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Kauai

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No summer is complete without a trip to the beach. But instead of the typical best-of roundup, we decided to do something a little different: We had the ShermansTravel staff share their favorite off-beat alternatives to the hotspots that everyone flocks to in drove. We won’t go as far as to call these spots “secret,” but we will promise that you’ll find a relatively intimate excursion with lots of character at any one of them. Ready to feel like a beach insider and stretch out?

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Affordable Hawaii HotelsThink New York City has a lock on the most expensive hotels in America, or glitzy South Beach? Think again. The highest hotel rates in the U.S. are actually in Hawaii. So far in 2013, guests have spent an average of $233 per night for a hotel room in Hawaii – that’s an increase of $27 over the previous year! With airfare costs on the rise, this can make for a spendy island getaway. But not all Hawaii hotels cost a fortune. Here are some money-saving tips so you can enjoy the luau (or the whale watch, or six hours of lazying in the sun with a view of Diamond Head in the distance) without worrying about how you’ll pay for it: Read more

HawaiiHave you booked a trip to Hawaii for 2013 yet? On and off since late fall, we’ve seen jaw-droppingly low fares from Hawaiian Airlines, offering non-stop service to the 50th State. And they’re back again this week.

Depart from New York City and head to the Aloha State’s capital, Honolulu, for just $365, round-trip, taxes included. For a more laid-back vacation on the islands of Maui, Kauai, or Kona (The Big Island), add just $13. For less than $400, you could trade next week’s chilly New York forecast for Hawaiian paradise. Seriously. Read more

JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines have announced a partnership that’s primed to make travel to the Aloha State easier than ever before, particularly for East Coast travelers. The newly inked arrangement will allow for seamless daily connections between flights out of New York City (via JetBlue’s JFK hub) and into Honolulu (on Hawaiian Airlines), allowing customers to book single tickets that combine travel on the two carriers.

The new partnership will be featured on Hawaiian Airlines’ soon-to-launch flights (on June 5, precisely) between New York City and Honolulu (where continuing connections are additionally available to Kauai, Maui, or Hawaii Island), on what will be the only nonstop offering on that particular itinerary (advertised rates start at $431 each way). Or, customers can book travel immediately via Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), where JetBlue operates, and Hawaiian Airlines currently offers multiple daily departures to Hawaii (rates start at $339 each way). Plus, the airlines have agreed to allow for reciprocal frequent flyer benefits between the two carriers. Read more

Villa at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran BayIf one of your New Year’s resolutions is to spend more quality time with the person you love, then I suggest you enjoy that togetherness someplace amazing! And what’s better or more romantic than a stunning, sun-kissed island? There’s something innately sexy and bond-inspiring about the sea – floating together in gentle turquoise surf, walking hand-in-hand at sunset, enjoying the day’s fresh catch paired with a rum cocktail or a fine wine. So as the new year begins, here are my top 10 picks for the most amazing islands to escape to together in 2012. Read more

Waimea CanyonIt was early on a Monday morning when the buzzer rang. FedEx was at the door, delivering a compact box containing one of the best . . . surprises . . . ever.

Tucked inside the parcel was my Nextpedition trip console – and an envelope that would reveal my first Farbarian-meets-Adrenalista-match-made-in-travel-heaven destination: Kauai!

Three days later, my husband and I were bound for the not-so-Farbarian town of Newark, N.J., to catch an 11-hour flight to Honolulu, where we’d hop a 30-minute flight to Lihue, Kauai.

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Serenity Pool at Wailea Beach Marriott on MauiHawaii is a sublimely romantic destination any time of year, but when the holidays are over and the chill of January and February sets in here in the lower 48, our 50th state starts looking extra appealing. This winter, those warm temperatures and balmy breezes can be yours at a savings, thanks to several free-night resort promotions. Here’s a selection of what’s being offered – but be sure to book early for the best savings and availability. Read more

Sunset Makai Hale KauaiIt’s not your imagination: That is a chill in the air. Which can only mean one thing: sweater sets! And winter vacations to warm destinations. Time to get planning now, especially when you can snag a high-end guesthouse in Kaua’i for 15 percent off just for being your great gay self.

From now till next summer, the Parrish Collection Kauai is offering a Rainbow Promotion to the LGBT community that offers significant savings on selected weeklong (or more) rental. Guests planning a Hawaii civil union (legal from January 1, 2012 onward) or commitment ceremony can also receive complimentary help to coordinate their event from the Parrish Kauai concierge as well as group discounts on additional vacation homes and condos used by friends and family of the couple.

