Shermanstravel Blog

Buenos Aires

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As much as we appreciate hotel loyalty programs, accumulating points from just one hotel brand can feel like quite a slog, and a little uninspiring — who, besides the very frequent business traveler, wants the same brand experience each and every time they check in?

Just over a year ago, Preferred Hotel Group introduced a loyalty program, iPrefer, that honors stays at the more custom, bespoke hotels over the big box brands; it’s the world’s only loyalty program available at a global collection of truly independent hotels. Here’s how it works, and how you can join.

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FPO_BUE_403It’s not uncommon for upscale hotels and resorts to offer guests extraordinary excursions and activities, but Four Seasons takes it to a whole new level. From dining center stage at a historic opera house to designing a custom pair of Lucchese boots, here are a few exclusive Four Seasons that we love dreaming about.

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Metropolitan by COMO

Miami might be steamy right now but, with this bumper list of new hotels, now is the time to enjoy off-season and introductory rates at the newly opened properties– or to start planning a trip around those that will be opening later this year and next.

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Ever wanted to see all – and we do mean all – of South America’s coastline? Holland America’s newest Grand Voyage for 2015 will let you do just that. The 68-day journey will make a complete loop around the continent from Fort Lauderdale, with a few additional ports of call in the Caribbean, Central America, and, weather permitting, Antarctica.

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Taiwan Subway Station ArtAcross the globe, urban planners have beautified some of the most basic (and essential) city structures: subway stations. Through murals, sculptures, temporary installations, or just fancy signage, they have helped turn otherwise drab transportation hubs into dazzling, and sometimes even whimsical, works of art. From Tom Otterness’ miniature bronze sculptures in New York City to Dubai’s jellyfish-like chandeliers, here are nine underground masterpieces that can’t be missed. Click here to view our slideshow.

Day Trips from Buenos AiresFrom top tango shows to savory steaks, Buenos Aires offers plenty to keep travelers busy. But for those looking for a little outer-city adventure, there are plenty of exciting day trips set within just an hour or two of the big city. From learning to horseback ride out on the Pampas (the plains known for their cowboy culture), to cruising through the Tigre Delta, to playing polo (one of Argentina’s most beloved sports), these three day trips offer those without much time – or money – to spare, a unique taste of greater Argentina, set within easy reach of the capital. Read more

Buenos Aires Walking ToursBuenos Aires is a city made for walking, but that doesn’t mean your ambling should be aimless. For visitors to BA on a budget, several local companies offer free walking tours in a number of neighborhoods, with guides working solely for tips. Read on for a vetted roundup of three of the city’s best, free, English-language walking tours… Read more

Buenos Aires Street Art ToursIf you ever wished that walls could talk, Buenos Aires can make it happen. With a vibrant and ubiquitous street arts scene that transforms public spaces into a collective canvas, graffiti and street art here go far beyond quickly scribbled “tags.” You’ll see a rich mix of styles and mediums – “bombs,” stencils, “paste-ups,” “pieces,” murals, and more. (And you’ll know what all those terms mean if you take one of the tours mentioned below.) The art serves as both a soapbox and a showcase for the city’s historical complexities, political and social pulse, and contemporary culture. Far from galleries and museums, Buenos Aires’s buzzing arts scene is perhaps best explored by simply strolling through its many barrios. I recently set out to sample the tours from a trio of unique street art-focused companies based in the Argentinian capital, each offering budget-friendly outings that are sure to have you looking at graffiti in a brand-new light. Read more

Accor Hotels Super SaleThis summer, take the international vacation you’ve always dreamed of with Accor Hotels’ Super Sale. Enjoy a romantic vacation to Paris, explore the sights of Hong Kong, soak up the arts and culture of Sydney, and many more international destinations. With this sale, you’ll save up to 50 percent on seasonal rates at the same hotels. Valid for stays from July 6 through September 1, select properties include: Read more

Oasis Collection South American Apartment RentalsOasis Collections, an American-run, South American-based short-term apartment rental agency – and self-dubbed “curators of stylish pads” – has recently launched a series of budget-friendly upscale vacation rentals, spanning some of South America’s hottest destinations, for under $250/night. Read more

