Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, January 2009 Issue
Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright 2009
All Rights Reserved.
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May this New Year bring new hopes, new opportunities and new travels. -- From the Travel Savings Alerts Staff
These lovely and feminine sterling silver earrings have a rich patina that enhance the design and openness of the filigree. Perfect for your next special occasion or just to wear to work, from near or far it's clear that these filigree earrings on French wires are no ordinary accessory. Filigreed on front and back, the diamond-shaped body measures approx. ½ inch.
For this fine craftsmanship, expect to pay at least $75 for these earrings at upscale stores and jewelry boutiques. Our price for these designer earrings is only $19.
Order immediately to get your turquoise earrings from AAA Jewelry Outlet. Quantities are limited. Click here to order.
|In This Issue: |
Gaylord National Harbor atrium, National Harbor, MD
Discounts at Ohio State Park Resorts
|Students can celebrate the ultimate report card success, an A, with a discounted stay at any of seven Ohio State Park resorts any time during the school year. The Stays for A’s program is simple: show report cards and get $10 off the published room rate for each A up to five A’s or $50.
The program is valid through June 7, 2009, and is subject to room availability. One report card per room may be applied for the discount, and families must present the original report card upon check-in. Rooms can be reserved online or by phone. Use promo code “Stay4A.”
Each Ohio State Park Resort is distinctive and reflects its natural surroundings. A common denominator is a wide range of recreational activities. For example, at Burr Oak State Park Resort, an entire room was turned into a kid-friendly nature center and the resort naturalist leads frequent games, experiments and nature hikes. Beginning in April, Mohican State Park Resort hosts a Saturday-night birds-of-prey demonstration. Known for its abundance of winged wildlife, you may glimpse bald eagles and wild turkeys.
Stays for A’s or 800/282-7275.
“Buy One, Get One” Honeymoon
Marquis Los Cabos in Mexico’s Baja California Sur offers “buy one, get one” honeymoons. First-time honeymooners receive a “second honeymoon” of two nights’ fr,ee accommodations on their first anniversary and the resort’s romantic bath, scented with rose petals and a bottle of champagne. The second honeymoon is valued up to $2,000.
The second honeymoon vacation is given as a voucher good for one year at the same level of accommodations as the original honeymoon. Suite rates, Jan. 5 to May 31, 2009, start at $495 per night for a junior suite and $1,030 per night for a casita.
Marquis Los Cabos’ Sense of Romance honeymoon vacation packages start at $3,690 for a junior suite, $4,890 for casita, and include champagne, spa treatments, romantic dinning and a nightly bath turndown.
The 237-suite beachfront Marquis Los Cabos Resort is located where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean, and is close to the village of San Jose del Cabo, the Robert Trent Jones’ Cabo Real and Jack Nicklaus’ Cabo del Sol golf courses.
The resort features a 15,000 square foot spa and fitness center, a gourmet restaurant with a nightly prix fixe menu, and an extensive collection of sculpture and paintings in public areas and guest rooms. Suites feature Bulgari bath amenities, Frette linens, goose down comforters, wireless internet and a hydro-massage bathtub. A fr,ee breakfast is delivered to an en-suite private cubby.
Marquis Los Cabos or 877/238-9399.
Fr-ee Fun San Diego|
This savings-packed FR.EE brochure features almost 40 Fun, Fr-ee Things to do in San Diego. When heading to Southern California, attend concerts or visit a State Historic Park and keep that cash in your pocket.
To get your Fr-ee Fun San Diego brochure, for a $1 handling fee, click here to send us an email.
If you’re heading south this winter, you’ll find hot deals in Panama City Beach, FL. This family-friendly town on the Gulf of Mexico combines white-sand beaches and emerald-green water with discounts. Enjoy fr,ee night stays, up to 50 percent off on water sports and attractions and kids-eat-fr,ee offers at top restaurants.
Half off Nightly Rates - In Seahaven, near shopping, dining, beaches and attractions, take 50 percent off in-season rates and every third night is fr,ee at the three properties below. Plus, children 12 and under eat fr,ee and grownups buy one meal and get one fr,ee at Sharky's Beachfront Restaurant. Buy-one and get-one-fre,e offers also are available on beach activities, including parasailing and wave runner rentals. Rates are valid through Feb. 26, 2009.
- Origin at Seahaven - rates start at $69 (efficiencies) and $159 (three-bedroom condominium) at this new, South Seas-inspired property. Origin houses a fitness center and theater. The Grand Pool Terrace offers a deck with Gulf views and grill for pool-side cookouts.
- Seahaven Beach Hotel - beachfront hotel offers nightly rates from $59 (standard double) to $89 (two-room king with full kitchen). The hotel has a heated pool and rooms with private balcony or patio and fully equipped kitchen or kitchenette.
- America's Best Value Inn - Beachfront accommodations, at this 80-room property, range from $49 per night (standard double) to $79 per night (double with full kitchen). Rooms offer private balconies or patios.
The Passport To Play program at the Legacy by the Sea, Beachbreak by the Sea and Beachcomber by the Sea gets you savings all around town. Your room key card or parking pass doubles as a discount card, earning savings such as a fre,e children's meal with adult meal, 20 percent off admission to a botanical and marine park, $1off bowling and skating, $10 off at a golf club and 15 percent off local spa services. By The Sea Resorts, 888/627-0625.
Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort, Panama City Beach, 800/633-0266 - Stay three nights, get one fre,e through Feb. 20, 2009. Nightly rates start at $99. The hotel offers a new SunSet martini lounge, three restaurants, a fitness center, game room, Aqualand Water Playground for the kids and the Tropical Lagoon pool with waterfall and hot tub for grown ups.
