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    YO2D2, a Relay robot at YOTEL Boston
    YO2D2, a Relay robot at YOTEL Boston


    The future is happening now at YOTEL Boston, the techno-friendly
    affordable hotel brand that debuted last year in the Seaport District. In addition to existing super-fast Wi-Fi and self-check-in via mobile app, the hotel is introducing YO2D2, an automated hotel guest service specialist — a.k.a. robot butler — designed to make your stay more enjoyable and efficient. The Relay robot is programmed to safely navigate crowded spaces, autonomously summon the elevator, “dance” to music, and greet guests with clever messages displayed on its touchscreen interface. To summon YO2D2, simply call Mission Control with your request for linens, extra towels, retail items or other amenities. The robot will call the cabin to announce its arrival, and you can then retrieve requested items from the storage compartment. No tipping necessary. 617-377-4747,


    Craft beer and brewery enthusiasts will want to check out the new app launched by the Vermont Brewers Association. The free Vermont Brewery Challenge app includes every Vermont brewery open to the public. Dynamic real time features include: finding breweries and tap rooms near to where you are visiting (including beers on tap, location and hours), locating various styles of beer within Vermont, adding breweries to a mobile passport, earning rewards and merchandise by collecting stamps, and news about brewery events such as links to ticket sales for Vermont Brewers Festival Burlington in July and Vermont Brewers Festival Killington in March. Also includes an interactive map featuring beer trails to visit across the state. Available for download in the App Store and Google Play. www.vermont


    Art aficionados flock to New York City, but how many get to see an artist at work? Through April, visitors to the Hotel Edison in Midtown Manhattan can watch — and chat with — muralist Arnie Charnick as he completes three original works in a newly renovated corridor. The hotel’s first artist-in-residence, Charnick’s murals represent nearby Times Square in three eras, from vaudeville days through the 1980s. The soaring Art Deco hotel, dating back to 1931, hosts almost 800 rooms and suites, 24-hour fitness center, two restaurants (Bond 45; Friedmans) and The Rum House bar. Check website for deep discounts when booking in advance, reserving three nights or more, and park-and-stay deals. The Suite Life, valid for reservations through March 31, includes a $50 American Express Card when booking any suite. Rates from $112. 212-840-5000, www.edisonhotelnyc



    The Great Gatsby-era is alive in the Adirondacks at the Hotel Saranac. Originally designed in 1927 as a beacon of elegance in Saranac Lake, the hotel — now part of the select Curio Collection by Hilton — has reopened after a four-year, $35 million restoration. The sole survivor of 13 luxurious properties that dotted the lake in the 1920s, the hotel today features 82 reimagined guest rooms in its main building, and 20 more suites in Compass Point, an adjacent complex that will open later this year. The Great Hall dominates the second floor with Palazzo-inspired designs influenced by the 14th century Davanzati Palace in Florence. In addition, the property boasts the Ampersand Salon and Spa, the rustic-chic Campfire Adirondack Grill + Bar, and Academy & Main, the hotel’s retail arcade with 20 mini-boutiques selling everything from house-made candy to local artisan-made goods. Rates from $199. 518-891-6900,


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    Travel the world from the comfort of your couch with “Civilizations,” a new nine-part PBS/BBC documentary series. Filmed in six continents, the show celebrates how art, music, creativity, beauty, and esthetics shaped the development of civilizations throughout the world, across the span of 30,000 years. Historians Simon Schama, Mary Beard, and David Olusoga host the show, and are joined on the journey by scholars of history, archaeology and ethnology, art, architecture and religion. Historical works and artifacts covered in the series include the 35,000-year-old “Lion Man,” the cave paintings of Monte Castillo, ancient bronze masks of Sanxingdui in China, Mayan hieroglyphs, sculptures and carvings of Calakmul, Buddhist paintings in the Anjata Caves of India, Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, and many others. The series also brings history into the present with contemporary artists such as Damien Hirst, Kara Walker, Richard Misrach, and Sophie Matisse. Series premiere April 17.


    Packing for daytrips and short flights just got easier with the new Mini Puddle Jumper Day Bag by Lug. Designed to maximize each compartment’s practicality while reducing the overall size, this mini-tote can carry all your important stuff and still tuck neatly under the seat in front of you. Features include tote handles, removable cross-body strap, two water bottle holders, large front zip pocket, two small front zip accessory pockets, wipeable bottom with feet, interior with pen holders and clip hook keychain, and more. Design your own bag option; available in 12 custom-made colors and patterns, and choice of interior lining colors. $95