Spanish FlamencoIt’s no secret that there are countless unknown holidays that are celebrated around the world (Talk Like a Pirate Day, Margarita Day…you get the idea), but International Dance Day should be one that is on your radar every year. Founded over 30 years ago, the day’s message is one that transcends all barriers, “The intention of International Dance Day is to celebrate dance, to revel in the universality of this art form, to cross all political, cultural, and ethnic barriers and bring people together with a common language – Dance.” To celebrate in our own way we’re bringing you four cities to visit to experience this international language. Read more

pickpocket thief robberyThe cream color conjured up memories of the 1980s. It looked like the brassieres that my grandmother wore when I was a kid (unfortunately, I remember seeing them hanging in the bathroom). It fit very snuggly around my torso. When I finally unhooked the clasp, I noticed that I had indentations in my skin from the elastic band and sweat had collected where the belt made the most intimate contact with my body. I’d spent a day in Quito, Ecuador wearing a money belt and felt like I should have complemented it with a pair of control top pantyhose.

Money belts have been around for decades, and travelers have relied on them to thwart pickpockets all around the world. Are these people – and in Quito, I was one of them – being smart or paranoid?  Petty crime happens almost everywhere. Certain cities, such as Rome, Paris, and Buenos Aires, have developed reputations for being rife with pickpockets. These thieves prey on tourists, especially those who announce to the world that they’re visitors by carrying large bags, donning souvenir shirts, and taking pictures of famous landmarks. Stop paying attention for just a moment and you could find that your wallet is no longer in your pocket.

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Make way for some revelry à la Rio during the annual Carnival celebration, courtesy of Crystal Cruises’ brand-new “Samba Serenade” sailing, set to embark on February 20. The luxury cruise line’s 12-night itinerary debut will feature five maiden calls in Brazil (Buzios, Ilha Grande, Paraty, Santos/São Paulo, and Itajai), kicking off with an overnight stop in Rio during the height of the samba- and caipirinha-fueled Carnival festivities. The cruise then continues on to Uruguay, where guests can explore wineries in Montevideo, or lap up the high life on the glamorous beaches of Punta del Este, before rounding out the trip in legendary Buenos Aires. Read more

Palermo PlaceOpened May 1 in the up-and-coming Palermo Hollywood neighborhood of Buenos Aires, stylish Palermo Place features 26 well-apponted rooms, each with French balconies, kitchenettes, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel is offering opening rates of $175/night or $189/night with breakfast – a 25 percent discount over regular rates – as well as a “stay five, pay four” deal that brings rates down to $140/night (or $151/night with breakfast). ShermansTravel.com readers also receive a bottle of wine at arrival, a pastry each day from local bakery Pani, and late 2pm checkout. Book by July 1 for travel through August 31.

THE VALUE:
If you combine the opening rates with the fifth night free promotion, you save almost $100/night!

THE CATCH
: Winter is about to start in Buenos Aires and can mean some rainy days, but temperatures never get too cold.

THE DETAILS
: Book the special rates online or by calling 800-281-5951. Once you get your confirmation number, email patrick@palermoplace.com and mention ShermansTravel.com to get your bonus perks.

WE’VE GOT MORE
: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on flights to Buenos Aires.

For general trip-planning information, see our Buenos Aires Travel Guide.

motoconcho Dominican RepublicIf you need any extra incentive to add a dash of adrenaline to your next trip, consider this: Americans came in dead last in a recent survey designed to gauge travelers’ taste for adventure, behind Kiwis, Canadians, Australians and Brits (in order of most to least adventurous).

The survey, done by adventure travel specialist Intrepid Travel, asked 1,000 respondents from five countries to reveal how likely they were to try a variety of travel experiences. The “intrepid” survey choices included eating a deep fried tarantula, sleeping in village hut, going on safari, haggling at local markets and exploring ancient ruins.

Of course, surveys like this should be taken with a grain of salt, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t consider haggling in a local market or traipsing around ancient ruins all that intrepid (though yes, eating a hairy arachnid, deep-fried or not, would certainly earn you that honor in my book). But the survey did provoke a fun trip down memory lane to some of my most exciting – and, therefore, cherished – travel moments. Here are a few: Read more

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