Shermans Travel » Blog » Hawaii
Traveling to the Aloha State from the East Coast is set to get a lot easier next year with the launch of non-stop flights from New York’s JFK to Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines. Though the new route won’t debut until June 4, 2012, the announcement has already got us thinking about palm trees and golden-sand beaches. Maybe that’s because Hawaiian has put the new flights on sale – but only through November 20. Book now for travel from June 4 to June 30 and one-way fares are just $212 in economy or $808 in first class. (See what they did there? 212 is NYC’s main area code, and 808 is the area code for Hawaii.) Travel on Hawaiian is a bit more civilized than some other airlines, with hot meal service on all flights to the islands and a range of seatback entertainment options. Visit HawaiianAirlines.com for details and booking.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more travel deals.
Aloft London Excel
Aloft’s first property in the United Kingdom has opened with time to spare before the 2012 Olympics. Located close to Olympic Park in East London, the 252-room Aloft comes with the brand’s namesake loft-like guest rooms, signature grab-and-go food pantry, free Wi-Fi, and, best of all, affordable nightly rates averaging around $200.
Costume ready? Party planned? What, you don’t have plans yet for Halloween? With just six days left until the gayest holiday of the year, time is ticking to get your ghoul on – especially as its being on a Monday brings a whole weekend of frights beforehand. Let us be your guide with this crib sheet of the coolest gay events from coast to coast. As for costumes, just try to avoid one of these.
CHICAGO: The city’s biggest bash is in Boystown with a parade from Belmont to Bradley on Halsted Street with plenty of boozing, main stage entertainment (Musical of the Living Dead, Chicago Fire Tribe, and more) and after-hours action in the bars and clubs. Visit NorthHalsted.com for more info.
COLUMBUS, OHIO: Held early, on Friday the 28th, The Short North Highball Halloween combines both a public costume contest and a couture contest fashion show with plenty of queer creativity, pulling in crowds of over 20,000 from throughout the Midwest; from 5pm to 1am outdoors, under and around the area’s iconic arches. Read more
It’s not your imagination: That is a chill in the air. Which can only mean one thing: sweater sets! And winter vacations to warm destinations. Time to get planning now, especially when you can snag a high-end guesthouse in Kaua’i for 15 percent off just for being your great gay self.
From now till next summer, the Parrish Collection Kauai is offering a Rainbow Promotion to the LGBT community that offers significant savings on selected weeklong (or more) rental. Guests planning a Hawaii civil union (legal from January 1, 2012 onward) or commitment ceremony can also receive complimentary help to coordinate their event from the Parrish Kauai concierge as well as group discounts on additional vacation homes and condos used by friends and family of the couple.
Out of 200 choice properties, what types of distinguished abodes are available? Read more
After much hype and anticipation, Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa opened today in grand Hawaiian style. Part of the Ko Olina Resort complex, comprising two other hotels – including a JW Marriott – in pristine Oahu, the world-class beachfront resort boasts ocean views, tropical gardens and turquoise lagoons. The spirit of the Aulani people resonates throughout the resort, reflected in the colorful artwork and intricate Hawaiian architecture. Its trademark Disney family entertainment and recreation, featuring an adventure trail, golf course, pool parties, and character meet and greets, make for a fun-filled getaway with the kids.
The resort offers 359 rooms – including 16 suites – starting from $399 per night, as well as 460 Disney Vacation Club villas. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to dining, with four restaurants showcasing the finest local cuisine, and among its first-rate amenities there is an 18,000-square-foot spa and fitness center in case you overeat!
Bookings can be made from September 4th onwards. For more information , visit the resort’s website: resorts.disney.go.com/aulani-hawaii-resort.
For general trip-planning information, see our Oahu Travel Guide.
Alas, my stint as the Romantic Getaways blogger has come to an end: After 90-plus blogs, I am giving up this weekly freelance assignment to take a full-time job. But I want the romance to live on, so I thought I’d list a handful of my Ultimate Romantic Getaways must-dos – each with two suggestions, one a splurge and the other a steal. I hope you’ll find the time to get away soon and enjoy some of the places I’ve loved writing about.
