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On August 15, San Juan’s Caribe Hilton has good reason to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Piña Colada, Puerto Rico’s national drink. The cocktail was created at Caribe Hilton in 1954 by bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero who continued to serve the drink at the resort until his retirement in 1989. To celebrate the occasion, the resort is offering a piña colada-inspired deal.
Sounds impossible to buy a ticket to the wrong destination, right? You’d never mistake York, England for New York State. But would you notice an airline issuing a plane ticket for Grenada instead of Granada, like British Airways did last month? Or the 1,500 mile difference between airline codes SJO and SJU? Believe it or not, these things do happen. Here, 9 commonly confused cities that should make you check your boarding card.
Some travelers might head out on an African safari to encounter exotic species or sail up a fjord in Norway for the dramatic scenery. But just two and a half hours by plane from Miami and not quite four from NYC, Puerto Rico contains a whole hidden world of natural wonders that satisfy both instincts. Here are six unforgettable experiences that you don’t have to go far for or spend a lot on — flights can be had for under $200-$300 round-trip, depending on your departure city.
Whether you’re a family of four, a group of girlfriends, or a young couple on a tight budget, you know that tropical travel can come with a high price. Sure, all-inclusives offer the bang-for-the-buck factor, but what they provide in savings they often lack in culture and distinctiveness.
For all of the above travelers (and anyone in between), the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino offers the best of both worlds: comfort and culture at reasonable rates. Rooms start as low as $185 per night in low season; about $200-$220 in high season. (Note: there is an 18% resort fee per room, per night.) Read more
If you, perhaps wisely, chose to refrain from the pandemonium of holiday travel, a new 48-hour JetBlue promotion could have you back in the sky sooner than you thought. The appropriately titled, if slightly laborious, FLY LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA sale went up this morning, covering 49 departure cities scattered all over the map – Albuquerque, Long Beach, St. Thomas, Charleston, San Juan, Las Vegas, to name a few. Even for January, a notoriously dead travel season, we found some pretty decent rates like New York to Oakland for $317 roundtrip, or Boston to St. Thomas for $330 roundtrip.
All flights must be booked by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday December 18th, with a travel window spanning from January 7 – February 12 (individual blackout dates apply for specific routes).
So, what’s on offer? Let’s take a look:
The approach of Thanksgiving usually means readying yourself for the shopping frenzy that comes immediately after. Luckily, with these Cyber Monday hotel deals, you don’t have to brave the cold and the lines and can snap up a bargain, and mentally transport yourself to a sunny beachfront hotel (or the snowy ski slopes, if you prefer), from the comfort of your own home.
For all offers, conditions and blackout dates may apply; read the fine print. Read more
Nine months out of the year, Caribbean islands are a postcard-ready panorama of blue skies, swaying palm trees, and cocktail-sipping, hammock-lounging bliss. But from September to November (as in, right now), they are associated with another thing: hurricanes. As we speak, reports are showing that the season’s first tropical storms are already forming.
But for those willing to roll the dice, hurricane season can also yield up some incredible bargains. Flights, cruises, and hotels often go for a fraction of their peak season rates, at a time when most travelers are too spooked by the thought of having their trip washed, blown, or flooded down the drain.
And if you’re worried about showing up to a ghost town, rest assured: of the 25 million tourists who visited the Caribbean in 2012, roughly a fifth of them were brave enough to travel between September and November, the peak of hurricane season.
To give you a head start, we logged onto Expedia and CheapCaribbean and chose some hotel-and-flight packages for a range of dates in late October and mid-November. All packages are priced per-person, based on double occupancy, with flights from Miami. Other departure cities are usually available for more.
Clearly, none of the following destinations can provide guarantees on anything weather-related (otherwise they wouldn’t be offering the deals in the first place!). But with prices this low, you can afford to have your trip cancelled and still have extra cash lying around to re-book the whole thing from scratch. Now, get out those bathing suits! Read more
Well, it’s officially September. While some cities are still seeing warm temperatures, we’re already skipping ahead in our minds to fall…and worse, winter. But, rather than let the changing seasons get us down, we’ve decided to just plan our next vacation. From Boston to Washington, D.C., and West Palm Beach, JetBlue’s Book Smart Sale (one-way fares; book by tomorrow at midnight; travel dates September 17 to December 18) is offering some great fares on key destinations: Read more
Get a jump on your fall travel plans with JetBlue’s Jet-This-Party-Started Sale. With one-way flights to Boston, Bermuda, St. Croix, San Diego, New York City, and beyond, you’re bound to find your ideal autumn getaway. Keep in mind, you’ve got to think fast: These fares only last until July 31, 11:59pm EST; travel is valid from September 3 through December 18, 2013. There are also day-of-week restrictions and blackout dates from November 22–December 2. Check out some of our favorite fares below! Read more
With spring break right around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan your next adventure. Even upscale hotels are offering great rates for March and April travel, so you can stay at those luxe hotels you used to think you couldn’t afford, even during this prime travel period. From a boutique hotel in Denver to a brand-new 5-star resort in Goa, you can treat yourself to a spring break without breaking the bank. Read more
Recently, my friend and I took a girls’ getaway to St. Lucia. We were both excited to get away from the office for a week; we planned on unwinding at the beach on Sunday – the day we left New York – then spending six days swimming, sunning, and sleeping.
Then we looked at our plane tickets. Yes, we were leaving Sunday morning and returning Friday night, but we actually had just four full days in St. Lucia – and eight hours in the San Juan airport in both directions. While more and more direct routes to smaller Caribbean islands are becoming available, the cheapest flights still require layovers, and often long ones, in the Puerto Rican capital. Read more
With temperatures soaring across most of the country, it’s hard for some of us to think about baking in the Caribbean sun. However, cold weather will be here before you know it, and with it a slew of new flights from the East Coast and Midwest to take advantage of tropical destinations.
Booking now for new JetBlue service from D.C. to San Juan (daily) and JFK to Samana, Dominican Republic (twice weekly) will score you big savings. Launching August 23, one-way fares on the San Juan route will be as low as $129 for travel through November 14 if you book by July 13; this will be the only non-stop flight between the U.S. capital and the Puerto Rican capital. Similarly, book by this Friday to secure one-way fares to Samana starting at $169 for flights from the November 14 launch date through February 9.
The San Juan Water and Beach Club Hotel is already one of Puerto Rico’s trendiest hotels, but with $2.5 million dollars spent on recent renovations, it has even more to offer. Notably new is Mist, a rooftop bar and lounge, to accompany the rooftop pool and views of the steps-away Isla Verde beach. At Mist (pictured) you can sip cocktails and eat Island-Italian-Spanish fusion tapas (made from locally grown ingredients) from the spacious pillowed and cushioned couches that truly deserve the word “lounge.”
If you’d rather consume your food by table and chair, the hotel also has a new restaurant, Zest. Zest, like the neon-blue-lit hotel that contains it, is uniquely decorated, with such design elements as a waterfall by the bar and a simulation of the surface of the ocean on the ceiling. The food, too, is unique: Diverse dishes are locally and sustainably-sourced and scent-infused to take your taste experience to the next level.
Stay at the upscale Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino with their Retreat to the Heat package. With rates starting at $169, stay three nights and receive the fourth night free! This is an effective rate of $127 per night – a savings of over 25% on their current rates. Plus, you’ll receive a $75 resort credit to be used on food, beverage, and more!
The hotel is located in the heart of historic old San Juan, directly on the waterfront. Soak up the sun at nearby beaches or enjoy yourself in the hotel’s casino. The Sheraton is also just steps away from world-class shopping, dining, museums, and entertainment.
Travel is valid from now through January 31. Book by December 15.
This deal is part of a wider sale available at Starwood Caribbean Hotels including the Westin St. John Resort & Villas and the Westin Resort & Casino, Aruba. Visit Retreat to the Heat to learn more.
THE VALUE: Save over 25% on current rates, plus receive a $75 resort credit.
THE CATCH: You must stay at least four nights to receive these savings.
THE DETAILS: Visit the Retreat to the Heat website and choose the Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights to San Juan.
For general trip-planning information, see our San Juan Travel Guide.
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