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Prahran Hotel features zero guests, but you'll find plenty of beer and fancy pub grub. The contemporary watering hole was recently redesigned with a bright, open courtyard and giant concrete pipes that encase long booths. Such hearty menu items as braised steak and onion pot pie, and Scotch filet with mashed potatoes, are complemented by Italian specialties including eggplant parmigiana and linguine with prawn and scallops. Australian microbrews are on offer (4 Pines Kolsch, Mountain Goat Hightail Ale, Vale Dark Lager), but Friday brings Karma Keg night; the barman taps one keg of Carlton Draught and patrons pay-what-they-want (proceeds to charity).

Los Angeles

The Ritz-Carlton is inviting guests to rub elbows with the likes of Beyoncé and Jay-Z at this year's American Music Awards. For $15,400, your three-night stay at the swank hotel will come with behind-the-scenes access to the production set at Nokia Theatre, two prime orchestra-level seats to the show, and VIP entry to pre- and post-parties and to the Red Carpet Hospitality Lounge. To get red-carpet ready, you'll get your hair and makeup done, along with the signature champagne and shimmer body treatment, at the spa.


Revered mixologist Paul McGee (formerly of hotspot the Whistler) has opened a new tiki bar in River North. From the rattan furniture and bamboo screens to the paintings of half-naked Polynesian women, the setting evokes a faraway tropical island. And so does the rum-infused cocktail list that's highlighted with concoctions named Bunny's Banana Daquiri and A Lonely Island Lost in the Middle of a Foggy Sea. If you're drinking with a posse, order the Treasure Chest, a mix of fruit juices and Guatemalan rum, served with a bottle of Dom Pérignon ($398).


If you're looking for something more adventurous than a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, sign up for the sightseeing flights from Airship Paris. The sky-high outings, which take up to 12 passengers over Versailles, La Roche-Guyon Castle or the Château of Chantilly, are on a blimp that's outfitted with oversized windows and high-tech acoustic and thermal insulation (expect a smooth and relatively silent ride). Flights last up to 90 minutes and start at $615 a passenger.