Monument to reopen
The National Park Service says the Washington Monument will reopen to visitors May 12 after being closed for nearly three years due to a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in 2011. Park officials say tours will begin May 12 at 1 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets for tours May 13 and beyond can be reserved online beginning April 16. The monument will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. through the summer. Workers have repaired more than 150 cracks in the stone structure.
United's carry-on crackdown
United Airlines' crackdown on passengers who cram all their necessities into carry-on bags to avoid fees has gained favor with fliers. Nearly half of recent fliers said they support the crackdown, according to an online survey conducted by a London research company. But the survey aims some criticism at the airlines: Half of recent fliers said oversized carry-ons wouldn't be a problem if airlines didn't charge so much for checked bags.
LOS ANGELES TIMES
High-end hotels are wheeling in spiffier rides
Hotels offering bikes to their guests as a way to see the local sights isn't new, but some are taking the concept to another level with souped-up versions. At 45 Park Lane in London, for example, guests have access to Brompton bicycles in the hotel's signature purple color. Le Meurice in Paris has pistachio-green bicycles with gold bike locks and decorations featuring the footprints of the hotel's mascot, Pistache. New York's Gramercy Park Hotel in New York just introduced Lorenzo Martone-designed bikes that are all white with bright red chains and "GPH" license plates. Chebeague Island Inn on Chebeague Island, Maine, has L.L. Bean-designed bikes, and Montage Kapalua Bay, opening this spring on Maui, will have Panama Jack bikes in different styles and colors, with touches like bottle openers. Besides their good looks, the best part about these bikes might be that using them is free.
NEW YORK TIMES
Deal of the week
Holiday Inn offering free nights
With Holiday Inn Resort's Free Night Now or Later offer, earn complimentary nights at any of 19 properties in the United States, Mexico or the Caribbean. Choose from two deals: Stay four consecutive nights and receive a free fifth night (book the Resort Bonus Night rate at holidayinn resorts.com/freenight) or stay two consecutive nights and earn a free night for a future stay. For the latter deal, you must be an IHG Rewards Club member (free to join) and redeem the free stay within a year. Prices and savings vary. Seven-day advance booking is required; stay through May 23.
A designer's touch south of London
Laura Ashley's the Manor Hotel is as much of a country retreat as you can get for a 30-minute drive from central London. It offers a welcome change of pace and scenery, with rates from $238 for a standard room. It was turned into a hotel in the 1980s before Ashley, the British furniture and fabric design company, bought it in 2012. The property underwent a serious refurbishment but kept many of the original features, including wood-carved fireplaces and lattice windows, and reopened last July. Barnet Lane, Elstree, England; 011-44-20-895-38227; lauraashleyhotels.com.
NEW YORK TIMES