Grand H么tel du Cap-Ferrat Welcomes the New Spring Season on the C么te d鈥橝zur

Lately I’ve fantasized about my next big adventure. There are oh so many possibilities and the world is my oyster. After reading this press release I was hooked. Just the name – Grand H么tel du Cap-Ferrat… how cool do you feel saying that? Go ahead, say it a few more times. I’ll wait 馃槈

Cap Ferrat is in聽southeastern France – a country on nearly everyone’s bucket list. Take a dive into this info and let me know where you or your mind is travelling this week.

(Images are courtesy of聽Grand-H么tel du Cap-Ferrat)

Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat, France

The Grand-H么tel du Cap-Ferrat is a rare and exquisite seaside retreat of paradise housed in a grand palatial mansion on the C么te d鈥橝zur, on the tip of the peninsula of Cap-Ferrat, amidst 17 acres of lushly landscaped gardens overlooking the Mediterranean.

Grand H么tel du Cap Ferrat-bd

This Palace hotel of unparalleled beauty features 73 guestrooms and suites (49 rooms and 24 suites), a private villa, an award-winning spa with products and treatments by Carita and Bellefontaine and an outdoor spa garden with sea views, Michelin starred restaurant Le Cap, in addition to casual dining at La Veranda and sea front dining at Club Dauphin overlooking one of the most beautiful pools in the world.

Grand H么tel du Cap Ferrat

The Grand- H么tel is delighted to welcome the 2015 spring season with the following gourmet and spa experiences:

Chef Didier Ani猫s, Meilleur Ouvrier de France 2000, invites you to revisit several Mediterranean classic dishes that make up his new seasonal menu at La Veranda, with elegant all day dining under the cool shade of Aleppo pines trees and evening dining on the mezzanine level.

Grand H么tel du Cap Ferrat

Pastry Chef Luc Debove, Meilleur Ouvrier de France and world champion in ice creams and frozen desserts, invites you to experience a delicious calorie conscious dessert menu complete with nutritional information so that you can treat your taste buds and still look lovely in your swimsuit.

Grand H么tel du Cap FerratThe Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat continues the tradition of Afternoon Tea聽as served a century ago when the hotel originally opened. Whole-leaf teas of the finest quality include White Yin Long tea from Anhui, Oolong Peach, Earl Grey and classic English tea served with sandwiches, scones and pastries cooked to perfection. A selection of menus are available and can also be accompanied by champagne. In keeping with tradition, Afternoon Tea is served on the Rotunda.

Le Spa is a haven of peace and tranquility, uniquely situated amidst seventeen acres of fragrant Proven莽al gardens overlooking the Mediterranean, that complement the power of the sea and the warm rays of the sun in this C么te d鈥橝zur sanctuary dedicated to quiet repose and total indulgence.

Grand H么tel du Cap FerratThis season, Le Spa invites you to enjoy our signature treatment by Carita: 鈥淭he Beautiful Lagoon Treatment,鈥 a precious care for face, body and hair that immerses you in one unique moment of relaxation and pleasure for the senses. (鈧245 1h45).

  • Cocooning Day:

Candle back massage (30 minutes) and Carita Radiance facial (45 minutes). Prices from 鈧190 (鈧250 including lunch)

  • Blissful Day:

Anti-Fatigue remineralising treatment (1h30) including: body scrub, body wrap, body massage. Prices from 鈧235 (鈧295 including lunch).

Grand H么tel du Cap FerratThe Grand-Hotel invites you to come and enjoy the pleasures of summer. A glass funicular transports hotel guests down the fragrant, rocky slopes to the Grand-Hotel鈥檚 Olympic sized heated seawater infinity swimming pool. Enjoy casual sea side dining with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean.

Around the World in Seven Courses: 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel

One of my favorite travel perks is the ability to try new foods. I’m constantly finding myself saying “Yum!” to things I’d normally refuse to eat. I use “food culture”聽as a determining factor in travel planning. What better way to get a taste of all seven continents than by visiting them all? Well, maybe not AS good, but a close runner up would be something like this awesome happening on April 18.

1000 Islands Harbor Hotel

If you happen to be near Clayton, New York on April 18 – or have some available last minute travel time – 聽then think about checking into the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel. They’re preparing to take your tastebuds around the world during聽their Seven Continents Dinner!

{images contained herein courtesy of聽1000 Islands Harbor Hotel}

Passport Not Required!!!

