Landlocked Laos might be quieter than Southeast Asian neighbors like Vietnam and Thailand, but 2018 could transform the country into the region’s next hot spot. Wattay International Airport, in the capital of Vientiane, is set to complete a terminal expansion to accommodate more international links next year, but the biggest changes are foot in the UNESCO World Heritage–inscribed town of Luang Prabang, in central Laos. This serene riverside spot lures travelers to its golden Buddhist temples, French-colonial architecture, hiking trails, nearby elephant sanctuaries — and now, glamorous new digs. Last year, the design-forward Azerai opened inside a century-old French-colonial building that was formerly an officer’s quarters. The debut concept from Aman Resorts founder Adrian Zecha has airy, light wood interiors that nod to local culture in their use of batik textiles and Laotian artwork. There’s also an 80-foot swimming pool in a tree-shaded central courtyard. The upcoming Rosewood Luang Prabang aims to be a destination in itself. Opening in mid 2018, this highly anticipated resort will feature pavilion-style villas, luxury tents, and a spa that seems to float above the jungle. —Kate Springer
A suicide bomber and his victims are set to become travelers, but the bomb explodes and only Donner, the bomber, survives. Devastated by his failure, Donner tries to betray the traveler program to the authorities, but the entire hearing is populated by travelers who hold a trial and convict Donner of treason. Donner is overwritten by a new traveler, who must serve Donner's prison sentence, and reports that things in the future are getting worse despite the changes enacted by Traveler teams in the 21st. Luca approaches Donner in prison, implying that he has lost faith in the Director. Ken, David's boss, believes David's relationship with Marcy is inappropriate. Upon meeting Marcy, he believes she has defrauded the system. Marcy saves David's job by repaying her benefits. Grace, Trevor's guidance counselor, and Jacqueline, Carly's social worker, genuinely care about them, respectively. Grace tries to help Trevor with his academics, and Jacqueline promises that she will not let the system fail Carly and her child. Philip discovers that gambling outcomes are deviating slightly from the historic record.
Vincent asks the team to stand down and let him finish what he has been planning. When the team refuses to comply, Vincent holds the lives of Kat, David, Jeffery, Ray, and Grace over them, and forces them to reveal themselves as Travelers to the world. The team must make the choice between breaking protocol and thus risking being overwritten by the Director, or doing what they must to save the ones they've grown to care about since their arrival in the 21st.
The city has cemented its reputation as a must-visit destination with its most recent honor: it’s been named 2018 World Design Capital, the first ever in the Americas. It’s no wonder: despite challenges like the recent earthquake, young Mexican creatives are no longer searching for opportunities abroad but staying to build something meaningful at home. Their success is evident in arts initiatives like Zonamaco and the Material Art Fair in February, Design Week Mexico in October, and the Condo Fair, which will debut in Mexico’s capital in April. Aesthetes have plenty of design-forward places to stay and eat, too. Bed down at Downtown Mexico, the newest hotel by Grupo Habita, which plans to open another property, Catedral M X, nearby in 2018. Or book a room at the Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, which unveiled an ambitious redesign by Gilles & Boissier in 2016. Dine at Enrique Olvera’s world-famous Pujol, which relocated last year to a mid-century house and has a fresh, pared-down look. The new space is outfitted in natural materials — a fitting design for a restaurant that celebrates wood-fired cooking. —Laura Itzkowitz
In August 2012, Travelers sued the National Football League for forcing the company and its subsidiaries to pay to defend the league for failing to protect players from brain injury, in a case filed in the New York State Supreme Court called Discover Property & Casualty Co. et al. vs. National Football League et al., New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 652933/2012. The league had sued over three dozen insurance companies the week before in an attempt to cover the claims that players made against the league.
Rising above its associations with the annual hot-air-balloon festival, Albuquerque will this year set out to prove itself as a fully-fledged destination. The Sawmill District, just north of the historic Old Town, is being revived as a creative center, anchored by the arrival of the Hotel Chaco. The design of this boutique property, which opened in April, is inspired by the state’s indigenous culture, with handmade Navajo wool textiles and pueblo-inspired motifs. Come spring, downtown ABQ will also see the arrival of a new entertainment hub: the $40 million One Central, which will have a sleek bowling lounge, as well as upscale stores and restaurants. And just outside town, visitors will soon be able to experience the striking Sandia Mountains in a nail-biting new way. The proposed Mountain Coaster, an alpine sled-style ride that plunges riders down the mountainside in a total vertical drop of 380 feet, is due to open this fall. Getting to Albuquerque is becoming even easier, thanks to new nonstop flights from major U.S. cities via Southwest, United, and Alaska Airlines. —Melanie Lieberman
During the summer of 2015, Islands simultaneously recorded two records: Should I Remain Here, At Sea? — a spiritual successor to the band's debut album, Return to the Sea — and Taste, a "more electronic" album "buoyed by drum machines, programming and vintage synths." The albums were released on May 13, 2016 via the band's own Manqué label, reaching #21 and #23 on the Billboard Heatseeker charts, respectively.