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Articles for April, 2008

Dine Around Town on your San Francisco vacation

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

DinearoundtownBy Polly Fitz

It’s hard not to eat well on a San Francisco vacation. This is, after all, the area where fresh, local, seasonal cuisine first came on the scene. And the San Francisco area has fabulous produce, fresh seafood and some of the country’s hottest chefs.

So if you want to get a taste of the San Francisco food scene, June is the time to travel. The 7th annual Dine Around Town runs June 1-15. During this food fest, restaurants around the city offer special 3-course lunches for $21.95 and/or 3-course dinners for $31.95.

At French bistro Chouchou, you could have escargot, duck leg confit and creme brulee. Or the popular PlumpJack Cafe offers a lunch menu featuring braised short ribs with parmesan polenta and red wine mushroom sauce, and apple huckleberry crisp.

More than 100 restaurants are participating in Dine Around Town — including some in San Francisco hotels. Vitrine in the 5-star St. Regis is offering a lunch special. Seven Fifty in the Hilton San Francisco Financial District (a fabulous location, by the way, close to North Beach, Union Square and foodie heaven: the Ferry Building) is doing lunch and dinner specials.

So find a cheap airfare, book your San Francisco vacation, and eat your heart out!

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Polly Fitz is an editor for CheapTickets  who loves writing about travel and food but prefers to actually go places and eat.

Day of Deals: Great rates, golf on your Bahamas vacation

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

By Heather Leisman

This week’s Deal of the Day is on Grand Bahama Island, known for its scuba diving and white-sand beaches.

Our pick among Bahamas hotels is the 4-star Westin Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resort, where right now you can save 30 percent off the rates. I found discounted rates for $174 per night between May 21 and 24.

Check out my video for more on why this Bahamas hotel is a great CheapTickets deal.

CheapTickets resources:

Heather Leisman is senior merchandising director for CheapTickets.

Great deals for your Key West vacation

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Flakeysblog
If you’re planning a Key West vacation — or heading anywhere else in the Florida Keys — check out the Keys tourism council’s Web site for dozens of deals and discounts on everything from food to fishing boat trips.

First head to CheapTickets for excellent bargains on Key West hotels. Then head to the Florida Keys site, where the deals include:

  • 10 percent off the price of Fury Key West sailing and snorkeling outings.
  • 50 cents off all Hog’s Breath Beer and cocktails at Key West’s Hog’s Breath Saloon.
  • 10 percent of lunch or dinner at the Marker 88 restaurant in Islamorada.
  • Buy one admission to the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory, and getting a second for half price.
  • 15 percent off admission to Islamorada’s Theatre of the Sea.

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Save on your California vacation

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Califblog
If you’ve been dreaming of a California vacation, now’s the time to travel! During the CheapTickets Spring Sale, you can save $75 on any flight + hotel vacation package of four nights or more. Just book by April 27 for travel by June 30.

Plus many hotels are offering great rates. Maybe you want to stay in one of the many San Francisco hotels close to the city’s excellent restaurants and shopping. The four-star Hotel Nikko San Francisco is just off Union Square, close to  theater, shops and the Embarcadero. Right now you can get 15% off stays of 3+ nights.

Or maybe you want to live it up in L.A. Los Angeles hotels aren’t all pricey. Now you can save $60 per night at The Sofitel Los Angeles, a four-star hotel close to Rodeo Drive and Sunset Boulevard.

If it’s the beach you want, then you may want to head to San Diego. You can surf, walk along the marina or shop in tony LaJolla. The hip Hard Rock Hotel is one of many San Diego Hotels in the Gaslamp Quarter — the heart of the city’s nightlife. And when you book your stay at the Hard Rock now, you can save 20% off 2+ nights.

And if you’re looking for a different kind of fun in the sun, you could head to Disneyland!

With so many California vacation deals, you may need to travel more than once!

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Last-minute cruises: Save up to 75%

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Cruiseblogphoto
A cheap cruise can be a fun last-minute trip. And now you can save up to 75% on last-minute cruises.

The Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas sails between Los Angeles and Baja Mexico.  A four-night cruise starts at $259. But it won’t feel like a cheap cruise! While at sea, guests can relax with spa services, grab a drink at the pool bar or enjoy Latin music at Boleros.

Or, take a seven-night Caribbean cruise starting at $629. The Carnival Destiny sails to exotic locales including Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados. The Destiny has a wine bar, casino and plenty of music and entertainment. And even on a cheap cruise, your appetite will be satisfied with food from four restaurants, a 24-hour pizzeria and room service!

The ships are sailing soon, so book your last-minute trip now!

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Deal of the Day: Great rates on this Seattle hotel

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

By Heather Leisman

This week’s Deal of the Day is in Seattle, offering the perfect mix for anyone looking for an urban oasis and outdoor excursions.

Our pick among Seattle hotels is the 4-star Edgewater Hotel, where right now you can save 20 percent off the rates. I found discounted rates for $236 per night between May 13 and 16.

Check out my video for more on why this Seattle hotel is a great CheapTickets deal.

