Shermanstravel Blog

Hotels

minneapolis - ron riering - 620

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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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

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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Wyndham Grand Jupiter_deep blu bar - 620

The North Palm Beach area of Southeast Florida hasn’t historically been ripe with options for out-of-town travelers — but that’s all about to change come fall, with the opening of the Wyndham Grand Jupiter. The hotel boasts a prime location within Harbourside Place, a new $510 million development that promises impressive dining, cultural, retail, and entertainment offerings. And with the opening, of course, also comes a great deal.

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RoomMate Kerem - 620

Maybe it’s the markets selling exotic spices and flavorful tea, or maybe it’s the alluring juxtaposition of ancient mosques and modern architecture. And then there’s the cuisine, from Old World street fare or 21st-century takes on Mediterranean delights. Whatever the reason, it seems that these days the flights to Istanbul are packed with tourists ready to get full on food.

Future visitors will be delighted to hear that Istanbul has responded to its growing popularity by building more everything — more hotels, more restaurants, and more bars and shops. Best of all, many of these new options to rest your head and fill your belly come at a favorable price. Here are some of our favorite picks:

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Home in Marigny, New OrleansIt’s impossible to see all of New Orleans in a weekend. With award-winning restaurants, endless nightlife, and picture-perfect neighborhoods, it seems like you could spend a lifetime of weekends exploring the city. But many people venture here for just a short time, whether they turn up to hear incredible music, tour lavish historic homes, or just party until dawn. Here’s a quick glimpse at the Crescent City as seen over one summer weekend — strictly a beginner’s tour. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did, and plan on repeat visits to this incredible destination.

See the slideshow.

The fortunes of Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, have turned more often than most. With its days as a great shipbuilding center long over, Glasgow spent much of the latter half of the past century struggling to overcome a reputation for poverty and crime. But regeneration has gathered pace over the past few decades, helped along by its hosting of large events; most notably, this year, the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which begin on July 23, as well as the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards in September.

Whatever your reason for visiting Glasgow, here are the areas to explore.

The Clyde Waterfront

RiversideMuseumThe Clyde Waterfront regeneration project has been spurred along by the promise of the Commonwealth Games. This former shipbuilding stretch of the River Clyde, which once saw the construction of the great Cunard shipping line vessels such as the QE2 and the Royal Yacht Britannia, is now home to Scotland’s new national arena at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center and the newly built Emirates National Indoor Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, named for Scotland’s six-time Olympic cycling champion.

Not all of the development is centered around the Games, however. You will also find the Sir Norman Foster-designed, armadillo-shaped, Clyde Auditorium here, as well as the Riverside Museum, designed by Zaha Hadid and named European Museum of the Year for 2013.

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Vive Hotel - Waikiki - Honolulu - Oahu - Hawaii - boutique - affordable - cheap 2 - 620

Waikiki, the prime location choice for travelers to Oahu, was once dominated by large expensive hotels and budget bare-bones ones. But in recent years, several boutique chains have been upgrading the older, small properties – meaning travelers can enjoy more personal service as well as good value so long as they’re willing to pass up some frills like the spa, room service, or a lobby bar. If you appreciate a good boutique but don’t want to break the bank, consider these properties on your next visit. (Only one of them charges a resort fee — and all offer free wifi.)

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davidbowieis

The David Bowie Is exhibit, the first retrospective of the musician’s career, showed to sold-out crowds at its inaugural run last year at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition brought together more than 300 objects, including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photography, set designs, album artwork, and rare performance material from the past five decades, and it’s headed for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (its only U.S. stop) from September 23 through January 4. Tickets  for the show are $25 and go on sale July 31, but demand has been so high that they museum has already released a limited number of advance tickets at a premium price ($100). Those tickets are no longer available, but this deal from the Thompson Chicago is.

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afternoontea

Last month The Langham, Chicago launched a monthly Nickel and Dime Anniversary Tea to commemorate the 149th birthday of the original London hotel. The tea service sold out within 10 minutes. Why? Because the price is the same as it was when the hotel first opened its doors in 1865 — one shilling and six pence, or 15 cents. Read more

VirginBalloonThe storied Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland is celebrating its 90th birthday with the launch of an exclusive partnership with Virgin Balloon Flights to become the only Scottish hotel to offer guests hot-air balloon rides. For £2,100 ($3,595) groups of between ten and 16 can book a sunrise or sunset ride and get a bird’s eye view of the 850-acre estate and the surrounding countryside.

In the U.S., you can book hot air ballooning packages over Napa Valley at The Meritage Resort; over the Temecula Valley Wine Country at Pechanga Resort and Casino; over the desert floor at the Palm Springs Hyatt; over the canyons of New Mexico with El Rancho Hotel; or the Finger Lakes with Chalet B&B.

Take a look at our slideshow to get a bird’s eye view of some of these packages.

By Jackie Strause for Yahoo! Travel

The Suite Life: 15 Over-the-Top Las Vegas Hotel Suites

“Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign (Photo: Thinkstock)

Hey, high rollers, big spenders, and “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” shouters: We’ve got some suites for you.

When it comes to Las Vegas, a suite is more than just a suite: It’s a villa, a penthouse, a bungalow — sometimes (ahem, Bellagio) it’s an estate.

We’re not kidding! For the best of the best, you can enjoy in-room elevators, 24-hour butler service, glass-enclosed lap pools and Jacuzzi hot tubs, movie theaters, full spa and salon services, fireplaces, rain showers, terraces with plunge pools, and courtyard gardens without ever leaving your “room.”

So cash in your chips and get ready to cash out with one of these 15 überluxurious dream pads. It’s no gamble: You’re sure to feel like you’ve died and gone to Sin City once you do.

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refinery hotel new york - 620Unless you’re traveling constantly, are ultra-loyal to a single brand, or love the comfort of a big name hotel, you probably haven’t had the opportunity to cash in on a hotel loyalty program.

Whatever the reason, it’s difficult for most leisure travelers to cash in hotel points the same way they would flight miles. More often than not, we brand-hop when it comes to accommodations and end up with a few scant points scattered across a half-dozen programs.

Those are precisely the frustrations that the new Expedia+ Rewards program, just re-launched today, hopes to dispel. First and foremost, it’s set up so that members can achieve status quickly. It also lets members enjoy a host of additional perks — and offers varied ways to earn points. The revamp comes at a sensitive time, too, when airlines are devaluing miles faster than you can type Expedia.com into your browser. Here’s more on how the new program works and why it might be a good choice for you:

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SolomarWineHourHere’s one hotel trend we love: free wine. Often billed as a chance to meet your fellow guests and say hello to hotel management, these informal mixers let you grab a drink before you head out to dinner, and save a few dollars. Here are some hotels, and hotel chains, that are looking to  make their guests happy by providing a happy hour:

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FontainebleauWe may all be feeling the heat right now, but it won’t be too long before it’s time to start heading south for warmer climes. If you can bear to think that far ahead, we recommend making your reservations for a December trip to Miami soon in order to take advantage of this Holidays in July offer from the glam Fontainbleau hotel.

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