Archive for September, 2011

Shopping for the best rental car loyalty program can bring you more than just discounts and express check-in. Here are some examples.

By Francesca Pardo Now that May gray, Junegloom and August shade are over, fall is my favorite time of the year in San Diego.  The weather is ideal, the water is warm, the evenings are cool and hotel rates go down.  Along with these ideal conditions are a few great things to do while visiting [read more…]

By Antoinette Bierman It’s truly a unique experience to work for a company that champions diversity and equalityto the extent that they are active participants in the communities they support. As a first-time volunteer at the Atlanta Pride Festival –to be held this year from Oct. 8 to 9 — I was excited to see [read more…]

One absolute truth about cruises: there’s something for just about everyone. This broad appeal also applies to the selection of staterooms. Cruise ships feature a wide range of stateroom categories, but the best one for you all depends on the type of cruise experience you’re after, whether it be excitement, relaxation or both.

Few people would choose to vacation at an airport hotel, but when it comes to convenience, these strategically placed properties are among the best options for anyone looking to catch a flight or make a quick business trip. But not all tarmac-adjacent guest rooms are created equal. Here are a few of the best choices around the nation.

Ah, fall! To many the season brings thoughts of new school supplies, jack-o-lanterns, apple-picking and piles of leaves. Where I grew up in rural Pennsylvania, autumn also meant hunting season. Men throughout the region gleefully planned their annual retreats to their hunting cabins to spend a few days in the company of friends. There’s something to be said for the restorative value of restful, uninterrupted time in the wild, but who says this kind of therapeutic male-bonding must take place at a hunting camp? To this, I suggest an unlikely place: Walt Disney World.

Airline club lounges offer a quiet oasis away from the hectic airport scene. Here’s what you can expect to pay and a survey of the amenities at the top clubs.

Held at spas and some hotel spas in 32 states, D.C. and Canada, the weeklong event is a way of justifying indulgence at a price that won’t prompt my husband to file for divorce$ 50. These facials, massages, manicures, pedicures and specialty treatments (hello, cat eye lash extensions) cost less than the cheapest pair of designer denim and are my vehicle to escape, renew and vavoomify. Not surprisingly, the appointments go quickly, so I always book early to ensure that those neck and back bones get their badly needed rubdown.

While crowds flock to the picturesque towns of New England for fall vacations, international cities unwind a notch to render local character (and cheap hotel rates). From the Salon du Chocolat in Paris to fall foliage in Central Park, see what the harvest yields among the panoply of peep in London, Paris and New York City.

Orbitz Senior Editor Jeanenne Tornatore brought us back a special treat from her recent stay at Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa in Ko Olina: an exclusive video interview with Joe Rohde, the property’s imagineer. Learn about its kid-friendly features and how it is no ordinary Hawaii hotel.

From new hotel options to an airport expansion that will accommodate gigantic 21st-century aircraft, here is the latest travel news from Los Angeles.

Spirit Airlines is upping its service in both Chicago and Las Vegas; here’s the latest on the new routes.

Alarm clocks ring extra early in New Mexico during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The first balloons lift off at 6 a.m. for Dawn Patrol and glow a fiery orange in the early-morning desert sky. Mass Ascension takes place about one hour later — it’s said to be a spectacle of color and shapes when more than 500 hot air balloons take to the sky at once.

In my house, dismissing the opportunity to go see “Dolphin Tale,” the fuzzy movie about “Winter,” the bottlenose dolphin whose real life home is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, Fla., would be the equivalent of canceling Christmas. To skip the movie, which opens Friday, would not be worth the heartbreak of a 7- and 5-year-old. I’m game, if only as research for what I really want to do with the family next spring break: Take a beach vacation that involves a dolphin experience. At these 5 resorts, suit up to swim with the most elegant creatures in the ocean.

More hotels than ever feature original artwork by well-known and emerging artists. Here are a few great places to stay

Upscale hotels around the country are offering guests free use of luxury cars to get around. Here are a few of the top hotels doing it.

For its barely-in-the-air flight time from Chicago and historic appeal, Boston wooed us from the get (and, it has to be said, the best bargain flights I’ve ever purchased at $122 roundtrip the week before Labor Day). Here are a few highlights from our trip, including recommendations for Boston hotels:

Rooftop pools. Moody, club-like lighting. Courtyards with private villas. Definitely not the level of amenities to expect in an American hotel, but in travelers would be shocked at the luxurious standards at some Bangkok hotels for a modest $100 per night. Here are three beautiful, high-quality Bangkok hotels with wow features that you’ll never get used to paying so little for.

By Vince Font With year-round sunshine and blissful bay views, business travelersknow that there are far worse places to be “stuck” than Tampa. Many moderate Tampa hotels are within 10 minutes of the airport, and close to dining and shopping at Westshore and International Plaza. So even if by day you’re toiling away with your [read more…]

Traveling by sea has come a long way. For many, the idea of being stuck on a boat for several days was far from appealing. The attractions and activities on today’s cruise lines, however, have turned ocean voyages into resort vacations in transit. Where ship passengers once passed the time playing cards in stuffy cabins, they now enjoy the excitement of table games and slots at onboard casinos. Taking in beautiful ocean views remains a favorite activity, but now you can do so from the top of a rock-climbing wall. From shopping and relaxation to thrills and Vegas-style entertainment, the range of activities on some cruise ships is borderline ridiculous.