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Itching to get away before the summer crowds flock to the nation’s most popular destinations? We’ve rounded up the best last-minute deals to urban centers across the U.S. and Canada, so you can explore the continent’s most popular cities while saving big bucks this spring. Read more
Spring hasn’t sprung just yet, but we’re already anxious for it’s arrival. After the slew of bad weather that’s ransacked the country, we’re ready for sunshine and the scent of blooming buds. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for warm weather to stop and smell the roses – or any other type of flower, for that matter. We put together a list of some of the most spectacular botanical gardens in the world. Plus, many of them have greenhouses and indoor facilities – perfect to perk up a somber rainy day.
Much like Florida, Southern California, and the islands stretched along the Caribbean Sea, Phoenix does a fine job of sidestepping winter. As snow and ice test the patience of many Americans this time of year, a lot of events and conferences are heading to the The Grand Canyon State for a climate that’s more palatable. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the comforting confines of Arizona, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings. Read more
Scottsdale’s desert summers are hot, dry, and perfect for spending a day at in one of the city’s luxurious spas – especially when treatments are on sale and come with full-day access to pools and sundecks complete with ravishing desert views and the cool relief of misting fans.
Fresh off a long flight from Atlanta, I was more than ready for my treatments at the Hotel Valley Ho’s mod VH Spa, particularly the hydrating mini-facial, which eased post-flight dryness with antioxidant-rich Chardonnay-based elixirs, and a wonderfully punishing (hello endorphins!) deep-tissue massage. Sunday night is Spa Party Night at the VH Spa, when two treatments of your choice – including specialty massages like lomi-lomi and the spa’s signature pedi – come with a cocktail in the playful Café Zuzu bar and as much decompression time as you’d like in the martini-olive shaped pool for $99 (it’s regularly $190). For a weekday fix that’s only available during the summer, try the sampler package: two 30-minute treatments for $99 ($150 if purchased separately). Monthly specials are also available at hotelvalleyho.com.
In North and South America, save up to 20 percent; in Europe, discounts reach 40 percent and include weekend stays; in Africa and the Middle East, save up to 25 percent; and in Asian and the Pacific, save up to 33 percent.
At the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, rates start at an incredible $95 per night. Guests of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago can save 20 percent on stays through September 30, 2012 (rates start at $348 per night). The Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, rates start at $239 per night.
Across the Atlantic, The Trianon Palace Versailles (pictured) has rates starting at $164 per night. If you’re headed to London for the Olympics, the London Syon Park has rates starting at $214 per night.
For a list of all Hilton’s Great Getaways participating hotels, visit their website.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights.
Pet-owners often opt to leave their beloved furry friends at home while traveling – most hotels and restaurants just aren’t interested in the potential for extra mess and noise complaints, and it can make traveling with pets more difficult and at times much more expensive. Some hotels, though, are making an effort to be not only pet-friendly, but to make your pet’s stay as comfortable as yours, with amenities ranging from doggie yoga to pet room service menus. Most recently, we’ve found great new pet amenities at the Pierre in New York City, the W Hotel Los Angeles-Westwood, and the W Scottsdale.
Winter may be on its way, but things are starting to heat up in Arizona: The state is celebrating its centennial in 2012, and Joie de Vivre Hotels just opened its first property outside California, The Saguaro, in Scottsdale. In honor of the former, the latter will offer 100 rooms per week at the super low rate of $100/night for the next 100 days. At the 194-room Saguaro, set in vibrant Old Town Scottsdale, guests can indulge in a lively Mexican restaurant and whiskey bar, a spa specializing in indigenous treatments, and two outdoor pools. The sale starts at midnight tonight and runs through March 1.
THE VALUE: Standard rates start at $159-$189 during this time period, so you can save 37 to 47 percent!
THE CATCH: Blackout dates include December 31 and January 12-14.
THE DETAILS: Head to thesaguaro.com and use code PROPEN to book.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals to Phoenix.
For general trip-planning information, see our Phoenix-Scottsdale Travel Guide.
The Luxury A desert oasis for young, hip travelers, the W Scottsdale offers enviable amenities in a spectacular setting. Get a taste of everything with the three-night Destination Sensation package: Start off with a welcome dinner at the hotel’s Sushi Roku. Take advantage of free transportation to nearby Camelback Mountain for a day of hiking. On your return, enjoy a free body scrub at the Bliss Spa. Finally, round out the trip with a foodie tour of Scottsdale – including a $50 gift card for one of five area restaurants.
The Value Package rates start at $232/night – a 40 percent savings. Travel by September 11.
The Catch Taxes (not included) tack on at least an extra $100 to the package price.
The Details 877-782-0104 (code WDESTIN); www.wscottsdalehotel.com/destination
For general trip-planning information, see our Phoenix Travel Guide.
California’s year-round mild climate reaches glorious levels of perfection in springtime. Unfortunately, high demand on travel during spring break and Easter makes a perfect case for airlines to charge markedly more for flights to the West Coast. Luckily, American Airlines’ American Eagle network is celebrating the launch of 10 new routes to and from Los Angeles by slashing fares on a number of West Coast destinations. Fares start at just $54 each way (Los Angeles to Phoenix). Fares are valid for travel April 5 through May 25.
Sample fares (before taxes):
- Los Angeles-Phoenix: $54
- San Jose-San Diego: $57
- Las Vegas-Sacramento: $60
- Monterey-Phoenix: $66
- El Paso-Las Vegas: $72
- Los Angeles-Tucson: $84
- Albuquerque-Reno: $92
- Boise-Los Angeles: $114
- Salt Lake City-Los Angeles: $114
THE VALUE: Not only do you save on springtime fares, but American Eagle (owned by American Airlines) is offering double AAdvantage miles for travel on the new domestic routes.