Out of 200 choice properties, what types of distinguished abodes are available? Read more

Hawaii’s first and only boutique hotel chain, Aqua, marks its 10th anniversary this August, and to celebrate its passage into double-digits, the brand is selling the first night of four-night stays (or longer) for just $10. Choose from 16 properties across Kauai, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu, including 12 destinations within one mile of the famed Waikiki Beach. Book by August 31 for travel August 11 through December 22.

THE VALUE: Room rates start at $89/night, which amounts to a $79 savings the first night of your stay; with the discount, the average room rate for a four-night stay is $69.50.

THE CATCH: You must stay at least four nights to receive the discount.

THE DETAILS: Click here to book Aqua’s 10th Birthday Package.

WE’VE GOT MORE: See our Hawaii Travel Guide for more trip-planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, packages, and more travel deals.

Extend your summer glow all through fall with this Hawaii sale from Aston Hotels & Resorts. The 50 Days of Aloha sale slashes rates to as low as $79 a night for select Hawaii hotels. Stay in a room with a garden view at the Aston Aloha Beach Hotel on Kauai, or island hop around to Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island for savings at other resorts. Book from July 11 through August 29 and travel through August 1 and December 1. Plus, kids 17 and younger stay and eat for free at Aston resorts, saving even more!

THE VALUE: Rooms at Aston hotels typically go for close to $200 a night, so this deal saves over $120, depending on which property you choose.

THE CATCH: Prices don’t include tax and blackout dates may apply.

THE DETAILS: To book your stay, visit Aston Hotels’ website.

WE’VE GOT MORE: Find great deals on flights flights to Hawaii using our Travel Search tool, and check out what to do when you get there with our Hawaii Travel Guide.

The Deal Readers can save more than 30 percent off the rack rate of $3,723, paying $2,500 for a five-night stay in an oceanview room at the Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort in Kauai.

Stay Situated on the sunny south coast of Kauai, the new Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort overlooks Poipu Beach. The boutique hotel has 121 rooms with lanais, dark-wood furnishings, pillow-top beds, and large bathrooms with marble touches, dual showerheads, and L’Occitane toiletries. The hotel’s restaurant Red Salt serves sushi and local seafood.

Details The offer comes with extras like daily breakfast, a dinner at Red Salt, and a 50-minute couple’s massage. Travel through December 20.

Book It Call 888/898-8958 and mention code STMAG to book; koakea.com

From the Fall 2010 issue of Smart Luxury Travel magazine by ShermansTravel.com

For general trip-planning information, see our Kauai Travel Guide.

hawaii_edit.jpgJust because it’s July doesn’t mean that you’re too late to score that summer vacation in Hawaii! Due to high demand, Hawaiian Airlines has extended its summer flight sale with round-trip fares starting as low as $398, before taxes. Flights leave from 10 west coast cities with options to go to the islands of Hawai’i, Oahu, Kauai, and Maui. Tickets must be booked by July 12 for travel through August 22.

Sample Round-Trip Fares (Excluding Taxes):
•    Seattle?Honolulu, Oahu: $398
•    Portland?Kona, Hawai’i: $398
•    Los Angeles?Kahului, Maui: $448
•    Las Vegas?Hilo, Hawai’i: $448
•    Phoenix?Lihue, Kauai: $448
•    San Diego?Honolulu, Oahu: $528
•    And more!

THE VALUE: Depending on the route and date, these prices are between $100?$300 lower than competitor airlines, and the additional taxes and fees are, on average, just $25?$30.

THE CATCH: Although people on the West Coast can capitalize on the lowest rates, those living in other regions will have to book a connecting flight.

THE DETAILS: Visit www.hawaiianair.com to book your flight.

WE’VE GOT MORE: Visit our Hawaii Travel Guides page. 

Use our Travel Search comparison tool to find flights to these select departure cities.

Find a great hotel for your Hawaii vacation at our hotel deals page. 

FOUND A BETTER DEAL? Tell us about it!

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kauai_edit.jpgFrom the spectacular sea cliffs of the Napali Coast to the natural lava caves and lush jungles along the Wailua River, Kauai has some of the most dramatic scenery of all the Hawaiian Islands. Situated on world-renowned Poipu beach on the island’s southern shore, the Ko’a Kea Hotel and Resort has 121 luxury beachfront rooms with private lanais, a romantic oceanfront restaurant, and a top-rated spa. Couples looking for some romance should consider booking the resort’s Tropical Desire package. Available year round, the offer includes a 3-night stay in an ocean-view guestroom with breakfast daily, a 3-course dinner for two, a 1-hour couples massage, and a midsize car rental. Rates start from $700/night.

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