Day: November 20, 2020

Check Into This Washington D.C. Hotel Where You Can Sleep in a Historic Townhouse

Pandemic notwithstanding, hotels in Washington, D.C., are filling fast for January’s inauguration festivities. Some of the newest accommodations in the capital not only have impeccable aesthetic pedigree, but they also make social-distancing protocols easy to follow. Opening today and comprising six individual one-bedroom homes-away-from-home, the town houses at Georgetown’s Rosewood hotel each offer 1,100 square feet of serenely decorated space spread among their five levels, plus a private entrance, terrace, and courtyard.

Rosewood tasked the D.C.-born, -bred, and -based designer Thomas Pheasant with the job of creating the one-bedroom super-suites, each of which occupies a petite, early-19th-century brick row house steps from the hotel itself.

A look inside the newly renovated living room.

Photo: Rosewood/Ryan Forbes

“The idea was to create a villa-style experience here in Georgetown,” says Pheasant, whose studio is walking distance from the hotel and who also looked after the recent redo of Rosewood’s beloved Mansion on Turtle Creek property, in Dallas, Texas. “Even before COVID-19,” he continues, “people often wanted something other than the typical hotel. Visitors coming for two weeks or a month on business, or for other purposes, want something more private, a space that can give them the sense of really living in D.C.”

When the town houses came to Pheasant, he found them in a rather dire state. Originally designed as workers’ residences, they didn’t have much in the way of detail, and they had suffered some benign neglect, if not outright abuse. An additional challenge? “While they all look the same from the outside, it was sort of a free-for-all when they were built,” Pheasant says. “Some were narrower than others, some a foot shorter.” He rose to the occasion, tweaking his scheme to meet the needs of each unique space, imagining, for example, a beautiful little study in a bay-windowed nook off the entryway of one unit. “The odd ones that had a lot of quirks turned out to have the most interesting to work with,” he says. 

Inside the bedroom of the Rosewood hotel.

Photo: Rosewood/Ryan Forbes

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Best Amazon Black Friday 2020 Travel Gear Deals

As travel restrictions begin to lift across the country, many are starting to prepare for their summer and fall vacations, whether that’s camping in the mountains or visiting family back in their hometown. Right now, the Amazon Black Friday Sale, is filled with great deals to take advantage of while checking items off the packing list. 

The Amazon Black Friday sale is helping the struggling fashion world amid the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, the Amazon Black Friday sale is a great opportunity to shop white hot sales and fashion deals from loads of brands that offer a discount of up to 80% off. Kate Spade, Rebecca Minkoff, Frye, Vera BradleyLevi’s, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Skechers, Soludos, Superga, Eddie Bauer, Adidas, DL1961 jeans, American Apparel, Uggs, Lacoste, Vineyard Vines, Calvin Klein, Vionic, Alo Yoga, J.Crew, Ray-Ban and Tory Burch are among the retailer brand names that are part of the Amazon Black Friday sale. Not only does the sale include the above mentioned brands and Amazon brands, but it also features luxury brand markdowns within Shopbop, which Amazon acquired in 2006.

We’re expecting to see even more major deals, markdowns and discounts roll out across fashion categories at the Amazon Black Friday sale including women’s fashion, electronics, designer handbags, designer dresses, sandals, sneakers, designer sunglasses, activewear, designer backpacks, loungewear, tie dye, kids shoes, leggings, swimwear, men’s clothing, bras,underwear, watches, jackets, kids/baby gear, cookware, kitchen appliances, home decor, shoes, diamonds, deals under $50, jewelry and more.

Whether it’s for holiday gifts, birthday presents, gifts for teens, office gifts, stocking stuffers, secret santa or any other special occasion, we rounded up a bunch of items at great prices. Whether you are shopping for that special someone, or scooping up Christmas presents for friends, family or a coworker, tons of great gift items are just a click away.

Check out ET Style’s selection of the best travel gear deals at the Amazon Black Friday sale. 