THE CATCH: Taxes and fees are not included, so expect to pay up to an extra $30 each way.
THE DETAILS: To book your flight, visit American Airlines’ website.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Decide what to see when you get there with our California Travel Guide.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool for more great deals on airfare, cruises, hotels, and packages worldwide.
The clock is quickly ticking, but all you lovebird procrastinators (or maybe you’re just spontaneous) still have 19 days to book a last-minute Valentine’s Day getaway. The big day falls on a Monday this year, making it perfect for a long weekend. My inbox has been flooded with possibilities – from great deals to extravagant splurges. Here are 14 packages worth perusing:
1. Cities Across North America: The “Magnifique Romance” package at Sofitel (www.sofitel.com) – which includes accommodations, chocolates, flowers, champagne, and room-service breakfast – is available throughout North America (Montreal, New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago-Water Tower, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles) with rates starting at $140/night if booked by February 13.
2. Riviera Maya: Ceiba Del Mar Beach Spa and Resort, located on Mexico’s Caribbean coast just south of Cancun (shown above at left; courtesy of Ceiba Del Mar Beach Spa and Resort), has a four-night “Romance Experience” package that includes accommodation in an oceanview suite, a champagne cocktail welcome, a private candlelight dinner for two with a bottle of wine, and a 50-minute couples massage, from $1,440 for four nights.
The animal kingdom must have a vendetta against the airline business. In October, a plane crash survivor blamed an escaped crocodile for a jet’s mysterious plummet from the skies above the Congo; that same month, officials at the Denver International Airport accused rascally rabbits of chomping on soy-based car parts in its Pikes Peak Shuttle parking lot; and yesterday, a Manchester Terrier who bit two people onboard a US Airways flight from Newark to Phoenix convinced the pilot to make an emergency pit stop in Pittsburgh.
The pooch – a 12-pound dog named Mandy, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – was let loose from her carrier mid-flight and bit one passenger and one flight attendant. Although the bites were minor, the pilot decided to land and find medical attention for the two victims.
In a program called Holiday Photos on the Fly, Southwest Airlines and Microsoft are bringing a little extra holiday cheer to your busy travel schedule: Santa Claus will be set up at 26 U.S. airports to pose for free holiday photos with passengers, young and old. Santa’s helpers from Microsoft will not only provide travelers with a free photo print, but also show customers how to edit and share their pictures. The program will run for the three weekends preceding Christmas in December (Dec. 2-5, Dec. 9-12, and Dec. 17-20) from 8am to 7:30pm. You can seek out Santa at the following Southwest airports: Albuquerque, Austin, Baltimore/Washington, Boston Logan, Chicago Midway, Dallas Love Field, Denver, El Paso, Fort Lauderdale, Houston Hobby, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, Ontario, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, San Antonio, St. Louis, Seattle Tacoma, and Tampa Bay.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on hotels, airfare, packages, and more.
The Luxury Trendy Scottsdale, Arizona, to the northeast of Phoenix, is a desert playground of spas and golf courses, and the Scottsdale Resort is no exception with 36 holes of golf and the massage-centric Amansala Spa. The 326 guestrooms include 60 sumptuous Casitas suites separated from the rest of the resort, with a private swimming pool and golf course views. Dine at the upscale American restaurant Palm Court or casual Sangria’s lounge.
Allegiant Air has announced a one-way flight sale between Phoenix and select U.S. cities with fares starting as low as $49.99! Phoenicians looking for a quick getaway can find great, off-the-beaten-path vacation destinations in Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Illinois, and more. Turn the weekend into a full-blown adventure at Whatcom Falls Park outside of Bellingham, Washington; the Redmond Caves in Redmond, Oregon; or Rapid City, South Dakota ? the gateway to the Black Hills. Likewise, residents of the aforementioned states looking to plan a quick trip can escape to the bustling oasis of Phoenix. Tickets must be purchased by May 19 for travel through January 31, 2011.
Sample One-Way Fares To/From Phoenix (Taxes Not Included):
• Redmond, Oregon: $49.99
• Wichita, Kansas: $59.99
• Rapid City, South Dakota: $59.99
• Missoula, Montana: $59.99
• Eugene, Oregon: $69.99
• Bellingham, Washington: $78.88
• Cedar Rapids, Iowa: $89.99
• Peoria, Illinois: $89.99
• Grand Rapids, Michigan: $99.99
• And more!
Visit www.allegiantair.com to book your flight.
Hawaiian Airlines has just launched a fare sale on spring and early summer flights starting from $360 round-trip (before taxes). However, upon closer inspection, we found flights that depart from West Coast cities that are up to $100 less than the lowest advertised sale rates! Flights from Seattle in early June can be had for as little as $322 – after taxes! This offer is valid on airfare to Maui and Honolulu through June 10, but tickets must be purchased by May 17.
Sample Fares (Round-Trip, After Taxes):
• Oakland?Maui: $322
• Seattle?Maui: $338
• Seattle?Honolulu: $342
• Portland?Maui: $347
• San Francisco?Honolulu: $352
• Los Angeles?Honolulu: $362
• Portland?Honolulu: $366
• Oakland?Honolulu: $392
• Phoenix?Honolulu: $396
• Las Vegas?Honolulu: $455
• And more!
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