Archive for February, 2010

This family set out to find the most luxurious, kid-friendly, budget-friendly resort in the northern hemisphere. See where they landed.

Orbitz insiders are available to help you plan your trips. What destination do you want to learn about most? Cast your vote on our Facebook poll.

Every spring, St. Petersburg, Fla., is temporarily transformed into a speedway as the city plays host to the prestigious Honda Grand Prix. The chic downtown area overlooking the bay with its laid-back atmosphere, sidewalk cafes and luxury yachts, evokes visions of Monaco as, for just a short time, street racing takes center stage. This year’s Grand Prix is being billed as the “world’s fastest spring break party,” and when you consider the numbers that are involved, it’s right on the mark.

We’ve released the 2010 Orbitz Best In Stay awards today, recognizing more than 50 hotels that scored rave reviews from Orbitz guests.

There are several areas in the Magic Kingdom that are dedicated for little ones to run around. Our favorite is Pooh’s Playful Spot, a 6,300-square-foot play area located in Fantasyland. This area features a kid-sized house, log slide, crawl spaces, and a soft floor.

Eating at a Disney counter-service location doesn’t mean your family has to eat unhealthily. In addition to traditional park fare such as great burgers, chicken fingers, and french fries, we’ve also found that counter-service locations have added more soups, salads and wraps as well as more vegetarian options to their menus.

I experienced one of this Las Vegas hotel spa’s several unique treatments, the Ancient Cane Ritual, using sugar cane juice, crystals and oil to treat the skin and polished bamboo rods for deep massage and activating trigger points. I also enjoyed the Power of Pumpkin anti-aging facial, an 11-step process with pumpkin, yam and fruit-based Eminence products that showed visible results.

Our Caribbean vacation destination of choice is Aruba. Our beach and home-away-from-home (for five years), is the Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino (which was renovated two years ago). We feel that it offers something for all of us, in addition to it being very comfortable and spacious.

For about two months, 15 MLB teams will start warming up for their seasons in exhibition games. It all begins in late February/early March in stadiums from Lake Buena Vista to Jupiter, and it’s truly your chance to see some of your favorite teams up close.

Many of the stadiums have these amazing grassy green lawns, so you can watch the game and have a picnic. Sitting on a blanket and enjoying hot dogs, brats, and a cold one while basking in temperatures of about 75-80 degrees — I don’t think it gets much better than that.

Savannah, Ga. will transform itself into the host of the second largest party in the country for the upcoming 186th St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebration. Although the parade will be on Wednesday, March 17, many activities and events will begin the weekend before. I know I’m excited for the annual Greening of the Forsyth Park Fountain.

Air Canada says it will add service to seven more U.S. cities from its Toronto/Pearson hub. And the slow-motion descent of Japan Airlines into bankruptcy in January is proving to be quite an opportunity for All Nippon Airways. JAL will drop at least 14 international and 17 domestic routes and ANA announced it will add a slew of new service.

JetBlue Airways continues to grow in Boston. It’ll launch flights between Boston/Logan and San Jose, Calif., on May 13. Also, United Airlines now offers one-way awards as part of Mileage Plus.

No other word better describes Rio de Janeiro than “exhilarating.” It’s a city that seduces visitors with the persistent rhythm of samba, mile upon mile of sandy beaches, stunning mountains that tumble down to the deep blue sea and sexy tan bodies of its residents.

The problem is, Rio de Janeiro SPOILS its visitors, and it can be really hard to adjust to life back home. What do you mean I have to put my shirt on to enter your café? What happened to the constant parade of hot gay men I’ve grown accustomed to seeing on the streets? Where’s my $20 steak extravaganza? Where’s my acai juice? Even as I write this, I start to get crabby with longings of Rio and wonder when I can plan another gay travel excursion there.

O at Bellagio: The title of this Cirque du Soleil show is a pun on the French “eau,” or water, which is the centerpiece of this magnificent production, performed on a massive moving stage/tank of H2O. Two clown sailors provide both comic relief and a thematic thru-line between a variety of aqua-centered acts drawing on a world of cultural touchstones and archetypes.

Only one island has this much cross-cultural, all-ages, Town & Country-flavored celeb cache: Barbados, the sophisticated, sunny haven of the East Indies. Due to its British colonial heritage, Barbados has a posh flair even in its beach resorts: Luxury “Platinum Coast” hotels like Sandy Lane and the Fairmont Royal Pavilion are built on the stately grounds of former sugar plantations.

On a recent trip to New Orleans for an Orbitz team meeting, me and 30 of my colleagues had a rare opportunity to spend some time away from our New Orleans hotel and see another side of the city. As we boarded a school bus outside our hotel on Bourbon Street, we were told only that we would be spending the morning at GW Carver High School in the ninth ward as part of a community service project.

Last month Hyatt opened two new hotels, the Andaz Wall Street and, on nearby Long Island, the 123-room Hyatt Place Garden City. The 13-story, 253-room Andaz in the financial district will be followed later this year by an Andaz property on Fifth Avenue.

By Laura Deeken This week I traveled to Orlando to explore everything that is new and different at Walt Disney World. I haven’t been to the resort since I was 9 years old, so I was curious to see what my experience would be like as an adult. Since I don’t have kids, I checked out some of [read more…]