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Pay the best available rate for two nights and receive one night free at the Sanctuary on Camelback in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Nestled on the slope of its namesake mountain, the Sanctuary on Camelback possess a modern aesthetic, as evinced by a dramatic infinity pool and the décor of its casitas, with views over Paradise Valley. An Asian influence is perceptible in the spa, meditation garden, and at Elements restaurant, which focuses on farm-fresh ingredients. Details Book two nights from April 24 through May 25 at the best available rate (from $303/night) and receive a third night free. Call 800/245-2051 and mention Smart Luxury Travel Third Night Free. www.sancuaryoncamelback.com
For general trip-planning information, see our Arizona Travel Guide.
Travel as a vehicle for spiritual transformation is hardly a new notion – seekers have practiced the act of pilgrimage for as long as they’ve looked up to the skies and attempted communion with a higher power. Even in today’s short-attention-span society, setting out to honor the divine or ponder the mysterious is a time-honored tradition that refuses to wane with the changing tides of our technologically driven lives. This list of 10 sacred places (and the accompanying slideshow) showcases points of perceived power and peace around the globe, where the physical appears to meld seamlessly with the metaphysical whether due to awe-inspiring natural settings, reported ties to great gods or holy humans, or long-standing consecration as sites of worship and ritual.
Our list isn’t meant to be comprehensive. Sacred places mean many things to different people – zipping along an open highway, sailing a calm sea, or even hibernating inside on a cold winter’s morning can all bring about their own sort of peace. Where do you go to retreat from the world?
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, packages, and more travel deals.
Tampa is tirelessly tailoring itself for families, as our ShermansTravel.com travel guide astutely points out. And when it comes to where to bring the brood for Major League Baseball spring training fun, the Tampa Bay Area is difficult to refuse. You’ve got the one-two punch of a cluster of ballparks – the Yankees in Tampa, the Phillies in Clearwater, and the Jays in Dunedin, among others – as well as perhaps the most under-appreciated and best coaster-laden theme park anywhere, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
That said, while Tampa can be an easy home run for a family vacation, there is merit in doing the opposite, as George Costanza proved when he secured his job with the New York Yankees. This month – and March is the only month Cactus League (www.springtrainingonline.com) spring training games are scheduled – why not pull together a family getaway to Tempe?
The Luxury The 15-story Talking Stick Resort’s 497 rooms and suites overlook sparse mountain-and-desert landscapes and verdant golf courses. The Scottsdale, Arizona, retreat opened in April and has seven restaurants, four lounges, and a 240,000-square-foot casino. Guests can visit the two courses at sister property Talking Stick Golf Club, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Golfers may select tee times at the grassy, links-style North course or the traditional, tree-lined fairways of the South course.
The Value The Par Fore the Course package (offered through March) includes deluxe accommodations. Prices start at $299/night ($100 off standard rates) and cover a round of golf at Talking Stick’s two courses. Readers will also receive a $50 resort credit.
The Catch Only one guest can redeem the round of golf; winter greens fees start at $80.
The Details 866-877-9897 (mention Smart Luxury Travel); talkingstickresort.com
From the Winter 2010/2011 issue of Smart Luxury Travel magazine by ShermansTravel.com.
For general trip-planning information, see our Phoenix Travel Guide.
If you are thinking about a quick three- or four-night romantic getaway, early December offers the perfect mix of opportunity and deals. Traditionally a slow period for hotels and resorts, this small window between Thanksgiving and Christmas serves up both stellar rates and fabulous weather in such sunny hotspots as Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, Florida, and Arizona. Here are five deals at leading luxury resorts — Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Ritz-Carlton, and Fairmont — that will let you book a five-star getaway for as little as $159/night:
Body scrubs are a spa menu staple—a trickle down from cultures that used abrasive towels (Japan), mitts (Korea, as well as Turkey and Morocco), and others tools to smooth skin and promote not just hygiene, but, it is believed, overall health.
At spas today, a treatment with exfoliating granules is usually given before a massage or body wrap, all the better to whisk away the dead, dry, thick top layer of skin. By removing this thick layer of cells—a chemist I interviewed recently compared them to roof shingles—the healthier ones beneath are revealed. These “new” cells are ones you want slathered in the hydrating, firming, or deep cleansing ingredients, since they can absorb them. Plus, the stimulating scrubbing process, which jump-starts the cell renewal process (which grows sluggish with age), also may help the circulation and immune system function more optimally.
