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United"s largest club opens at Newark airport

The new, nearly 30,000-square-foot lounge features a modern design, enhanced amenities and culinary offerings, locally sourced art and furniture pieces, and views of the Manhattan skyline......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsMay 20th, 2022

I flew on Breeze"s brand new Airbus A220 from Richmond to San Francisco in first class and it completely exceeded my expectations

Breeze is expanding its network with 18 new coast-to-coast routes this summer using A220 jets with first class, which is rare for a budget airline. Taylor Rains/Insider Breeze Airways launched the first of 18 transcontinental routes in May using its swanky new Airbus A220 jet. The plane features both economy and first class, which is rare for low-cost carriers. Insider flew with CEO David Neeleman from Richmond to San Francisco to check out its premium cabin. Breeze Airways is one of the US' newest airlines, having launched its first-ever flight on May 27, 2021.Breeze CEO David Neeleman with an Embraer jet during the inaugural flight in May 2021.Taylor Rains/InsiderI flew on JetBlue founder's David Neeleman's new airline and saw how it's nothing like his old one — but it isn't supposed to beThe carrier was founded by airline mogul David Neeleman, who also founded JetBlue Airways, Brazil-based Azul, Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet, and Morris, which merged with Southwest Airlines.David Neeleman cutting the cake at the ribbon cutting ceremony in San Francisco after the flight from Richmond.Taylor Rains/InsiderBreeze started service with Embraer 190 and 195 aircraft, flying between medium-sized markets that did not have nonstop service, like Charleston to Hartford, Connecticut.The inaugural flight of David Neeleman's Breeze Airways.Thomas Pallini/InsiderI flew on JetBlue founder's David Neeleman's new airline and saw how it's nothing like his old one — but it isn't supposed to beThe airline's slogan is "we can get you there twice as fast for half the price," according to Neeleman.The inaugural flight of David Neeleman's Breeze Airways.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSince its inaugural flight, the budget airline has been growing its business with new routes, bases, and aircraft. In February, Breeze added Hartford as a base, which joined Norfolk, New Orleans, Tampa, and Charleston.Breeze counter in Hartford on its first day of operations.Taylor Rains/InsiderStartup airline Breeze just announced a new East Coast base, setting the stage for a battle with New Haven-based rival upstart AveloIn May, the carrier started flying its newest aircraft type: the Airbus A220.Breeze Airways' first Airbus A220-300.Breeze Airways and AirbusThe first-ever A220 flight flew from Tampa to Richmond, Virginia, on May 25, marking the official debut of the new plane. The aircraft flew the company's maiden transcontinental flight from Richmond to San Francisco later the same day.Breeze Airways' inaugural A220 taking off from Richmond.Breeze AirwaysThe flight is one of 18 transcontinental routes Breeze will operate this summer using the new jet. Each A220 will have a first class cabin, while its Embraer planes will only have economy.Inside Breeze's Embraer aircraft that flew the inaugural in May 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderBreeze just launched its first-ever Airbus A220 aircraft that will take passengers coast-to-coast this summer on 17 transcontinental routes — see the full listCurrently, the carrier has 80 A220s on order with an option for 40 more. One jet per month will be delivered over the next six years, meaning Breeze will have 13 A220s in its fleet by the end of 2022.Breeze Airways A220-300 aircraft.Breeze Airways/Business Wire"The A220-300 is a game-changer for us as we can now serve guests coast-to-coast!" Neeleman said. "The A220 offers travelers the widest cabin, highest ceiling, largest windows, and biggest overhead stowage in this class, while still managing to burn 25% less fuel, with half the noise footprint of past generations.”Breeze Airways A220 at the gate in Richmond.Taylor Rains/InsiderInsider flew with Neeleman, Airbus' VP of marketing Americans, Matthew Saks, and other members of the Breeze team from Richmond to San Francisco in first class on Wednesday. Here's what it was like.Taylor Rains/InsiderMy journey started at Richmond International Airport at 7:30 a.m., which was about an hour before my 8:35 a.m. departure.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe check-in area for Breeze was located at the far end of the departures level. Here, passengers can check their luggage and get their boarding pass.Taylor Rains/InsiderHowever, there were no kiosks, which was disappointing. So, for travelers without checked bags, like myself, I found it easier to check in on the mobile app and head straight to security.Taylor Rains/InsiderI cleared the checkpoint in about five minutes and walked a short distance to gate A5 which Breeze uses. Here, there was Breeze branding and a bag size checker for carry-on luggage.Carry on bags must not exceed 22x14x9 inches.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe gate area was small, but there was enough room for the up to 137 passengers that can fit on the A220.Taylor Rains/InsiderBreeze's A220s come in two configurations — the initial version with 126 seats and the future aircraft that will have 137 seats. The difference between the two is the number of first class and extra-legroom seats.Taylor Rains/InsiderMy flight to San Francisco was on the initial configuration. Walking on, I immediately noticed the elegant flooring design at the entrance and the jet even had that new plane smell.I enjoyed the pretty flooring at the entrance when boarding.Taylor Rains/InsiderOn the long flight, I flew in first class, which was one of the nicest domestic premium seats I've ever flown in. It was amenity-heavy and felt more modern than competitor products.Taylor Rains/InsiderIt actually reminded me of United's Polaris Premium seats that are on its Boeing 787 and 777 aircraft.United AirlinesEach lounger has 39 inches of pitch and 20.5 inches of width, which was more than enough space since I'm only 5'3" and on the smaller side.Taylor Rains/InsiderLarger travelers and passengers soaring above six feet should have no issue in the giant seat.Taylor Rains/InsiderIn addition to being spacious, the first class seat did not skimp on comfort. Specifically, there was a leg rest and deep recline...Taylor Rains/Insider…and an adjustable headrest. The wings folded in for support and the headrest could be slid up for taller passengers.Taylor Rains/InsiderOther amenities include power plugs and USB ports...Taylor Rains/Insider…a coat hook…Taylor Rains/Insider…a storage compartment…Taylor Rains/Insider…large seatback pockets easily big enough to hold my laptop…Taylor Rains/Insider…and two small shelves shared between the seats.Taylor Rains/InsiderEach seat also features a large tray table that opens from the armrest in between the two loungers. Travelers can work or use the phone stand to stream media.Taylor Rains/InsiderUnfortunately, there was no WiFi on the flight. However, Neeleman said the feature would be available in September, though the price is still undecided.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhen settling into my seat, I noticed the aisle loungers have a metal piece that splits the under-seat space in half. I couldn't fit my backpack in the space, so travelers in those seats will need to stow larger personal items in the overhead.Taylor Rains/InsiderWe pushed back from the gate about 10 minutes late, but we were able to make up time in the air to get to San Francisco on schedule. On the taxi out, we got a water salute from the airport, which was a unique experience.Taylor Rains/InsiderShortly after takeoff, the flight attendants started the inflight service.Taylor Rains/InsiderBreeze has several snacks and drinks available for purchase, like Pringles, M&Ms, coffee, tea, soda, water, and alcohol.Taylor Rains/InsiderAccording to Breeze, the drinks and snacks are complimentary for travelers who purchase a Nicest or Nicer fare.Breeze AirwaysThe Nice fare must pay for drinks and snacks, though water is free.Taylor Rains/InsiderFor my flight, I opted for a vodka cranberry drink...Taylor Rains/Insider...and fudge brownie M&Ms. The Kind bar was also complimentary, and first class passengers get one free alcoholic beverage on each flight. Travelers can buy additional alcohol.Taylor Rains/InsiderI was disappointed in the food options for such a long flight. The ride from Richmond leaves at 8:35 a.m. and flies straight through lunchtime, meaning I was snacking until I was able to get a larger meal at the San Francisco airport.Taylor Rains/InsiderHowever, Neeleman told Insider that larger meals were planned for the future. I hope the carrier adds options like sandwiches or salads.Taylor Rains/InsiderAfter the inflight service, I worked on my laptop. The leg rest and large armrests made for a perfect working environment, despite the lack of WiFi.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhen taking a break from work, I was able to prop my phone on the seatback and stream a TV show. My phone screen is small, so I'll be sure to bring my iPad on my next flight.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe perfect weather over the Rocky Mountains also provided great views from above.Taylor Rains/InsiderI was also able to sleep after a few hours of working, and the headrest, recline, and leg rest made for a comfortable nap. For someone who rarely sleeps on planes — even when flying in premium cabins — I was surprised how well I slept.Taylor Rains/InsiderHalfway through the journey, I made my way to one of the three bathrooms onboard Breeze's A220. I used one in the back of the plane, which was pretty small.Taylor Rains/InsiderHowever, there was just enough room to move around and it also had a baby-changing table.Taylor Rains/InsiderAfter 5.5 hours of flying, we landed in San Francisco around 11:30 a.m. local time.Taylor Rains/InsiderOverall, the flight was enjoyable and comfortable. It was my first-ever flight on an A220 and I loved the modern feel of the aircraft. The first class seats were plush and the engines were quiet compared to other narrowbody jets.Taylor Rains/InsiderAfter the experience, Breeze's A220 has become one of my new favorite planes to fly on, especially since its first class product was well-thought-out with the customer in mind.Taylor Rains/InsiderHowever, one concern is the lack of inflight entertainment. There were no seatback TVs or streaming available, though Neeleman said the plan is to add streaming to personal devices in the future.Delta Air Lines seatback screen on its A220.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe company already has its inflight entertainment portal, called BreezeOnboard, installed on its Embraer fleet. This is similar to mainline carriers like American Airlines.Taylor Rains/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 12th, 2022

LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance Launches Pride With Multitude of Events

LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance has kicked off the annual June Pride Month celebration and will host more than 25 events for the real estate industry and consumers, the organization has announced. “A lot of folks don’t realize that Pride Month, which is now celebrated around the world, was founded in June of 1970 when Manhattan’s… The post LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance Launches Pride With Multitude of Events appeared first on RISMedia. LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance has kicked off the annual June Pride Month celebration and will host more than 25 events for the real estate industry and consumers, the organization has announced. “A lot of folks don’t realize that Pride Month, which is now celebrated around the world, was founded in June of 1970 when Manhattan’s Greenwich Village community returned to Stonewall, a well-known LGBTQ+ club, to honor the one-year anniversary of a revolt against police who had violently raided the bar marking the start of the modern LGBTQ+ movement,” said LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance CEO Ryan Weyandt. “This is an incredible month for the LGBTQ+ community as we celebrate the importance of living our lives authentically and the strides we’ve made. This celebration honors our movement and recognizes the challenges we’ve faced as a community to get us to the point where the largest companies and brands in real estate fully engage with us with a focus on the needs of our community. “Pride Month is also special because of the amazing support we receive from the Ally community in our industry,” Weyandt continued. “While this is only the Alliance’s second Pride season, we are honored to do our duty and carry the real estate industry’s PRIDE flag while we welcome so many professionals and consumers at our activities and look forward to growing our programming each year.” The Alliance says its signature consumer event will be the second annual LGBTQ+ First-Time Home Buyer Seminar on June 14 at 7 p.m. ET. The virtual event is free with registration required. It will feature a variety of important topics for potential homeowners including discussions about down payments, mortgage types, pre-approval and the lending process. The program will also provide insight into selecting an agent, home and neighborhood while offering perspectives on the offer, negotiations and the different steps to closing. The Alliance will also provide resources to help combat potential housing discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity. The Alliance will also host another Alliance Certified Ally course on June 16 at 2 p.m. ET. Led by LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance Director of Education and Member Services Alex Cruz, the thought-provoking and interactive 2.5-hour session will help attendees develop a better understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and provide important information on how to work with potential homebuyers and sellers who identify as part of the community, the organization stated. Intended for straight attendees, this course opens eyes to discrimination issues LGBTQ+ clients face and helps attendees further their journey in building cultural competency. Click here to register. Cruz will deliver the program in-person on June 22 at the South Shore (Massachusetts) Association of REALTORS®. Also on June 16, Weyandt and Alliance Policy & Advocacy Council Co-Chair Chris Suranna will represent the organization at the U.S. States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) celebration of Pride Month and speak alongside SAGE, Cindy Lauper’s True Colors Foundation, the Trevor Project and prominent LGBTQ+ groups. Alliance national board member and activist Feroza Syed will speak about her journey as a transgender real estate professional, a release stated. Weyandt will also participate in the Alliance’s first RealTalk event moderated by Farrah Wilder, vice president and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at the California Association of REALTORS® on June 29. The program is designed for local, regional and state REALTOR® associations to learn about the challenges their LGBTQ+ members and consumers face. Attendees will learn about the findings of the Alliance’s second-annual LGBTQ+ Real Estate Report that showcased how discrimination impacts real estate professionals and consumers and where it occurs. Leadership from the National Association of REALTORS® will lead a discussion about the importance of the Equality Act, which is currently stalled in the U.S. Senate, and renew their support for this landmark legislation. The Alliance announced that the following organization chapters will also have events during June:   Ft. Lauderdale San Diego Los Angeles Virginia Cleveland Nashville Tampa Central Maryland Austin Chicago Arizona Denver Nashville Boston Idaho A complete list of the Alliance’s Pride Month activities can be found here. For more information, visit realestatealliance.org. The post LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance Launches Pride With Multitude of Events appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJun 6th, 2022

Streetfighters, Hooligans and Nazis: Inside Sweden"s Most Notorious Underground Fight Club

King of the Streets' unsanctioned brawls bring together unfettered ultimate fighting, violent soccer hooliganism, and far-right extremists. Hooligans are seen during the Second Bundesliga match between SpVgg Greuther Fuerth and 1. FC Nuernberg at Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer on November 24, 2019 in Fuerth, Germany.TF-Images/Getty Images King of the Streets hosts unsanctioned brawls at secret locations in Sweden and posts them on YouTube. These events mix ultimate fighting with an increasingly emboldened alliance of soccer hooliganism and neo-Nazis.  Started in Gothenburg, Sweden in around 2013, brawls can now draw millions of views online. There is a scar across Simon "The Savage" Henriksen's face—a deep horizontal cut carved along his left cheek—that tells the tale of wars waged and battles won. As he jogs toward the centre of the cage, the scar glows greyish-brown beneath the spotlight, accentuating his dead eyes and hardened jaw. The Danish hooligan takes in his surroundings—the rectangular cage made of orange metal fencing, the concrete floor speckled with blood, the spectators clad in skull face masks and balaclavas—that set the scene for King of the Streets: a "no rules, no rounds" bare knuckle fight club that has played host to some of the most notorious neo-Nazis in Europe. Across from Simon stands a masked hooligan who goes by the nom de guerre Ronin 030. They shake hands and nod in respect. Simon turns to the crowd and  slaps his face repeatedly, working himself and the crowd into a state of violent frenzy. He pulls off his crimson-colored T-shirt, takes a Muay Thai stance—elbows tucked in and feet shoulder width apart—and waits. The referee brings his tattooed hands together. Clap. Clap. Time to fight. Simon moves swiftly, lurching forward and forcing Ronin against the metal fence, pinning him there. This is his fifth fight for King of the Streets—the most of any competitor in the fight club's mysterious history—and he is yet to taste defeat. He pushes forward again, this time grasping Ronin's head in a Muay Thai clinch before landing a knee on the taller man's chest, buckling him slightly. The crowd roars its approval.  Simon fights like an enraged tiger. When he grows bored with his prey, he delivers two punches to Ronin's temple that send the taller man tumbling backwards. Ronin's head slams against the concrete with a sickening thud. Simon stands over his fallen foe, his right fist raised in the air triumphantly as the crowd rages all around him. Officials swarm the fallen fighter, who remains motionless until the camera fades to black. "This is amazing," reads a YouTube comment beneath a video of Simon's fight with Ronin 030, which drew more than 2.7 million views. "This is the true UFC!" 'The Most Stressed Out and Fucked Up Environment You Can Find'King of the Streets (KOTS) originated in Gothenburg, home to Sweden's most popular soccer team, in around 2013. By 2018, prominent hooligans from across Europe were signing up for their unsanctioned brawls, which can draw a million views on YouTube.But unlike combat sports, KOTS' unsanctioned brawls bring together unfettered ultimate fighting with an increasingly emboldened alliance of violent soccer hooliganism and far-right extremists and neo-Nazis. Held in abandoned warehouses throughout Sweden, fights are fashioned after David Fincher's 1999 film Fight Club (based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk), which has found new life for supposed glorification of hypermasculinity as an escape from late capitalism. Few outsiders have ever attended a KOTS fight in person. This mystique has contributed to its popularity on social media. Most of the fights are available on YouTube, where the KOTS channel has more than 500,000 subscribers. Though its Twitter account was recently suspended for violating the social media platform's terms of service, KOTS is active on Facebook and Instagram. "No decisions, No Rules, No Rounds" is how KOTS describes itself on its slick website. "The most notorious fight club, the one and only place for the unwanted ones, delivering the most stressed out and fucked up environment you can find. 13 fights. 13 knockouts. 400 hooligans."An anti-Nazi poster in Gothenburg, Sweden on September 30, 2017, as the Sweden's Nordic Resistance Front planned to march through central Gothenburg on the day of the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. The march never materialized.Julia Reinhart/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesFighters are free to cover their faces with skull face masks and balaclavas, but you won't see the open-palm gloves that are required for UFC fights—fighters' hands must remain bare. The plywood flooring that you'll find at most MMA and boxing events isn't used here; instead, fights take place on concrete floors. Moves that are banned by the UFC—headbutts, strikes to the spine, eye gouging, and biting—are acceptable. There's also no prohibition on performance-enhancing drugs. All of this creates plenty of unprecedented yet entirely predictable dangers—enough to deter certain hardened European hooligans. "Some German hooligans who are active in semi-professional combat sports said that they would never fight there because they believe it is dangerous to fight on concrete," Robert Claus, an expert on right-wing extremism in German soccer and the author of "Hooligans: A world between football, violence," told Insider. "They think it might ruin your body and your career if you get knocked out and hit the floor with your head. Then, it's all over." But it's not just the physical risks that give cause for alarm. Whether by accident or by design, KOTS has become a platform for some of the most notorious hatemongers across Europe, united by a shared penchant for violence and a mutual affection for combat sports. The far-right Nordic Resistance Movement marches in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Sept. 30, 2017.FREDRIK SANDBERG/AFP via Getty ImagesAs Claus says, the fascination with "ideas of violent masculinity" that's shared by some hooligans and combat athletes "has always been a giant, social Darwinist door to the far right."The application I first became aware of KOTS last year while researching the European far-right. The fight club's videos were popular among neo-Nazis and hooligan groups that have flourished on alternative social media platforms such as Telegram. Given the secrecy that shrouds KOTS events, it would have been tricky to attend an event in person. And as a dark-skinned Egyptian, I was reluctant to put myself in that position, even though non-white fighters have occasionally competed for the organization. Still, I wanted to better understand what KOTS is really about and whether it poses a serious threat. Most of the KOTS fighters I reached out to ignored my request, but then one got back to me: Brian Hooi, a Dutch MMA fighter who's Black, and has appeared as "HooiBooi" in two KOTS fights during the past year. Hooi, who has since transitioned back to professional MMA, wouldn't agree to an interview, but said he would answer questions over text on WhatApp. When I asked him what had attracted him to KOTS, he told me that, as a kid, "Fight Club" had been one of his favorite movies, and that he remains fascinated by underground fight culture and the "extreme adrenaline rush" that comes with it. Brian Hooi (left) and Daniele Scatizzi during their lightweight bout at Bellator 270 on November 5, 2021 in Dublin, Ireland.David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images"When I was younger, I was always trying to find underground fight clubs like these, and now I finally found one." Hooi wrote. "I was never concerned about the concrete floor," Hooi wrote. "You know what you signed up for. So if you're scared about it, don't compete. Nobody is forcing you to fight."Meanwhile, using a fake name, I began the process of applying to compete in a KOTS event. Applications to compete are sent out via Telegram, the alternative social media application popular among both anti-fascists and the far right. After I expressed interest, a "fight application" came back that asked a range of questions: Age, height, weight,  and experience, including amateur and professional fight records. Applicants are also asked about their "streetfighting/hooligan background, if you have one." Typically, applicants are matched up according to their weight and experience. But according to the KOTS website, "if it's a beef fight where two people want to settle their problems with fighting each other, we will not care about the weight or experience." (Insider did not submit the application and KOTS did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)One mystery I couldn't solve was how much money is being made, both by KOTS and the fighters.Back in 2019, the fight club started live streaming its events and charging around $14 per fight. It has also set up a merchandise store to sell bandanas ($29) and T-shirts ($45) emblazoned with the KOTS logo. But it's not clear how profitable it is – or, crucially, what KOTS does with the money it pulls in.According to Claus, KOTS is known to cover fighters' travel and accommodation. The KOTS website does refer to "prize money," which it says "depends on your level," though Clause says it's not clear if fighters are paid to get in the ring.For many of the fighters, that might be OK. "The currency in which KOTS fighters are paid in is respect for masculinity— their idea of tough, violent, unmodern masculinity," Claus said. "This public respect from other violent hooligans seems to be the most important thing for them."   'ISIS Welcome, Nazis Welcome' In the 1960s, European governments became concerned with the trend of violent behavior perpetrated by spectators during soccer events. Gangs of violent supporters consisting of young men united through their shared ties to a specific team, would confront opposing fans before, during, or after a match either at stadiums or elsewhere, resulting in injuries, deaths, and wide scale disturbances. This emerging subculture became known as hooliganism.  Following vigorous efforts by governments and law enforcement to reduce the scale of hooliganism across the United Kingdom and Europe, gangs of rival fans have resorted to using social media to plan group fights at discrete locations instead of the spontaneous brawls that took place during matches in the 1970s-80s. Some of the most prominent hooligan groups can be found in Russia, Turkey, as well as in Western European countries such as Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and The Netherlands. And while many of these hooligan groups are made up of men who simply enjoy fighting, others are fueled by associations with outright fascist groups and the far right.It's from this world of soccer hooliganism that KOTS has emerged. Simon the Savage—KOTS' most winning fighter—is himself a hooligan representing the "New Gen" firm, which is one of several violent hooligan groups associated with Denmark's Brøndby IF soccer club. (He declined Insider's request to answer questions about his involvement.) He also appears to be affiliated with the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, the second-largest motorcycle club in the world (after the Hells Angels), which the US Department of Justice and Europolis have classified as an organized criminal syndicate. The group is responsible for crimes such as money laundering, arms trafficking, extortion, drug dealing, sex trafficking, and murder.West German police officers arrest an English hooligan on June 13, 1988. Rioting broke out in downtown Stuttgart, West Germany, after England was defeated by Ireland 0-1 at the European Soccer Championships.Kraufmann/AP PhotoKOTS itself appears to have been an outgrowth of Sweden's hooligan scene, which boasts at least seven significant hooligan groups known for arranging groups fights in remote locations across the country. But just as it's not clear that Swedish and other European hooligans are looking to spread a specific ideology – the violent spectacle is the point – it appears that the same is true for KOTS."The Swedish football hooligan scene is very non-political for the most part so extremists have been forced to choose between football and politics. KOTS is sort of like that," says Jonathan Leman, a researcher with Expo, a Swedish anti-racist magazine. "My perspective is that it is neither fascist, nor anti-fascist… It is more about the fighting." KOTS insists that it's apolitical. Recently, a screenshot was posted on KOTS' Instagram stories (which disappear after 24 hours) along with the caption, "Everyone please shut the fuck up now." In the exchange, a fan asked why the fight club allows anti-fascists to compete. KOTS replied: "Everyone welcome to fight club. We don't give a fuck. ISIS is welcome. Terrorists welcome. Nazi welcome. AFA welcome. We don't care."And yet, it's not that simple. Far-right extremists and neo-Nazis—both of which have established fanbases that preach physical fitness, romanticize competitive violence, and revere hyper-masculinity—have found KOTS. Yanek, a hooligan representing SK Wallis, a Swiss hooligan firm made up of neo-Nazis, has fought twice with KOTS, in October 2020 and again in 2021. The fight club has also featured Tom Neubert, a neo-Nazi hooligan who competed for the infamous German-based far-right organization Kampf der Nibelungen (KdN), best known for hosting MMA events during an annual far-right festival held in celebration of Adolf Hitler's birthday. He also competed for "F1ght K1ngs" in Ukraine, another MMA organization known for its ties to neo-Nazis. KOTS has also hosted featured fights involving "Orange Dwarf," a hooligan representing the Apoel football club who was celebrated across far-right social media channels following his victory against a Turkish streetfighter. The Rise of Fascist Fight ClubsThe fact that neo-Nazis and other extremists are drawn to violence—whether through legitimate combat sports such as MMA, or through soccer hooliganism, or something like KOTS—is a relatively new development that has taken shape over the past decade.Take the case of White Rex, a Russian apparel brand whose hoodies and sports gear carry neo-nazi symbols. The brand's founder, Denis Kaputsin—also known as Denis Nikitin—was radicalized in Germany's soccer hooligan circles and later used his knowledge of the combat fighting scene to launch a successful business and become a key figure in the European far-right scene. Eventually, he was banned from entering the European Union's Schengen zone, but his clothing line remains popular among combat sports enthusiasts who share the brand's far-right ideology. In April 2021, "Zvonko," a streetfighter representing Germany and Croatia, and "Tomasz," a French hooligan representing Losc Army, a fascist soccer hooligan group based in Lillie, France—stepped into the makeshift ring and prepared for battle. Zvonko strikes first, but Tomasz responds with a flurry of well-placed punches to the ribs and temple. As the camera pans over the fighters, the fascist body art that covers Tomasz is on full display: a white power tattoo across his neck, the face of Rudolf Hess – Hitler's deputy in Germany's Nazi Party – on his arm, and several swastikas elsewhere on his body.  "Tomasz" is Insider has since identified the Frenchman as Tomasz Szkatulski, a far right extremist linked to various neo-Nazi groups including the international Blood and Honor network, a white supremacist group that's banned in Russia and Germany, and has been added to the list of designated terrorist groups in Canada. In addition to being one of the most notorious neo-Nazis involved in the combat sports scene, he is also the founder of Pride France, an MMA lifestyle clothing line that promotes itself as a "brand for nationalists" and sells streetwear and fight gear emblazoned with neo-Nazi symbolism. Some of Pride France's most egregious clothing items include its HTLR women's t-shirt and others that display slogans like "Zero Zolerance." The fascist brand also has a "Halloween" themed shirt depicting a smiling Ku Klux Klan caricature with a noose and a flaming torch, as well as a selection of children's clothing with similar white supremacist slogans. Even the Pride France logo—an amalgamation of several interconnected swastikas with the slogan "Respect Nature"—is a testament to its commitment to fascism. Szkatulski has reportedly been arrested on numerous occasions, including a conviction for attacking a homeless man with a bicycle chain because he was of North African descent. Though the extremist claimed that the attack had "nothing to do with his views,"  he was handed a 12-month prison sentence at the time, which included a six-month suspended term. Szkatulski was also reportedly involved in two separate attacks on the customers of a gay bar in Lille, both of which were orchestrated by known neo-Nazis and skinheads. The April fight got KOTS approximately 492,000 views on YouTube and – presumably – helped introduce a sizable portion of Szkatulski's fans to the underground club.   A fight between fans following match between Djurgardens IF and Hammarby IF at Tele2 Arena on April 29, 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden.Michael Campanella/Getty Images 'Like in the gladiator times'"By recruiting heavily from soccer's violent hooligan world," Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idriss wrote in her acclaimed book "Hate in the Homeland: The New Far-Right," "the far right can use the MMA scene to transform what has long been an alcohol-laden, street brawl subculture into a more coherent, disciplined, and regulated scene." "There is a valorization of violence and of hyper masculine ideals around defense and sacrifice that align well with the far right's messaging around the need to defend national or racialized territory or to prepare for the race war they anticipate and the street battles that will supposedly be a part of it," said Miller-Idriss, who directs the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL) at American University.  Whether it cultivates neo-Nazi and white supremacists or not, it's clear that KOTS welcomes extremists with open arms – as warriors. And it is precisely the fight club's ambivalence towards the rising threat of far-right extremism in combat sports that could make it a potential recruiting ground for the far right.  While fighters might proudly mimic Tyler Durden, the central figure in Fight Club portrayed by Brad Pitt, many are participating in a built-in structure of toxic hyper-masculinity that, if left unchecked, could lead potential fighters down a path towards far-right extremism. "This is the most raw form of fighting," Hooi, who is not affiliated with any far-right groups, wrote during our interview. "We compete in these events to satisfy an inner feeling—an urge for blood like in the gladiator times."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 4th, 2022

The Residences at The St. Regis Cap Cana Launches Sales, Bringing a New Level of Luxury to the Dominican Republic

