Three Perfect Days: Newark - United Hub
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Three Perfect Days: Newark

By The Hub team

Story by Richard Morgan | Photography by Ricky Rhodes | Hemispheres, March 2019

America's third-oldest major city—it predates Philadelphia by nearly 20 years—is also its most unsung. Newark began, in 1666, as the last Puritan utopia in the New World, and 353 years later, it's full of the kind of minor miracles not taught in Sunday school. In the shadow of New York City, it has found its own light. Its arenas teeter between pro hockey and Korean pop. Presidents have been staying in its hotels since the days of Woodrow Wilson. There are swaths of town you need to understand Portuguese to navigate. Now, buoyed by renaissance and more than $2 billion in development, Newark isn't even Newark anymore. It's Nork—which is how the locals say it. If you're not even pronouncing its name correctly, what else don't you know about this city?

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Day 1

Diving into Newark's rich history

Beans at T.M Ward Coffee


In the beginning, there was coffee. Fragrant roasted beans, piled high in open burlap sacks, exude come-hither aromas at T. M. Ward Coffee. The variety is extraordinary: Lunch With Elvis tastes like peanut butter and banana; World Cup is a mix of Brazilian and French roasts; and the one simply called Wow lives up to the name. I go for a cup of the 1869 Blend, which has been served here on Broad Street since the shop was founded in the blend's namesake year. It's smoky and muscular. I picture Thomas Edison starting his mornings with the same brew, when he set up his first workshop in an empty factory here.

But a day of Newark's history should start even earlier, so I walk up Broad to Market—which was, in the 1920s, the busiest intersection in the country, even more bustling than Times Square—and duck into the Old First Church, where the city began in the mid-17th century. At the time, being a member of the church was synonymous with being a Newarker. Later, Aaron Burr's father was a pastor, and the college that became Princeton University held its first commencement there. And it's said that slaves on the Underground Railroad would listen to sermons by creaking open trapdoors in the nave, which is as old as the Constitution.

In that same worship space, alone, I kneel and pray. In the silence I hear a whisper become a shout: my growling stomach. Coffee alone is not a breakfast! So I take a cab to Caffe Espresso Italia, a decades-old mother-and-son Italian operation, to order its famous balsamic mozzarella dish, a bowl of peppers and mozzarella soaked in balsamic vinaigrette. God's will be done.

"What do you make?" owner Maria Pugliese asks me, as she fields a request for her sauce recipe from a fellow patron. "I'm a writer," I say. "So I guess I make words." She tosses me a look only mothers give. "Everyone makes words," she says. "Me? I make food. I make sauce. Not everyone can do this. What can you make?"

GlassRoots instructor Jason Minami

My make-or-break move is GlassRoots, where I join a small class—me and a father and son—as our instructor, Alix Davis, walks us through creating our own paperweights over the course of a few hours. First we sign waivers. Waivers? We're making paperweights!

The introductory lesson involves spooling 2000°F molten glass onto a white-hot metal rod. "That's it?" I ask Davis. "Oh, I got this. I used to spool cotton candy at a cart at the state fair." Two minutes in I realize I most definitely do not have this. "Oh no!" I shriek. "I got too much on the stick!"

Davis is a paragon of calm: "It's OK. Just pull it out of the furnace and we'll see what we can do." I rally. "OK, I'm taking it out now and … Oh no! I made it worse!" My molten globule hits the wall of the furnace hellmouth, sticks to it like gum on a shoe, and then stretches and splashes and lashes everywhere in molten ribbons and blobs and puddles (oh, hi waiver!). Imagine making a smoothie without the blender's lid—and the blender is full of radioactive lava taffy. After I somehow manage to sculpt my molten glob into a sphere, sparks shooting all the while ("Am I doing it? I can't tell because I'm blinded by fear!"), I turn to the son—a high school junior who is next up to make a paperweight—and put a swaggering hand on his shoulder. "Heads up," I tell him. "It's a lot harder than I made it look."

As we're wrapping up, Davis says something thrilling: The best way to recover from sweaty glassmaking is a salty meal, preferably something like… But I'm already out the door. I know the spot.

The No. 5 Sandwich at Hobby's Delicatessen & Restaurant

The corned beef sandwich at Hobby's Delicatessen & Restaurant is so good that Brendan Byrne, the former New Jersey governor, brought one with him to the White House in 1979 for the signing of a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Every little bit helps.

The deli was founded about 100 years ago —long before Newark's game-changing 1967 riots—and is such a throwback that it has a small bar from the days of three-martini lunches. I ask Marc Brummer, one of two sons who run the family business, what's good. He pats his belly and says, "This is menu development and quality control." He sits me down for a No. 5—a half-pastrami, half–corned beef sandwich that is a sumptuous dive into a salty, juicy, blissful abyss. In between lip-licking bites, I ask what it's like to eat deli food every day for almost 60 years. He says he lost 40 pounds, and when I pause to stare him into honesty, he smiles: "I can put it on ya deliciously, and I can take it off ya deliciously." (Hobby's has had a vegetarian menu since 2014.)

The owners pf Dan's Hats & Caps, Daniel J. Phillips and Daniel J. Phillips II

I waddle out of Hobby's and into Dan's Hats & Caps, an old-school haberdashery selling dozens of varieties of newsboy caps, fedoras, and Panama hats. I continue on to Art & Artifacts of Newark, which is equal parts art gallery and renegade garage sale, showcasing and selling vintage typewriters, a massive dollhouse, a large model of the inner ear, a Chinese parasol, and a life-size plastic zebra. For starters. This hodgepodge belongs to Matthew Gosser, who scavenges from various abandoned or derelict sites across the city. Sometimes he gathers the bits and pieces into sculptures, like one of a massive robot in The Thinker's pose. I look at his trove, treasures untold, and wonder how many wonders can one storefront hold? Looking around here, I think—wait, haven't I heard this before? Sure, there's no silverware-studded candelabra, but in the jungly chaos of his collection's tribute to the city's giddy weirdness, Gosser is Newark's Little Mermaid, celebrating every whozit and whatzit galore.

"My Black Pepper Gibson comes in a tumbler, and after just one spicy sip I know it's going to tumble me."

But there comes a time to put away childish things and pick up an adult beverage, so I take a cab to an unassuming gray door in the side of a plain concrete warehouse near elevated railway tracks and press the buzzer. Shortly, I'm welcomed into the All Points West Distillery, which specializes in pot-still whiskey and has the most mixology-minded bar in Newark—a city that has had alcohol in its veins since at least 1951, when the first Anheuser-Busch plant outside of St. Louis debuted. At the bar, I order a Black Pepper Gibson, which comes in a tumbler, and after just one spicy sip I know it's going to tumble me.

Sure enough, after that drink the night gets hazy, except for a flash of biting into an incredible bacon cheeseburger at Krug's Tavern, a divey joint dating to 1932, and of me slapping the bar as I extol its virtues. As I crash onto my bed in a two-story room at Hotel Indigo, a converted 1912 bank tower, I think of Newark's molten past and how beautifully it has all cooled.

