February 2008

Latitude Adjustment: The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Author: Kate Keep

If you haven’t made any travel plans for 2008 yet, or would like to round out the year with an unexpected getaway, have I got some ideas for you. All these possibilities come with special discounts or amenities to sweeten the deal. Read on…

For art lovers
The newly-renovated St. Regis Hotel in New York offers daily full breakfast (served in your room, if you like) and VIP admission for two to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA package). Rates start at $845 per night.

Also in New York, rates starting at $575 at the boutique Hotel Plaza Athenee (on the upper East Side) include a VIP priority pass to the Whitney Museum—that means free entry and you step to the head of the line.

The Hotel du Palais in Biarritz offers the “Guggenheim escapade,” which includes tickets to the Guggenheim Museum, private transfers and more with guaranteed USD rates, starting at $665.

Spa specials
The Arizona Biltmore (with architecture inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright) offers one 50-minute spa treatment for each guest (including gratuity), breakfast daily and lunch once during your stay. The package requires a two-night minimum stay with rates starting at $320.

A very special San Francisco getaway is offered by the Huntington Hotel and Nob Hill Spa. Their two-night package includes a $200 spa credit and spa amenity, continental breakfast, two “Go to San Francisco cards,” complimentary chauffeured sedan service to Union Square and more. Rates start at $940 for the package.

The Naples Grande Resort (formerly the Registry Resort) on Florida’s gulf coast offers the Grande Bungalow experience with a minimum five-night stay. You’ll receive a $125 spa credit and all Virtuoso amenities.

Free nights!
Now through March 29, a three-night stay at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park hotel in London earns a complimentary fourth night, and you’ll still receive your Virtuoso amenities!

The Four Seasons Lanai Lodge at Manele Bay will give you the fifth night free and throw in breakfast besides.

Have you been wanting to see what all the interest in Dubai is all about? The Park Hyatt Dubai’s summer promotion gives you a complimentary fourth night, and you still qualify for all the Virtuoso amenities.

Looking for romance…and who isn’t
Try the “Perfect Kiss” package at the Mandarin Oriental in romantic Prague. You’ll enjoy round-trip Mercedes Benz transfers, luxury accommodation, champagne, chocolate-dipped fruit and fresh flowers in your room, tickets for a private box at the opera, afternoon tea or a picnic basket, horse-drawn carriage ride and more! The first night is 635 Euros and extra nights are 269 Euros. This trip is bound to melt your loved one’s heart!

How about a Southern romance weekend at Monmouth Plantation in historic Natchez? Their package includes two nights luxurious accommodations (plus upgrade if available), full southern breakfast each morning, a five-course dinner for two one evening, chilled champagne chocolate and flowers in your room and a horse-drawn carriage ride in downtown Natchez. Rates start at $580.

Spring Ski Packages
At the newly remodeled St. Regis Resort in Aspen, their “powder package” features deluxe accommodations, a daily breakfast credit of $67, daily lift tickets for two, and more. Their two-night minimum package starts at $535 per night.

The Vail Cascade Resort and Spa is offering a $299 winter sale through the end of March. Through April 5, the Snake River Lodge and Spa (a Rock Resort) asks you to “escape to the Tetons.” Stay a minimum of five nights and receive a three-day lift ticket, daily buffet breakfast, two 50-minute “sportsman’s relief massage tickets and more.

A Winter Package (without skiing) is available at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa through the end of February. The Fairmont is the only spa in the western U.S. which uses naturally heated artesian mineral water in its pools and whirlpools—a great base for California wine tasting. Their “country winter package” includes two 50-minute spa treatments, holiday s’mores and more. Rates start at $479 per night.

For those of you who are irritated by the weak dollar in Europe, now you can enjoy guaranteed USD rates at the Hotel Lancaster just off the Champs Elysees in Paris where the dollar is the same as a Euro! The Lancaster rate includes full breakfast daily (even in your room!), champagne and homemade canapés and maybe even a free upgrade. Rates start at $407 including taxes (through March 31).

AND for you golfers…
The WaterColor Inn and Resort is a 499-acre estate on the Gulf of Mexico with canoeing, sail boating, hiking and biking and swimming from the private beach. Oh and the golf! The Tom Fazio designed Camp Creek Club, the Greg Norman designed Sharks’ Tooth plus one round at the Origins. Plus you’re invited to dinner at the Fish out of Water Restaurant. No wonder they call this the “Golf Gorge Experience.” Rates start at $1,195.

If you’ve worn yourself out with all of these active specials and would like a relaxing cruise on one of the best cruise lines in the world, Regent Seven Seas is offering complimentary air on many of their Baltic and Mediterranean cruises this spring and summer.

I must admit, I’ve culled these examples from hundreds available because they appealed to me (now you probably know more about me than you should). If you don’t see your dream getaway deal here, call your Virtuoso travel consultant who will be happy to look for it.

Now for the fine print: All these deals are subject to availability, may have blackout dates, don’t include taxes unless I’ve said specifically otherwise, occasionally include more than I have listed and are probably available only through a Virtuoso travel consultant. I hope you know one.

Kate Keep obviously loves to travel and has provided travel consulting to islanders for over 20 years. She is an associate with Valerie Wilson Travel, a proud member of Virtuoso.

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