Shermanstravel Blog

Hotels

Mai Tai Halekulani - best Hawaiian cocktail in Honolulu

Gillian G. Gaar/Mai Tai Halekulani

One of the great pleasures of being in Hawaii is sitting outside in the sun, sipping a tropical drink, while contemplating the gorgeous views on offer. Happily, there’s no shortage of cocktails to sample. And while rum is nearly as ubiquitous in a Hawaiian drink as a wedge of pineapple, a fresh orchid, or a small paper umbrella, it’s not the only ingredient you’ll find when you step out to imbibe. Here, five cocktails not to miss — and where to find them in Honolulu — on your next tropical trip.

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historic hotel gault, montreal, canada

Hôtel Gault

Printemps — that’s “springtime” in French — in Montréal is pretty sweet. After a long, cold winter, flowers are poking out of the soil, and the city’s Euro-flair shines through farmers markets, park picnics, and all kinds of festivals. (We love Montréal Botanical Garden’s Butterflies Go Free and Montréal’s Digital Spring, a series of digital and architectural installations, among others.)

To tempt you even further, Tourisme Montréal is offering guests who visit for at least two nights a 50 percent discount on their second night, at one of 25 hotels. Read more

Barbados, lomo beach

Flickr/Michael Stillwell

Have the Caribbean on your mind? Brilliant Barbados, a new campaign from the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, essentially shaves 25 percent off your hotel — with a few extra perks.

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Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel, Beverly Hills 90210

Luxe Hotels

Have plans to visit the most famous zip code in the world — Beverly Hills, 90210? We suggest Memorial Day weekend, since that’s when the Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel is marking its 20th anniversary with a price rollback.

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Robin Room at the Farmer's Daughter Boutique Hotel in Los Angeles

Farmer’s Daughter Hotel

A few months back, I ducked into Gracias Madre, an incredible vegan Mexican restaurant in West Hollywood, and the hostess asked if I needed my car valet parked. I thanked her and said no, because I’d walked. The look of horror and bewilderment on her face was enough to illustrate how most Angelinos feel about walking in their fair and sunny city. That is to say: they don’t do it.

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Hotel Monaco Chicago (river view mediterranean suite)

Hotel Monaco Chicago

Armed with a refund after filing the previous year’s tax returns, the call of the open road — or the open skies — beckons many travelers. Whether they boast locations by the beaches of Curacao or in metropolitan Chicago, many hotels have launched sales and deals linked to Tax Day (April 15). Some are flash sales, some discounts are good for next Wednesday only, and others yet are good for the rest of the year. Here are eight ways to cash in:

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Blancaneaux and Coppola Resorts

If you’re playing word association, the name “Belize” will generally inspire the response “beaches!” And while it’s true that the country’s coastline is ideal for sunbathing, Belize’s stunning, under-explored interior offers a little more activity diversity than splaying out on a blanket.

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American Bar at The Stafford Hotel in London

American Bar at The Stafford London

If you’ve ever tried to get a same-day reservation for afternoon tea in London on a weekend, you’ve likely found yourself out of luck. Places like the very trendy Sketch or the opulent Wolseley offer stellar teas with plenty of atmosphere, but they book up weeks in advance. Here, our favorite spot for sipping afternoon tea in London on a whim.  Read more

mama-shelter-los-angeles

MAMA Shelter

Created seven years ago by the Trigano Family, co-founders of Club Med, MAMA Shelter began as a chic-but-affordable boutique Paris hotel before expanding to Marseilles, Lyon, Istanbul, and Bordeaux. This spring, MAMA is coming for Los Angeles, making it the chain’s first foray into the United States. Read more

Beach Loungers at the Setai Miami Beach

Setai Miami Beach

What’s the hottest place to stay in Miami, even 10 years after it opened? And we’re not referring to the temperature on the pool deck. The answer is the Setai. Situated in a geometric high rise on Collins Avenue, the mood at the hotel is strictly zen, and the sense of opulent minimalism — that’s a thing — does not come cheap. With rates that easily creep up to $1,000 per night in winter and spring — even for basic rooms — this is clearly a playground for the well-heeled.

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The Condado Plaza Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Condado Plaza Hilton, San Juan

If you like double travel points (and who doesn’t?) there’s a new promotion running through May 31 that allows you to earn double points through a Hilton Hhonors program called Double Your Hhonors. You’ll earn double Hilton Hhonors points, or double miles or points through Hilton’s travel partners, which include Delta, American Airlines, and United.

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Checking In Furnace Creek Resort and Ranch at Death Valley

Steve Larese/Furnace Creek Resort

Death Valley National Park’s landscape may live up to its name, but Furnace Creek Resort — 120 miles from Las Vegas — within the park offers a level of comfort and hospitality at complete odds with its surrounding harsh, yet beautiful environment. We checked in to get a feel for this oasis in the desert. 

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How to Enjoy Luxury for Less in Kerala’s Backwaters

Flickr/Sarath Kuchi

The image of a vacation in Kerala’s backwaters is about as idyllic as it gets: calm rivers winding into large lakes dotted with houseboats as big as Arks. The reality is not much further from the truth. The area known as the “backwaters” of Kerala is fairly large, comprising of over 30 brackish rivers, lagoons, and large lakes that run along the Malabar Coast that hinges on the Arabian Sea. It is a sort of aquatic nervous system that flows for over 120 miles from the Western Ghats: the texture of the region has been compared to the American Bayou and the Florida Everglades.

Getting here is relatively easy: you could take one of the numerous local flights to Cochin or the state’s capital (Thiruvananthapuram) and rent a car from the airport to drive to the backwater region. Since there are many places to the backwaters, finding the right place to enjoy a vacation flanked by coconut trees shouldn’t prove that difficult. Here are a few budget-friendly ways to get the most out of your vacation in “God’s Own Country”:

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Thrifty Thursday: Japan Two Ways

Flickr/Jacob Ehnmark

We’re not going to call Japan a cheap destination. After all, getting there will cost you a pretty penny, not to mention nearly a day’s worth of flying. And the bullet train — as convenient as it is — can cost about $130 for a two-hour ride.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to save once you actually arrive, particularly if you get out of Tokyo. Here, we offer two affordable options for one of the most expensive aspects of any trip: lodging.

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620_Terranea Resort - Aerial

Terranea Resort

Soaked in sunshine with a calm and relaxing vibe, Terranea Resort on the Palos Verdes Peninsula doesn’t feel like a movie set, despite serving as the backdrop for several popular films. Pirates of the CaribbeanPearl Harbor, and Charlie’s Angels are just a few box office hits that have utilized the property. No shock though — especially on the latter. After spending a few nights at the resort, we definitely felt like we were in heaven. Here’s what you need to know.

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