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4 Hotels With Amazing Farms You Can Visit

August 1, 2014 by

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While restaurants are constantly touting their farm-to-table ingredients, it isn’t often that diners actually get to see where their meals are coming from. But a growing number of hotels are giving guests a chance to peek behind the curtain, with working farms located right on property. Here, how four hotels across the country are incorporating a true “farm fresh” movement into their visitors’ stays.

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Checking In: Affordable Luxury at JW Marriott Guanacaste, Costa Rica

August 1, 2014 by

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Volcanoes and tropical rainforests are all well and good, but to get a taste of Costa Rican culture at its core, head into the countryside. That is, after all, where fiestas and horse parades came to fame. It’s where the only “traffic” might come from a feisty cow that’s strayed from its cattle, with a sabanero (cowboy) hot at its heels — where horseback actually is a popular mode of transportation, and where any local can howl exactly like the ubiquitous monkey clans that rove the trees.

If this sounds like a far-reaching haven, don’t worry. Along the northern Pacific Coast, Guanacaste is easily accessible via Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, serviced by 12 airlines from North America. (JetBlue, for one, flies direct from New York JFK from less than $400 roundtrip.) For an affordably pampering home base, check into JW Marriott Guanacaste. With its spacious rooms and tropical hacienda look — not to mention palatable off-season rates right now — it’s a fine extension of the laid-back, grounded spirit of the region.

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5 Lavish Cruise Ship Suites

August 1, 2014 by

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We’ve already taken a look at the most over-the-top suites in Vegas. Now, we’re heading out to sea to look at the best cruise ship suites that (a lot of) money can buy.

Note that prices are an estimate and vary depending on itinerary.

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Foodie Friday: Where to Wine & Dine in St. Kitts

August 1, 2014 by

El Fredos Meal 620x400.jpgSt. Kitts isn’t just about pretty white-sand beaches. This small Caribbean island nation also offers a surprising number and variety of quality eateries, from beach shacks to high-end restaurants.

Here are three food hotspots to check out, plus our recommendations for post-dinner drinks:

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Summer in The Most Magical Place on Earth: 10 Places to Cool Down at Disney World

July 31, 2014 by

Flickr/Michael Gray - Fountain at Epcot CenterSummer’s here. In Orlando, that means high temperatures and even higher humidity. Here are ten spots throughout the Disney World parks where you can get some relief.

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Another Reason to Go to Italy in 2015: The Epic Universal Expo

July 31, 2014 by

Expo Milano 2015Ready for a modern version of the World Fair, and in a place that you were already planning to visit? Milan has been chosen to host the 2015 Universal Exposition that will run from May 1 to October 31, 2015. This six-month event will showcase the best of the participating countries’ technology and innovation. This year’s theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” which will focus on the culture, traditions, and creativity of the participating countries and how they relate to food and diet. Visitors can expect an open-air theater, a wine pavilion, tastings, and lots more. With Italy’s incredible food culture, it’s easy to see how Milan was a logical choice. Here’s Milan’s Expo by the numbers:

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How Luxury Travel Is Being Reinvented — And What It Means for You

July 31, 2014 by

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At the beginning of the boutique hotel boom, luxury was defined by money; how much of it you had and what it could buy you. But that has long since changed. The emergence of creative “lifestyle” hotels have transformed the industry — as the annual LE Miami trade show in South Beach pointed out — with rising demand in experiences that are unique and culturally connected. These days, rather than high prices, luxury is about authenticity, storytelling, and innovation.

So how does this shift in the very definition of luxury translate to a more authentic, value-driven experience on your next trip? 

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Slideshow: 10 Replicas of Famous Tourist Attractions

July 30, 2014 by

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We all know cities share common names — there’s a Paris in Texas and a Rome in Georgia, just to name two. But who would have thought that some cities would go as far as to share landmarks? Las Vegas is an obvious example, but other lesser known ones include the miniature Eiffel Tower in the Lone Star State, complete with a ten-gallon hat, and a 15-year-old Statue of liberty in Tokyo. Indeed, literally hundreds of cities worldwide replicate popular tourist attractions, both satisfying their own citizens wanderlust and increasing visitors’ chances of crossing various famed sights off their lists. Here are just some of our favorite replicas.