Shores of Panama, 877/808-4323 - Stay two nights, get the third night fre,e at this new, gulf-front property through Feb. 2009. Accommodations range from studios to three-bedroom suites. The resort offers a lagoon pool plus a heated indoor pool. There’s a children's activity program; health club with fitness equipment, spa and sauna; high-speed Internet access; and f,ree unlimited DVD rentals. Through Mar. 15, 2009, choose from one- or two-bedroom accommodations for $1,300 per month. Additional registration and cleaning fees apply.
Cabana Cay, 877/808-4323 - Now through Feb. 2009, stay two nights and get the third f,ree in a new one-, two- or three-bedroom beachfront condominium with private balcony that overlooks the pool. Bring Fido and stay in a pet-friendly unit that feature full bath, kitchen and private beach access. Extend your stay in a one- or two-bedroom unit for $1000 per month through Apr. 30, 2009. Additional registration and cleaning fees apply.
Hidden Dunes Condominiums, 877/377-7707 - Rates are $180 per night and the third and seventh nights are f,ree through Mar. 1, 2009. The 2,300 square-foot unit is equipped with a kitchen and private balcony overlooking the Gulf. You get 50 percent off a one-time housekeeping fee, a savings of $100. This high-rise property has 91 three-bedroom units that sleep eight to 10 people. Amenities include a fitness center, game room, covered cabanas and private beach access. The monthly winter rental rate is $1800 plus housekeeping fee.
Days Inn Beach, Panama City Beach, 888/463-0534 - Weekly rates at the Days Inn Beach start at $350 through Feb. 20, 2009. Family-style suites feature WiFi and private gulf-front balconies. There’s also a swimming pool with six-story waterfall, hot tub and bar.
Paradise Palms, Panama City Beach, 866/821-9433 - Buy one night, get one f,ree at this beachfront inn through Feb. 20, 2009. Nightly rates start at $99.
Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau or 850/233-6503.
“Israel With Us” is the newest tour offering from Picasso Travel.
One example of the “Israel With Us” package is the Israel Sampler. The land package includes five nights of accommodations with three nights in Jerusalem and two nights in Haifa; daily breakfast; Jerusalem city tour; roundtrip airport transfers; and transfer from Jerusalem to Haifa. The $709 per person price, based on double occupancy, is valid until Feb. 28, 2009.
Air fare is available from all major U.S. cities. From New York’s JFK Airport, the air and land price is $1699; supplements apply on weekends.
Israel With Us or 800/995-7997.
Winter is the best time to get discounted accommodations at Napa Valley’s Silverado Resort. Through Feb. 28, 2009, the resort drops the price of its junior, one- and two-bedroom suites by as much as 40 percent. The resort calls it the “Suite Season.”
Rates per night for a junior suite are $185 Sunday through Thursday and $195 Friday and Saturday. The Sunday through Thursday rate for a one-bedroom suite is $210 and a two-bedroom suite is $270. On Friday and Saturday nights, the rates are $265 for a one-bedroom suite and $315 for a two-bedroom suite. Summer rates range from $335 to $525. Rates do not include taxes and surcharges.
The resort’s 280 condominium units and private cottage suites surround the fairways of the resort’s two championship golf courses. Each of the one- and two-bedroom suites include a kitchen, dining area and balcony or patio and other amenities.
On 1,200 acres in Napa Valley, the resort includes a 16,000-square-foot spa with 16 treatment rooms, an exercise facility and full-service salon; 17 tennis courts; swimming pools; volleyball courts; basketball courts; jogging trails; and 10-speed mountain bikes for rent. The resort offers two award-winning restaurants and an extensive wine cellar.
Silverado Resort or 800/532-0500.
|Give a Jaguar -- An Amber Jaguar --
The remarkable face of a jaguar is hand-carved onto a lovely piece of cherry amber that's 33x20 mm in size. The dramatic pendent hangs on an ultra-chic 18" natural-colored leather necklace cord with a sterling silver clasp. Boy will this turn heads.
High-style boutiques and jewelers charge $500 or more for this glam piece. It's yours for only $125 plus shipping & insurance.
Click here to order. At the home page, click on the amber category.
The Eldorado Hotel & Spa, in Santa Fe, NM, offers a stress bailout plan with a fr.ee daily spa treatment with every room night booked. For $199 a night, you get a room and a rubdown at the Nidah Spa through Mar. 31, 2009. You can choose one 50-minute massage or facial. Treatments are valued at $130. If you don’t want the massage or facial, you can upgrade your spa treatment and apply a $130 credit towards any spa service. There is no limit to the number of nights, or treatments, so five nights translates into five spa experiences.
The hotel’s spa treatment ingredients draw from the natural healing properties of plants, legumes and herbs indigenous to New Mexico. Innovative ingredients such as caviar, gold, oxygen, turquoise and venom are incorporated into the spa menu.
When booking reference booking code PKGNID and mention Relieve Stress Package.
Eldorado Hotel & Spa or 800/955-4455.
TourCrafters' four night Barcelona Hot Deal starts at $599 and includes roundtrip airfare from New York, accommodation at the HCC Covadonga Hotel, daily breakfast, service charges and taxes.
This minimum-priced package is valid until Feb. 28, 2009, with departures from New York only on Saturday. From Mar. 1 to 31, 2009, the special spring break price is $677. The same package, departing every day and staying at the four-star Tryp Apolo Hotel, starts at $694 through Mar. 31, 2009.
