Shermans Travel » Blog » Archive
Tag Results: Madrid
This winter, what better way to warm up than with a piping mug of hot chocolate? But don’t just reach for a packet of Swiss Miss. There are much richer, bolder, more decadent concoctions out there. Here are five delicious indulgences from around the world – and where to find them…
1. Mexico City:Mexican hot chocolate is an update of an ancient Aztec drink that includes chili, cinnamon, anise, and other spices. The beverage is water-based with just a splash of milk and a pinch of sugar, so you can enjoy the chocolate’s dark richness and subtle kick. For an unabashedly kitschy and fun experience, try the 24-hour Churreria el Moro, a hotspot also known for its churros in Mexico City. $5 for one hot chocolate and four churros.
If you’re looking for an excuse to book a vacation to Spain, we have a good one for you this week: This 6-night trip to Madrid and Barcelona for $1009, including flights from New York City. (Other departure cities are available, too. Check the web site for pricing.)
Madrid in particular has caught our fancy lately. Once considered a dirtier, more hectic cousin to refined, seaside Barcelona, we’ve learned to appreciate this city’s bustle, and its incredibly varied offerings for visitors, from stately museums to sleek dance clubs. And with amazing tapas and wine to be had for just a few Euros, it’s a city that can be easy on your wallet. Here are just a couple of Madrid’s charms we’ve learned about recently:
Over the weekend, Madrid-based airline Iberia announced a new service that allows passengers to print out their luggage tags at home, attach the tags themselves, and drop the bags at an express counter at the airport. The time-saving procedure has supposedly been tested at five airports throughout Spain – with success – though there are a few concerns that pop up in my head when I read about this… Read more
Believe it or not, summer is right around the corner. You may be sniffling from spring allergies now, but Memorial Day will be here before you know it, bringing warm temperatures, shortened work days, and summer vacations. Don’t let the season sneak up on you; take advantage of the many early bird specials out there and book your summer travel now. Read more
If you’re looking to take an exotic vacation this season, we’ve got deals for you from all over the world; from Africa to Europe to the Caribbean islands. Stray outside of your comfort zone and take the journey you’ve always dreamed of; with these fantastic deals, you’ve got few excuses not to. Read more
In the world of luxury travel, few providers hold a candle to Abercrombie & Kent. A&K travel conjures up images of elegant, five-star accommodations, customized itineraries with expert guides, the finest of Michelin-rated dining, and cushy modes of transportation. And, of course, the hefty price tag that comes with all of those extravagances.
Looking for all that glitz on a budget? Consider A&K Connections, a new line of luxurious journeys for small groups of 24-28 guests that offers 17 itineraries from six continents. Some of the available destinations include Australia, France, India, Morocco, and Peru. I recently joined A&K on a preview of their “Spain: Seven Cities tour” to see firsthand what Connections is all about.
The cities that make up the title include Barcelona, Granada, Marbella, Gibraltar, Seville, Cordoba, and Madrid. Tally up the day-trips to Malaga, Ronda, and Jerez, however, and you’re looking at a whopping ten cities packed into a ten-day tour. The preview trip was condensed into seven-days. Needless to say, at times, this felt like a break-neck pace, even with Gibraltar sliced off the itinerary. I’d imagine the ten-day version to be just slightly less speedy.
Despite the pace, it’s hard to say which part of the trip I would eliminate to slow things down. In retrospect, it’s easy to see why Simon Butler-Madden, an A&K vet who built many of the Connections itineraries, included all the sights we saw; the trip provides a cohesive overview of Spain’s diverse history, and how that history affected all aspects of modern Spanish and Catalonian culture. Read more
Set at the epicenter of Spain’s capital city on the lively, cafe-lined Plaza de Santa Ana, hip hotel ME Madrid Reina Victoria is now offering ShermansTravel readers an exclusive discount on their design-savvy digs, with reduced rates from just $149 per night (a savings of as much as 35 percent off) throughout 2012, with plenty of extras thrown in, including a complimentary room upgrade, late checkout, VIP guest status, and more.
The hotel is a hotbed for hobnobbing celebrity A-listers (the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Halle Berry have counted amongst recent guests) and “it” nightspots popular with its hip hotel clientele and local scenesters alike. At the rooftop bar, The Roof’s (hotel guests are granted VIP access), views are even more intoxicating than their signature ME Mojitos, while the new Mint Terrace sidewalk tapas bar debuted this summer, offering an alfresco oasis for tapas and a choice selection of beers and wines.
My weak “Twilight Zone” joke aside, The World’s Best Street Food really is one part guidebook, one part cookbook. The book identifies the planet’s top one hundred can’t-miss street treats, revealing their origins and the best places to find them. For the home cook itching to replicate these delicacies, recipes are helpfully tagged as easy, medium, or complex. And, of course, having the ingredients handy will help parents determine if these foods will be potentially problematic for their families, whether they’re trying them in the destination or at home.
Romance is revving up all over the place during the month of February, from sun-kissed beaches to sophisticated big cities. Here are 25 deals and packages – from Fort Lauderdale to Fiji, Maine to Madrid, and St. Kitts to Sedona – that you can still book to make this Valentine’s Day the most memorable ever:
IN THE U.S. & CANADA
The Grand Del Mar: Unplug and relax with the “Disconnect Package” at the luxurious The Grand Del Mar near San Diego (shown above at left) and you’ll get one night’s accommodations (with the room TV unplugged and upgrade upon booking if available), berry-infused champagne cocktail upon arrival, choice of a 60-minute couples massage, or a 2-hour horseback ride for two, breakfast in bed for two, and late checkout, from $795/night. Read more
Once a gritty district populated with brothels, the “Triangle of Ballesta” (aka triBall) – so named for the shape that the streets of Gran Vía, Corredera Baja de San Pablo, and Fuencarral form around the main Calle Ballesta – has become the Spanish capital’s latest avant-garde epicenter. Shop-owners like Beatriz Tabara, who opened a clothing boutique-combo-café last fall called Scarly, epitomize the hood’s enterprising vibe. “Everyone has their own story,” says Tabara of triBall’s business owners. “But many of them are professionals who took the leap to make their hobbies a way of life.” Tabara, also a full-time attorney, reveals some favorite spots in the emerging barrio.
