Shermanstravel Blog

Hotels

Tank Garage winery tasting room in Calistoga, California

Katie Hammel

Calistoga, located on the north end of Napa Valley, was once an upscale resort town. Founded by California’s first millionaire, Sam Brannan, it was home to a hot springs resort popular with well-heeled San Franciscans escaping the city. Eventually its popularity declined — as did the properties that made it famous. Later, as Napa Valley grew as a tourist destination, Calistoga remained a slightly out-of-the-way outpost with a frontier feel. With fewer options for dining, accommodations, and wine tasting, it couldn’t compare with its southern counterparts like Yountville and downtown Napa.

However, in the last few years, new restaurants have joined new tasting rooms and renovated hotels to revitalize the homely hot spring town and return it to the list of Napa Valley’s more chic destinations. Here are four reasons why you should make your base in Calistoga on your next NorCal trip.

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Gothenburg Harbor, Sweden

Göran Assner for sweden.se/Gothenburg Harbor

Stockholm gets all the attention from travelers, thanks to its chic cafes and trendy restaurant scene. But those in the know are heading out west to Sweden’s second-largest city, Gothenburg, that’s equal parts university town and seaside retreat. Known as the Gateway to the West Coast, it’s the perfect starting point for sailing trips past thousands of islands and fishing villages along the coastline leading up to the Norwegian border. While Scandinavians make their way here during the summer holidays — renting homes along the coast — the city itself is a mecca of culture for travelers from all over. Most times of the year, you can spend a few days roaming in the city before heading to one of the nearby destinations. We set off exploring the city center by foot and tram to find out where the locals eat, play, and party — while still living on a budget.

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Instagram wall at Hotel Lucia, Portland, Oregon

Hotel Lucia/Instagram wall

Saving on travel just got a whole lot easier. Well, if you’re a social media addict, at least. Hotel brands like Kimpton and Marriott are already rewarding active social media users, with a slew of boutique accommodations following suit. Goals vary, but it’s safe to assume that properties are aiming to increase visibility on social media and to ultimately garner more bookings. So, the next time you’re tempted to scour the web for hotel deals, consider Tweeting instead for points and perks.

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Willows Lodge

Willows Lodge

Willows Lodge, situated just a half-hour outside of Seattle, is one of those properties that just nails, well, everything. The rustically chic lodge has been built on five beautifully landscaped acres that borders the Sammamish River, right in the middle of Washington’s wine country. Here’s our review.

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Omni Montelucia

facebook.com/OmniMontelucia

It’s not too late to squeeze one last vacation out of summer. Whether you crave a hotel within walking distance of the beach, a property with onsite desert hiking trails, or somewhere primed for museum hopping, here are some great deals for the long Labor Day weekend.

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Huettenpalast (2)_Copyright Jan Brockhaus

Jan Brockhaus

For the experimental traveler, Germany seems to have quirky accommodations covered, from a wine barrel in the Black Forrest to a pay-as-you-wish drainpipe just outside of Dusseldorf. And, even better, most are under $175 per night.

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Boro Hotel New York, Long Island City, New York City

Facebook.com/BoroHotelNY

The Long Island City neighborhood of Queens has become much trendier in recent years, welcoming hip eateries along boutique hotels like Z NYC and the Paper Factory Hotel. Now there’s one more new kid on the block: Boro Hotel New York.

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Huntington Beach, a great affordable Orange County spot

Visit Huntington Beach

Even if you aren’t planning to visit Disneyland, a trip to Orange County can be unbelievably expensive. But it doesn’t have to be — with a little planning, you can enjoy the beaches, attractions, and culture without spending a small fortune.

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Littlefield Lofts, Austin, Texas

Littlefield Lofts

Littlefield Lofts in hip Austin, Texas, reopened in July after a major facelift. That it’s on 6th Street means you can ditch the car and easily walk to funky bars and restaurants, plus the Museum of the Weird. The best part is that these are not just standard hotel rooms. Instead, you’ll bunk in a 900-square-foot one-bedroom loft — for grand-opening rates starting at $119 per night.

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Commander's Palace

New Orleans CVB/Commander’s Palace

This month marks the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. To celebrate the resiliency of New Orleans, here are eight awesome things to do in the Crescent City right now.

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Nobu Doha at the Four Seasons

Laura Motta

Doha, a burgeoning Middle Eastern city with a glittering skyline, barely existed 30 years ago. Today, with oil money fueling the eye-popping expansion in Qatar and in the entire Gulf region, this destination is inching its way onto more and more American travelers’ bucket lists. Whether you’re there for a conference or a sporting event, or you’re stopping by on your way to Asia or even Africa, the venerable Four Seasons makes for a comfortable — to say the least — homebase. And it’s not as expensive as you might think.

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Singapore

Facebook.com/CapellaSingapore.Sentosa

We know you’ve been wanting to visit Singapore since we — surprise — added it to our Top Budget Destinations of 2014. Good news: One year later, it’s still a great time to visit. The city is currently celebrating its 50th year of independence with a whole host  of events, like last week’s big Jubilee Weekend, and “Sing Love,” a music project that brings together local talents and will result in the release of an album. A ton of the festivities are being held at Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, which also recently became the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Center. 

In order to meet the demand of its influx of visitors, Singapore opened 1,400 new hotel rooms in 2014, with 4,600 more in the pipeline from 2015 to 2018. We’ve already shared some of our affordable favorites in town, but with so many additional choices, we had to take a second look — especially for those who are looking for an immersive experience. Here, three new hotels with lots of style, each with distinctly prime locales.

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hotel z san diego (gaslamp quarter) - rooms

Hotel Z

It’s not often that you can score a good rate at a brand-new hotel in a beach city, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at Hotel Z, snug in San Diego’s hip Gaslamp Quarter.

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potawatomi hotel and casino, milwuakee - guest rooms

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino

Forget what you think you know about casino hotels outside of Vegas. No, they are not cheesy — and, yes, they can be as glam as their Sin City counterparts.

Take for example the year-old Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee — the largest tribally owned hotel in the States. A staggering number of people, about 16,000 per day, visit the attached 1.1-million square-foot-casino. Also stunning: the fact that the casino’s bingo hall accommodates up to 2,500 players.

In the hotel itself, the bright and airy lobby features an amazing light fixture on the ceiling that clicks through a color wheel of a whipping 16.1 million color combinations. Beyond, a few more surprises await.

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1538 The Ludlow Hotel

The Ludlow Hotel

Nothing helps us get through the pre-weekend slump like delicious hotel eye candy. The latest to catch our attention: The newly unveiled penthouse at The Ludlow Hotel, a barely year-old urban chic property by star hotelier Sean MacPherson.

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