JULY 10, 2017 — Good morning, everybody! Here's the latest from the world's hotels, festivals, and architectural marvels.
SCAFFOLDING TO COVER TAJ MAHAL DURING YEARLONG RESTORATION (Travel Weekly)
The Taj Mahal in India is undergoing a large-scale restoration that officials say will ultimately leave the marble beauty a brighter shade of white.
In the meantime, however, the main dome and central structure of the building will be covered by scaffolding, as workers apply a mud-pack treatment designed to clean the surface, which has yellowed over time.
The project is expected to be completed in April 2018—which is a bummer for the millions of tourists who will visit the site before then, particularly if they were hoping to capture some postcard-worthy photos.
Though the site won't be seen again in all its highly Instagrammable glory for nearly a year, it will remain open to visitors throughout the restoration.
MEXICAN MANSION OF DRUG KINGPIN PABLO ESCOBAR TURNED INTO LUXURY HOTEL (TravelPulse)
A mansion that once belonged to '80s drug kingpin Pablo Escobar has been turned into a luxury hotel in Tulum, Mexico.
After sitting vacant for the last 14 years, the 35-room property has been renovated and transformed into the Casa Malca, an elegant inn set next to a beach on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
The place is filled with contemporary art from the collection of its new owner, Lio Lamca, an art dealer based in New York. Other amenities include a pool, rooftop deck, and restaurant.
It all sounds pretty chichi for a spot associated with Escobar, the "King of Cocaine" who ran the very violent and highly lucrative Colombian Medellin Cartel before he was killed in a shootout with police in 1993. His story has recently been dramatized in the Netflix series Narcos.
A stay at Casa Malca will set you back €450 (US$513) per night.
HOLD ONTO YOUR LEDERHOSEN—THAT STEIN AT OKTOBERFEST WILL COST YOU (Condé Nast Traveler)
The price for a stein of beer is going up at Munich's Oktoberfest this year.
Scheduled for September 16 through October 3, the Bavarian festival famous for brews, sausages, lederhosen, and oompah bands will be charging €10.95 (US$12.44) for each liter of the beer made especially for the event.
That's €0.25 more than the cost in 2016 and a whopping €4.65 more than a single stein was going for in 2003.
You can opt for other beers at Oktoberfest, of course, but no liter being offered at any of the event's 14 tents will be cheaper than €10.60 (US$12.04).
But the true outrages are reserved for soft drinks. The average price for a liter of bottled water and lemonade will be €8.73 (US$9.92) and €9.55 (US$10.85), respectively.
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