The cherry blossoms are in bloom at Branch Brook Park in Newark, New Jersey

As much as Washington, D.C., is celebrated for its annual cherry blossoms, Newark might out-flower the nation's capital, with 4,300 cherry trees, some of which were planted as far back as 1927. Bloomfest (April 14), a free, family-friendly event in the North Ward's Branch Brook Park, is the capstone to festivities that include bike rides, walk-run races, and Japanese cultural demonstrations. Can't make it? Don't sweat the timing. Last year, the festival started before the trees fully blossomed, and then the flowers returned in November, after an unseasonably warm first half of October.

Day 2

Exploring Brick City's modern side

Black Swan Espresso

I grab an oat milk cold brew from Black Swan Espresso and stroll as I drink my breakfast. (I know, I never learn.) Up, up, and away to modern Newark! I dip into Fortress of Solitude, a legendary comic book shop, and browse the $1 comics up front and the shelf of comics by local artists—Newarky titles like Salvagers, The Were-Spider, and Nightwasp, "the man who is hardly ever afraid." I buy a copy, in hopes I can pick up a few pointers.

A Kool & the Gang display at the Grammy Museum Experience

Newark has the East Coast's only Grammy Museum Experience, and deservedly so. New Jersey is home to many music icons, from Jon Bon Jovi to Bruce Springsteen, but Newark in particular has been a bountiful garden of talent. Naughty by Nature hip-hop-hoorayed here. When Gloria Gaynor belts out "I will survive," she might as well be singing about her hometown. The museum, which opened in the fall of 2017 in the Prudential Center (also home to the New Jersey Devils hockey team), is broadly, brilliantly interactive: I play drums with Max Weinberg and rap with Wyclef Jean, but the highlight is sound-mixing Whitney Houston. I drop all the knobs to zero except one, vocals, and set that to maximum. I say a prayer with every heartbeat as I listen to what was first heralded in the nearby New Hope Baptist Church choir as simply The Voice.

Falling in love is so bittersweet/This love is strong, why do I feel weak?

Chef Vonda McPherson at Vonda's Kitchen

The next best thing to church with Whitney is lunch with Vonda. Chef Vonda McPherson's restaurant, Vonda's Kitchen, is a favorite of Newark native Shaquille O'Neal, who made peace with his biological father at a table here and who uses McPherson as his personal chef when he's in town. Cissy Houston, Whitney's mother, sits at the same table almost every Sunday. McPherson even catered the Super Bowl.

For her part, the chef aims to dispel the notion that all soul food is unhealthy, on behalf of all the souls who have given this cuisine its simultaneous heft and lift. "I wanted to live up to more—to local art, to local pride," she tells me in the art-filled, sunlit space. "Home cooking isn't just about the cooking; it's about the home."

Tucking a napkin into my collar, I let some of the long-buried North Carolina drawl of my childhood slip out as I am led along the righteous path of buffalo mac 'n' cheese, crispy fried chicken, and earthy collards. Some meals serve calories; some serve flavor. Vonda's serve love.

No cab or stroll this time—I just straight-up float on cloud nine back to the Indigo, where I meet Emily Manz, who runs a tour called Have You Met Newark. (Audible, which has its global headquarters here, includes the tour in its employee orientation. The audio entertainment company is fully committed to Newark's growth and even subsidizes employees living in the city and provides free tickets to concerts and games at NJPAC and the Prudential Center.) Manz, a wide-eyed young convert to Newark, leads me on a brisk downtown stroll, singing various praises about revival and renaissance. We enter a clothing store off Halsey Street called Off the Hanger—although there's no signage out front—and browse the goods, including shirts that read "Newark Vs. Everybody," while an on-site tailor stitches vibrant African patterns along the lapels and pockets of a stylish denim trench coat. We then visit the Newark Print Shop—I'm sorely tempted to try my glassblowing hand at silkscreening—and finish up at the cavernous Gallery Aferro, a modern art playground with a residency program upstairs.

"Home cooking isn't just about the cooking; it's about the home."

The Lucent Technologies Center for Arts Education, a school affiliated with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center

There's no better place to decompress from such a flurry of activity than the rear garden at 27 Mix, where I have a light dinner of salmon tartare with avocado, edamame, and matcha. I wash it all down with a refreshingly sweet-tart Ironbound Hard Cider, made on a farm in the New Jersey Highlands. Breezes and songbirds duet, accompanied by orange trumpet vine blossoms. The subtle symphony gives me an idea: Clement's Place, a kind of nightclub that's tucked into the Neoclassical former offices of an insurance company and is affiliated with Rutgers University's Institute of Jazz Studies, which is home to the world's largest jazz library. The shows are packed—free food and booze will do that—and the multiethnic audience of young and old and straight-laced and queer feels like an impromptu riff on the city's creative possibilities. Musical notes flutter across the room like kisses, and I go to sleep at my new hotel, the Tryp by Wyndham, with jazz's perfume on my pillow.

Day 3

Discovering a diverse international influence

The lobby and restaurant at Tyrp by Wyndham

I wake up at the Tryp, a sleek cosmopolitan hideaway that opened last year in the heart of downtown Newark. As I leave the lobby, I pass one of those signs that tells me Paris is 3,631 miles away and Jerusalem is 5,699 miles away. But it also tells me the Ironbound is 0.1 miles away. "What's that?" I ask the front desk.

The answer—"It's basically Portugal"—is intriguing. I recall a Brazilian-American friend (a native Newarker, no less!) who raved about a sandwich here, and I make it my mission to find it. Ten bites and five napkins later, the verdict is in: The Cheese Tudo from Hamburgão is up there with the best sandwiches I've ever had. Two slices of potato bread somehow harness hamburger, ham, bacon, lettuce, tomato, corn, mayo, mozzarella, a fried egg, and crisp potato sticks. I chase it down with a Brazilian guaraná soda, which has twice as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.

I walk off breakfast in the neighborhood's parks, packed with families, and try my hand at bocce with some of the old-timers. It turns out I'm as good at bocce as I am at glassmaking. But afterward I still treat myself to some pineapple sorbet at Nasto's, an 80-year-old spot that's famous for its Old World desserts, like tartufos and reginettas.

Along Ferry Street, the Ironbound's main drag, the small, independent shops offer curiosities: dress shirts at Mel Gambert, tchotchkes at Portugalia, and cork accessories—handbags and wallets—at CS Cork. For the folks back home, I get a box of Brazilian brigadeiros (truffles made with condensed milk and cocoa powder) at Gio Docinhos, the most potent collection of sweets in the city.

Maybe it's the sense of farawayness I get from exploring Newark's international side—the African-print shirts and homemade shea-butter lotions at Ancient African Formula are otherworldly—but I find myself pulled toward Burger Walla and its absolutely perfect lamb burger with goat cheese, spicy tomato pickle, and caramelized onions. (It's great with curried cauliflower and chickpeas, pan-fried to order.) Farther east I go, to the world's largest Tibetan art collection, at the Newark Museum, which was visited by the Dalai Lama in 1990. The wisdom has clearly accrued over centuries of reincarnation, as the Tibetan display includes a playpen for children to exorcise their museum demons.