Airfare add-ons for other departure cities are $55 for Boston, $35 for Washington, $109 for Miami, $176 for Atlanta, $67 for Chicago, $143 for Houston, $177 for Los Angeles, $122 for San Francisco and $53 for Seattle.
All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, are subject to availability and do not include airport taxes of $112 or fuel surcharges of $330. Reservations must be paid for within 72 hours of booking.
TourCrafters or 800/482-5995.
With inauguration around the corner, look at how Washington, DC pays tribute to some of the other men who have held this esteemed position.
Lincoln locations will be in the spotlight in early 2009 as Washington, DC celebrates Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday. Look for Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, or Lincoln Park near Capitol Hill. For more information on the bicentennial celebration, visit lincolnindc.com.
Get as close as you possibly can to past leaders and first ladies like JFK, Jackie O., Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama in Madame Tussauds (10th St. NW & F St. NW; 888-WAX-IN-DC) Presidents exhibition. There are no velvet ropes here. You can touch and take pictures with all of the wax figures. The museum features an exact replica of the Oval Office, where you can take pictures behind the most powerful desk in the world.
Stop by the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, located at the East End of the National Mall near the Capitol. Dedicated in 1922, the equestrian statue was created by Henry Shrady. The sculptor’s father, Dr. George Shrady, attended to President Grant during his final illness.
President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldier’s Home (Rock Creek Church Rd. NW & Upshur St. NW; 202-829-0436) is the most significant site associated with Lincoln’s presidency outside of the White House. The house is in the northeast quadrant of DC and was recently restored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Lincoln spent about a quarter of his administration at the cottage and was there the day before his assassination. The visitor center features an orientation theater and several interactive exhibitions. All tours are guided and require a ticket ($12/adult; $5/children).
Organized to accommodate the worship of residents of the White House and their families, St. John’s Church dates back to 1815 and is one of the original buildings on Lafayette Square, just north of the White House. Every president since James Madison has attended regular or occasional service at this historic church, known as the “President’s Church.” Pew 54 is outfitted with embroidered pillows that honor each man who has held the office.
The National Museum of Health and Medicine (6900 Georgia Ave. NW; 202-782-2200) has its share of medical oddities, including some with presidential connections: a segment of John Wilkes Booth's vertebrae; gallstones and a molar from President Eisenhower; the brain, spleen, and partial skeleton of President Garfield's assassin; and microscope slides of President Cleveland’s tumor. Among the most popular anatomical specimens and historical artifacts on display are those related to President Abraham Lincoln, including the bullet that ended his life. In honor of the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration, the museum is hosting a temporary exhibit dedicated solely to Lincoln.
The Woodrow Wilson House Museum (2340 S St. NW, 202-387-4062) is DC’s only presidential residence aside from the White House, restored to its 1920s splendor to reflect its appearance when Wilson and his wife, Edith, retired here after leaving the White House.
Feel the power in the Hall of Presidents at the National Portrait Gallery. Since the gallery first opened its doors in 1968, the hall has attracted considerable interest. Media for this collection ranges from traditional oil-on-canvas to more unique materials, such as sewing-box lids and cotton handkerchiefs.
Celebrate the Lincoln Bicentennial at the National Museum of American History with their exhibition Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life. As part of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, the museum will bring together a unique and unparalleled Lincoln collection. The exhibition will showcase more than 60 historical treasures associated with Lincoln's life from an iron wedge he used to split wood in the early 1830s, to his iconic top hat he wore the night he was shot at Ford’s Theatre.
Washington DC Convention and Visitors Association.
Face-It Luggage Tags -- Your Face on Your Luggage|
There's no mistaking your luggage with the Face-It Luggage Tag. The durable, laminated tag displays your face and the phrase "This Face Belongs With This Luggage."
A Face-It Luggage tag makes it less likely for a stranger or thief to walk off with your luggage and helps you recognize your luggage at a glance in hotels or airports. Face-It Tags are also available for briefcases, portfolio books, backpacks, sporting equipment, musical instruments, bicycles and more.
Face-It Luggage Tags.
The Montserrat Tourist Board and Scuba Dive Magazine offer the opportunity to win an underwater adventure. Through May 31, 2009, you can enter online for a chance to win a four-night dive trip that includes accommodations at Tropical Mansion Suites, two full days of diving, one day of sightseeing with a stop at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory and car rental for three days.
A 15-minute flight from Antigua, Montserrat is famous for its Soufriere Hills Volcano. Active travelers can hike one of the nine nature trails, explore one of the 30 dive sites, or laze on secluded beaches fr.ee of harassment. A close-up view of the volcano is also a must - whether from Jack Boy Hill or the Montserrat Volcano Observatory.
Montserrat offers luxury villas, intimate guesthouses, apartments and hotels that are quite affordable. There are no fast food chains, so meals are taken mainly in family run restaurants, ranging from the casual to elegant. A drink in one of the many fr.ee pouring bars and rum shops, with their "cheers" like atmosphere, is also a must.
Click here for more information on Montserrat.
Click here to enter the sweepstakes.
Recently, magazines listed Utah ski resorts at the top of the charts for value, access, snow and weather. Four Utah resorts ranked in the top ten for value - more than any other state. Three of those resorts were seated in the top five.
Check out these ways to save money and ski fr.ee in Utah this winter:
Skis fly f.ree on Southwest Airlines which allows passengers to check two bags f.ree.
Park City Mountain Resort offers the Extraordinary Family package including slope-side lodging and lift tickets. For $192 per adult, per night, the package includes three nights’ lodging for two adults with two children under the age of 12 and two adult, two-day lift tickets. Discounted children lift tickets (ages seven to 12) are available. Children six and under ski f.ree.
