Shermanstravel Blog

Smart Luxury

620x400_FlickrLauraMotta_LanaiGardenoftheGodsWe’ve always had a soft spot for Lanai, the small, sparsely inhabited Hawaiian island that’s a quick ferry ride from the east coast of Maui. Many travelers who visit its red-and-orange-sand shores are daytrippers who hungrily reserve the island’s limited rental cars far in advance. And they leave the comfort of their Maui resorts for good reason. Breathtaking solitude on its beaches, mysterious rock formations, towering offshore shipwrecks, and stoplight-and-shopping-mall-free roads are just some of its charms.

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St. Regis Hotels and ResortsCold weather getting you down? Head over to our slideshow of Beautiful South Pacific Resorts and transport yourself to a Polynesian paradise. Featured resorts include the luxury St. Regis Bora Bora, where overwater villas feature private terraces and gazebos.

Cruise Ship in Sydney HarborWelcome to wave season! At the very end and beginning of every year, cruise lines roll out promotions for sailings through the next year – sometimes even two – in hopes of booking passengers early. The deals can take the form of steep discounts over 50 percent, 2-for-1 fares, onboard credits, free airfare, and other special packages. For you, this means that there’s no better time to go big – or at least dream about it. Here, we offer eight unbelievable cruises for the ultimate nautical adventure… Read more

CostaBaja Resort and SpaWe all know Cabo – the beaches, resorts, and water sports of this Baja Californian city make it a heavily touristed winter getaway. However, La Paz – a quiet little town about 100 miles to the north – makes for a less-crowded, and affordable alternative. The town is set on the Sea of Cortez (described by Jacques Cousteau as “God’s Aquarium”) and offers access to an array of outdoor activities including swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and whale watching. Read more

Antarctica 2014 adventue travel destination

Adrenaline-loving travelers looking to push the boundaries in 2014 have plenty of enticing destinations to choose from next year. Whether it’s the time-warped villages of Burma, or the far-flung shores of Antarctica (which, as it happens, will be in the spotlight for the 100th anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton‘s epic adventure), 2014 is sure to be filled with inspiration, adventure, and plenty of good photo ops.

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Smart Luxury: Hanoi

December 18th, 2013 by

Hanoi-FishermanHistory isn’t the only thing that abounds in Hanoi, the bustling Vietnamese capital. A new museum, cheap hotels, vibrant shopping districts, and abundant public parks all help to make this city one of southeast Asia’s prettiest and most visited destinations. If you’re heading there soon (and with this week’s $1799 deal, why wouldn’t you?), here are a few ways to enjoy the best of Hanoi on a next-to-nothing budget:

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Expression_Exterior_Austria_Durnstein_Danube_Wachau_Einhard_0150246Taking your time. Delving deep. Enjoying scenery. Making new friends.

If this sounds like your kind of travel, you’re certainly not alone – which is a large part of why river cruises, popularized in the 1990s, have been making a remarkable comeback in the past two years. More than two dozen new ships will be sailing in Europe alone in the upcoming year, and entire cruise lines are debuting, too. More notably, though, river cruises might seem expensive at first glance, but their all-inclusive nature can make them a great deal.

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620x400_FlickrLauraMotta_MadridPlazaMayorIf you’re looking for an excuse to book a vacation to Spain, we have a good one for you this week: This 6-night trip to Madrid and Barcelona for $1009, including flights from New York City. (Other departure cities are available, too. Check the web site for pricing.)

Madrid in particular has caught our fancy lately. Once considered a dirtier, more hectic cousin to refined, seaside Barcelona, we’ve learned to appreciate this city’s bustle, and its incredibly varied offerings for visitors, from stately museums to sleek dance clubs. And with amazing tapas and wine to be had for just a few Euros, it’s a city that can be easy on your wallet. Here are just a couple of Madrid’s charms we’ve learned about recently:

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Newly famed as the first location of the World Ski Awards, as well as long-time host of the World Cup Ski races each year, including the downhill run on the famed (and scarily steep) Streif slope, Kitzbühel has a reputation for being one of the fanciest ski resorts in all of Austria. We’ve discovered it is possible, however, to have your strudel and eat it – on a budget. Here are just a few highlights and dollar-saving ideas for this tony resort…

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Despite a volatile economy and steep inflation, Argentina has been a well-liked budget destination for the past decade, which is fortunate as flights from most North American cities go for around $1,000. When visiting its capital, Buenos Aires, you won’t have to skimp on luxury experiences to save some dollars. Here are a few tips for stretching your budget while enjoying the best of the Paris of the South.

Budget-Chic Hotels

Facebook/Pulitzer Hotel

Located in the center of Buenos Aires, the Hotel Pulitzer (a member of the Design Hotels collection) boasts hip modern design and reasonable rates – around $120 a night. Some rooms have balconies and hotel amenities include a 13th-floor open-air sky bar and an eighth-floor pool deck. Read more

Marriott, Cusco, Peru, hotel
The approach of Thanksgiving usually means readying yourself for the shopping frenzy that comes immediately after. Luckily, with these Cyber Monday hotel deals, you don’t have to brave the cold and the lines and can snap up a bargain, and mentally transport yourself to a sunny beachfront hotel (or the snowy ski slopes, if you prefer), from the comfort of your own home.

For all offers, conditions and blackout dates may apply; read the fine print. Read more

620x400_istock_BostonAs Boston braces for colder weather – and revels in the World Series success of its beloved Red Sox – this small city with a big cultural pedigree offers plenty to see, and plenty of bargains. While a sunny stroll through the picturesque Public Garden might be out of the question, or at least an endeavor to be approached with caution and a really thick scarf, Boston’s indoor delights shine bright in winter.  Here’s a sampling of winter activities in Boston, many of which cost twice as much in warmer months.

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AMEX Centurion Lounge at LASFrom small mechanical issues to ill-timed blizzards, few of us have traveled in the past few years without running into some sort of mishap at the airport. Granted, running an airline is no easy chore, but the frustration felt when flights don’t take off as planned can seem all too real. During such moments, a sleek airport lounge can provide an oasis of luxury and calm in which to bide your time. But what about when things don’t go awry? How often do you need to visit an airport lounge to justify the cost of membership? And what tricks are there – if any – to gaining access without paying? Read more

Santa Barbara
There’s no denying that Santa Barbara, one of the most beautiful towns on California’s central coast (and perhaps the entire United States), comes at a cost. But while you might not be able to stay in Montecito, or dine at San Ysidro Ranch, it’s still possible to experience the charm of this Pacific Ocean coastal town without depleting your travel budget in a single day. Of course, beaches are always a good option to while away an afternoon, but here are five other cheap activities to help you stay in motion: Read more

Too often when we travel, we feel like an outsider getting only the briefest glimpse of how a city truly feels. We feel that we will never get an inside peek, because to enjoy the city’s true riches would require a lot of money and impossible connections. It does not have to be that way:  here’s how to enjoy luxe London for less.

Members-Only Clubs

SoHo HouseUnless you are friends with a member, you might as well forget about ever getting in to legendarily exclusive Groucho Club. A smart way to get access to the strictly members-only Soho House or Shoreditch House, however, is by reserving a room there. As long as you agree to abide by club rules – no photos, no cell phones, no suits – you get to make use of the club during your stay. We see January rates for a transparently named “Tiny Room” at Shoreditch House going for as low as £105, and a “Broom Cupboard” at Dean Street Townhouse (the Soho House hotel) for £81.

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