Identity Theft While You Travel: Should You Really Be Worried?

July 30, 2014 by

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Keeping your funds in a money clip and your passport in a fanny pack is a great start to guarding your essentials when traveling, but these days, you also need to consider digital safeguards. Yes, there’s certainly a fair bit of misinformation and fear-mongering when it comes to keeping one’s information and devices safe, but some of the concerns you’ve probably heard about are worth paying attention to. Here are three of them — plus what you can do to be less vulnerable.

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Boring Chains Go Boutique: The Hotel Brands You Should Know Now

July 30, 2014 by

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Stylish travelers, rejoice! Boring chains are going boutique.

In decades past, names like Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, and Wyndham were the business travel stalwarts that were always reliable and comfortable–but nothing to write home about. That’s not enough for today’s travelers, whether leisure or business. These days, we seek something different, something unique to the place we’ve made the effort to visit. And the formerly cookie cutter giants have responded, looking to independent hotels for style and to local vendors for destination-specific amenities.

Which brings us to a new conundrum. A boatload of new portfolios have surfaced in the past few years, to the point where it’s become highly confusing. You’ve probably heard of the Autograph collection, or Aloft Hotels, or Even Hotels — but who in the world is who? To clear things up a bit, here’s a handy guide of the most notable brands to know now.

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Solo Cruising: New Savings, Socializing, and More

July 29, 2014 by

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Cruise lines are reaching out to solo travelers like never before, with offerings like studio staterooms designed for one person, policies that lower or waive single supplement fees, and onboard meet-and-greets that facilitate new friendships. Here, the guide to solo cruising that our readers have been asking for:

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Cheapflights’ Airport Affordability Index Recommends Thinking Small

July 29, 2014 by

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You may have already figured out that flying in and out of smaller airports is often more affordable than traveling between major city airports, but have you ever looked for a clearer picture of how local airports stack up? Read more

Checklist: How to Take Advantage of Limited-Time Deals

July 28, 2014 by

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Here at ShermansTravel, we’re always encouraging readers to take advantage of limited-time sales and last-minute deals — after all, alongside planning way in advance or looking to shoulder season, it’s one of the best ways to nab great discounts for travel. But the reality is that the best offers often require you to act fast, whether it’s a flash sale for travel five months down the road or for a cruise that departs in the next week. And more often than not, the pressure to book quickly can become overwhelming, and we find ourselves simply passing up the deal in the end.

But it can be possible to strike the iron while it’s hot — so long as you’ve already done a bit of simple planning. Having recently booked fantastically low fares to Istanbul during a three-day sale ourselves ($535 round-trip in the beginning of November), we wanted to share our checklist for what to think about beforehand. We hope that by working through these questions, you’ll be prepared to hit the Book button and save big when the next deal rolls around. Read more

Deal Alert: Fly R/T to Europe’s Azorean Islands for $499

July 28, 2014 by

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SATA Airlines and its parent group have been bringing travelers to the volcanic Azorean Islands, just off of Portugal, for nearly 70 years. Looking ahead to winter, the airline is now offering a special rate for round-trip flights between Boston and Sao Miguel — where travelers can enjoy thermal baths, pineapple greenhouse visits, whale watching, and a spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration with live music and fireworks by the harbor. Now through this Thursday, July 31, travelers can nab tickets for as low as $499 round-trip, for the itinerary departing December 30 and returning January 6, 2015*.

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Deal Alert: The Frank Lloyd Wright Experience in Arizona

July 28, 2014 by

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One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous Arizona works, Arizona State University’s Gammage Auditorium in Tempe, AZ, turns 50 this year. The building has an interesting history, initially commissioned by the assassinated King Feisal II of Iraq and then eventually revived as a university building, finally opening in 1964. To celebrate its birthday and the prestigious guests it has received — from traveling Broadway productions to George W. Bush and John Kerry during the 2004 presidential debates – the performing arts center has partnered with two other iconic Wright destinations to offer the “Frank Lloyd Wright Experience,” with hotel and entertainment discounts this week.

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