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Colorado Storm Brings Avalanche of Deals

As a former Colorado resident and onetime liftee (my first job out of college, at Winter Park Resort), I’m a huge fan of skiing in the state. So it was great to hear about the recent storm that dumped up to 10 inches of much-needed powder. It allowed ski resorts to open up new terrain, including parts of Vail’s awesome Blue Sky Basin.

The storm also brought out some great deals at ski hotels—and there’s no better way to end a great ski day than by getting a bargain at a luxury hotel. Here’s a sampling:

• Free night. Stay any RockResort (or other properties in Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Northstar) and get a free night and a $50 gift card. Minimum stay varies, but book by January 31 and travel before April 30. More details here, or call 866-614-7625.

• Another free night. Stay 4 or 7 nights at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek and get your last night free, plus—here’s the kicker—lift tickets for 2 for your entire say. Get the details here.

40% off. Stay at one of the Destination Hotels & Resorts properties, like the Vail Cascade or The Gant, and get up to 40% off some weeks. You just have to be a member of the Destination Delivers program (it’s free).

• 30% off. The Antlers at Vail is offering 30% off during the week of January 28 – February 5 with a 3-night minimum. And yes, this one also throws in a two-day lift ticket. Get the skinny here.

Rich Beattie is the executive digital editor at Travel + Leisure.

Video from Rex Lint on Vimeo/Courtesy of Vail Resorts

Vacationist Hotel Deals: Los Angeles, Las Vegas + Oregon

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A vacation on the west coast without breaking the bank? These three Vacationist hotel deals are a great excuse to head straight for L.A. and Las Vegas—or to go off-the-grid in undiscovered Hood River, Oregon, to see (or ski!) the pristine Columbia River Gorge area.  In L.A., you’ll sleep in plush white-on-white beds at Mr. C Beverly Hills after dinner at the newest Cipriani outpost; in Vegas, the Signature at MGM Grand is an all-suite escape where you can avoid the frenetic crowds. And in Oregon, unpack at Columbia Cliff Villas, with views of the rushing Columbia River.

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Vacation Deals to Cure the Winter Blues

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In the mood for a little mid-winter R&R? Wherever you live, chances are there’s an affordable getaway just a short drive away. These domestic deals stretch coast to coast:

The Gastonome’s Beach Retreat
Check into the Hotel Shangri-la in Santa Monica, CA, for a hedonistic seaside weekend: book two nights at $475/night, and you’ll enjoy a guided Malibu wine tasting tour for two, a private chef’s dinner featuring ingredients from the local farmer’s market with cocktail pairings, and score a free upgrade to an Ocean View One Bedroom Suite (complete with a chef’s kitchen for any further culinary experimentation). Total savings nabbed: $800. (To book, call (310) 394-2791.)

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Vacationist Hotel Deals: Costa Rica, Mexico + St. Lucia

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The January chill means we're craving a warm-weather winter getaway. A few ideas, courtesy of Vacationist: Costa Rica, where the temperatures hover around 90 degrees and the 10-room Rancho Pacifico, set on the southern Pacific Coast near Manuel Antonio, has an open-air spa to take in the rainforest views. In Ixtapa, Mexico, Las Brisas is set on a private beach for quiet relaxation, while the adults-only all-inclusive Rendezvous, on the northern coast of St. Lucia, offers activities from snorkeling to tennis and bike tours—and temperatures in the 80s.

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TODAY Show: Winter Getaways

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

From Canadian ice hotels to Vermont sleigh rides, Digital Projects Editor Sarah Spagnolo shares her favorite tips for snowy getaways right now.

Vacationist Hotel Deals: Lake Tahoe + St. Lucia

201201-b-vacationist-plump-jack-innjpgThis winter may be Lake Tahoe’s best yet, thanks to a slew of new restaurants, just-opened trails, and adventurous snowcat tours to back-country skiing. A bonus? You can access all 6,000 mountain acres from the 56-room PlumpJack, at the base of Squaw Valley, for less than $130 a night when you book with Vacationist. Or, for those who want to leave the snow behind, there's up to 33 percent off stays at St. Lucia’s Jade Mountain, where the weather is so warm that suites are built without a fourth wall—for unobstructed views of the sea.

Still not a member? Click here to join.

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Vacationist Hotel Deals: New York, Los Angeles + San Diego

201201-b-la-valenciajpgWe’re starting 2012 with Vacationist deals in some of our favorite cities in the U.S. In New York, the Sherry-Netherland is a classic property located directly across from Central Park; the hotel restaurant, Harry Cipriani, is a Manhattan icon. Looking for warmer weather? The Huntley Hotel is also set on prime U.S. real estate—a tree-lined street just steps from the Santa Monica boardwalk. But if true surf culture is on the brain, head further south to La Jolla, where the pink-tinged La Valencia has been delivering oceanfront views since 1925.

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Airfare Sales May Stave Off Winter Blues

CNN |  Never mind that you're probably still recovering from holiday travel and may have no interest in heading to another airport. Faced with a traditional post-holiday lull in travel, several airlines are hoping their New Year's sales will lure travelers back into the air at a discount.

"These deals have a lot to do with people not traveling after the holidays," says Anne Banas, executive editor of Smarter Travel. "They just spent a lot of money, they're tired and they're not thinking about going anywhere. So it's a very quiet time."

The best deals are on JetBlue, says Banas, noting that some of the airline's sale flights are to peak-season destinations in the Caribbean and Florida. The best fares are for midweek flights, so you'll need some flexibility.

JetBlue launched its "Holiday Recovery Sale" on Tuesday morning….

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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

Vacationist Hotel Deals: Gifts for you—St. Lucia, Costa Rica + Barbados

201112-b-bodyholiday-stlucia-2jpgIn honor of the holiday season, Vacationist is offering members even deeper discounts on hotels we’re featuring this week. From an all-inclusive resort in St. Lucia to a six-bedroom Costa Rica villa and a recently-renovated escape in Barbados, these are warm-weather deals you won’t want to pass up. But book now! The deals are only good through 2011.

Happy holidays to you, from Vacationist!

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