1000 Islands Harbor Hotel

Perched on the St. Lawrence River in one of Upstate New York鈥檚 most picturesque getaway destinations, the full-service luxury hotel will host a night inspired by worldly cuisine and culture, pairing distinct regional dishes prepared by Executive Chef Patrick Leibacher with wines that tell the story of each destination.

1000 Islands Harbor Hotel offers 105 deluxe guest rooms and suites, sophisticated dining, and state-of-the-art function space on the St. Lawrence riverfront in the heart of New York鈥檚 spectacular 1000 Islands region. The hotel opened in July 2014 as the third of Buffalo-based Hart Hotels鈥 Harbor Hotels brand, which also includes the Four Diamond-rated Portland Harbor Hotel in Portland, Maine, and Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen, New York. The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel is located at 200 Riverside Drive, Clayton, NY 13624. Call 315-686-1100. For more information, visit www.1000islandsharborhotel.com.

1000 Islands Harbor Hotel

Guests are welcome to turn dinner into a weekend escape and spend the night in luxurious accommodations with river views at a special $99 rate. The quaint town of Clayton puts guests just minutes from renowned vineyards, intriguing shops, exceptional museums and more.

The Seven Continents dinner begins at 6 p.m. and is priced at $75 per person. The menu is as follows:

Africa

Moroccan Chickpea Soup Served With Flatbread

Rustenberg Chardonnay

 

Australia

Lamb Backstrap With Blood Orange Sauce, White Bean Puree and Kalettes

Wild Ride GSM Blend

 

Asia

Free Range Chicken Breast Seasoned With Togarashi and Yuzu Sauce Over

Black Sesame Rice Noodles and Baby Bok Choy

Hakushika Sake Junmai Gingo

 

Antarctica

Gin & Tonic and Lemongrass Shaved Ice With

Lavender Syrup and Candied Lime Wedge

Prejean Late Harvest Vignoles

 

Europe

Berkshire Pork Cheeks With Leek Tartar Over

Creamy Polenta and Broccolini

Honoro Vera Monastrell

 

South America

Caribbean Conch Salad With Plantain and Purple Yam Chips

Casa Patronalas Sauvignon Blanc

 

North America

Crispy Long Island Duck Breast With Fig Molasses

Served Over Farro Salad and Rainbow Carrots

Sheldrake Cabernet Franc

 

For dinner reservations contact Heather in sales at 315-686-1100. Reservations are required. Price does not include tax and gratuity. For more information visit www.1000IslandsHarborHotel.com.

 

Fall In Love Again In Portugal

Martinhal Beach Resort’s 聽Sunny Valentine鈥檚 Day Specials

Sagres, Portugal- With warm temperatures, sweeping natural vistas, and a romantic package, Martinhal Beach Resort and Hotel has all the fixings to make this Valentine鈥檚 Day an unforgettable one. And, all that is set on the sandy Atlantic beaches of the Western Algarve in Portugal.

The Martinhal Valentine鈥檚 day package includes lodging, breakfast, a special three-course Valentine鈥檚 Day dinner, a hour-long massage for two at the Finisterra Spa, access to the facilities at Finisterra Spa, and an hour-long tennis court use per day.

Room options range from hotel rooms, each equipped with private balconies or terraces, or family-friendly villas. Hotel rooms and one bedroom villas start at $450 for one night or $600 for two nights. Two bedroom villas start at $600 for one night and $775 for two nights.

Hotel-Martinhal-drink-on-the-balcony-of-a-roomMartinhal offers an outstanding level of high-quality of service with family-friendly amenities. Muliple programs are offered for children, including activities though the Kids Club and special seating arrangements for younger travelers at all of the restaurants. These services allow parents to enjoy the best of both worlds- a couples getaway and family time in paradise.

Martinhal Beach Resort and Hotel, located on the unspoiled beaches of Western Algarve in Portugal, is a perfect destination with temperatures ranging from 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, golden beaches, and crystal blue waters. Neighbouring a protected national park, Martinhal Beach Resort and Hotel offers serene, untouched landscapes with all the amenities of a luxury, five-star resort. Couples and families can retreat and reconnect in the elegant and relaxed atmosphere of Martinhal. Visit www.martinhal.com.

5 Tips to Save on Lodging

When it comes to travel, the biggest cost usually comes from accommodations. Depending on a few factors (date of travel, number in your party, destination etc…) it could be possible to save hundreds on your travel accommodations. Don’t jump on the first discounted rate you find or settle for a roach motel. Instead, use these tips to save on accommodations.