"Newark has the energy of emergence, which is the true energy of beauty."

As I leave the museum and cross Military Park, I pass a mariachi band in periwinkle outfits. "Where are you going?" I ask. "To a party," they reply. "Can I come?" "No," they say kindly. "But if you like this music, maybe try the flamenco at Mompou." Back to the Ironbound!

Mompou, it turns out, isn't Portuguese or Brazilian; it's Spanish, specifically Galician tapas (although the bottled water is from Rioja). It's a getaway within a getaway that reminds me of the tango show tune "Hernando's Hideaway." A glass of wine, a fast embrace!

Everything on stage—the guitar strings, the drums, the clapping hands, the lilting voice, the flurry of ruffled skirts—combines, pitter-patter-style, into the loudest lullaby you've ever heard. And the dancer! Such statuesque grace that the only sign she has exerted herself at the end of her incredible routine is the quiver of her clavicle as she holds her triumphant final pose. I nibble on 24-month-aged jamón ibérico until I realize I'm late for dinner.

Chef Marcus Samuelsson

If there's one man who will understand how taken I am with Newark's multi-cultural renaissance, it's Ethiopian-Swedish celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, who I meet at Marcus B&P;, the bistro he opened last year in the Hahne & Co. building, a mammoth former department store that was renovated after 30 years of dereliction.

"As an immigrant, you know how it is to feel neglected," he says, rapid-fire, as I munch on a salad grown at AeroFarms, a nearby converted steel mill that's now the world's largest indoor vertical farm. "There's a soulful sensibility that you can turn into a sense of place. A kitchen can be poetic justice. I've always been a fan of B-sides. Prince. Bob Marley. Grace Jones. David Bowie. They were my style teachers as well as my English teachers. Newark is a B-side city. It's where all the personal poetry is hidden. It has the energy of emergence, which is the true energy of beauty." He pauses to take a sip of water. "Don't come and ask me, 'Is Newark good now?' People want credible, predictable travel, and Newark is an incredible, unpredictable place. That's how you get Queen Latifah.

That's how you get Redman. Look, Rome is great. But who was the last global artist to come out of it?"

Rolling Cigars at Jimenez Tobacco

It's nighttime now, and I'm winding down my last evening at Jimenez Tobacco, an ornate, family-run Cuban cigar speakeasy where the only female master blender in the country oversees a boutique operation that refuses to sell other brands (the shop's own 23 varieties, aged 10 years, will suffice). It's the kind of upscale dive where the broke can feel baroque. Smoke curls playfully around me, as if it's about to pull a quarter out of my ear.

I'm a few daiquiris in and shooting the breeze with Peter, the manager-son, whose Cheshire Cat grin is infectious.

"Why are you Peter and not Pedro?" I ask.

He smiles and shrugs: "I came to this melting pot, and I melted." He roars with laughter. He's a true raconteur,
with a smidgen of racketeer to him; he makes his Cuban guayabera seem like an open tuxedo shirt, cuff links and all.

"Shhh!" I stage-whisper.
"Won't we wake up your mother?" He waves dismissively at the staircase that rises to her bedroom. "She raised three boys. She can sleep through anything."

As I saunter home, a flamenco lyric echoes in my mind: "El querer es cuesta arriba, y el olvidar cuesta abajo; quiero subir cuesta arriba aunque me cueste trabajo." Wanting is uphill, forgetting is downhill; I want to climb uphill despite the work.

Nork, the little utopia that could, is done with its downhill moments. It's unforgettable now.

The Portuguese enclave Ironbound

Where to stay

Tryp by Wyndham Newark Downtown

Opened last spring in a 1920s building with Art Deco flourishes, this 101-room hotel is brimming with hometown pride. Look for elevator-landing murals of Newark natives (such as Queen Latifah and Frankie Valli) and a giant acrylic lightbulb in the lobby, a nod to Thomas Edison, who first publicly demonstrated an electric lightbulb in Military Park—about 500 feet from the hotel's front door. From $145, wyndhamhotels.com

Hotel Indigo Newark Downtown

Occupying the 1912 former headquarters of the First National State Bank, this 108-room property welcomes guests with a lobby mosaic mural of Edison's ticker-tape writer, contributed by local glass studio GlassRoots. The bank's teller desks have been transformed into the check-in counter, while the original vault was incorporated into the design of the on-site restaurant, The Ainsworth. From $145, hotelindigo.com


Ready to explore more? Watch the Hemispheres Travel Show episode on Newark below.

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Gone but not forgotten

By Matt Adams

Captain Dean McDavid, Standards Director at United's flight training center in Denver, wasn't sure what he'd find when, late last year, he began working his contacts to locate a Gold Star family – the family of a U.S. service member killed in action – that could use a helping hand.

McDavid leads the Denver chapter of United for Veterans, an employee association for military veterans at the airline, which was newly established in Colorado, and the membership was anxious to hit the ground running with a worthy objective in mind: to honor the fallen by embracing the living. They had no doubt they could do some good; they just needed some direction. Then, one afternoon, McDavid received the call he'd been waiting for.

Major General Michael Loh, Adjutant General of the Colorado National Guard and one of McDavid's friends from his days in the U.S. Air Force, relayed to him the story of the Sampers family, the widow and children of U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class James Sampers, who was killed in Vietnam in 1969.

One of his sons, Jim Sampers, had recently been diagnosed with a pre-leukemia condition known as myelodysplasia, which required a stem cell transplant. His sister, Christina Ribbens, had been cleared as a donor, but there was one problem: she lived in Colorado and Jim is being treated in Calgary, Canada. With medical bills and other expenses piling up, the cost of airfare for Ribbens to fly back and forth for preliminary tests and the procedure added another layer of stress to an already difficult situation.

Hearing that, McDavid thought of a way to ease their burden. Working with Transplant Recipients International Organization (TRIO), one of United's non-profit partners, he and his group helped arrange travel for Ribbens and her mother, Patricia Sampers, using miles generously donated by United MileagePlus members.

"When Christina and I talked, I told her, 'First of all, we appreciate everything your dad did,'" says McDavid. "I let her know that we were here to support his family members just like he would have wanted."

Ribbens knew it would make her dad proud to know his brothers and sisters in arms are still looking out for him. "I imagine if he were here, he would be doing the same thing for others," she says, fighting back tears. "That's the kind of man he was."

U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class James Sampers

Jim, like his sister, was touched, but he's not surprised by gestures like this anymore. From his siblings stepping up without hesitation to donate their stem cells (his brothers, Ron and Steve, were also tested, but neither was a match), to his sister giving him the gift of life, to the love and encouragement he's received since his diagnosis, he is regularly reminded of the goodness in this world. But this experience had the added benefit of reminding him of his father's goodness as well.

