advertising executive). Surely those pages could have been put somewhere—anywhere—else!

The feature opens with Mazatlan, Mexico, a not-so-forgotten town on the Pacific Coast “experiencing a renaissance.” Writer Jeff Spurrier plays diplomat and mentions two hotels at opposite ends of the spectrum; a traditional one that goes for $78 a night and a boutique hotel that costs $185. Not bad for a tourist-y spot. At least he gives you options. 

Among the more costly escapes on the list are Marquesas, Brazil, and Cyprus. The Hanakee Pearl Lodge in Marquesas—the only hotel in the island, they say—charges $267 a night. A night in Sao Miguel Dos Milagres, Brazil, can amount to $327 at Pousado de Toque. The Thalassa Boutique Hotel in Cyprus has doubles from $453. Apparently, my dollar doesn’t go too far in these places.

Still, the feature makes up for a few off-the-radar prices with more affordable stops in Europe and Africa. Gozo, Malta, has doubles from $44, while a night in a boutique hotel in Larache, Morocco, starts at $78.

 

Pranburi Coast, a three-hour drive south of Bangkok, is a nice break from the spotlighted beaches of Thailand. Forget Hua Hin or Phuket (the latter made famous and just a tad exploited by the Leonardo DiCaprio flick The Beach). Boutique hotels cost $117 – $135 for doubles but seaside meals (think stalls of yummy street food) can go as low as $5. Mind you, that’s lunch for two.

On a side note, what is up with all the boutique hotels in this piece? There are bound to be even c even heaper alternatives for lodging.

This doesn’t quite have me reaching for my passport, but it’s comforting to know the people at T+L are not totally oblivious to these trying times.

– Kris Alcantara