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Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to spend less money? We hear you. Studies show that it’s one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your free time staying home and twiddling your thumbs. With these hotels under $200 per night (and 4-star hotels, at that), you can afford to enjoy yourself while keeping one of those oft-broken resolutions.
With its surprisingly spring-like weather in the winter months, San Francisco makes for a great destination this season. The San Francisco Marriott Fisherman’s Wharf starts from just $129 per night from January 10-15, and $142 per night throughout the month of February, which saves over 45 percent on rates in the spring. Enjoy local California cuisine and weekly wine and cheese receptions at this culinary-centric hotel, which is just two blocks from both famous Fisherman’s Wharf and the shopping and restaurants in Ghiradelli Square. Read more
Fly to Australia this February through May, and count on a three-night complimentary stopover in Tahiti with luxe accommodations included. This is how we see it: You’re preparing for a killer flight halfway around the world to your dream down-under destination (ahem, Auckland or Sydney), so how clutch is a free touchdown in South Pacific paradise along the way? Travelers can pick between the Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti, a contemporary beachfront resort with innovative dining and prime access to Tahiti’s most famous black-sand beach, or the Sofitel Maeva Beach Resort, a two-year-old all-suite resort with a happening lounge (upgrades are also available for an overwater bungalow at Le Meridien Tahiti for $275 per person for all three nights). Round-trip Air Tahiti Nui flights to Auckland or Sydney from LAX start at $1,118 which represents over 30 percent in savings, minding the Tahiti stopover. This offer must be booked by November 6 for travel January 30 to May 31. Visit www.airtahitinui-usa.com for more details or call 877/824-4846 to book.
For general trip-planning info, see our Australia and Pacific Travel Guide.
Experience the French elegance and individual expression of a Sofitel Luxury Hotel now with the Chic Picnic Package. 86 of the 120 world-wide properties are participating in the special with room rates (varies based on the property) starting from as little as $79 per night! Guests staying a minimum of four nights will get the fourth night free, 4 p.m. late check-out, as well as a picnic basket, inspired by the hotels location. The basket includes a selection of appetizers, a main course of salads and sandwiches, fruits and pastries, a bottle of wine or champagne, soda, and bottled water. Participating locations include Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Montreal, Amsterdam, Hanoi, and many more. Book and start travel by August 31, 2011.
THE VALUE: Receive the fourth night free and a picnic valued at $150!
THE CATCH: A four-night minimum stay is required.
THE DETAILS: To book the Chic Picnic Package, visit www.sofitel.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find low rates on flights to your desired destination.
Use our Travel Guides to help decide the destination for you.
While the rest of the world tiptoes back to financial growth, China is surging full speed ahead, with a government pouring money into stimulus projects and a populace splurging on luxury goods. For proof, one can look to the galloping advance of the luxury hotel sector. “With the incredible growth in affluence among the domestic population, the need for hotels in China is rising dramatically,” says Daniel Ford, a Ritz-Carlton publicist.
The Four Seasons group is planning to open 14 hotels in the country by 2014; a dozen have already launched since 2008. The new Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, billed as the tallest hotel in the world and opening in March, will boost its parent company’s China total to eight, and at least one more is on the way. And taking into account all its brands, Starwood had 50 hotels in the country by 2009 – and is set to open 97 more by 2015.
Plus, these won’t just be any hotels: “Many of the finest luxury hotels in the world will open in China in the next several years,” says Bruce Ford, senior vice president at Lodging Econometrics.
Interestingly enough, many of the high-profile hotels are opening in cities that many Westerners haven’t heard of – yet. Scoot over, Shanghai. Here’s a quick guide to six cities on the rise.
In Morocco’s Imperial capital of Fez, nearly a quarter of residents still live in the bustling Medina, Fes el Bali (Old Fez). The city is a mecca for artisans and tradesmen. It’s packed to the gills with artisan shops – silk makers, tanneries, carpenters – and souks selling their beautifully crafted items like leather handbags, brass lanterns, ceramics, and intricately carved wooden wares. Wander around the different quarters and souks and shop as you go. Less ostentatious than Marrakech, Fez doesn’t have as many glitzy hotels or designer riads, but it does have a few excellent choices like the Sofitel Palais Jamai. It’s hard to beat the exceptional spa or the Medina views from the terraces here. Book a room in the old palace wing which dates back to 1879 and boasts Moorish majesty and Medina views. There are three restaurants on property serving international and Moroccan fare but the kitchen will essentially prepare anything you like (if your stomach is a little uneasy after a few too many tagines, the kitchen is happy to create a simple dish like grilled chicken with rice). The spa, though pricey compared to local neighborhood hammams, is excellent, with a royal setup that includes zellige and tadelakt finishes, a geometric pool with massaging jets that come from all sides and above (to reach the top of your shoulders and neck), hammam, sauna, and several treatment rooms. One could easily relax here all day.
Now through fall, book your stay and recieve a $50 resort credit good for use at the spa, restaurant or bar. Rates start from about $213/night. Visit www.sofitel.com or call 800/763-4835.
Celebrate the arrival of summer with a sumptuous picnic in an exotic locale or a special spot closer to home. From now through August 31, guests who book the “Chic Picnic” package at participating Sofitel properties will enjoy a tasty meal in a basket, to be enjoyed at your favorite local setting. Try a stay at the upscale Hotel Scribe Paris and savor a warm and romantic afternoon in the gardens of Tuileries, or head to the fashionable Sofitel Cairo Maadi Towers and Casino for panoramic views overlooking the Nile. Each basket includes a selection of mouthwatering appetizers, sandwiches, pastries, and fruit , as well as a complimentary bottle of sparkling champagne. Plus, book this offer by July 5 and you’ll also receive a fourth night free at upscale hotels in the U.S. and abroad. Rates for this unique offer start at $75/night.
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