"Family was very important to Dad," Jim says, drawing from the images of his father that are etched into his memory. "He was a jokester and he loved to tease, but he was very loyal."

The military is itself a family, one in which loyalty stands above all else, even bravery. Loyalty to your country, loyalty to the men and women on either side of you, and loyalty to those who came before you and made the ultimate sacrifice. As they bow their heads in solemn remembrance on Memorial Day this month, Denver's United for Veterans members will reaffirm their loyalty with a commitment to keep fighting for those who fought to their last breath.

"There's nothing wrong with laying wreaths and planting flags next to gravestones," McDavid says. "But we can't forget the loved ones those veterans left behind. As much as anything, that's how we can show our gratitude."

To learn more about how United and TRIO assist transplant recipients, living donors and their families, visit donate.mileageplus.com

Expanding our commitment to powering more flights with biofuel

By United Airlines , May 22, 2019

Today, we strengthened our emerging reputation as the world's most environmentally conscious airline by expanding our contract with Boston-based World Energy, agreeing to purchase up to 10 million gallons of cost-competitive, commercial-scale, sustainable aviation biofuel over the next two years. The biofuel, which we currently use to help sustainably power every flight departing out of our Los Angeles Airport hub (LAX), achieves more than a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis.

Our contract extension follows our original purchase agreement in 2013, helping us to make history in 2016 when we became the first airline in the world to use sustainable aviation biofuel on a continuous basis. We are still currently the only U.S. airline to use biofuel in our regular operations. World Energy's biofuel is made from agricultural waste and has received sustainability certification from the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.

Recently announced, World Energy will invest $350 million to fully convert its Paramount, California facility to renewable diesel and sustainable aviation jet fuel, bringing its total capacity to 300 million gallons of production annually at that location, one of the company's six low-carbon fuel manufacturing plants.

"Investing in sustainable aviation biofuel is one of the most effective measures a commercial airline can take to reduce its impact on the environment," said Scott Kirby, United's president. "As leaders in this space, United and World Energy are setting an example for the industry on how innovators can work together to bring our customers, colleagues and communities toward a more sustainable future."

"Great companies lead," said Gene Gebolys, World Energy's chief executive officer. "We are honored to extend our commitment to United to advance their efforts to drive change to a lower carbon future."

Our contract renewal with World Energy will further assist us in achieving our commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050. Our pledge to reduce emissions by 50 percent relative to 2005 represents the equivalent of removing 4.5 million vehicles from the road, or the total number of cars in New York City and Los Angeles combined. Our biofuel supply agreements represent more than 50 percent of the commercial aviation industry's total agreements for sustainable aviation biofuel.

In addition to our purchase agreement with World Energy, we have invested in more than $30 million in California-based sustainable fuel developer Fulcrum BioEnergy. Our investment remains the single largest investment by any airline globally in sustainable fuels. And our agreement to purchase nearly 1 billion gallons from Fulcrum BioEnergy is also the largest offtake agreement for biofuel in the airline industry.

Our biofuel supply agreements represent more than 50 percent of the commercial aviation industry's total agreements for sustainable aviation biofuel.

Visit our United Eco-Skies® page to learn more about our ongoing commitment to the environment.

Love flies with us: Upcoming Pride month events

By The Hub team , May 20, 2019

To help celebrate Pride Month, we're offering customers the opportunity to use their MileagePlus® award miles to bid on exclusive Pride packages. All proceeds will benefit our charity partner, The Trevor Project, a nonprofit that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth.

Bid on one of our exclusive Pride packages including:

  • Attend a Drag Queen Brunch in Chicago
  • Pride getaway package + walk in the parade with United in Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston or San Francisco
  • WorldPride New York City getaway package + walk in the parade with United
  • VIP Family movie night in the park in NYC
  • Attend a Drag Queen Brunch at Newark Airport

"As Pride Month approaches, we invite MileagePlus members to show their pride, embrace the LGBTQ+ community and join United in saying 'all routes lead to love'," said Luc Bondar, United's president of MileagePlus and vice president of Loyalty. "United is thrilled to offer these unique Pride experiences and help The Trevor Project in their mission to support LGBTQ youth."

Additionally, on June 28, in partnership with iHeartMedia's Z100, we will celebrate PRIDE LIVE's Stonewall Day, the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. The Stonewall Foundation will be inducting key community members including United into PRIDE LIVE's STONEWALL ambassador program at Stonewall Day.

"Supporting LGBTQ youth in crisis from every state across the country takes significant travel resources, and we're grateful to United Airlines for contributing to our mission in such a valuable way," said Muneer Panjwani, Head of Corporate Development for The Trevor Project. "Their commitment to our mission of ending suicide among LGBTQ youth makes them a valued partner throughout the year, helping us save young LGBTQ lives every day."

Be sure to look out for United throughout the month of June as we'll be participating in Pride events across the globe including Pride parades in Washington, D.C. on 6/8, LA on 6/9, Denver on 6/16, Houston on 6/22, San Jose (Costa Rica) on 6/23, Mexico City on 6/29, Bogota on 6/30, San Francisco on 6/30, Chicago on 6/30, World Pride in New York City on 6/30 and then on 7/6 in London and 10/19 in Honolulu.

We team up with Audubon International to save owls in San Francisco

By The Hub team , May 17, 2019

Today, we strengthened our emerging reputation as the world's most environmentally conscious airline by announcing that we are expanding our successful Raptor Relocation Network to our premier West Coast hub, San Francisco International Airport. We are teaming up with Audubon International to trap raptors — primarily barn owls — residing near the airport and resettle these birds of prey at suitable golf course habitats where the species are more likely to thrive.

We initially partnered with Audubon International to launch the Raptor Relocation Network in 2017 at Newark Liberty International Airport, where it has successfully resettled more than 80 birds — including several American kestrels, a species of concern in New Jersey. We will now work in tandem with Audubon International and San Francisco airport officials to resettle the barn owls and other at-risk species at Bay Area golf courses certified within the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. As an official sponsor of the PGA Tour, we are uniquely positioned to help connect wildlife professionals at airports with the suitable golf course habitats identified by Audubon International for relocation purposes and to help inform the public on the importance of environmental sustainability.

Our expansion of the Raptor Relocation Network follows our recent announcement in San Francisco that we have committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050. Our pledge to reduce emissions by 50% relative to 2005 represents the equivalent of removing 4.5 million vehicles from the road, or the total number of cars in New York City and Los Angeles combined.

"Being environmentally conscious means more than just reducing our footprint; it means convening different groups to develop new and innovative ways to actively protect vulnerable species," said Janet Lamkin, United's president of California. "As we continue our commitment to protect raptors in the New York area, we are excited to expand our efforts to San Francisco and further underscore our industry-leading efforts to operate sustainably and responsibly."

"Audubon International is excited to be working with United Airlines' Eco-Skies program to expand the Raptor Relocation Network to the West Coast," said Christine Kane, Audubon International's chief executive officer. "Thousands of golf courses across the world have adopted environmentally sustainable property management practices that support wildlife habitat through our Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. Bringing this all together to provide safe, high-quality habitat for raptors is a great success."

