Shermans Travel » Blog » Smart Luxury
Sure, you have your pick of any number of great hotels in France, but why not try something a little different on your next visit? These ten unique accommodations are not only memorable, but very affordable, too.
A 15th-Century Castle
As the temperature slowly drops across North America, your mind may be on planning a tropical getaway. The luxury hotel Gansevoort Turks + Caicos has an offer that can extend your vacation without costing extra. Their Stay 7 Nights, Pay for 5 promotion is available now through December 19, and includes accommodation in a luxurious beachfront room, daily full American breakfast for two at the on-site Stelle Restaurant, and two nights free (including taxes) when you pay for five.
Rates at the Gansevoort Turks + Caicos normally start at $550 per night, meaning that you’d pay $2750 for five nights before taxes. With this package, you’ll get seven for that same price, effectively bringing the nightly rate down to $392. Still pricey, but a good deal for this property.
Named one of the top ten trendiest resorts in the world and a member of the 2013 Conde Nast “Gold List,” the 91-room hotel (the first international property from the hip Gansevoort chain) is tucked away in a secluded location on Grace Bay Beach. Amenities include a full-service spa, 7,000 square foot infinity pool, and access to the 18-hole championship golf course at Provo Golf Club.
We here at ShermansTravel see lots of luxury travel trends, but we feel especially predisposed to a sort of dumbstruck jealousy towards those lucky dogs who end up aboard a Singapore Airlines 777-300ER plane. With fully-flat, 78 inch-long beds, sheets and a duvet, leather quilted back cushions, and iPad-ready USB/HDMI ports, each individual ‘seat’ (and we use that term loosely) likely offers more amenities than the hotel room awaiting you at your final destination.
Next month, the brand new planes – complete with re-designed business and first class cabins – will go into service along the airline’s main Singapore-London route. But for $5867.38, is the seat alone worth the trip? Read more
The pass costs $399 for a limited time and allows six days of first class train travel in the two countries over a period of one month. You can travel on both the French and Swiss rail networks, as well as the high-speed TGV Lyria train that connects the two. So, is it worth it?
It wasn’t long ago that the Arab Spring took hold of Tunisia. Now, the country is trying to put its unstable past behind it. With a 29 percent increase in visitors from the UK since 2012, Tunisia is looking forward the return of tourists to its beaches, classical ruins, and mosques. And while the country borders a region that’s still isn’t recommended for leisure travelers — it shares an eastern border with Libya and a western border with Algeria — Tunisia itself is safe for ambitious and seasoned travelers (more on that below).
Aside from the political state of its neighbors, there are lots reasons to make the journey to this part of North Africa: incredible white sand beaches along the Mediterranean, a rich Berber culture, and plenty of budget options. Now that the country is trying to lure visitors back to its hotels and resorts, here’s how to see the best of Tunisia… Read more
I like traveling to resort destinations that aren’t filled with Americans. It isn’t that I dislike American tourists. I just find it so much more interesting to meet people from other cultures — something I couldn’t do back home in the States. Cyprus, not a typical destination for Americans, is a popular summer vacation spot for Russians, Lebanese, Scandinavians, and Brits.
I spent three nights in Ayia Napa, which is along the southeast coast of Cyprus. You might compare the vibe of the town to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. Ayia Napa, or Napa as the locals call it, has arguably the best beaches in Cyprus; they’re comparable to those in France, Italy, or Greece. Read more
As the weather cools down in much of North America, a soothing soak in the hot springs is the perfect thing to usher in the new season. The U.S. offers a number of hot spring experiences, from hiking out to a secluded, forested spot, to booking a room at a high-end resort. Hot springs are often touted for their healing properties, attracting those seeking stress relief, healthier skin, and immune system stimulation – just in case you needed an excuse. Here are four of our favorite hot spring experiences in the U.S.
Riverbend Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
At Riverbend Hot Spring in the city of Truth or Consequences guests are housed in private, fully renovated mobile homes. The resort is also known for their attentive staff, who will hand-deliver morning coffee to the hot springs as you watch the sun rise over the Turtleback Mountains and the Rio Grande. Unlimited access to public springs are available for all overnight guests, and walk-in guest-passes are also available and include access to the pool area, deck, patio, and sauna. Rooms cost between $70–$150 per night and a guest pass is $10. Read more
Sao Paulo isn’t for everybody. With a teeming population of 19 million, a sprawling, helter-skelter skyline that takes no regular shape, dozens of neighborhoods, and endless snarls of traffic, it’s easy to understand why tourists – especially first-timers to Brazil – head straight for the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.
