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If you’re reading this post in a part of the world where winter has not yet gracefully given way to spring, you’re no doubt longing to escape to a place with the precise weather you want. But what if you haven’t planned a spring getaway and don’t exactly have a lot of money to spend on one? Don’t fret, we’re here to help! Read more
Washington, D.C. is expecting its prominence in the convention world to explode once the Washington Marriott Marquis opens in May of 2014. Until then, it’s unlikely that the nation’s capital will rival Orlando or Las Vegas when it comes to handling mega-events, but it’s still quite capable of hosting plenty of people in the weeks ahead. After all, the inauguration alone is going to make its 68 square miles seem pretty crowded. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the wilds of D.C., we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.
Looking for a unique, off-the-wall (or, more accurately, on the bridge) setting for this year’s holiday photo? The Golden Gate Bridge, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in May, has added a seasonal twist to its green screen Photo Experience, which lets visitors pose for a photo that appears to be from atop the bridge’s mighty cables or a 746-foot-high tower.
In other words, a holiday photo that’s anything but ho-ho-hum.
The Photo Experience, which is offered in the Round House building at the southern entrance of the bridge, provides a variety of props, including Santa Hats for the little ones, strands of lights, and, my personal favorite, that swirly topper as shown on the lovely lady in the photo to the left. Visitors can bring their own props too but are encouraged not to wear green, as they’ll become invisible in the green screen.
I experienced the Photo Experience when it was first launched, and though the $20 fee for two 5×7 photos ($10 each for extras) seems a tad steep, it pretty much guarantees a memorable photo that will be talked about long after the holidays are over. Read more
Besides navigating their way through the winding streets of Venice or LA’s daunting six-lane highways, Droid users can now get step-by-step directions indoors with new maps for over 20 U.S. museums on the latest version of the Google Maps app. D.C.’s Smithsonian reaps the largest reward. Seventeen of its museums, with 2.7 million square feet of space (60 football fields), are now navigable using the app. Droid users simply zoom into the building and the interior map will appear. A toggle on the right allows users to choose which floor they are on. The maps show markers for restrooms, food courts, stairways, and exhibits. The flashing blue dot, your electronic compass, will now be your guide as you take the kids on a bathroom break at the National Zoo or find the Wright Brothers’ plane at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Just make sure to shift your eyes from the blue dot to the 45.53 carat blue-violet Hope Diamond when you’re at the Museum of Natural History.
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.
I must admit that I have not visited our nation’s capital in some years, so I was pretty unfamiliar with the D.C. hotel landscape. Fortunately, I found my way to an absolutely charming boutique luxury property, the Jefferson Hotel, which seems like a home away from home (if your home is a modest mansion) in many ways. It’s small enough to feel intimate and cozy, but large enough (99 rooms and suites) to have excellent hotel amenities, including a first-rate restaurant, spa, and gym. It also happens to be ideally located just a couple blocks away from the Smithsonian museums, the Washington Monument, and the White House. Read more
Express your patriotism in luxury this Independence Day with Kimpton Hotels’ “Red, White, and BOOM!” sale, featuring discounts of up to 20 percent on the group’s establishments in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland for stays from June 21 to July 8. The sale begins at 12am on June 21 and ends just before midnight on June 24.
With rates starting as low as $109 per night, guests are spoilt for choice among Kimpton’s twelve hotels in the D.C. area. In our nation’s capital, choose from the regal Hotel Monaco, which offers vaulted 20-foot ceilings, luxury bath products and terrycloth bathrobes, and a pet goldfish that is yours for the duration of your stay, or the contemporary Hotel Palomar, with its flat flat-screen televisions, 24-hour room service from Urbana Restaurant, and in-room spa services like a hot stone massage.
Both hotels offer easy access to attractions like the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the National Mall, and the White House. If this still doesn’t suit your needs, Kimpton’s deal also extends to other locations, like the boutique Donovan House in D.C., the Lorien Hotel and Spa in Virginia, and the Hotel Monaco in Baltimore, Maryland.
Regardless of where you stay, all guests have access to Kimpton’s complimentary perks, like morning coffee service, hosted wine hour receptions every evening, and free Wi-Fi. And for the summer, children under 12 are entitled to a free breakfast for the duration of their stay, with no additional charges for the family pet either.
To book, visit www.kimptonhotels.com/redwhiteboom and enter the code “BOOM” in the rate code box. The site only goes live when the sale starts on June 21, so get your trigger fingers ready.
For more trip-planning information, visit our Washington, D.C. and Maryland destination guides, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more travel deals.
This summer, dine at one of the finest restaurants in Washington, D.C., while staying at a sleek downtown hotel. Book a Friday or Saturday night at the Liaison Capitol Hill and take advantage of its Wine and Dine Weekend Escape, which includes a $100 credit at the renowned Art and Soul Restaurant. Rates start from just $169 this summer — a savings of 30% on the combined components of this package.
The Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia hotel, is the closest hotel to the U.S. Capitol. It’s also within walking distance to The Smithsonian, the National Mall, and dozens more of the city’s most visited museums and monuments. The hotel offers modern and recently renovated guestrooms with high-speed WiFi (complimentary with this package), iHome docks, flat-screen TVs, and remodeled bathrooms. Take advantage of the rooftop pool in the hot summer months, or enjoy the coolly sophisticated lobby, bar, and business spaces downstairs.
Helmed by two-time James Beard Award-winner Art Smith, Art and Soul is one of the top-rated restaurants in D.C., offering upscale soul food in an elegant environment. Choose from the restaurant’s excellent wine list (rated one of “America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants” by Wine Enthusiast magazine) and enjoy Southern dishes with a modern bent with your $100 credit.
The Wine and Dine Weekend Escape is available from now through the end of the year. We found rates as low as $179 in June, $184 in July, and $169 in August. This offer is only valid for arrivals on Friday or Saturday, but guests can stay two nights and will receive a $100 credit per day. Click here to book using the promo code PKGESC. Or call 202-638-1616 and mention the same code.
Trees are blooming across the country during this unseasonably warm March, including the famous cherry blossoms of Washington, D.C. The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from the mayor of Tokyo to the city of Washington, D.C., as a symbolic gesture of the lasting friendship between the U.S. and Japan. This year, the city celebrates 100 years of these picturesque pink trees blooming along its Tidal Basin.
Luckily for us, hotel rates in the national’s capital are low from now through early April due to the unforeseen warm weather. The Washington Hilton, located just blocks from the vibrant neighborhood of Dupont Circle, boasts particularly low pricing from April4-9. Book now and you can stay from just $135 per night. This saves a whopping 65% on rates later in April, which skyrocket to $399 per night. Other dates through mid-April are available for $159, $169, or $199 per night.
The Washington Hilton features recently renovated guest rooms with panoramic views of the D.C. skyline, including famous landmarks like the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument. Stroll over to the Tidal Basin and enjoy the festival, then check out some of the many other nearby sights including the National Zoo and the Philips Collection, and bustling neighborhoods like Georgetown and U Street Corridor.
Visit the Washington Hilton’s website to book your room now, or call them at 202-483-3000.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights to Washington, D.C. For more ideas on spring travel — to D.C. and beyond — see our article on 40 Sweet Spots for Spring Value.
Step back in time to the charming, Tudor-style Henley Park Hotel. Located in the heart of the nation’s capital, the hotel is offering rates at only $160 per night for three nights – a savings of 30% on current rates.
The historic Henley Park served as home to notable Senators and Congressmen in the early-20th century. The mansion was converted into a hotel in the 1980s, but preserves the same European architectural features, including stained-glass windows, high archways, chandeliers, and stone gargoyles. Formal tea is even served each day in a traditional drawing room that once served as the politicians’ parlor.
Rooms include antique furnishings, flat panel TVs, and free WiFi. The hotel also features a fitness room, a Zagat-rated restaurant, and a cocktail lounge with live music on the weekends. Countless city attractions are within walking distance, including the White House, the National Portrait Gallery, and the D.C. Convention Center.
THE VALUE: Save 30% on a three-night stay at this historic and ideally-located D.C. hotel.
THE CATCH: You must stay for a minimum of three nights to receive the 30% savings. (Stay one night and save 10%; stay two nights and save 20%.)
THE DETAILS: Visit The Henley Park Hotel and choose “Save 30% Off Three Nights.” This deal is available now through February 11.
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