For more information on our commitment to environmental sustainability, visit united.com/ecoskies.

Escape to Cape Town: Waves, wines and lions at the "bottom of the world"

By Bob Cooper

The reasons world travelers give when calling Cape Town their favorite African city are as abundant as the African Penguins (about 3,000) that waddle the beaches of Table Mountain National Park. Besides that park, which stretches from the city to the southwestern tip of Africa, these reasons include a wow-worthy waterfront, great restaurants and easy access to wonderful wineries.

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Cape Town becomes more accessible beginning in December 2019, when United is due to become the first U.S. airline to offer nonstop flights to Cape Town, subject to government approval. The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flights will depart New York/Newark on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and return from Cape Town on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. They will reduce travel time by at least four hours and allow one-stop service to Cape Town from more than 80 U.S. cities.

Settling in

Colourful Beach Houses in South Africa

Every accommodation type can be found, from quiet B&Bs; to chic urban hotels. Central Cape Town and waterfront hotels are ideal if you want the convenience of being close to restaurants and shopping. Simon's Town district guesthouses bring you within waddling distance of penguins and False Bay beaches. Table Mountain views are relished at Gardens district hotels. Then there are coastal hideaways like Monkey Valley Resort, wedged between a milkwood forest and a beach, and The Twelve Apostles, a seaside hotel named for the mountains that tower above it.

Under the Table

Penguin at Boulders Beach Penguin Colony

Table Mountain National Park is as diverse as the flora and fauna that populate its 85 square miles. The piece of the park within city limits is a stunning swath of evergreens that soar up to the flat-topped, 3,500-foot namesake peak. The day hike or cable car ride to the summit is an exhilarating use of a few hours to shake off your jet lag. The two other main sections of the national park are Tokai Park, filled with birds and baboons, and Cape Peninsula, which extends along the Atlantic Ocean (including the Boulders Beach Penguin Colony) all the way to the Cape of Good Hope at the "bottom of the world."

On the waterfront

Table Mount Cable Car in Cape Town South Africa

It's hard to beat simple pleasures like hiking up Table Mountain or Lion's Head, lazing on Cape Town's beaches or visiting the world-class Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. But, visitors should also spend time on Cape Town's Table Bay waterfront, home to a dizzying array of restaurants, shops, museums, galleries and attractions. Zeitz MOCAA houses the world's largest collection of contemporary African art in a 10-story former grain silo that was repurposed in 2017. Also on the waterfront are the Two Oceans Aquarium and ferries that whisk you to Robben Island, where the museum tells the inspiring story of Nelson Mandela's journey from prisoner to president.

Wining and dining

Vineyard in Cape Town Constantia grape wineland countryside landscape background of hills with mountain backdrop in Cape Town South Africa

The Cape Winelands, among the world's leading wine regions, is within 40 miles of Cape Town, centered around the 17th-century towns of Stellenbosch and Paarl. Excellent restaurants are found at many Winelands wineries (as well as in Cape Town), but perhaps the best spot to wine and dine is even closer to the city — Groot Constantia, where wines have been produced since 1685. Visitors can enjoy tastings or food pairings of the award-winning wines; tour the Manor House, wine museum and history museum; and dine at one of two restaurants.

Lions, leopards and rhinos

Zebras in Cape Town

Several game reserves within a three-hour drive of Cape Town allow visitors to see African wildlife in their native habitat. The 25,000-acre Inverdoorn and Aquila reserves each offer half-day safaris on which you may spot all of the "big five" — lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo — as well as cheetahs, giraffes and wildebeests, from open-air vehicles. The Sanbona Reserve is even larger (but a bit farther out), while the Grootbros Reserve specializes in boating safaris that deliver sightings of southern right whales, great white sharks, bottlenose dolphins, African penguins and Cape fur seals.

When to go and how to get around

Chapman's Peak Drive near Cape Town

The first United nonstop flights and South Africa's summer both begin in December. Rain is rare from December to March, when high temperatures are typically in the high seventies, so Cape Town is a perfect warm-weather escape. Once you arrive, Uber, taxis, rental cars (driven on the left side), sightseeing buses and trains and are all convenient transportation options. And oh yeah, South Africans speak English.

If you go

You can purchase tickets now at united.com or on the United app for three weekly nonstop flights from New York/Newark to Cape Town beginning December 15, subject to government approval. Redeem MileagePlus® Rewards points to cover your hotel and car.

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Chicago's 10 best outdoor bars and restaurants

By Matt Chernov

Don't let its Windy City nickname fool you. During the spring and summer months, Chicago is the perfect destination to enjoy some outdoor fun. And there's no better way to do that than by catching a few rays on one of the city's rooftop bars or restaurant patios. As the weather brightens, here's a guide to Chicago's most exciting outdoor drinking and dining spots.

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Cabra

Located on the roof of the Hoxton hotel, Cabra is one of Chicago's newest rooftop bars and restaurants that is sure to be a busy summer hangout spot. This Peruvian restaurant is colorful and vibrant with a menu filled with reinvented and traditional Peruvian dishes. The open designed dining room is filled with plush seating, bright colors and plants hanging over the bar, giving the restaurant a lively yet relaxing atmosphere.

Raised

Offering an elevated view of the Chicago River, this stylish rooftop bar more than lives up to its name. Located on the third floor of the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, Raised combines a modern industrial aesthetic with all the comforts of a sophisticated hotel bar. The beverage menu includes a wide variety of local microbrews, plus seasonal cocktails served by the glass or decanter for larger groups.

Cerise Rooftop

Fun is on tap at Cerise, the playful rooftop bar on the 26th floor of Chicago's Virgin Hotel. Inspired by Japan's popular izakaya gastropubs, this hip lounge features a colorful cocktail menu filled with sparkling spritzers and fruity fizzes. Famed designer Paola Navone helped craft the whimsical decor, making Cerise one of the most Instagrammable bars in the city.

The J. Parker

It's difficult to decide what's most impressive about The J. Parker. From the signature mixed drinks inspired by the flavors of Mexico, Cuba and Spain, to the sharing menu created by award-winning chef Paul Vivant, every aspect of this rooftop bar is worth experiencing. Above all, the bird's eye view of Lake Michigan and Lincoln Park make it truly spectacular.

Cindy's

Located on the 13th floor of the historic Chicago Athletic Association building, Cindy's is one of the most popular spots in the city, and for very good reason. Sporting incredible views of Lake Michigan and Millennium Park, this gorgeous rooftop bar and restaurant welcomes patrons with a constantly evolving food and drink menu, including summery treats like boozy popsicles and amaretto ice cream pops.

Parlor

Can't decide whether to try a rooftop beer garden or a street-level patio? Parlor has you covered either way. With two locations in Chicago, this comfortable pizza bar offers multiple outdoor dining options. On the menu, Parlor has some of the most creative pizzas you'll ever try, like Eggs Benedict (Canadian ham, three eggs, and lemon Hollandaise sauce) and Pork-Q Pie (cherry peppers, BBQ pork, pineapple and smoked mozzarella).