Today, Campagna Ricart & Associates  and Pioneer Investment Funds announce the launch of public sales for The Residences at The St. Regis Cap Cana. Located within the exclusive, master-planned community of Cap Cana, just south of Punta Cana on the eastern tip of the island, this marks the arrival of the St. Regis brand... The post The Residences at The St. Regis Cap Cana Launches Sales, Bringing a New Level of Luxury to the Dominican Republic appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Today, Campagna Ricart & Associates  and Pioneer Investment Funds announce the launch of public sales for The Residences at The St. Regis Cap Cana. Located within the exclusive, master-planned community of Cap Cana, just south of Punta Cana on the eastern tip of the island, this marks the arrival of the St. Regis brand to the Dominican Republic. An idyllic paradise located on a 17-acre site featuring access to 800 feet of private beachfront, the residential resort will ultimately feature a 200-room hotel and 70 residences. Construction began on the residences in 2021 with a projected opening by the end of 2023. The site was purchased in 2018 in partnership with Pioneer Investment Funds, a private equity investment fund management company based in the Dominican Republic with 30 years of experience.  An extraordinary and incredibly stunning residential and resort community, Cap Cana is known as the Caribbean’s fastest growing and most stable destination, with more than $1.9 billion invested in established infrastructure and amenities since its inception. The Residences include 47 Beachfront homes, 15 Golf Terrace Residences, six Astor Residences and two breathtaking Penthouses, all overlooking the magnificent hues of blues of the Caribbean Sea. Pricing for the Residences begins from $1 million for a one bedroom to over $20 million for a penthouse. Waypoint Resort Real Estate is leading the sales and marketing along with Campagna Ricart’s Sales and Marketing division. “The Residences at The St. Regis Cap Cana is the first and only five-star branded real estate offering in Cap Cana and will be introducing the most luxurious and world-class destination in the Dominican Republic,” said Dino Campagna, President of Campagna Ricart and Associates. “The iconic style and bespoke service of the St. Regis brand, combined with the breathtaking beachfront location and access to the spectacular amenities within Cap Cana, is already producing an astounding demand for The Residences.”  A.C. Arquitectos & Asociados, a leading Dominican architecture firm with over 15 years of experience creating spectacular homes in the destination, is behind the stunning architecture of The St. Regis Cap Cana. International award-winning interior design firm Chapi Chapo Design, which has worked with distinguished developers and hospitality brands worldwide, designed the luxurious interiors of the hotel and residences, including custom kitchens, millwork, and furniture.  The Residences take inspiration from the physical beauty of the Dominican coastline and are crafted with an exquisite aesthetic. The interiors offer a refined palette of soft, muted tones making each home warm and inviting, and feature a contemporary Italian kitchen, including sustainable wood cabinetry, quartz and marble countertops with professional-grade European appliances, and Travertine stone flooring throughout. All residences are available fully furnished with furniture packages expertly curated by Chapi Chapo Design and AG Interiors. The project’s interiors are designed in unison with recognized interior designer Alexandra Guzman, who has worked and excelled in the luxury residential market for over 20 years. The Beachfront Residences offer a mix of one- to four-bedroom oceanfront homes, ranging in size from 1,442 to 4,574 interior square feet, each providing unobstructed ocean views with walls of glass extending the living room onto a shaded terrace. The Golf Terrace Residences range from one to four-bedrooms and provide a front row view of holes 1 and 2 of the award-winning Punta Espada Golf Course. The Astor Residences and Penthouses, ranging from three to seven bedrooms are expected to be the most sought-after properties in the region, with the largest penthouse totaling 20,676 square feet. “This is the most exciting project to enter the market in many years, setting a new standard of luxury for the region,” said Myles Newell, Principal of Waypoint Resort Real Estate, who is handling the sales and marketing for the development along with the developer’s sales and marketing team, led by Sophia Yeara. “The real estate market in the Dominican Republic has been stronger than ever in the last few months. Buyers are drawn to everything Cap Cana has to offer, and our project is meeting the untapped demand for luxury branded residences in the destination.” Buyers of The Residences will have access to all the amenities of Cap Cana including the Jack Nicklaus designed Punta Espada Golf Club. Offering spectacular views of the Caribbean and emerald fairways, the course was named by Golf Week as the #1 Best Golf Course in the Caribbean and Mexico. The course is the first of three Jack Nicklaus Signature courses to be developed at Cap Cana. The destination features the renowned Cap Cana Marina, which offers over 130 slips and can accommodate yachts of up to 150 feet with complete services. Other attractions within Cap Cana include Los Establos equestrian center, and Scape Park, along with amazing world-class fishing, upscale dining, and picturesque beaches. Owners will also have access to all the bespoke amenities and services of St. Regis which include 24/7 concierge service, beach, and poolside butler service, seven resort pools, seven distinctive dining experiences, the signature Spa featuring ten massage rooms, state-of-the-art fitness and wellness center, iconic St. Regis bar, Rum and Cigar lounge, tapas bar, spectacular decks overlooking the sea, a beach club, a children’s club, and distinctive art gardens, courtyards and tidal pools. Purchasers also have exclusive access to Owner-only amenities, dedicated parking spaces, valet parking, private beach access, private residents pool, game room, fitness center, movie theater, library, lounge/sports bar, grill and dining area. The Residences at The St. Regis Cap Cana are only a 7-minute drive from Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), a thoroughly modern terminal providing direct flights to over 26 countries and 98 cities around the world. PUJ also provides access for private and executive aircraft via the airport’s VIP and FBO terminals. The post The Residences at The St. Regis Cap Cana Launches Sales, Bringing a New Level of Luxury to the Dominican Republic appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyApr 20th, 2022

Bombardier just delivered its 100th Global 7500 business jet built for the ultra-wealthy that features a private bedroom — see inside the "Ferrari of the Skies"

VistaJet is the world's largest operator of the Bombardier Global 7500 private jet, which features four living spaces, like a bedroom and dining room. Taylor Rains/Insider Bombardier delivered its 100th Global 7500 private jet on Tuesday to private charter company VistaJet. The plane is the largest and longest-range purpose-built private aircraft on the market capable of flying 7,700 nautical miles. VistaJet's cabin was inspired by the color of espresso and includes four living spaces, including a private bedroom. Canadian planemaker Bombardier just delivered its 10th Global 7500 business aircraft to VistaJet, the world's largest private charter company and the biggest operator of the aircraft type.Taylor Rains/InsiderSource: BombardierThe milestone marks the 100th Global 7500 that Bombardier has delivered and makes VistaJet the owner of 10% of the world's 7500s.Taylor Rains/InsiderSource: BombardierBombardier has recently consolidated its products to focus solely on business aircraft, with its Global 7500 being considered the best of the best.Inside a Bombardier Global 7500 demonstration aircraft at the Dubai Air Show.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSource: BombardierThe $75 million plane is the largest and longest-ranged purpose-built private jet on the market, boasting an incredible 7,700 nautical mile range and capacity of up to 19 passengers.Inside a Bombardier Global 7500 demonstration aircraft at the Dubai Air Show.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSource: BombardierThe jet has become a staple of luxury travel that can connect nearly any city pair on Earth, like from New York to Hong Kong or from London to Tokyo.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500.VistaJetSource: BombardierAt a ceremony in Montreal on Tuesday, Bombardier CEO Éric Martel officially handed the keys to VistaJet founder and chairman Thomas Flohr.Taylor Rains/Insider"This industry has achieved a great deal, partially through COVID, and the world has actually discovered how efficient it is to use a business jet," Flohr said at the event.Taylor Rains/InsiderNot only is it more convenient for travelers to fly private because they can skip busy airports and security checkpoints, but it is also more sustainable, Flohr explained.Private passengers can many times drive straight up to the plane. Pictured is VistaJet’s Global 5000.Taylor Rains/InsiderI flew out of a general aviation airport to see how the rich travel. I didn't miss the hassle, lines, and frustration of commercial flying."Why fly a 737 into a remote town with a load factor of 20-30% and burn a lot more fuel, when you can take a small business jet and actually get there and have a lower carbon footprint," he said.Private jet at the airport for the Super Bowl in February 2022.Courtesy of Levi StocktonMedia were welcomed onboard VistaJet's historic Global 7500, which the company has dubbed the "Ferrari of the Skies." Take a look inside the stylish cabin, complete with four separate living spaces.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe first room passengers will see when they board is the club suite, which has four seats and a pull-out table in between each pair, allowing for plenty of space to work or discuss business.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe seats are zero-gravity loungers called Nuage that are exclusive to the Global 7500. They feature a unique tilt that allows the chair to have a deep recline and floating base.Taylor Rains/Insider"It feels like you're floating," Flohr told Insider. "They are a new development, and they are just more comfortable and a more modern look for passengers."Taylor Rains/InsiderThe seats have plenty of storage space for phones, as well as USB and power outlets to charge electronics.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderDirectly behind the club suite is the conference suite, which also doubles as a dining room.Taylor Rains/InsiderAccording to Flohr, the space is relatively new in the industry because it has six dining seats instead of the standard four.Taylor Rains/InsiderIn partnership with Bombardier, VistaJet developed a unique table that can fold out into a larger surface space but can also connect to the table across the aisle via a leaf in the middle.VistaJetBeyond the dining area, there is a cinema room with a large television and seating area.Taylor Rains/InsiderFlohr explained that this can be used to relax, watch movies, view a presentation, or have a private business conversation. The room is divided from the conference and club suites via a soundproof pocket door.Taylor Rains/InsiderTowards the back of the aircraft is a bedroom with a double bed, TV, and closet...Taylor Rains/Insider…and a separate lounger. The lounger also has a pull-out table.VistaJetThe bedroom is one-of-a-kind in the industry, according to Flohr, and is important for long-haul travel.Taylor Rains/Insider"You cannot fly 15 hours in a seat or you'll arrive wrecked, so we have installed a proper bed, not a pull-out, with a permanent mattress so passengers can actually sleep," he told Insider.Taylor Rains/InsiderAfter the bedroom is a full lavatory with a toilet and sink. It was spacious with plenty of room to change or freshen up. A shower can also be installed, though VistaJet did not have one onboard.Taylor Rains/InsiderDuring the tour, Flohr emphasized the large size of the windows throughout the cabin, which he said makes passengers feel like they are "floating."Taylor Rains/InsiderMoreover, the seats always align with the windows, which have blinds that can be closed to create a dark cabin.Taylor Rains/InsiderIn addition to the four rooms, there is also a full galley and crew rest area at the front of the plane.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe rest area has space for three crew members to sit, or one to lay down and rest in between shifts, particularly on flights reaching 16 hours.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe galley has plenty of room for the crew members to prepare meals, drinks, or anything else a passenger may need, complete with two refrigerators and two ovens...Taylor Rains/Insider...a coffee maker...Taylor Rains/Insider...and plenty of storage space for glassware.Taylor Rains/InsiderAlso in the crew rest area is a second lavatory, which is smaller than the aft bathroom but still spacious.Taylor Rains/InsiderAs far as the colors and textures used in the cabin, Flohr told Insider that it started with the color of espresso.Taylor Rains/Insider"If you pour an espresso, it's obviously very dark but there is also that foam on top," he explained. "So, we felt it was a very balanced color scheme that we could use to design the seats, carpet, and wood."Taylor Rains/Insider"We're just trying to make the cabin calm and not loud because life is already so stressful, so we wanted a peaceful environment," he continued.VistaJetAccording to Jennifer Farquhar, VistaJet's head of group communications, the company is focused on providing a consistent uniform cabin across each plane so passengers have the exact same experience regardless of which Global 7500 they are on.Taylor Rains/Insider"We've had some of our cabin hostesses take photos upon landing, particularly families with kids, of the exact location of the coloring books or stuff animals left out," she told Insider.Taylor Rains/Insider"But then it's a whole different crew that will pick the passengers up, but they can place that teddy bear where the child left it, so it makes them feel like they're coming back to their home," she continued.Taylor Rains/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 3rd, 2022

LaGuardia Airport"s newest concourse is fully open with a brand-new section for American Airlines, 4 more gates, and a premium lounge— see inside

Developers gave the concourse the feel of a hotel lounge and travelers will also have access to new shops, eateries, and lounges, in the new LaGuardia. Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/Insider LaGuardia Airport and American Airlines are celebrating the opening of the second half of Terminal B's Western Concourse.  Four new gates opened on Thursday along with new retail shops and a 20,000-square-foot American Airlines Admirals Club.  As part of the LaGuardia redevelopment plan, the new Terminal B is replacing the 1960s-era Central Terminal Building.  Christmas has come early for travelers going through LaGuardia Airport.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe latest phase of the renovation and overhaul for the infamous airport made its debut on Thursday with the opening of new gates, retail shops, and lounges in Terminal B.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderTwo concourses in LaGuardia's current flagship terminal are now fully open and the redevelopment as a whole is 90% complete. By 2023, Terminal B will be completely transformed.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderI visited the newly opened LaGuardia terminal and saw how it has turned the infamous airport into one of the best in the USThursday's opening also marked the end of a nearly 60-year era for the Central Terminal Building, from which the final flight departed on Wednesday night. Known for its low ceilings and aging infrastructure, the piers have only served to bring down LaGuardia's reputation in recent years.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderInsider joined representatives from American Airlines and LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the private company tasked with the terminal's redevelopment, on a tour of the newly opened section of the Western Concourse. Here's what travelers can expect.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAmerican Airlines will be the Western Concourse's primary tenant and the airline's passengers, as a result, will be the beneficiaries of Thursday's expansion.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderPassengers bound for the Western Concourse will proceed through the arrivals and departures hall, also known as the headhouse, as they normally would. American's ticket counters remain in their usual positions and going through the Transportation Security Administration's security screening will remain the same.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAnd while en route to the new concourse, travelers will notice that Terminal B's retail area, currently covered in holiday decorations, is being filled out with more and more shops and restaurants.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderIn the mall section, called The Bowery Bay Shops, Minute Suites is the latest addition in which travelers can reserve a private room to rest and relax before a flight. Travelers enrolled in the Priority Pass program can use Minutes Suites through their membership.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderI used a credit perk to dine for nearly free at an airport restaurant and it's my new favorite travel hackEateries in the terminal span from fast-food spots like Wendy's to Texas-style barbecue joints like Hill Country Barbecue Market.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSit-down restaurants have also opened in the terminal including Mulberry Street, an Italian restaurant from chef Marc Forgione.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderNot all eateries have opened in the terminal even after more than one year since its June 2020 debut. But the hope is that more will open as construction comes to an end and more passengers visit the terminal.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderPassengers bound for the Western Concourse will still have to use a temporary passageway to get to their gates as the pedestrian bridge has still yet to be completed.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderOnce construction on the pedestrian bridge is complete in early 2022, travelers will have a more direct routing to the Western Concourse with a shorter walking distance to boot.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe shell of the bridge is largely complete and sits just behind a temporary wall in the terminal.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderA new restaurant will also be opened along the pedestrian bridge with an outdoor seating area that offers direct views of the Manhattan skyline.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAnd once the passenger bridge is open, aircraft will be able to taxi underneath it just as they can underneath the pedestrian bridge connecting the headhouse with the Eastern Concourse. The additional taxi lane will help prevent the congestion that once plagued Terminal B.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderBut until the bridge is ready, travelers will still have a bit of a walk in order to get to the Western Concourse that actually includes a trip back in time to the old Central Terminal Building.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThis connector that currently bridges the two buildings is one of the old passageways that linked the former Terminal B parking garage with the check-in area. Passengers also walk through a hallway from the Central Terminal Building.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderLaGuardia Gateway Partners estimates that the walking time from the security checkpoint to the Western Concourse is between six and seven minutes. It’s a shorter walk to the Western Concourse than the Eastern Concourse that will be aided by moving walkways.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe difference between the old Concourse D and the newly-opened section of the Western Concourse is immediately clear as the developers have gone from one extreme to another. Incredibly low ceilings in the former terminal have been replaced with 55-foot ceilings in the new one.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderWhile travelers formerly had to fight for space in the old terminal, there's almost too much space in the new one.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderLaGuardia Gateway Partners designed the airport to have the feel of a hotel lounge. And as such, travelers may notice that the sights and sounds of the terminal are not the same as they might expect from other airports.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderConcessionaires have limits on how they play music and terminal announcements are kept to a minimum. Carpeted flooring also keeps noise levels down in the gate area as opposed to the tiled flooring commonly found at other airports.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderEven lighting fixtures have are not the type to be found in a typical airport.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe concourse is very clearly built for arriving and departing passengers rather than connecting passengers as the majority of American's customers are either originating or terminating in New York.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSignage for arriving passengers guides them towards baggage claim rather than to connecting gates and most of the flight information display screens are located towards the center of the concourse as opposed to in the main gate areas.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAs the first half of the Western Concourse has already opened, businesses have been able to open and are already serving customers. Eateries include Bar Veloce, Beecher's Market Café, Sweetleaf Coffee, and Gotham News while retail stores include The Scoop and InMotion.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe Scoop will use Amazon's "Just Walk Out" technology that replaces cashiers with cameras that detect purchases.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderI visited a brand-new Amazon Go-powered store at Newark Airport and it's clear more airports should adopt the tech as travel returns to normalSome of the shops and eateries in the Western Concourse won't open until the new year with future eateries including the Hunt and Fish Grill and Mi Casa Cantina.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderA new arrival in the terminal that opened along with the new gates is the American Airlines Admirals Club.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderLocated on the second floor of the concourse, American opened the first phase of its 20,000 square foot lounge on Thursday with a capacity for around 130 passengers.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe full lounge will be able to accommodate more than 350 passengers — around 50 more passengers than the former Admirals Club in Concourse D — allowing more of American's flyers to be welcomed in.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe Admirals Club is conveniently located at the bottom of the pedestrian walkway that brings passengers to the Western Concourse and is the last stop before descending down into the gate area. Behind a temporary wall is the escalator bank used to access the pedestrian bridge.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderA team of American customer agents greets customers and processes them into the club. They can also assist with travel itineraries when needed.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderA living room greets passengers as they enter complete with a mix of armchairs and couches.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAmerican used New York City-inspired design elements with darker design accents including black metal and rustic finishes, in line with the terminal's goal to incorporate local flair into the redevelopment.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderBut the colors of the American brand can be found throughout the lounge.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderGlass walls along the edge of the lounge let patrons look down into the concourse while still providing a modicum of privacy.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThere are no COVID-19 pandemic-related capacity restrictions in effect and seats are not blocked off for social distancing, as was the case for most of 2020.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAn informal cafe can be found at the edge of the lounge that's intended to be a temporary placeholder until larger dining areas open in the final phase of the lounge.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAll food in the lounge is self-serve and options consist mostly of snacks including hummus, snack mixes, cheese cubes,Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderPastries and sweets also include Rice Krispie treats, cookies, and marble bread.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderHot options include Italian wedding soup and lounge staff also serve avocado toast and guacamole throughout the day.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe complimentary lounge offering is intended to be small bites while more fulfilling food items can be purchased.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderMenus are accessible via QR codes found throughout the dining area.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSome alcoholic drinks are complimentary in the lounge and a full bar will open once the second phase is completed in spring 2022. The liquor display found in the Concourse D lounge will be brought into the new section, as well.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderA variety of seating can be found in the cafe area ranging from small tables to private booths.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAnd while there are no seats blocked for social distancing, lounges are already designed to maximize privacy.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderIndividual seats with high walls, for example, are ideal for solo travelers looking to keep their distance and privacy in luxury.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderJetBlue departures are also displayed on flight status boards in the lounge as part of the new Northeast Alliance between JetBlue and American.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAmerican and JetBlue passengers departing out of the terminal's Eastern Concourse will, however, have to leave some extra time to walk over to the other building.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThursday's debut is just the latest cause for celebration at LaGuardia but the hits will keep on coming. Delta Air Lines will be opening the first phase of its terminal renovation plan in the spring as part of a $3.9 billion project.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderDelta is months away from debuting its new $3.9 billion terminal at New York's LaGuardia Airport with 37 gates and its largest lounge everChase will be building a lounge of its own, the Chase Sapphire Lounge, in partnership with The Club, giving the airport its first lounge that will be open to Priority Pass members and Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe Chase Sapphire Lounge will join the new American Express Centurion Lounge in Terminal B that's open to all Platinum and Centurion cardholders.Touring American Express' new Centurion Lounge at LaGuardia Airport.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAmex just opened its newest lounge inside LaGuardia Airport's brand-new terminal and it's just what the infamous airport neededIn less than a decade, nearly all of LaGuardia's terminals will be entirely new builds. The only remnant of the old LaGuardia will be opposite the airport at the 1930s-era Marine Air Terminal.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderIn 10 years' time, using New York City's two airports will be a radically different experience for air travelers.Touring LaGuardia Airport's new Western Concourse at Terminal B.Thomas Pallini/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 18th, 2021

Hochul announces start date for $9B JFK terminal addition

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has reached a revised agreement with The New Terminal One (NTO) – a consortium of financial sponsors – to build a 2.4 million square foot state-of-the-art new international terminal that will anchor the south side of John F. Kennedy International Airport.  The $9.5 billion project will be built in phases and will create more than 10,000 jobs, becoming the fourth major terminal project announced... The post Hochul announces start date for $9B JFK terminal addition appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has reached a revised agreement with The New Terminal One (NTO) – a consortium of financial sponsors – to build a 2.4 million square foot state-of-the-art new international terminal that will anchor the south side of John F. Kennedy International Airport.  The $9.5 billion project will be built in phases and will create more than 10,000 jobs, becoming the fourth major terminal project announced by the Port Authority as part of a complete transformation of JFK into a world-class airport worthy of New York and the region.  When completed, The New Terminal One will be the largest international terminal at JFK and aspires to be among the top rated airport terminals in the world.      “As we recover from this pandemic, I want to ensure that everyone traveling to New York has a welcoming and streamlined experience, and that New Yorkers have the modernized transportation hubs they deserve,” Governor Hochul said. “The time to get large infrastructure projects done is now, and I’m committed to getting JFK’s brand new Terminal One underway and completed as soon as possible.”      The Port Authority Board of Commissioners will vote on the proposed lease agreement at its meeting this Thursday. The full cost of the terminal will be privately financed by the NTO consortium which includes financial partners Carlyle, JLC Infrastructure, and Ullico. A joint venture of Munich Airport International and CAG Holdings is the operating and technical services partner to the consortium.      As part of the project, the Port Authority will undertake a number of infrastructure upgrades and improvements including roads, parking, and utilities including a new electrical substation. The New Terminal One will be built on the sites of the current undersized and outdated Terminal 1, the aging and obsolete 59-year-old Terminal 2, and the site of the former Terminal 3, which was demolishedin 2013. Construction of the new terminal is scheduled to begin in mid-2022 and the first phase, including the new arrivals and departures hall and first set of new gates, is expected to open in 2026.     The project was initially scheduled to break ground in 2020. Due to the severe impact of the COVID-19 on air travel, the terms of the agreement needed to be restructured. The restructured deal announced today marks a major step forward in the ambitious plan to transform JFK into a unified, 21st century global gateway. The new terminal will be built in phases, subject to international passenger traffic levels, with full completion anticipated in approximately 2030.      The New Terminal One will ultimately have 23 new gates, as well as bright and airy check-in halls and arrival spaces designed to enhance the customer experience and compete with some of the highest-rated airport terminals in the world. Customers will enjoy world-class, New York-inspired dining and retail amenities, as well as space for lounges, an indoor green space and family-friendly amenities. The New Terminal One will incorporate the latest advances in both sustainability and security and be infused a with uniquely New York sense of place.        In October 2018, following a competitive review of leasing proposals, the Port Authority entered into exclusive negotiations for the development of two major new international terminals, one each on the airport’s north and south sides, that would lead the transformation of JFK and increase the airport’s capacity to accommodate projected growth.      Today’s announcement reflects a significant vote of confidence by the private sector in the future of JFK Airport, the return of air travel, and the economic recovery of the region. A key element of the restructured agreement is an extended lease term to 2060 to provide sufficient time after the terminal opens to enable the private investors recover their multi-billion-dollar investments. The City of New York’sten-yearemergency extension of the master lease for JFK Airport, which had been set to expire in 2050, enabled this important element of the restructured deal with NTO.        This week, the Port Authority Board will also vote on the authorization of the full $2.9 billion of funds which were included in the Port Authority’s 2017-2026 Capital Plan for the JFK Redevelopment program. These funds are allocated to enabling infrastructure in direct support of JFK Redevelopment, including roadway improvements, utilities, improved parking facilities, a ground transportation center and airfield work. (To date, approximately $1.24 billion of those funds have been authorized through separate Board actions.) Thus, the Port Authority capital is leveraging private investment at a rate of more than 5:1 when taking into account the full private investment of more than $15 billion that has been committed to the four projects comprising the full JFK redevelopment program.      The development of The New Terminal One is expected to result in over 10,000 total jobs including more than 6,000 union construction jobs.        NTO is a private consortium comprised of Carlyle, JLC Infrastructure (formed in 2015 by Loop Capital and Magic Johnson Enterprises), and Ullico (the only labor-owned insurance and investment company), and is supported by Reach Airports, a joint venture between Munich Airport International and Carlyle’s airport platform, CAG Holdings, providing technical services. NTO selected a design build team, led by AECOM Tishman, and Gensler, a design and architecture firm.        JLC’s participation as a minority-owned equity investor in the project is notable not only in that it continues the state’s trend of MWBE firms creating wealth by investing in such a major public-private partnership – beyond the provision of goods and services such as construction contracts – but doing so at the 30 percentlevel, which is both historic and nation-leading.       The passenger facilities at The New Terminal One will feature significantly larger check-in, security and concessions areas with high ceilings, natural light and modern architecture coupled with interior green space, exhibits and art featuring iconic New York landmarks and local artists. World-class retail, restaurants and bars will include locally inspired restaurateurs, craft beverage options and Taste NY stores. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi and an abundance of charging stations throughout the terminal will enable passengers to stay connected at each step of their journey.        State-of-the-art technology will further improve the customer experience and security in the new terminal including elements such as touchless passenger journey, digital passenger flow and queue management, TSA security lanes featuring the latest technology, advanced video search analytics, biometric-based systems and a flexible design to accommodate future technology and/or regulatory changes.       Sustainability enhancements will include the use of renewable energy technologies such as a solar hot water, aircraft de-icing and fluid recovery, and the conversion of diesel ground service equipment to electric-powered ground service fleet across the airport – such as baggage tractors and belt loaders.        Plans for The New Terminal One build on the momentum of the other three major components of the airport’s transformation. The $3.9 billion development of a state-of-the-art new Terminal 6, to be built by JFK Millennium Partners, on the airport’s north side that will seamlessly connect with JetBlue’s existing Terminal 5 was approved by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners in August. The $1.5 billion expansion of Terminal 4, led by Delta and JFK International Air Terminal, was approved in the spring and will begin construction in the immediate future. Additionally, work began in December 2019 on the $425 million expansion of JFK’s Terminal 8, led by American Airlines, which operates the terminal, and British Airways, which will be relocating to Terminal 8 from Terminal 7, set to be demolished to make way for the new Terminal 6.      The post Hochul announces start date for $9B JFK terminal addition appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyDec 15th, 2021

I flew Aeromexico for the first time and wasn"t impressed by the Mexican flag carrier"s old planes despite seatback TVs and free-flowing booze

The flight was on a noticeably tired plane but there were some features that travelers would be hard-pressed to find on US airlines. Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/Insider Aeromexico serves as the flag carrier of Mexico and has close links with Delta Air Lines. Seat-back entertainment screens were found at every seat, a rarity on most US airlines, and alcohol was complimentary. But the aircraft seemed quite out of date and filled with tired-looking and worn seats.  Aeromexico is the flag carrier of Mexico and one of the country's largest airlines.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAmericans may relate to Aeromexico as the Delta Air Lines of Mexico as the two are very closely linked.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderDelta owns 49% of Aeromexico and the two are also linked through the SkyTeam airline alliance. Travelers can book tickets on either airline through each other's website for international itineraries.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAnd just like Delta, Aeromexico is facing stiff competition from ultra-low-cost carriers offering cheap and unbundled fares on routes across Mexico. Rivals include airlines like Volaris and VivaAerobus that are rapidly growing in Mexico and beyond.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderOn a recent trip to the US West Coast, I took a Mexican detour and flew Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana. Here's what it was like.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderMy Aeromexico journey started at Mexico City International Airport, where I'd arrived from New York on a Delta Air Lines flight. I had a two-hour connection at the airport and got my first glimpse at Aeromexico's operation.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe check-in desk for Aeromexico, as the largest airline in Mexico City's Terminal 2, was not hard to find. There was even a dedicated check-in area for elite status holders, including those with elite status on Delta such as myself.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAnd just like in the US, airline staff are separated from passengers by plexiglass partitions. Unlike the US, however, most staff wore face shields in addition to face masks.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSelf-serve kiosks were also available and I stopped by one to see if there were any better seats for the three and a half hour flight.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderIt was looking to be a full flight and I wasn't hopeful I'd be moving from my window seat in the back of the plane. I was, however, put on the upgrade list to first class thanks to my Delta elite status.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderMy Delta Sky Miles Silver Medallion status didn't yield any upgrades to extra legroom seats in economy class, known as "AM Plus." The seats also come with priority boarding and priority baggage handling.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderGetting a boarding pass was quick and easy. And with that, I headed to the gate.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderMexico requires that all domestic passengers complete a health declaration before going through the security checkpoint. There was a lot of confusion among foreigners, myself included, on how to fill out the form given the spotty WiFi in the terminal but I was ultimately able to complete it and proceed on.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderI would describe the post-security experience in the terminal as unremarkable. There's no shortage of premium lounges in the airport, including an American Express Centurion Lounge, but I had a tight layover and headed straight to the gate.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe flight departed from a remote gate, meaning that we'd have to take a bus from the terminal to the plane.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSocial distancing measures were also in place at the gate including more plexiglass partitions and face shields.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAnd the floors had social distancing placards to remind passengers on where to stand when waiting in line.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderBoarding started in groups around 30 minutes before departure. Elite status holders and first class boards first on Aeromexico followed by economy class passengers.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAnd for all the social distancing measures in the terminal, there was none on the 10-minute bus ride to the plane.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe upside was that we got a closer look at Aeromexico's fleet of Boeing and Embraer planes, including the Boeing 737 Max.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderPlus, boarding from air stairs is always the most exciting way to board an airplane.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderA Boeing 737-800 with registration N950AM was taking us north to Tijuana. It's a 12-year-old plane that's only ever flown for Aeromexico.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSource: Planespotters.netJudging from the outside, it looked like it could've been brand-new.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderPlacards at the boarding door reminded passengers of Aeromexico's top marks from the Airline Passenger Experience Association. I was going to put that to the test.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderInside the plane, it seemed that the aircraft had not been updated since 2012. Yellow lighting didn't blend well with the blue seats.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderA total of 160 can be found on this aircraft across two cabins, "clase premier" first class and economy class. Clase premier features 16 recliner seats across four rows in a 2-2 configuration.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderIn economy class, the first three rows are reserved for AM Plus with a total of 18 seats offering 34 inches of pitch and 17 inches of width.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe remaining 126 seats were regular economy class seats across 20 rows. And they looked quite familiar, almost as if they were plucked straight from Delta planes.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderEach seat boasts 31 inches of width and 17 inches of pitch, which is quite average by US airline standards.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderI got to my seat, 25A, and got settled for the flight ahead.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe one saving grace on this flight was that each seat had in-flight entertainment screens.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderIt was a pleasant surprise.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSome of the largest full-service US carriers can't even boast this type of in-flight entertainment.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe seats were quite comfortable and it was clear that the old-looking aircraft was just that. There wasn't much to dislike besides the onboard aesthetic.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe old age of the plane once again showed in the tray table. It wasn't dirty but it was quite worn out.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe seat-back screen was the primary seat amenity with not much more to boast besides a USB charging port under the screen and an adjustable headrest.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe legroom was quite decent and I didn't feel closed in at all.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAnd I was pleasantly surprised to see an in-flight magazine as most US airlines have retired theirs.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderOur departure was slightly delayed because of the time it took to board using buses. But it wasn't slated to be longer than 20 or so minutes.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSocial distancing and health safety messaging was played through the system including reminders to mask up at all times and not crowd the aisles.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderFlyers with any symptoms of COVID-19 were instructed to tell flight attendants about it "in the moment."Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderFlight attendants also wore face shields in addition to face masks, just like airport staff. It was the first time had seen flight attendants wear the extra level of protective gear.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderWe quickly got underway once all passengers boarded and headed towards the runway, which was thankfully close by.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderIt was finally time to head to Tijuana, with great views of Mexico City to be had on takeoff. Mexico is the perfect country for window seat gazing.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderFlight attendants quickly began the first snack and beverage service of the flight, walking up the aisle with a trolley to serve each row.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSoft, hot, and even alcoholic drinks are complimentary in economy class on Aeromexico domestic flights, regardless of seat location. Such a concept is unheard of on US airlines.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderI opted for a club soda, without ice, as I didn't realize alcohol was complimentary. That's what decades of flying US airlines will do.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderBeverages were accompanied by a small snack of nuts and a small packet of hand sanitizer. It wasn't much for the three-and-a-half-hour flight but it was a tasty snack nonetheless.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderI spent the first few minutes of the flight looking through the in-flight entertainment system to see what I was going to watch during the flight. On offer was a good selection of movies, television shows, and games.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe movie selection was extensive but just a pain to scroll through as there were multiple versions of a lot of the movies. But, Aeromexico did pass my "You've Got Mail" test as the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan classic was available.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAeromexico must also be a big fan of the Harry Potter series as all of the movies were loaded onto the system.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe music selection was not vast and selections were mostly Spanish language songs. But there was a good selection of classical music.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe rest of the flight continued quite peacefully, which was the most I could've asked for.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderIn-flight WiFi was available for purchase but I opted against paying up, choosing to watch a movie instead.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderFlight attendants performed the second and final drink service of the flight around an hour before landing in Tijuana as the flight neared its inevitable end.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe rest of the flight was unremarkable and it was soon time to start the descent into Tijuana.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAs far as its in-flight experience, Aeromexico was on par with most full-service US carriers and even better than some.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderOur flight touched down in Mexico's northwesternmost city around 20 minutes late. Flight attendants asked all to remain seated as we deplaned by row.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThis type of procedure has been discontinued in the US for quite some time. But nearly all passengers complied and waited as the groups of rows were called.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAll in all, it was a perfectly boring flight and it got me to Tijuana quite close to the time that I had booked.Flying Aeromexico from Mexico City to Tijuana, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 13th, 2021

