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Since regaining control of its historic canal in 2000, with expansions set for completion in 2014 (the 100-year anniversary), Panama has emerged as a top stop for tourists worldwide. Its capital city, which is ideally set between the Pacific Ocean and lush jungle, has an ever-growing modern skyline across the bay from a revitalized historic district, making it a destination for all types of travelers. And the Westin Playa Bonita, the first Westin in Panama, is a testament to Panama’s rise to the top, embracing the country’s growth and modernity as a sleek skyscraper, while keeping the unique history and landscape at the finger-tips of guests. Read more
Hawaii is the ultimate seasonal paradox. Crowds flock there when the weather is bad… everywhere else. The weather on the islands, however, stays blissfully consistent year-round, so if you can manage a trip in the spring or autumn, you’ll likely face fewer people, and better prices.
A great hotel option this spring, especially for first-time travelers to the island, is the Westin Maui , which I recently had the opportunity to visit. Even though it’s situated on the island’s resort-dotted Ka’anapali peninsula, it’s a soothing break from the area’s tourist bustle, and allows easy- access to the rest of the island. With a lobby that opens up into an outdoor tropical garden – complete with waterfalls and squawking macaws – and a beautiful, ocean-facing pool area, the resort feels connected to the sweeping coast just beyond.
The best part? This property is offering some of the sweetest rates of the season right now, with rooms starting at $269/night through June. This is a nice deal, considering that other 4-star properties on this lovely strip of coast regularly cost $400 per night.
Celebrate the soft opening of Panama’s newest hotel, the Westin Playa Bonita Panama, with their exclusive Westin Indulge Package. Guests will stay in a green view room starting from $285 per night or an ocean view room from $295 per night. Included in the nightly rate is daily breakfast in bed for two, sparkling wine and strawberries upon arrival, and a late check-out of 4 p.m. The $100 million upscale hotel is based along the gold sands of Playa Bonita Beach with the lush rainforest providing a backdrop. With six restaurants, four bars, three infinity pools, and VIP lounge, the resort is a destination unto itself. Couple that with its location 20 minutes from the bustling capital, Panama City, and travelers will experience all this diverse destination has to offer. Travel is valid through April 3, 2012.
THE VALUE: The inclusions are valued at $97.
THE CATCH: It’s high season, so expect an increase in airfare costs.
THE DETAILS: Visit www.starwoodhotels.com to book your stay.
Fronting one of the loveliest beaches on St. Maarten, the ultra-comfortable, contemporary Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa offers the usual superior Westin amenities and a sleek aesthetic accented by island touches. There are aquatic activities aplenty, an extensive casino (somewhat oddly set semi-open in the middle of the coolly abstract lobby), kids’ club and meeting facilities, the Hibiscus Spa, and grade-A Aura Steakhouse. Best of all, you can enjoy it all this summer for half the price!
THE VALUE: Winter room rates here can go for $419/night so you’ll save up to 54 percent with discount prices from $189/night through September 30.
THE CATCH: There are a limited number of rooms available at this rate so book fast before they sell out.
THE DETAILS: Call 011-599-543-6700 or visit www.starwoodhotels.com/westin
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find great rates on flights to St. Maarten.
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.
Fans who have purchased the Westin Heavenly Bed now can snap up the whole room (or at least the furniture), and purchase the same kind of furnishings from Sheraton. New this month, Starwood’s two largest brands offer key pieces for sale from their recently redesigned guestrooms. And as added incentive, you can snag the new goods at a 20 percent discount through January 21.
Westin’s biggest splurge-worthy new item is a multi-use table – dubbed “one table five ways” – with leaves that unfold to create the perfect-sized TV tray, personal workspace, or intimate dining table. From Sheraton’s collection, kick back in a plush lounge chair with pullout ottoman.
Both chains are also offering cozy throw pillows (the Westin version is pictured above), while Sheraton rounds out the collection with a crocodile luggage bench and retro desk lamp. Check out www.westin.com/store and www.sheraton-hotelsathome.com for details.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more.
It can’t be easy to create a hotspot destination from scratch. But that’s what Costa Navarino, a new resort community in southwest Greece on the Mediterranean Sea, aims to do.
The first hotel to open (in May this year) was The Romanos, the latest addition to Starwood’s Luxury Collection (which also includes the SLS Hotel in L.A., the Grand Hotel in Florence, and Hacienda Temozon in Playa del Carmen, among others). The property’s 321 rooms – a third of which boast private infinity pools – look out over the sparkling Mediterranean or the surrounding countryside and come with sumptuous amenities like 250 thread count sheets, flat-screen TVs, and even butler service (in the suites). Opening rates start at €360/night.
Pretty much everyone is guilty of stealing a hotel’s bath products at one point or another (and perhaps even a bathrobe or two?). For guests who can’t get enough of the hotel experience, several chains put their furnishings up for sale through online stores – so you can purchase everything from towels to shower heads to that luxuriously comfy bed you just didn’t want to leave behind!
Through August 1, Westin gives us added incentive to pick up a little something from their hotel rooms by slashing prices 25 percent for the entire collection. The signature Heavenly Bed mattress is still pretty splurge-worthy, but you’ll find great rates on items like yummy-smelling White Tea bath and body amenities and even that Heavenly bathrobe. For added convenience, many sale items are also available through Westin at Home @ Amazon.com. See westin.com/store for the full details.
We also found a sweet sale going on at fellow Starwood brand W Hotels store, for 30 percent off down pillows, duvets, and beds. But you’ll have to hurry – this discount ends July 26.
These are the Daily Deal’s favorite ShermansTravel deals from the past week. New Hampshire’s scenic, rolling White Mountains are a New England treasure. Located there, the Eagle Mountain House & Golf Club in Jackson, N.H., is promoting a favorable two-night Story Land All-Inclusive Family Vacation package priced from *$509 – and that includes an exclusive complimentary upgrade to the next room category for ShermansTravel.com subscribers (a $43 value).
It may not be ski season, but Breckenridge is still pretty happening in the summertime. Brand-new One Ski Hill Place, a super-luxe condominium resort in Breckenridge, Colo., runs its summer special, starting from $75 per person, per night (based on double occupancy), on one-bedroom accommodations — a 33% discount. Opening their doors for the first time on June 1, One Ski Hill lavishes guests with daily free breakfast and fantastic rates through June 30.
Start planning your July 4th long-weekend getaway. The ritzy Westin Resort in Aruba is offering ShermansTravel.com subscribers deluxe ocean-view rooms from just $249/night over the patriotic weekend – and that includes breakfast for two in the hotel’s restaurant (a $44 value). Rates for an ocean-view room are normally $319/night (without breakfast) – so you’ll save over 30 percent!
On March 11, the Lone Star State’s capital birthed one of the city’s newest flagship hotels: The Westin Austin at The Domain. Celebrate the grand-opening of this first-class hotel with low nightly rates starting from $159/night on Friday and Saturdays through December 31 (and don’t worry, the Texas Longhorn won’t rain on your parade). Plus, guests will also receive complimentary daily breakfast for two.
To book, visit www.starwoodhotels.com, or call 1-866-716-8137 and mention promo code LAPKG2.
About the Hotel: Besides the fresh, new carpet smell, this stylish hotel offers guests a heated outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, as well as comfy accommodations complete with LCD flat-panel televisions and plush linens. In terms of location, the Westin Austin at The Domain is adjacent to high-end retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Tiffany & Company, and Louis Vuitton, and is only a few miles from the raucous downtown nightlife scene.
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