El Cid

Combining traditional and modern Mexican food with killer margaritas that you can order by the pitcher, El Cid has been a mainstay of Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood for more than 15 years. Their outdoor front patio is great for people-watching, while their discrete back patio provides an intimate atmosphere that's perfect for a romantic dinner.

Gather

Open on three sides at the back of the restaurant, the private terrace at Gather is a relaxing alternative to the elegant inner dining room. Seating on the terrace is first come, first served, so you might run into an occasional wait. But rest assured, it's well worth it. To help distinguish the space, Executive Chef Ken Carter has crafted a separate menu designed to be shared outdoors.

Chop Shop

Chicago carnivores, rejoice! You're in for a treat at this restaurant, bar and butcher shop in the city's Wicker Park neighborhood. The menu is loaded with steaks, chops, burgers and charcuterie, all of which are available to order on the upstairs patio. For a full night's entertainment, check out a live concert in Chop Shop's popular event space after your meal.

The Dawson

With its lush outdoor patio and upscale menu, The Dawson is a place you'll want to return to repeatedly. Tucked away in the River West neighborhood, it's an ideal spot for large groups of friends looking to unwind after a day of exploring the city. The patio includes a full outdoor bar and a fireplace for cooler nights.

If you go

Get the most from your next trip to Chicago by booking your tickets at united.com or by using the convenient United app.

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An insiders’ tour of Fishtown, Philadelphia

By The Hub team

Story by Lauren Itzkowitz | Illustrations by Francesco Zorzi | Hemispheres, May 2019

Named for the shad fisheries that once lined the Delaware River, this working-class Irish, German, and Polish neighborhood has drawn creative types for years. New restaurants and lodging options may be raising Fishtown's profile, but it's still a tight-knit community—as evinced by these six locals, who showed us the area's hot spots.

Cheu Fishtown chef and co-owner Ben Puchowitz recommends…

Suraya has great healthy lunch options that don't drag you down the rest of the day. It's a beautiful space, and the food is ambitious."

Suraya executive chef and co-owner Nick Kennedy recommends…

Riverwards Produce is a go-to when my family is planning dinner. I love their produce and cheese—they have what I find myself needing."

Riverwards Produce owner Vincent Finazzo recommends…

“I send people to Vestige to experience a boutique that feels like it's from the desert in California. With jewelry, candles, and a curated body-care section, Vestige transports you to a better place."

Vestige owner Ashley Gleason recommends…

“I like La Colombe [the coffee brand's flagship café] for people-watching and spending a few hours staring into my laptop. They also have the best bread in the city."

La Colombe president and cofounder JP Iberti recommends…

Wm. Mulherin's Sons is a great place to grab a drink, mostly because a drink always turns into dinner, and Mulherin's offers one of the best meals in Philly. Their hotel is always booked, much like the restaurant."

Wm. Mulherin's Sons co-owner Randall Cook recommends…

Cheu is great when I'm in the mood for a midday treat. A counter seat at the bar lets you see all the action, the ramen is killer, and the draft beer is ice cold."

The 2019 Hemispheres hotel top 20

By The Hub team

Story by Nicolas DeRenzo | Hemispheres May 2019

Our annual compendium of the best new hotels in the world takes us from from Rio to ryokan, Savannah to surf club. No matter where you're going, in these pages, you'll find a place where you'll want to stay.

Hotel Amparo San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

For Social Media Influencers

Just in time for its designation as the 2019 American Capital of Culture, San Miguel de Allende—which is practically an artists' colony unto itself—welcomed this five-room hideaway in the 300-year-old former mayor's residence. Thanks to co-owner Mariana Barran Goodall, who grew up in Monterrey, Mexico, and runs Houston-based Hibiscus Linens, every tiny detail here is ready for its close-up. It won't take long for you to fill up your Instagram grid with shots of gold room keys, hand-stitched napkins, custom bathroom tiles made by local artisans, and even the coasters.

WE LOVE the flower-filled courtyard, a great place to take a selfie or sit with an espresso from the on-site café, which sources Mexican beans from Buna roasters. From $250, hotelamparo.com

Eastwind Hotel & Bar Windham, New York

For Hip Hikers

The Eastwind Hotel in New York

For many vacationers, the Catskills conjure images of 1950s summer camp resorts and Dirty Dancing. The Eastwind provides a sleek, Scandinavian-style counterpoint to those Borscht Belt spots of old. Opened last June on the site of a 1920s bunkhouse about 150 miles north of New York City, the 19-room retreat is a perfect jumping-off point for hiking, fly-fishing, and snowshoeing excursions. If you're feeling creative, write a few jokes—these are the stomping grounds of Joan Rivers and Henny Youngman, after all—on a vintage typewriter in one of the writer's studio suites. Or take a load off under a Faribault Woolen Mills plaid throw in one of the spartan-chic A-frame Lushna cabins.

WE LOVE the barrel sauna, which is even more amazing when you have to run through the snow to get there. From $219, eastwindny.com

Six Senses Maxwell Singapore

For Environmentalists

Six Senses Maxwell in Singapore

The second of two Six Senses urban resorts to open in the Lion City last year doesn't immediately scream “eco-friendly." The posh 138-room property across from the Maxwell Food Centre occupies a 1929 Art Deco heritage building and exudes Old World opulence with fixtures such as brocade headboards, silk lampshades, and damask velvet chairs. However, befitting its home in Asia's greenest city, the hotel is also home to a series of sustainable touches: reusable glass water bottles, biodegradable cornstarch toothbrushes, locally sourced minibar items, and a restaurant that serves responsibly caught fish.

WE LOVE the traditional ice cream tricycle, from which guests can order free organic ice cream sandwiches (in flavors like durian, red bean, and sweet corn) on soft, colorful bread, kept cold by a solar-powered refrigerator. From $240, sixsenses.com

The Middle House Shanghai

For Fashionistas

The Middle House in Shanghai

Set just off Shanghai's main shopping street, West Nanjing Road, the newest member of Swire Hotels' House Collective is a polished den of understated glamour, courtesy of Milan-based interior designer Piero Lissoni. The entryway is as heart-stoppingly dramatic as any couture runway show: A 3,760-piece Venetian glass chandelier hangs surrounded by emerald-green, bamboo-patterned tiles. The 111-room hotel, which opened last spring, boasts a nearly 700-work art collection—over half of which is Chinese—loosely inspired by the curatorial theme “I Dream of China."

