Shermanstravel Blog



Shelley Seale

Picture a vibrant town square lined with red brick buildings, a main historic market, hip boutiques, and art galleries galore — all beneath a backdrop of the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains. That’s Roanoke, a southern Virginia city known for its natural beauty, quality of life, and thriving central core. Here’s an art-filled itinerary for enjoying this charming town, all without breaking the bank.

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Copamarina1 from Copamarina 3


Seeking paradise without a passport? Venture off from the overdeveloped city of San Juan on your next Puerto Rican vacation and explore the island’s best affordable resorts. Offering respite from the tourist market, these properties deliver a getaway filled with sandy beaches, copious palm trees, and a perfectly made margarita.  Read more

Jupiter Beach Resort pool

Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa

Snug in Florida’s Palm Beach County, Jupiter Beach is a more relaxed alternative to Miami, even though it’s just 90 minutes away. Here, expect the same top-notch dining, water sports, and beach access. To entice you to visit, Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa, a 168-room oceanfront property, is throwing in a third night for free when you book two nights through the end of the year.

The Jupiter Jaunt deal makes it easier than ever to enjoy the hotel’s 1,000-foot stretch of private beach, oceanview pool, spa, and excursions like fishing and sea turtle walks. We found regular rates of $250 per night for weekends throughout the summer, including Fourth of July weekend. This means that, with the deal, you’d pay $500 for three nights — translating to $167 for an average nightly rate over all. It’s a steal compared to other nearby resorts, including Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place, which is charging $197 per night night for weekends in August, and Marriott’s Oceana Palms, from $399.

For further perspective, the special rates are a huge savings off the hotel’s own high season prices in January, February, and March. You can expect to pay as much as $410 per night over the last two weekends in February, plus every weekend in March, for example. (January weekends are slightly cheaper, at $340 per night.) So if you were to splurge on three nights during high season, you’d pay between $1,020 and $1,230 total. That’s double of what the Jupiter Jaunt will get you.

The hotel is designed to coax guests into relaxation, with beach chairs included in the daily resort fee ($25). Each room incorporates a soothing buttery yellow palette, with palm tree and pineapple accents, and mahogany furnishings. WiFi is free in all rooms, and some feature balconies. Elsewhere onsite, you’ll find two restaurants: the elegant Sinclair’s Lounge, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; and the poolside Sandbar, with seafood-focused cuisine in a casual environment. The spa offers a menu of 10 different massage treatments, plus a facial that folds in organic seaweed extracts.


Kristine Hansen

Last year’s psychological thriller “Gone Girl,” based on the 2012 book by Gillian Flynn, thrust the town of Cape Girardeau, Missouri into the spotlight. Dubbed “the Cape” by locals (and named North Carthage in Flynn’s book), the town of 77,000 lies along the banks of the Mississippi River. Here are the must-do experiences in this small town, including sites from the film.

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Embassy Row Hotel Washington DC

The Embassy Row Hotel

If you casually observe D.C’s skyline on any given day (ideally over a cup of coffee or locally brewed The Corruption IPA-style beer), you’ll see at least 60 cranes hard at work hoisting steel and glass. Chances are, many of them are creating shiny new digs to keep up with the demands of the city’s visitors.

To be more specific, the demand for more stylish places with a sense of place is ever-increasing — around $9 billion worth of hotel improvements are currently underway. And both boutique hotels and bigger chains have risen to the occasion by creating places you’ll want to call your second home, at least for a few days. Here are a few of our favorites:

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Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

Reno has undergone a serious transformation in recent years, most notably with the much-celebrated arrival of Tesla, ushering in 22,000 jobs and an estimated economic impact upwards of $100 billion over the next 20 years. We hopped aboard the inaugural JetBlue flight direct from JFK to Reno to see the emerging city for ourselves. While there, we had the chance to discover The Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. When it comes to the best in budget-friendly accomodations that don’t compromise luxury, we think the property ranks high for it’s proximity to the airport, newly renovated spa, and ample gaming floor. Here’s our full report.

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new san francisco hotel zephyr

Hotel Zephyr

Earlier this month, Hotel Zephyr – an eclectic and colorful 361-room hotel snug along San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf — opened its doors. And there’s a great discount to celebrate.

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Viceroy Bali

Bali, the dreamiest of isles, offers instant nirvana thanks to a near-perfect blend of natural beauty, soul-soothing mysticism, and untamed elegance. And it’s no surprise that refined resorts take advantage of the gorgeous landscape with extravagant outdoor spaces, near-prescient service, and pampering spas. Here, a photo tour of some of our favorites.

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Radisson Blu

With just under half a million residents, Minneapolis is a rare example of an urban landscape that straddles city and country — chock-full of art museums, bar-lined streets, lakes, and bicycle paths. And bumping up against all of the fun is the nearly year-old, 17-story Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown. Still one of only a few Radisson Blu properties stateside (besides Philadelphia, Chicago, and Mall of America in nearby Bloomington, Minnesota), the others are in far-flung cities like Sydney, Australia; and countries that include Egypt and Belgium. We checked in for the scoop on the hip downtown property.

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pool, Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain

From skiing and snowboarding to hiking and whitewater rafting — plus everything in between — Colorado has it all for adventure lovers. If you’re looking for a last-minute getaway this month, June is shaping up to be a fantastically affordable time for getting a taste of the Centennial State’s warm-weather outdoor activities. And three luxe hotels in particular are proving that it’s better to visit sooner rather than later this summer:

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buy spices at mellah market, Marrakech, morocco

Elena Sonnino/Mellah Market

Marrakech lures travelers with promises of spices, vibrant colors, and evocative sounds like the repetitive adhān — the call to prayer — broadcast from minarets five times daily. With so much to see and do, planning a trip to this Moroccan city can be as confusing as navigating the chaotic souks. Here’s how to find luxury in Marrakech without breaking the bank.

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HotelTonight, the last-minute hotel-booking app, has launched a tool called Escape to source the greatest getaway deals for the weekend ahead. Booking a room via the app is already a snap, but Escape makes it more convenient to book an entire getaway that’s up to an additional 30-40 percent off average rates within HotelTonight itself. Here’s how it works.

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Martha Washington Hotel

Chelsea Hotels/Todd Eberle

Father’s Day is just a little more than a week away, and for those still searching for the perfect gift, we’re here to help. Forget a new tie, and instead, whisk Dad away for the holiday in favor a fantastic hotel deal. With something to satisfy almost every interest, from beer and burgers to fishing and zip-lining, make it a weekend he won’t forget.

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RunWESTIN Concierge - Headshot (1)

Chris Heuisler is the Resident RunWESTIN Concierge for Westin Hotels & Resorts. Aside from competing in 25 marathons in 20 states, he has one of the coolest jobs ever. In 2013, Chris beat more than 1,000 applicants to the finish line for this dream job after a month-long selection process and currently leads a team of nearly 50 RunWESTIN concierges around the country at various properties — and interacts with runners via social media to provide tips and tricks. Find out what a running concierge does, his favorite city for racing, and his tips for staying fit on the road.  Read more

Bodysgallen Hall & Spa 2

Bodysgallen Hall & Spa

It’s not uncommon for hotels to have neatly manicured lawns and winding trails, but some hotel grounds are so grand that they’re essentially botanical gardens. Here, seven stunning estates that actually make you want to leave the room.

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