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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
As the Caribbean heads into its shoulder (April-June) and low (July-November) seasons, the region’s resorts are offering up some romance packages that are a great value and full of fun extras. So if you’re planning a just-the-two-of-you escape over the next few months, here are four options worth considering:
Curacao Couples Getaway Package: If you’re looking to try a new island, I can recommend colorful, cultural Curacao, where this five-night package from the Lodge Kura Hulanda Spa and Casino (shown above at left) is a great value. It includes five nights’ accommodation in an Oceanfront Studio or Oceanfront One-Bedroom Suite, a three-hour romantic snorkel trip to a nearby reef, a poolside cabana couples massage, buffet breakfast daily, complimentary transport to sister property Hotel Kura Hulanda Spa and Casino (in photogenic Willemstad), and taxes and service charges, from $1,450 per couple. Valid April 8 to October 31, 2012.
If you’re thinking of heading to the Caribbean for a romantic, week-long winter getaway, here’s an idea: Instead of spending all seven nights on one island, why not split your time between two? Island hopping is easier in some destinations than others, so here’s a roundup of five two-island options that are not only easy to combine logistically, but also feature varied landscapes and ambience. Note: Caribbean resorts do command premium rates until mid-April or so, but if you check deal-finder sites, including ShermansTravel.com’s nifty price-comparison tool, you may be able to score some last-minute price breaks. Or, if you want to see multiple islands, you can always take a cruise. Check back next week for details on my favorite ships and itineraries. Read more
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to spend more quality time with the person you love, then I suggest you enjoy that togetherness someplace amazing! And what’s better or more romantic than a stunning, sun-kissed island? There’s something innately sexy and bond-inspiring about the sea – floating together in gentle turquoise surf, walking hand-in-hand at sunset, enjoying the day’s fresh catch paired with a rum cocktail or a fine wine. So as the new year begins, here are my top 10 picks for the most amazing islands to escape to together in 2012. Read more
After being closed over the summer for a $20-million renovation, The BodyHoliday at LeSport in Castries, St. Lucia, is open again for business. But this time, there are significant improvements to public spaces and dining venues, including a new infinity-edge swimming pool and boardwalk (where morning yoga classes are held by the beach), and an expanded water sports center (where guests take free, daily waterskiing, windsurfing, and scuba lessons off of Cariblue Beach). There’s also free use of kayaks and hobiecats, plus tubing.
Escape to warm and sunny Saint Lucia this winter and stay at the intimate Bay Gardens Hotel for only $70 per night. This offer, which includes breakfast for two, saves 50% on current rates and is valid for travel through December 19.
The award-winning Bay Gardens Hotel is nestled in the heart of St. Lucia’s entertainment and recreation center, Rodney Bay. The charming 89-room property features two pools, free Wi-Fi in all public areas, room service, on-site car rental, and more.
The tropical island of Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a tropical rainforest and one of the world’s few drive-in volcanoes. Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and more.
THE VALUE: Escape the winter and stay in beautiful St. Lucia for only $70 per night.
THE CATCH: Hurry, this offer needs to be booked by Thursday, November 10.
THE DETAILS: Visit the Bay Gardens Hotel website or call 1-877-620-3200 to book.
WE’VE GOT MORE: See our St. Lucia Travel Guide for more trip-planning information.
Alas, my stint as the Romantic Getaways blogger has come to an end: After 90-plus blogs, I am giving up this weekly freelance assignment to take a full-time job. But I want the romance to live on, so I thought I’d list a handful of my Ultimate Romantic Getaways must-dos – each with two suggestions, one a splurge and the other a steal. I hope you’ll find the time to get away soon and enjoy some of the places I’ve loved writing about.
Enjoy a Private Jacuzzi Rendezvous
Splurge: If you want to feel like you are the only two people in Venice, stay at the Bauer Il Palazzo, and book the private rooftop Jacuzzi (shown above at left) for one hour just before sunset. You’ll get champagne, strawberries, and 60 amazing minutes to soak in the sexiness of La Serenissima – and each other. Rates start at $853/night (private Jacuzzi bookable at an extra charge).
Steal: Every suite at Excellence Playa Mujeres, an adults-only all-inclusive located on a white-sand beach just outside Cancun, Mexico, has a private Jacuzzi with both indoor and outdoor access. Plus, the décor is contemporary chic, with polished marble floors and a dramatic four-poster bed. The beach and the meandering freeform pool may beckon, but the top spot to relax à deux is just steps from your bed. Rates start at $375/night, all-inclusive.
Save on luxury St. Lucia stays with this flash sale from Bay Gardens Resorts. Choose from the Bay Gardens Inn, Hotel, or Resort, with rates starting at just $66. Plus, get a free Caribbean breakfast for two included with your stay. This Caribbean resort community, with three different properties, offers scuba diving, tours, snorkeling, water skiing, day trips, and a La Mer Spa on-site, making this the perfect holiday spot for adventurers or those in serious need of relaxation. Book by June 13 for travel June 13 through December 19.
THE VALUE: Save up to 50 percent off regular rates.
THE CATCH: A minimum two-night stay is required.
THE DETAILS: Visit Bay Gardens Resorts to book online.
St. Lucia’s striking Piton Mountains (a UNESCO World Heritage site), black sands, and lush rainforests beckon beach bums and adventure travelers alike. Take in all of the Eastern Caribbean island’s charms with this deal from Bay Gardens Resorts, which slashes room rates by as much as 30 percent at all three of its properties – Bay Gardens Inn, Bay Gardens Hotel, and Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa; valid for travel from May 8 to June 30.
THE VALUE: Rates at Bay Gardens Inn start at just $67/night, a 25 percent savings; prices at Bay Gardens Hotel and Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa are sliced 30 percent, to $70/night and $116/night, respectively.
THE CATCH: Think fast: This deal has a book-by date of April 30.
THE DETAILS: Visit www.baygardensresorts.com/specials or call 877-620-3200.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find low rates on flights to St. Lucia.
See our St. Lucia Travel Guide for general trip-planning information.
Cocoa powder baths, chocolate truffle facials, chocolate nib scrubs, and fondue-style body wraps are now as central to celebrating Valentine’s Day as a box of Godiva or a dozen roses.
I’ve had all of these treatments over the years for journalistic reasons – my favorite was at the Lapli Spa by ESPA at Marigot Bay on the island of St. Lucia, where they grow chocolate. And while I personally prefer to eat my chocolate, I’ve had to do some research on it to see if there’s any value to wearing it or soaking in it.
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