WE LOVE Caroline Cheng's lobby installation, Prosperity, a black robe covered with 12,000 tiny butterfly figurines crafted in China's porcelain-making capital, Jingdezhen. From $268, themiddlehousehotel.com

Palihotel Seattle Seattle

For Stylish Seafarers

Palihotel in Seattle

Guests arriving at the check-in desk at the first Palisociety hotel outside of Los Angeles are greeted by a portrait of a raincoat-clad, pipe-smoking sailor—a perfect introduction to the subtly nautical vibe that permeates Seattle's newest hotel, which opened in November one block from the bustling Pike Place Market. The prime location means the seafood (sweet-and-spicy salmon jerky, littleneck clams, local oysters) at the on-site restaurant, The Hart and the Hunter, is always as fresh and invigorating as the Puget Sound views from the landmark 1895 building's upper floors.

WE LOVE The Hart and the Hunter's briny Elliott Bay Gibson, which includes oyster-shell-infused gin, Maldon sea salt, bay leaf olive oil, and a pickled onion. From $175, palisociety.com

Perry Lane Hotel Savannah, Georgia

For Aspiring Southern Belles

Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah, Georgia

Few American cities are better preserved than Savannah, with its centuries-old squares and statues and hanging Spanish moss. Last June, the city's Historic District got a rare new addition, the 167-room Perry Lane Hotel. The Luxury Collection property pays such deep homage to the Hostess City of the South that— aside from a loaner jazz guitar from local luthier Benedetto and an art collection that includes works by 81 artists with ties to the Savannah College of Art and Design—it invented a fictional grande dame named Adelaide Harcourt to help define its aesthetic. (Look for her portrait above the lobby fireplace.)

WE LOVE the polka-dotted Gargoyle Artillery statues at the rooftop bar, Peregrin; you'll keep turning away from the views of the Historic District to consider their Gothic-psychedelic visages. From $187, perrylanehotel.com

Hôtel de Berri Paris

For Art Connoisseurs

Hotel de Berri in Paris

The City of Light isn't short on artful luxury accommodations, but how many Parisian palaces look like they were born in a Rodin fever dream? The lobby at this Luxury Collection property, which opened last May just steps from the Champs-Élysées, is scattered with sculpted figures and busts, many of them reproductions from the Louvre's molding workshop. Designer Philippe Renaud gave each of the 40 rooms and 35 suites a unique color scheme and art theme; one might have red-and-yellow-striped walls hung with simple figurative line drawings, while another's matte olive-green walls boast Cubist paintings. No matter the decor, reserve a room with a view of the lush garden.

WE LOVE the Bemelmans Bar–meets–Ralph Steadman mural of Parisian street scenes that wraps around the Michelin-recommended Italian restaurant Le Schiap (named for couturier Elsa Schiaparelli, who once lived at this address). From $445, marriott.com

The Ramble Hotel Denver

For Barflies

The Ramble Hotel in Denver

Most travelers are happy if their hotel has one great bar; at this new 50-room boutique property, there are four, all of them run by the team behind New York's award-winning cocktail den Death & Co. By night, the grand lobby's sunny café transforms into a swanky lounge with velvet curtains and spangly chandeliers. Hidden upstairs is Suite 6A, an intimate 21-seat bar. A ballroom/venue/theater, Vauxhall, is aimed directly at the surrounding River North Art District's culturati. Finally, outside, under the glow of artist Scott Young's neon Wish You Were Her(e) sign, The Garden serves up patio classics such as Aperol spritzes and mojitos.

WE LOVE that the bartenders are so willing to chat about their favorite unsung ingredients, like a French fortified wine called Pineau des Charentes that's featured in the Black Poodle alongside Irish whiskey, amaro, aloe, and sparkling mineral water. From $209, theramblehotel.com

Skylark Negril Beach Resort Negril, Jamaica

For Boho Beach Bums

Skylark Negril Beach Resort in Negril, Jamaica

In Jamaican slang, to skylark is to goof off, mess around, or make mischief. Ironically, that's an activity that the designers at the impeccable Skylark Negril Beach Resort seem not to have pursued. The sister property to the nearby Rockhouse Hotel opened in June on Seven Mile Beach and pairs modernist touches—geometric breeze-block, whitewashed concrete—with pops of color from retro travel posters and throw pillows emblazoned with a print of the island's favorite fruit, bright-red ackee.

WE LOVE the outpost of NYC restaurant Miss Lily's, which serves up Caribbean rums and jerk favorites smoked over pimento wood to a soundtrack of reggae and dancehall hits. From $95, skylarknegril.com


The Hoxton, Williamsburg Brooklyn

For Digital Nomads

The Hoxton in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

The London-based Hoxton chain brought its trademark combination of high design and low rates to the States last fall, with the debut of this 175-room outpost—a perfect spot for freelancers and creative types who aren't chained to a cubicle (i.e., Brooklynites). You and your laptop will feel at home in your cheerily appointed room, which features a smart wall-mounted desk and a retro Roberts Radio. If you're more productive surrounded by others, head down to the beehive-busy sunken lobby, which is done up in eclectic, sherbet-hued furniture.

WE LOVE procrastinating by perusing the Best of Brooklyn line of locally made products—such as Pintrill pizza slice pins, Brins strawberry vanilla jam, and Sesame Letterpress notecards—for sale in the lobby. From $159, thehoxton.com

Woodlark Hotel Portland, Oregon

For Plant Lovers

Woodlark Hotel in Portland, Oregon

It's fitting that the latest hip lodging in a town known as the Rose City would be aimed at green thumbs. Opened in December in side-by-side landmark buildings downtown, the 150-room Woodlark Hotel is decorated with moody black-and-white botanical photos by Imogen Cunningham, while the conservatory-like foyer teems with a greenhouse's worth of potted trees. In this pattern-obsessed city—remember the famous PDX airport carpet?—the guest rooms' custom wallpaper, featuring the sort of native Pacific Northwest flora you'd find in nearby Forest Park, is sure to become iconic.

WE LOVE the artfully composed bouquets for sale at the lobby outpost of Colibri, an elegant flower shop co-owned by James Beard Award–winning chef Naomi Pomeroy. From $125, woodlarkhotel.com

Janeiro Rio de Janeiro

For Sun Seekers

Janeiro Hotel in Rio de Janeiro

This 53-room hotel in beachside Leblon was opened last fall by fashion designer and Osklen founder Oskar Metsavaht, but its stark, sun-bleached, minimalist aesthetic owes a great deal to another Brazilian Oscar: architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Rio-born genius best known for New York City's UN headquarters and Brasília's space-age government buildings. In a city beloved for the ostentatious vibrancy of Carnaval, the Janeiro's sandy earth tones, blond freijo wood, travertine limestone, and sculptural rattan pieces offer an oasis of calm.

WE LOVE the 18th-floor infinity pool, which overlooks the white cliffs of the Cagarras Islands and the Morro Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers Hill). From $288, janeirohotel.rio

United Places Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Australia

For Homebodies

United Places Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, Australia

Many new hotels tout their live-like-a-local bona fides, but few feel as much like a posh apartment block as this 12-suite bolthole, which opened last June in Melbourne's gallery-filled South Yarra neighborhood. If location is everything, you can't do much better than a property overlooking the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, while suites include all the trappings of a dream flat: rain showers with Le Labo products, oak parquet floors, sleek furnishings from Patricia Urquiola and Grant Featherston, and a bar cart stocked with Tasmania's award-winning Sullivans Cove whiskey. Best of all, each suite comes with personalized concierge service.

