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St. Croix’s 150,000 annual cruise passengers make port in Frederiksted, the sleepy town on the western side of the island. Steps from the dock, on Strand Street, Franklin’s on the Waterfront opened in late 2011 with chic home accessories at affordable prices. Stop in for scented candles, specialty teas, and unique vases and table settings.
Across the island, Christiansted’s bustling streets (relatively speaking) are dotted with upscale shops. Start at ib designs on Queen Cross Street, where you’ll find handcrafted jewelry inspired by Caribbean life. Top pick: silver hoop earrings for $60.
If you can already feel the physical aches of holiday shopping, the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, just north of San Diego, is here to help. They’re offering a holiday shopping package that includes the luxurious accommodations of a Park Suite, round-trip private transportation to Carlsbad Premium Outlets via Mercedes Benz, a two-hour private consultation with a personal shopper at the outlets, and a 50-minute Shoppers Therapy Treatment at the spa that targets your sore feet and shoulders with massage and pressure point techniques.
Rooms at the Park Hyatt Aviara start at $650 a night, and while there is no minimum number of nights required, guests must book a week in advance and the offer expires December 30, so make sure you book soon! Also note that the spa treatment is only for one person, so your shopping buddy may be out of luck. At the Carlsbad Premium Outlets you can find everything from Barneys New York to Coach at outlet prices. (For a full list of stores, click here.) parkaviara.hyatt.com
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Don’t want to brave the competitive holiday shopping mayhem this season? The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel, is offering guests the “Santa’s Shopper” package, saving you the hassle of trying to get your hands on the sold-out Let’s Rock Elmo and the Leapfrog LeapPad for your loved ones. It’s a win-win: a mini-vacation for parents, and a happy Christmas for children.
The “Santa’s Shopper” package, starting at $780, includes accommodations at the 81-year-old hotel for one night, either the Let’s Rock Elmo or Leapfrog LeapPad, two cocktails in Bemelmans Bar, breakfast for two in the Carlyle Restaurant, and complimentary gift wrapping. The package must be booked one week in advance, and it is offered through December 23 (based on availability).
The 4-star Trump International Beach Resort is offering 20% discount on travel through October 2. Located in the exclusive Sunny Isles section of Florida, the oceanfront Trump International Beach resort are inviting guests to take advantage of the summer promotion “Rein in the Summer” where guests get a bunch of extras including three activities in the high-energy kids club. The best part is if it rains during your stay guests can relax in the spacious deluxe, family-friendly accommodations and receive a complimentary in-room movie that includes movie theater amenities including candy and popcorn as well as in-room video games
THE VALUE: Rates for this 4-Star luxury hotel can start at over $300 per night.
THE CATCH: Two-night minimum stay required. Package is based on availability and valid on travel through October 2, 2011 only.
THE DETAILS: To book your stay, Trump International Beach Resort or call 866-628-1197.
Boston’s South End has a growing attraction for anyone who appreciates community-centered commerce and fun. The SoWa (South of Washington Street) Arts District specializes in attracting the über-cool, offering a vast selection of handcrafted accessories, indie designer clothing, and vintage wares at its SoWa Sundays (sowasundays.com). The weekly event includes an open-air bazaar, with an Open Market (www.sowaopenmarket.com) for arts and handmade crafts, a Vintage Market (www.sowavintagemarket.com) with clothing, antiques, and collectibles, and a Farmer’s Market for fresh local produce, flowers, and baked goods. This all-in-one package runs through October 30 this year, from 10am to 4pm As an added bonus, the market hosts food trucks along its Harrison Street location with menus that run the gamut from barbecue and coffee to gourmet grilled cheese and Elvis Presley’s favorite fried peanut butter and banana sandwich (served here without the bacon).
Dressing like the Queen of England isn’t necessarily advised – unless, of course, you’re sporting a traditional kilt. Starting this year, guests on Orient-Express’ The Royal Scotsman (one of our Top 10 Train Trips in Europe) may do just that. Kinloch Anderson, Her Royal Majesty’s kilt purveyor of choice, will let guests on the luxury train trip purchase handmade, wool skirts in their family tartan or the train’s own signature pattern, a mulberry, navy, and plum design. The service, starting at $310, sends travelers to a pre-departure fitting at Kinloch Anderson’s showroom, where kilts, argyle cut jackets, and tartan trousers await. The attire takes eight to 10 weeks to arrive, but guests may still don the traditional Scottish garb during the trip’s formal dinner, as Kinloch Anderson wares are available to borrow en-route.
Anyone with a stylish bone in their body is easily inspired by Milan. It truly is the epicenter of the fashion world and just walking around the city puts you right in the middle of it – store windows along most every block reveal the latest and greatest designer looks, and the Milanese themselves showcase some of the capital’s di-moda styles. Fashion is the art here and, as a rule, these masterpieces come with a price tag to match. My Milan assignment: 48 hours to sniff out some under-the-radar, “value” stores. I can’t say my trip was successful, but I did come back with a list of places you must visit either for the inspiration (to channel your inner fashionista) or to actually pick up something special for a worthy splurge. Read more
With Mother’s Day just around the corner (May 8), we suggest you start planning something special for mom. You’re thinking flowers? Boring. We’re thinking “girls getaway.” Awesome. Really up the ante this year and treat your mom to a fabulous weekend away. These four deals, fit for any budget, make it easy.
The chic One Bal Harbour Resort & Spa in southern Florida has a perfect “Sun, Stay, and Shop” deal for Mother’s Day. The package includes $100 resort credit (perhaps for an in-room massage), daily continental breakfast, and complimentary car service to the Bal Harbour shops—home to over 100 luxury boutiques, such as Cartier and Valentino, and gourmet restaurants. Rates start at $395/night for two. www.balharbourflorida.com Read more
Shopping in the city is hard work – who wants to carry all those bags? Avoid arm fatigue with Hotel Le Bristol’s (www.lebristolparis.com) fleet of two Smart cars, available as 3-hour rentals for just 10 euros. Though they only seat two passengers, the cute little autos pack plenty of trunk space for an afternoon shopping spree (unless of course you’re on the hunt for an antique armoire at the Paris flea markets). Plus, parking is a cinch. The Smart cars will be especially useful during the next soldes, the biannual sales; the summer soldes typically begin on the third Wednesday of June and last for six weeks. Guests can reserve a car through Le Bristol’s concierge desk.
Le Bristol is well-positioned for no-holds-barred shopping, with all the high-end stores (like Chanel and Hermès) that line the hotel’s Rue du Faubourg St. Honoré. For hip boutiques, head over to the Marais in the 4th Arrondissement. Two of our recent favorites for scoring pieces that would make any Parisian fashionista jealous are Maje (multiple locations, www.maje-paris.fr) and Beija (123 Rue Vieille du Temple, www.beija.fr).
For general trip-planning information, see our Paris Travel Guide.
After some relaxation, I then did some window shopping. Having seen so many luxe watch ads on the ski slopes, you quickly learn that watches are the top choice of buyers in this town. And surely there is more choice here than in arguably any other small town! I hear you can negotiate on price, but Russian tourists do prop up the demand.
For eating out, I highly recommend two amazing places. First, the Corbeau D’Or restaurant, off a small street near the center, located in the Mirabeau Hotel (www.hotel-mirabeau.ch), was terrific. It’s a bit formal but not stuffy. The food was superb and it offers a nice traditional Swiss menu.
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