ShermansTravel » Blog » Smart Luxury
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.
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:
In 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…
The 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…
Under-eye circles, desert-like skin, and chapped lips are the telltale signs of the dreaded condition known as “flight face.” Luckily, with the right products (some splurgy, but worth every penny), and the correct application, you can actually step off the plane feeling human — and even refreshed. Here, your guide to treating a redeye like an in-flight spa. Read more
If you were in search of one of the top-rated hotels in the United States, you probably wouldn’t think to look for it in Ohio. Nevertheless, 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati was recently named the second best hotel in the country by readers of Conde Nast Traveler. (Last year it was ranked #1.) So, what makes this hotel so special that it beat out much-hyped properties in bigger destination cities like Los Angeles and New York?
It’s just about time to pack up the beach gear and wave goodbye to this year’s summer season. But before you do so, a collection of Nantucket properties beckons travelers to the island for one last time with an enticing last-minute deal.
Any good hotel can offer high end amenities, plush mattresses, and fine linens. But to truly capture the tastes and textures, history and culture, and people and personalities of a city is a much harder feat. Sometimes, it’s impossible.
That is, unless the hotel is ingrained in the founding and very being of that city. Then the hotel is no longer just a nice place to sleep within it, but a living part of it and a representation of what makes that city what it is. Such is the case with Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton, a true Grande Dame hotel that is as much a part of Chicago as deep dish pizza and Wrigley Field — and is affordable to boot.
It seems like “green” hotels are becoming more mainstream than ever before, with properties old and new adopting an overall ethos of eco-friendliness. But to the average traveler–someone who might not self-identify as environmentally conscious–what’s the real draw? Below, check out five hotels with perks that appeal to every type of traveler.
Ever dream of driving a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or McLaren at warp speed on a racetrack? Track experiences are popular for their pure adrenaline rushes and frequently top bucket list items. They typically begin with some classroom instruction from pro race drivers about understeering, oversteering, down-shifting, and anticipating turns. You then get to feel the throaty roar and ridiculous horsepower of a six-figure supercar on a twisty racetrack for yourself.
We dug up the top three racecar offerings for your next daredevil adventure. While they aren’t the cheapest of thrills, the bragging rights are priceless. Ditto for the value of your lessons, which are bound to make you a safer, smarter driver in any car.
Autumn in the Southeast is a glorious time to visit as summer’s humidity dies down to make way for cooler days. And there is nowhere more posh than Jekyll Island Club Hotel, a former private retreat turned tony hotel on its namesake barrier island off the coast of Brunswick, Georgia, midway between Jacksonville, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia.
Captain’s Manor Inn isn’t a full-fledged hotel, but the label “bed and breakfast” hardly seems to do it justice. Don’t get us wrong — we’re huge fans of B&Bs, so we don’t mean it derisively by any means. The intimacy and character of an independent inn, after all, is something that big hotel chains are actually trying to emulate. But when’s the last time you stayed at a bed and breakfast with a dedicated housekeeping staff, with a regular afternoon tea hour in its “bistro” and rain showers in guest bathrooms?
Bucket lists are all well and good, but what about a getaway that’s truly off the beaten path? Take our quiz to find your perfect paradise. You might just discover that your ultimate vacation is in a place that you’ve never even heard of.
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