Archive for April, 2011

Credit: Baby wholphin at Oahu‘s Sea Life Park by Mark Interrante Related resources Hawaii hotels Honolulu hotels

St. Maarten is a tiny island with a big, big heart. It’s even got two alternate name spellings — St. Martin for its French-run half, and Sint Maarten for its Dutch-run other — which in my opinion has always been the sign of somewhere truly unique. But St. Maarten’s got a lot more going for it than alternative spellings, as anyone who’s ever been there can attest. Looking for Caribbean beach vacations that’ll take you someplace you’ve never been? Take a closer look at what this 37-square-mile paradise of St. Maarten, where it’s not land mass that matters, but what you do with it that counts. Here are two great places to start for all budgets, starting with the affordable Captain Oliver’s Resort and rounding off with the posh Radisson Blu Resort.

A slew of new features being added to the Priority Club Rewards program is bringing new options for how frequent guests at IHG hotels can use their points.

Setting sail on its maiden voyage from Venice to Barcelona this May 1, the Carnival Magic will bring the “fun ship” line to the next level in cruising. Offering sailings through Europe as well as the Caribbean, the ship truly offers a little bit of something for everyone in a vibrant atmosphere that easily lends itself to having a great time.

Just as it isn’t kosher to scarf down all your scones in one bite, it probably isn’t acceptable to watch TV during traditional tea service. Unless you happen to be at Lockwood in The Palmer House Hilton this Friday morning during oh, you know, the Royal Wedding.

New Yorkers are often asked by visitors, “What is the best way to see New York City?” Well, if the goal is to soak up prime New York vacation spots, the best bet is via foot to pedal, and not from the back seat of a zooming cab. Enter the Five Boro Bike Tour, the largest recreational cycling event in the United States and the only way to explore Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Every year on the first Sunday of May, more than 30,000 riders participate in this 42-mile journey, which treats locals and tourists to a rare sight: streets closed off to automobile traffic.

Now it’s even easier to e-mail hotel options to your Facebook friends or groups thanks to the new Facebook Send button on Orbitz.

Find the newly launched button at the top of each hotel page. Unlike the “Like” button, which lets you broadcast worthwhile links to all your friends, the Facebook Send button is designed to help you privately share information only with specific Facebook friends or groups via e-mail.

Reserving a chef’s table at a hotel restaurant can make any business dinner more interesting. Here are a few examples.

By Jill E. Cooper Decades ago, when Walt Disney sat on a park bench in California dreaming of a place that families could enjoy together, I wonder if he ever envisioned attractions that would scare the socks off most people.  There’s no doubt about it — you can have a real bonding experience with your [read more…]

A spate of impending stork visits – and no, not mine (relax, darling husband) – spurred me into revisiting an old buzzword in travel: babymoons.

Pregnant ladies, are you still taking them? Dads-to-be, are you handling all the planning? If not, well you should be. Your lovely wife deserves one last big hurrah before her – and your — world becomes consumed by vaccination appointments, diaper runs and late-night colic. Whether you’re stealing her away for an all-inclusive vacation or beach vacation, here’s how to shower her with love more than any Mother’s Day card or bundle of roses ever could.

A DoubleTree hotel? Well ya coulda fooled me. Way to step it up DoubleTree.

So DoubleTree is a Hilton and The Wit is a DoubleTree (which means warm cookies and Hilton points). I don’t necessarily get it, but I sure do like it. My previous impression of DoubleTree was sort of low budget — not sure if that was an accurate impression — but it was mine. I am happy to say, though, that I’d give the brand a second look after seeing what they’ve accomplished with this downtown Chicago hotel which is also dare I say it … affordable . Well, at least comparable to five-star hotels at higher rates.

If there’s one thing everyone loves, it’s a great pool. Not your average, run of the mill swimming hole — but a bona fide, grandiose pool that makes wading on the shores of even the most pristine beach seem like a step down in quality. The four Riviera Maya hotels below all share the one thing in common that brings the aquaphiles running: pools that make you go “wow.”

US Airways Express is debuting first class cabins on 110 of its regional jet aircraft, bringing first-class upgrade options to 640 additional daily flights by January 2012.

For travelers looking for free refreshments and perhaps a bit of local insight, hotel manager receptions can bring added value to a hotel stay.

From the moment Captain Mickey steps into the terminal as you prepare to board Disney’s Magic or Wonder, you are in for an unforgettable vacation. As you prepare for passage on one of these world-class ships, here are some suggestions for making the most out of your first Disney Cruise Line experience.

There’s something about colonial architecture set amid island greenery that’s fascinating to the eye, and even more thrilling to the rest of the senses. Perhaps it evokes romantic images of bygone eras, or maybe it gives people a vague notion of traveling backwards in time—whatever it is, it’s an insanely appealing combination. Throw in all the comforts of contemporary life, and it’s a combo you simply can’t pass up. There are some Montego Bay hotels that do this better than others. Case in point: the Riu Montego Bay All-Inclusive, a sprawling resort situated right on the shore of Mahoe Bay just a few miles from Montego Bay. So what makes the Riu “all that” when compared to other Montego Bay resorts?

There’s an awful lot to discover in Atlanta, but before you dive into planning your day’s adventure you’d best set your sights on a place to lay your head when the day’s through. One of the most comfortable and classy Atlanta hotels to stay in that will help you accomplish that task with minimal traveling distance from the boatload of nearby attractions is the W Atlanta in Midtown.

For travelers seeking a quiet, upscale beach excursion, Southwest Florida is the ultimate Florida vacation destination. From Sarasota to Naples, Florida’s gulf beaches stand out as some of the world’s most pristine shorelines. The sand is powdery and white, and the waves are mild and jewel-toned. Trying to decide whether to plan your Florida vacation in Sarasota, Naples or Fort Myers? Here’s a quick guide from a local.

It’s been a hellish winter, and nothing breaks us out of the winter blues like a new wardrobe and spring break getaway with your friends. Manhattan is the ultimate destination for sprucing up your wardrobe and catching up with friends, so we’ve chosen four stylish New York hotels near chic shopping districts.

Las Vegas is nothing if not wildly diverse. In fact, if you could look up “broad appeal” in the dictionary, the word “Vegas” would likely appear as its sole definition, and rightly so. Where else can you be guaranteed to find what you’re looking for regardless of who you are, where you’re from, or when you were born? In truth, Las Vegas vacations can satisfy just about any quotient, whether that’s diversity, affordability, or both. Here are three of the best deals in Las Vegas that cater to three uniquely distinct demographics: the singles, the sweethearts, and the seniors.