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Bruno Mars Wants You to Know His Rum Collection Is ‘Vacation in a Glass’

Bruno Mars is a vibe. His entire aesthetic, from the way he dresses to the way he walks, oozes a sense of effortless cool that people around the world only wish they could replicate. But while nailing the dance from “Uptown Funk” might not be as easy it looks — trust me, I’ve tried — the Hawaii-native’s SelvaRey Rum can at least have you drinking like the 11-time Grammy Award winner. 

a person holding a flower: SelvaRey

© Provided by Travel + Leisure

Coined as “a vacation in a glass,” SelvaRey comes in two distinct rums — White and Chocolate — and is crafted on a single estate in Panama. The White is a blend of a three-year and five-year aged rum that’s charcoal filtered, leaving behind a beautiful, clear liquid with “notes of citrus, pineapple, and toasty crème brûlée.” The Chocolate is a five-year-old rum infused with natural chocolate. Whatever your palette, these rums promise “tropical luxury wherever you are.” 

a person holding a flower: For the superstar singer, rum means “it’s dance time.”

© SelvaRey
For the superstar singer, rum means “it’s dance time.”

And since right now a lot of us are staying home due to the global coronavirus pandemic, have we ever needed to be transported to a tropical paradise more? No — and Bruno knows that.

Travel + Leisure caught up with the superstar who, in addition to celebrating the launch of SelvaRey, is also commemorating the 10th anniversary of his debut album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” to talk about bringing his 70s-inspired tropical rums to life, his love for Hawaii, and his preferred way to drink SelvaRey. 

a table with wine glasses: SelvaRey

© Provided by Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure: Why did you decide to get into the rum business?

Bruno Mars: “Rum is like the instant vacation drink, no matter where you are. It’s like, you’ve got some kind of, let’s just say Piña Colada, for instance, it’s dance time, you know? 

Why SelvaRey, specifically?

“I’ve been with SelvaRey for over seven years now. You know, I met [Seth Gold, Co-founder] seven years ago and he had some rum with him that he was doing up and tried it and I said, ‘Hey man, I’m having a party.’ And he started catering my parties and then he started catering my parties on tour. So there was a great relationship.”

How do you like to enjoy SelvaRey? 

You know what’s a delicious drink? I like rum and ginger ale — especially for the holidays. Coquito, that’s delicious. It’s a little strenuous to make, but if you get your hands on that with the rum, it’s delicious.”

a woman posing for a picture: SelvaRey

© Provided by Travel + Leisure

How did growing up in Hawaii influence your creative input on SelvaRey, from the taste, to the bottle, and to the branding?

“I guess it’s just what I grew up with. I used to perform in Waikiki and I’d just see everyone with a Mai Tai in their hand, a Piña Colada in their hand, rum punch in their hand, you know, and it’s just joy. I want [that] energy because

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As Homelessness Increases, NYC Community Divided Over Hotel Housing on Cheddar

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Shams – better known as Da Homeless Hero – has lived in four different locations. His current address is The Lucerne Hotel in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where he and over 200 other homeless men are residing as part of a New York City program. He loves his most recent home, which has provided him with support during a difficult time.

“This is a deadly disease,” Shams, who recovered from COVID-19 a few months earlier, explained. “A lot of us are older, and going through being homeless, a lot of times you’re not getting the right help that you should.”

But some locals believe Shams and the other Lucerne residents would receive better care in a different area of Manhattan. After a months-long battle, a judge will decide next week whether the homeless men will stay or be relocated to the Radisson Hotel in the Financial District of Manhattan. 

“For me it was both as a parent my concern and especially as an anesthesiologist,” said Westside Community Organization president Megan Martin. “What I was seeing was that people were in the throws of an addiction who were not receiving services.”

Hotels for Homes

From Baltimore to Los Angeles, many local cities across the United States have struck deals with hotels to pay for unused rooms during the pandemic. These spaces are then turned into temporary shelters in order to help socially distance homeless individuals. Similar to the Upper West Side, many area residents are pushing to relocate them outside of their own neighborhoods.
The issues may continue to increase as more people find themselves displaced. Up to 250,000 additional people could become homeless as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to an analysis by Columbia University professor of economics Dr. Brendan O’Flaherty. The unemployment rate in October reached 6.9 percent, an improvement from earlier in the pandemic. However, as states begin to shut down schools and businesses again with coronavirus levels spiking, there are worries more people could find themselves destitute. 

