Shermanstravel Blog

Smart Luxury

Big Cedar Lodge

Big Cedar Lodge

Big Cedar Lodge is situated in the Ozark Mountains — Ridgedale, Missouri, to be precise. The area is a nature lover’s paradise, replete with swaths of dense forest, overlooking 43,000-acres of Table Rock Lake’s blue-green waters. It’s is billed as “a wilderness resort,” founded by Johnny Morris, the owner of Bass Pro Shops. It makes perfect sense that this would be a haven for the outdoor aficionados. We checked in at Big Cedar Lodge, and here’s what we loved most.  Read more

Gotham Air Helicopter Over JFK

Gotham Air

Traveling to JFK can take less time than waiting in line for your morning cup of coffee. Seriously.

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affordable polo events

International Polo Club

Polo is considered the sport of kings, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t indulge in this spectacle steeped in tradition at everyday prices. One of the oldest team sports in history — and one of the most dangerous in the world — polo combines the skillful mastery of eight horses galloping down the field at 30 miles per hour, along with an excuse to drink copious amounts of champagne and wear frilly hats.

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America’s 5 Best Detox Spa Resorts

Mi Amo

When your energy has been depleted by stress, seek out a healthy way to decompress in the comfort of a destination spa resort. Spa treatments, fitness classes, and health coaching can revive your spirits and reclaim your energy — and many of these activities are included in the cost. So power down your cell phone and power up on a retreat that will help you reconnect with your well-being.

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lodhi

The Lodhi

Finding a luxury hotel in New Delhi isn’t difficult. The city is peppered with old heritage properties that are outfitted with the finest of amenities. But finding a trendy, modern boutique hotel can be a challenge. Enter The Lodhi: New Delhi’s five-star stunner located on the edge of Lutyen’s Delhi, offering the chicest of accommodations at very reasonable prices. The best part? The hotel features a handsome cigar lounge, a myriad of restaurants, and each room boasts magnificent balconies and a private plunge pool. Here, a peek into this premier property.

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The Serras Hotel Barcelona A

The Serras Hotel Barcelona

You might think that it would cost a fortune to stay in the former studio of a famous artist. As it turns out, you can do just that for about $183 per night.

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bellemontfarmstkitts

Tired of the same old Caribbean resorts, however lovely? Let a newly opened property in St. Kitts inspire you. In a unique twist, Kittitian Hill has just unveiled its working organic Belle Mont Farm accommodations, in the first chapter of its luxury sustainable development. The property encompasses a collection of 84 one-bedroom guesthouses and seven four-bedroom farmhouses, all set on an organic farm.

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620 - raffles istanbul - room

Raffles Istanbul

Yes, lodging in Istanbul is incredibly inexpensive in the winter, with plenty of hotels offering rates under $100. But if you’re willing to make a small splurge in low season, you’ll enjoy luxury that’s leaps ahead of what your dollars will get you elsewhere.

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The Edgewater Bill Fritsch Wisconsin

The Midwest’s newest luxury hotel is now open: The Edgewater, in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, along Lake Mendota and a few blocks to hip State Street (lined with shops selling eclectic holiday gifts), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Fresh off a $100 million renovation, practically everything at the hotel is brand-new, including a destination spa, four restaurants, and an ice rink.

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Gild HallTourists shouldn’t discount staying in the Financial District when visiting New York City. In fact, we’d encourage it.  There are plenty of sites to see, loads of accessible public transportation options, and you’ll never fight with the crowds. For those who appreciate stunning design and top-notch service, Gild Hall, A Thompson Hotel that’s nestled along the colonial-era streets of Lower Manhattan, is a spot-on choice.

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Grand Bahama - Grand Lucayan - Resort Exterior - 620x400

In the latest installment of fabulous Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals coming up in the next week, we take a look at under-$100 Caribbean getaways, a 75 percent discount in Panama City, and even a stellar sale for flights to Fiji. Get those credit cards ready…

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Qatar Airways Business Class

Flying business class on the world’s top-rated long-haul airlines (think Cathay Pacific, Singapore, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad…) isn’t exactly an inexpensive proposition. Round-trip flights on any of these airlines to their respective home airports in Asia can run you more than $8,000. An economy-class ticket on these same flights can run you between $1000, with a good sale, to $1500 — significantly less. So why the markup?

The answer isn’t so cut-and-dry. You can’t just add up the cost of the extra amenities offered in business class and come up with a concrete value comparison. For example, what’s the exact dollar value difference of flying in a basic economy class seat versus a business class, lie-flat bed? Is it $300? Perhaps $400? Exactly how much is your comfort worth?

I recently had the somewhat outrageous opportunity to fly halfway around the world — and almost immediately back — in order to assess the value of comfort in flight. Qatar Airways, one of Star Trax’s 5-star-rated airlines, hosted me on a trip that lasted just 33 hours: 13 in the air in each direction between New York and Doha, Qatar, plus seven in the Doha airport.

If this sounds ridiculous… well, it was. But the airline’s point was clear: Even the most seemingly uncomfortable travel circumstances can be made entirely, lavishly comfortable with a (simple?) upgrade. As for what it’s all worth? Here’s an attempt at a breakdown.

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Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach

The legendary Palm Beach area in Florida can be pricey. After all, it’s where millionaires and billionaires come to see and be seen. But you don’t need a checking account with seven figures to get a taste of the luxury they enjoy.

Setting up a home base at the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is a great way to be close to the action and the jet set crowd — but still feel at ease and skip the traffic and congestion of the most populated spots. The luxurious all-suite condominium property is located on an oceanfront of Riviera Beach, just a short drive away from Palm Beach. One- and two-bedroom digs start at just $250 for two to four guests, making the AAA four-diamond resort affordable for couples, families, reunions, and even girlfriend getaways — especially if you crave more space than a standard hotel room offers, you’ll feel right at home. Here’s why we loved it during a recent stay, and why we think you will too:

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620x400_TortugaBay1In the last year of his life, fashion designer Oscar de la Renta worked on one of his passion projects — a hotel he helped develop in his native Dominican Republic called Tortuga Bay. Originally opened in 2006, and part of a larger Punta Cana resort, the 13 oceanfront villas offer guests airy open spaces, incredible views of the sea, and impeccable service. De la Renta oversaw a redesign of the villas just this year, and they reopened to the public three weeks ago. We found rates for about $580 per night with a three-night minimum stay for the smaller units in December, but most go for $905 and $1,030, plus tax. If you’re considering a visit — or just need a Hump Day mental vacation — here’s a look at the redesigned rooms, which stand in tribute to the late designer…

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4132910198_50b9d465b1_zThe best things about birdwatching? You can do it at almost any time of the year, it can be a relaxing break from a packed travel itinerary, and it’s often a fairly low-cost activity. With migratory birds on the move or already at the their winter habitats, now is the perfect time to grab a pair of binoculars (and field guide) and explore some of the nation’s best bird watching destinations. Here are some of our favorites…

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