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If you’re headed to Paris and have the budget to splurge, three Asia-based luxury hoteliers are offering some of the chicest accommodations the city has seen in quite a while – and shaking up the upscale hotel scene long dominated by icons such as Hotel de Crillon, Le Meurice, and The Ritz. Hong Kong-based Shangri-La and Singapore-based Raffles each opened their new Paris hotels in late 2010, and Hong Kong-based Mandarin Oriental plans to open its Paris property this summer. Hong Kong-based Peninsula will join the Paris party in early 2013.
Although all are five-star hotels – with the superb service and lofty room rates that entails – each is refreshingly unique. I just returned from Paris and stayed both at Le Royal Monceau–Raffles Paris and Shangri-La Hotel, Paris (that’s the view from one of the top suites at left), and I have the advance scoop on the Mandarin Oriental Paris as well.
Last summer when I posted about the merits of a national park family vacation, an annual national park pass was only $80. Surprisingly that’s still the cost, and as I noted it still might be a good bet even if your brood’s only hitting one park, since per-person park admission fees can add up.
The good news is that if you’re heading next week to one of the 100-plus parks, like the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone, that do levy per-person or per-vehicle fees, April 16 to 24 is National Park Week, when all the parks that normally charge waive their entrance fees.
Also good news is that several hotels, restaurants, and shops will be offering discounts during these fee-free days, a fact brought to my attention by the not-for-profit National Parks Promotion Council (www.nationalparksonline.org), which lists a bunch of these offers on its site.
Great food, scenic Italy, and a positive message – sounds like a winning combination to us. Perillo Tours, a family-owned company operating tours to Italy since 1945, has announced new, first-of-their-kind itineraries based on the Slow Food movement, a gastronomical organization that promotes sustainable and ethical eating.
This summer, Perillo will offer two small group (10-25 people) Slow Food tours with a total of 12 departure dates from June through October. A 12-day tour of Piedmont and the Italian Riviera flies into Milan and makes stops in towns like Asti, Turin, and Portofino; a 13-day trip to Tuscany and Umbria begins in Pisa, with jaunts to Florence, Siena, and Assisi, among other cities.
ShermansTravel.com users can score rates discounted more than 30 percent with this exclusive offer courtesy of the The Harborfront Inn in Greenport, New York. The waterfront town is located in North Fork wine country (Old Field and Duckwalk Vineyards are a few miles away) and charms with its low-key vibe, cute shops, waterfront bars (dockside Claudios is a local landmark), and tasty restaurants (try the Frisky Oyster). The Harborfront Inn, deemed the first luxury hotel on the North Fork, sits on the harbor overlooking Peconic Bay and Shelter Island. Its 35 guest rooms are airy and spacious, and there’s an outdoor heated pool and a fitness center.
THE VALUE Pay only $199/night – 30 percent less than standard weekday rates – for a deluxe room with views of the Mitchell Park Carousel and the harbor.
THE CATCH Discounted rates are for midweek stays (Monday through Thursday).
THE DETAILS Offer is valid June 13 through July 26. Call 631-477-0707 and mention code ST11 to book. www.theharborfrontinn.com
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find budget-friendly flights to New York.
Here we go with Round Two of the Great App-Doors: five more of those handy little apps that make adventure traveling so much sweeter. Considering the warp-speed operating mode of life these days, there’s a chance my selections might be outdated by, oh, the next minute, but here’s to happy app-ing in the meantime.
Of course, if you have any favorite adventure travel apps of your own that I missed, be sure to share ‘em in the comments section below.
Sunshine doesn’t necessarily promote bad eating. But as we spend more time outdoors enjoying spring-like and summery weather, the allure of street food vendors, ice cream shops, and other purveyors of not-so-healthy but oh-so-satisfying snacks is hard to ignore.
If you’re at the beach or some other warm weather destination where easy treats beckon, it can be a challenge to offset the family’s “we’re on vacation” attitude and diet even if you had hoped to prepare some snacks yourself. For such times I feel like it would be nice to ask a nutritionist for a little guidance, so I did.
Spring is officially here, and if you’re not getting in one or two last runs on the slopes, you’re likely dusting off the tent and hauling the hiking boots out of the closet. While you’re at it, why not update your smart phone with the latest and greatest adventure travel apps? There are literally thousands targeting the adventure-minded traveler (which is why I’m tackling the topic in two posts) – so, just like with a backpack, you’ll need to choose wisely to make the best use of storage space.
Keep in mind that it’s not unusual for price to suddenly change (like after a bunch of positive reviews come out) or a special promotional free day to pop up. Here, my first five picks – get clicking!
Hollywood actors seem to take enormous pride in doing their own stunts. It’s easy to see why. If an action hero is required to leap from a 32-foot water tower, for instance, there’s a professional stunt person with years of experience prepared to stand in for our hero and take the leap. But from the actor’s point of view, making that leap himself is likely far more of a rush than delivering a monologue, as exciting as that can be.
Kids likewise seem to take enormous pride in doing their own stunts, whether said stunts are illicit leaps from one bed to another or semi good-natured sparring matches with their siblings. But from a parent’s point of view, many of these day-to-day jumps and fights feel like preludes to emergency room visits. And while that feeling never goes away, it might help if you child goes away – to Hollywood Stunt Camp, that is.
As Japan continues to struggle with the aftermath of last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami, it is clear travel to and from the country will not return to normal for some time. Most airports – including those in Tokyo – have reopened, and most public transportation in the capital has resumed. However, damaged roadways continue to disrupt overland transport.
UPDATE: The Japan National Tourist Office has posted information about travel to and within the country, as well as created a page with important links for those who are still in Japan. You can also find the most current information on what’s going on in Japan on the website of the Embassy of Japan in the U.S.
We at ShermansTravel.com were shocked to learn of the devastating earthquake that hit Japan Friday and the tsunami that occurred in its aftermath, with waves hitting Japan and Hawaii and making their way towards the West Coast of the U.S.
For those who are currently traveling, planning to travel, or have friends or loved ones in the affected areas, here are some resources to find the latest information on the disaster:
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