PREPARING GUESTS FOR FICKLE WEATHER
Since Mother Nature can be unpredictable, Loews Boston Hotel has created a special amenity kit that ensures its guests will be prepared for any type of weather when they step outside. The kit, called We’ve Got You Covered, includes complimentary rain ponchos, sunscreen, flip flops, knit hats and gloves, or lip balm, for instance, depending on the season. Loews also has a barista station open 24/7 with free coffee, cappuccinos, lattes, espresso, Tazo teas, and hot chocolate with a variety of toppings to warm you up on raw days. The hotel, located near Back Bay and the Theater District in a building once home to the Boston Police Headquarters, underwent a $12 million renovation two years ago. Rates start at $299. 877-587-9774, www.loewshotels.com/boston-hotel.
SWEET HOTEL DEALS FOR FUTURE GRADS
When you come to Boston to tour colleges, stay at a hotel that gives you a room discount according to your graduation year. Hotel Commonwealth, founded by Boston University, has launched its College Visit Package, which gives you a percentage off the room rate based on the year you plan to graduate, so 20 percent off if you will graduate in 2020, for instance. Located in Kenmore Square, the hotel provides easy access to Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Northeastern, and many other colleges and universities. Rates start at $299 before the discount, and include accommodations, two Red Sox baseball hats, a reference book on Boston slang to help you fit in, a $20 gift card to Dunkin’ Donuts, a map that shows favorite hot spots for students and parents, and complimentary Wi-Fi. 617-933-5000, www.hotelcommonwealth.com.
SEE RWANDA’S LANDSCAPE, GORILLAS, AND CAPITAL
Hike into the Virunga Mountains to see some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world during Gondwana Ecotours new eight-day adventure tour of Rwanda, Dec. 13-21. You may also track golden monkeys with a conservationist, go for a boat ride on Lake Kivu (one of the African Great Lakes), visit hot springs, take guided hikes through Nyungwe Forest National Park, and explore Kigali, the nation’s capital. Rates cost $4,800, up to 10 percent of which gets donated to ASPIRE Rwanda, a nonprofit that teaches urban women the skills they need to earn a living. 877-587-8479, www.gondwanaecotours.com
VEGAS EVENT DRAWS THE WORLD’S TOP CHEFS
Visit Sin City for the 10th annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit, a star-studded event featuring world-class chefs, sommeliers, and mixologists, April 28 through May 1. Top names include Giada De Laurentiis, Emeril Lagasse, Michael Chow, Guy Savoy, and Gordon Ramsay. New this year, enjoy an Italian-inspired brunch at GIADA in The Cromwell, and Sushi Making and Sake Tasting at Nobu Restaurant and Lounge at Caesars Palace with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Some events will take place in downtown Las Vegas for the first time, including a Steakhouse Redux at the Golden Steer with Michael Mina. Tickets start at $120, not including $8 processing fee. 877-884-8993, www.vegasuncorked.com.
A STEALTHY WAY TO TRACK YOUR BAGS
Protect your bags and your identity with HomingPIN’s new luggage trackers. Each of these easy-to-use trackers has a unique number that you use to register the device online. Then clip the tracker onto your luggage, or affix one of the included stickers to your phone, wallet, keys, or other belongings. If someone finds one of your lost or stolen items, that person can contact HomingPIN and provide the number, enabling you to be reunited with your belongings. Using the HomingPIN tracker to identify you, rather than a name tag that everyone can see, provides added security while you travel. The HomingPIN is the only luggage tracker that is integrated into the World Tracer system with all major airlines. $10 (for one tag and loop, key ring, and four stickers) to $20 (for three loops and tags, 1 key ring, and 12 stickers), plus $8 annual fee for tracker service. www.homingpin.com.
Correction: Because of a reporting error, an earlier version of this story misstated the cost of the Loews Boston Hotel renovation. It was $12 million.