Powder Mountain rolled back the price of a night lift pass to 2002 rates. An adult night pass is $15 and a child pass $12 (ages seven to12). Night operations start at 3 p.m., so you can enjoy a few hours of sunlight.
Book four nights at a Solitude Mountain Resort condo and get the fifth night f.ree through Feb. 10, 2009. Not available Jan. 15-20, 2009. The offer is based on availability and some restrictions may apply.
Warm up your legs before the big day and ski f.ree after 3 p.m. at Alta Ski area.
Ski fre.e the day of your arrival with the Park City QuickSTART program. Show your boarding pass and ID and receive a fre.e same-day lift ticket, valid at The Canyons, Park City Mountain Resort or Deer Valley Resort. Register here for the QuickSTART program.
Ski fre.e at The Canyons when you stay slopeside at The Canyons Grand Summit Hotel, Sundial Lodge or Silverado. The package includes lodging and breakfast for two plus two fre.e lift tickets per day valid during your stay.
The Sundance Resort’s (866/780-9657) “Stay 3 Ski Fre.e” package includes lodging in a rustic cottage suite, breakfast for two daily and one full-day lift ticket daily per person. Mar. 23 to Apr. 5, 2009, prices start at $275 per room, per nigh,t plus tax. Through Mar. 22, 2009, prices start at $525 per room, per night, plus tax. Blackout dates may apply.
Protect Luggage with Baggage Guard Seals |
The pre-numbered, one-time use plastic padlocks are the perfect way to protect luggage since they cannot be reinstalled once removed. That feature lets you instantly know if someone tampered with your luggage. Yet when TSAs at airports need to inspect your luggage, Baggage Guard Seals can be easily removed. A package of 10 Baggage Guard Seals is still only $9.95.
Click Here to Order from On The Go Publishing.
SuperClubs presents their “Gift of Travel” promotion. Book by Jan. 31, 2009, and you get every fifth night f-ree in Jamaica and every fourth night f-ree in The Bahamas. Good for travel through Aug. 31, 2009, you receive the season’s lowest rates starting at $86 per person, per night, in Jamaica, and $139 per person, per night, in The Bahamas.
For travels to Jamaica and Curacao, when you book five nights, you only pay for four. Book 10 nights and pay for eight at any of these participating resorts. All rates are per person, per night, based on double-occupancy.
The Grand Lido Negril and Grand Lido Braco resorts in Jamaica provide super-inclusive amenities including fr.ee manicures and pedicures, award-winning restaurants, 24-hour room service and f.ree laundry and dry cleaning services. Rates at Grand Lido Braco start at $189 and Grand Lido Negril starts at $199.
Breezes Runaway Bay, on the longest stretch of private beach along Jamaica’s North Shore, appeals to golfers, watersport enthusiasts and couples craving a romantic respite. After a day of fre.e golf at the resort’s 18-hole PGA championship course or scuba diving at its five-star PADI facility, you can soothe sore muscles in your suite’s private plunge pools. Rates start at $145.
Breezes Montego Bay, steps from the colorful Hip Strip and on Doctor’s Cave Beach, let’s you dance in the resort’s club, soak up the sun or learn a new trick at the Circus Workshop. Rates start at $125.
Hedonism Resorts in Negril and Runaway Bay are more risqué, adults-only playgrounds. Rates start at $149. Black out dates for Hedonism in Negril are: Jan. 23 to 26 and Feb. 20 to 28, 2009.
Starfish Trelawny, framed by beaches and mountains, is for adventurous families. Adults and children can take advantage of the many land and water sports and daily activities including mini golf, ice-skating, rock climbing, beach volleyball and karaoke. Rates start at $86 with kids two to 13 years old starting at $50 per night. One child per one paid adult is allowed. Blackout dates include Jan. 9 to 19, 2009.
Breezes Curacao is the first super-inclusive resort in the Southern Caribbean. Adjacent to the Undersea National Park and Sea Aquarium, it has its own 1,500 feet of private beach. Singles, couples and families can enjoy water sports, premium brand drinks and a variety of dining options. Rates start at $139.
Breezes Bahamas, on Cable Beach in Nassau, offers water and land sports which include three lighted tennis courts, a 30-foot rock climbing wall and five freshwater swimming pools. Rates start at $139 per person. When you book four nights, you pay for three. Book eight nights and pay for six.
Every SuperClubs holiday includes accommodations; all meals, snacks and premium brand cocktails; unlimited use of all sports facilities, including equipment rental and instruction; entertainment; recreational activities; and hotel taxes. No tipping allowed.
SuperClubs or 800/467-8737.
Many of Africa's premiere lodges and camps are offering significant discounts in light of the global economic downturn.
A 10-night Kenyan safari offers a discount of more than $500 per person, if you book and pay by Mar. 31, 2009. The safari price includes all meals, local drinks, safari activities, airport transfers and internal light aircraft flights. International flights are extra. The safari includes a stay at the Tortilis Camp, just outside Amboseli National Park and near the north face of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Pay for two nights at Kusini luxury tented camp in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park and get the third night f-ree. Kusini usually costs $595 per person, per night. This offer is valid until Mar. 2009.
Stay at Quilalea on the northern Mozambique coastline for three nights or more in Feb., May and June and your partner receives a 50 percent discount, equivalent to $135 per night.
"With many properties a little quieter than usual you may also find you have your own safari guide for the duration of a trip without it costing you any extra," says John Spence, co-owner of Aardvark Safaris.
