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Stonehenge, England’s famous mystical monument, is currently seeking a new general manager. The role was recently created by English Heritage, an organization that oversees over 420 historical assets of the British Crown – including Stonehenge. English Heritage’s Historical Properties Director Tim Reeve said the opportunity comes at an “exciting time to get involved in Stonehenge’s future.” Read more
A fitting complement to this year’s 150th Civil War anniversary, American Cruise Lines will feature Civil War era-themed cruises come 2012, aboard the Queen of the Mississippi sternwheeler (which is currently under construction). Visits to Vicksburg’s National Military Park in Mississippi and New Orleans’ Civil War Museum, along with stops at Civil War battlefields mark some of the highlights on this 7-night itinerary between a variety of southern cities, while onboard offerings like authentic regional cuisine (think jumbo shrimp cocktails and lobster thermidor with fingerling potatoes) and lectures given by Civil War historians let passengers experience the South’s unique past. Emulating the architecture of traditional riverboats, the Queen’s oversized staterooms, private balconies, and elegant dining salon is due to provide a luxurious journey along the entire Mississippi River System. “Cruising aboard Queen of the Mississippi is a historic experience on its own – only to be heightened by our Civil War theme cruises. Passengers are in for quite a treat,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. Dates and details about the Civil War and other theme cruises on the Queen will be available later this summer – be sure to check back in on Savvy Flyer for the latest developments.
The clock is quickly ticking, but all you lovebird procrastinators (or maybe you’re just spontaneous) still have 19 days to book a last-minute Valentine’s Day getaway. The big day falls on a Monday this year, making it perfect for a long weekend. My inbox has been flooded with possibilities – from great deals to extravagant splurges. Here are 14 packages worth perusing:
1. Cities Across North America: The “Magnifique Romance” package at Sofitel (www.sofitel.com) – which includes accommodations, chocolates, flowers, champagne, and room-service breakfast – is available throughout North America (Montreal, New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago-Water Tower, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles) with rates starting at $140/night if booked by February 13.
2. Riviera Maya: Ceiba Del Mar Beach Spa and Resort, located on Mexico’s Caribbean coast just south of Cancun (shown above at left; courtesy of Ceiba Del Mar Beach Spa and Resort), has a four-night “Romance Experience” package that includes accommodation in an oceanview suite, a champagne cocktail welcome, a private candlelight dinner for two with a bottle of wine, and a 50-minute couples massage, from $1,440 for four nights.
Following a $350 million face-lift beginning in December 2007, London’s historically fashionable Savoy finally reopened on October 10 after several months of delays and extra costs pushing it more than $150 million over budget. One noteworthy addition is the set of “personality suites” honoring nine of the hotel’s most notable guests, including Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, and Frank Sinatra. Each suite is outfitted with special pieces associated with its namesake, like the twelve pink roses that Ms. Dietrich would always request when staying at The Savoy.
When summer “unofficially” ends and the kids go back to school, Massachusetts’ historic coastal resorts beckon as an ideal couple’s getaway – especially midweek when incentive rates make even the priciest properties quite affordable. Here are four seafront luxury resorts where romance blossoms as the leaves begin to fall.
The White Elephant This landmark 1920s resort, located on the harbor in Nantucket (shown above; courtesy of Nantucket Island Resorts), is ideal for couples who want a low-key ambience with easy walking or biking into the island’s postcard-perfect town, where boutiques and eateries offer up wool sweaters and creamy clam chowder to ward off the evening chill. Sunlit rooms have cheery ivory décor with elegant sea-inspired touches while the Brant Point Grill serves steak and seafood with a harbor view. Weekday rates start at $265/night in late September and $195/night in mid and late October. Read more
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.
Like the lottery jackpot winner who suddenly finds himself thrust into the media spotlight, Rhinebeck, NY, a sleepy hamlet on the Hudson River (shown at right; courtesy of Duchess County Tourism) 100 miles north of New York City, has spent the past week-and-a-half as a Google News staple. Is there anyone in America who doesn’t know why? Former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton married her long-time beau Marc Mezvinsky on July 31, amid much pomp and secrecy. And now that the secret is out about Rhinebeck’s charms, I thought couples looking for a romantic weekend getaway spot might want to know about its best inns, eateries and attractions. Luckily, I got the “local’s scoop” from some friends who live there. Read more
Since its grand opening in 1926, the AAA Four Diamond Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach has seen likes of Greta Garbo and Cary Grant. Take a seat in the lap of old-world luxury at the top-rated, recently renovated property with an exclusive 20 percent off their nightly Studio guestroom rates (starting from just $176 per night after the discount) and $25 credit, valid at the Frédérick Fekkai spa, Café Boulud (affiliated with award-winning chef Daniel Boulud), and more. That’s not all – you’ll also receive complimentary parking and private access to the Brazilian Court Beach Club.
THE VALUE: A complimentary upgrade to a Studio with a terrace or patio is included at time of booking, based on availability.
THE CATCH: Celebrity sightings not included.
THE DETAILS: Mention the ShermansTravel Exclusive Rate when you call 561-655-7740, and book your stay though October 31.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Check out other Luxury Hotel deals.
Read our Hotel Buzz blog for up-to-date news about hotels around the world.
For trip-planning advice, read the Palm Beach Travel Guide.
FOUND A BETTER DEAL? Tell us.
Bring the kids aboard the MSC Poesia, where they’ll cruise for free, as it sails through Eastern Canada during the peak of autumn foliage with rates starting at just $499! The seven-night family-friendly cruise departs from New York City on October 16 and wastes no time getting to the heart of the vibrant fall colors, calling at Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia. The Poesia then stops in the charming city of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, where the brilliant changing of seasons continues. The Poesia makes its final stop an overnight call in Quebec City, a picturesque European-influenced city with no shortage of natural and historical beauty.
THE VALUE: In addition to saving 64 percent off rack rates, guests will receive between $50?$200 of onboard spending (depending on the cabin purchased), as well as a 10 percent discount on select shore excursions.
THE CATCH: Kids sail free as third and fourth occupants in a room with two paying adults, and interior cabins can get a bit cramped.
THE DETAILS: To book your Captivating Colors of Canada cruise, visit www.cruisesonly.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search comparison tool to find low fares back home from Quebec City.
A major part of Boston’s romantic appeal has always been its historic charm – and brownstone-lined Commonwealth Avenue and cobblestoned Beacon Hill are not going anywhere. But couples who want to enjoy the city’s celebrated past while also indulging in all things hip and modern, take note: Boston’s newest, sleekest side is pretty darn sexy. Here are my picks for staying and playing in style.
Mandarin Oriental, Boston Less than a year old, this 136-room, 12-suite luxury hotel offers stylish serenity, from its inviting marble lobby with fireplace and artwork by Frank Stella and David Hockney (the hotel has 35 museum-quality pieces) to its spacious Asian-inspired Back Bay rooms (shown above) with divine bathrooms and views over neighboring rooftops. The Spa is a stunner, with a Sanctuary Suite for couples and separate women’s and men’s “heat and water” areas with crystal steam room, vitality pool, and experience shower. Plus, the Boylston Street locale, one block from shop-lined Newbury Street and a short stroll from Boston Common and Beacon Hill, make it ideal for enjoying the sights. From $395/night. Read more
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