Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nine global travel ideas for autumn and winter

Argentina Sizzles

The Hilton Buenos Aires is offering a Totally Tango experience in Argentina. The package starts at $245/night and includes deluxe accommodations; daily breakfast for two; one tango lesson for two at the International Academy of Dance & Arts; two tickets to a dinner-show at Esquina Carlos Gardel, including transportation; two tickets to the World Tango Museum; access to the hotel's gym, sauna and pool.

For an additional $600 a night, or $845, guests can enjoy the newly-renovated corner suites that include two rooms, two plasma TVs, home theater, DVD player, large dressing area, separate work area and panoramic views of the city.

If you're more comfortable hanging out with canines, the Hilton Sao Paulo Morumbi is catering to canine-conflicted couples with the No More Doggy Drama getaway package.

According to a recent Life/AOL poll, at least 30% of pet owners spend more time with their pet than with their spouse/partner!

The pooch package starts at $575 per night and includes deluxe accommodations; daily breakfast for two; daily doggy day care from 8 AM to 7 PM; three dog walks per day; and two spa treatments per person per day, including a 30-minute facial and a one-hour massage.
Note: Dogs don't have to be quarantined before arriving in Brazil, as long as the country's documentation requirements are met. Dog can weigh no more than 22 pounds.

Good Shopping in British Columbia

Accent Inns' Shopaholics Package
in Burnaby, British Columbia is a bargain hunters deal: a room rate of $89 CDN (about $80 US) per night; free parking; complimentary newspaper and local calls; a fitness center and hot tub; and shopping discount cards.

Walk to such factory outlets as Roots, Stormtech/Champion, Winners and HomeSense. Costco and Ikea are less than 15 minutes away by car. Or take the new Skytrain from Gilmore Station, just steps from the hotel, for a quick trip to downtown Vancouver.

For reservations, call 800.663.0298 or visit

New York's Carlton Hotel Reopens

Following a multi-million dollar renovation and refurbishment, the 316-room Carlton Hotel on Madison Avenue reopened its doors in October with a swank new look that marries Old World elegance with modern New York.

Mahogany furnishings, earth tone fabrics and wall treatments and plush new bedding with duvets and soft pillows are featured. Spacious and elegant bathrooms offering Penhaligon's bath products round out the luxury. Apple iHome alarm clocks allow guests to dock their personal iPod's and listen to their own music.

The Beaux Arts structure is located in Midtown South Manhattan between Gramercy Park and Murray Hill neighborhoods. Recently it was included as only one of 50 hotels in the Michelin Red Guide 2007 New York City: Restaurants & Hotels. Country Restaurant, owned and operated by Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, was awarded one star in the guide.

Portland's Hotel deLuxe Welcomes Shoppers

Here's another Shop-o-holics package! This one is offered by the "new" Hotel deLuxe in Portland, Oregon (it's the former Mallory Hotel).

The shopping package includes overnight accommodations; two bottles of water and two $5 Starbucks gift cards; two Sobe No Fear Energy Drinks; a $50 Pioneer Place Mall gift card; and a bottle of white wine and peppermint foot lotion when you're finished shopping! Rates begin at $215 a night.

For a listing of events in Portland this fall and winter and information about the Portland Big Deal, click here.

Off-Season Camping

Just because the warm, sunny days are over doesn't mean you can't go camping. Or modified camping. This is the quiet time of the year in the Washington State Parks and rates are as low as $40 per night (sleeping 6) in heated yurts, cabins and other rustic shelters. Or stay in an all-comfort vacation home, starting at $65 per night.

For RV users, there are as many as 6,500 RV sites in 75 parks throughout Washington, and most of them are open year-round. New facilities include cabins at Camano Island and Kitsap Memorial state parks, a fire lookout at Mount Spokane State Park and yurts at Seaquest State Park. Make your reservations by clicking here.

Ski Free in New Hampshire

The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire is offering a Ski Free Package for only $79 per night from Sundays to Thursdays in January.

The package includes lodging, breakfast, lift tickets for downhill skiing and trail passes for cross-country skiing. The hotel is located on 15,000 private acres in the Great North Woods of New Hampshire's majestic White Mountains. The package rate is per person per night based on double occupancy. Promo code for this package is SKIFREE.

Miss Otis Regrets in San Francisco: No Elevator?

If you're looking for some exercise and also saving a few dollars on a hotel room in San Francisco, head for The Mosser Hotel. The downtown hotel is installing a really FAST elevator, but that means there will be no elevator from Nov. 15, 2006 to Jan. 10, 2007.

No problem! Room rates will plummet at that time from $35 for a single with shared bath to $75 for a single or double with a private bath. Also, they promise to hire extra bellmen to carry everybody's bags (and they'll fill up the lowest floors first).

The Mosser Hotel is a member of Kerry Hotels, with properties in California, Dallas, London, New Orleans, Portland, Seattle, Florida, New York and London.

Germany's "Magic Cities"

On the runway in Germany's Magic Cities this fall are unusual shopping environments. Think promenades, passageways, historic buildings and futuristic, glass arcades.

The cities of Germany's nine-member city alliance (Berlin, Cologne, Dresden, Duesseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannnover, Munich and Stuttgart) are brimming with luxurious shopping and trendy fashions in unusual venues.

In 2007 Berlin's luxury department store, KaDeWe, celebrates its 100th anniversary. Renzo Piano's new Peek & Cloppenburg department store or Weststadthaus in Cologne is a civic monument to shopping.

I was in Duesseldorf in May and the shopping is big and bold. Stroll along the Konigsallee or "Koe" as the locals call it --- here are the big names in the fashion world. Along the east side of the street (separated by a canal, pictured above) you'll find elegant stores, galleries and cafes; on the west side of the boulevard are most of the country's big banks.

is another German city I visited, and its glass covered shopping arcades and promenades give the feeling that you're outdoors, even though you're inside. The Levantehaus, with its Steiff Teddy Bear Gallery, is a fun place to shop.

Girlfriend Getaways in Victoria, British Columbia

The Magnolia Hotel & Spa, a Euro-style boutique hotel in Victoria on Vancouver Island, has a fall package to pamper stressed out women. It's perfect for sharing with your mom, sister or maybe a gaggle of girlfriends.

The Women of Accomplishment package rates begin at $193 CAD (about $172 US) per person for one night and include a You Deserve It facial at Spa Magnolia; a book of your choice from the independently owned Munro's Books; Victoria's Rogers' Chocolates and wine.

Photos by Sue Frause 


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