Archive for May, 2011

Business travelers and vacationers craving a bit more luxury in their travels will likely welcome the news that Sheraton Hotels has poured more than $100 million into upgrades at 120 of its Club Lounges around the world, including hotels in New York City, Honolulu, Denver, Toronto, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires and Edinburgh. The refurbishing is the last phase of Sheraton’s recent $6 billion revitalization effort, which has included some $4 billion worth of new hotels and renovations in North America alone.

America has a new best beach, according to the self-proclaimed Dr. Beach. Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Fla is No. 1 this year. Locals claim it has the finest and whitest sand in the world.

Some people don’t like all-inclusive vacations. Others swear by them. But on this we can all agree: We all enjoy a getaway to Hawaii. Here’s an escape to satisfy both sets of travelers: Honolulu hotels that ooze boutique appeal. Check out these three chic stays, each one a prime destination for summer vacations.

By Vince Font While you and the rest of the world weren’t looking, Las Vegas came of age. And the evidence isn’t as plainly in view as you might think. While most people would point to the growth of Vegas’ South Strip, or to the presence of the kind of family-oriented hotels like Circus Circus [read more…]

There are few beach activities that are both exciting and relaxing, but if you query the opinions of travelers experienced in beach vacations, you’ll likely reach the consensus that snorkeling is one of them. Great snorkeling needs more than just clear waters – the water should also be calm enough to keep you from drifting and warm enough to be enjoyable. The island of Cozumel in the Caribbean provides both, and the following Cozumel hotels are three of the best to try out for the ultimate snorkeling experience.

Starting May 25, travelers flying between Chicago and the west coast will have a new choice in the air, as Virgin America debuts at O’Hare International Airport with daily nonstop flights to both Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.

From Abu Dhabi to Bal Harbour, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts is introducing a slew of new luxury hotels around the world. Here’s what’s in store.

Many luxury all-inclusives have some sort of meeting space, and can also arrange for private group dining and themed events for business groups both large and small. In addition, a growing number have full-fledged convention space with audiovisual equipment and business services.

The Disney Fantasy will maintain some of the Disney Dream fan-favorites, like the AquaDuck – the first shipboard water coaster but also has some really cool features that make it stand out on its own.

Upscale hotels around the world offer relief from jet lag, with a variety of spa treatments and special amenities. Here are a few of the best.

By Vince Font You needn’t have had past romantic beach vacations ruined by the presence of gallivanting kids to favor the occasional adults-only resort. And you certainly don’t have to have a dislike of children. In fact, some of the most frequent customers of adults-only summer vacations are parents themselves, just looking for a bit [read more…]

As rental car companies gradually build up their fleets of hybrid vehicles, they also offer eco-friendly, EPA-approved SmartWay Certified vehicles.

Between juice bags, fresh fruit by the bushel, bread, milk, cereal and more, our monthly grocery bill covers mostly the basics but can easily creep to the mid $400s. At least when we’re cooking at home, though, these are costs that we can control. Come summer vacation, when most of the meals are enjoyed out, it’s anyone’s guess what the final bill will be. For my next getaway and yours, finding a hotel where kids eat free could be the way to go. Because one fewer meal to purchase equals a few more dollars for incidentals — like that “I Burnt My Buns in the Bahamas” Frisbee that my 6-year-old just can’t live without.

Most people taking spring break vacations and summer vacations to Orlando aren’t aware that there’s actually more to do after the sun sets than there is in daylight. Beyond the walls of Disney World,though, is the city’s lesser-known dark side. Here are a few tips for all you night owls out there, as well as those who simply want to squeeze as much fun out of every waking hour of their Orlando vacations as possible.

Call 2011 the summer of airfare limbo. In a random sample, we found tickets from $85 to $199, proving that travelers can still snag round-trip flights less than $200. The trick is to be flexible and consider traveling during off-peak times and days. And here’s even more good news: Some fares so cheap that they’ll cost less than a tank of gas.

As much as we could all use a break from buzzing Blackberries and cranky clients, sometimes we have to mix a little business with pleasure. Fortunately, these Tampa hotels give visitors the best of both worlds: ample meeting and event space with easy access to the best of Tampa’s nightlife so you can kick back after a long day.

A long journey is a worthy sacrifice for the ultimate reward: an Australia vacation. In its tropical North, where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef, I awoke each day trying to choose between adventure and relaxation. Should I cuddle with a koala? Snorkel with tropical fish? Ride a zip-line through the rainforest canopy? Take a stroll on the beach? Get a massage? It was hard to pick and I wanted to do it all.

The summer that “Dirty Dancing” came out (1987, if you’re feeling nostalgic) my next-door neighbor and I spent the next nine months recreating the routines in our backyard and memorizing every word to “Be My Baby,” a painstaking process that involved stopping and starting my boombox until the cassette ribbon nearly snapped from being rewound so many times.

We thought we were Baby. We wore her jean shorts. We owned the same pair of Keds. And more than anything, we longed to be her swaying in Patrick Swayze’s beefy arms at the Kellerman’s Resort.

Twenty-four years later, it continues to be the film that I most associate with summer vacation. It must have been the time of my life (heyo!) for it symbolized my tween angst, my perennial girlhood crushes, my desire to escape – even if the getaway was a road trip with my family to upstate New York.

Too often people make the mistake of dismissing the Walt Disney World Resort as a “kids’ place.” So take my advice, grown-ups: Explore your inner children during the day, and turn that Disney magic into date night once the sun goes down.

Bangkok hotels offer all the same amenities you can find in places that specialize in all-inclusive vacations and spring break destinations, with a few notable exceptions. First, you can score spring or summer vacations at unbelievable prices. Second, you don’t have to settle for someone else’s idea of Thai cuisine – once in country, it’s all authentic. And then of course there’s the broad diversity of spa treatments and massages that are the trademark of Thai vacations. Here are three of the top Bangkok hotels that deliver unequaled value with a heavy emphasis on massage.