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Deal Alert: Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas

July 25, 2014 by

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Your very own plunge pool. A dedicated butler. This kind of beach resort experience must cost an arm and a leg, right?

Not so at Capella Pedregal — at least not if you’re able to take an end-of-summer trip to Cabo San Lucas in the next two months. Now through September 24, an Unforgettable Summer promotion makes rooms at this five-year-old Mexico palace, typically starting at $990, actually within reach. The halved $475 rate isn’t a cheap getaway by any means, but it’s worth the splurge considering all the amenities and perks. As we’ve mentioned, each room has its own private, infinity edge plunge pool, not to mention daily guacamole, chips, and two beers delivered in the afternoons. There’s also a refreshment center constantly stocked with complimentary sodas, juices, and bottled water. Aside from butler service, every guest is treated to WiFi throughout the resort — yes, even in the three giant pools overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Travelers will find that the entire 96-room property is in pleasing taste. Founded by the former president of The Ritz-Carlton Company,  Horst Schulze, each of the Capella properties exudes luxury without becoming stuffy. Capella Pedregal is no exception; artsy, minimalist desert landscaping lines the pathways, and almost all of the interior design is the work of Mexican artists, including the hand-painted ceramic basins in each bathroom. Then there’s El Farallón, one of the resort’s four restaurants, perched on oceanfront cliffs with more fabulous views. Dinner here is pricey, but the ambiance and treats from a Thomas Keller-trained chef is worth considering for one special meal. Expect a variety of seafood, grilled, and family-style dishes paired with local Mexican wines ($30-$115). 

Tip: More affordable eateries are in downtown Cabo San Lucas, a five-minute walk. Enjoy taco joints, Baja Peninsula seafood and Sammy Hagar’s famous Cabo Wabo Cantina

Rate does not include tax and service charges.

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5 Great Places to Stuff Your Face in Istanbul

July 25, 2014 by

istanbul

With culinary influences extending from Central Asia clear through the Caucasus to the Mediterranean, the food in Turkey is justifiably world-famous. At the heart of the Sultanahmet district in Istanbul, however, you’re much more likely to find overpriced and under-spiced versions of Turkish favorites than anything else. For a more authentic and delicious experience, head a bit further afield to some of our favorite spots in town: Read more

10 Weird Ice Cream Flavors and Where to Find Them

July 25, 2014 by

humphrey slocome

We may have missed National Ice Cream Day (it was on July 20), but National Ice Cream Month continues. Why not celebrate with a couple of scoops of something more adventurous than vanilla? Read more

Quiz: Which Hawaiian Island is For You?

July 24, 2014 by

hawaii islands - kauai

Beaches and forests. Hiking and surfing. Volcanoes and luaus. These are some of the delights found all over Hawaii.

But each island is a little different, each famous for its own flavor. Kauai treats visitors to lush landscapes and secluded peace, for example — whereas Oahu is perfect for cramming culture and dining and shopping all in one. To discover which island is best suited to your travel style and interests, take our newest quiz. (Note: You must like ShermansTravel on Facebook in order to see your results.)

5 River Cruise Basics You Should Know

July 24, 2014 by

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Tens of thousands of vacationers have embraced the idea of meandering along a river in ships that carry 200 people — or less — rather than dealing with crowds aboard the mega-cruise ships that accommodate thousands. The cozier atmosphere  of river cruises originally attracted an older clientele looking for leisurely cruises that deliver them closer to historic city centers, serve traditional regional cuisines and locally produced wines, and provide small group excursions. But this mode of travel has grown more mainstream in recent years beyond the niche market it had begun in.

Need proof of river cruising’s popularity? Just take a look at the numbers — the demand for river cruising has grown exponentially in the last 10 years. Viking River Cruises alone added 18 ships in Europe last year and in 2015 will debut another dozen, bringing its fleet to 64 vessels. Other lines such as AMA Waterways, Uniworld, and Avalon Waterways are adding to their fleets as well, albeit at a slower pace. River cruising has also been spreading quickly in Asia and is also amping up in the States.

Whether you’ve already booked your cabins or are still contemplating a future trip, here are five river cruise basics you might not know, but should:

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5 Expected and Unexpected Ways to Unwind in St. Kitts

July 24, 2014 by

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A small, emerging destination in the Caribbean, St. Kitts still truly runs on island time. The moment you land on this breezy West Indies gem, you’ll want to adjust your pace and embrace the slow, peaceful way of life. To help you acclimate, here are five expected and unexpected places to truly unwind on St. Kitts:

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Kimpton’s New Loyalty Program Offers Perks Over Points

July 24, 2014 by

KimptonKarma

InTouch, the already rewarding loyalty program from the Kimpton boutique hotel chain, has just evolved into a new Kimpton Karma Rewards program that rewards travelers for more than just staying at their hotels. Read more

Minneapolis: Living Large on a Small Budget

July 23, 2014 by

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The “Mini Apple” is what the  locals call Minneapolis, Minnesota’s largest city. No one will mistake it for NYC, of course, but it’s also a fun and cultural destination in its own right, with a vibrant arts scene, passionate local food movement, and natural escapes galore. A recent hotel opening earlier this month has only further upped the city’s game. Best of all, a trip here won’t blow your budget — many of these offerings can be enjoyed for very little, if anything at all.