WE LOVE the in-room breakfasts from the team downstairs at Matilda 159, an open-fire restaurant serving such creative dishes as sea bream tartare and spanner crab with prawn butter. From $461, unitedplaces.com.au

Shinola Hotel Detroit

For American Artisans

Shinola Hotel in Detroit

A lot is riding on the shoulders of Shinola, the Detroit-based watchmaker that has become synonymous with the Rust Belt's renaissance. In January, the company got into the hotel game with a 129-room space that sprawls across three new buildings and two downtown landmarks—the former Singer Sewing Machine shop and the T.B. Rayl Co. hardware store. Throughout the property, you'll find products made exclusively for the hotel, such as scented candles with notes of cherry blossom, leather, and smoke, and Shinola-branded cola in the Michigan-centric minibar.

WE LOVE the in-room Runwell desk clocks, scaled-up versions of the first watch the company ever produced. From $255, shinolahotel.com

Belmond Cadogan Hotel London

For Bookworms

Belmond Cadogan Hotel in London

You'll be inspired to put pen to paper at this reimagined Chelsea property, which opened in February after a flawless $48 million renovation of the 1887 Cadogan Hotel. Oscar Wilde's former pied-à-terre is now part of the Royal Suite, in-room libraries are curated by family-owned John Sandoe Books, and an installation of 600 bronze-cast hardbacks encases the lobby elevator bank. Guests of the 54 rooms and suites are granted a key to Cadogan Place Gardens across the street, where they can sit under a mulberry tree with a notebook and sketch their own picture of Dorian Gray. Need inspiration? One taste of the decadent chicken butter at chef Adam Handling's eponymous restaurant will do the trick.

WE LOVE that reading in the bath is encouraged: The deep Victoria + Albert soaking tubs feature a bamboo bathtub tray complete with a book stand—and a holder for your Champagne flute. From $620, belmond.com

Eaton DC Washington, D.C.

For Social Activists

Eaton DC in Washington DC

K Street may be synonymous with D.C. lobbyists, but, as of last September, it's also home to a new hub for budding activists. Katherine Lo—the daughter of the Langham hotel group's chairman—designed her 209-room Eaton DC to inspire the next RBG or AOC at every turn. Tune in to the house radio station, grab a book from the Radical Library (which features works by Roxane Gay and Langston Hughes), or brainstorm with fellow progressives over turmeric lattes at the Kintsugi café. You can even call down to the front desk for a nightstand copy of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

WE LOVE Erik Thor Sandberg's Wonderland-themed lobby mural, Allegory, which replaces Alice with civil rights icon Ruby Bridges, the first black child to desegregate an all-white elementary school. From $199, eatonworkshop.com

Noah Surf House Santa Cruz, Portugal

For Surfers

Noah Surf House in Santa Cruz, Portugal

You'll want to learn the Portuguese word for “to chill" (relaxar) before you set foot in this surf-bum paradise, which opened on the Silver Coast, 50 minutes from Lisbon, last July. Its 21 rooms are divided between a central surfhouse that features hostel-style bunk accommodations and 13 boxy bungalows that dot the hilly dunes. There's an inescapably '70s SoCal vibe here, from the beanbag chairs and rope swings to a skate park and an organic garden filled with a small brood of hens.

WE LOVE the upcycled decor, which incorporates traffic signs, old boats, octopus traps, and fishing nets. From $182, noahsurfhouseportugal.com

KAI Sengokuhara Kanagawa, Japan

For Zen Seekers

KAI Sengokuhara in Kanagawa, Japan

It's impossible not to relax at Japan's newest onsen (hot spring) resort, which opened last July in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, two hours by train from Tokyo. The art-themed ryokan invites you to slip into a yukata (cotton robe) and then do absolutely nothing—except soak in the milky, mineral-rich water piped from the Owakudani volcanic valley into a communal bathhouse and private guest room soaking tubs. Equally invigorating are 24-year-old chef Akari Sash's inspired kaiseki dinners; with dishes like abalone grilled over nearly 400-degree stones, she'll have you forgetting all about Western-style spa meals.

WE LOVE the tenugui (cotton towel) decorating workshop, which feels like a sophisticated answer to the adult coloring book trend. From $332 per person, including breakfasts and dinners, kai-ryokan.jp

The Carpenter Hotel Austin, Texas

For Foodies

The Carpenter Hotel in Austin, Texas

You'll wish you could sign up for a meal plan at this millennially minded hotel, just steps from Zilker Park. Food-world power couple Christina Skogly Knowlton and Andrew Knowlton (the host of Netflix's The Final Table) are behind the offerings at Hot L Coffee and Carpenters Hall, a restaurant located in, yes, a former union hall. Start with huckleberry butter–topped waffles, snack poolside on the best chocolate chip cookies ever, then sip a pear brandy–based Kind Eyes cocktail before a dinner of big-as-your-head chicken schnitzel. The 93 rooms are just as delectable, with custom-designed striped cotton blankets, blue-and-terracotta-tiled bathrooms, and thoughtful, vintage-inspired over-bed lights.

WE LOVE that each room has a terrace, outfitted simply with two folding chairs—the perfect place to sip a surprisingly inexpensive minibar Lone Star at the end of the evening.From $175, carpenterhotel.com

7Pines Resort Ibiza Ibiza, Spain

For Swanky Swimmers

7Pines Resort Ibiza in Ibiza, Spain

Forget Ibiza's party-hearty reputation: At 7Pines, on the Mediterranean island's quieter west coast, relaxation is key. Guests at the 186-suite property from The Leading Hotels of the World don't need to pack much more than a bathing suit (and a dinner-appropriate outfit or two) because they'll want to spend all day snapping mermaid-inspired Instagram shots along the infinity pool's glass wall. Need a change of scenery? A five-minute walk down a stone staircase leads to secluded Cala Codolar beach, where all the sunbathers look like they stepped out of an Antonioni film. Finish the day with a massage at the Pure Seven Spa, which, of course, has its own pool.

WE LOVE that no matter where you dine—on modern Asian cuisine at The View, prawn tartare at the Cone Club, or piña coladas at the Pershing Yacht Terrace—the Balearic Sea is always in sight. From $448, 7pines.com

Photo Credits: Marcus Jolly (Hotel Amparos); Jordan Layon (Eastwind Hotel); © E Leong (The Middle House);Eric Laignet/Paris Images (Hotel de Berri); Adam Szafranski (The Ramble Hotel) Nicole Franzen (Shinola Hotel); Courtesy of Belmond Cadogen Hotel (Belmond Cadogen Hotel); Adrian Gaut (Eaton DC); Noah Surf House Portugal (Noah Surf House); Akifumi Yamabe (KAI Sengokuhara); Alex Lau (Carpenter Hotel); Tomas Alonso Salvador (7Pines)
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