Make the most of the waning days of summer or beautiful early fall with this European air sale from American Airlines. Book by June 27 and travel August 14 through October 27 to get this deal. Depart from your choice of cities across the United States, including New York, Boston, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Orlando, Chicago, Houston and Albuquerque, and fly to a number of great European destinations including London, Brussels, Helsinki, Madrid, and more. Finish summer with a bang by spending it in Paris, or fly to Frankfurt and take a train to Munich for Oktoberfest — this sale is flexible on dates and locations.
THE VALUE: The same routes cost over $1,000 in summer on other airlines, so this deal saves over $400 on round-trip tickets.
THE CATCH: Travel must be completed by November 24, and taxes and fees of up to $190 are not included.
THE DETAILS: Click here to book online with American Airlines.
The early bird may get the worm, but the last-minute traveler gets the cheap air tickets to Europe with this sale from Aer Lingus. Travel June 16-30 or July 2-August 22 (depending on the route) from New York, Boston and Chicago to select cities in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy for as low as $348 (each-way). Nine great cities are included in the sale — even Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam.
THE VALUE: The same routes cost over $1,000 in summer on other airlines, so this deal saves over $400 on round-trip tickets.
THE CATCH: Tickets must be booked seven days in advance of travel, and taxes and fees are not included.
THE DETAILS: Click here to book online with Aer Lingus.
Spring usually means the arrival of warmer weather, blooming flowers, and higher airfare to Europe. Fortunately, KLM is breaking tradition and slashing rates on flights to London, Venice, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Rome, Barcelona, Helsinki, Oslo, Prague, Madrid, Zurich, and Stockholm! This sale coincides with the start of festival season in Europe, so why not pop over to Budapest for the Palinka food and wine festival, Barcelona or Madrid for May Day fiestas, and Stockholm for the popcorn film festival? Fly now through May 15 from Chicago, New York, Dallas, or San Francisco for rates as low as $278 one-way.
Sample Fares (O/W)
• New York City – Barcelona: $278+
• Dallas – Amsterdam: $313+
• Chicago – London: $336+
• Miami-Budapest: $374+
• Washington – Oslo: $379+
• Houston – Venice: $384+
• San Francisco – Madrid: $419+
THE VALUE: Fares to Europe in April and May are often close to $500 each way, so this sale saves you an average of $400 round-trip.
THE CATCH: Taxes and fees are not included, and these one-way prices are based on round-trip purchases.
THE DETAILS: Click here to book your flight with KLM.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the best hotel deals in Europe.
British Airways’ Europe air fare sale is the perfect way to spend that languishing Christmas bonus. Starting from just $397, round-trip flights span the breadth of Western Europe from Paris to Madrid to Frankfurt and more, departing from over 15 major U.S. cities on both coasts, with the lowest rates on routes from the Boston, New York, and Philadelphia heading to London and Edinburgh. Reserve your seat by January 27, and soak in Athens’ mild climate and Carnival celebrations or stroll through Florence’s art galleries and cathedrals unhindered by the crowds of summer, all the while paying half the rate of non-discounted flights.
Sample Round-Trip Fares (Before Taxes):
- New York-London: $397
- Boston-Edinburgh: $397
- Houston-London: $472
- Philadelphia-Madrid: $498
- New York-Rome: $519
- Philadelphia-Munich: $530
- Chicago-Amsterdam: $565
- Boston-Prague: $577
- Miami-Milan: $579
- Orlando-Rome: $579
- Washington, D.C.-Barcelona: $549
- Los Angeles-Milan: $649
- Las Vegas-Paris: $656
- Baltimore-Athens: $676
- And more!
THE VALUE: Save over 50 percent on regular airfare.
THE CATCH: The climate is similar to the States, so don’t expect to get too far away from the chill.
THE DETAILS: Visit www.travelocity.com to book your flight by January 27! Travel January 25 through April 12.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Visit our Savvy Flyer blog before you take off for up-to-date advice and news from the skies.
As a flight attendant topped off my glass of champagne before the flood of economy passengers filed into the main cabin, my seatmate and I couldn’t help but reference that classic Seinfeld episode – the one where a schedule snafu forces Elaine into coach and bumps Jerry up to first class; he sits next to a supermodel and spends the St. Louis to New York trip flirting and dining on hot fudge sundaes, while Elaine roughs it in the back of the plane.
Although exaggerated on-screen – I didn’t spot any Zoolander types on my November flight from JFK to Madrid’s Barajas Airport – life in the front of the plane does have a certain sheen to it. Specifically, American’s business class excels at what is perhaps the biggest benefit of upgrading: Providing peace of mind. There’s no jostling for laptop space or worrying that you stashed your earplugs and pashmina in the overhead compartment. Instead, all the tools you’ll need for a comfy trip are tucked in the seat-back drawer (many of them in a handy, take-home amenity kit).
If you’re considering splurging on a business class ticket (February sample fares from NYC to Madrid cost about $2,700, compared to $780 for the same trip in coach), here’s what to expect behind American’s curtain.
Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals