Shermanstravel Blog

Spa

MetropolitanbyCOMOSure, most travelers book a trip to Miami Beach with a single plan in mind — drink all day, party all night. But everyone needs to cool off and chill out at some point. Even Miami, which we rate as one of the world’s party capitals, has plenty of options for relaxing, refreshing, and (maybe) replenishing your body in preparation for another night out. Here’s how:

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Relaxation takes form in all shapes and sizes. To some, an afternoon coffee with a pastry eases away the tension better than a full-body massage. To others, being pricked in the back with dozens of needles does the trick. From skin-eating fish to dives into icy lakes, here are some of the varied  techniques you can seek out on your next travels.

Japan: Sake Bath
First practiced by Japanese geishas to decrease the appearance of age and skin spots, thousands of Japanese men and women continue to experience the healing effects of the rice wine’s kojic acids, which smooth and hydrate the skin. Sake also contains a healthy mix of ginger and pine extracts that’s proven to relax muscles (or is that just the alcohol talking?) and help breathing. Japan’s Yunessun Spa Resort, 50 miles southwest of Tokyo, invites guests to soak in their giant pool of sake — or try their red wine, coffee, or green tea baths — for an all-inclusive entry fee of ¥2,800 ($28).

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Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Cyber Monday is too long to have to wait for snagging great hotel deals, so we are pleased to see that a group of hotels have put together their own promotion and are calling it CyberSummer. On June 21, starting at midnight, 21 hotels and resorts in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean will be offering online deals, including four-diamond resorts for $99 a night, five-star hotels offering 50 percent savings, and free nights. Featured hotels include Casa Palopó in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala (pictured above); the JW Marriott, Cusco, Peru, and the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort in Florida. Read more

LongboatKeyFor many Americans, a winter trip to Florida is a yearly ritual. But many don’t realize that it’s worthy of a visit any time of year. While it’s hot throughout most of the country come summer, Florida boasts beautiful beaches and tropical tranquility. Even better: when you go off-season, you can indulge in the luxuries you might not be able to afford at in spring or fall.

The state’s two coasts are unique, each offering charm and beauty all their own. Pick a coast, grab a fantastic off-season deal at a luxe property, and then relax and enjoy the views, smaller crowds, and ocean breezes. Read more

Chewton

When it comes to hotels, it’s always refreshing to see new takes on the four-walls-and-a-bed formula. In these five treehouse suites, woodsy interiors, jacuzzi tubs, and floor-to-ceiling windows give the idea of a childhood hideout a creative update. If you’re ready to stay among the treetops, and shell out some major cash, you too can have this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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©2012 Red Square, Inc.

When anyone comes to us looking for a summer deal, we’ll always point them to getaways in the Caribbean. Summer either means high heat or rain showers, and then there are the risks inherent during hurricane season, which lasts from September to November. Of course, this means great deals all around, as long as you’re open-minded to a bit of unpredictability and can schedule your beach outing around the weather. Whether you’re looking for dirt cheap vacations or unbelievable luxury for less, these 10 deals for summer and fall run the gamut:

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620x400_MarriottMarcoIslandA beloved vacation spot for those looking to avoid the intense nightlife common in other Florida beach towns, Marco Island on the Gulf Coast is a sweet deal in late summer. Although rates at the island’s premier hotel, the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, hover around $400 per night during the winter, you can now score a room for as low as $189 per night.

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Red Mountain ResortThey say idleness is the mother of all vices – so it’s a good thing we had so much to keep us busy during a recent jaunt through rural southern Utah. Heading for St. George, a small, oft-overlooked town in the state’s bottom-left quarter that’s just under two hours from Vegas, we packed in a full three days of hiking, kayaking, outdoor yoga, and even a little art gallery browsing. And the best part: We even had time left over for some poolside lounging. Here’s how you can do it, too:

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WaldorfParkCity

Just because summer is fast approaching, that doesn’t mean that America’s ski towns are closed for business. In fact, lots of them are offering great deals to fill rooms in the off-season, including some high-end properties. The 4.5-star Waldorf Astoria Park City, the first ski resort in the luxe brand’s portfolio, is offering summer rates starting at $211. This special rate is for a 1-bedroom suite with a king bed and a sofabed (sleeps 4), which takes 15% off current rates. We saw rooms as high as $275 per night on other sites. There’s also an additional $35 per night resort fee, which covers internet access and a local shuttle. Read more

RockCreekAs much as we love traveling to big cities, sometimes it can get overwhelming. Here are a few places in or near the biggest metropolises in the U.S., where, for a few hours at least, you can leave the noise and bustle behind. Read more

Grenada

Last week we gave you the low-down on the new Sandals LaSource, the all-inclusive brand’s first venture into Grenada. While it may be tempting to while away all your time on the resort, and on Pink Gin beach, you shouldn’t miss getting off the property for a day of exploring. Here are a few highlights of this manageable and easygoing “spice island”:

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One of our favorite off-the-beaten-path Caribbean islands just got a lot more accessible, thanks to the recent opening of Sandals LaSource Grenada. The brand’s first outpost on Grenada, the resort brings 225 guestrooms to the island; not to mention increased, and more competitive, flight options which are highly likely to follow.  Read more

RouletteWhile Pennsylvania awaits a verdict on the state’s proposed second casino, a recently-added feature at the ever-popular Valley Forge Casino (about 30 minutes northwest of Philadelphia) is making poker chip-wielding travelers around the country take note. Announced early last month, a new “Points for Miles” program offers gamers the chance to redeem casino player points for – get this – airline miles with US Airways.

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Reykjavik, IcelandDespite Iceland’s famous bankruptcy and ensuing currency devaluation, it’s still a very expensive place for Americans to visit. For example, a private, ensuite room in a hostel can cost $150 (with rooms in more luxurious hotels going for double or triple that price). Restaurant entrées typically cost $30-$40, and a cocktail that costs less than $12-$15 is rare.

The good news is that most of what makes Reykjavik so appealing is the free stuff: the quirky culture and friendly locals, the wild nightlife scene, and the amazing landscape that surrounds the city.  For everything else, there are ways to save without sacrificing the experience.

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Intercontinental ThalassoMake no mistake, collecting points to use for travel is a hassle. With black out dates and restrictions, actually using them for travel can be an even bigger hassle. That’s why loyalty programs are often overlooked as too conflated or difficult to actually enjoy, but those who put in the effort can be rewarded handsomely. Case in point: I recently used a combination of points to fund a visit to a remote island paradise in the southern Maldives. It wasn’t easy, nor was it straightforward, but it enabled me to travel to a place I could never afford otherwise. Here are five astonishing properties around the globe that may not be so far out of reach after all… Read more

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