Sugar and salt are the two most common types of scrubbing substances, followed by a salad bar of various plant-based ingredients. Here’s the nitty on the gritty of what you’ll likely encounter:
The Luxury Nature lovers would be hard-pressed to find a setting more sublime than Sedona, Arizona: radiant red rocks, green forests, and desert vegetation—all under brilliant blue skies. The luxurious Enchantment Resort encompasses 70 acres at the mouth of Boynton Canyon. Though it’s close to town, the pueblo-style suites are secluded. Resort offerings include fine on-site restaurants, the Native American–themed Mii amo spa, and kid-friendly programs. Guests can also unwind with hiking, tennis, swimming, mountain biking, and golf. Read more
The ShermansTravel Deals team hand-picks the special breed of deals that promises free perks ? no strings attached. Book a vacation to Curacao – a Caribbean island famous for tranquil beaches and immaculate dive sites – through www.curacao.com and enjoy a host of freebies. With the Curacao Wow deal, travelers booking a participating hotel for five nights or longer will receive one night free! Free daily breakfast for two is also offered at select hotels for those booking five or more nights. Those renting a car for four days or more will receive a free rental day, and any adventurers booking a six day dive package will receive a free day of diving! Book your trip between now and September 1 for travel between August 15 – December 18, 2010.
Those looking for luxury in New York City can find just that, along with assorted amenities thanks to NYC & Company. The Signature Collection Third Night promotion is just as it sounds: Book two consecutive nights at one of the Signature Collection hotels and receive a third night free! Guests will also receive a VIP package to the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store which includes a personal shopping experience at the Fifth Avenue Club as well as a complimentary coffee and dessert at café SFA. Book a room now for stays through September 5, 2010.
Vacationers booking a stay at the Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa in Arizona through www.perfectescapes.com, will receive early check-in, $50 in resort credit, a free room upgrade, and a free one-hour yoga class, all while surrounded by majestic Coconino National Forest. Offer valid through May 7, 2011.
If travelers coming to New York City are foregoing all the airport antics for the classic summer road trip, then the Marriott East Side is the obvious choice. Customers using the promotional code TRS during booking will receive free parking each day of their stay at the Marriott, a value of $55 a day! Offer valid seven days a week through December 31, 2010.
Use our Travel Search comparison tool to find the lowest airfare to any of the above destinations.
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Go soul-searching on 400 acres of desert paradise beneath the Santa Catalina Mountains in Tucson. Offering a burgeoning all-inclusive package from $375 per person, per night, Miraval encourages prospective visitors to look within and find themselves – literally – under the sun and stars of Arizona, with free round-trip airfare from anywhere around the country. An award-winning, eco-conscious destination resort and spa, Miraval pampers and dotes with round-the-clock healing, stimulating, and rejuvenating activities. Think: astrology readings, “yogilates,” tightrope, and cooking classes. Read more
Want to get married surrounded by 12-million-year-old rock formations, perched 1,100 feet above the Caribbean’s most photogenic peaks or standing in a vine-draped 700-year-old cloister? You can. With destination weddings accounting for about 16 percent of all marriages, many of the world’s leading resorts are now making their most unique and picturesque settings available for ceremonies and receptions. Here are three visually breathtaking places to utter “I do.”
Paradise Pavilion at Ladera, St. Lucia The stunning view of this Caribbean island’s iconic twin Piton peaks hasn’t changed since this serene, 32-room resort opened, but the recent addition of this 1,200-square-foot, open-air (yet sheltered) wedding venue means couples and their guests can enjoy it in private. Set along the same rainforest ridge as Ladera’s romantic plunge-pool suites, with unobstructed panoramic views of the Pitons and the sea, Paradise Pavilion (see photo, above) accommodates up to 100 people for a sunset ceremony and reception – catered by award-winning chef Orlando Satchell of Ladera’s Dasheene restaurant – and guarantees memorable wedding photos. It is linked via landscaped stone pathway to Hilltop Dream Suite #X8, which serves both as a bridal party dressing room and post-party honeymoon suite. For a wedding of approximately 80 guests, couples can take over the entire resort. Rooms from $380; for Wedding Packages and Paradise Pavilion rental rates, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more
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