The Maxwell Hotel in Seattle’s Lower Queen Anne neighborhood has a boutique feel and an artsy, modern decor that reflects its location in the theater district (just steps from the Seattle Opera’s home, McCaw Hall, and KeyArena, on the site of the 1962 World’s Fair). Walk a few blocks to the Space Needle. Hop on the monorail to downtown shops and Pike Place Market ($4 round trip). Or borrow a hotel cruiser bike and explore miles of off-street bike paths. Each room in this independent, child-friendly hotel comes with a microwave, fridge, and coffeemaker. Free parking and Internet, and DVD players with complimentary movies and popcorn. Rates start at $209; packages available in October, in conjunction with the Seattle Art Museum’s new Picasso exhibit. 877-298-9728, www.themaxwellhotel.com
A star-studded event
Learn to use a sidewalk telescope, visit an inflatable sky lab, and take a workshop on how to capture shots of the night sky, all during the second annual Acadia Night Sky Festival, Sept. 9-13. Hosted by Acadia National Park and the city of Bar Harbor, the festival celebrates night skies as valuable natural resources, and aims to educate and entertain. A panel discusses efforts to preserve the night skies, and then you board a 112-foot catamaran for a naturalist-led Night Sky Boat Cruise around Bar Harbor. Fees are $45 for the photography workshop (reservations required) and $8-$15 for the cruise. 207-288-5103, www.nightskyfestival.org
Luxury at Beijing airport
In Beijing’s new Langham Place hotel there are DJs in the lobby, a 24-hour high-tech lounge, and loft-style soundproofed rooms. The five-star hotel just steps from Beijing Capital Airport’s new Terminal 3 offers such attractions as Club L lounge: four zones with gaming stations, massage chairs, a complimentary bar with drinks and snacks, and two “revitalize’’ rooms for early check-ins and late check-outs. There are also a full-service spa, indoor pool, and four onsite restaurants. Rates start at $198. 800-588-9141, beijingairport.langhamplacehotels.com
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