Save Big on Travel: 5 Tips to Save on Accommodations

Save Big on Travel: Accommodations Edition

Think Outside the Box – When people think of travel accommodations the first thought tends to be hotel. Did you know聽there are many other hotel alternatives? Not every option is right for everyone, but chances are you’ll find at least 1 that fits your needs and聽will help聽you聽save on accommodations.

See my list of hotel alternatives for more resources.

Look Around – Just because you’re trip is to a big city doesn’t mean you have to stay in said big city. Prices are much higher in major cities as opposed to nearby towns. Use Google Maps (or something similar) to see what’s nearby your destination. Do a search for hotels in neighboring towns and notice the price difference. It’s like Vegas – you’re going to pay 3x more for accommodations on the strip than you would elsewhere.

Once you find a nearby town, use a site like TripAdvisor.com to search for the hotel’s in that town. See what others have to say.

This option may not be cheaper in the long run. Travelling from point A to point B can be expensive (which is why hotels in major areas cost more – convenience.) If you’re in an area that offers rail service or something similar (or if 聽you’re driving and it’s not too far away), then yes! If taxi’s are your primary source of transportation to and fro then the costs could really add up.聽

Be Flexible – Travelling to New Orleans for Mardi Gras may be on your bucket list but it’s also not going to be cheap. Choosing to travel during the off season will go above and beyond to save on accommodations. Not only will you save money by travelling in the off seasons but you’ll avoid the nerve wrecking crowds and jacked up prices of, well, everything.

A simple Google search will quickly tell you when the best time to travel to a certain location is.

Get Discounts & Rewards – There are many loyalty programs out there that offer discounts and rewards to help save on accommodations. Many hotels offer reward and credit聽cards (like the Marriott Rewards庐 Premier Credit Card or the The Choice Privileges庐 Visa庐 Card) that earn you rewards and get you discounts at the chain.

AAA members聽receive discounts at more than聽58,000 hotels worldwide.

If you are a student, teacher, alumni, military personnel, government employee or emergency worker chances are you’ll get a discount.

See the most聽popular Hotel Rewards Programs here.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for a Better Deal – There are almost always deals hidden away in the schematics of a business. Top secret ways to save on accommodations are only a phone call away. Don’t be afraid to call the hotel or other location and inquire about a better rate. Reach out to area hotels & accommodators and inquire about a special rate just for a loyal fan. The worst they can do is say no!

A quick Google search will return the social media accounts you are looking for

Tell me:聽What tips do you have to save on accommodations?

Save Big on Travel: 5 Hotel Alternatives

When a hotel isn’t in the budget or just doesn’t fit your wants/needs there are options to still travel and not be聽homeless.聽Here is a collection of hotel alternatives.

Hostels:

hostel Hotel Alternatives

If you can get past the movie then hostels may be a viable option as hotel alternatives. A hostel is basically a dorm environment minus the college tuition. Hostel’s are usually very affordable and there can be some great memories made. Or you can get hacked to bits like in the movie…

Hostel Pros:

  • Very low cost.聽Depending on the area, you can expect to pay between $8 and $40 per night in a hostel.
  • They are virtually everywhere. Most major cities have at least 1 hostel.
  • Meet new people. You are guaranteed to meet new people when you choose hostels as hotel alternatives.

Hostel Cons:

  • Little to no privacy. When you stay in a hostel you are staying a dorm environment. You have bunkmates and the bathroom will usually be occupied when you need it the most.
  • Possible curfew. Isn’t the point of growing up to not have a curfew? Some hostels implement curfews and if you’re out when that time comes then you’re also out of luck.
  • Meet new people. Let’s face it, some people just suck. Thieves, murderers, abusers – you never know who you’ll run into when you stay at a hostel.

Find a hostel using a site like聽hostels.com聽or Googling “find a hostel”

 

Vacation Home Rentals

Vacation-Home Hotel Alternatives

If you’ve ever lived in or visited a popular tourist area you’ve most likely laid eyes on the glorious vacation homes.

Vacation Home Rental聽Pros:

  • Privacy. When you choose vacation rentals as hotel alternatives you get the house to yourself. No prying eyes or ears, unless the home has pesky neighbors.
  • Possibly save money. Since you’ll have access to a {usually} fully loaded kitchen you can possibly save money on the cost of food. This doesn’t help much if you’re like my brother and burn water.
  • You can “live it up”.聽If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live in an extravagant home now is your chance. Without the mortgage!