84 great gifts for your girlfriend no matter her interests, from astrology jewelry to an REI co-op membership

We rounded up 84 thoughtful gifts to give your girlfriend, from keepsake jewelry under $100 to helpful tech and fitness accessories. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Gift your girlfriend a thoughtful, custom keepsake.Framebridge Giving your girlfriend a meaningful gift doesn't have to require hours of research. Below is a list of thoughtful gifts for your girlfriend, from accessories and tech to home decor. Still looking for gifts? Find more gift guides broken down by interest, budget, and occasion here. Giving gifts as a couple can be a lot of fun. You know your partner: What they love, what rituals they enjoy, what small daily annoyances you could possibly solve with a thoughtful gift. You also know how much they'll appreciate the gift when it comes from you.Odds are you want to give them something wonderful — whatever your price range is. All most of us need is a little direction and a few great options to pick from, so we put together a list of our favorite gift ideas for girlfriends of all personalities and interests to help guide you.Check out all 84 gifts for your girlfriend:This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Vuori. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*The best Apple Watch we've triedAppleApple Watch Series 7, available on Amazon and Apple, from $379If you're looking for a great gift and not concerned about staying in an under-$200 budget, we'd recommend the Apple Watch Series 7.Currently, we think it's the best Apple Watch. The Series 7 can charge up to 80% in 45 minutes, and it's the most advanced version with features such as blood oxygen saturation measuring and an electrocardiogram scanner to detect abnormalities in the heart's rhythm. Earrings made with her birthstoneMejuriAmethyst Flat Sphere Studs, available on Mejuri, $180If your girlfriend wears jewelry, birthstone earrings that she can keep forever are a thoughtful, personalized gift she'll wear often.  Delicious sweets from a famous NYC bakeryMilk BarMilk Bar Treats, from $22If your girlfriend has a sweet tooth, send her Milk Bar — the company delivers its iconic and decadent cakes, cookies, and truffles to her doorstep.A pass to get into a bunch of boutique fitness classesClasspassClassPass Gift Card, from $15Boutique fitness classes are expensive, which can make trying new workouts — either for variety or to figure out what we like — less appealing. ClassPass solves both issues. It's relatively affordable, and members can access a neverending catalog of great workouts with small class sizes. If your partner is getting back into fitness after over a year of at-home workouts, we'd highly recommend a gift card here for whenever they're ready to use it.Leggings fit for workouts and lounge sessionsVuoriVuori Daily Legging, from $50Vuori is known for its smooth, soft fabrics and flattering fits — and the Daily Legging is no exception. Combining the leisure and comfort of a jogger with the function and stretch of a legging, your girlfriend can wear these for both workouts and weekend lounging. *Sponsored by VuoriA disposable camera that doesn't take you out of the momentGamesgamer024 The gamer/YouTubeDisposable camera, $42.49Interested in preserving memories without taking yourself out of them? A good disposable camera or a film camera can take the pressure away from perfection so you and your girlfriend can focus on just savoring experiences together.The best electric toothbrushColgateElectric toothbrush, $39.99If your girlfriend is more interested in gifts she needs as well as wants, an electric toothbrush is a good option. We've tested our fair share of electric toothbrushes, and we think Colgate's Hum is the best value. It cleans thoroughly and offers advanced features and modern design for $70 — which is considerably more affordable than options with fancy features you may not use enough. A planned trip for the two of you to take togetherAirbnbAirbnb Gift Card, available at Airbnb, from $25If you want to gift an experience you and your girlfriend can enjoy together, grab a card, a gift card to Airbnb, and come up with a few location ideas to choose from. You can also book a hotel in your city on Booking.com or Expedia for a sweet staycation. *This gift can be saved and used at a later date.A versatile Exercise DressOutdoor VoicesThe Exercise Dress, available on Outdoor Voices, $100Given the popularity of the Exercise Dress, we wouldn't be surprised if this was on your girlfriend's wish list. The Exercise Dress is comfortable, versatile, and cute — which has made it a cult-favorite item. If she's a fan of dresses, outdoor voices, or clothes she can wear all day long, this may be a good option. Her favorite specialty food straight from the sourceGoldbelly/InstagramOrder her favorite specialty foods using Goldbelly, from $28Goldbelly makes it possible to satisfy your girlfriend's most specific and nostalgic cravings no matter where they live in the US — a cheesecake from Junior's, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati, and more. Browse the iconic gifts section for inspiration. A streaming bundle that checks off all the boxesHulu/Disney+/ESPN+/Business InsiderHulu, Disney+ ESPN+ Bundle, available at Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, from $13.99 per monthIf canceled sporting events or trips to Disney have you feeling down, you can gift Disney+, ESPN, and Hulu together to ensure the next few months include plenty of entertainment options. If your partner is not too fond of ads, this bundle can also be purchased with the ad-free version of Hulu.A small skincare tool that removes 99.5% of dirt, oil, and makeup residueAmazonForeo Luna Play Plus 2, available at Foreo, $59In the category of things your girlfriend may love but hasn't asked for yet: Foreo facial brushes. Our team swears by these gentle yet effective cleansing devices. They have hygienic silicone bristles and come in five different models for different skin types. The Luna is small enough to bring on the go, so your partner can maintain their skincare routine while traveling. A thoughtful book she'll loveAmazon"Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar" by Cheryl Strayed, available on Amazon, $12.42Pick up one of your all-time favorite books that you think she'd like, or browse some of the books we love to gift. This collection of Dear Sugar advice columns is a heartfelt favorite. Its topics are diverse, its letters to Dear Sugar are intimate and relatable, and Cheryl Strayed's responses are both witty and extraordinarily compassionate.A membership to a huge outdoor co-opREIREI Co-Op Lifetime Membership, $20, available at REIAn REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. If your girlfriend loves the outdoors, this is an option she can enjoy solo and with you. A Dutch oven to elevate their bread gameLodge mfgEnameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, available at Walmart, $79.90Did your girlfriend get into baking bread and, miraculously, stay committed to it? If so, a really nice Dutch oven can help elevate her experience. You can get something great for under $100, or you can splurge on a beautiful Le Creuset. Other meaningful upgrades include a cooling rack, according to the famous baker Apollonia Poilâne.A subscription that sends her a six-month world tour of teasAtlas Tea ClubAtlas Tea Club 6 Month Subscription, available on Atlas Tea Club, $94This subscription sends your girlfriend single-origin teas from the best tea-growing regions in the world for six months. She'll get two delicious options sent to her home each month.Festive matching underwear from one of the internet's favorite startupsMeUndiesMatching Underwear, available at MeUndies, $42Get yourself and your girlfriend festive matching underwear — which also happen to be some of the most comfortable pairs we've ever found. MeUndies gives you the options to create your own personalized set — two styles listed for women, two styles listed for men, a mix, and whichever length or cut you and your partner prefer. A standing desk for a home office upgradeFullyJarvis Bamboo Standing Desk, available at Fully, from $569If she's working from home, your girlfriend might love a home office upgrade the most. We ranked the Fully Jarvis the best standing desk; it provides the right blend of features and reliable performance. Its customizations for style, height, and accessories make it adaptable to pretty much any need. A framed keepsake of a favorite memoryFramebridgeFramed photo, available at Framebridge, from $45Gift Card, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge makes custom framing a bit more affordable. You can print or paint something on your own and have it framed, or have them print and frame it, and you can take advantage of the team of designers for help deciding what frame to get. The best socks she'll ever wearBombasBombas Women's Performance Running Ankle Sock 3-Pack, $49.50Bombas makes the best socks we've ever tried, and they're a gift we find ourselves giving every year to loved ones. They're lightweight, moisture-wicking, and built to circumvent annoyances like uncomfortable seams and heel slipping.A powerful, customizable massage gunTheragunTheragun PRO, available at Therabody, $599This is the best massage gun we've tested — though it's also on the higher end of what you would expect to pay. We loved it in part due to its two-year warranty, adjustable massage arm, customizable speeds, 60 lbs of no-stall force, six different heads, an extra battery, and how easy it is to use. If you can't give your girlfriend an unlimited pass to professional massages, this is a nice in-between option. A nice gold vermeil and sapphire zodiac sign necklaceMejuriAquarius Necklace, available at Mejuri, $395Mejuri is a Canadian startup created in 2015 to make fine jewelry affordable to buy — and it has racked up waitlists with more than 40,000 people before. Their popular Zodiac Necklace is cool, minimalist, and something she can wear every day. It's made in gold vermeil with AAA quality white sapphires. Mejuri's affordable pricing means the estimated traditional retail price of the same necklace elsewhere would be closer to $235.  The best bathrobe that money can buySnoweBathrobe, available at Snowe, $100Snowe's unisex bathrobe has been called the best and most absorbent terry robe on the market, and I'm just one more fervent believer. The cotton fiber traps air for extra absorbency and is soft and plush, and the unisex sizing means it will feel like a blanket-turned-robe. Perfect functionality, and extra points for coziness.A tracker for finding cell phones and wallets quicklyAmazonTile Pro, available at Amazon, $34.99When your girlfriend can't find her phone, all she has to do is click the Tile button to make her phone ring, even if it's on silent. We've found them especially useful lately. A monogrammed jewelry case from a minimalist fashion startupCuyanaLeather Jewelry Case, available at Cuyana, $85 (+ $15 for monogram)Keeping track of tiny and delicate jewelry is difficult — but jewelry cases are a pretty and useful solution. This is a thoughtful and personalized gift, especially if you've gotten your girlfriend jewelry in the past, or plan to in the future. It's made from premium leather, comes in many colors, and can be monogrammed with her initials. Cuyana is a cool leather bag startup she may have already heard of. A pair of blue light-blocking glasses that look good enough to wear outside of the houseFelix GrayFaraday Glasses, available at Felix Gray, from $95If she's ever complained about strain from constant screens, you can help mitigate it with a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses. They might even help with sleep.The convenience of Apple AirPodsHollis Johnson/Business InsiderApple AirPods, available at Best Buy, $119.99When it comes to convenience, truly wireless earbuds are the best. And Apple's AirPods are very popular with iPhone and Android users alike. They look subtle compared to other bigger options, and they're easy to use. For the latest option, you can pick up AirPods Pro for $189.99. A 215-piece art kit for creative projectsAmazonArt 101 215-Piece Wood Art Set, available at Amazon, $49.34If your girlfriend loves to create art, this 215-Piece art kit includes everything she'll need for projects: crayons, colored pencils, oil pastels, fine line markers, watercolor cakes, and acrylic paint.A year-long MasterClass membership to learn about things she's passionate aboutMasterClassAnnual Membership, available at MasterClass, from $180/yearIf your dinner table conversations often include talk of photography, or tennis, or screenwriting, or another passion, consider getting your girlfriend a gift that helps her spend time with her hobbies. We love MasterClass because it kind of feels like entertainment. Classes are short, there's no homework, and she can listen to the audio like its a podcast or watch the videos. The site hosts classes taught by well-known celebrities and industry leaders — from Neil deGrasse Tyson teaching Scientific Thinking and Communication to Malcolm Gladwell on Writing, Shonda Rhimes on Writing for Television, and Bob Iger on Business Strategy and Leadership. You can read our full review here.A one-size-fits-all lid that instantly declutters the cabinetsMade InSilicone Universal Lid Kit, available at Made In, $59This was one of the gifts that professional chefs recommended to us for avid home cooks. If your girlfriend loves to cook and has a plethora of differently sized pots and pans with all the corresponding lids, having one universal lid can declutter and streamline their space in one move. A convenient phone sanitizerPhoneSoapPhoneSoap 3 Smartphone UV Sanitizer, available at PhoneSoap, $79.95This small, easy-to-use device uses UV-C light to sanitize a phone, killing 99.9% of common household germs.A bottle (or two) of wineMcBride SistersMcBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Wine, starting at $19.99As the largest black-owned wine company in the United States, the McBride Sisters Collection is the perfect place to find a wine gift for your girlfriend. The Black Girl Magic collection in particular is inspired by the resilience of black women and includes varieties from Rosé to Merlot. The new Sonos Move portable speakerAmazonSonos Move, available at Best Buy, $399.99The Sonos Move is one of the best speakers on the market. It's powerful, can be controlled by voice or an app, and has Amazon Alexa built-in so on WiFi you can play music, check the news, set alarms, get your questions answered, and more, without much effort.A stylish, savvy carry-on with an external battery packAwayCarry-On, available at Away, from $225Away's hyper-popular suitcases deserve their hype. Their hard shell is lightweight but durable, their 360° spinner wheels make for seamless traveling, and the external (and ejectable and TSA-compliant) battery pack included can charge a smartphone five times over so she never has to sit behind a trash can at the airport for access to an outlet again. It's also guaranteed for life by Away. Find our full review here.16 highly-rated sheet masksAmazon/Business InsiderSheet Mask Set, available at Amazon, $22.99Grab 39 sheet masks to make it easier for your girlfriend to have a frequent and well-deserved "treat yourself" day. These are highly-rated and have both vitamin E and collagen included for healthy, happy skin.   A weighted blanket for better restAmazonYnM Weighted Blanket, available at YnM, from $49.80Weighted blankets help create more restful sleep by "grounding" the body, and YnM makes some of the most popular and affordable weighted blankets on the internet. There are multiple sizes and weights for the ideal fit and width (they recommend picking whichever is about 10% of your body weight), and the segmented design allows you to move around without displacing all the weighted beads inside. A mini multipurpose toolAmazonMini Multitool Knife 12 in 1, available on Amazon, $9.99This lightweight multitool has a knife, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, scissors, and a bottle opener — so it's nine times as many opportunities for being useful as your average gift. A sleek fitness tracker that includes heart rate monitoringFitbitFitbit Inspire 2, available at Best Buy, $69.95Fitbit's affordable Inspire 2 tracker has no shortage of useful features to keep someone informed about their physical activity — tracking calorie burn, resting heart rate, and heart rate zones.An 8-in-1 pan that helps to declutter your homeOur PlaceAlways Pan, available at Our Place, $145If you're spending more time at home cooking together — or re-organizing the kitchen — she may appreciate a good 8-in-1 cookware hack.The Always Pan from startup Our Place is a frying pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest in the space of a single pan. In other words, a clever generalist that's extremely convenient for small spaces or minimalist cooks. You can read our review here.A video message from someone she loves almost as much as youCameo/Business InsiderCameo Video Messages, available at Cameo, from $15Whether it's your girlfriend's favorite actor, comedian, or athlete, you're likely to find someone she admires on Cameo. Cameo allows celebrities to send custom video messages to recipients for nearly any occasion, and a personalized video is a gift that she'll never forget. Personalized cartoon couple mugsShelley KleinPersonalized Family Mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30These cute mugs can be personalized for what you're like as a couple, making for a special weekend morning coffee routine or just a nice reminder in the kitchen cabinet. On the back, you can add a family name and the year the couple was established if you'd like. Silky, breathable leggingsEverlaneEverlane Leggings, $68Everlane's Perform Leggings are some of our all-time favorites — they're breathable and silky, like a slightly less expensive version of Alo leggings. You can read a full review of the Everlane Perform Leggings and see pictures of them here.Beautiful candles from a cool startupOtherlandOtherland Candles, available at Otherland, $36Otherland is a candle company started by Abigail Cook Stone, a former art buyer for Ralph Lauren. If you want to give your girlfriend a candle that burns for 55 hours, looks beautiful, and comes from a startup that she's probably seen (or coveted) before, this is a great option. Find our full review here.The last weekend bag you'll ever need to buy herRothy'sRothy's The Weekender, available at Rothy's, $550With its large, padded top handles and roomy interior, Rothy's The Weekender might be the last overnight bag your partner ever needs. It's got multiple pockets and a sturdy insert that helps it maintain its shape. You'll be shocked by how much you can fit in this bag — definitely enough for a long weekend. It's made of recycled plastic pulled from the ocean and is machine washable.  The "world's most comfortable shoes"AllbirdsWomen's Wool Runners, available at Allbirds, $98The classic Wool Runners make a great gift for the uninitiated, though we'd also highly recommend the brand's casual cup sole Wool Piper for everyday wear if that's more your partner's style. You can find our full review of the Runners here, and the Wool Pipers here.A customized map of her favorite placeGrafomapCustom Map Poster, available at Grafomap, from $49Grafomap lets you design custom maps of anywhere in the world — like the first place you met, the best trip you ever took together, or the hometown she couldn't wait to show you. It's unique, thoughtful, and pretty inexpensive.  You can find our full review here.A gift card to a popular wine subscription clubWincGift Card, available at Winc, from $29.95Winc is a personalized wine club — and we think it's the best one you can belong to overall. Members take a wine palate profile quiz and then choose from the personalized wine suggestions. Each bottle has extensive tasting notes and serving recommendations online, and makes it easy to discover similar bottles. Gift her a Winc gift card, and she can take a wine palate profile quiz and get started with her own customized suggestions. An exercise bike for staying active indoorsNordicTrackCommercial S22i Studio Cycle, available at NordicTrack, $1,499If money is of no object and your partner is trying to figure out how to exercise while staying indoors, an exercise bike is a particularly thoughtful and useful gift right now. We like the NordicTrack option the most overall, but we also like and recommend options that are under $200. A large print on fine art paper of a favorite memoryArtifact Uprising/Business InsiderLarge Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $22Artifact Uprising makes luxury prints at accessible prices — and they make especially thoughtful gifts that look like they should cost much more. Get one of their favorite photos printed on archival fine art paper for $20 and up, or thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per custom card. You can also make a color series photo book for $22, a set of prints for $9, and a personalized calendar on a handcrafted wood clipboard for $30.A mug that keeps hot drinks hot for up to six hours straightHydro FlaskHydro Flask Mug, 12 oz, available at Hydro Flask, from $24.95This mug is a common desk companion for the Insider Reviews team. The 12-ounce coffee mug has the company's proprietary TempShield insulation that made its water bottles famous. This mug will keep hot drinks hot for up to six hours, and cold drinks cold up to 24 hours. Read our full review of it here.A gift card for delicious, healthy meals she can make in about 30 secondsDaily HarvestGift Card, available at Daily Harvest, from $50Daily Harvest is a food startup that makes it possible to eat healthy, delicious meals for less than $10 each even if you only have 30 seconds to spare for prep time. Meals are pre-portioned, delicious, and designed by both a chef and a nutritionist to make sure they're tasty and good for you. It addressed most of my healthy eating roadblocks. The best hair dryer ever inventedDyson/FacebookDyson Blow Dryer, available at Ulta, $399.99This gift may seem inexplicably expensive, but the Dyson blow dryer is lauded as the best one ever invented, making it a cult favorite. It prevents hair damage by measuring air temperature 20 times per second, has a specially designed Dyson motor for fast drying, and reduces static, breakage, and makes hair look smooth and shiny.Comfy, high-end sheets at the best price on the marketBrooklinenLuxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, from $240Brooklinen is one of our favorite companies, point-blank. We think they make the best high-end sheets at the best price on the market, and most of the Insider Reviews team uses Brooklinen on their own beds.The Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle comes in plenty of colors and patterns, and you can mix and match them to suit your taste. Grab a gift card if you want to give her more freedom. If you opt for a sheet bundle, she'll receive a core sheet set (fitted, flat, two pillowcases), duvet cover, and two extra pillowcases in soft, smooth 480-thread-count weave.This cozy loungewear set that she'll never want to take offKnixKnix Cozzzy Track Pants, available at Knix, $46.75Cozy and warm, the Cozzzy Track Pants from Knix are comfortable enough to wear around the house while also being cute enough to wear to the market. The ultra-soft fabric feels like the softest terry cloth washcloth you've ever used, and its slouchy fit is modern and luxe. She'll love the joggers with cuffed legs that are sleek without being overly tight. Comes in cream and gray.The internet's favorite olive oilBrightlandAwake Olive Oil, available at Brightland, $37Brightland's olive oils make great gifts for cooks and anyone else who loves to entertain. The white bottles protect the EVOO from light damage and look nice displayed on a countertop. Find a full review here. A high-tech towel that keeps her from slipping around during yoga classesMandukaManduka Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel, from $42.50Manduka is known for making the best yoga products, and their Yogitoes towel is one of the most loved. It has tiny 100% silicone nubs on one side that grab yoga mats and keep yogis from slipping around during the exercise. Having a good towel can make a big difference. It also comes in 19 great colors and gets eco-friendly points. Each Yogitoes towel is made from eight recycled plastic water bottles, and made with dyes free of azo, lead, or heavy metal. A card game that's meant to deepen personal connectionsUrban OutfittersWe're Not Really Strangers Card Game, available at Urban Outfitters, $30This card game, from the popular Instagram account We're Not Really Strangers, is designed to enhance connections between people with different levels: perceptions, connection, and reflection. Not only is it a card game you haven't played before, but it's also a thoughtful activity you can enjoy with your girlfriend.A cooking class from one of the nation's top chefsCozymeal/InstagramGift Card, available at Cozymeal, from $50With a Cozymeal class, you and your girlfriend can learn how to make anything from fresh pasta to Argentinian staple dishes from the nation's top chefs. In addition to cooking classes, Cozymeal offers food tours in various cities (when it's safe to do so). A satin-lined beanieAndrea Bossi / Business InsiderKink & Coil Satin-Lined Beanie, $36Most people with naturally curly hair avoid wearing hats to reduce frizz, but Kink and Coil's satin-lined beanie solves that issue. Just like a silk pillowcase or a bonnet, the inside of the beanie is designed to protect your hair from frizz and damage. On top of that, the pom-pom can be removed, if she'd prefer to wear the hat without it.We spoke with a trichologist to learn more about how satin- and silk-lined beanies can benefit anyone with curly or high-porosity hair. Rihanna's bestselling Fenty skincare setFenty BeautyFenty Skin Start'rs Full-Size Bundle, $75Rihanna's bestselling skincare bundle from her brand Fenty includes everything she'll need to maintain healthy skin. The kit includes a facial cleanser, toner, and two-in-one sunscreen moisturizer. Read our full review of the Fenty skincare set here.A cashmere crew from Everlane that she'll own foreverEverlaneThe Cashmere Crew, available at Everlane, from $120For a closet staple she'll own for years to come, Everlane's $120 Cashmere Crew (available in various colors) is about the safest choice you can make. Everlane has plenty of great gifts (you can find the Everlane basics we wear repeatedly here), so you can't really go wrong. A small cold brew coffee makerAmazonAirtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, available at Walmart, $34.99This small cold brew maker (available in 1-liter and 1.5-liter options) makes coffee's less acidic, smoother cousin cold brew in 12 hours in the fridge, so there's minimal hassle and always a treat ready in the morning on your girlfriend's way out the door to work. A stylish leather makeup pouch that's thoughtful and easy to travel withDagne DoverHunter Toiletry Bag, available at Dagne Dover, from $40Dagne Dover is quickly becoming one of the best women's handbag companies to know, and its toiletry pouches are a great and relatively affordable gift. The small size holds a handful of go-to toiletries, and the large should have enough space for all of the grooming essentials.A comfy zip-up for the months aheadPatagoniaBetter Sweater, available at Patagonia, from $139Patagonia makes our favorite athleisure options overall, and that definitely includes the Better Sweater. It works in pretty much any environment — in the office, at home, on a hike, or on a casual night out — and has zippered pockets to keep hands warm in the cold months. We're also big fans of the 1/4 Zip option.A new waterproof Kindle Paperwhite for reading anywhereAmazonKindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $129.99If your girlfriend is a reader, we'd suggest looking at Amazon's new Kindle Paperwhite; it's the company's thinnest and lightest yet, with double the storage. Perhaps the best features are that it's waterproof and has a built-in adjustable light for the perfect reading environment indoors or outdoors, day or night. If she loves a nice, relaxing bath, pair this with a caddy, bath bombs, and a glass of wine for a relaxing night in that you've already taken care of.A cult-favorite hair towel that reduces damage and cuts drying time by 50%AquisAquis Rapid Dry Hair Towel, available at Anthropologie, from $30Aquis' cult-favorite hair towels can cut the amount of time it takes for her hair to dry in half — a claim we're happy to report holds up. The proprietary fabric also means there's less damage to wet hair while it dries. A fun, unique local dateAirbnb/Business InsiderAirbnb Experiences, available at Airbnb, from $10Airbnb started offering experience programming online. You can book from thousands of experiences that range from workouts with Olympic athletes over Zoom to cooking classes with chefs you'd normally have to hop on a flight to meet. We tested a a tango class and a Moroccan cooking class.It's also an under-utilized part of Airbnb, making it a thoughtful and unusual gift — and one you may keep using with your girlfriend for out-of-the-box date nights in the future. As states and countries slowly begin reopening, Airbnb listings and in-person activities are becoming options again, but you can still participate in online activities from home if you're not ready to travel yet or just want a fun activity. A houseplant that arrives already potted and is easy to care forLeon & GeorgeSilver Evergreen, available at Leon & George, from $149Leon & George is a San Francisco startup that will send beautiful plants — potted in stylish, minimalist pots — to your girlfriend's door. All she has to do is to occasionally add water. Flowers are wonderful, but houseplants have a much longer shelf life, and most of Leon & George's options are very easy to care for. We'd also recommend checking out Bloomscape for small plant trios under $70.  Beautiful earrings she'll own foreverStone and StrandSparkle Diamond Cluster Huggies, available at Stone and Strand, $395They're solid gold, conflict-free, and made locally. Plus, the style is versatile enough that your girlfriend can wear them every day.A membership to a popular skincare and makeup subscription that sends new, cool, and bestselling products once per monthConnie Chen/Business InsiderBirchbox Gift Subscription, available at Birchbox, from $45Birchbox is a skincare and makeup subscription that sends tons of samples of new and cult-favorite products to subscribers so they can find products they love without much commitment or cost upfront. Makeup and skincare products can be expensive, so this is a particularly helpful service. A funny and unique cardLoveFromCo/EtsyYou Take My Breath Away, available at Etsy, from $4.09You can pick up a card from Walgreens on your way to exchange gifts, but it'll mean more if you think just a few days ahead. Etsy has great options for cheap, unique, handmade gifts that are cool and thoughtful. This one is perfect for a couple who appreciates a "The Office" deep cut. A streaming stick that gives you access to hundreds of thousands of movies and TV episodesAmazonRoku Streaming Stick +, available at Best Buy, $44.99Roku's Streaming Stick+ is exceptional for its 4K, HDR, and HD streaming, and long-range wireless receiver. Installing it is an easy process and starts by plugging the stick into his TV.A great foam rollerTB12Vibrating Pliability Roller, available on TB12, $160If your girlfriend is very physically active, a foam roller is a nice gift to aid in her workout recovery and soreness. This one is our favorite because it has four levels of vibration, a pattern that targets muscle groups, and a durable exterior. But, if your budget doesn't fit a $160 foam roller, never fear — we like some under-$20 options too. A subscription to a book club that sends her great hardcovers once per monthBook of the Month Instagram3-Month Subscription, available at Book of the Month, $49.99If she's a bookworm, Book of the Month is an especially thoughtful and unique gift — it's a book club that has been around since 1926, and it's credited with discovering some of the most beloved books of all time ("Gone with the Wind" and "Catcher in the Rye" to name a couple). If you gift her a subscription, she'll receive a hardcover book delivered to her door once a month. Books are selected by a team of experts and celebrity guest judges.If she's really more into audiobooks or e-reading now rather than hardcovers, check out a gift subscription to Scribd (full review here).Fancy popcorn and a movie nightWilliams SonomaAmish Popcorn Gift Set, available at Williams Sonoma, $29.95Make a reservation at a nice outdoor restaurant, stock up on your girlfriend's favorite movie candy and some fun drinks ahead of time (wrap them for an extra wow-factor), and create your own in-house cinema experience. Or, perhaps even better, order a bunch of take-out from your favorite local restaurants.A gift set of a dozen decadent bath bombsAmazonBath Bomb Gift Set, available at Walmart, $34.53This bath bomb gift set comes with 12 handcrafted bath bombs that range from mango-papaya to lavender in scent, and some of which include flower petals. They're a great addition to a long bath, as is a bamboo bathtub tray. A subscription to a coffee service that sends coffees specifically for her taste preferencesDriftaway Facebook3-Month Subscription, available at Driftaway Coffee, from $75If your girlfriend loves coffee, she'll probably love to try Driftaway. It's a gourmet coffee subscription that gets smarter the longer you use it, remembering your preferences and steering you towards increasingly accurate brews for your specific tastes. The first shipment will be a tasting kit with four coffee profiles, which she'll rate online or in the app to start getting personalized options.A book of love letters written by history's great menAmazonLove Letters of Great Men, available at Amazon, $13.95It can be hard to do yourself justice in words — whether they're spoken or written in a card. This compilation of love letters written by great men can help you say it without actually technically saying it. Bonus points if you write your own, or mark the ones in the book that most closely resemble your own feelings.  A beautiful diamond necklace she'll have foreverAUrateDiamond Bezel Necklace, available at AUrate, from $320A diamond necklace doesn't have to be thousands of dollars, as fine jewelry startups like AUrate are proving. This necklace is something she can keep and wear forever, and both the solid gold and conflict-free diamonds are of the highest quality. Lush, subtly scented body washNecessaireNecessaire — The Body Wash, available at Sephora, $25New startup Necessaire formulates its body care products with nourishing vitamins and clean ingredients. The subtly scented Body Wash will leave her skin feeling clean, soft, and nourished. Hand sanitizer that smells goodTouchlandTouchland Power Mist Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $9Many of us are using hand sanitizer a lot these days. Why not pick one they'd enjoy using? This version from Touchland is a little moisturizing and doesn't smell like alcohol or make hands sticky. Read our full review here.A stylish weekender to keep her organized on the goCaraa SportCaraa Studio Tote Large, available at Caraa, $250Caraa Sport makes some of the most functional and best-looking gym bags on the market. This one can transition from tote to backpack by adding straps. It also has a hidden shoe compartment and a waterproof and antimicrobial lining.An award-winning at-home facialSephoraDrunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, available at Sephora, $80This is an award-winning mask with a big following in the beauty and skincare community. It's $80, but it's an at-home pro-quality facial your girlfriend can use anytime — which is a fraction of the price required for regular facials.Kitchen towels that rate wines by how well they pair with certain foodsUncommon GoodsWine Pairing Towel, available at Wolf & Badger, $19If your girlfriend loves having a nice glass of wine and/or cooking, she'll appreciate the thought behind this unique wine pairing towel. Grab a bottle and some corresponding ingredients for a fun night in for the two of you.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 8th, 2021