But for those willing to look beyond the chaos, and behind its gritty surface, Sao Paulo can be a sophisticated traveler’s paradise filled with chic little shops, innovative restaurants, and some mind-blowing hotels. Rio may have the beaches and the views – and the 2016 Olympics – but this stylish financial and business hub has plenty to boast about, including its status as a host city in next year’s World Cup.
If you’re thinking of visiting, focus on South America’s winter months – June through August – when hotel bargains abound and weather hovers comfortably in the 60s and 70s. The occasional cold snap can send temperatures plunging into the 40s, so check the forecast, and be prepared to compete with the locals’ fashion-forward winter garb. Here are some of our favorite finds in this complicated, but incredibly rewarding city. Read more
Though mainland Malaysia is already considered a budget-friendly destination for many travelers, the cost of traveling to Malaysian Borneo might initially seem like an unnecessary expense if you’re trying to see the country on a budget. However, with incredibly affordable round-trip flights now being offered by Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching for as low as 120 ringgit (about $36), there are tons of reasons to add a few more days to your trip and explore this often overlooked island. If you stay away from the higher-end resorts and expensive restaurants, you’ll find that seeing Malaysian Borneo is not only easy on your wallet, but also a phenomenal place with jungles, a cat city, ancient ruins, national parks, and plenty of monkeys. Here are my top five ideas for enjoying the best of Borneo for a lot less than you might expect.
Take a day trip to one of Borneo’s national parks:
While there are plenty of national parks all throughout the island of Borneo, my favorites were Bako National Park (where you can likely catch of a glimpse of the rare long-nosed proboscis monkey) or Niah National Park (where you can see gorgeous cave paintings dating back 1,200 years). The only costs you’ll incur on a day trip like this is getting there and paying your entrance to the park, so there’s absolutely no reason not to add a day of nature to your itinerary.
Getting to Bako: Simply take a bus to Bako Bazaar in Kampung Bazaar (1.50 ringgit; $0.45) and then charter a boat to the park (they wait at the dock for customers). If you’re willing to share the boat ride with other passengers, you can cut your cost down from 40 ringgit per person to as low as 8 ringgit ($2.40). Entrance to the national park for foreign visitors is just 20 ringgit ($6).
Total cost: 29.5 ringgit (under $10) Read more
What are you doing between now and December 19? If your answer is ‘nothing,’ you may want to consider a trip to the Caribbean; specifically, Anguilla, where the ultra-luxe Viceroy Anguilla recently unveiled a snazzy new package that offers partial reimbursement on the cost of your flight. Seriously. By booking five nights at a four- or five-bedroom villa, guests will be eligible to receive airfare compensation of up to $1,000 or $2,000, respectively. Read more
Summer is winding down and kids are heading back to school, which means that prime beach destinations like Florida are quickly clearing out and entering their low season. Normally, a destination’s slow-down time signals less-than-prime weather conditions, but Florida in the fall is ideal. While it’s technically still hurricane season, in many spots, you’ll still find warm waters and beautiful days with weather that can soar up into the 90s. Add to that the fact that many hotels offer discounts of 40 to 50 percent off their peak season rates, and you’ve got a recipe for a perfect fall getaway. Here are some of the reasons you should visit during Florida’s bargain season. Read more
Between the Michelin-starred restaurants (Paris has a galaxy of stars) and the Goyard bag you’re drooling over in the shop window on Rue Saint-Honoré, the City of Light can cost a pretty penny. But – take it from a local – the French capital isn’t just about haute cuisine and contemporary couture. (A simple baguette, steaming hot from the boulangerie, slathered in butter, could make you think you’d died and gone to heaven.)
Paris is famously a city of flâneurs, “connoisseurs of the street,” who have perfected the art of strolling. Just walking in Paris is its own entertainment. Who knows what unique boutique, fabulous façade painted with street art, music concert, or hidden garden lurks around the next corner? No matter what time of year you’re visiting Paris – whether during summer’s pop-up beach on the Seine or December’s festive light displays – here are some cheap things to see and do while pounding the cobblestones. Read more
In a city that claims to be the most European city in North America, I was expecting a restaurant scene with white table cloths and extravagant prices to match. But Montréal surprised me. From no-frills lunch spots, to after-work happy hour bars, and high-end dinner options, this island city in the province of Quebec has plenty to offer, all at a reasonable price. Here are some of my favorite restaurants in Montréal: Read more
The island’s main draw? The 887 extant monumental statues, or moais, created by the early Rapa Nui people. Moais are placed upon ceremonial platforms and graves called ahus. The statues are a large part of the reason why Easter Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with much of the island (and many moais) protected within Rapa Nui National Park. Read more
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