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How To: River Cruise in the United States

July 23, 2014 by

steamboat

River cruising finally seems to be taking off in the States, with sailings along the Mississippi river in the lead. The appeal, once you think about it, isn’t difficult to understand — it’s relatively easy and cheap to get to the various U.S. departure ports, and there’s something romantic and simply American about imagining yourself as a character in a Mark Twain novel. Here, some cruise lines that are reconnecting travelers to the rivers of the nation:

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10 Disney World Superlatives, Fun Facts, and Other Surprising Tidbits

July 23, 2014 by

Disney World Monorail, Contemporary Resort, OrlandoClearly, Disney World offers a travel experience that you can’t exactly replicate anywhere else. From its signature rides to its extravagant parades and fireworks, no other amusement park does it quite like Disney. Its unique offerings go well beyond that, however. Here are some unique things that you never thought you’d find at an amusement park.

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Guilt Trip: How Many Vacation Rules Have You Broken?

July 22, 2014 by

By Reggie Nadelson for Yahoo! Travel

The secret’s out: many of us break the rules on our vacations — and we have a lot of fun doing it.

OK, fess up. I know you’ve been a dedicated traveler. Determined, you have moved from country to country, seeing the best there is: the baroque beauties of Munich, China’s stone warriors, the Alhambra of Granada. You have tasted fried flies in Southeast Asia and fallen asleep from too much of that heavy borscht in Russia. You’ve scrupulously followed the advice of all the travel guides; you’ve done all the “must do’s,” seen all the “must sees,” and eaten all the “must eats.” As far as traveling goes, you’ve followed all the rules.

Related: “We’re Over It”: What are the Most Overrated Cities in the World?

But what about [whisper] … the time you ate the cheeseburger in Copenhagen instead of sampling the latest gourmet capital’s broiled bees, or essence of oak, whatever that is? Or when you spent a weekend in Paris not examining Notre Dame’s stained glass but on the back of that handsome young Parisian’s motorbike? Or take my pal, who went to Rio with a girlfriend. Instead of seeing the sights, they spent a week holed up in a great hotel ordering caipirinhas, the fabulous Brazilian cocktails, from room service and listening to bossa nova and … well, I’ll have to draw the curtain here. But they are married now and he makes a fabulous caipirinha.

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Blame it on Rio or Blame it on the Alcohol — one couple decided they’d rather look at caipirinhas than Rio’s attractions (Photo: adrivdm/Flickr)

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Eastern Europe: Better Views, Cheaper Prices, and Fewer Crowds

July 22, 2014 by

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Paris, Rome, and London are all classic first-time Eurotrip destinations. But for savvy or returning travelers, Eastern European cities — think: Prague, Budapest, and Tallinn, among offers — offer just as much beauty and history, but at cheaper prices and in fewer crowds. Although communism clothed much of the area a few decades ago, the region has largely shed that attire and now welcomes travelers with eclectic mixes of medieval architecture and preserved fortresses alongside Soviet era blocks and 21st century designs. With so many nations to discover, here’s where to start:

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The Dynamic Pricing Trap: What It Is, and How to Avoid It When You’re Booking Travel

July 22, 2014 by

Blue Airline Seats

For as much as the Internet empowers, there’s a dark side to your Web browser — namely in it’s ability to identify you as you. While it’s mighty convenient to allow your computer to remember your password, recall your username for login fields, and even save your address for online shopping, doing so may come back to bite you when you’re purchasing travel (and other goods and services). This phenomenon has become known as “dynamic pricing,” where online retailers adjust pricing for different shoppers based on factors like where they live and even what computers they use. It’s been around for a while, but the issue recently made its way into the limelight again thanks to Resolution 787 — a controversial proposal that could potentially further enable “customized” pricing.

So what’s a consumer to do? In general, the less the companies about you, the more likely you are to get a fair price. Here are a few tips on maintaining a higher level of secrecy, which could very well save you a few dollars on your next ticket purchase: Read more

Checking In: The Peninsula Paris

July 22, 2014 by

The Peninsula Paris

Ready for some amazing hotel eye candy? On August 1, The Peninsula Paris will open its doors as the first European outpost for this iconic hotel brand. Located on Avenue Kléber in the 16th arrondissement, guests will be just a stone’s throw to the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées.

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How Travel Can Help Endangered Animals

July 21, 2014 by

elephantandbyond

The prospect of seeing exotic animals in the wild is the reason many travelers long to visit far-off countries. But it’s human interaction — to varying degrees — that’s leading to the extinction of these very animals. If you weren’t already aware of the crisis surrounding African elephants, the outpouring of grief over the recent poaching of the beloved Satao, one of the biggest elephants in the world, has made the situation clear.

Each year, at least 33,000 elephants are killed for ivory; a trade is primarily driven by a growing demand in Asia, particularly China. If the killing continues at this pace, the African elephant could be extinct within 10 years. You can help by boycotting products that contain ivory (it’s illegal to sell it in the United States) and by supporting organizations such as Tsavo Trust, Save the Elephants, and the Elephant Crisis Fund. National Geographic also suggests contacting the Chinese Foreign Trade Management Department Economic Service to demand the country end its use of ivory. If you’re planning to travel to Africa, one of the best ways to protect the elephants is by booking a safari that visits community wildlife conservancies. Those that do include Big Five ToursAustin-Lehman Adventures, andBeyond, and National Geographic Expeditions.

Here are three other ways that the travel industry is helping to protect threatened species — and how you can be a part of it.

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