A New Generation of Nuclear Reactors Could Hold the Key to a Green Future

On a conference-room whiteboard in the heart of Silicon Valley, Jacob DeWitte sketches his startup’s first product. In red marker, it looks like a beer can in a Koozie, stuck with a crazy straw. In real life, it will be about the size of a hot tub, and made from an array of exotic materials,… On a conference-room whiteboard in the heart of Silicon Valley, Jacob DeWitte sketches his startup’s first product. In red marker, it looks like a beer can in a Koozie, stuck with a crazy straw. In real life, it will be about the size of a hot tub, and made from an array of exotic materials, like zirconium and uranium. Under carefully controlled conditions, they will interact to produce heat, which in turn will make electricity—1.5 megawatts’ worth, enough to power a neighborhood or a factory. DeWitte’s little power plant will run for a decade without refueling and, amazingly, will emit no carbon. ”It’s a metallic thermal battery,” he says, coyly. But more often DeWitte calls it by another name: a nuclear reactor. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Fission isn’t for the faint of heart. Building a working reactor—even a very small one—requires precise and painstaking efforts of both engineering and paper pushing. Regulations are understandably exhaustive. Fuel is hard to come by—they don’t sell uranium at the Gas-N-Sip. But DeWitte plans to flip the switch on his first reactor around 2023, a mere decade after co-founding his company, Oklo. After that, they want to do for neighborhood nukes what Tesla has done for electric cars: use a niche and expensive first version as a stepping stone toward cheaper, bigger, higher-volume products. In Oklo’s case, that means starting with a “microreactor” designed for remote communities, like Alaskan villages, currently dependent on diesel fuel trucked, barged or even flown in, at an exorbitant expense. Then building more and incrementally larger reactors until their zero-carbon energy source might meaningfully contribute to the global effort to reduce fossil-fuel emissions. At global climate summits, in the corridors of Congress and at statehouses around the U.S., nuclear power has become the contentious keystone of carbon reduction plans. Everyone knows they need it. But no one is really sure they want it, given its history of accidents. Or even if they can get it in time to reach urgent climate goals, given how long it takes to build. Oklo is one of a growing handful of companies working to solve those problems by putting reactors inside safer, easier-to-build and smaller packages. None of them are quite ready to scale to market-level production, but given the investments being made into the technology right now, along with an increasing realization that we won’t be able to shift away from fossil fuels without nuclear power, it’s a good bet that at least one of them becomes a game changer. If existing plants are the energy equivalent of a 2-liter soda bottle, with giant, 1,000-megawatt-plus reactors, Oklo’s strategy is to make reactors by the can. The per-megawatt construction costs might be higher, at least at first. But producing units in a factory would give the company a chance to improve its processes and to lower costs. Oklo would pioneer a new model. Nuclear plants need no longer be bet-the-company big, even for giant utilities. Venture capitalists can get behind the potential to scale to a global market. And climate hawks should fawn over a zero-carbon energy option that complements burgeoning supplies of wind and solar power. Unlike today’s plants, which run most efficiently at full blast, making it challenging for them to adapt to a grid increasingly powered by variable sources (not every day is sunny, or windy), the next generation of nuclear technology wants to be more flexible, able to respond quickly to ups and downs in supply and demand. Engineering these innovations is hard. Oklo’s 30 employees are busy untangling the knots of safety and complexity that sent the cost of building nuclear plants to the stratosphere and all but halted their construction in the U.S. ”If this technology was brand-‘new’—like if fission was a recent breakthrough out of a lab, 10 or 15 years ago—we’d be talking about building our 30th reactor,” DeWitte says. But fission is an old, and fraught, technology, and utility companies are scrambling now to keep their existing gargantuan nuclear plants open. Economically, they struggle to compete with cheap natural gas, along with wind and solar, often subsidized by governments. Yet climate-focused nations like France and the U.K. that had planned to phase out nuclear are instead doubling down. (In October, French President Emmanuel Macron backed off plans to close 14 reactors, and in November, he announced the country would instead start building new ones.) At the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, the U.S. announced its support for Poland, Kenya, Ukraine, Brazil, Romania and Indonesia to develop their own new nuclear plants—while European negotiators assured that nuclear energy counts as “green.” All the while, Democrats and Republicans are (to everyone’s surprise) often aligned on nuclear’s benefits—and, in many cases, putting their powers of the purse behind it, both to keep old plants open in the U.S. and speed up new technologies domestically and overseas. It makes for a decidedly odd moment in the life of a technology that already altered the course of one century, and now wants to make a difference in another. There are 93 operating nuclear reactors in the U.S.; combined, they supply 20% of U.S. electricity, and 50% of its carbon-free electricity. Nuclear should be a climate solution, satisfying both technical and economic needs. But while the existing plants finally operate with enviable efficiency (after 40 years of working out the kinks), the next generation of designs is still a decade away from being more than a niche player in our energy supply. Everyone wants a steady supply of electricity, without relying on coal. Nuclear is paradoxically right at hand, and out of reach. For that to change, “new nuclear” has to emerge before the old nuclear plants recede. It has to keep pace with technological improvements in other realms, like long-term energy storage, where each incremental improvement increases the potential for renewables to supply more of our electricity. It has to be cheaper than carbon-capture technologies, which would allow flexible gas plants to operate without climate impacts (but are still too expensive to build at scale). And finally it has to arrive before we give up—before the spectre of climate catastrophe creates a collective “doomerism,” and we stop trying to change. Not everyone thinks nuclear can reinvent itself in time. “When it comes to averting the imminent effects of climate change, even the cutting edge of nuclear technology will prove to be too little, too late,” predicts Allison Macfarlane, former chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)—the government agency singularly responsible for permitting new plants. Can a stable, safe, known source of energy rise to the occasion, or will nuclear be cast aside as too expensive, too risky and too late? J R Eyerman—The LIFE Picture Collection/ShutterstockLaboratory personnel developing a fusion device in Project Sherwood at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1958 Trying Again Nuclear began in a rush. In 1942, in the lowest mire of World War II, the U.S. began the Manhattan Project, the vast effort to develop atomic weapons. It employed 130,000 people at secret sites across the country, the most famous of which was Los Alamos Laboratory, near Albuquerque, N.M., where Robert Oppenheimer led the design and construction of the first atomic bombs. DeWitte, 36, grew up nearby. Even as a child of the ’90s, he was steeped in the state’s nuclear history, and preoccupied with the terrifying success of its engineering and the power of its materials. “It’s so incredibly energy dense,” says DeWitte. “A golf ball of uranium would power your entire life!” DeWitte has taken that bromide almost literally. He co-founded Oklo in 2013 with Caroline Cochran, while both were graduate students in nuclear engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When they arrived in Cambridge, Mass., in 2007 and 2008, the nuclear industry was on a precipice. Then presidential candidate Barack Obama espoused a new eagerness to address climate change by reducing carbon emissions—which at the time meant less coal, and more nuclear. (Wind and solar energy were still a blip.) It was an easy sell. In competitive power markets, nuclear plants were profitable. The 104 operating reactors in the U.S. at the time were running smoothly. There hadn’t been a major accident since Chernobyl, in 1986. The industry excitedly prepared for a “nuclear renaissance.” At the peak of interest, the NRC had applications for 30 new reactors in the U.S. Only two would be built. The cheap natural gas of the fracking boom began to drive down electricity prices, razing nuclear’s profits. Newly subsidized renewables, like wind and solar, added even more electricity generation, further saturating the markets. When on March 11, 2011, an earthquake and subsequent tsunami rolled over Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, leading to the meltdown of all three of its reactors and the evacuation of 154,000 people, the industry’s coffin was fully nailed. Not only would there be no renaissance in the U.S, but the existing plants had to justify their safety. Japan shut down 46 of its 50 operating reactors. Germany closed 11 of its 17. The U.S. fleet held on politically, but struggled to compete economically. Since Fukushima, 12 U.S. reactors have begun decommissioning, with three more planned. At MIT, Cochran and DeWitte—who were teaching assistants together for a nuclear reactor class in 2009, and married in 2011—were frustrated by the setback. ”It was like, There’re all these cool technologies out there. Let’s do something with it,” says Cochran. But the nuclear industry has never been an easy place for innovators. In the U.S., its operational ranks have long been dominated by “ring knockers”—the officer corps of the Navy’s nuclear fleet, properly trained in the way things are done, but less interested in doing them differently. Governments had always kept a tight grip on nuclear; for decades, the technology was under shrouds. The personal computing revolution, and then the wild rise of the Internet, further drained engineering talent. From DeWitte and Cochran’s perspective, the nuclear-energy industry had already ossified by the time Fukushima and fracking totally brought things to a halt. “You eventually got to the point where it’s like, we have to try something different,” DeWitte says. He and Cochran began to discreetly convene their MIT classmates for brainstorming sessions. Nuclear folks tend to be dogmatic about their favorite method of splitting atoms, but they stayed agnostic. “I didn’t start thinking we had to do everything differently,” says DeWitte. Rather, they had a hunch that marginal improvements might yield major results, if they could be spread across all of the industry’s usual snags—whether regulatory approaches, business models, the engineering of the systems themselves, or the challenge of actually constructing them. In 2013, Cochran and DeWitte began to rent out the spare room in their Cambridge home on Airbnb. Their first guests were a pair of teachers from Alaska. The remote communities they taught in were dependent on diesel fuel for electricity, brought in at enormous cost. That energy scarcity created an opportunity: in such an environment, even a very expensive nuclear reactor might still be cheaper than the current system. The duo targeted a price of $100 per megawatt hour, more than double typical energy costs. They imagined using this high-cost early market as a pathway to scale their manufacturing. They realized that to make it work economically, they wouldn’t have to reinvent the reactor technology, only the production and sales processes. They decided to own their reactors and supply electricity, rather than supply the reactors themselves—operating more like today’s solar or wind developers. “It’s less about the technology being different,” says DeWitte, “than it is about approaching the entire process differently.” That maverick streak raised eyebrows among nuclear veterans—and cash from Silicon Valley venture capitalists, including a boost from Y Combinator, where companies like Airbnb and Instacart got their start. In the eight years since, Oklo has distinguished itself from the competition by thinking smaller and moving faster. There are others competing in this space: NuScale, based in Oregon, is working to commercialize a reactor similar in design to existing nuclear plants, but constructed in 60-megawatt modules. TerraPower, founded by Bill Gates in 2006, has plans for a novel technology that uses its heat for energy storage, rather than to spin a turbine, which makes it an even more flexible option for electric grids that increasingly need that pliability. And X-energy, a Maryland-based firm that has received substantial funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, is developing 80-megawatt reactors that can also be grouped into “four-packs,” bringing them closer in size to today’s plants. Yet all are still years—and a billion dollars—away from their first installations. Oklo brags that its NRC application is 20 times shorter than NuScale’s, and its proposal cost 100 times less to develop. (Oklo’s proposed reactor would produce one-fortieth the power of NuScale’s.) NRC accepted Oklo’s application for review in March 2020, and regulations guarantee that process will be complete within three years. Oklo plans to power on around 2023, at a site at the Idaho National Laboratory, one of the U.S.’s oldest nuclear-research sites, and so already approved for such efforts. Then comes the hard part: doing it again and again, booking enough orders to justify building a factory to make many more reactors, driving costs down, and hoping politicians and activists worry more about the menace of greenhouse gases than the hazards of splitting atoms. Nuclear-industry veterans remain wary. They have seen this all before. Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor, first approved by the NRC in 2005, was touted as the flagship technology of Obama’s nuclear renaissance. It promised to be safer and simpler, using gravity rather than electricity-driven pumps to cool the reactor in case of an emergency—in theory, this would mitigate the danger of power outages, like the one that led to the Fukushima disaster. Its components could be constructed at a centralized location, and then shipped in giant pieces for assembly. But all that was easier said than done. Westinghouse and its contractors struggled to manufacture the components according to nuclear’s mega-exacting requirements and in the end, only one AP1000 project in the U.S. actually happened: the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Georgia. Approved in 2012, its two reactors were expected at the time to cost $14 billion and be completed in 2016 and 2017, but costs have ballooned to $25 billion. The first will open, finally, next year. Oklo and its competitors insist things are different this time, but they have yet to prove it. “Because we haven’t built one of them yet, we can promise that they’re not going to be a problem to build,” quips Gregory Jaczko, a former NRC chair who has since become the technology’s most biting critic. “So there’s no evidence of our failure.” Georg Zinsler—Anzenberger/Redu​xA guided tour in the control room of reactor No. 2 inside the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant The Challenge The cooling tower of the Hope Creek nuclear plant rises 50 stories above Artificial Island, New Jersey, built up on the marshy edge of the Delaware River. The three reactors here—one belonging to Hope Creek, and two run by the Salem Generating Station, which shares the site—generate an astonishing 3,465 megawatts of electricity, or roughly 40% of New Jersey’s total supply. Construction began in 1968, and was completed in 1986. Their closest human neighbors are across the river in Delaware. Otherwise the plant is surrounded by protected marshlands, pocked with radiation sensors and the occasional guard booth. Of the 1,500 people working here, around 100 are licensed reactor operators—a special designation given by the NRC, and held by fewer than 4,000 people in the country. Among the newest in their ranks is Judy Rodriguez, an Elizabeth, N.J., native and another MIT grad. “Do I have your permission to enter?” she asks the operator on duty in the control room for the Salem Two reactor, which came online in 1981 and is capable of generating 1,200 megawatts of power. The operator opens a retractable belt barrier, like at an airport, and we step across a thick red line in the carpet. A horseshoe-shaped gray cabinet holds hundreds of buttons, glowing indicators and blinking lights, but a red LED counter at the center of the wall shows the most important number in the room: 944 megawatts, the amount of power the Salem Two reactor was generating that afternoon in September. Beside it is a circular pattern of square indicator lights showing the uranium fuel assemblies inside the core, deep inside the concrete domed containment building a couple hundred yards away. Salem Two has 764 of these constructions; each is about 6 inches sq and 15 ft. tall. They contain the source of the reactor’s energy, which are among the most guarded and controlled materials on earth. To make sure no one working there forgets that fact, a phrase is painted on walls all around the plant: “Line of Sight to the Reactor.” As the epitome of critical infrastructure, this station has been buffeted by the crises the U.S. has suffered in the past few decades. After 9/11, the three reactors here absorbed nearly $100 million in security upgrades. Everyone entering the plant passes through metal- and explosives detectors, and radiation detectors on the way out. Walking between the buildings entails crossing a concrete expanse beneath high bullet resistant enclosures (BREs). The plant has a guard corp that has more members than any in New Jersey besides the state police, and federal NRC rules mean that they don’t have to abide by state limitations on automatic weapons. The scale and complexity of the operation is staggering—and expensive. ”The place you’re sitting at right now costs us about $1.5 million to $2 million a day to run,” says Ralph Izzo, president and CEO of PSEG, New Jersey’s public utility company, which owns and operates the plants. “If those plants aren’t getting that in market, that’s a rough pill to swallow.” In 2019, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities agreed to $300 million in annual subsidies to keep the three reactors running. The justification is simple: if the state wants to meet its carbon-reduction goals, keeping the plants online is essential, given that they supply 90% of the state’s zero-carbon energy. In September, the Illinois legislature came to the same conclusion as New Jersey, approving almost $700 million over five years to keep two existing nuclear plants open. The bipartisan infrastructure bill includes $6 billion in additional support (along with nearly $10 billion for development of future reactors). Even more is expected in the broader Build Back Better bill. These subsidies—framed in both states as “carbon mitigation credits”—acknowledge the reality that nuclear plants cannot, on their own terms, compete economically with natural gas or coal. “There has always been a perception of this technology that never was matched by reality,” says Jaczko. The subsidies also show how climate change has altered the equation, but not decisively enough to guarantee nuclear’s future. Lawmakers and energy companies are coming to terms with nuclear’s new identity as clean power, deserving of the same economic incentives as solar and wind. Operators of existing plants want to be compensated for producing enormous amounts of carbon free energy, according to Josh Freed, of Third Way, a Washington, D.C., think tank that champions nuclear power as a climate solution. “There’s an inherent benefit to providing that, and it should be paid for.” For the moment, that has brought some assurance to U.S. nuclear operators of their future prospects. “A megawatt of zero-carbon electricity that’s leaving the grid is no different from a new megawatt of zero carbon electricity coming onto the grid,” says Kathleen Barrón, senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs and public policy at Exelon, the nation’s largest operator of nuclear reactors. Globally, nations are struggling with the same equation. Germany and Japan both shuttered many of their plants after the Fukushima disaster, and saw their progress at reducing carbon emissions suffer. Germany has not built new renewables fast enough to meet its electricity needs, and has made up the gap with dirty coal and natural gas imported from Russia. Japan, under international pressure to move more aggressively to meet its carbon targets, announced in October that it would work to restart its reactors. “Nuclear power is indispensable when we think about how we can ensure a stable and affordable electricity supply while addressing climate change,” said Koichi Hagiuda, Japan’s minister of economy, trade and industry, at an October news conference. China is building more new nuclear reactors than any other country, with plans for as many as 150 by the 2030s, at an estimated cost of nearly half a trillion dollars. Long before that, in this decade, China will overtake the U.S. as the operator of the world’s largest nuclear-energy system. Francesca Todde—contrasto/Redux Civaux nuclear power plant, in Civaux, France, May 2018 The future won’t be decided by choosing between nuclear or solar power. Rather, it’s a technically and economically complicated balance of adding as much renewable energy as possible while ensuring a steady supply of electricity. At the moment, that’s easy. “There is enough opportunity to build renewables before achieving penetration levels that we’re worried about the grid having stability,” says PSEG’s Izzo. New Jersey, for its part, is aiming to add 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035—or about the equivalent of six new Salem-sized reactors. The technology to do that is readily at hand—Kansas alone has about that much wind power installed already. The challenge comes when renewables make up a greater proportion of the electricity supply—or when the wind stops blowing. The need for “firm” generation becomes more crucial. “You cannot run our grid solely on the basis of renewable supply,” says Izzo. “One needs an interseasonal storage solution, and no one has come up with an economic interseasonal storage solution.” Existing nuclear’s best pitch—aside from the very fact it exists already—is its “capacity factor,” the industry term for how often a plant meets its full energy making potential. For decades, nuclear plants struggled with outages and long maintenance periods. Today, improvements in management and technology make them more likely to run continuously—or “breaker to breaker”—between planned refuelings, which usually occur every 18 months, and take about a month. At Salem and Hope Creek, PSEG hangs banners in the hallways to celebrate each new record run without a maintenance breakdown. That improvement stretches across the industry. “If you took our performance back in the mid-’70s, and then look at our performance today, it’s equivalent to having built 30 new reactors,” says Maria Korsnick, president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s main lobbying organization. That improved reliability has become its major calling card today. Over the next 20 years, nuclear plants will need to develop new tricks. “One of the new words in our vocabulary is flexibility,” says Marilyn Kray, vice president of nuclear strategy and development at Exelon, which operates 21 reactors. “Flexibility not only in the existing plants, but in the designs of the emerging ones, to make them even more flexible and adaptable to complement renewables.” Smaller plants can adapt more easily to the grid, but they can also serve new customers, like providing energy directly to factories, steel mills or desalination plants. Bringing those small plants into operation could be worth it, but it won’t be easy.”You can’t just excuse away the thing that’s at the center of all of it, which is it’s just a hard technology to build,” says Jaczko, the former NRC chair. “It’s difficult to make these plants, it’s difficult to design them, it’s difficult to engineer them, it’s difficult to construct them. At some point, that’s got to be the obvious conclusion to this technology.” But the equally obvious conclusion is we can no longer live without it. “The reality is, you have to really squint to see how you get to net zero without nuclear,” says Third Way’s Freed. “There’s a lot of wishful thinking, a lot of fingers crossed.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 16th, 2021

Airlines around the world are resuming flights with the world"s largest passenger jet after dumping it during the pandemic

The Airbus A380 was falling out of favor with some airlines when the pandemic hit. But others are eager to bring it back into flying service. An Emirates Airbus A380. Arnold Aaron/Shutterstock.com The Airbus A380 is making a comeback as more pandemic-era travel restrictions are lifted. British Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Qatar Airways say they will fly their A380s before the end of the year. Other airlines have permanently said goodbye to their A380s in favor of more economical planes. The world's largest passenger plane is making its comeback as airlines around the world are moving quickly to once again shuttle travelers around the world as pandemic-era travel restrictions continue to fall. An Airbus A380. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol Airbus' behemoth A380 stood out like a sore thumb in a world deprived of air travelers early on in the pandemic. The indulgences in air travel and the ability to fly as many passengers in a single plane that the A380 once represented made it temporarily obsolete. An Airbus A380. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol But long-haul flying is returning as countries open their borders. The A380 is once more facilitating vacations, long-distance reunions, business travel, and the countless other reasons travelers have for flying around the world. An Airbus A380. AP Airlines that sent their Airbus A380s to storage are now dusting off the cobwebs and getting flight crews reacquainted with the aircraft. They'll soon fly hundreds of passengers across two full levels of seats. A British Airways Airbus A380. Thomas Pallini/Insider Here's how the A380 is making a comeback after being mostly forgotten and abandoned during the pandemic. An Emirates Airbus A380. Arnold Aaron/Shutterstock.com Four-engine aircraft including the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 were among the most impacted during the pandemic. Airlines no longer needed the amount of space that the aircraft offered combined with the excessive cost of two additional engines when only two were needed. An Emirates Airbus A380. Sundry Photography/Shutterstock.com Here's how the pandemic accelerated the demise of four-engine aircraft like the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747. The A380 also didn't have the benefit of having a second life in the air cargo realm, as other airliners did, despite its size. Though, that didn't stop some airlines from using the A380 as a makeshift freighter. A HiFly Airbus A380 cargo conversion. HiFly Here's how one charter airline hollowed out an Airbus A380 for use as a cargo freighter. Destined to fly passengers, the A380 is now getting the chance to do it once more as three airlines have plans to resume scheduled flights with the aircraft before the end of 2021. An Airbus A380. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol Singapore Airlines is the latest airline to announce plans that bring back the A380 thanks to the new "vaccinated travel lane" program that allows vaccinated visitors to skip quarantine upon arrival in Singapore. A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380. photosounds/Shutterstock The first Singapore Airlines A380 flight since April 2020 will operate on November 4 to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The 160-nautical-mile flight is among the shortest to ever be flown by the A380 in a scheduled capacity. A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380. REUTERS/Jean Philippe Aries Source: Cirium Diio Mi Other Singapore Airlines destinations slated to receive the aircraft after Kuala Lumpur include London; Sydney, Australia; Shanghai, China; Beijing, China; Hong Kong; Dehli, India; Mumbai, India; and Osaka, Japan. Singapore Airlines flight attendants and a rendering of the airline's Airbus A380. Edgar Su/Reuters Source: Cirium Diio Mi Singapore Airlines uses its A380s to offer a premium experience in the sky, unlike anything its smaller planes could offer. Suites are offered in first class, for example, and two can be combined to form a "double suite" with a bed for two. A first class suite onboard a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380. Singapore Airlines In Europe, British Airways will resume flying the A380 on November 8. Frankfurt, Germany and Madrid, Spain will be the first destinations from London as a means of getting flight crews reacclimated with the plane. A British Airways Airbus A380-800 descends for a landing at Washington Dulles International Airport as seen, Wednesday, June 1, 2016 in Ashburn, Va. AP Photo/Alex Brandon Source: Cirium Diio Mi After its initial European runs, British Airways' overseas destinations including Los Angeles and Dubai will be the first to receive the aircraft followed by San Francisco, Singapore, Miami, and Johannesburg, South Africa in 2022. A British Airways Airbus A380. Thiago B Trevisan / Shutterstock.com Source: Cirium Diio Mi The iconic red, white, and blue A380s sat in storage around Europe and as far as the Middle East. In Doha, Qatar, for example, three British Airways A380s sat idle on a taxiway at Hamad International Airport. A British Airways Airbus A380. Thomas Pallini/Insider Hamad International Airport was just voted "best airport in the world" by Skytrax. Here's what living in the passenger terminal for 48 hours was like. A total of 469 passengers can be seated in British Airways' A380 configuration, which includes 97 business class seats and 14 first class suites. Inside a British Airways Airbus A380 cabin. British Airways Source: SeatGuru On October 15, All Nippon Airways took delivery of its third and final A380 from Airbus's production line in Toulouse, France. The Japanese carrier had planned to use the aircraft to fly solely between Tokyo and Honolulu, Hawaii before the pandemic hit. An All Nippon Airways Airbus A380. Airbus Source: Airbus Those flights are scheduled to resume in January, according to the airline's most recent schedule. Though, that may change depending on the travel landscape in Japan. An All Nippon Airways Airbus A380. viper-zero / Shutterstock.com Source: Cirium Diio Mi Emirates, in its role as the world's largest Airbus A380 operator, is unsurprisingly flying the most A380 flights of any airline. An Emirates Airbus A380. ZGPhotography/shutterstock Dubai opened to international travelers in July 2020, ahead of most global tourist destinations, and Emirates responded by adding A380 flights to London and Paris. An Emirates Airbus A380. kamilpetran/Shutterstock.com Source: Cirium Diio Mi Since then, the A380 has returned to many of the Emirates destinations it has served including the US. American A380 destinations include Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC with as many as six daily A380 flights to the US planned for December. An Emirates Airbus A380. Nitis Petcharat / Shutterstock Here's how Emirates is planning to build back in the US after cutting services during the pandemic.Source: Cirium Diio Mi "Slowly but surely, the A380s are going to fly and they're going to fly to all of those [pre-COVID] destinations," Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, Emirates' division vice president for the US and Canada, told Insider. "The United States is ready for it." An Emirates Airbus A380. AP All of Emirates' A380 luxuries have also been restored including caviar in first class and in-flight showers. An Emirates Airbus A380. Agent Wolf/Shutterstock.com And Emirates' existing A380 fleet is also in the process of being retrofitted with a new interior that includes enhancements to each cabin and the addition of a premium economy class. Premium economy onboard an Emirates Airbus A380. Emirates See inside the new cabins of Emirates' Airbus A380 fleet. Qatar Airways plans to resume flights on the Airbus A380 on December 15, serving Paris and London. A Qatar Airways Airbus A380. Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Source: Cirium Diio Mi The largest aircraft in Qatar Airways fleet is the only to feature a true first class cabin. Smaller Qatar Airways aircraft only feature business class seats. A Qatar Airways Airbus A380. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol Korean Air also resumed limited flying with the A380 in September 2020 to destinations in Japan and China. Starting December 1, the aircraft is scheduled to fly to more destinations including Bangkok, Thailand, and Paris. A Korean Air Airbus A380. AP/Airbus, C. Brinkmann But even as Korean Air slowly returns the jet to its standard flying schedule, the A380's tenure in Korea is still set to expire in the next five years. A Korean Air Airbus A380. Kate Taylor/Business Insider "The A380s will be leaving Korean Air's fleet within five years, and the Boeing 747-8i fleet will also follow suit within ten years," Walter Cho, Korean Air's chief executive officer, told FlightGlobal in August. A Korean Air Airbus A380. Lukas Wunderlich / Shutterstock.com Source: FlightGlobal Lufthansa shares Korean Air's feelings towards the A380 and it's doubtful whether the German carrier will restore the aircraft to flying service at any time in the future. A Lufthansa Airbus A380. Chittapon Kaewkiriya / Shutterstock.com Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said that the "A380 obviously will not come back" in a second-quarter 2021 earnings call. A Lufthansa Airbus A380. Santi Rodriguez / Shutterstock.com Source: Seeking Alpha If Lufthansa does commit to retiring the planes, it will join Air France, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, and Etihad Airways in the club of former A380 operators. An Etihad Airways Airbus A380. Markus Mainka/Shutterstock.com Here's why premium travelers will lose out the most by Etihad Airways retiring its A380s with private apartments that cost $20,000 per flight.Source: Executive Traveller Air France quickly retired its A380 fleet in May 2020, early on in the pandemic, and now relies on more efficient twin-engine aircraft like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing 777, and Airbus A350-900 XWB. An Air France Airbus A380. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider Here's what flying on an Air France Airbus A380 was like in economy. Australian flag carrier Qantas does not currently have A380 flights scheduled for the remainder of 2021. The first scheduled flight is for July 1, 2022, between Sydney and Los Angeles, a staple route for the aircraft. A Qantas Airbus A380. Ryan Fletcher/Shutterstock.com Qantas just announced the resumption of US and London flights from Sydney following the reopening of New South Wales to vaccinated tourists but has tapped the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to perform the first flights. A Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider One airline that never gave up on the A380, even during the worst of the pandemic, is China Southern Airlines. From Guangzhou, China, the A380 flew to global destinations such as Los Angeles, Sydney, Tokyo, Paris, London, and Amsterdam, Netherlands. A China Southern Airlines Airbus A380. StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock.com Source: Cirium Diio Mi The pandemic hasn't yet killed the Airbus A380, even if it has sped up the aircraft's demise. Airlines, like their passengers, still do have affection for the aircraft and aren't ready to part with them just yet. The sun isn't setting on the Airbus A380 just yet. phichak/Shutterstock.com Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 19th, 2021

The 85 truly unique gifts for your girlfriend that she will actually love, from personalized jewelry to unique subscription boxes

