Blossoms bloom in D.C., Dallas; hotel serves $680 cocktail


In conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the Dallas Arboretum’s Dallas Blooms floral festival, Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Dallas is offering a special through April 4. The “Room with a Bloom” package includes a $219 per night room rate, transportation to the Dallas Arboretum, two festival tickets and more. Book via

Dallas Blooms ( features 66 acres with more than 500,000 blooming spring bulbs, 100 cherry blossom trees and 6,000 flowering azaleas.

Jody Schmal


Washington, D.C.’s famous cherry blossom trees are expected to bring the first sure sign of spring between April 8-12, when they’re predicted to reach peak bloom. James Perry, chief of resource management for the National Park Service, made the bloom prediction as organizers announced plans for this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival ( It runs March 20-April 13 with events celebrating the trees and Japanese culture. The festival also includes a fitness theme with activities planned around the city’s monuments. This year marks the 102nd anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees from Japan as a symbol of friendship with the United States.

Brett Zongker, Associated Press


The Ciragan Palace Kempinski, arguably Istanbul’s most luxurious hotel, is serving up a cocktail well-suited to its former Ottoman palace environs. And it comes with a sultan-savvy price tag of – gulp – $680. If you’re thinking the sipper must be made of gold, you’d be partially correct. The Ciragan Luxury Sahlep is the hotel’s premium spin on the sahlep, a warm, traditional Turkish drink made with the ground-up ingredient found in dried tubers of orchid plants, which is said to have aphrodisiac qualities. The smooth-but-spicy drink also includes Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac, chocolate liqueur (80 percent cocoa with a dark vintage rum), Tahitian vanilla and artisanal honey from an organic Turkish farm. It comes in a large snifter garnished real gold leaves. For details about the Ciragan Palace Kempinski (rates from $745), go to

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