Aardvark Safaris organizes safaris to more than 15 countries in Africa, from Kenya to South Africa. The Aardvark Safaris team personally inspect every lodge and camp it recommends to clients.
Aardvark Safaris or 888/776-0888.
Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet, offers special family rates on summer European sailings aboard the Wind Surf. Families who book one full-fare stateroom on Wind Surf sailings departing June 7 through Aug. 30, 2009, will receive a second stateroom for family members on the same sailing at 50 percent off per person.
Wind Surf's seven-day summer European itineraries include: Venice to Venice, Venice to Rome, Rome to Nice, Nice to Rome, Rome to Barcelona, Barcelona to Nice and Rome to Venice.
Wind Surf features an outdoor pool; fitness room; a water sports platform for fr.ee waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing and kayaking in select ports. Other amenities include board games, books, a DVD movie collection and Apple iPods for check out. On land, Wind Surf offers a variety of shore excursions in each destination.
European cruise rates start at $2,749 per person, based on double occupancy. Space is limited. Families are considered two adults and two children between two and 18 years of age. Rates are capacity controlled and can be removed at any time. Taxes are additional.
Wind Surf accommodates 312 guests and offers oceanview staterooms that include flat-screen TV and DVD player, Bose SoundDock speakers for Apple iPods, robes with slippers and L'Occitane products. Suites also include an extra bath, TV and sitting area. Bridge Suites have a private living room and whirlpool spa.
Windstar Cruises or 800/258-7245.
Cheap Tix Chart
Buy Tickets at a Discount -- Special ticket outlets
sell discounted day-of-performance tickets to theater productions, films, and
sporting events. Discounts can be 50 percent or more. On The Go
Publishings Cheap Tix Chart, still only $14, lists outlets in the
U.S. and eight foreign cities that sell discounted, day-of-performance tickets.
Click here to order the Cheap Tix Chart from On The Go Publishing.
Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Spring’s Resort in Calistoga, CA offers their winter Stress Stopper package, a soothing and affordable way to slow down and de-stress while steeping in naturally hot mineral water and mud.
Good until Mar. 26, 2009, the Stress Stopper package includes an overnight Sunday through Thursday stay in a double queen or king room, the Works treatment or a mineral whirlpool bath routine. At $299 for two people, the package is a financial, physical and emotional stress stopper.
The Works includes a mud bath and aromatic mineral whirlpool bath, steam room, blanket wrap and half-hour massage.
The mineral whirlpool bath routine includes an aromatic mineral whirlpool bath, steam room, blanket wrap, and half-hour massage.
When you stay at the resort, you can use the three mineral water pools - one hot indoor pool, one outdoor warm soaking pool and one outdoor swimming pool.
Entering its 57th year, the resort is one of Calistoga's oldest spas and the only local facility that still operates under founding family ownership.
Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort or 707/942-4102.
With the economy in a slump and money tight, Broughton Hospitality created a package to provide relief to travelers who need to get away. The “Catch a Break” promotion offers discounted rates on stays at many of Broughton’s boutique hotel properties in California and Illinois, through Mar. 31, 2009.
The “Catch a Break” promotion offers:
- 20 percent off the best available room rate for one-night stays
- 25 percent off the best available room rate for two-night stays
- 30 percent off the best available room rate for those staying three or more nights.
Sample rates for the “Catch a Break” promotion are:
- The Morgan Hotel - best available rate $89, one-night “Catch a Break” rate $71.20.
- Wine Valley Inn & Cottages - best available rate $99, one-night “Catch a Break” rate $79.20.
- Inn of the Spanish Garden - best available rate $225, one-night “Catch a Break” rate $180.
- Inn at East Beach - best available rate $90, one-night “Catch a Break” rate $72.
- The Georgian Hotel - best available rate $250, one-night “Catch a Break” rate $200.
- Majestic Hotel - best available rate $125, one-night “Catch a Break” rate $100.
- City Suites - best available rate $100, one-night “Catch a Break” rate $80.
- Willows Hotel - best available rate $125, one-night “Catch a Break” rate $100.
Rates are based on a Sunday to Thursday stay in a standard room. Superior and deluxe rooms are available at the same percentage discount.
As an added bonus with your stay, you will receive a 25 percent discount coupon good for a future stay at a Broughton property, valid throughout 2009.
Broughton Hospitality or 866/8HOTEL8.
You've planned a much-needed and long overdue vacation. You begin to pack, tossing in everything from swim wear to formalwear. As you select your jewelry, there's one crucial element to consider, and it won't take any room in your suitcase: precaution.
There's a time and a place to wear your fine jewelry and a vacation may or may not be it. Here are a few tips from Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company.
- Carefully consider your planned activities and select your jewelry to match.
- If you don't have an appropriate place to wear your more expensive jewelry during your trip, leave it at home in a safe hiding spot. The ruby pendant that enchanted you from behind a glass case will have the same effect on a professional thief.
- Never place your jewelry in a checked bag. Wear it or keep it with you when you're en route.
- Don't hide your jewelry in your hotel room or leave it unattended and unprotected. When you're not wearing your jewelry, place it in an in-room safe or hotel safe.
- If your vacation plans take you to a tropical locale, leave your jewelry in the hotel safe while you're at the beach. According to Jewelers Mutual's Claim Department, many a honeymooner has lost his or her ring while swimming or snorkeling in the ocean. Your fingers constrict when they're cold, so losing a ring in the water is more likely to occur.
- Contact sports also can be unkind to jewelry. Luxury watches and clasps on bracelets weren't meant to endure exciting volleyball games or lively tennis matches.
- Don't remove your jewelry in a public place. It's best to leave it on when you're applying suntan lotion or washing your hands in a public restroom.
- If you venture into a crowd or area that feels less than safe, slip your pendant inside your shirt and turn your engagement ring so the diamond doesn't attract unwanted attention.
- Before you leave, make certain your jewelry is properly insured and you have an appraisal or insurance evaluation in your home records.
- Consider a policy that covers theft, accidental loss and mysterious disappearance.
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company.
Silky Travel Jewelry Roll
A must have for travelers. Our silky travel jewelry
roll comes in a random assortment of single-color jacquards, solid colors and two-color brocades.
This handy travel jewelry roll measures 8 1/2 x 11 inches when open and closes to a compact 8 1/2 x 4 inches.
Our exclusive design offers a place for everything with one deep pocket, a ring bar and three zippered compartments.
Price $40. Click here to order from On The Go Publishing.
Disney Cruise Line makes it easier for families to take a Disney cruise with their "Kids Fr-ee" offer on three-night cruises this winter and spring.
Children12 years old and under can sail fr-ee on three-night voyages aboard the Disney Wonder when accompanied by two full-fare paying passengers in the same stateroom. The offer is valid for most sailings Jan. 22 to May 28, 2009, and covers a variety of stateroom categories. There are a limited number of staterooms available for this offer. Mention or input booking code "FR-EE" when making the reservation.
While the cruise fare with this offer is fr-ee for children 12 and under, passengers who book this offer are responsible for government taxes and fees for all stateroom occupants, including those 12 and under.
Departing from Port Canaveral, FL, the Disney Wonder recently launched a 3-D cinematic experience in the Walt Disney and Buena Vista Theatres that show first-run, full-length 3-D films.
Young cruisers can take part in new activities at the Oceaneer Club and Lab featuring characters and storylines from Disney Channel movies, such as "High School Musical," and Disney-Pixar films.
Disney Cruise Line or 888/DCL-2500.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection offers a pay-in-full savings program where you can save up to $2,000 on 2009 itineraries throughout Europe.
Savings for couples range from $600 on shorter cruises up to $2,000 for longer cruises. When you pay in full before Jan. 31, 2009, you maximize your vacation dollars. Place a deposit and book a 2009 river cruise by Jan. 31, 2007 and you can save up to $600 per couple.
On a Uniworld Europe river cruise, nearly everything is included in the price: river view staterooms; all meals; fr.ee wine, beer, and soft drinks served during dinner; specialty coffees, teas and bottled water; shore excursions hosted by local guides; onboard entertainment; and all transfers on arrival and departure days.
Uniworld features hotel-style cruise ships with an average capacity of 134 guests and a ratio of one staff member to every three guests. The company offers more than 500 departures on more than 40 itineraries sailing on 12 rivers in Europe, Egypt, China, Russia and Ukraine.
Uniworld or 800/733-7820.
|IN A NUTSHELL: The Gaylord National Resort sits on the banks of the historic Potomac River, eight miles south of Washington, D.C. The hotel, catering to a meetings and conventions clientele, offers 470,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and claims to be the largest combined hotel and convention center on the East Coast. Almost a self-contained city, the Gaylord National Resort features 2,000 guest rooms, including 110 suites.
A massive 18-story glass atrium with views of the Potomac River and Old Town Alexandria is the heart of the resort. A stream meanders through the multi-level indoor gardens inside the atrium while seven restaurants and five retail shops are in and around this lush landscape. Two shops are directly in the atrium, housed in a life-size recreation of a Federalist-style clapboard farmhouse and a two-story red-brick Colonial mercantile.
The 20,000-square-foot spa and fitness center are nearby. For late-night excitement, an express elevator speeds you to the two-story rooftop Pose Ultra Lounge.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: I noticed the massive glass and steel atrium and the stepped terraces that lead to the Potomac's riverbank while flying into Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., although I didn't know it was the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel at the time. I didn't make that connection between what I spotted from the air the and resort when I arrived, because the front of the building and porte-cochere are modest.
Once inside and half-way through the lobby, the scale changes and then it became clear - - this was the hotel I spotted from the air. The lobby and check in area are decorated in a old-world maritime motif: golds, navy blues, dark woods, 18th century portraits, and smoky white Italian marble. Despite the lobby's elegance, your eyes are drawn to what seems like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. The light leads you to the atrium, revealing a sprawl of vegetation inside, and unobstructed glass that reveals river and sky outside. The west facing atrium is the place to view fantastic sunsets over the Alexandria, VA skyline. The 2,000 hotel rooms wrap around three sides of the atrium.
Gaylord National Harbor is one of four enormous places to meet, eat and sleep created by the Nashville-based Gaylord media and entertainment group. Other Gaylord resorts are in Tennessee, Florida and Texas.
The Gaylord National has a half-million-square-foot convention center attached to it. As you walk from one end to the other, it seems like your trodding miles of carpeted ballrooms, walkways and vast hallways. The convention center is the resort's bread-and-butter, the reason why the 2,000 rooms get filled.
WHO WOULD ENJOY IT: When the price is right, this is a great getaway for locals, anyone within a 120 mile radius -- which translates into a two hour plus drive.
Though if you are a tourist in Washington, D.C. to see the museums and monuments, it's a bit of a haul to get into the city each day. If you don't mind the daily trek, the Gaylord National Harbor can be an oasis of calm that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of D.C.
STAYING IN: Since the Gaylord National Harbor is like a small, self-contained town, it's easy to never leave the hotel. As at many convention-and-meeting focused resorts, eating at the restaurants is expensive. It may not matter to many guests as meals are part of their convention package or they charge it to their expense accounts. The good part is that if you want to pay less, you are not a captive audience. Go outside of the hotel, and you'll notice the Gaylord is the anchor and one of several hotels in the National Harbor complex . Here you'll find plenty of restaurants and shops.
The view is always touted at the Gaylord. That view is part of the appeal at the best tables in both of the resort's higher-priced restaurants, Moon Bay and the Old Hickory Steakhouse. While dining, you can look out at the harbor docks, the river, the Wilson Bridge and Old Town Alexandria. Choice suites and rooms also have an atrium view, with an overview of what's happening in the atrium and a view to the world outside. The couple's treatment rooms at the Relache spa face out onto the view. At Pose Ultra Lounge, the men's urinals look out over the city. If you haven't caught on yet, it's all about the view.
The Old Hickory Steak House - At the resort's signature restaurant, the name says it all. Meat is the focus of the menu at the fanciest dining experience at the resort. In dining room after dining room of what looks like a posh D.C. townhouse, servers in white jackets advise diners about the evening's specials, quickly bring that second bread basket or fill that half-empty water glass. An impressive view of water and Washington is in the Riverview Room, one of the most sought after dining rooms in the 220-seat restaurant.
As the hostess escorts diners from the stately foyer, warmed by a glowing fire, to their tables, she stops to show off the "cheese cave," a special refrigerated case holding more than 20 different kinds of cheese. Old Hickory employs a full-time "maitre de fromage" or cheese steward and a wine steward.
The food, service and tab compete with other fine steakhouses where your satisfying beef entre practically hides the plate it's served on. The bread basket can be a meal in itself with cheese puffs, baguette slices and flatbread. You can walk away satisfied eating just the onion soup, which is as much cheese and bread as broth sweetened with onions. Among the most memorable sides are creamed spinach and a truffle-flavored macaroni and cheese, glamorized comfort food that support the restaurant's star, beef.
Moon Bay Coastal Cuisine, like a fancy crab shack on a pier, looks like it was designed by Disney. Spurred by the concept that raw oysters or grilled fish are best served near water, you can get a table facing the Potomac River or near an indoor stream that flows through the atrium. Moon Bay has that coastline feel: a number of large airy rooms with sand-colored bleached-wood floors and walls, deep ocean blue accents and an island soundtrack that gets you in the mood. The rattan chairs and industrial-looking lights promote that casual, leisurely island feel.
Instead of a "cheese cave," Moon Bay offers a wall of coolers called the "wine cave," and an open kitchen where you can watch chefs at work.
As you may guess, it's all about seafood. Choices and quality are good. Favorites include whole striped bass with cheddar grits, crab cakes and pan-seared diver scallops. Contemporary Japanese inspired dishes such as sushi and sashimi, raw oysters and chilled lobsters round out the menu. For the non-fish eaters, the kitchen whips up a pasta and a few meat entrées.
The most entertaining way to end a meal is with a petite dessert confection. Served in what look like votives, the small sweets include panna cotta and peanut-butter-turtle cheesecake.
Pastime Sports Bar & Grill - Nothing says "sports bar" like a 30-foot video wall visible from most angles. The 30-foot TV displays the latest sporting events, along with split screens in case there's more than one big game on. Some guests mentioned that it reminds them of the sports book in Las Vegas. The bar is all about classic comfort food in a fun environment. Think big burgers, crispy fries and spicy buffalo wings. The dining area is spacious. In the front area near the TV wall is an area for those who want to get something quick and convenient and catch up on sport scores. Count on Pastime being packed each night as this is the prime gathering spot.
Pienza Italian restaurant is buffet only and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Like shopping in an Italian marketplace, Pienza offers six market-inspired stations: freshly baked breads; artisanal cheeses; pasta and risotto; fresh seasonal greens; slow-cooked meats, and finally a nice assortment of desserts including tiramisu, gelato, biscotti and fresh fruit. The patio seating adds to the ambiance with red umbrellas, cloth-covered tables and live musicians. Breakfast is $19.50, lunch is $23.50, and dinner is $32, pricey for a buffet. The food is of good quality and you can get made-to-order pastas and made-to-order eggs for breakfast. This is a good place to try new items.
Pose Ultra Lounge, a New York-style nightclub, has its own private elevators, outfitted with flat-screen TVs and pumping sound systems, that whisk you to the entrance on the 18th floor. According to the Gaylord National Harbor web site, Pose is only open to registered hotel guests and there is a separate charge to enter.
Those speedy elevators open into a monochrome two-story-high room with floor-to-ceiling windows along two walls, chrome-wrapped columns and white floors. Colored lights flash around the room, bathing it in blues and reds. Flat-screen TVs show videos and animations. As you enter Pose, you encounter the Infusion Bar: a round counter with nearly a dozen different types of house-infused liquors on tap. Infused liquors, rum, gin or vodka, come in a variety of flavors and are poured into long icicle-shaped glasses. For instance, Tuscan Lemon is vodka infused with lemon and rosemary and Dreamsicle is vodka infused with orange, banana and vanilla flavors. It's tempting to sample several. Be aware, they're $7 each.
Up a flight of stairs is the reservations-only mezzanine full of couches and low tables. Built into the walls are soundproof VIP booths that resemble private cabins, where you can hear your conversation and get cozy. From the VIP level, you can watch the crowds dance below.
The best part of Pose is its broad wraparound outside patio with sweeping views of Virginia and many National Harbor buildings. In the distance at night, you can see the soft glow of lights from the District including the blinking eyes of the Washington Monument. The view is such a selling point that it extends into the bathrooms: Men have views from large windows above the urinals, while one stall in the women's room has a window in place of one wall. I overheard one guest gush that the view is worth the price of admission.
With only one pool, the resort tries to make it work for summer and winter. The pool is indoors, open to the outside through glass, garage-like doors on one end for warm days. This may disappoint guests who like to swim in an outside pool in summer. The pool is a good size but doesn't go deeper than 3 feet 6 inches at any point. There are three whirlpools. In addition to chairs at the indoor pool area, there's an outdoor area with lounges for sunbathers and a pool side bar.
The fitness center is open 24-hours and has options for strength and cardio. The Lifetime Fitness machines have a large TV monitor attached to each cardio machine. Towels and cooler water are supplied.
The Relache spa measures in at 20,000 square feet with 12 treatment rooms, including a couples room with a floor-to-ceiling window wall for a Potomac River view.
STEPPING OUT: Gaylord National Harbor is part of National Harbor, a place to go if you get tired of staying at the resort. The 300-acre waterfront development, actually a little city along the banks of the Potomac River, includes three hotels, several restaurants - from white-tablecloth to take-out, art galleries and shops. Residents will be moving into condominiums soon and resort timeshares will be offered. The National Children's Museum is expected to open in 2012.
On Friday nights in the summer, National Harbor offers a free concert series. And every Saturday until fall, farmers, artisans, bakers and florists sell their wares at the American Farmers Market. When the weather is nice, it's entertaining and relaxing to stroll around and enjoy the river.
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Since the hotel almost exclusively caters to business travelers with their huge conference and convention center, count on week day stays to be expensive. Once the conference-goers vacate, that's the time to look for some deals. Check the resort's web page that lists the current specials and packages. Keep in mind there is a daily resort fee (around $15) in addition to the room rate. It includes in room internet access, local calls, access to the gym/spa, daily newspaper and 2 bottles of water per day.
RAVES AND RAZZES:
Raves: MetroBus NH-1 runs between the Southern Avenue Metro station and National Harbor every 20-30 minutes, seven days a week, from about 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Metrorail is the best transportation mode to get around Washington, D.C.
A free trolley takes passengers from the King Street Metrorail station to the waterfront at the east end of Old Town in Alexandria, VA. The trolley runs every 15 minutes and make 19 stops on its way down King Street. However, you still need to take a water taxi from Alexandria to the Gaylord resort. The water taxi runs every hour from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., April through December. Each trip across the Potomac takes about 20 minutes. The schedule or fee for 2009 have not been established at press time. Last year the fee from Alexandria to National Harbor was $7 one-way and $14 round trip. A water taxi travels from Alexandria to Georgetown. From National Harbor, cruises are also offered to Mount Vernon
Service is superior. Despite some opening glitches where personal items were stolen by the construction crew, long waits to check-in, mice in rooms, and a bad case of Norovirus, potent enough to make 120 people so ill the airlines wouldn't let them fly, the Gaylord worked through all of its opening mess-ups. Now it's a different story. Bellmen, front desk, housekeepers, restaurant staff, everyone provided excellent service. Employees are quick to greet you and help you and it seemed sincere not forced.
Razzes: the Relâche spa has a decidedly, modern Euro flair and polish. Treatments and services are high-end with prices to match. So it's a surprise to see a lapse in attention to detail. Overall, the women's changing area is small, has small lockers and no place to change in private. A few women changing at the same time makes a spot to sit on the bench while changing hard to find. The receptacles for used towels and robes are too small and there are too few. A couple towels and a robe fill a receptacle and the overflow lands on the floor. More after-shower care products: deodorant, shaving gel, hair spray, single-use combs or brushes, should be available. Selection was sparse and an attendant had to scour the whole spa to find a hair dryer.
I stayed in a room with a balcony directly overlooking the atrium. Being on the 12th floor, not much noise from the atrium filtered up. The little noise that did disappeared after shutting the door to my balcony. However, speaking with other guests on lower floors, some complained that noise and music from the atrium couldn't be blocked from their rooms.
PRACTICALITIES: The Gaylord National Harbor, 301/965-2000, 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD 20745.
Located close to Interstate 295 and next to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, minutes from downtown Washington, D.C. and across the Potomac from Alexandria, VA. The property is in Prince George's County, MD.
Through Mar. 31, 2009, book three nights at Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa in Bermuda and get a fr-ee fourth night plus a fre-e room upgrade, fr.ee afternoon tea time daily and fre-e dinner nightly at the resort's Tamarisk Room.
In the winter, nightly rates at the Four-Diamond resort start at $295 for a garden-view room, $555 for an oceanfront suite and $1,160 for a suite with private infinity plunge pool and views of the Atlantic.
To book Cambridge Beaches' Winter Romance package, a Monday or Tuesday night stay is required, and reservations must be made by Mar. 27, 2009. This package applies to new bookings only.
Cambridge Beaches is set on a private, 30-acre peninsula at Bermuda's western end. The resort has four private, white-sand beaches. On-site services for the 94 Bermuda-style cottages include a spa, three restaurants, bar, nature preserve, private marina, boutique shop, bath butler and a beachfront infinity pool with secluded tiered decks for tanning and quiet moments.
All rooms have a sitting area or a separate living room and private terrace or patio. Marble bathrooms include oversized showers and soaking tubs. In-room amenities include high-speed Internet access and Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities.
Cambridge Beaches or 800/468-7300.
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