We rounded up 85 thoughtful gifts to give your girlfriend, from keepsake jewelry under $100 to helpful tech and fitness accessories. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Give your girlfriend a thoughtful, custom keepsake. Framebridge Giving your girlfriend a meaningful gift doesn't have to require hours of research. Below is a list of thoughtful gifts for your girlfriend, from accessories and tech to home decor. Still looking for gifts? Find more gift guides broken down by interest, budget, and occasion here. Giving gifts as a couple can be a lot of fun. You know your partner: What they love, what rituals they enjoy, what small daily annoyances you could possibly solve with a thoughtful gift. You also know how much they'll appreciate the gift coming from you.Odds are you want to give them something wonderful - whatever your price range is. All most of us need is a little direction and a few great options to pick from, so we put together a list of our favorite gift ideas for girlfriends of all personalities to help guide you, below.Check out all 85 gifts for your girlfriend:This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Vuori. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.* Earrings made with her birthstone Mejuri Amethyst Flat Sphere Studs, available on Mejuri, $180If your girlfriend wears jewelry, birthstone earrings that she can keep forever are a thoughtful, personalized gift she'll wear often.   Delicious sweets from a famous NYC bakery Milk Bar Milk Bar Treats, from $22If your girlfriend has a sweet tooth, send her Milk Bar — the company delivers its iconic and decadent cakes, cookies, and truffles to her doorstep. A pass to get into a bunch of boutique fitness classes Classpass ClassPass Gift Card, from $15Boutique fitness classes are expensive, which can make trying new workouts — either for variety or to figure out what we like — less appealing. ClassPass solves both issues. It's relatively affordable, and members can access a neverending catalog of great workouts with small class sizes. If your partner is getting back into fitness after over a year of at-home workouts, we'd highly recommend a gift card here for whenever they're ready to use it. Leggings fit for workouts and lounge sessions Vuori Vuori Daily Legging, from $59Vuori is known for its smooth, soft fabrics and flattering fits — and the Daily Legging is no exception. Combining the leisure and comfort of a jogger with the function and stretch of a legging, your girlfriend can wear these for both workouts and weekend lounging. *Sponsored by Vuori A disposable camera that doesn't take you out of the moment Gamesgamer024 The gamer/YouTube Disposable camera, $45Interested in preserving memories without taking yourself out of them? A good disposable camera or a film camera can take the pressure away from perfection so you and your girlfriend can focus on just savoring experiences together. The best electric toothbrush Colgate Electric toothbrush, $39.99If your girlfriend is more interested in gifts she needs as well as wants, an electric toothbrush is a good option. We've tested our fair share of electric toothbrushes, and we think Colgate's Hum is the best value. It cleans thoroughly and offers advanced features and modern design for $70 — which is considerably more affordable than options with fancy features you may not use enough.  A planned trip for the two of you to take together Airbnb Airbnb Gift Card, available at Airbnb, from $25If you want to gift an experience you and your girlfriend can enjoy together, grab a card, a gift card to Airbnb, and come up with a few location ideas to choose from. You can also book a hotel in your city on Booking.com or Expedia for a sweet staycation. *This gift can be saved and used at a later date. A versatile Exercise Dress Outdoor Voices The Exercise Dress, available on Outdoor Voices, $100Given the popularity of the Exercise Dress, we wouldn't be surprised if this was on your girlfriend's wish list. The Exercise Dress is comfortable, versatile, and cute — which has made it a cult-favorite item. If she's a fan of dresses, outdoor voices, or clothes she can wear all day long, this may be a good option.  Her favorite specialty food straight from the source Goldbelly/Instagram Order her favorite specialty foods using Goldbelly, from $28Goldbelly makes it possible to satisfy your girlfriend's most specific and nostalgic cravings no matter where they live in the US — a cheesecake from Junior's, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati, and more. Browse the iconic gifts section for inspiration.  A streaming bundle that checks off all the boxes Hulu/Disney+/ESPN+/Business Insider Hulu, Disney+ ESPN+ Bundle, available at Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, from $13.99 per monthIf canceled sporting events or trips to Disney have you feeling down, you can gift Disney+, ESPN, and Hulu together to ensure the next few months include plenty of entertainment options. If your partner is not too fond of ads, this bundle can also be purchased with the ad-free version of Hulu. A small skincare tool that removes 99.5% of dirt, oil, and makeup residue Amazon Foreo Luna Play Plus 2, available at Foreo, $59In the category of things your girlfriend may love but hasn't asked for yet: Foreo facial brushes. Our team swears by these gentle yet effective cleansing devices. They have hygienic silicone bristles and come in five different models for different skin types. The Luna is small enough to bring on the go, so your partner can maintain their skincare routine while traveling.  A thoughtful book she'll love Amazon "Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar" by Cheryl Strayed, available on Amazon, $12.42Pick up one of your all-time favorite books that you think she'd like, or browse some of the books we love to gift. This collection of Dear Sugar advice columns is a heartfelt favorite. Its topics are diverse, its letters to Dear Sugar are intimate and relatable, and Cheryl Strayed's responses are both witty and extraordinarily compassionate. A membership to a huge outdoor co-op REI REI Co-Op Lifetime Membership, $20, available at REIAn REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. If your girlfriend loves the outdoors, this is an option she can enjoy solo and with you.  A Dutch oven to elevate their bread game Lodge mfg Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, available at Walmart, $79.90Did your girlfriend get into baking bread and, miraculously, stay committed to it? If so, a really nice Dutch oven can help elevate her experience. You can get something great for under $100, or you can splurge on a beautiful Le Creuset. Other meaningful upgrades include a cooling rack, according to the famous baker Apollonia Poilâne. A subscription that sends her a six-month world tour of teas Atlas Tea Club Atlas Tea Club 6 Month Subscription, available on Atlas Tea Club, $109This subscription sends your girlfriend single-origin teas from the best tea-growing regions in the world for six months. She'll get two delicious options sent to her home each month. Festive matching underwear from one of the internet's favorite startups MeUndies Matching Underwear, available at MeUndies, $42Get yourself and your girlfriend festive matching underwear — which also happen to be some of the most comfortable pairs we've ever found. MeUndies gives you the options to create your own personalized set — two styles listed for women, two styles listed for men, a mix, and whichever length or cut you and your partner prefer.  A standing desk for a home office upgrade Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk, available at Fully, from $569If she's working from home, your girlfriend might love a home office upgrade the most. We ranked the Fully Jarvis the best standing desk; it provides the right blend of features and reliable performance. Its customizations for style, height, and accessories make it adaptable to pretty much any need.  A framed keepsake of a favorite memory Framebridge Framed photo, available at Framebridge, from $45Gift Card, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge makes custom framing a bit more affordable. You can print or paint something on your own and have it framed, or have them print and frame it, and you can take advantage of the team of designers for help deciding what frame to get.  The best socks she'll ever wear Bombas Bombas Women's Performance Running Ankle Sock 3-Pack, $49.50Bombas makes the best socks we've ever tried, and they're a gift we find ourselves giving every year to loved ones. They're lightweight, moisture-wicking, and built to circumvent annoyances like uncomfortable seams and heel slipping. A powerful, customizable massage gun Theragun Theragun PRO, available at Therabody, $599This is the best massage gun we've tested — though it's also on the higher end of what you would expect to pay. We loved it in part due to its two-year warranty, adjustable massage arm, customizable speeds, 60 lbs of no-stall force, six different heads, an extra battery, and how easy it is to use. If you can't give your girlfriend an unlimited pass to professional massages, this is a nice in-between option.  A nice gold vermeil and sapphire zodiac sign necklace Mejuri Aquarius Necklace, available at Mejuri, $395Mejuri is a Canadian startup created in 2015 to make fine jewelry affordable to buy — and it has racked up waitlists with more than 40,000 people before. Their popular Zodiac Necklace is cool, minimalist, and something she can wear every day. It's made in gold vermeil with AAA quality white sapphires. Mejuri's affordable pricing means the estimated traditional retail price of the same necklace elsewhere would be closer to $235.   The best bathrobe that money can buy Snowe Bathrobe, available at Snowe, $100Snowe's unisex bathrobe has been called the best and most absorbent terry robe on the market, and I'm just one more fervent believer. The cotton fiber traps air for extra absorbency and is soft and plush, and the unisex sizing means it will feel like a blanket-turned-robe. Perfect functionality, and extra points for coziness. A tracker for finding cell phones and wallets quickly Amazon Tile Pro, available at Amazon, $34.99When your girlfriend can't find her phone, all she has to do is click the Tile button to make her phone ring, even if it's on silent. We've found them especially useful lately.  A monogrammed jewelry case from a minimalist fashion startup Cuyana Leather Jewelry Case, available at Cuyana, $85 (+ $15 for monogram)Keeping track of tiny and delicate jewelry is difficult — but jewelry cases are a pretty and useful solution. This is a thoughtful and personalized gift, especially if you've gotten your girlfriend jewelry in the past, or plan to in the future. It's made from premium leather, comes in many colors, and can be monogrammed with her initials. Cuyana is a cool leather bag startup she may have already heard of.  A pair of blue light-blocking glasses that look good enough to wear outside of the house Felix Gray Faraday Glasses, available at Felix Gray, from $95If she's ever complained about strain from constant screens, you can help mitigate it with a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses. They might even help with sleep. The convenience of Apple AirPods Hollis Johnson/Business Insider Apple AirPods, available at Best Buy, $129.99When it comes to convenience, truly wireless earbuds are the best. And Apple's AirPods are very popular with iPhone and Android users alike. They look subtle compared to other bigger options, and they're easy to use. For the latest option, you can pick up AirPods Pro for $199.99 on Best Buy too.  A 215-piece art kit for creative projects Amazon Art 101 215-Piece Wood Art Set, available at Amazon, $49.99If your girlfriend loves to create art, this 215-Piece art kit includes everything she'll need for projects: crayons, colored pencils, oil pastels, fine line markers, watercolor cakes, and acrylic paint. A year-long MasterClass membership to learn about things she's passionate about MasterClass Annual Membership, available at MasterClass, from $180/yearIf your dinner table conversations often include talk of photography, or tennis, or screenwriting, or another passion, consider getting your girlfriend a gift that helps her spend time with her hobbies. We love MasterClass because it kind of feels like entertainment. Classes are short, there's no homework, and she can listen to the audio like its a podcast or watch the videos. The site hosts classes taught by well-known celebrities and industry leaders — from Neil deGrasse Tyson teaching Scientific Thinking and Communication to Malcolm Gladwell on Writing, Shonda Rhimes on Writing for Television, and Bob Iger on Business Strategy and Leadership. You can read our full review here. A one-size-fits-all lid that instantly declutters the cabinets Made In Silicone Universal Lid Kit, available at Made In, $59This was one of the gifts that professional chefs recommended to us for avid home cooks. If your girlfriend loves to cook and has a plethora of differently sized pots and pans with all the corresponding lids, having one universal lid can declutter and streamline their space in one move.  A convenient phone sanitizer PhoneSoap PhoneSoap 3 Smartphone UV Sanitizer, available at PhoneSoap, $79.95This small, easy-to-use device uses UV-C light to sanitize a phone, killing 99.9% of common household germs. A bottle (or two) of wine McBride Sisters McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Wine, starting at $19.99As the largest black-owned wine company in the United States, the McBride Sisters Collection is the perfect place to find a wine gift for your girlfriend. The Black Girl Magic collection in particular is inspired by the resilience of black women and includes varieties from Rosé to Merlot.  The new Sonos Move portable speaker Amazon Sonos Move, available at Best Buy, $399.99The Sonos Move is one of the best speakers on the market. It's powerful, can be controlled by voice or an app, and has Amazon Alexa built-in so on WiFi you can play music, check the news, set alarms, get your questions answered, and more, without much effort. 16 highly-rated sheet masks Amazon/Business Insider Sheet Mask Set, available at Amazon, $22.99Grab 39 sheet masks to make it easier for your girlfriend to have a frequent and well-deserved "treat yourself" day. These are highly-rated and have both vitamin E and collagen included for healthy, happy skin.    A weighted blanket for better rest Amazon YnM Weighted Blanket, available at YnM, from $39.50Weighted blankets help create more restful sleep by "grounding" the body, and YnM makes some of the most popular and affordable weighted blankets on the internet. There are multiple sizes and weights for the ideal fit and width (they recommend picking whichever is about 10% of your body weight), and the segmented design allows you to move around without displacing all the weighted beads inside.  A mini multipurpose tool Amazon Mini Multitool Knife 12 in 1, available on Amazon, $8.99This lightweight multitool has a knife, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, scissors, and a bottle opener — so it's nine times as many opportunities for being useful as your average gift.  A sleek fitness tracker that includes heart rate monitoring Fitbit Fitbit Inspire 2, available at Best Buy, $99.95Fitbit's affordable Inspire 2 tracker has no shortage of useful features to keep someone informed about their physical activity — tracking calorie burn, resting heart rate, and heart rate zones. An 8-in-1 pan that helps to declutter your home Our Place Always Pan, available at Our Place, $115If you're spending more time at home cooking together — or re-organizing the kitchen — she may appreciate a good 8-in-1 cookware hack.The Always Pan from startup Our Place is a frying pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest in the space of a single pan. In other words, a clever generalist that's extremely convenient for small spaces or minimalist cooks. You can read our review here. A video message from someone she loves almost as much as you Cameo/Business Insider Cameo Video Messages, available at Cameo, from $15Whether it's your girlfriend's favorite actor, comedian, or athlete, you're likely to find someone she admires on Cameo. Cameo allows celebrities to send custom video messages to recipients for nearly any occasion, and a personalized video is a gift that she'll never forget.  Personalized cartoon couple mugs Shelley Klein Personalized Family Mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30These cute mugs can be personalized for what you're like as a couple, making for a special weekend morning coffee routine or just a nice reminder in the kitchen cabinet. On the back, you can add a family name and the year the couple was established if you'd like.  Silky, breathable leggings Everlane Everlane Leggings, $68Everlane's Perform Leggings are some of our all-time favorites — they're breathable and silky, like a slightly less expensive version of Alo leggings. You can read a full review of the Everlane Perform Leggings and see pictures of them here. Beautiful candles from a cool startup Otherland Otherland Candles, available at Otherland, $36Otherland is a candle company started by Abigail Cook Stone, a former art buyer for Ralph Lauren. If you want to give your girlfriend a candle that burns for 55 hours, looks beautiful, and comes from a startup that she's probably seen (or coveted) before, this is a great option. Find our full review here. The last weekend bag you'll ever need to buy her Rothy's Rothy's The Weekender, available at Rothy's, $550With its large, padded top handles and roomy interior, Rothy's The Weekender might be the last overnight bag your partner ever needs. It's got multiple pockets and a sturdy insert that helps it maintain its shape. You'll be shocked by how much you can fit in this bag — definitely enough for a long weekend. It's made of recycled plastic pulled from the ocean and is machine washable.   The "world's most comfortable shoes" Allbirds Women's Wool Runners, available at Allbirds, $98The classic Wool Runners make a great gift for the uninitiated, though we'd also highly recommend the brand's casual cup sole Wool Piper for everyday wear if that's more your partner's style. You can find our full review of the Runners here, and the Wool Pipers here. A customized map of her favorite place Grafomap Custom Map Poster, available at Grafomap, from $49Grafomap lets you design custom maps of anywhere in the world — like the first place you met, the best trip you ever took together, or the hometown she couldn't wait to show you. It's unique, thoughtful, and pretty inexpensive.  You can find our full review here. A gift card to a popular wine subscription club Winc Gift Card, available at Winc, from $29.95Winc is a personalized wine club — and we think it's the best one you can belong to overall. Members take a wine palate profile quiz and then choose from the personalized wine suggestions. Each bottle has extensive tasting notes and serving recommendations online, and makes it easy to discover similar bottles. Gift her a Winc gift card, and she can take a wine palate profile quiz and get started with her own customized suggestions.  An exercise bike for staying active indoors NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle, available at NordicTrack, $1,999If money is of no object and your partner is trying to figure out how to exercise while staying indoors, an exercise bike is a particularly thoughtful and useful gift right now. We like the NordicTrack option the most overall, but we also like and recommend options that are under $200.  A large print on fine art paper of a favorite memory Artifact Uprising/Business Insider Large Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $22Artifact Uprising makes luxury prints at accessible prices — and they make especially thoughtful gifts that look like they should cost much more. Get one of their favorite photos printed on archival fine art paper for $20 and up, or thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per custom card. You can also make a color series photo book for $22, a set of prints for $9, and a personalized calendar on a handcrafted wood clipboard for $30. A mug that keeps hot drinks hot for up to six hours straight Hydro Flask Hydro Flask Mug, 12 oz, available at Hydro Flask, from $24.95This mug is a common desk companion for the Insider Reviews team. The 12-ounce coffee mug has the company's proprietary TempShield insulation that made its water bottles famous. This mug will keep hot drinks hot for up to six hours, and cold drinks cold up to 24 hours. Read our full review of it here. A gift card for delicious, healthy meals she can make in about 30 seconds Daily Harvest Gift Card, available at Daily Harvest, from $50Daily Harvest is a food startup that makes it possible to eat healthy, delicious meals for less than $10 each even if you only have 30 seconds to spare for prep time. Meals are pre-portioned, delicious, and designed by both a chef and a nutritionist to make sure they're tasty and good for you. It addressed most of my healthy eating roadblocks.  The best hair dryer ever invented Dyson/Facebook Dyson Blow Dryer, available at Ulta, $399.99This gift may seem inexplicably expensive, but the Dyson blow dryer is lauded as the best one ever invented, making it a cult favorite. It prevents hair damage by measuring air temperature 20 times per second, has a specially designed Dyson motor for fast drying, and reduces static, breakage, and makes hair look smooth and shiny. Comfy, high-end sheets at the best price on the market Brooklinen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, from $240Brooklinen is one of our favorite companies, point-blank. We think they make the best high-end sheets at the best price on the market, and most of the Insider Reviews team uses Brooklinen on their own beds.The Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle comes in plenty of colors and patterns, and you can mix and match them to suit your taste. Grab a gift card if you want to give her more freedom. If you opt for a sheet bundle, she'll receive a core sheet set (fitted, flat, two pillowcases), duvet cover, and two extra pillowcases in soft, smooth 480-thread-count weave. This cozy loungewear set that she'll never want to take off Knix Knix Cozzzy Track Pants, available at Knix, $46.75Cozy and warm, the Cozzzy Track Pants from Knix are comfortable enough to wear around the house while also being cute enough to wear to the market. The ultra-soft fabric feels like the softest terry cloth washcloth you've ever used, and its slouchy fit is modern and luxe. She'll love the joggers with cuffed legs that are sleek without being overly tight. Comes in cream and gray. The internet's favorite olive oil Brightland Awake Olive Oil, available at Brightland, $37Brightland's olive oils make great gifts for cooks and anyone else who loves to entertain. The white bottles protect the EVOO from light damage and look nice displayed on a countertop. Find a full review here.  A comfortable cable-knit sweater United By Blue United By Blue Recycled Cotton Fisherman Sweater, $99.99A cable-knit or fisherman's sweater is a wardrobe staple that'll last for years. United By Blue's take on the classic piece is made from recycled cotton and is super soft, so your girlfriend has a feel-good cozy staple. A high-tech towel that keeps her from slipping around during yoga classes Manduka Manduka Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel, from $58Manduka is known for making the best yoga products, and their Yogitoes towel is one of the most loved. It has tiny 100% silicone nubs on one side that grab yoga mats and keep yogis from slipping around during the exercise. Having a good towel can make a big difference. It also comes in 19 great colors and gets eco-friendly points. Each Yogitoes towel is made from eight recycled plastic water bottles, and made with dyes free of azo, lead, or heavy metal.  A card game that's meant to deepen personal connections Urban Outfitters We're Not Really Strangers Card Game, available at Urban Outfitters, $30This card game, from the popular Instagram account We're Not Really Strangers, is designed to enhance connections between people with different levels: perceptions, connection, and reflection. Not only is it a card game you haven't played before, but it's also a thoughtful activity you can enjoy with your girlfriend. A cooking class from one of the nation's top chefs Cozymeal/Instagram Gift Card, available at Cozymeal, from $50With a Cozymeal class, you and your girlfriend can learn how to make anything from fresh pasta to Argentinian staple dishes from the nation's top chefs. In addition to cooking classes, Cozymeal offers food tours in various cities (when it's safe to do so).  A satin-lined beanie Andrea Bossi / Business Insider Kink & Coil Satin-Lined Beanie, $37Most people with naturally curly hair avoid wearing hats to reduce frizz, but Kink and Coil's satin-lined beanie solves that issue. Just like a silk pillowcase or a bonnet, the inside of the beanie is designed to protect your hair from frizz and damage. On top of that, the pom-pom can be removed, if she'd prefer to wear the hat without it.We spoke with a trichologist to learn more about how satin- and silk-lined beanies can benefit anyone with curly or high-porosity hair.  Rihanna's bestselling Fenty skincare set Fenty Beauty Fenty Skin Start'rs Full-Size Bundle, $75Rihanna's bestselling skincare bundle from her brand Fenty includes everything she'll need to maintain healthy skin. The kit includes a facial cleanser, toner, and two-in-one sunscreen moisturizer. Read our full review of the Fenty skincare set here. A cashmere crew from Everlane that she'll own forever Everlane The Cashmere Crew, available at Everlane, from $120For a closet staple she'll own for years to come, Everlane's $120 Cashmere Crew (available in various colors) is about the safest choice you can make. Everlane has plenty of great gifts (you can find the Everlane basics we wear repeatedly here), so you can't really go wrong.  A small cold brew coffee maker Amazon Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, available at Walmart, $37.55This small cold brew maker (available in 1-liter and 1.5-liter options) makes coffee's less acidic, smoother cousin cold brew in 12 hours in the fridge, so there's minimal hassle and always a treat ready in the morning on your girlfriend's way out the door to work.  A stylish leather makeup pouch that's thoughtful and easy to travel with Dagne Dover Hunter Toiletry Bag, available at Dagne Dover, from $40Dagne Dover is quickly becoming one of the best women's handbag companies to know, and its toiletry pouches are a great and relatively affordable gift. The small size holds a handful of go-to toiletries, and the large should have enough space for all of the grooming essentials. A comfy zip-up for the months ahead Patagonia Better Sweater, available at Patagonia, from $139Patagonia makes our favorite athleisure options overall, and that definitely includes the Better Sweater. It works in pretty much any environment — in the office, at home, on a hike, or on a casual night out — and has zippered pockets to keep hands warm in the cold months. We're also big fans of the 1/4 Zip option. A new waterproof Kindle Paperwhite for reading anywhere Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $84.99If your girlfriend is a reader, we'd suggest looking at Amazon's new Kindle Paperwhite; it's the company's thinnest and lightest yet, with double the storage. Perhaps the best features are that it's waterproof and has a built-in adjustable light for the perfect reading environment indoors or outdoors, day or night. If she loves a nice, relaxing bath, pair this with a caddy, bath bombs, and a glass of wine for a relaxing night in that you've already taken care of. A cult-favorite hair towel that reduces damage and cuts drying time by 50% Aquis Aquis Rapid Dry Hair Towel, available at Anthropologie, from $30Aquis' cult-favorite hair towels can cut the amount of time it takes for her hair to dry in half — a claim we're happy to report holds up. The proprietary fabric also means there's less damage to wet hair while it dries.  A fun, unique local date Airbnb/Business Insider Airbnb Experiences, available at Airbnb, from $10Airbnb started offering experience programming online. You can book from thousands of experiences that range from workouts with Olympic athletes over Zoom to cooking classes with chefs you'd normally have to hop on a flight to meet. We tested a a tango class and a Moroccan cooking class.It's also an under-utilized part of Airbnb, making it a thoughtful and unusual gift — and one you may keep using with your girlfriend for out-of-the-box date nights in the future. As states and countries slowly begin reopening, Airbnb listings and in-person activities are becoming options again, but you can still participate in online activities from home if you're not ready to travel yet or just want a fun activity.  A houseplant that arrives already potted and is easy to care for Leon & George Silver Evergreen, available at Leon & George, from $149Leon & George is a San Francisco startup that will send beautiful plants — potted in stylish, minimalist pots — to your girlfriend's door. All she has to do is to occasionally add water. Flowers are wonderful, but houseplants have a much longer shelf life, and most of Leon & George's options are very easy to care for. We'd also recommend checking out Bloomscape for small plant trios under $70.   Beautiful earrings she'll own forever Stone and Strand Sparkle Diamond Cluster Huggies, available at Stone and Strand, $395They're solid gold, conflict-free, and made locally. Plus, the style is versatile enough that your girlfriend can wear them every day. A membership to a popular skincare and makeup subscription that sends new, cool, and bestselling products once per month Connie Chen/Business Insider Birchbox Gift Subscription, available at Birchbox, from $45Birchbox is a skincare and makeup subscription that sends tons of samples of new and cult-favorite products to subscribers so they can find products they love without much commitment or cost upfront. Makeup and skincare products can be expensive, so this is a particularly helpful service.  A funny and unique card LoveFromCo/Etsy You Take My Breath Away, available at Etsy, from $4.19You can pick up a card from Walgreens on your way to exchange gifts, but it'll mean more if you think just a few days ahead. Etsy has great options for cheap, unique, handmade gifts that are cool and thoughtful. This one is perfect for a couple who appreciates a "The Office" deep cut.  A leather wallet from the same manufacturer as Prada for a fraction of the price Italic Brynn Zip Around Wallet, available at Italic, $50Italic is a startup that makes unbranded luxury goods from the same factories that produce designs for brands like Givenchy or scents for Le Labo — minus the markup. The Zip-Around Wallet is made from soft, calfskin leather and comes in four classic colors.It comes from the same manufacturer as Celine and Prada, and Italic estimates it would cost $295-$300 in traditional retail. It's also good to note that the company plants one tree for every order. You can find a full review of the company's leather goods here, and of their candles here.  A streaming stick that gives you access to hundreds of thousands of movies and TV episodes Amazon Roku Streaming Stick +, available at Best Buy, $44.99Roku's Streaming Stick+ is exceptional for its 4K, HDR, and HD streaming, and long-range wireless receiver. Installing it is an easy process and starts by plugging the stick into his TV. A great foam roller TB12 Vibrating Pliability Roller, available on TB12, $160If your girlfriend is very physically active, a foam roller is a nice gift to aid in her workout recovery and soreness. This one is our favorite because it has four levels of vibration, a pattern that targets muscle groups, and a durable exterior. But, if your budget doesn't fit a $160 foam roller, never fear — we like some under-$20 options too.  A subscription to a book club that sends her great hardcovers once per month Book of the Month Instagram 3-Month Subscription, available at Book of the Month, $49.99If she's a bookworm, Book of the Month is an especially thoughtful and unique gift — it's a book club that has been around since 1926, and it's credited with discovering some of the most beloved books of all time ("Gone with the Wind" and "Catcher in the Rye" to name a couple). If you gift her a subscription, she'll receive a hardcover book delivered to her door once a month. Books are selected by a team of experts and celebrity guest judges.If she's really more into audiobooks or e-reading now rather than hardcovers, check out a gift subscription to Scribd (full review here). Fancy popcorn and a movie night Williams Sonoma Amish Popcorn Gift Set, available at Williams Sonoma, $29.95Make a reservation at a nice outdoor restaurant, stock up on your girlfriend's favorite movie candy and some fun drinks ahead of time (wrap them for an extra wow-factor), and create your own in-house cinema experience. Or, perhaps even better, order a bunch of take-out from your favorite local restaurants. A gift set of a dozen decadent bath bombs Amazon Bath Bomb Gift Set, available at Walmart, $40.01This bath bomb gift set comes with 12 handcrafted bath bombs that range from mango-papaya to lavender in scent, and some of which include flower petals. They're a great addition to a long bath, as is a bamboo bathtub tray.  A subscription to a coffee service that sends coffees specifically for her taste preferences Driftaway Facebook 3-Month Subscription, available at Driftaway Coffee, from $75If your girlfriend loves coffee, she'll probably love to try Driftaway. It's a gourmet coffee subscription that gets smarter the longer you use it, remembering your preferences and steering you towards increasingly accurate brews for your specific tastes. The first shipment will be a tasting kit with four coffee profiles, which she'll rate online or in the app to start getting personalized options. A book of love letters written by history's great men Amazon Love Letters of Great Men, available at Amazon, $13.95It can be hard to do yourself justice in words — whether they're spoken or written in a card. This compilation of love letters written by great men can help you say it without actually technically saying it. Bonus points if you write your own, or mark the ones in the book that most closely resemble your own feelings.   A beautiful diamond necklace she'll have forever AUrate Diamond Bezel Necklace, available at AUrate, from $320A diamond necklace doesn't have to be thousands of dollars, as fine jewelry startups like AUrate are proving. This necklace is something she can keep and wear forever, and both the solid gold and conflict-free diamonds are of the highest quality.  Lush, subtly scented body wash Necessaire Necessaire — The Body Wash, available at Sephora, $25New startup Necessaire formulates its body care products with nourishing vitamins and clean ingredients. The subtly scented Body Wash will leave her skin feeling clean, soft, and nourished.  Hand sanitizer that smells good Touchland Touchland Power Mist Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $9Many of us are using hand sanitizer a lot these days. Why not pick one they'd enjoy using? This version from Touchland is a little moisturizing and doesn't smell like alcohol or make hands sticky. Read our full review here. A stylish weekender to keep her organized on the go Caraa Sport Caraa Studio Tote Large, available at Caraa, $250Caraa Sport makes some of the most functional and best-looking gym bags on the market. This one can transition from tote to backpack by adding straps. It also has a hidden shoe compartment and a waterproof and antimicrobial lining. An award-winning at-home facial Sephora Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, available at Sephora, $80This is an award-winning mask with a big following in the beauty and skincare community. It's $80, but it's an at-home pro-quality facial your girlfriend can use anytime — which is a fraction of the price required for regular facials. Kitchen towels that rate wines by how well they pair with certain foods Uncommon Goods Wine Pairing Towel, available at Wolf & Badger, $20If your girlfriend loves having a nice glass of wine and/or cooking, she'll appreciate the thought behind this unique wine pairing towel. Grab a bottle and some corresponding ingredients for a fun night in for the two of you. A stylish, savvy carry-on with an external battery pack Away Carry-On, available at Away, from $225Away's hyper-popular suitcases deserve their hype. Their hard shell is lightweight but durable, their 360° spinner wheels make for seamless traveling, and the external (and ejectable and TSA-compliant) battery pack included can charge a smartphone five times over so she never has to sit behind a trash can at the airport for access to an outlet again. It's also guaranteed for life by Away. Find our full review here. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 11th, 2021

86 gifts for your girlfriend that show you truly know her, from personalized jewelry to unique subscription boxes