Vacation Home Rental Cons:

  • Expensive. Vacation home rentals can be very pricey – especially during tourist season.
  • Repairs may not happen. Vacation home rentals aren’t staffed like hotels so if something breaks it may not get fixed while you’re there. Bringing (or being) your own personal handyman can alleviate this problem!
  • You still have to clean. When you rent a vacation home you generally put down a deposit. This can be a hefty fee and the only way to get it back is by leaving the home in the condition it was when you arrived. Cleaning on vacation?!

Find a Vacation Home Rental using a site like FlipKey.com or聽Googling “find a聽Vacation Home Rental”

 

Home Exchanges

Home Swap Hotel Alternatives

Have you ever watched the movie聽The Holiday with聽 Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black and Jude Law? That聽movie is聽based on a home exchange. If you haven’t watched it and enjoy romantic themed movies, watch it! Granted not every home exchange will end with finding ones聽true love聽but you’ll save money and have an experience of a lifetime nonetheless.

Home Exchange聽Pros:

  • It’s free. You aren’t paying for the accommodations so you’ll have money to allocate to other goodies.
  • First hand experience of local culture. Hotels are so impersonal; staying in someones home is very personal. The decor alone may give you an inside glimpse at the local culture.
  • Your Home isn’t abandoned.聽Empty homes are big targets for robbers. Having the peace of mind that someone in your home while you’re away can be priceless.

Home Exchange聽Cons:

  • Strangers will be in your home. I’m not overly comfortable with strangers being in my house when I’m home, let alone when I’m not! Curiosity can get the best of people so if you have skeletons in your closet you may want to relocate them ASAP.
  • Expect the unexpected. You really don’t know what you’re going to come home to or what you’re going “home” to.
  • It can take forever. Finding the “perfect match” for a home exchange can take a very long time. I wouldn’t recommend planning a trip around this option until an exchange has been agreed upon.

Find a home exchange using a site like聽homeexchange.com聽or聽Googling “find a hostel”

 

Hospitality Exchanges

Hospitality Exhange Hotel Alternatives

Much like staying with friends and family, a hospitality exchange is normally free of charge. Only with strangers.

Hospitality Exchange Pros:

  • It’s free. Usually.
  • Your own personal tour guide (maybe). Your new聽roommate聽can show you all the local haunts and attractions without leaving you feeling like a total tourist.
  • Make new friends. Some leave a hospitality exchange with a new BFF. Future visits may be inevitable.

Hospitality Exchange聽Cons:

  • The couch may not be comfy. It’s not likely you’ll receive the most luxurious accommodations with a hospitality exchange. Usually it’s a couch or a futon in a spare room.
  • It can be an uncomfortable environment. When you’re thrown into living with a stranger or strangers it can be uncomfortable. Not knowing much about them can leave you feeling very uneasy.
  • There may berules. Of course people want to be respected and set ground rules, but some people can go overboard.

Find available hospitality exchanges using a site like couchsurfing.org or Googling “find a hospitality exchange”

 

Inns and Bed & Breakfasts

5 Hotel Alternatives

Inns and B&B’s are probably my favorite hotel alternatives. Not only do you avoid tons of people, but they seem to let you experience more of the destinations culture. Most Inns and Bed & Breakfasts are operated by area locals who can give you inside tips to make your travels even better.

Inns and Bed & Breakfast聽Pros:

  • Get insider tips. There’s no one who knows your destination like the locals.
  • Fill your belly. Food is provided by the innkeepers and there’s usually plenty to go around.
  • Leave with a unique experience under your belt. First hand experiences are the best. When you have access to local cultures and customs the experiences are definitely one of a kind.

Inns and Bed & Breakfast聽Cons:

  • Innkeepers can be nosy. They’ll most likely ask a lot of questions and while they probably don’t mean any harm it can be annoying.
  • The food may be bad. Not everyone can make grandpa’s waffles, so don’t set out expecting to be wow’d by the meals provided. They could, of course, surprise you and win over your tumy.
  • May have curfews. Their house, their rules. Many Inns and B&B’s institute a curfew and if so you may be stuck on the streets if you’re not back in time.

Find an Inn聽or聽Bed & Breakfast using a site like or聽Googling “find an Inn”聽or “find a聽Bed & Breakfast”

Tell Me: Have you tried any of these聽hotel alternatives?