Enjoy a Private Jacuzzi Rendezvous
Splurge: If you want to feel like you are the only two people in Venice, stay at the Bauer Il Palazzo, and book the private rooftop Jacuzzi (shown above at left) for one hour just before sunset. You’ll get champagne, strawberries, and 60 amazing minutes to soak in the sexiness of La Serenissima – and each other. Rates start at $853/night (private Jacuzzi bookable at an extra charge).
Steal: Every suite at Excellence Playa Mujeres, an adults-only all-inclusive located on a white-sand beach just outside Cancun, Mexico, has a private Jacuzzi with both indoor and outdoor access. Plus, the décor is contemporary chic, with polished marble floors and a dramatic four-poster bed. The beach and the meandering freeform pool may beckon, but the top spot to relax à deux is just steps from your bed. Rates start at $375/night, all-inclusive.
Hawaii’s first and only boutique hotel chain, Aqua, marks its 10th anniversary this August, and to celebrate its passage into double-digits, the brand is selling the first night of four-night stays (or longer) for just $10. Choose from 16 properties across Kauai, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu, including 12 destinations within one mile of the famed Waikiki Beach. Book by August 31 for travel August 11 through December 22.
THE VALUE: Room rates start at $89/night, which amounts to a $79 savings the first night of your stay; with the discount, the average room rate for a four-night stay is $69.50.
THE CATCH: You must stay at least four nights to receive the discount.
THE DETAILS: Click here to book Aqua’s 10th Birthday Package.
WE’VE GOT MORE: See our Hawaii Travel Guide for more trip-planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, packages, and more travel deals.
Extend your summer glow all through fall with this Hawaii sale from Aston Hotels & Resorts. The 50 Days of Aloha sale slashes rates to as low as $79 a night for select Hawaii hotels. Stay in a room with a garden view at the Aston Aloha Beach Hotel on Kauai, or island hop around to Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island for savings at other resorts. Book from July 11 through August 29 and travel through August 1 and December 1. Plus, kids 17 and younger stay and eat for free at Aston resorts, saving even more!
THE VALUE: Rooms at Aston hotels typically go for close to $200 a night, so this deal saves over $120, depending on which property you choose.
THE CATCH: Prices don’t include tax and blackout dates may apply.
THE DETAILS: To book your stay, visit Aston Hotels’ website.
The future of Maui’s beloved property, Hotel Hana-Maui, has been in question since it was purchased by Amstar Group in May last year. Thankfully, its new owners are treating the old gal well. In its new incarnation as Travaasa Hana, opening June 30, not much has changed design- and feel-wise, aside from some spiffing up. The real transformation is more about a new philosophy than a new look. The Travaasa Destinations brand (its first and only other property to date is Travaasa Austin) dubs itself as a collection of experiential hotels, and focuses on every part of the vacation experience with offerings geared towards its five pillars: adventure, culinary, culture, fitness, and spa/wellness. Anyone who has already been to Hana knows the destination fits pretty seamlessly into each of these. The hotel ties it all together by including all activities, excursions, spa treatments, and meals in nightly rates – so guests can really push their experience to the limit without toppling their budget. All-inclusive rates from $475 per person per night. www.travaasa.com/hana
For general trip-planning info, see our Maui Travel Guide.
Everyone loves to travel during the summer – including families with cranky babies, manic preschoolers, and brooding teens. And when it’s just the two of you on a relaxing and romantic getaway, the last thing you want is to choose two chaises on the beach or near the pool and have the moment ruined when a family straight out of National Lampoon’s Vacation plops down right next to you.
So, here are some tips for how to out-maneuver those omnipresent family groups – and with multi-generational travel all the rage, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are all too often along for the ride, too – and truly enjoy some adult time (such as the daybeds at the adult-only pool area at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on Hawaii’s Big Island, shown at left).
Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals