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Vacationist Hotel Deals: Manhattan, California, and the British Virgin Islands

201106-b-bitterendjpgWe’ve got a mixed bag today: a stay at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City gives you coveted access to the blossoming gardens of the city’s most exclusive private park, while a couple nights at Bernardus Lodge means you’ll unwind among grape vines just north of California’s Big Sur. Throw in a British Virgin Islands beach getaway deal, and this summer, you’ll be living easy.

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201106-b-gramercyjpgGramercy Park Hotel - up to 36% off
New York, New York

When design partners Ian Schrager and Julian Schnabel unveiled their reimagined, ultraswanky Gramercy Park Hotel in winter 2006, it brought modern glamour back to this 1925-era property. The 185 rooms—done up in Raphaelite tones of jade, claret, and sapphire blue—are furnished with chairs and ottomans upholstered in thick velvet, studded leather hope chests, and heavy drapes. Many have views across the park, and all are enlivened by funky metal light fixtures and bold wall art (much of it black-and-white photography from the Magnum agency archives). Art looms large in the common areas too; the checkerboard-tiled lobby, where rough-hewn wooden columns support a 20-foot ceiling, and the adjacent Rose and Jade bars double as galleries for paintings by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Cy Twombly. And all guests are allowed entry to the exclusive, quiet, private Gramercy Park, just outside. (Sale ends in 4 days.)

201106-b-bernardusjpgBernardus Lodge - up to 36% off
Carmel Valley, California

A stay at Bernardus Lodge proves that Napa hotels don't have a monopoly on California's premier wine country. The romantic 57-suite Bernardus is ideally situated in a lush mountain valley between the Monterey peninsula and the Big Sur coast (about 160 miles south of Napa Valley) and close to the region's well-regarded wineries and celebrated golf links. The all-suite accommodations blend antiques and wood-beam ceilings with the requisite high-tech touches, plus plush beds, soaking tubs, and wood-burning fireplaces. The lodge's Marinus restaurant, with chef Cal Stamenov at the helm, has evolved into one of northern California's premier dining spots, serving California natural cuisine: dishes include Sonoma duck and grilled quail served with risotto, chanterelle, and foie gras sauce, and Carmel Bay prawns and shellfish bisque flavored with cilantro and jalapeño, paired with prize-winning Marinus Estate Bordeaux-style wine from the lodge's own vineyard. There's plenty to keep you occupied in the immediate surroundings, from hikes and horseback riding in the nearby Santa Lucia mountains to tennis, croquet, or bocce on the lodge lawns, but who wants to leave your perch overlooking vineyards, rolling hills, and lavender blossoms? (Sale ends in 3 days.)

Bitter End Yacht Club (above) - up to 30% off
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Christopher Columbus once thought Virgin Gorda resembled a supine lady from afar, but the similarities end there: this spot in the British Virgin Islands isn't the place for spending all day flat on a beach towel. At the family-owned Bitter End Yacht Club (one of the first hotels on the island), Boston Whaler motorboats are at the ready for island explorers—a 40-minute ride will bring you to several lush, sparsely inhabited islands, including Salt Island, which is home to a 19th-century shipwreck. Back at the hotel, which dates to the 1970s, trade winds cool the 85 West Indian-style rooms (most with unobstructed views of the water) and keep the accredited sailing school filled with adventure types practicing for keelboat certification. Three years ago, the resort underwent a multimillion dollar renovation, and this summer, it will unveil a brand-new marina large enough to accommodate 18 yachts for travelers arriving by sea. (Sale ends in 4 days.)

Vacationist.com is brought to you by Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com.

Photos, from top: Courtesy of Bitter End Yacht Club; courtesy of Gramercy Park Hotel; courtesy of Bernardus Lodge.



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