The Lucerne is one of three hotels in a ten-block radius that house homeless people. It is specifically earmarked for men in substance abuse recovery and many of its residents have mental health disorders. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the facility in September and called the conditions “unacceptable.” WestCo’s Martin said the hotel is far from the shelter of origin for many of its residents and other resources like methadone clinics are also quite a distance away. The new proposed location is closer to those facilities.

“When you have this severe mental illness and chemical addiction and you are not receiving the proper medical care and substance abuse services, you are basically saying you are just warehousing individuals, and then not giving them the proper treatment,” Martin said. 

Safety Concerns

Keeping the homeless men in the Upper West Side is also putting families in danger, she adds. She says there’s open prostitution, needles on playgrounds, robberies, and illicit

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Americans are planning their next vacation even though it’ll probably be months before most people can get a COVID-19 vaccine

a large body of water with a city in the background: With news of a vaccine, Americans are ready to visit big cities again. Westend61/Getty Images

© Provided by Business Insider
With news of a vaccine, Americans are ready to visit big cities again. Westend61/Getty Images

  • When the news of potential coronavirus vaccines broke, some people immediately started planning their next vacation. 
  • Skyscanner saw spikes in both searches and bookings on the days that news of a potential coronavirus vaccine hit. 
  • While the pandemic had travelers avoiding big cities, when news of the Pfizer vaccine broke, people started searching for big cities once more.
  • When news of Moderna’s vaccine hit, travelers started dreaming bigger and began searching for more international destinations.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that “travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When the news of potential coronavirus vaccines broke, the world uttered a collective sigh of relief.

And, despite the fact that the vaccines likely won’t be available to everyone in the US until May 2021, some people have immediately started planning their next vacation. 

Travel search engine Skyscanner told Insider that on November 9, 2020, when news of Pfizer’s promising vaccine broke, searches for economy class round-trips from the US increased by 39% compared to the previous day. Bookings jumped 25%.

Similarly, on November 16, 2020, when news of the promising Moderna vaccine hit, searches for economy class round-trips from the US rose by 63% compared to the previous day. Bookings spiked 17%.

On November 9, tentative travelers kept their potential trips pretty local, with US destinations making up most of the top 10. 

However, what US cities Americans were searching for came as a surprise, as most of the list consisted of large cities, with New York, Los Angeles, and Miami rounding out the top three. 

Whereas the pandemic had travelers avoiding big cities in lieu of small towns, camping, and road trips, the vaccine news had big cities shoot up to the top of people’s bucket lists once more.

Even more interesting is that, once news of a second potentially viable vaccine broke, travelers began dreaming even bigger, with international destinations from London to Munich making up the top 10 most-searched destinations.

Most experts predicted travel rebounding

Mark Crossey, the US Traveler Expert for Skyscanner, said that US travelers are emboldened by most airlines’ scrapped change fees.

“The emergence of truly flexible travel fares has not gone unnoticed, and US travelers are taking advantage,” he said, adding that low fares and flexibility will likely be around for a while to encourage bookings.

He added that the post-vaccine news spike just shows how unwavering Americans’ appetite for travel is.

Insider reported in April that many experts predicted this, agreeing that while the question of when and how long it will take to get there was unclear, travel would rebound swiftly.

“People’s desire to travel is resilient,” a TripAdvisor spokesperson previously said in a statement to Insider. “What we’ve seen through SARS, Ebola, terrorist attacks, and numerous natural disasters is that the travel industry has always rebounded.”

“Humans need to

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Quarantined Siena basketball teams locked down at Desmond Hotel

COLONIE — The Desmond Hotel in Latham has become home to many members of Siena College men’s and women’s basketball teams who are locked down after three people associated with the teams tested positive for COVID-19.

Siena now has 39 active on-campus cases, according to college and state COVID-19 data. Of 139 quarantined students, 43 students are housed on-campus or at the Desmond, a group that school officials confirm includes basketball players.

