Looking for a steal during Christmas or New Year’s? Don’t wait another day. While many of the best warm-weather hotels are completely booked, Vacationist snagged rooms at top-notch resorts in prime winter destinations (such as an oceanfront hideaway in Thailand's of-the-moment island hotspot Koh Samui), and promises availability during the holidays. Don’t want to splurge on airfare? There are also deals at properties in major cities (New York, Miami), so you can celebrate away—for less.
The big question: Where to go in 2012? Vacationist makes it easy, offering deals at hotel’s in some of the world’s most coveted destinations, from the iconic Hotel Antumalal in Chile’s Lake District to the intimate Vuyani Safari Lodge in South Africa. Or stay stateside, with a couple nights at Enchantment, Sedona, where a massage at the Mii amo spa is more than a perk—it’s checkmark on our life list.
T+L Features Director Nilou Motamed shares her picks for the best bargain-filled driving trips this season.
It may be late October, but temperatures are still hovering around 75 degrees in California and Nevada. Where to unpack? Thanks to hotel deals from Vacationist, try Ravella, an Italian-inspired resort just 17 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, where the outdoor activities are a welcome counterpoint to Sin City's nightlife-oriented pleasures. Meanwhile, Terranea Resort, on 102 acres just 16 miles south of LAX, has all the fixings for a warm-weather escape: Pacific views from oceanfront terraces, two Jacuzzis, a 9-hole golf course—even a 140-foot water slide. Or for something more intimate, there's the charming, 16-room Hotel Les Mars, in Sonoma, a one-block walk from downtown Healdsburg.
For hotel deals in Rome, Florence, Bali, and the Caribbean, click here.
Club Med, that French hippy grandma of all-inclusive beach resorts, is running a weekend sale that could get you and yours a place in the sun for prices that start at $129 per adult and kids from 50% of that!
The Club Med Go Sale covers 3- to 7-night stays at its properties in Cancun, Ixtapa, Punta Cana, Sandpiper Bay in Florida, Turkoise in Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and Martinique.
The sale runs from midnight on Friday through midnight on Sunday, with available travel dates between October 17 and February 17, depending on the property. The resorts have higher (but not crazy high) rates over holidays. Prices include all meals, snacks and beverages (non-alcoholic as well as premium alcoholic drinks), lots of sports and activities, kids’ clubs, and all varieties of room configurations for all varieties of travelers.
For more information or to book, please visit Club Med, or call (800) 258- 2633.
Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Club Med, Punta Cana
The Catskills Mountains are a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of New York City, and a great place to soak in the best of fall, with picturesque hiking and horseback riding trails, quirky antique shops to explore, and gourmet restaurants and markets. But if bucolic tranquility isn’t enough to get you pumped for fall, I’ve got a suggestion for all you thrill-seekers out there.
Hunter Mountain is a popular spot in the winter with skiers and snowboarders in the northeast, but it's also home to the largest Zipline course in North America, with 4.6 miles of runs at higher than 600 feet in the air. I sought out the ultimate thrill not too long ago, with New York Zipline Adventure Tours’s Skyrider course, which includes five dual runs (so you can challenge the person opposite you to a race), a 500-foot jungle bridge, and a self-powered Zipline, where "take off" means taking a running jump into thin air on a downhill slope.
Like migrating birds and manufacturers of snow tires, skiers start planning for winter long before snow falls (or even, in my husband’s case, well before temperatures have dropped below 80°).
Liftopia, an online source for discounted lift tickets, has been around since 2006 but now represents more than 150 ski resorts. A visit to their newly revamped site can transform the fall fantasies into actual slope time. At resorts from Arapahoe Basin to Zermatt, you’ll find discounted lift tickets as well as deals on equipment rentals, lessons, and multi-day passes.
While many of the available discounts are as thrilling as waking up to fresh powder (e.g., up to 40% off at Snowbird, 23% off Sun Valley, 32% off Whiteface), the lift tickets in Liftopia's inventory are date-specific and sell out quickly. So snag some now before the deals melt away.
Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Lake Placid Lodge.
Forget what you think you know about all-inclusive resorts. The newest batch of hotels have evolved to attract discerning travelers with top-notch food choices, state-of-the-art amenities, and stellar off-site excursions—for no extra cost, of course. A couple choices for Vacationists to consider now: the romantic Veranda, an adults-only escape in St. Philips, Antigua, or Beqa Lagoon Resort, on 10 tropical acres in far-flung Fiji. In case you’re wondering, there won’t be a wristband in sight.
For more hotel deals, including up to 60 percent off in Costa Rica, Nevis, and Italy, click here.
Which U.S. city is the cleanest? The most affordable? Best for hotels? T+L Features Director Nilou Motamed shares the results from our popular annual survey—America's Favorite Cities. For complete results—in 50 categories, go here.
There’s nothing like shorter days and chilly nights to get you planning your next great escape, and thanks to Vacationist, a South American Grand Tour (in springtime!) is within reach. Spend a few days shopping your way through Buenos Aires from your base at the iconic Alvear Palace, then head to Punta del Este, to stay at Fasano’s new rustic-chic outpost, Fasano Las Piedras, in the Uruguayan countryside. Have questions on how to do it right? Log on to Vacationist's Facebook page at 2 p.m. EST for a chat with travel expert Paul Irvine, who will offer tips, strategies, and more.
For more travel deals, including New York, Boston, and Los Cabos, click here.