A Quest For Fire

Hotels and resorts add outdoor fireplaces to roofs and gardens

The Smart Traveler

January 14, 2007

GUESTS MIGHT EXPECT TRADItional tiki torches in Hawaii or bonfires in mountain resorts such as the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek in Colorado, where families gather to hear a storyteller.

But the hottest of fires are lighting up in unexpected places, such as the rooftops of urban hotels.

THE PERFECT DAY: LONELY PLANET INSIDER SECRETS TO 100 CITIES

Lonely Planet / $7.99

Everyone has his or her own idea of what makes a perfect day. In this compact guide, more than 60 authors succinctly describe their versions of a perfect day in their chosen cities. The cities include Barcelona, Spain; Bath, England; Bogota, Colombia; Boston and Brisbane, Australia -- and that's only the Bs. In some cities, such as Berlin, the day starts at a leisurely pace -- "Much of the city doesn't wake up until mid-morning ..." -- while in, say, Los An-geles, there's too much to do to while away the hours.

JUNE SAWYERS

AIRLINES

Carrier bankruptcy strands fliers

Passengers stranded by bankrupt airlines lost a legal protection last month when a federal law expired that had required other airlines to accommodate them. Passed by Congress as Section 145 of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the law required U.S. carriers, "to the extent practicable," to reticket customers holding tickets on an airline that stops operating. Congress had renewed Section 145's protections annually. But this year, a bill to do so never got out of Senate committee.

LOS ANGELES TIMES

10 FOR THE ROAD

Small pleasures

The best small (fewer than 100 rooms) hotels, resorts and inns in the United States, from Zagat Survey's 2007 U.S. Hotels, Resorts and Spas guide:

1. Twin Farms, Woodstock area, Vt.

2. Blackberry Farms, Walland, Tenn.

3. El Monte Sagrado, Taos, N.M.

4. Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Hilton Head, S.C.

5. Rancho Valencia, San Diego

6. Inn at Little Washington, Washington, Va.

7. Casa Palmero, Carmel area, Calif.

8. The Point, Adirondacks, N.Y.

9. Post Ranch Inn, Carmel area, Calif.

10. Bel-Air, Los Angeles

HOTELS

Bloggers tell their story

Hotel Web site photographs don't always reveal the whole picture. A wide-angle lens can make a small room look king-size and a pool look palatial. Enter hotelsbycity.net, a hotel reservation site, which started a "Hotel Blog" section in November filled with candid photos and videos on everything from beds to bathrooms. In the "Hotel Throne" section, there are photos of bathrooms all over the world. In "Hotel Splash," viewers can peruse rooftop pools, resort pools and pools with the best views (the Hong Kong Four Seasons pool looks amazing). They also have "Hotel Bed HQ," where bloggers post photographs of boutique beds, bad mattresses and even close-ups of bedbugs.

NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

WEST VIRGINIA

Greenbrier closed for renovations

The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., will be closed until April for its most extensive renovation since decorator Dorothy Draper instilled her fashion sense there in the mid-1940s. The resort, which has been host to presidents and royalty from around the world since 1778, will reopen April 3 after the first phase of the $50 million renovation is complete. In an attempt to lure younger customers, The Greenbrier plans to add plasma televisions and Wi-Fi capabilities in guest rooms and revamp its restaurant and entertainment options. For more details go to greenbrier.com.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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