CheapTickets resources:

Heather Leisman is senior director of merchandising for CheapTickets.

Western U.S., Cape Cod, Mexico top off-season deals

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Acapulco
Coastal New England, the mountains of the western United States and the beaches of Mexico offer some of the best off-season travel values for budget-conscious vacationers.

That’s the conclusion of a detailed analysis in our CheapTickets’ spring 2008 Off-Season Deals Report.

Here are some noteworthy highlights:

New England: The most value-added off-season springtime destination is Cape Cod, Massachusetts, offering an average savings of 63 percent on hotel accommodations. Sample Cape Cod hotels rate: Stay 3 nights at the 3-star Cape Point Hotel for $294.33. Travel dates: April 22-25, 2008

Mexico: A 56 percent average savings in Acapulco this spring makes Mexico’s Pacific Coast worth considering. The traditional "spring break" crowd has departed, leaving a budget-friendly oasis of white-sand beaches and world-class scuba diving. Sample Acapulco hotels rate: Stay three nights at the 3-star Fiesta Americana Villas for $297.54. Travel dates: May 22-25, 2008

West: Lake Tahoe proves the most price-friendly mountain retreat for springtime travel, offering a 52 percent savings on hotel accommodations. Sample Lake Tahoe hotels rate: Stay three nights at the 3-star Cedar Glen Lodge for $260.01. Travel dates: April 21-24, 2008

View the full report.

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Deal of the Day: Hotel savings in St. Thomas

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

By Heather Leisman

Our latest Deal of the Day is in St. Thomas, the Caribbean vacation destination known for its calm waters, beautiful beaches and fantastic duty-free shopping.

Right now you can save 20 percent at the 3-star Point Pleasant Resort when you stay for three or more nights. I found discounted rates for a villa-style suite with full kitchen for just $144 per night for May 5-8. Plus, if you book your summer vacation by July 31, you’ll get a $50 Visa gift card for on-island spending.

Check out this week’s video for more on why this is a great St. Thomas hotel deal.

CheapTickets resources:

Heather Leisman is senior director of merchandising for CheapTickets.

Dallas hotels offer history, luxury, savings

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Dallasskyline
By Chris Hill

Many locations claim to have the best spring weather for traveling, but when it comes to Texas, we truly mean it. It’s no wonder that Texas is one of the best Spring Break destinations in the country. But if you want to avoid the crowds and do something a little more unique, stop by Dallas for the great weather and truly unique hotels.

Here are a few of my top picks for landmark Dallas hotels:

We will start our tour with a few historic properties. First is the Hotel Lawrence, a European-style boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Dallas. The history of the Hotel Lawrence dates back to 1925. The lobby takes you back to the glory days of Dallas. Wood-panel walls give you the warmth of coming home. The rooms are small and efficient, like the rooms at a New York hotel — without the NYC price tag. Every part of the hotel has been reinvented to bring you the finest guest comfort, convenience, personalized service and amenities. Best of all, it is wrapped in a luxurious, European-inspired, interior-designed package. You can get a great deal at the Hotel Lawrence most any time, but it currently is running Special Savings of up to 25% off your stay.

If you are looking for more elegance, then The Adolphus should be on your rounds. Built in 1912, by Adolphus Busch (of Budweiser beer fame), the hotel’s rooms are a mix of old and new, with English country decor and sleek, marble baths, as well as modern amenities including high-speed Internet. Critics have called this Texas landmark "the most beautiful building west of Venice." Today, still flaunting its historic finery, the luxury Adolphus hotel shines with $80 million worth of renovations and enhancements in the heart of downtown Dallas. You can feel the history of the hotel as soon as you enter the lobby, with arched ceilings and grand chandeliers, you truly feel like you have stepped back in time. I love the upper lobby with its grand paintings and artwork. If you get a chance, take a peek into one of the many ballrooms and feel the history. Now you can save up to 20% on your stay at The Adolphus during its Spring Sale.

A little farther out of downtown in the Uptown/Turtle Creek area, you find the historic Warwick Melrose Hotel. Built in 1924, this historic Dallas landmark offers many luxury guest rooms with a dramatic view of the city. Each oversized guest room and suite features European marble floors with all the modern amenities. As you enter the hotel, you truly feel the elegance of this AAA Four Diamond Hotel. With rates up to 40% off in April, now is the time to experience this truly luxurious hotel.

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Deal of the Day: Luxury for less at new Orlando hotel

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

By Heather Leisman

Our latest CheapTickets Deal of the Day is in Orlando, Florida — one of the world’s top vacation destinations and home to theme parks, great shopping and sunny weather.

Although there are plenty of great Orlando hotels to choose from,  we opted for the 4-star Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa, where right now you can save 30 percent off the regular rates.

Plus, you can save an additional $75 now through April 27 when you book vacation packages of 4 or more nights through our Spring Sale.

Check out the video to find out more about this excellent deal. And if you’ve been to Orlando recently, please share your money-saving travel tips in the comments area below.


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Heather Leisman is senior director of merchandising for CheapTickets.