We rounded up 86 thoughtful gifts to give your girlfriend, from keepsake jewelry under $100 to helpful tech and fitness accessories. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. If you're looking to wow, plan an activity or staycation on Airbnb. Airbnb Giving your girlfriend a meaningful gift doesn't have to require hours of research. Below is a list of thoughtful gifts for your girlfriend, from accessories and tech to home decor. Still looking for gifts? Find more gift guides broken down by interest, budget, and occasion here. Giving gifts as a couple can be a lot of fun. You know your partner: What they love, what rituals they enjoy, what small daily annoyances you could possibly solve with a thoughtful gift. You also know how much they'll appreciate the gift coming from you.Odds are you want to give them something wonderful - whatever your price range is. All most of us need is a little direction and a few great options to pick from, so we put together a list of our favorite gift ideas for girlfriends of all personalities to help guide you, below.Check out all 86 gifts for your girlfriend:This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Vuori. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.* Earrings made with her birthstone Mejuri Amethyst Flat Sphere Studs, available on Mejuri, $180If she wears jewelry, birthstone earrings that she can keep forever are a thoughtful, personalized gift she can use often.  Delicious sweets from a famous NYC bakery Milk Bar Milk Bar Treats, from $22Milk Bar delivers its decadent cakes, cookies, and truffles to your doorstep. A pass to get into a bunch of boutique fitness classes classpass ClassPass Gift Card, from $15Boutique fitness classes are expensive, which can make trying new workouts — either for variety or to figure out what we like — less appealing. ClassPass solves both issues. It's relatively affordable, and members can access a neverending catalog of great workouts with small class sizes. If your partner is getting back into fitness after over a year of at-home workouts, we'd highly recommend a gift card here for whenever they're ready to use it. Leggings fit for workouts and lounge sessions Vuori Vuori Daily Legging, from $59Vuori is known for its smooth, soft fabrics and flattering fits — and the Daily Legging is no exception. Combining the leisure and comfort of a jogger with the function and stretch of a legging, they'll be reaching for these for both workouts and weekend lounging. *Sponsored by Vuori A disposable camera that doesn't take you out of the moment Gamesgamer024 The gamer/YouTube Disposable camera, $45Interested in preserving memories without taking yourself out of them? A good disposable camera or a film camera can take the pressure away from perfection and editing so you can savor your experiences together. The best electric toothbrush Colgate Electric toothbrush, $39.99We've tested our fair share of electric toothbrushes, and we think Colgate's Hum is the best value. It cleans thoroughly and offers advanced features and modern design for $70 — which is considerably more affordable than options with fancy features you may not use enough.  A planned trip for the two of you to take together If you're looking to wow, plan an activity or staycation on Airbnb. Airbnb Airbnb Gift Card, available at Airbnb, from $25If you want to gift an experience for the two of you to enjoy together, grab a birthday card, a gift card to Airbnb, and come up with a few location ideas to choose from. You can also book a hotel in your city on Booking.com or Expedia for a sweet staycation. *This gift can be saved and used at a later date. A versatile Exercise Dress Outdoor Voices The Exercise Dress, available on Outdoor Voices, $100Given the popularity of the Exercise Dress, we wouldn't be surprised if this was on her wish list. The Exercise Dress is comfortable, versatile, and cute — which has made it a cult-favorite item. If she's a fan of dresses, outdoor voices, or clothes she can wear all day long, this may be a good option.  Her favorite specialty food straight from the source Goldbelly/Instagram Order her favorite specialty foods using Goldbelly, from $28Goldbelly makes it possible to satisfy their most specific and nostalgic cravings no matter where they live in the US — a cheesecake from Junior's, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati, and more. Browse the iconic gifts section for inspiration.  A streaming bundle that checks off all the boxes Hulu/Disney+/ESPN+/Business Insider Hulu, Disney+ ESPN+ Bundle, available at Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, from $13.99 per monthIf canceled sporting events or trips to Disney have you feeling down, you can gift Disney+, ESPN, and Hulu together to ensure the next few months include plenty of entertainment options. If your partner is not too fond of ads, this bundle can also be purchased with the ad-free version of Hulu. A small skincare tool that removes 99.5% of dirt, oil, and makeup residue Amazon Foreo Luna Play Plus 2, available at Foreo, $59Our team swears by these gentle yet effective cleansing brushes. They have hygienic silicone bristles and come in five different models for different skin types. The Luna is small enough to bring on the go, so they can maintain their skincare routine while traveling.  A thoughtful book she'll love Amazon "Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar" by Cheryl Strayed, available on Amazon, $12.42Pick up one of your favorites that you think she'd like, or browse some of the books we love to gift. This collection of Dear Sugar advice columns is a heartfelt favorite. Its topics are diverse, its letters to Dear Sugar are intimate and relatable, and Cheryl Strayed's responses are both witty and extraordinarily compassionate.  A membership to a huge outdoor co-op REI REI Co-Op Lifetime Membership, $20, available at REIAn REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. Find out more here. A Dutch oven to elevate their bread game Lodge mfg Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, available at Walmart, $79.90Did they get into baking bread and, miraculously, stay committed to it? If so, a really nice Dutch oven can help elevate their game. You can get something great for under $100, or you can splurge on a beautiful Le Creuset. Other meaningful upgrades include a cooling rack, according to the famous baker Apollonia Poilâne. A subscription that sends her a six-month world tour of teas Atlas Tea Club Atlas Tea Club 6 Month Subscription, available on Atlas Tea Club, $109This subscription sends her single-origin teas from the best tea-growing regions in the world for six months. She'll get two delicious options sent to her home each month. Festive matching underwear from one of the internet's favorite startups MeUndies Matching Underwear, available at MeUndies, $42Get yourself and your girlfriend festive matching underwear — which also happen to be some of the most comfortable pairs we've ever found. MeUndies gives you the options to create your own personalized set — two styles listed for women, two styles listed for men, a mix, and whichever length or cut you and your partner prefer.  A standing desk for a home office upgrade Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk, available at Fully, from $569If they're working from home, they might love a home office upgrade the most. We ranked the Fully Jarvis the best standing desk; it provides the right blend of features and reliable performance. Its customizations for style, height, and accessories make it adaptable to pretty much any need.  A framed keepsake of a favorite memory Framebridge Framed photo, available at Framebridge, from $45Gift Card, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge makes custom framing for not-custom-framing prices. You can print or paint something on your own and have it framed, or have them print and frame it, and you can take advantage of the team of designers for help deciding what frame to get.  The best socks she'll ever wear Bombas Bombas Women's Performance Running Ankle Sock 3-Pack, $49.50Bombas makes the best socks we've ever tried, and they're a gift we find ourselves giving every year to loved ones. They're lightweight, moisture-wicking, and built to circumvent annoyances like uncomfortable seams and heel slipping. A powerful, customizable massage gun Theragun Theragun PRO, available at Therabody, $599This is the best massage gun we've tested — though it's also on the higher end of what you would expect to pay. We loved it in part due to its two-year warranty, adjustable massage arm, customizable speeds, 60 lbs of no-stall force, six different heads, an extra battery, and how easy it is to use. A nice gold vermeil and sapphire zodiac sign necklace Mejuri Aquarius Necklace, available at Mejuri, $395Mejuri is a Canadian startup created in 2015 to make fine jewelry affordable to buy — and it has racked up waitlists with more than 40,000 people before. Their popular Zodiac Necklace is cool, minimalist, and something she can wear every day. It's made in gold vermeil with AAA quality white sapphires. Mejuri's affordable pricing means the estimated traditional retail price of the same necklace elsewhere would be closer to $235.   The best bathrobe that money can buy Snowe Bathrobe, available at Snowe, $100Snowe's unisex bathrobe has been called the best and most absorbent terry robe on the market, and I'm just one more fervent believer. The cotton fiber traps air for extra absorbency, is soft and plush, and the unisex sizing means it will feel like a blanket-turned-robe. Perfect functionality, and extra points for coziness. A tracker for finding cell phones and wallets quickly Amazon Tile Pro, available at Amazon, $34.99When they can't find their phone, all they have to do is click their Tile button to make their phone ring, even if it's on silent. We've found them especially useful lately.  A monogrammed jewelry case from a minimalist fashion startup Cuyana Leather Jewelry Case, available at Cuyana, $85 (+ $15 for monogram)Keeping track of tiny and delicate jewelry is difficult — but jewelry cases are a pretty and useful solution. This is a thoughtful and personalized gift, especially if you've gotten her jewelry in the past, or plan to in the future. It's made from premium leather, comes in six colors, and can be monogrammed with her initials. Cuyana is a cool leather bag startup she may have already heard of.  A pair of blue light-blocking glasses that look good enough to wear outside of the house Felix Gray Faraday Glasses, available at Felix Gray, from $95Help mitigate some of the strain from constant screens with a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses. They might even help with their sleep. The convenience of Apple AirPods Hollis Johnson/Business Insider Apple AirPods, available at Best Buy, $129.99When it comes to convenience, truly wireless earbuds are the best. And Apple's AirPods are very popular with iPhone and Android users alike. They look subtle compared to other bigger options, and they're incredibly easy to use. For the latest option, you can pick up AirPods Pro for $199.99 on Best Buy too.  A 215-piece art kit for creative projects Amazon Art 101 215-Piece Wood Art Set, available at Amazon, $49.99This 215-Piece art kit includes crayons, colored pencils, oil pastels, fine line markers, watercolor cakes, and acrylic paint for endless art projects.  A year-long MasterClass membership to learn about things she's passionate about MasterClass Annual Membership, available at MasterClass, from $180/yearIf your dinner table conversations often include talk of photography, or tennis, or screenwriting, or another passion, consider getting her a gift that helps her spend time in that hobby. We love MasterClass because it kind of feels like entertainment. Classes are short, there's no homework, and she can listen to the audio like its a podcast or watch the videos. The site hosts classes taught by well-known celebrities and industry leaders — from Neil deGrasse Tyson teaching Scientific Thinking and Communication to Malcolm Gladwell on Writing, Shonda Rhimes on Writing for Television, and Bob Iger on Business Strategy and Leadership. You can read our full review here. A one-size-fits-all lid that instantly declutters the cabinets Made In Silicone Universal Lid Kit, available at Made In, $59This was one of the gifts that professional chefs recommended to us for avid home cooks. If they love to cook and have a plethora of differently sized pots and pans with all the corresponding lids, having one universal lid can declutter and streamline their space in one move.  A convenient phone sanitizer PhoneSoap PhoneSoap 3 Smartphone UV Sanitizer, available at PhoneSoap, $79.95This small device uses UV-C light to sanitize a phone, killing 99.9% of common household germs. It's easy to use, and it could help give you and your partner a bit more peace of mind. The new Sonos Move portable speaker Amazon Sonos Move, available at Best Buy, $399.99The Sonos Move is one of the best speakers on the market. It's powerful, can be controlled by your voice or an app, and has Amazon Alexa built-in so on WiFi you can play music, check the news, set alarms, get your questions answered, and more, without much effort. 16 highly-rated sheet masks Amazon/Business Insider Sheet Mask Set, available at Amazon, $22.99Grab them 39 sheet masks to make it easier for them to have a frequent and well-deserved "treat yourself" day. These are highly-rated and have both vitamin E and collagen included for healthy, happy skin.    A weighted blanket for better rest Amazon YnM Weighted Blanket, available at YnM, from $39.50Weighted blankets help create more restful sleep by "grounding" the body, and YnM makes some of the most popular and affordable weighted blankets on the internet. There are multiple sizes and weights for the ideal fit and width (they recommend picking whichever is about 10% of your body weight), and the segmented design allows you to move around without displacing all the weighted beads inside.  A mini multipurpose tool Amazon Mini Multitool Knife 12 in 1, available on Amazon, $8.99This lightweight multitool has a knife, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, scissors, and a bottle opener — so it's nine times as many opportunities for being useful as your average gift.  A sleek fitness tracker that includes heart rate monitoring Fitbit Fitbit Inspire 2, available at Best Buy, $99.95Fitbit's affordable Inspire 2 tracker has no shortage of useful features to keep them informed about their physical activity. The heart rate monitor lets them be more strategic about their workouts by tracking calorie burn, resting heart rate, and heart rate zones. An 8-in-1 pan that helps to declutter your home Our Place Always Pan, available at Our Place, $115If you're spending more time at home cooking together — or re-organizing the kitchen — they can definitely appreciate a beautiful 8-in-1 cookware hack.The Always Pan from startup Our Place is a frying pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest in the space of a single pan. In other words, a clever generalist that's extremely convenient for small spaces or minimalist cooks. You can read our review here. A video message from someone she loves almost as much as you Cameo/Business Insider Cameo Video Messages, available at Cameo, from $15Whether it's her favorite actor, comedian, or athlete, you're likely to find someone she admires on Cameo. Cameo allows celebrities to send custom video messages to recipients for nearly any occasion, and a personalized video is a gift that she'll never forget.  Silky, breathable leggings Everlane Everlane Leggings, $68Everlane's Perform Leggings are some of our all-time favorites — they're breathable and silky, like a slightly less expensive version of Alo leggings. You can read a full review of the Everlane Perform Leggings and see pictures of them here. Beautiful candles from a cool startup Otherland Otherland Candles, available at Otherland, $36Otherland is a candle company started by Abigail Cook Stone, a former art buyer for Ralph Lauren. If you want to give your girlfriend a candle that burns for 55 hours, looks beautiful, and comes from a startup that she's probably seen (or coveted) before, this is a great option. Find our full review here. The last weekend bag you'll ever need to buy her Rothy's Rothy's The Weekender, available at Rothy's, $550With its large, padded top handles and roomy interior, Rothy's The Weekender might be the last overnight bag your partner ever needs. It's got multiple pockets and a sturdy insert that helps it maintain its shape. You'll be shocked by how much you can fit in this bag — definitely enough for a long weekend. It's made of recycled plastic pulled from the ocean and is machine washable.   The "world's most comfortable shoes" Allbirds Women's Wool Runners, available at Allbirds, $98The classic Wool Runners make a great gift for the uninitiated, though we'd also highly recommend the brand's casual cup sole Wool Piper for everyday wear if that's more your partner's style. You can find our full review of the Runners here, and the Wool Pipers here. A customized map of her favorite place Grafomap Custom Map Poster, available at Grafomap, from $49Grafomap lets you design custom maps of anywhere in the world — like the first place you met, the best trip you ever took together, or the hometown she couldn't wait to show you. It's unique, thoughtful, and pretty inexpensive.  You can find our full review here. A gift card to a popular wine subscription club Winc Gift Card, available at Winc, from $29.95Winc is a personalized wine club — and we think it's the best one you can belong to overall. Members take a wine palate profile quiz and then choose from the personalized wine suggestions. Each bottle has extensive tasting notes and serving recommendations online, and makes it easy to discover similar bottles. Gift her a Winc gift card, and she can take a wine palate profile quiz and get started with her own customized suggestions.  An exercise bike for staying active indoors NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle, available at NordicTrack, $1,999If money is of no object and your partner is trying to figure out how to exercise while staying indoors, an exercise bike is a particularly thoughtful and useful gift right now. We like the NordicTrack option the most overall, but we also like and recommend options that are under $200.  A large print on fine art paper of a favorite memory Artifact Uprising/Business Insider Large Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $22Artifact Uprising makes luxury prints at accessible prices — and they make especially thoughtful gifts that look like they should cost much more. Get one of their favorite photos printed on archival fine art paper for $20 and up, or thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per custom card. You can also make a color series photo book for $22, a set of prints for $9, and a personalized calendar on a handcrafted wood clipboard for $30. A mug that keeps hot drinks hot for up to six hours straight Hydro Flask Hydro Flask Mug, 12 oz, available at Hydro Flask, from $24.95This mug is a common desk companion for the Insider Reviews team. The 12-ounce coffee mug has the company's proprietary TempShield insulation that made its water bottles famous. This mug will keep hot drinks hot for up to six hours, and cold drinks cold up to 24 hours. Read our full review of it here. A gift card for delicious, healthy meals she can make in about 30 seconds Daily Harvest Gift Card, available at Daily Harvest, from $50Daily Harvest is a food startup that makes it possible to eat healthy, delicious meals for less than $10 each even if you only have 30 seconds to spare for prep time. Meals are pre-portioned, delicious, and designed by both a chef and a nutritionist to make sure they're tasty and good for you. It addressed all my healthy eating roadblocks.  The best hair dryer ever invented Dyson/Facebook Dyson Blow Dryer, available at Ulta, $399.99This gift may seem inexplicably expensive, but the Dyson blow dryer is lauded as the best one ever invented, making it a cult favorite. It prevents hair damage by measuring air temperature 20 times per second, has a specially designed Dyson motor for fast drying, and reduces static, breakage, and makes hair look smooth and shiny. Comfy, high-end sheets at the best price on the market Brooklinen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, from $240Brooklinen is one of our favorite companies, point-blank. We think they make the best high-end sheets at the best price on the market, and most of the Insider Reviews team uses Brooklinen on their own beds.The Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle comes in 14 colors and patterns, and you can mix and match them to suit your taste. Grab a gift card if you want to give her more freedom. If you opt for a sheet bundle, she'll receive a core sheet set (fitted, flat, two pillowcases), duvet cover, and two extra pillowcases in soft, smooth 480-thread-count weave. This cozy loungewear set that she'll never want to take off Knix Knix Cozzzy Track Pants, available at Knix, $46.75Cozy and warm, the Cozzzy Track Pants from Knix are comfortable enough to wear around the house while also being cute enough to wear to the market. The ultra-soft fabric feels like the softest terry cloth washcloth you've ever used, and its slouchy fit is modern and luxe. She'll love the joggers with cuffed legs that are sleek without being overly tight. Comes in cream and gray. The internet's favorite olive oil Brightland Awake Olive Oil, available at Brightland, $37Brightland's olive oils make great gifts for cooks and anyone else who loves to entertain. The white bottles protect the EVOO from light damage and look nice displayed on a countertop. Find a full review here.  A bottle (or two) of wine McBride Sisters McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Wine, starting at $19.99As the largest black-owned wine company in the United States, the McBride Sisters Collection is the perfect place to find a gift for the wine lover on your list. The Black Girl Magic collection in particular is inspired by the resilience of black women and includes varieties from Rosé to Merlot.  A comfortable cable-knit sweater United By Blue United By Blue Recycled Cotton Fisherman Sweater, $99.99A cable-knit or fisherman's sweater is a wardrobe staple that'll last for years. United By Blue's take on the classic piece is made from recycled cotton and is super soft. A high-tech towel that keeps her from slipping around during yoga classes Manduka Manduka Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel, from $58Manduka is known for making the best yoga products, and their Yogitoes towel is one of the most loved. It has tiny 100% silicone nubs on one side that grab yoga mats and keep yogis from slipping around during the exercise. Having a good towel can make a big difference. It also comes in 19 great colors and gets eco-friendly points. Each Yogitoes towel is made from eight recycled plastic water bottles, and made with dyes free of azo, lead, or heavy metal.  A card game that's meant to deepen personal connections Urban Outfitters We're Not Really Strangers Card Game, available at Urban Outfitters, $30This card game, from the popular Instagram account We're Not Really Strangers, is designed to enhance connections between people with different levels: perceptions, connection, and reflection. Not only is it a card game you haven't played before, but it's also a thoughtful activity you can enjoy together. A satin-lined beanie Andrea Bossi / Business Insider Kink & Coil Satin-Lined Beanie, $37Most people with naturally curly hair avoid wearing hats to reduce frizz, but Kink and Coil's satin-lined beanie solves that issue. Just like a silk pillowcase or a bonnet, the inside of the beanie is designed to protect your hair from frizz and damage. On top of that, the pom-pom can be removed, if she'd prefer to wear the hat without it.We spoke with a trichologist to learn more about how satin- and silk-lined beanies can benefit anyone with curly or high-porosity hair.  Rihanna's bestselling Fenty skincare set Fenty Beauty Fenty Skin Start'rs Full-Size Bundle, $75Rihanna's bestselling skincare bundle from her brand Fenty includes everything you'll need to maintain healthy skin. The kit includes a facial cleanser, toner, and two-in-one sunscreen moisturizer. Read our full review of the Fenty skincare set here. A cashmere crew from Everlane that she'll own forever Everlane The Cashmere Crew, available at Everlane, from $120For a closet staple she'll own for years to come, Everlane's $120 Cashmere Crew (available in various colors) is about the safest choice you can make. Everlane has plenty of great gifts (you can find the Everlane basics we wear repeatedly here), so you can't really go wrong.  A small cold brew coffee maker Amazon Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, available at Walmart, $37.55This small cold brew maker (available in 1-liter and 1.5-liter options) makes coffee's less acidic, smoother cousin cold brew in 12 hours in the fridge, so there's minimal hassle and always a treat ready in the morning on her way out the door to work.  A stylish leather makeup pouch that's thoughtful and easy to travel with Dagne Dover Hunter Toiletry Bag, available at Dagne Dover, from $40Dagne Dover is quickly becoming one of the best women's handbag companies to know, and its toiletry pouches are a great and relatively affordable gift. The small size holds a handful of go-to toiletries, and the large should have enough space for all of the grooming essentials. A comfy zip-up for the months ahead Patagonia Better Sweater, available at Patagonia, from $139Patagonia makes our favorite athleisure options overall, and that definitely includes the Better Sweater. It works in pretty much any environment — in the office, at home, on a hike, or on a casual night out — and has zippered pockets to keep hands warm in the cold months. We're also big fans of the 1/4 Zip option. A new waterproof Kindle Paperwhite for reading anywhere Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $84.99Amazon's new Kindle Paperwhite is its thinnest and lightest yet, with double the storage. Perhaps the best features are that it's waterproof and has a built-in adjustable light for the perfect reading environment indoors or outdoors, day or night. If she loves a nice, relaxing bath, pair this with a caddy, bath bombs, and a glass of wine for a relaxing night in that you've already taken care of. A cult-favorite hair towel that reduces damage and cuts drying time by 50% Aquis Aquis Rapid Dry Hair Towel, available at Anthropologie, from $30Aquis' cult-favorite hair towels can cut the amount of time it takes your hair to dry in half — a claim we're happy to report holds up. The proprietary fabric also means there's less damage to wet hair while it dries.  A fun, unique local date Airbnb/Business Insider Airbnb Experiences, available at Airbnb, from $10Airbnb started offering experience programming online. You can book from thousands of experiences that range from workouts with Olympic athletes over Zoom to cooking classes with chefs you'd normally have to hop on a flight to meet. We tested a a tango class and a Moroccan cooking class.It's also an under-utilized part of Airbnb, making it a thoughtful and unusual gift — and one you may keep using yourselves for out-of-the-box date nights in the future. As states and countries slowly begin reopening, Airbnb listings and in-person activities are becoming options again, but you can still participate in online activities from home if you're not ready to travel yet or just want a fun activity.  A 100% silk pillowcase that reduces frizz and keeps skin hydrated overnight Walmart 100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcase, available at Walmart, from $22.32Silk pillowcases reduce frizz and damage to hair and make it look shiny and healthy. It also reduces the likelihood of wrinkles and keeps skin hydrated overnight by absorbing less of the moisture in the skin. A houseplant that arrives already potted and is easy to care for Leon & George Silver Evergreen, available at Leon & George, from $149Leon & George is a San Francisco startup that will send beautiful plants — potted in stylish, minimalist pots — to her door. All she has to do is to occasionally add water. Flowers are wonderful, but houseplants have a much longer shelf life, and most of Leon & George's options are very easy to care for. We'd also recommend checking out Bloomscape for small plant trios under $70.   Beautiful earrings she'll own forever Stone and Strand Sparkle Diamond Cluster Huggies, available at Stone and Strand, $395They're solid gold, conflict-free, and made locally. Plus, the style is versatile enough that she can wear them every day. A membership to a popular skincare and makeup subscription that sends new, cool, and bestselling products once per month Connie Chen/Business Insider Birchbox Gift Subscription, available at Birchbox, from $45Birchbox is a skincare and makeup subscription that sends tons of samples of new and cult-favorite products to subscribers so they can find products they love without much commitment or cost upfront. Makeup and skincare products can be expensive, so this is a particularly helpful service.  A funny and unique card LoveFromCo/Etsy You Take My Breath Away, available at Etsy, from $4.19You can pick up a card from Walgreens on your way to exchange gifts, but it'll mean more if you think just a few days ahead. Etsy has great options for cheap, unique, handmade gifts that are cool and thoughtful. This one is perfect for a couple who appreciates a "The Office" deep cut.  A leather wallet from the same manufacturer as Prada for a fraction of the price Italic Brynn Zip Around Wallet, available at Italic, $50Italic is a startup that makes unbranded luxury goods from the same factories that produce designs for brands like Givenchy or scents for Le Labo — minus the markup. The Zip-Around Wallet is made from soft, calfskin leather and comes in four classic colors.It comes from the same manufacturer as Celine and Prada, and Italic estimates it would cost $295-$300 in traditional retail. It's also good to note that the company plants one tree for every order. You can find a full review of the company's leather goods here, and of their candles here.  A streaming stick that gives you access to hundreds of thousands of movies and TV episodes Amazon Roku Streaming Stick +, available at Best Buy, $44.99Roku's Streaming Stick+ is exceptional for its 4K, HDR, and HD streaming, and long-range wireless receiver. Installing it is an easy process and starts by plugging the stick into his TV. A great foam roller TB12 Vibrating Pliability Roller, available on TB12, $160If your girlfriend is very physically active, a foam roller is a nice gift to aid in her workout recovery and soreness. This one is our favorite because it has four levels of vibration, a pattern that targets muscle groups, and a durable exterior. But, if your budget doesn't fit a $160 foam roller, never fear — we like some under-$20 options too.  A subscription to a book club that sends her great hardcovers once per month Book of the Month Instagram 3-Month Subscription, available at Book of the Month, $49.99If she loves books, Book of the Month is an especially thoughtful and unique gift — it's a book club that has been around since 1926, and it's credited with discovering some of the most beloved books of all time ("Gone with the Wind" and "Catcher in the Rye" to name a couple). If you gift her a subscription, she'll receive a hardcover book delivered to her door once a month. Books are selected by a team of experts and celebrity guest judges.If she's really more into audiobooks or e-reading now rather than hardcovers, check out a gift subscription to Scribd (full review here). Fancy popcorn and a movie night Williams Sonoma Amish Popcorn Gift Set, available at Williams Sonoma, $29.95Make a reservation at a nice outdoor restaurant, stock up on her favorite movie candy and some fun drinks ahead of time (wrap them for an extra wow-factor), and create your own in-house cinema experience. Or, perhaps even better, order a bunch of take-out from your favorite local restaurants. A gift set of a dozen decadent bath bombs Amazon Bath Bomb Gift Set, available at Walmart, $40.01This bath bomb gift set comes with 12 handcrafted bath bombs that range from mango-papaya to lavender in scent, and some of which include flower petals. They're a great addition to a long bath, as is a bamboo bathtub tray.  A subscription to a coffee service that sends coffees specifically for her taste preferences Driftaway Facebook 3-Month Subscription, available at Driftaway Coffee, from $75If she loves coffee, she'll probably love to try Driftaway. It's a gourmet coffee subscription that gets smarter the longer you use it, remembering your preferences and steering you towards increasingly accurate brews for your specific tastes. The first shipment will be a tasting kit with four coffee profiles, which she'll rate online or in the app to start getting personalized options. A book of love letters written by history's great men Amazon Love Letters of Great Men, available at Amazon, $13.95It can be hard to do yourself justice in words — whether they're spoken or written in a card. This compilation of love letters written by great men can help you say it without actually technically saying it. Bonus points if you write your own, or mark the ones in the book that most closely resemble your own feelings.   A beautiful diamond necklace she'll have forever AUrate Diamond Bezel Necklace, available at AUrate, from $320A diamond necklace doesn't have to be thousands of dollars, as fine jewelry startups like AUrate are proving. This necklace is something she can keep and wear forever, and both the solid gold and conflict-free diamonds are of the highest quality.  Personalized cartoon couple mugs Shelley Klein Personalized Family Mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30These cute mugs can be personalized for what you're like as a couple, making for a special weekend morning coffee routine or just a nice reminder in the kitchen cabinet. On the back, you can add a family name and the year the couple was established.  Lush, subtly scented body wash Necessaire Necessaire — The Body Wash, available at Sephora, $25New startup Necessaire formulates its body care products with nourishing vitamins and clean ingredients. The subtly scented Body Wash will leave their skin feeling clean, soft, and nourished.  Hand sanitizer that smells good Touchland Touchland Power Mist Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $9We're using hand sanitizer a lot these days. Why not pick one they'd enjoy using? This version from Touchland is a little moisturizing and doesn't smell like alcohol or make your hands sticky. Read our full review here. A stylish weekender to keep her organized on the go Caraa Sport Caraa Studio Tote Large, available at Caraa, $250Caraa Sport makes some of the most functional and best-looking gym bags on the market. This one can transition from tote to backpack by adding straps. It also has a hidden shoe compartment and a waterproof and antimicrobial lining. An award-winning at-home facial Sephora Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, available at Sephora, $80This is an award-winning mask with a big following in the beauty and skincare community. It's $80, but it's an at-home pro-quality facial she can use anytime — which is a fraction of the price required for regular facials. Kitchen towels that rate wines by how well they pair with certain foods Uncommon Goods Wine Pairing Towel, available at Wolf & Badger, $20If she loves having a nice glass of wine and/or cooking, she'll appreciate the thought behind this unique wine pairing towel. Grab a bottle and some corresponding ingredients for a fun night in for the two of you. A stylish, savvy carry-on with an external battery pack Away Carry-On, available at Away, from $225Away's hyper-popular suitcases deserve their hype. Their hard shell is lightweight but durable, their 360° spinner wheels make for seamless traveling, and the external (and ejectable and TSA-compliant) battery pack included can charge a smartphone five times over so she never has to sit behind a trash can at the airport for access to an outlet again. It's also guaranteed for life by Away. Find our full review here. A cooking class from one of the nation's top chefs Cozymeal/Instagram Gift Card, available at Cozymeal, from $50With a Cozymeal class, they'll learn how to make anything from fresh pasta to Argentinian staple dishes from the nation's top chefs. In addition to cooking classes, Cozymeal offers food tours in various cities (when it's safe to do so).  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 7th, 2021

