Rising above its associations with the annual hot-air-balloon festival, Albuquerque will this year set out to prove itself as a fully-fledged destination. The Sawmill District, just north of the historic Old Town, is being revived as a creative center, anchored by the arrival of the Hotel Chaco. The design of this boutique property, which opened in April, is inspired by the state’s indigenous culture, with handmade Navajo wool textiles and pueblo-inspired motifs. Come spring, downtown ABQ will also see the arrival of a new entertainment hub: the $40 million One Central, which will have a sleek bowling lounge, as well as upscale stores and restaurants. And just outside town, visitors will soon be able to experience the striking Sandia Mountains in a nail-biting new way. The proposed Mountain Coaster, an alpine sled-style ride that plunges riders down the mountainside in a total vertical drop of 380 feet, is due to open this fall. Getting to Albuquerque is becoming even easier, thanks to new nonstop flights from major U.S. cities via Southwest, United, and Alaska Airlines. —Melanie Lieberman
In the March edition of Airways Magazine, it was announced that once jetBlue partnered with Yahoo! and with BlackBerry producer Research in Motion, that the airline would offer free, limited Wi-Fi capabilities on a single aircraft, N651JB, an Airbus A320-232 dubbed "BetaBlue". People access e-mail with a Wi-Fi capable Blackberry, or use Yahoo!'s e-mail and instant messaging with a Wi-Fi capable laptop, while in flight over the US. LiveTV in Melbourne Florida, created and operated the "BetaBlue" prototype. The "BetaBlue" system utilized the bandwidth and infrastructure of defunct Airfone.
On October 13, 2009, the airline unveiled a modification to its livery in commemoration of the upcoming 10th anniversary of the airline in February 2010. Besides a new tail design, the revised livery includes larger "billboard" titles extending down over the passenger windows at the front of the aircraft. The logo word 'jetBlue' will no longer be silver and blue but now a dark, navy blue.
This year is San Antonio’s 300th anniversary, and the city is marking the occasion with events, activities, and new infrastructure. Ahead of the festivities, there’s been a flurry of development: In the past few months, the botanical gardens completed an expansion; the city’s first food hall, the Bottling Department, debuted at the Pearl; and San Antonio’s iconic passenger barges got an upgrade, with colorful electric models replacing the old gas-fueled boats. In January, the city will unveil Confluence Park, an expanse of trails and science-focused education facilities near the convergence of San Pedro Creek and the San Antonio River. A commemorative week is planned for early May, with celebrations at each of San Antonio’s five missions and the dedication of San Pedro Creek Culture Park, a once-unremarkable drainage ditch that’s been transformed into a waterfront promenade with public art and performance spaces. Ruby City, a new David Adjaye–designed art center that will house more than 800 pieces from the Linda Pace Foundation Collection, is expected to be completed at the end of 2018. And boutique stays still in the works — including a Thompson Hotel and the third location of the Saint Hotel — hint that San Antonio’s heyday is just beginning. —Devorah Lev-Tov
Since the government’s 2016 peace deal with the FARC paramilitary group, memories of Colombia’s civil war have begun fading. As a result, new parts of the country are becoming accessible — among them the Pacific coast, which contains a once-dangerous strip of virgin beach and rain forest known as El Chocó. Regular commercial flights now connect travelers from Bogotá and Medellín to the fishing villages of Nuquí and Bahía Solano. From there, small boats run along the shore to chic eco-lodges like Punta Brava, which sits above two private beaches, and El Cantil Ecolodge, which is near surf breaks and a thermal spring. —Nicholas Gill
The Quisby $50+ Wyndham Garden Hotel Baronne Plaza $93+ The Whitney Hotel $99+ B on Canal $106+ Pelham Hotel New Orleans, La $116+ International House Hotel $118+ Royal St. Charles French Quarter/Downtown $119+ Royal Crescent Hotel $120+ Holiday Inn New Orleans-Downtown Superdome $122+ Chateau Hotel $122+ Holiday Inn Express New Orleans - St Charles $122+ Wyndham New Orleans - French Quarter $126+ French Market Inn $136+ Bienville House $141+
U.S. travelers have historically overlooked Mauritius in favor of other Indian Ocean destinations like the Seychelles and Maldives. That could all change, though, now that this remote, idyllic island some 1,200 miles off the African coast has become easier to reach. A flurry of new airline services launched at the end of 2017: KLM began servicing Mauritius from Amsterdam, and British carrier Thomas Cook Airlines introduced biweekly flights in November. Upon arrival, travelers can take in dreamy lagoon views from the newly reopened One&Only Le Saint Géran, fresh off a multimillion-dollar renovation. Every room and suite now has a private terrace or balcony, marble baths with cascade showers, and sophisticated teak, stone, and leather accents. Guests can also look forward to updated dining experiences — like lunch spot La Pointe, which grills fresh-caught seafood over firewood and coconut embers, or open-air restaurant La Terrasse, which offers Mauritian specialties. Unchanged at Le Saint Géran is its aura of exclusivity, thanks to the resort’s unique position on a private peninsula jutting out from the island’s eastern shore. —Melanie Lieberman
On December 13, 2007, jetBlue and Germany-based Lufthansa announced jetBlue's intent to sell 19% of jetBlue to Lufthansa, pending approval from US regulators. Following the acquisition, Lufthansa stated they plan to seek operational cooperation with jetBlue. Lufthansa plans to offer connections to JetBlue flights in Boston, New York (JFK), and Orlando International Airport (no longer a connection).