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A Travel Blog from the Editors of T+L

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December Vacation Deals

Nautical decor

Sicily: 30% from villa specialist Italian Rentals4U

Sun Break package includes:
• Seven nights at the three-bedroom Villa Rita, in the town of Cefalù.
• Learn to make traditional Sicilian pastas and desserts during two private cooking classes with a local chef.
• A wine tasting at a local winery
• A guided tour of Cefalù, a medieval-walled port town

Cost: $2,145 ($306 per night), for six guests; book by January 31.
Booking details: Valid for travel from March 1–May 30. Use code L&TIT4U

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November Vacation Deals

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Florida: 61% off from Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village

Sunset Getaway package includes:
• Two nights in a Traditional room.
• Spot dolphins on a 90-minute sunset boat tour.
• Free upgrade based on availability.

Cost: $398 ($199 per night), double. November 1–December 31.

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October Vacation Deals

Hotel counter

Vermont: 50% off from the Essex Resort & Spa

Recipe for Relaxation package includes:

• Two nights in a Traditional room
• A “chef-in-training” class at the on-site Cook Academy
• A welcome treat from the resort’s bakery
• Access to the spa facilities, which include sauna, steam rooms, and relaxation lounges

Cost: $349 ($175 per night)
Book now for travel between October 1 and December 19.

Chicago: 30% off from Acme Hotel Company

Life on the Edge package includes:

• Two nights in a standard king room
• Spot four states—Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan—from the Ledge, an all-glass observation deck on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower
• Two $10 breakfast vouchers
• Craft cocktails at the Berkshire room
• Two passes to the TILT Observation Deck

Cost: $438 ($219 per night)
Book now for travel between October 1 and November 30. 

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Best Deals Travel Deals for September 2014

September Best Deals

From a culinary retreat in Buenos Aires to a Wild West adventure in Texas, T+L serves up ample inspiration for a late summer getaway.

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March Vacation Deals

Westin Hilton Head

Want to practice your photography skills in Mexico or cruise the Mediterranean? This month’s deals have you covered.

Art & Culture

Beijing and Shanghai: 36% off insider’s tour

Springtime in China package includes:

• 6 nights' accommodations, divided between Fairmonts in Beijing and Shanghai, provided by Kensington Tours, a bespoke outfitter with global expertise
• Explore the M50 art district, Shanghai’s action-packed creative hub, with an in-the-know local
• Airport meet and greet
• Private guided tour of Beijing including stops at Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, and the Great Wall
• Private excursion in Shanghai, including visits to Jade Buddha and Yuyuan Garden
• Internal flights and chauffeured transfers

Cost: From $1,750 ($292 per night)

Book by April 30. Blackout dates apply: April 18–May 1.

For more information or to book, please visit Kensington Tours.

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February Vacation Deals

Lexington Hotel

Art & Culture

Chicago: 30% off historical blues package

Windy City Blues package includes:

• 2 nights' accommodations in a standard room at Kimpton’s Hotel Allegro, with mod-retro rooms in the theater district
• 2 tickets to Buddy Guy’s Legends blues club, owned by the iconic artist himself
• Admission to Chicago’s History Museum to see the “Crossroads of America” exhibit on the history behind America’s Blues Capital

Cost: $270 ($135 per night)

Book via telephone only for travel between February 1 and March 31.

For more information, please visit Kimpton’s Hotel Allegro; to book, please call (800) 643-1500 and use booking code BLUE14.

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Trip Planner: Cultural Savings in Europe

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Save a few euros on some of Europe’s best cultural offerings.

Berlin: The city (pictured above) celebrates its 775th anniversary this year with many free events: a history-themed festival transforms the Nikolai area into a medieval quarter; an open-air exhibition highlights the diversity of Berlin’s residents, past and present.

Vienna: Queue up at the Imperial Palace’s Hofburg Chapel Sunday mornings to hear the Vienna Boys’ Choir (standing room free). And in April, May, June, and September, the Vienna State Opera screens live performances on a giant LED screen in the opera house square.

Portugal: On the agenda for Guimarães, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of this year’s European Capitals of Culture: performances from avant-garde theater troupe La Fura dels Baus, free to the public.

Photo by Lyndsey Matthews

Trip Planner: Post-Holiday Travel Deals

201112-b-cuisinartjpgJust as in retail sales, some of the best travel bargains can be found after the holidays, even in peak-season destinations.

Caribbean: Think you have to wait for hurricane season for a value in the islands? Actually, most island hotels slash rates to fill rooms during the lull between New Year’s Day and Presidents’ Day, when schoolchildren start their midwinter break. At press time, we found a luxury room in Anguilla’s CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa (a 2012 T+L 500 hotel) for $815 per night starting January 3—$500 less than the rate from mid December through New Year’s.

Ski Resorts: Snow conditions hit their peak in January; luckily, that’s not so for many hotel and lift-ticket prices. Ski.com’s five-night ski-and-stay package at the Four Seasons Resort Vail, in Colorado, for example, costs $1,793 per person if booked for mid January, compared with $3,708 during the holidays—a 48 percent savings.

Photo Courtesy of CuisinArt Resort & Spa

Behind the Scenes: Crystal Cruises

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As top luxe line Crystal Cruises fêtes its 20th anniversary, I decided to check in with cruise director Scott Peterson, a 23-year industry veteran. Below, he reflects on what’s in store for the upcoming season.

Q: What is Crystal doing to celebrate its 20th anniversary?

201003-b-cruise-5jpgA: Crystal’s 20th year anniversary is going to be a yearlong celebration. There are going to be special Captain’s parties and champagne breakfasts for guests, plus on the two cruises sailing on July 20, the actual day of Crystal’s anniversary, the first ever Crystal menu will be served at a gala dinner, along with wine selections sold at the original prices. Each ship will also host a games night featuring a Crystal trivia contest. The winning team will be treated to an evening at the Vintage Room for a multi-course meal with wine pairings. All the wine will be from 1990—which happened to be a very good year.

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Q&A: T+L Checks In With Vegas Expert Howard Lefkowitz

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Though down almost a million visitors from last year, Las Vegas is gearing up for next month’s debut of MGM Mirage’s CityCenter, an $11 billion, 68-acre megaplex that seals the city’s reputation for over-the-top innovation. T+L checks in with Vegas expert Howard Lefkowitz, CEO of booking site Vegas.com, on America’s top vacation destination.

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