The college currently has 66 rooms set aside for quarantining students, according to the state’s COVID-19 Report Card for higher education institutions, marking a jump from the 16 available rooms listed on Oct. 2, when Siena was seeing a similar spike in cases.

Siena leaders on Friday told the Times Union that the expansion of its quarantine capacity was attributed to a change in the way college officials are reporting available rooms to the state: Now the Desmond rooms are counted among the college’s quarantine housing.

In early October, just five of 100 quarantined students and 23 who contracted the virus were staying on the Loudonville campus.

Siena College officials said last month that it was their policy to send most students who tested positive or were exposed to the coronavirus home because the campus lacked the capacity to quarantine all of them.

Exceptions continue to be made on a case-by-case basis for students who had difficulty getting home or had vulnerable family members, according to Siena spokesman Jason Rich.

Explaining the difference in occupancy, Rich said the Siena basketball teams have “a disproportionate number of students from out-of-state; that’s why you are seeing higher numbers in quarantine.”

“There’s no clean answer to any of this. You have a policy, but there are different factors,” he said.

Rich said the 66 rooms include 19 on-campus spaces, which are mostly reserved for infected students, and the rest are located at the Desmond.

For some members of the men’s basketball team, this is the third time they’ve had to quarantine since the pandemic began in March, on the eve of the NCAA tournament.

The men’s team is scheduled to begin the winter season after Thanksgiving. No decisions have been made about other winter sports, school officials say. Men’s basketball is Siena’s biggest revenue sport; it helps fund the entire athletic program.

Siena is also testing its athletes three times a week in accordance with guidelines set by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, although college leaders say the school does not have the capacity or funding to test its entire campus population on a regular basis.

Public health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have advised colleges to keep ill students on-campus to prevent them from transmitting the disease to their families and home communities.

Sending infected students home is “the worst thing you could do,” Fauci has said.

In an email, Rich noted that Siena’s quarantine/isolation policy was reviewed by the Albany County Department of Health and approved by the state

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Hennepin County allots $5 million for indoor recreation facilities including gyms, entertainment venues

Hennepin County officials allotted $5 million Friday for locally-owned gyms, fitness facilities, and other indoor recreation and entertainment venues with up to 50 employees that will be affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

Businesses eligible for $15,000 grants include climbing facilities, trampoline parks, theaters, cinemas, concert halls, museums, stadiums, arcades, bowling alleys and martial arts, dance and exercise studios. The application deadline is noon on Dec. 2.

Gov. Tim Walz this week ordered bars, restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues to close Saturday through Dec. 18. The County Board on Wednesday approved $8 million for bars and restaurants.

To be eligible for relief funding, a business must be a fixed, permanent commercial establishment in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State and current on property tax payments. If a business has multiple locations, it can receive up to three additional grants.

County officials learned this week from the state’s Department of Economic Development that restaurant employment in Hennepin County, before this week’s restrictions, was down 48.7% compared to this time last year. That reflects a loss of 25,912 jobs in the county.


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Negative COVID-19 test ‘not a passport’ to travel, officials warn, as demand surges

California residents who think a negative coronavirus test gives them the greenlight to travel this holiday season should think again, officials say.

a group of people with luggage at an airport: A flight crew wearing personal protective equipment walks through Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

© Provided by The LA Times
A flight crew wearing personal protective equipment walks through Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Public health officials across the state are warning that using testing to justify hitting the road or gathering in other ways doesn’t work.

As California struggles amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases, and Thanksgiving and other holidays are right around the corner, demand for testing in Los Angeles and San Francisco counties has skyrocketed. The same situation is playing out nationwide, straining testing sites that are running short of key supplies.

“We have seen the repeated failure of this type of testing strategy across the country, including in Washington, D.C.,” Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco’s director of health, said at a briefing this week. “A negative test cannot be an excuse to put yourself or others at risk.”

A person who tests negative can still carry the virus if it’s early in their infection, health officials say.