How the baby boomer generation is the real problem, according to 21 millennials

21 millennials told Insider why baby boomers are responsible for the many problems millennials now face. These millennials tell us about the problems they now face because of baby boomers. Business Insider Deutschland Millennials are accused by some of being whiny, narcissistic, and too politically passive. A number of them suggest, however, that the real problem isn't them; it's baby boomers. 21 millennials told Insider why baby boomers are responsible for many problems millennials now face. See more stories on Insider's business page. Whiny, self-obsessed, not politically engaged enough - the accusations directed at millennials by older generations seem endless.Millennials, or anyone born between 1980 and 2000, often get painted as pampered do-gooders with a naive worldview, whose priorities extend only to getting sabbaticals and being allowed to work from home.That said, decades of disregard for the climate, unfair policies and structures being implemented between the generations, and questionable ideas concerning success in the workplace have left 18 to 38-year-olds with a heavy weight to bear.Twenty-one young people from Germany told Insider of the problems the baby boomers have created and perpetuated in Germany and how they can be solved:'Let's stop talking about what's gone wrong.' Felix Finkbeiner, 20, environmental activist. Flickr / Plant for the Planet We're hurtling towards the edge of a cliff at full pelt - it isn't for the sake of science that we're trying to figure out the quantity by which sea levels are set to rise; it's about survival.Together, with more than 67,000 other children and young people from our Plant for the Planet initiative, I've committed myself to combat the climate crisis. And yes, perhaps the older generation is listening to us but are they doing enough?The climate crisis is the greatest challenge of our time. The CO2 clock is ticking. What must we do and what can we do right now? Well, we can massively reduce our CO2 emissions. And we can plant 1,000 billion trees to absorb a quarter of man-made CO2. I'd say to the older generations, to company bosses, and to politicians: "Let's stop talking about what's gone wrong or what's going wrong - let's plant trees together and save our future."'It's older people who get to call the shots on pensions - yet they no longer have to cough up.' Sarna Röser, 30, chairwoman of Junger Unternehmer (Young Entrepreneurs). BJU Most baby boomers will be retiring soon, which will put considerable pressure on our pension system. There's a massive disparity between the number of working people and the increasing number of pensioners for whom those working people are footing the bill.I think a simple and logical solution would be if everyone had to work for a period of time during their later years. And retirement should be linked to life expectancy. I'm skeptical about who decides what's what when it comes to pensions. You only find older people sitting on the Pensions Commission, who no longer foot the bill themselves. We younger people have to hand out payments but aren't given a say.'The biggest problem the baby boomers have left us isn't that they haven't grown out of their crap.' Kevin Kühnert, 28, national chairman of the youth organisation of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, Jusos. Getty Images The biggest problem the baby boomers have dumped on us isn't that they haven't grown out of their crappy habits: it's the state they've in which they've left the future of our pension system. Pay-as-you-go financing, which has been successfully practiced for decades, will come under increasing pressure as more baby boomers leave the workforce and begin receiving benefits from the pension fund. This news comes as no surprise but politics has, so far, failed to make provisions for that day, when it comes.Fewer contributors and more beneficiaries mean great challenges will be posed for the statutory pension for a good 15 years. How these challenges will be managed isn't just a technical question. In fact, some are taking the opportunity - through scandalous inaction - to slowly chip away at the principle of solidarity when it comes to pensions and to privatize them. If all employees became contributors, we could increase contributions slightly and, if necessary, avoid shying away from tax subsidies.'We've inherited the baby boomers' workaholic attitude and taken it to the next level. Stefanie Laufs, 31, senior communications consultant at a PR agency. Stefanie Laufs The notion that Generation Y has no interest in professional success and thinks of the home office as synonymous with doing nothing is certainly not new - and unfortunately, it's firmly rooted in the minds of many among the older generation. I actually believe we've inherited their workaholic attitude - always better, always more, always higher - and that we've taken what the baby boomers did and pushed it much further.Whether among friends, colleagues, or in reports in the media - no other generation linked with topics such as burnout or partly unpaid overtime as often as ours. The demands on our generation when it comes to starting a career are enormous. You're expected to have five years of professional experience after completing your studies as well as to nearly have finished your Ph.D. Of course, you can't solely blame the baby boomers, but they've always stressed the importance of establishing a career and reinforced that it was the key to a successful and happy life. Although we've taken on this attitude, we'd actually do a lot better to leave it behind. Generation Y continues to work a lot, but having a private life is much more important than money: leisure and downtime shouldn't be overlooked.Our generation is on its way to achieving the ideal work-leisure balance and to putting the baby boomers' workaholic madness to rest.'Too much emphasis on progress and performance is a key problem we've inherited from the older generation.' Jonathan Sierck, 24, author of the book 'Junge Überflieger'. Jonathan Sierck A serious problem we've inherited from the older generation is this fixation on progress and performance. In our tireless efforts to push boundaries, whatever the cost, there's usually little room to address the often serious consequences. There's no doubt about it: constant growth and development do pay off and, as a species, we have to take certain risks every now and then in order to move forward and survive. But pushing boundaries mustn't become the objective itself nor must it come at the cost that it currently does.In order to steer us into a desirable future, we need those in decision-making positions to be sharp. They need both the courage to change yet the informed judgment to pick up on warning signs too. To ensure we don't continue to deplete our resources, we need a clear plan that takes into consideration the effects of our actions. Otherwise, we'll leave our future generations with more - possibly even more serious - problems than those we have inherited, whether they be nuclear waste, the bees dying off, or climate disasters.'Our education systems barely differ to those of the previous generation - and neither has the emphasis on grades and targets in the world of work, unfortunately.' Magdalena Rogl, 33, head of digital channels Microsoft Germany. Magdalena Rogl I'm firm on the notion that we owe much to those who came before us. Especially the generation born in 1968, who revolutionized so much and helped break down so many structures.But one area in which far too little has happened in recent decades is education. Our education systems have barely changed from those of the previous generation - and neither has the emphasis on grades and targets in the world of work, unfortunately.At the age of 10, our children are still "sorted" into schools - not based on their individual talents, but purely according to their grades. Applicants are still assessed according to their qualifications on paper far too often, and not by what they actually know. And academic degrees are still worth more than emotional education.I still remember the look of horror on the faces of my first boyfriend and his parents when I announced I was leaving high school as soon as I legally could, to follow my heart and become a childcare worker.But I think I learned more life lessons through doing so than I could have ever done at university.And that's exactly what our generation so urgently needs: lessons in life. More and more tasks are being taken over by machines and artificial intelligence. The skills Generation Y needs in professional life today are not obedience, authority, and academic knowledge, but empathy, flexibility, and problem-solving.Our generation must adapt quickly to new circumstances, because the job you did yesterday may look quite different tomorrow. And the office is no longer about sitting at a desk from nine until five; it's about working at a time and place that maximizes one's quality of work, based on the individual.That's why I'm committed to ensuring our future generations get better human and digital education, so they make our world more human and each individual person can be as he or she is - and thus achieve their own best performance.'Those who monopolize most of the power are, on average, much too old.' Daniel Krauss, 35, cofounder and chief information officer of Flixbus. Flixbus Today's prosperity is probably the greatest legacy of the previous generation. We should definitely be grateful for it. But it's not as though it's being passed down to younger generations without its drawbacks. The downside is that his focus on prosperity means few provisions have been made for the future and we haven't adapted to our current challenges.Those who monopolize most of the power are still, on average, far too old. Our generation is still trapped in a gilded cage. At some point, young Germans are going to escape that cage and find that the country is no longer at the top of the list of industrial nations.This power needs to be handed over to the younger generation at an early stage. We're ready to take on the responsibility and start restructuring things.'The older generation knows little about what constitutes a healthy and balanced diet.' Jörg Mayer and Nadine Horn, both in their early thirties, are vegan bloggers on 'Eat this'. Eat This The abundance in food and convenience have featured heavily in the kitchens of the post-war generation. Where meat had previously featured rarely on the dining table, it was almost a compulsory, everyday part of meals in the 1950s. But it had to be simple, fast, and cheap.It's becoming increasingly clear that this kind of practice can't go on indefinitely for future generations.Due to this abundance and a lack of true appreciation for food, some among the older generation have little idea about what constitutes a healthy, balanced diet. What's more, over the years a lot of marketing-driven pseudo-sciences - which, simply put, is often wrong and sometimes even dangerous - have persisted.Questions like: "Where do vegans get protein from if they don't eat meat?" or the myth that milk consumption is good for the bones (when the opposite is true) are still firmly anchored in their minds and will only be shifted with a lot of effort.We try to set a good example and show that vegan life is anything but boring, that we don't just live off salad or tofu - that the kitchen can be a place to have fun. We're trying to show that cooking with friends, either alone or in pairs, is not another tedious chore; it's the best thing you can do.'Politicians must take us and our ideas seriously.' Ria Schröder, 26, chairman of Jungen Liberalen (the Young Liberals). Business Insider Deutschland The baby boomers, our parents and theirs, have been instrumental in ensuring we grew up with high living standards. I'm grateful for that but we've also inherited a few problems, one of them being the pension situation. Like many in my generation, I don't assume I'll be provided for in old age. The level of baby boomers being paid for by us is ever increasing while there are fewer of us to foot the bill. It's great that people are living longer but the subsidy for the pension system is already the largest item in the German budget.At the same time, less and less is being invested in the future: for example, in education, and in infrastructure. My generation is outnumbered. But those who focus only on large voter groups are putting the future of our country at risk in favor of short-term electoral success. Politicians must take us and our ideas seriously. Ultimately it will help not only one generation but the whole country.'We know humanity has power over the Earth's biophysical systems, thanks to our predecessors.' Sina Leipold, 32, junior professor of social transformation and circular economy at the University of Freiburg. Sina Leipold For some time, we've known humanity affects and has control over the Earth's biophysical systems more than any other force of nature - knowledge we've attained only thanks to our predecessors. It is both a blessing and a curse for our generation.Never before have so many people been able to inhabit our planet and never before have commodities like regular holiday flights been so easy and readily affordable.At the same time, hurricanes, floods, and heatwaves have threatened to destroy (and, in many cases, have destroyed) the lives and homes of millions.My personal goal, through a more responsible approach than previous generations, is to help our generation ensure this power sticks around long term, instead of putting it at risk by inviting irreversible climate disasters.'Older generations aren't prepared to take risks.' Christopher Obereder, 26, startup founder. David Visnjic Setting up a business in Germany is far too complex; it should be more straightforward. Other countries are well ahead and we should be moving on as soon as possible. The tax system in Germany is also massively outdated and makes it extremely difficult for those looking to get started with a business.Start-ups could be much better supported with tax reforms so the start-ups could focus more on taking care of their business. Singapore has attracted startups from all over the world with its simple control system and has become the hub of the crypto scene. Our political structures are also too slow to change and aren't able to keep up with innovation. Things have to change on this front.A survey by U.S. News showed Germany was in first place in the "Entrepreneurship" category, ahead of Japan and the USA. It's clear Germany is at the forefront despite the clear room for improvement.Work has also changed: people used to stay in the same job their whole life, which is why it used to be feasible to work without constantly developing and learning. Today we seem to switch jobs every year or two. I think it has a lot to do with the Internet.We always need to be ready to learn new things and take risks. And many opportunities and possibilities arise with the Internet if you're open to it - cryptocurrencies are something I'm currently heavily involved in and open to, and I realize older generations aren't.There's a conflict simply because older generations always advocate stability and safety over risk-taking, which they aren't prepared to do. I can only speak for myself but if I'd never taken risks, I'd never have learned. We have to learn through trial and error that you can't make money from anything and everything. Failure has become a valid part of working life, even if older generations still don't want to admit it.But older generations are starting to accept the start-up scene for what it is: it's fast-moving, involves risk-taking, and isn't always lucrative.'The older generation has left European peace in a fragile state.' Lisa Badum, 34, Green Party parliament representative. Lisa Badum The rapid rise in greenhouse gases, the dramatically worsening climate crisis, the question of nuclear waste disposal, the irreversible death of countless plant and animal species - these are just some of the many consequences of failed climate and environmental policies from previous generations. Because they haven't relied on sustainability, they've dumped the consequences of and responsibility for their actions onto future generations. We're now having to face a mammoth challenge together: to keep global warming below two degrees to give future generations the chance to make mistakes.As for Europe, our younger generation has inherited the task of establishing European peace, a project which the older generation has left in a sorry state. The continually rising rate of youth unemployment within the EU, austerity policies, Brexit - all of these things have greatly weakened the notion of the "European community" and reinforced right-wing nationalist and populist forces in Europe. I myself have close ties with Greece, and over the years I've witnessed the destructive effects of austerity there, and have also seen growing disillusionment towards the EU. We have to stop this in its tracks and do it now because lasting peace between us all is the most basic of prerequisites for taking on the many challenges ahead and finding solutions for tomorrow.Where justice and gender equality are concerned, the older generation has set us on a path of clear progress, particularly as regards legal equality between the sexes. While we have to defend this success, we also have to continue fighting for 100% equality between men and women, whether in family and work, pay or pension, and the end of sexual violence towards women and girls.'Digitisation is largely a generational issue.' Barbara Engels, 30, economist at the Institute of German Economics Cologne (IW). IW Cologne Being digital means being online, networking, being open to new business models - and being young. It seems to be a largely generational issue: older people are less likely to be online than younger people, which is a pity because digitization opens up many new possibilities, especially for people who are aging. It can simplify and enrich everyday life. I hope people of all ages will greet digitization with open arms and optimism, but obviously not without a healthy dose of skepticism. Networking is at the heart of the digital world and could contribute to a better level of understanding between young and old. And it would help us learn much more from older people and vice versa.'Pension plans are a big disappointment.' Kristine Lütke, 35, president of WirtschaftsjuniorDeutschland (the Junior Chamber Germany). Wirtschaftsjunioren Deutschland The subsequent drop in birth rate as a result of the rise of the contraceptive pill among the baby boomers is exacerbating demographic change. This has resulted in a shortage of specialists and labor in all areas of the economy. We young entrepreneurs and managers in particular are suffering from this as employers. Moreover, our country's pension plans are a huge disappointment for our generation and an attack on intergenerational justice, particularly in view of demographic changes. The question of billions of funding for the "maternal pension" that's been proposed in Germany remains open.What can be done to increase employment rates and to mitigate the consequences of demographic change, as well as the pensions package? We need to look at options for flexible retirement. The statutory retirement age should be done away with. And working time law needs to be fundamentally reformed.'Climate change presents us with challenges that will dictate the opportunities of future generations.' Lukas Köhler, 31, Free Democratic Party Member of Parliament. Lukas Köhler We've inherited a lot of problems to do with CO2 in the atmosphere. Climate change today presents us with a task - and how we manage this task will directly determine the opportunities available for future generations. That's why I'm fully committed to limiting climate change as much as possible. We will only succeed with a market-based climate policy in which politicians set clear targets for reducing emissions. Other bans and regulations are unnecessary and provide false incentives. If we succeed in building a global emissions trading scheme with ambitious goals, which is as broad as possible for all economic sectors, I'm convinced we can limit global warming to an acceptable level.'We've been left with a society that revolves around profit rather than sustainability.' Sonja Oberbeckmann, 36, environmental microbiologist at the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research. Sonja Oberbeckmann We have much to thank the previous generations for: no generation has grown up as carefree and with as many possibilities as ours. However, it's come at a price: we've been left with a society that revolves around profit rather than sustainability, where material prosperity counts more than individual happiness.My professional field, science, is set up for the short term: there are many temporary contracts, focusing on trendy topics. But this profit-focused society has left its mark everywhere. The environment is riddled with pesticides, exhaust gases, plastics, and much more. People are stressed and it seems they would sooner pop pills than demand the time to live more healthily. Hardly anyone stops to breathe.We, all generations together, can define new goals and break out of this established cycle, that's exploiting human and environmental resources. Instead of sitting passively in front of the television and getting worked up about company bosses, we should all be taking responsibility and consuming both more sustainably and consciously. And we should be asking ourselves from time to time what actually makes us truly happy.'We're still teaching as though we're in the 19th century.' Nina Toller, Private Teacher. Business Insider Deutschland Living in the 21st century, teaching 19th-century style: this is what seems to be at the core of our schooling.I've tried myself to fend this off with learning methods that combine critical thinking and communication with creativity and teamwork, as well as the use of digital media. My students shouldn't just be learning content and facts; they should be learning how to obtain new facts, how to share work effectively and efficiently, and how best to absorb and apply what they've learned. In this way, they develop openness, a willingness to learn, and also a certain degree of independence. The teacher becomes more of a companion for learning and a moderator.My school is open to digital media and supports me in my creative work. I almost always use QR codes or get foreign-language authors, into the classroom via Skype.Yet, due to a lack of technical support, training, time, and security, few teachers can organize something like this on their own initiative. On my page "Toller Unterricht" I publish lots of my ideas as well as tried and tested lesson plans, with materials included.Politicians have made promises to digitize schools. In addition to the lack of qualifications teachers have, there also seems to be a lack of equipment. I'm glad my school has some projectors and smartboards I can use for my lessons, but some don't even have Internet access.Data protection is currently being taken to ridiculous extremes: new data protection regulation makes the use of private computers difficult, so some are being advised to use paper and pen. This won't work within the frame of a digitization strategy for Germany in 2018.Therefore, comprehensive reform is needed. Only then can we equip all our students with the skills to prepare them for life and learning in the 21st century.'It's as if the parents think schools are responsible for raising children.' Franziska Hafer, 23, teacher. Franziska Hafer The older generation has paid far too little attention to sustainable development. Sustainable development means empowering children to form their own opinions and encouraging them to act sustainably. Sustainable development means the current generation is developing, not compromising the next generation, but actively considering it. Children haven't been sensitized to this at all.I think there's a very different tone in schools now. I get the sense that kids are becoming less and less respectful. Manners are disappearing and, unfortunately, you rarely see a boy holding the door open for a girl. It's as if parents think schools are responsible for bringing children up.Some children are only interested in who has the latest, highest-end mobile. The children who do not have a say in this are outside the picture - and I think that the generation above us is responsible for instilling different values.'We've inherited a toxic political style from the generation before us.' Max Lucks, 21, spokesman for Grünen Jugend (Green Youth). Max Lucks We've not inherited generational conflicts; we've inherited a toxic political style from the generation before us, which has dealt little with political change or shaping the future and has been more focused on how everything can remain as is. One only has to look at how Merkel's government dealt with a climate crisis and how it's always been ignored and fought against by one commission or another. This political style has disappointed our generation and rightly so: it's clear to young people that a little isn't enough to answer the hard questions. For example, how can we still find well-paid and permanent jobs in 20 years' time in spite of digitalization?'The older ranks of conservative politicians are afraid of change.' Akilnathan Logeswaren, 29, European Activist. Business Insider Deutschland As an activist for a united Europe, I'm always reminded of how much of the older ranks of conservative politicians fear change. While young people are almost unanimous in their commitment to a united Europe, the older generation is still resistant to it, although though the United States of Europe has been on the agenda of previous German political figures such as Franz Josef Strauss himself.While old politicians are practicing against the left by remaining on the right, today's young people are already focusing more on the spirit of the European Parliament, namely by looking for solutions.In the 21st century, it is no longer about just having ideas, but about collaborating for a shared future. For example, the campaign #FreeInterrail - a free Interrail ticket for all Europeans as soon as they turn 18 - was devised by the youth for the youth. Ideas like these will secure our peace and cohesion in the long term.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 4th, 2021

10 boho-chic hotels in Tulum, Mexico with dreamy decor, jungle foliage, and beach views

The best hotels in Tulum range from a magical jungle tree house to beachfront villas with private pools, and well-appointed rooms in town for cheap. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Tripadvisor Tulum is a design and gastronomy mecca on a turquoise beach overseen by ancient Mayan ruins. Tulum hotels push the limits of beauty and design but some come with astonishingly high prices. We compiled highly-rated Tulum hotels that are also affordable, ranging from $128 to $669 per night. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyTwo hours south of Cancun, Tulum is one of Mexico's hottest destinations. Nestled in the stunning Riviera Maya, this jungle-embedded city offers gentle Caribbean waters, lush jungles, ancient ruins, standout design, and plentiful hotels to showcase it all. I spent three months living in Tulum and the best hotels range from spiritual centers and hostels to luxury and boutique hideaways. All proudly boast the Tulum aesthetic of natural wood and leafy palms and make it easy to soak up the sun, admire the ruins of Coba, or go cenote-hopping in swimming holes scattered within the jungle. While most Tulum hotel prices can reach astronomical levels, we found beautiful and accessible Tulum hotels that don't skimp on comfort, beauty, or amenities.Browse all the best Tulum hotels below or jump to a specific area here:The best hotels in Tulum, MexicoFAQ: Tulum hotelsHow we selected the best Tulum hotelsMore of the best hotels in MexicoThese are the best hotels in Tulum, sorted by price from low to high. Aloft Tulum Aloft delivers a trusted brand and hotel experience under the Marriott Bonvoy umbrella. Marriott Book Aloft TulumCategory: BudgetNeighborhood: CentroTypical starting/peak prices: $128/$272Best for: Solo and business travelers, Marriott loyalistsOn-site amenities: Pools, gym, restaurants, pet-friendly, conference spacePros: This is a contemporary hotel in central Tulum where you can count on reliable air-conditioning, service, and rooftop views.Cons: Although the hotel design is jungle-inspired, it may feel a bit corporate to some Tulum-bound travelers seeking a more bohemian experience.The Aloft Tulum is one of the largest hotels in Tulum that offers the signature style of a Marriott hotel from their hip, colorful Aloft brand. It also offers many comforts that are hard to come by in Tulum, like industrial-strength air-conditioning and contemporary hotel rooms (that won't cost a fortune). The hotel is located halfway between the city center and the beach zone, which means it's a slightly shorter ride to the beach than from other hotels in town, but you can get there by bicycle or cab.The Aloft has a bar space designed for live music, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a restaurant, and two pools. There's a family-friendly pool on the ground level, but the adults-only rooftop infinity pool is the highlight with stunning views over the jungle canopy.Rooms are modern and spacious with bright colors, natural textures, and amenities like smart TVs and Marshall speakers. The polished style may not suit all types of Tulum-bound travelers, but for anyone dreading bugs and humidity, it's a comfortable, affordable place to stay.COVID-19 procedures are available here.  Copal Tulum Balconies at this hotel overlook the lush jungle canopy. Tripadvisor Book Copal TulumCategory: BoutiqueNeighborhood: Aldea ZamaTypical starting/peak prices: $139/$632Best for: Families, large groupsOn-site amenities: Cenote access, restaurant, pools, rooftop, gymPros: This hotel offers a large variety of accommodations with kitchens, living spaces, and private access to a public cenote.Cons: It's not centrally located to town or the beach and few taxis pass by, so you will likely need your own transportation.In a quiet section of Aldea Zama, tucked between the beach and city center, Copal has apartment-style accommodations that are great for families and large groups.The hotel has a polished jungle-inspired design with bamboo and natural wood finishes. Rooms feel new and modern with stainless steel appliances and smart TVs, and the most basic offering is similar to a standard hotel room but with a kitchenette. Larger rooms like the Studio Jungle Terrace have living spaces and kitchens, and there are also multi-bedroom suites with a private rooftop and ground-floor pool. Behind the hotel and through the restaurant, you'll find a pathway to a small public cenote. It's not as large as others in the area, and can sometimes get crowded, but it's nice to visit for a quick and easy dip.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Orchid House Tulum The rooftop pool bar is designed so that you can sip on a drink without getting out of the pool. Tripadvisor Book Orchid House TulumCategory: BoutiqueNeighborhood: Aldea ZamaTypical starting/peak prices: $152/$393Best for: Couples, families, business travelersOn-site amenities: Pool, restaurantPros: Orchid House is located in a quiet and safe neighborhood that's off the radar of most visitors, which helps it maintain its peaceful bubble.Cons: You are not quite on the beach or in the city center, so most of Tulum's main attractions will require a cab or bicycle to get to.In Tulum's super-polished Aldea Zama neighborhood, Orchid House is a quiet hotel with a serene nature-inspired design. As you enter the lobby, you'll first notice the interior garden with tropical plants and a small footbridge for a photo opportunity. Upstairs, the pool bar is the hotel's main attraction, with a classy take on in-pool seating so you can sip on a juice or cocktail without ever getting out of the pool.Throughout the hotel, a light and airy color scheme reflect the natural environment, while intricate details and antique furniture add a touch of luxury to this bohemian chic 10-room hotel.Each room features a wood-carved door, a plush King-sized bed, and a private terrace with a small plunge pool. For more space, Jungle Suites have terraces large enough for a hammock, and the Master Suites, which also have two additional twin-sized beds, have plunge pools that overlook the jungle.Make sure to have at least one meal in the signature nest, a dining booth on top of the hotel with an interrupted view across the treetops all the way out into the horizon.COVID-19 procedures are available here.  Nativus Glamping Tulum Glamping at Nativus comes with a healthy dose of luxury. Hotels.com Book Nativus Glamping TulumCategory: GlampingNeighborhood: Beach ZoneTypical starting/peak prices: $168/$422Best for: Adventurers, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Cenote access, restaurant, breakfastPros: This hotel has a fantastic location with access to a little-known cenote and offers affordable glamping accommodations near the beach.Cons: The tents can be quite small, and since you'll be living in the jungle, you will need plenty of bug spray.There are a lot of glamping options in Tulum, but Nativus offers premium accommodations with access to a natural crystalline cenote.From the main area of the hotel, you'll find tents, a small restaurant, and a winding jungle path that will take you to the huge El Cenote Encantada, an open cenote where you can swim, kayak, and paddleboard. The cenote is not private, but it's hard to reach and find if you're not accessing it through a local business, so it doesn't get very crowded.Every tent has a plush bed and its own outdoor bathroom, which is beautifully decorated with natural materials and has a private outdoor rainfall shower.This hotel is located at the end of the beach road, right before the entrance to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve National Reserve, so you can indulge in more adventurous jungle experiences without compromising on proximity to the beach.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Ikal Tulum Boutique Hotel Located on the north end of Tulum's beach road, Ikal is close to the ruins and offers a robust slate of community events. Tripadvisor Book Ikal Tulum Boutique HotelCategory: BoutiqueNeighborhood: Beach ZoneTypical starting/peak prices: $196/$353Best for: Families, couples, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Wellness center, yoga shala, restaurant, poolPros: Ikal offers a variety of community-centered daily programming including music and art activities for children.Cons: The hotel is not as private as other hotels with many non-guests visiting the restaurant and attending events.Located on the north end of Tulum's beach road, which is closest to the entrance of the ruins, Ikal is a lively, hip spot that offers community events like Brazilian capoeira lessons, yoga, spiritual lectures, and eclectic live music. It is also an extremely kid-friendly hotel with weekly events designed especially for children relating to yoga, music, and art. Although restaurant visitors are welcome to use the day beds on the beach, the pool is for guests only. There are a large variety of accommodation types from spacious and air-conditioned glamping tents with shared bathrooms to beautiful jungle suites with private plunge pools, outdoor showers, thatched walls, and eye-catching furniture that look like they were magically summoned from the depths of the jungle.All rooms are unique but Cabaña 8 stands out with its huge macrame entryway that really tells you everything you need to know about Ikal's dedication to a bohemian aesthetic.COVID-19 procedures are available here.  La Zebra Colibri Boutique Hotel The oceanfront location and views at La Zebra are stunning. Tripadvisor Book La Zebra Colibri Boutique HotelCategory: ResortNeighborhood: Beach ZoneTypical starting/peak prices: $348/$859Best for: Couples, familiesOn-site amenities: Spa, restaurant, barPros: This hotel has a long reputation for great service and a fun, family-friendly ambiance.Cons: The garden view rooms are close to the road and can be noisy.La Zebra has a top-rated reputation for a fun ambiance, great service, chic rooms, and great beach access.The hotel has six different categories of rooms from basic Garden Rooms to beachfront suites with balconies and plunge pools. Rooms offer a harmony of natural beach tones and traditional textures that skips the flashy or industrial touches of other Tulum hotels. However, all rooms are still sophisticated and families will appreciate the suites, which come with one King-sized bed and two single beds.The beach area offers plenty of space to spread out on shaded daybeds. There is also a small spa and a restaurant with unique tabletops that pay homage to famous works of Mexican art.For epicurean guests, the restaurant also serves an eight-course Chef's Table experience that pairs artisanal cocktails, beers, and wine with Mexican gastronomy in a special dining room decorated with Mexican antiques.COVID-19 procedures are available here.  Hotel Bardo This adults-only hotel has loft-style villas with living rooms and private plunge pools. Booking.com Book Hotel BardoCategory: BoutiqueNeighborhood: City CenterTypical starting/peak prices: $384/$662Best for: Couples, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Pool, restaurant, fire pit, temezcal ceremony, complimentary bikesPros: Hotel Bardo has one of the most luxurious pools in Tulum, with a lounge chair layout that allows guests to have more privacy than is typical.Cons: The hotel is far from both the city and the beach; you will need to use bikes or have your own form of transportation.Hidden in the less busy part of the Tulum city center, this adults-only hotel has loft-style villas with living rooms and private plunge pools. The lofts are beautiful, filled with natural textures and a dark color scheme, all in what feels like your own private corner of the jungle.The shared hotel space is also sophisticated and calming with Mexican culture woven into every element of the hotel's design. Special features include an agave garden and an ofrenda, or altar, decorated with black and white photographs and skulls.The location is far from the beach, but parking is free if you rent a car. The common areas are lively, thanks to the inviting restaurant and bar with billiards and a stone fire pit. The main pool has a fantastic design, fringed with lounge areas that have been sectioned off so you can enjoy a bit of privacy with your toes just inches from the water.Hotel Bardo also offers many immersive experiences, like sunset intention-setting rituals, temezcal ceremonies, sound healing, and yoga. It may be a long journey to the ocean, but you'll enjoy a rejuvenating and aesthetically pleasing stay that encompasses all the reasons why people come to Tulum.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Nômade Tulum Treehouses and villas offer magical lodging facing a gorgeous beach. Tripadvisor Book Nômade TulumCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: Beach ZoneTypical starting/peak prices: $453/$710Best for: CouplesOn-site amenities: Restaurant, lounge, beach club, pool, activities, wellness programmingPros: One of Tulum's most iconic hotels, you'll find a perfect execution of boho-chic rooms and a full program of spiritual wellness activities right out your door. The beachfront is gorgeous.Cons: Nômade is expensive and located at the farthest end of the hotel zone, which means a costly taxi rate.Located on the south end of the beach, Nômade is a dreamy resort where meandering pathways lead you through a jungle with thatched roof villas, treehouses, a yoga shala, a gathering nest, and a meditation tent. Each week the hotel offers a variety of programming from spiritual seminars, live music, tea and cacao ceremonies, and yoga. On the beach, there is a restaurant with seating areas, daybeds, and scattered hammocks shaded by swaying palm trees.Accommodations range from boho-chic suites to deluxe glamping tents and whimsical treehouses. Perched up in the jungle canopy, those treehouses are artistic and intimate with bathrooms and air conditioning. As you walk up the winding staircase, you'll feel like you're stepping into your own private oasis, far away from any disturbances. Though from the city center, there are plenty of posh places to eat and shop nearby while avoiding the more boisterous bars and party hotspots, and the beachfront location can't be beaten.COVID-19 procedures are available here.  Be Tulum Hotel Many rooms come with private pools and boho decor, tucked amid lush jungle pathways. Tripadvisor Book Be TulumCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: Beach ZoneTypical starting/peak prices: $659/$1,030Best for: CouplesOn-site amenities: Spa, temezcal, restaurants, beach club, poolPros: Be Tulum is home to one of the more popular spas in Tulum with a wide selection of treatments. The overall ambiance is serene and gorgeous.Cons: Be Tulum is very expensive and only some rooms have private pools.At Be Tulum, a lush entry includes tall leafy palms and meandering paths that lead to a stunning oceanfront, for what feels like a remote island oasis.Rooms are modern but embrace natural elements and colors with a variety of jungle suites and oceanfront villas with multiple bedrooms, rooftop terraces, and private pools. Rooms at Be Tulum feature so many stand-out design pieces, you'll want to take them home with you, like the cubical tree log nightstand or embroidered pillows.The hotel's spa, the Yaän Healing Sanctuary, is one of the main reasons to stay here. It offers a variety of indigenous-inspired treatments from healing rituals to more traditional body treatments like massages, facials, and herbal baths. You can also arrange to join a temezcal ceremony and there is daily yoga in the treetop studio.Not every room has a private pool, but all guests can enjoy the beach club with two great restaurants, one which is dedicated to seafood and the other that serves elevated Mexican cuisine using ingredients from a sustainable garden.COVID-19 procedures are available here.  Encantada Tulum This small luxury hotel offers a calm atmosphere, a beautiful beachfront, and just 8 intimate rooms. Tripadvisor Book Encantada TulumCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: Tulum BeachTypical starting/peak prices: $669/$1388Best for: CouplesOn-site amenities: Restaurant, beachPros: This is one of the most peaceful hotels on Tulum's beach road with spacious rooms and a soothing natural design schemeCons: The hotel is small and offers few amenities.On what's normally considered a busy strip, this small luxury boutique hotel offers a calm peaceful atmosphere with just eight rooms and one restaurant dedicated to its guests.Although it does not offer the wide range of amenities or "scene" you'll find on other beachside hotels, it has plenty of space on the beach with inviting chairs and umbrellas, and great service from the front desk and restaurant staff. Ordering a drink or plate of guacamole to your beach chair is as easy as sending a text.Each room has air conditioning, luscious beds, and a spacious bathroom with an open shower. When you're not lounging on the beach, relax on the front porch with a hammock and two chairs, and rinse off sandy feet in the seashell water basin. Not all rooms have ocean views, but they're just steps from the beach no matter which room you get.Encantada's design scheme is nowhere near as flashy as other Tulum hotels but is still rich in beautiful details like the large macrame wall-hanging in the entrance or the blue stained glass windows in the hallway between the bedroom and bathroom.COVID-19 procedures are available here. FAQ: Tulum hotels How do you get to Tulum from Cancun?Tulum is about 80 miles from the Cancun airport and it takes about two hours to drive there along the main highway. If you don't rent your own car, you can either take a cab or car service to Tulum, or you can take the ADO bus for a more affordable option.What is the best way to get around Tulum?There are many taxis in Tulum, but prices can be quite high especially on a busy night. Alternatively, bicycles are very popular and there is a safe bike path that connects the city center to the hotel zone.How far is the city center from the beach?Because much of Tulum is still protected land, there is a lot of jungle between the hotel zone on the beach and the city center. The road from the center to the beach is 2.5 miles long. Without traffic, it takes about eight minutes to drive and 15 to 20 minutes to bike. If you're considering walking, that will take you at least 45 minutes.Which is the best side of the beach to visit?When you reach the beach, you'll notice that you can go left or right. It is easy to visit both sides in one trip, but you'll find that it will be difficult to access the beach on the south side without paying an entry fee to one of the pricey beach clubs or having a meal at one of the hotel restaurants. Meanwhile, the north side of the beach has public access and is also closer to the Mayan ruins.Where should I stay when visiting Tulum?If you want to make the most of your time in the water, you should select a hotel on the main beach road but be aware that this will also come with a hefty price tag unless you choose glamping accommodations. There are many places to stay in the main town, but you will need to take a cab or rent a bike to get to the beach.What are the best hotels in Tulum?Our list is a 50/50 split between the best Tulum hotels near the beach and non-beach options since the beach hotels can be very expensive and there are other attractions that lure visitors beyond just the sand.We picked the best hotels that represent a variety of lodging styles, budgets, and experiences. Additionally, we looked for strict COVID policies to protect the health and safety of guests, and not every well-regarded hotel in Tulum takes these measures seriously. We also considered amenities such as yoga shalas, beach clubs, spas, and special access to well-hidden cenotes, which are natural swimming holes that are a defining characteristic of the Yucatan region of Mexico.Tulum also has many hotels that are famous around the world that we did not include, such as Casa Malca, which was also the former home of Pablo Escobar, and Azulik, which is known for its beautiful rooms that are more like works of art, and is the most expensive hotel in Tulum. However, we opted to not include these hotels in our list of the best hotels in Tulum because they are prohibitively expensive for most people.To see the famous "Come to the Light" sculpture that depicts a towering female figure ripping open her chest, which is filled with lush green plants, you can visit Ahau Tulum. The Papaya Playa Project is another popular hotel that is well-known for its restaurant and community events, and one we considered.Tulum hotels are also among the best wellness resorts in the Caribbean.Are hotels in Tulum expensive?Tulum is one of the most expensive destinations in Mexico and travelers will pay premium prices for hotels right on the beach since that is the best location to be in Tulum. In the city center, there are more budget-friendly options, as well as Airbnb vacation rentals, and hostels, but you will be far from the beach.During the low season, between late spring and fall, you can expect to pay at least $130 per night on a hotel in the city center or at least $200 for a hotel on the beach (unless you're glamping). During the high season, which starts in November and lasts until March, hotels in town will likely raise their rates above $200 per night, and hotels on the beach can charge as much as $1,000 per night. The most expensive time of year is around Christmas and New Year's.What is a temezcal ceremony?Many hotels may offer a temezcal ceremony on-site. This traditional Mexican ceremony is a cleansing ritual purported to have many health benefits. It requires sitting in a small domelike structure in which rocks are heated to raise the temperature and cause you to sweat. It is usually combined with some kind of meditation and is followed by a cold shower. Because it takes some time to prepare, the ceremony is usually only offered a few times per week.Is Tulum beach swimmable?The water in Tulum beach is very clear and the waves are extremely gentle. It's very swimmable, however, the beach occasionally suffers from sargasso seaweed invasions. Most hotels employ teams to clean up the seaweed in the morning, but you still might encounter it as you swim. It can be very unpleasant, but the problem is an issue all along the Riviera Maya and throughout the Caribbean.What are the different neighborhoods in Tulum?Aside from the beach zone, which is split into the north and south side, there are many neighborhoods in Tulum.The city center is where most locals live and where you'll find lively restaurants and a shopping scene. Aldea Zama is a highly-polished gated community, which is more like a small suburb within Tulum. La Veleta is another community slightly further from the beach than Aldea Zama, where there are luxury apartments but there is still a lot of construction. Villas is a very small local neighborhood that is quiet and although there are no hotels here, you might be able to find a vacation rental.Is it better to stay in Tulum Town or the beach?It depends on your budget and what you plan to do. The beach is beautiful, but on top of the high nightly hotel rates, you will spend a lot of money at pricey bars and restaurants. However, if you want to spend every day at the beach, you're better off staying in the beach zone since high taxi prices from the center of town will end up being just as expensive.If you're more set on visiting ruins, exploring cenotes, and taking day trips, you'll save money on lodging and dining by staying in town, away from the beach. How we selected the best Tulum hotels I'm personally familiar with many of the hotels on this list and researched all extensively.All hotels are highly rated by past guests on trusted travel sites such as Trip Advisor and Booking.comTo keep things reasonable but also call out some stand-out properties, I looked for a variety of price points under $700 per night to start. During the high season, between December and February, nightly rates are likely to rise way above this number.I looked for hotels with standout amenities and impressive design, from quiet beaches and cenotes to wellness offerings and community events.Hotels were chosen in a variety of neighborhoods including and beyond the main beach road.All hotels have new COVID-19 policies in place to prioritize the health and safety of guests. More of the best hotels in Mexico Wake up early for a magnificent sunrise from the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun. Tripadvisor The best all-inclusive resorts in MexicoThe best hotels in Cancun8 of our favorite hotels in Mexico that aren't in tourist hot spotsThe best hotels in Puerto VallartaThe best hotels in Mexico City Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 28th, 2021

