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It used to be that travel loyalty programs were only for grown-ups, or at least those who had finished elementary school. No matter how many miles your 10-year-old racked up jetting back and forth to Grandma’s each Christmas, none of them translated into rewards or elite status. While that’s still largely the case, a growing number of programs geared toward the under 12 set offer a chance for the little ones to earn their own perks. Here are a few of the newest for hotels, airlines, and destinations.
Couples headed to the Big Island of Hawaii have an intimate new accommodation option to consider: Lava Lava Beach Club. The property, which opened its doors in early June, features just four beachfront cottages located along Anaeho’omalu Bay near Waikoloa Beach Resort on the sunny Kohala Coast, making it a smaller and more laidback alternative to some of the island’s well-established resorts. Set on 10 acres, the 576-square-foot cottages are designed and decorated in a contemporary Hawaiian style – with vibrant yet sophisticated fabrics and sliding glass doors opening onto a private lanai with teak furniture.
Developed by the team that owns Huggo’s restaurant and On the Rocks beach bar in Kailua-Kona, Lava Lava Beach Club mixes the four cottages – named Kahakai (Hawaiian for beach or seashore), Moana (ocean), Nalu (wave or surf) and Wa’a (canoe) – with a restaurant and private event lawn. Waikoloa Beach Resort features two golf courses as well as two shopping centers with grocery stores and restaurants.
The important thing to remember about manta rays – 3,000-pound creatures with wingspans reaching up to 22 feet – is that they’re born with their wings wrapped around their bodies, like manta-ray burritos. Want a little more? They gobble up to 300 pounds of plankton daily, by executing octuple backflips with their three-foot-wide mouths agape. The males also have “clampers” which have to be 1.5 inches long for them to be able to mate.
These are just a few bits of trivia you can pick up on your next Big Island visit by staying at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa (bonus factoid: Keauhou Bay is where Kamehameha III, Hawaii’s longest reigning monarch, was born in 1813). For that and more, you only need to stop by the Manta Ray Bar & Grill (soon to transform into Rays at the Bay) on any given night, when the hotel directs its broad beams at the water starting at 7pm, and a dozen or more of the creatures come to feed. You can observe or listen to the Sheraton’s docent from its broad deck – an experience which combines nicely with pupus or a Mai Tai, or with an upward glance at the stars.
Hawaii is a sublimely romantic destination any time of year, but when the holidays are over and the chill of January and February sets in here in the lower 48, our 50th state starts looking extra appealing. This winter, those warm temperatures and balmy breezes can be yours at a savings, thanks to several free-night resort promotions. Here’s a selection of what’s being offered – but be sure to book early for the best savings and availability. Read more
Extend your summer glow all through fall with this Hawaii sale from Aston Hotels & Resorts. The 50 Days of Aloha sale slashes rates to as low as $79 a night for select Hawaii hotels. Stay in a room with a garden view at the Aston Aloha Beach Hotel on Kauai, or island hop around to Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island for savings at other resorts. Book from July 11 through August 29 and travel through August 1 and December 1. Plus, kids 17 and younger stay and eat for free at Aston resorts, saving even more!
THE VALUE: Rooms at Aston hotels typically go for close to $200 a night, so this deal saves over $120, depending on which property you choose.
THE CATCH: Prices don’t include tax and blackout dates may apply.
THE DETAILS: To book your stay, visit Aston Hotels’ website.
The Deal Save as much as 30 percent on standard rates at the Big Island’s Aston Waikoloa Colony Villas for stays through December 23. Plus, score a $50 credit for use at the resort’s two golf courses.
Stay Located on the 10th fairway of Waikoloa Resort’s Beach Golf Course, Aston Waikoloa Colony Villas is a condo resort with views of the Mauna Kea volcano. Spacious one-to-three-bedroom villas come equipped with a gourmet kitchen and a washer-dryer. The resort features three pools (including one for children), tennis courts, and a fitness center.
Details Rates start at $184/night for a one-bedroom villa, with a four-night minimum.
Book It Call or book online with promo code Sherman; 866-774-2924; astonhotels.com
From the Fall 2010 issue of Smart Luxury Travel magazine by ShermansTravel.com
For general trip-planning information, see our Big Island Travel Guide.
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