Testing “is an identifier at that moment,” Los Angeles County public health officer Dr. Muntu Davis said Thursday, noting that it isn’t a preventative measure nor a barometer for future illness.

Even before the statewide spike in cases, officials were strongly advising against nonessential travel. Anyone leaving the state or arriving from out of state should quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their test results, Davis said. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans to stay home.

San Francisco officials have asked residents not to misuse testing facilities in an effort to travel, adding that the services are intended for essential workers, those who are symptomatic or who have been exposed to the virus.

“If people need tests for any other reason — like travel or visiting — they need to go to their private provider,” the city said in a statement. “City resources cannot support testing for behaviors, such as travel and visits with extended family, that are currently not recommended during this surge.”

San Francisco currently tests about 6,000 people a day, with results available in one to two days, officials said.

Los Angeles officials stopped short of advising residents to avoid testing, but health officials warn that test results are merely a snapshot in time and not intended as a free pass to willfully disobey health orders or recommendations.

“Your test result that you got Saturday morning was from Thursday when you got tested, and it said, ‘On Thursday, you were negative,’ ” said Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County’s director of public health. “It says nothing about whether you’re still negative on Saturday.

“That’s actually a false sense of security. It’s a false narrative.”

Though testing demand has shot up in recent weeks, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that capacity has not been reached at city sites. Officials anticipated the increased

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Snooki style through the years. the ‘Jersey Shore’ way

Sparkle glasses and a cropped back jacket were the way to go  for a press confernce in Italy in 2011.

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A grungy look against a red brick wall.

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A plunging neckline maxi dress with a throw over.

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Ahoy, a pirate look with husband and son Lorenzo.

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Sun glasses and a leopard headband when you’re expecting.

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A rainbow throw-over at Logo’s third annual “Trailblazer Honors” at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

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Satin freedom with a jacket on the dancefloor.

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Sunglasses and Crocodilly at Jenk’s Club in 2018.

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Snooki doll to appear on upcoming episode


A LOOK BACK (2011): Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi talk about MTV’s Jersey Shore during an interview in the ‘Smoosh’ room.

Asbury Park Press

You’ve heard of the Sammi doll?

Now get ready for the Snooki doll. A doll representation of Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi will be featured on an upcoming episode of the current season of “Jersey Shore Family Vacation,” said Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino.

The real Snooki announced that she was leaving the series last year.

“We can tease that there is (a Snooki doll),” said Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino on the Friday, Nov. 20 episode of “It’s Happening with Snooki & Joey” podcast. “It is pretty funny and hilarious but we want the real Snooki back.”

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

A life-sized Sammi doll was abused and thrown into a pool by Polizzi and Deena Cortese on the “Jersey Shore Family Vacation” Season 1 premiere in 2018.  Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola had opted out of the “Jersey Shore” reboot.

A doll that, well, didn’t look a whole lot like Polizzi was shown in a season teaser.

Polizzi said she’s retiring from “Jersey Shore Family Vacation” because of the “serious” direction the show was going.

Sorrentino, who was a guest on the podcast Friday with wife Lauren Sorrentino, wants her to return.

“You are a legend, and I want to put it out there that all legends come out of retirement at least once,” Sorrentino said. “I will be hopeful but we did miss you unbelievably and we did keep your spirit alive.”

More: Jersey Shore Family Vacation: 5 candidates to replace Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi

More: Jersey Shore meets RHONJ: Snooki joining ‘Real Housewives’ is legit, says Andy Cohen UPDATE

More: Jersey Shore Family Vacation: Lauren causes situation with Angelina on Season 4 debut

Polizzi said she has no regrets.

 “I miss everyone filming and even the crew but do I regret my decision?” Polizzi said. “Hell no.”

The cast, and family members, will travel to the Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa in Henderson, Nevada later in the current season to try to reconcile feelings frayed by the roomies’ speech at Angelina’s wedding at the end of Season 3.

Sorrentino said that Jenni “JWoww” Farley’s boyfriend, Zack “24” Carpinello, did not make the trip.


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Chris Jordan, a Jersey Shore native, covers entertainment and features for the USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; [email protected]

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