I flew American Airlines to Europe for the first time during the pandemic and found it"s back to normal with bad food, uncomfortable seats, and free alcohol

American did a great job of getting me to Madrid on time but the flight was far from memorable. One thing I didn't miss was the bad airplane food. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider American Airlines is one of four US carriers flying overseas to Europe and has recently started increasing services as more countries open to American tourists. Transatlantic flights are pretty much back to normal, besides having to wear a mask. Hot meals and alcohol are once again served in all cabins including economy class. See more stories on Insider's business page. American Airlines is one of the leading US carriers flying between the US and Europe, especially from its international gateway in New York. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The summer before the pandemic saw American fly to 23 European destinations from the US. Fast forward to the summer of 2021, however, and that number stood at 11 as American wasn't as quick to rebuild in Europe following its reopening. Flying American Airlines to Europe during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Source: Cirium But even still, American has maintained service to core cities like London; Madrid; and Rome, while opening new routes including New York-Athens. Athens, Greece. Shutterstock Read More: American and JetBlue just unveiled a new partnership with 33 new routes combined— here's what it means for travelers And American has proved to be an inexpensive option when crossing the pond, as I found when planning a recent work trip to Doha, Qatar with flights on American, British Airways, and Qatar Airways. Flying American Airlines to Europe during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: Gulfstream just debuted its new $75 million ultra-long-range plane that's also the world's largest purpose-built private jet: Meet the G700 I flew American Airlines from New York to Madrid during the summer of vaccinated travel. Here's what it was like. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I booked a flight on American Airlines despite the airline canceling thousands of flights this summer – here's how I'm preparing for the worst After recent bad experiences on American, I was a bit nervous to fly the carrier overseas. I made sure to do extra research on backup options in case something went wrong, and even arrived at the airport four hours early. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I was stranded in Bogotá airport for 10 hours and it taught me the true value of credit card perks and not taking no for an answer But having flown American internationally earlier in the summer, I knew how to prepare. The first step was to download Verifly, American's preferred health passport service that speeds along airport check-in and document verification. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I submitted all my required documentation and got the green light. As a result, check-in at the airport was less painful than expected as I was able to use a self-serve kiosk to get my boarding pass. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider For those checking a bag, though, there was a bit of a line, as is usually the case in international terminals. I was glad to have only brought a carry-on. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I was instantly relieved once I had my boarding pass and headed straight to the gate with only a minimal line at security. I felt silly having arrived four hours before departure but as the old saying goes, better safe than sorry. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider One benefit of flying out of American's Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy International Airport is that Bobby Van's Steakhouse is open, and Priority Pass members through Chase can get a free meal. I had the burger and it was delicious. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I used a credit perk to dine for nearly free at an airport restaurant and it's my new favorite travel hack The rest of the concourse was quiet as I arrived before the bulk of the evening overseas departures. Even still, there were shops and restaurants open for business in a good sign for the industry. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I headed straight to the gate after lunch and got my first glimpse at the aircraft taking us to Spain, the mighty Boeing 777-200. American now only flies Boeing 777 aircraft between New York and Europe in a win for business class and first class customers that get to enjoy the airline's best premium cabin products. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Pandemic-era safety measures including social distancing floor placards and plexiglass portions at the gate counter were still on display. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Boarding began around 45 minutes prior to departure in American's standard group boarding procedure. Most US airlines have abandoned back-to-front boarding. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider American's Boeing 777-200 aircraft seat 273 passengers across three cabins, with classes of service including business, premium economy, and economy. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Source: SeatGuru In economy, seats are arranged in a 10-abreast, 3-4-3 configuration that's standard for most airlines flying the 777. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Seat pitch in economy is between 31 and 32 inches, according to SeatGuru, while seat width is a standard 17 inches. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Source: SeatGuru I booked this flight quite late and there weren't too many seats from which to choose that didn't require paying an extra fee. American isn't alone in the practice of charging for advance seat assignments on long-haul flights but I despise the practice as these tickets are expensive enough as it is. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider But to American's credit, there were a good showing of complimentary aisle and window seats towards the back of the plane from which to select. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider And to my surprise, the most unique seats in economy were available for selection. The last three rows on this aircraft are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration meaning there are six two-seat pairs. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I thought I had lucked out by selecting one of them but my excitement was short-lived. Simply put, these seats were not the most comfortable for a larger traveler. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The small width didn't help and I felt like I was taking up part of the seat next to me. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider One thing that could've helped was if the armrest for the window seat was moveable, but it was fixed in place. I was so close to the seat in front of me that my tray table couldn't even lay flat (a problem I didn't have on the other carriers on which I flew during this trip). Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider My top concern was having enough room once my seat neighbor arrived. But I lucked out and had both seats to myself as nobody showed up to claim the other. Flying American Airlines to Europe during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider There was a gap between the seat and the cabin wall which offered some additional legroom and a place to store the pillow and blanket kit left on the seat. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider American is quite generous with seat features on its wide-body aircraft. Each seat has an 8.9-inch in-flight entertainment screen with a variety of movies, television shows, games, and music. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The moving map proved handy during the flight to keep track of our location. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider A tethered remote is also available to control the system and act as a game controller or keyboard for the seat-to-seat chat function. It also comes in handy when scrolling through content since the touch functionality is quite poor in that regard. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider In-flight WiFi is also available on the aircraft for a price. And for those using devices during the flight, in-seat power is offered through USB charging ports and 110v C power outlets at seats. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The rest of the aircraft was quite full, which surprised me as it was quite late in the season for transatlantic travel. Some passengers were visiting family and friends while others were starting their study abroad term. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Bad weather in New York wreaked a bit of havoc on the airport but we weren't overly affected. I was quite relieved that our departure was pretty close to on time as I had a connection to make in Madrid. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The storm did, however, make for some great views as we blasted out of New York. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Madrid is quite a short flight from New York and while I wanted to go straight to sleep, I did want to see what the meal service was like. This was the first time I'd had a hot meal on American during the pandemic. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider As I waited for the service to begin, I had a look at what was on offer in the movie department. American had quite a good selection in all categories, and I ultimately picked "The Vault." Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider First attendants started the drink service first with a selection of soft drinks, juices, wine, and beer. Alcohol isn't currently served in economy on American's domestic flights but it flows freely on transatlantic hops. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I ordered a club soda along with some red wine to help ease my sleep after the meal. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Next came the meal service as flight attendants quickly passed out the trays. I felt like I was being served in a cafeteria as one flight attendant curtly asked, "chicken or pasta?" Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I unwrapped the entree to find that not much has changed at all when it comes to American's economy catering. The chicken dish was accompanied by a side salad, cheese and crackers, and a cinnamon dessert bar. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I couldn't describe the chicken beyond that it was served in a tomato-based sauce. I enjoyed the sides more than the main and was glad I had the burger at Bobby Van's before the flight. Next time, I think I'll head straight to sleep. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Flight attendants were very quick to complete the meal service, though, and got it done in under an hour and a half. The flight to Madrid is only six hours and 30 minutes so every second counts. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Ready for bed with a full stomach, I used the pillow and blanket that American had left on the seat and did my best to get comfortable. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Another downside of the two-seat row is that there's a gap between the seat and window, making propping a pillow up against the cabin wall near-impossible. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider But even then, it wasn't too difficult to get to sleep and I woke just before breakfast was served. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Flight attendants once more came around to serve drinks first, followed by a pre-packaged cold breakfast. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider On offer for the optimistic morning meal included Chobani strawberry yogurt, a raspberry fig bar, and coconut cashew granola. All in all, it was quite standard but still enjoyable. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The flight to Madrid was nearing its end and I can't say I was upset to see it go. American did a great job of getting me to Spain on time but the in-flight experience was exactly what I expected it to be. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I did appreciate the modernity of the aircraft and the efficiency of the crew but there wasn't anything memorable about this flight. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Besides having to wear a mask, though, I'd say that American is back to normal on these flights, for better or worse. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 26th, 2021

10 hotels in South Florida with gorgeous rooftop pools and lively bars

These are the best hotels with rooftop pools and restaurants in South Florida, including Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and more. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Tripadvisor South Florida's warm, tropical climate makes it a top vacation destination. From West Palm Beach to Miami, South Florida hotels have incredible rooftops to soak up the sun. Some hotel rooftop bars, restaurants, and pools are open to the public in addition to guests. Table of Contents: Masthead StickySouth Florida is known for its dazzling beaches but also its lively nightlife. And because the region stays warm when the sun goes down, many hotels have in-demand rooftops with outdoor restaurants, bars, and pools that draw visitors day and night.Few things top an afternoon laying out by a pool perched in the sky, enjoying happy hour with views of the Atlantic Ocean in the background, or watching a sunset while savoring a delicious meal. Living in South Florida has given me the opportunity to frequent some of the best hotels, and the following list of hotels all have incredible rooftops that make it easy to savor all the best parts of visiting the Sunshine State.Browse all the best hotels with rooftop pools and restaurants below, or jump directly to a specific area here:The best hotel rooftops in South FloridaFAQ: South Florida hotelsHow we selected the best South Florida hotels with rooftopsMore of the best hotels in FloridaThese are the best hotel rooftops with pools and restaurants in South Florida, sorted by price from low to high. Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Downtown The Easton rooftop combines a pool, restaurant, bar, and nightclub. Marriott Book Courtyard Fort Lauderdale DowntownCategory: Budget Town: Fort Lauderdale Typical starting/peak prices: $152/$365Best for: Friends, solo travelers, Marriott loyalists On-site amenities: 24-hour fitness center, library, business center, pet-friendly rooms, pool, restaurant, barPros: The rooms are well priced, and the rooftop bar is a hot nightlife destination with a DJ and bottle service on the weekends. Cons: On the flip side, the rooftop bar can get crowded, and noise can carry into the guest rooms late into the night.The Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Downtown recently opened in March 2021, nestled in the hip Fort Lauderdale Arts District, just a few miles from Fort Lauderdale Beach and Las Olas Boulevard, the main dining and entertainment strip. Rooms start under $200, which is well priced for a new hotel in such a great location. Most of the 137 guest rooms and suites have views of the Fort Lauderdale city skyline and are outfitted with modern wallpaper, soft carpeting, orange leather armchairs, and sofa beds in some rooms. The hotel is also home to The Easton, a ninth-story rooftop with a restaurant, bar, pool, and plush outdoor seating.  The Easton fills up quickly, especially during weekday Golden Happy Hour, and on the weekends, the rooftop transforms into a nightclub from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. with visitors lining up for live music and bottle service. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Canopy by Hilton West Palm Beach Downtown Ban.ter Treehouse, the 13th-floor rooftop bar and restaurant has seating spread around a sparkling infinity pool. Tripadvisor Book Canopy by Hilton West Palm Beach DowntownCategory: Mid-rangeTown: West Palm Beach Typical starting/peak prices: $174/$423 Best for: Friends, Hilton loyalists, travelers with pets  On-site amenities: Pet-friendly rooms, complimentary evening wine and beer tastings, complimentary bicycle rentals, restaurant, bar, poolPros: The hotel is close to the airport in a great central location for exploring trendy downtown West Palm Beach. Cons: While the views on the rooftop are great, the seating is limited.Canopy by Hilton West Palm Beach opened in 2020 and is the only Hilton Canopy in Florida, a new boutique lifestyle concept from the brand. Canopy hotels pride themselves on creating a locally-driven by connecting guests to events, music, and restaurants in the surrounding area. The 150 room hotel is less than three miles from Palm Beach International Airport and about a mile from the beach. Rooms are brand new and have been outfitted with gray bedding, oversized artwork, and a dedicated workspace. Standard rooms are spacious at almost 400 square feet, and Deluxe Rooms have city and ocean views. Ban.ter, the lobby restaurant, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Ban.ter Treehouse, the 13th-floor rooftop bar and restaurant serves small plates and cocktails. The indoor/outdoor flow of the latter rooftop restaurant is lush with lots of plants and palm trees and seating is a mix of bartop and four-person tables spread around a sparkling infinity pool. On weekends, a poolside DJ plays high-energy music. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Kimpton Angler's South Beach The hotel is just two blocks from the beach. Tripadvisor Book Kimpton Angler's South BeachCategory: Boutique Town: South Beach, Miami Typical starting/peak prices: $228/$483Best for: Couples, families, IHG Kimpton reward members, travelers with pets   On-site amenities: Evening wine hours, complimentary morning coffee, Orange Theory fitness classes, in-room spa treatments, pool, restaurant, bar, beach accessPros: The Kimpton Angler is just two blocks from the beach and accommodations are large, with options for two and three-story lofts and bungalows.Cons: There's no fitness center, but the hotel has a partnership with OrangeTheory fitness, and classes are included in your stay. Also, there's a charge for Wi-Fi if you're not an IHG Kimpton rewards member.Kimpton hotels are known for their well-designed boutique properties, the Kimpton Angler's South Beach is no exception. Located on the south end of Miami Beach, it's also minutes from the nightlife on Ocean DriveThere's a cohesive nautical theme carried throughout, with sand-colored loveseats, wicker lamps, and navy patterned lounge chairs and curtains in the 132 guest rooms and suites. Standard rooms are 400 square feet with King or Queen sized beds, ample closet space, and oversized walk-in showers with separate tubs. Most rooms also have balconies that overlook either Washington Ave or the hotel's courtyard Mermaid Pool. The sixth-floor rooftop pool and sun deck is a standout feature, with chic black and white lounge chairs framed by panoramic views of the Miami skyline. Large potted plants add privacy to lounge areas, and the pool deck is quiet enough for those who want to catch up on reading. After a dip, order drinks like the photogenic watermelon margarita from the Minnow Bar. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Conrad Miami The sleek pool terrace is one of multiple rooftop lounge areas at the Conrad Miami. Tripadvisor Book Conrad MiamiCategory: LuxuryTown: Brickell, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $275/$574Best for: Couples, Hilton loyalists   On-site amenities: Spa, hot tub, rooftop tennis courts, restaurant, pool, barPros: In addition to the great views, the hotel is in a walkable neighborhood and the customer service is top-notch. Cons: Part of the hotel is commercial real estate, and floors 4-15 are business offices, which may take away from the luxury hotel feel. Also, the lobby is located on the 25th floor, which can be confusing.Conrad Miami is in the heart of Brickell, Miami's business district near upscale, art, and dining. This hotel has multiple great outdoor spaces, but chief among them is Nativo Kitchen and Bar on the 25th floor with views of Virginia Key Beach, Key Biscayne, and Biscayne Bay.There is also the 13th-floor rooftop pool with sleek cabanas and the adjacent Sky Pool Bar, serving a casual menu of burgers and chicken wings, local and imported beers, and frozen cocktails.  When not sunning yourself on one of these terraces, retreat to guest rooms with a clean, minimalist style and light wood furniture, gold fixtures, and baby blue accent chairs. Standard rooms have a separate bathtub and shower, complimentary bathrobes, and 50-inch televisions, and all rooms come with wide windows that offer city or ocean views.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Dalmar, Tribute Portfolio A saltwater pool is flanked by a sleek bar. Tripadvisor Book The Dalmar, Tribute PortfolioCategory: Luxury Town: Fort Lauderdale Typical starting/peak prices: $284/$455 Best for: FriendsOn-site amenities: Yoga classes, restaurants, pool, bar, coffee shopPros: The rooftop restaurant, Sparrow, is great for adults-only celebrations and has exceptional views of Fort Lauderdale. Cons: Past guests have noted that food and drink prices are steep. The Dalmar is located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, only two miles from Fort Lauderdale beach. From framed art by the Lobby Bar restaurant to the living plant wall adorning Rose's Coffee shop near the hotel's entrance, fun design features prominently.There are two great rooftop venues on the 6th floor of the hotel. Sparrow is an indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar, and after 9 p.m., the venue turns into a 21+ lounge. There's a strict dress code (no athletic gear or beachwear) and a DJ that spins late into the night.The other rooftop venue is the saltwater pool reserved for hotel guests, but the poolside bar and grill, Sip and Dip, is open to everyone from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Inside, guest rooms have midcentury flair with pastel furniture, pleated curtains, and brass lamps. The rooms also have premium Sferra sheets, spacious bathrooms with rainfall showers, and tablets for ordering in-room services. Most rooms have floor-to-ceiling views of either Fort Lauderdale or the Intracoastal and select rooms have balconies. COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Ben, Autograph Collection Spruzzo serves coastal Italian cuisine on the rooftop. Tripadvisor Book The Ben, Autograph CollectionCategory: Luxury Town: West Palm Beach Typical starting/peak prices: $286/$483Best for: Couples, Marriott loyalists, travelers with pets  On-site amenities: Rooftop fire pit, hotel library, in-room dining, pet-friendly rooms, restaurant, poolPros: In addition to the great downtown location and views of the waterfront, Spruzzo, the hotel's Italian rooftop restaurant, has a delicious menu and extensive imported wines. Cons: Spruzzo doesn't take reservations, but instead operates on a first-come, first-served policy. One of the newest additions to downtown West Palm Beach is the waterfront hotel, The Ben. The Marriott-owned luxury boutique hotel commands a great location within walking distance of Clematis Street, West Palm Beach's lively district filled with restaurants and bars, and Rosemary Square, an upscale shopping and dining destination. Guest rooms are polished, with sleek wood floors, leather pleated headboards, and luxe Turkish linens. A standard Interior Double Queen is a comfortable 343 square feet, and many guest rooms have views of Palm Harbor Marina or Palm Beach Island. The hotel's 7th-floor rooftop restaurant and bar, Spruzzo, is quite popular, especially on weekends, serving coastal Italian cuisine. It's quickly become a local hangout for young professionals. During the day, hotel guests may reserve one of the cabanas next to the heated saltwater pool, and at night, enjoy watching the sunset over the Palm Beach Intracoastal from the fire pit with a cocktail in hand. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Moxy Miami South Beach There are six different hotel restaurants including a swanky rooftop lounge. Marriott Book Moxy Miami South BeachCategory: BoutiqueTown: South Beach, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $289/$489Best for: Friends, Marriott loyalists Onsite amenities: 6 dining and drinking venues, pet-friendly rooms, complimentary beach chairs, complimentary rooftop fitness classes, complimentary morning coffee, poolPros: The Upside rooftop level has incredible views of the South Beach oceanfront along with plenty of seating. Each guestroom also have two beach chairs on South Beach included. Cons: Although there's plenty of places to sunbathe, The Upside rooftop only has a shallow wading pool.Newly opened Moxy Miami South Beach is the first resort-style property for the Moxy brand.Only two blocks from the bustling nightlife of South Beach, the hotel gets lively, especially on the weekends and caters to a young crowd. The purposeful design features lots of Instagrammable details like neon wall signs and fun pool floats.Standard guestrooms are a cozy 224 square feet but maximize the space with retro details like rotary phones and custom artwork by local Miami artists. Walk-in rain showers and Egyptian cotton linens add a sumptuous touch.There are six different hotel restaurants including a lobby bar, Bar Moxy, and Serena, an elevated Mexican restaurant in a lush garden setting adjacent to the hotel's main 72-foot pool. The hotel's 8th story rooftop, The Upside is reserved for hotel guests and has a shallow pool, lounge chairs, and plenty of daybeds. The Upside has great views of South Beach, and a DJ spins house and hip-hop tunes throughout the afternoon and evening. The hotel also offers complimentary bikes (helmets included) to explore the neighborhood. COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Betsy South Beach The oceanfront deck offers a front-row view of the Atlantic Ocean. Tripadvisor Book The Betsy South BeachCategory: BoutiqueTown: South Beach, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $289/$609Best for: Couples, travelers with pets On-site amenities: Spa, library, fitness center, restaurants, bars, arts and cultural programming, beach access, poolPros: With only 130 rooms, the hotel offers a peaceful, intimate South Beach stay and all the arts programming is a boon for culture enthusiasts. Cons: Restaurant menu items are expensive and come with an automatic 20% gratuity fee, but that's on par with most hotels on Ocean Drive.The Betsy Hotel is a landmark hotel on South Beach located on Miami's main strip, Ocean Drive, but is tucked away from the noise of the nightclubs and late-night revelry. Arts programming features heavily here, drawing a sophisticated crowd of well-heeled creative types who book posh, albeit sometimes small, rooms with walnut floors, velvet armchairs, and cream-colored curtains that frame floor-to-ceiling windows. The 250-square-foot standard Classic King is cozy but comes with a marble bathroom, a large walk-in shower, luxe Sferra linens, and is pet-friendly, welcoming dogs under 40 pounds. There are two pools: a courtyard pool and a fourth-floor rooftop infinity pool with chaise lounges and 360-degree views of Miami. The bar serves poolside drinks, and food may be brought up from the hotel's restaurant, LT Steak & Seafood. After a swim, catch a sunset from the rooftop's Skyline Deck, a patio overlooking the ocean with unobstructed water views.COVID-19 procedures are available here. East Miami An expansive rooftop pool deck has stellar views over the city and multiple areas to swim. Tripadvisor Book East MiamiCategory: Luxury Town: Brickell, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $305/$529Best for: Couples, business travelersOn-site amenities: 24-hour fitness center with classes, complimentary bicycles, restaurants, 4 pools, barsPros: Sugar, the bar on the 40th floor, has one of the best views of downtown Miami and some of the best cocktails I've had in Miami. Cons: The food and cocktails at Sugar are great, but even with a reservation, the wait is long and service can be slow. East Miami is centrally located in downtown Brickell and Sugar, the hotel's rooftop restaurant and bar on the 40th floor has arguably the best view of the entire Miami skyline.The restaurant is 21+ after 6 p.m. and there's a strict dress code (nightlife attire is enforced after sunset). Equally impressive are the four pools (a lap pool, spa pool, plunge pool, and hot tub) on the hotel's fifth-floor deck. So many offerings mean you won't have to worry about waiting for a sun lounger.Standard guest rooms start at 300 square feet, though there are also has large one, two, and three-bedroom residences. All 352 rooms come with a private balcony, floor-to-ceiling windows, and contemporary decor that includes cream-colored furniture, teal wallpaper, and orange throw pillows. COVID-19 procedures are available here. 1 Hotel South Beach Four distinct pool decks offer incredible views. 1 Hotel South Beach/TripAdvisor Book 1 Hotel South BeachCategory: Luxury Town: South Beach, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $425/$899Best for: Couples, friends, familiesOn-site amenities: Spa, fitness classes, salon, pet-friendly rooms, coffee and juice bar, beach club, restaurants, bars, multiple poolsPros: There are four different dazzling pool areas, one of which has stunning views from the hotel's 18th-story rooftop. Food, rooms, and customer service are all outstanding at this hotel. Cons: Prices can more than double during the winter high season, and the hotel's 18 story rooftop pool is restricted to adults 21+.Considered one of the best hotels on South Beach, 1 Hotel South Beach takes up an entire block and sits on 600 feet of Miami's prime beachfront. The hotel is pricey but worth the splurge for its sophisticated boho beach vibes, impeccable service, outstanding food, and airy rooms.The lobby makes a remarkable first impression with soaring ceilings and crisp seating around glass-topped wooden coffee tables, but it's the multiple pool decks that really dazzle.There are four different pools: the beachfront South pool, the third floor Cabana Pool, the enormous 30,000 square foot Center Pool, and the gorgeous 18th-story rooftop pool, Watr at the 1 Hotel Rooftop, which is Miami's largest rooftop pool and lounge. Inside, the 426 guest rooms are a celebration of nature and sustainability, sourcing most items from reclaimed materials. A coastal-inspired color palette and large windows make them feel airy and light alongside beachy accents featuring driftwood, tree stumps, and custom wood plank headboards. COVID-19 procedures are available here. FAQ: South Florida hotels When is the best time to visit South Florida?While South Florida experiences nearly year-round sunshine, the best time to visit is from February to May. During those months, temperatures are cooler, and crowds tend to taper off, although there is a spike of visitors during spring break.During the summer months, the temperature and humidity soar, and daily afternoon thunderstorms are common. Florida's hurricane season starts June 1 and lasts until the end of November with August and September being the most active hurricane months.Weather-wise, November through January is also a good time to visit. The temperatures hover around 75 degrees, although it's not uncommon to experience a few sub 50 degree days when a cold front comes through. But keep in mind that hotel prices tend to peak during the November to January holiday months. Do I have to book a room to visit a hotel rooftop?Many of the hotels included in this list have rooftop bars and restaurants open to the public that do not require an overnight hotel reservation, but most of the rooftop pools are reserved for hotel guests. Some hotels offer daytime cabana rentals or a day pass through Resort Pass that includes access to the hotel's pool, spa, or other amenities. Availability changes often, so always call ahead and ask. How do I get around South Florida?South Florida is a large area that encompasses three counties: Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe, though most locals consider southern cities in Palm Beach County like West Palm Beach as part of South Florida.Touring South Florida requires a car and some planning as traffic can get congested, especially during morning and evening rush hours. While the public transportation system is mostly reliable in downtown areas, renting a car is the best way to explore all of South Florida. If you're flying into Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach and staying close to your hotel, you can use taxis or rideshare apps to get around. How do I find a hotel with a rooftop?Most hotels with a rooftop will list it on their hotel website, and third-party booking sites like Booking.com and Hotels.com will usually include a  rooftop in the hotel description or on the list of hotel amenities. Also, the third-party booking site Kayak has a search filter to only pull up properties with rooftops. Do hotel guests receive priority on rooftops?It depends on the property. Most of the hotels restrict the pool areas to hotel guests or guests with day passes. Rooftops with a combined pool and restaurant area do take outside reservations, so it's advised to make restaurant reservations when checking in. How we selected the best South Florida hotels with rooftops I'm a South Florida-based travel writer and have personally visited almost every hotel on this list. All of the hotel rooftops have an excellent bar or restaurant, a picturesque pool, and sensational city or ocean views.Every hotel is located in a popular neighborhood in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, or Miami. Some of the hotels have downtown locations close to shopping, museums, and restaurants. Others are beachfront or within walking distance to the beach.Besides the great rooftops, many of the properties include perks like a nightly hosted wine hour, complimentary bicycles, and pet-friendly guest rooms.All of the properties have excellent recent reviews on third-party travel sites like Tripadvisor or Booking.com.Because of the location and amenities of the properties, most of the hotels are in the luxury category, but booking during low season can lock in reasonable rates.We've indicated which hotels are ideal for couples, friends, families, or solo travelers, and have included a mix of all kinds of properties.Each hotel promotes COVID safe practices and has updated its COVID practices to include enhanced cleaning procedures. More of the best hotels in Florida Trip Advisor The best hotels in FloridaThe best beach hotels in FloridaThe best hotels in South BeachThe best hotels in MiamiThe best hotels in Key WestThe best hotels in Fort LauderdaleThe best hotels in Orlando and KissimmeeThe best hotels in Walt Disney WorldThe best hotels in Destin Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021

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Category: blogSource: theflyonthewallJun 12th, 2018

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Category: topSource: bizjournalsJun 19th, 2018

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Category: topSource: bizjournalsJul 11th, 2018