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The Republic of Macedonia, a Balkan country in Eastern Europe, declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. It’s recognized by the UN as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) due to a name dispute with Greece, who believes calling the country “Macedonia” creates ambiguity with the Greek Region of Macedonia, which in turn breeds historical and cultural concerns.
We won’t get into that in this story, but if you’re interested, you can read up on it here. Call it whatever you want – the country is beautiful regardless, and its landscape, culture, adventure activities, and affordability are likely to impress even the most seasoned traveler. Read more
If you’ve ever stayed at a Hilton property and wonder where your leftover soap goes, here’s your answer: The soap is shipped to the warehouse of Global Soap Project, a soap recycling nonprofit, where it’s sorted and reprocessed, then molded into new bars that go to the people who need them – refugees, orphans, and disaster victims around the world. Hilton Worldwide announced its new partnership with Global Soap Project earlier this month.
Why soap? According to the Global Soap Project, “the number one cause of preventable death of children in Africa is unsanitary living conditions mostly due to lack of soap and potable water,” and around the world children die from diseases like pneumonia that can be largely prevented with better hygiene conditions. In addition to providing soap for those in need, the Global Soap Project also prevents unused soap from being thrown out, increasing the sustainability of participating hotels.
This is a hot deal if we ever saw one. For 10 days beginning today, the Conrad Miami will price hotel rooms based on the temperature outside – alas, the Fahrenheit number, not the Celsius measurement. Even so, this translates to big savings at the hotel, a Hilton Worldwide Luxury property, as rooms typically cost $199 this time of year. Unless global warming takes a dangerous turn before the end of the “Stay Cool” promotion, expect at minimum a 40 percent discount – and that’s only if the mercury skyrockets to an unlikely 120 degrees. In addition to the sizzling savings, the package includes a surprise arctic amenity, the details of which the hotel will reveal on Twitter tomorrow (www.twitter.com/ConradMiami).
THE VALUE: Summer rates begin at $199. If temperatures hover around 80 degrees as predicted, you’ll save at least 60 percent.
THE CATCH: A limited number of hotel rooms will be discounted each day, and the rate does not include taxes.
THE DETAILS: Check the weather on the hotel’s location information page, then call 305-503-6500 to lock in the low rates.
When hoteliers first rolled out loyalty perks programs, a few free nights at a midrange chain was considered a score. But these days upscale brands like Ritz-Carlton are jumping on the bonus band-wagon – and guests are reaping sky’s-the-limit rewards. Fighter pilot lessons, anyone?
GLOBAL HOTEL ALLIANCE DISCOVERY
How it Works: Three levels of rewards, depending on how many stays per year at any of GHA’s nearly 300 hotels: 1 night = Gold. 10-29 nights = Platinum. 30+ nights = Black.
What You Get: Gold-level members can embark on a sunset game drive – and a massage in the wild – at the Kempinski Mokuti Lodge in Namibia. Black status members can go hot air ballooning while at the Omni Tucson National Resort. ghadiscovery.com
Located at the north end of Santa Rosa, the 4-star Hilton Sonoma Wine Country is set on 13 immaculately landscaped acres with panoramic views of the alluring Santa Rosa Valley. Now through October 28, 2011, the Hilton is offering a shopping package with nightly rates as low as $169! Included in the package is a welcome bottle of wine, a $50 Macy’s giftcard as well as an 11 percent discount coupon valid at Macy’s! With in-room spa services, a complimentary local vineyard wine tasting, and a location convenient to world-renowned vineyards as well as department stores and boutique shops, this hotel primes travelers for the perfect vacation.
THE VALUE: With this deal travelers can save up to $100 as standard room rates alone can start as high as $149!
THE CATCH: All rates are subject to hotel availability and do not include taxes.
THE DETAILS: To book your stay, visit www.Hilton.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights to San Francisco.
Take a look at our Sonoma Travel Guide and see everything this picturesque region has to offer!
Last week, Waldorf Astoria became the latest hotel chain to roll out an iPhone app so guests can browse properties and book a room on the go. This somewhat belatedly follows the launch of apps for fellow Hilton brands Hilton, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Hampton, and Hilton Garden Tree last November. Waldorf’s app is fairly simple, providing a brief summary and half a dozen photos for each of their 22 hotels. Users can also call the hotel or book directly through the app.
While Waldorf’s app performs what it sets out to do, it’s a bit basic compared to the new media savvy of the Kimpton app (launched last month), which allows you to find hotels and restaurants by location via Google maps and provides links to each property’s website and Facebook page, as well as the brand’s Twitter account. At the same time, however, you can’t book a stay at a Kimpton hotel directly from the app – you have to call the reservation line. Read more
Grab your sunscreen and get ready to build some sand castles– there’s still time to snag a deal on a great beach rental at one of the East Coast’s favorite beach towns. Endless Vacation Rentals has a 25% off sale on tons of condos and more. Rent a cute little beach cottage in Hilton Head, S.C., for a group of six for $156/night when you stay for a week. There are golf villas in a prime Kitty Hawk location in the heart of North Carolina’s Outer Banks for $124/night for a 7-night stay. Get a condo at at the iconic New England beach getaway, Cape Cod, for $560/wk– that’s only $80 per night. Virginia Beach has one-bedroom apartments in a beach resort for $87/night for a two-night stay.
THE VALUE: Getting a discount of 25% off a beach rental this far into the summer is hard to find.
THE CATCH: You’re going to spend some dough on gassing up your car for the roadtrip.
THE DETAILS: Check out the available rentals on the Endless Vacation Rentals site.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Get inspired by our Top 10 Quick Summer Getaways.
Compare flights deals using our Travel Search.
Get a ride to the beach with our Car Rentals Deals.
HEADED TO THE BEACH? Tell us where.
An unforgettable adventure awaits visitors on Hawaii’s Big Island, renowned for its diverse landscape that includes snow-covered mountains, lush rainforests, black-sand beaches, and active volcanoes. Located on the island’s stunning western Kohala Coast, the 62-acre Hilton Waikoloa Village offers elegantly furnished guestrooms in a gorgeous oceanfront setting. The family-friendly resort also boasts a freshwater pool with dramatic waterfalls, a day camp for children ages 5 to12, and a Dolphin Quest Learning Lagoon where kids can interact and swim with the friendly ocean mammals. Available through December 31, the Ocean Explorer Family Escape covers a 4-night stay for two adults and two kids, including daily buffet breakfast and one glass-bottom boat cruise. Kids also receive a backpack filled with goodies, including an underwater camera, coloring books, ocean fish guides, and more. Rates start at just $294/night per room.
Some come for the tulips, some for the weed, but no matter what’s on the vegetative agenda, visitors to freewheeling Amsterdam often find themselves mesmerized by the city’s free-thinking, live-and-let-live mantra. Visit during spring’s warm days to explore city’s picturesque canals, museums, and infamous coffee shops within this laid-back, European capital. Try a stay at the renowned Hilton Amsterdam, site of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famous 1969 bed-in for peace, just a short walk from the old city center. Rates start at $213/night, a price that includes complimentary buffet breakfast and Van Gogh Museum admission.
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