Palm Springs: A night at Ace Hotel with Baz Luhrmann (sort of)

March 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Director Baz Luhrmann’s movies come to life in “For the Record,” a live cabaret-type show that’s a fusion of film, music and theater. Ace Hotel in Palm Springs will host this production next week and offers a special hotel rate for those who stay overnight. 

The deal: The For the Record package takes 15% off room prices and includes two tickets to the show and a $25 spa credit. Use the promo code “Record” when making a reservation online or by phone.

Actress Ginifer King of “Gypsy” and seven others perform songs from “Romeo and Juliet,” “Strictly Ballroom” and “Moulin Rouge.” Upcoming performances are to feature the films of Quentin Tarantino on June 13 and 14, the Coen brothers on Sept. 12 and 13, and John Hughes on Dec. 12 and 13.

When: The offer is good Wednesday and Thursday night.

Tested: I found availability for a room with two double beds for the discounted rate of $177 (instead of $209) plus tax and fees. The room comes with two tickets to the show ($20 each) plus the spa credit. 

Info: Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, (760) 325-9900

Article source: http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-trb-ace-hotel-palm-springs-20120321,1,213916.story

Thomas Keller leads lineup of star chefs at Pebble Beach festival

March 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Thomas Keller, Jacques Pepin, Roy Choi and more than 70 other chefs will create meals, share cooking techniques, schmooze and even play golf at the fifth Pebble Beach Food Wine festival in Pebble Beach, Calif.

Tickets are expected to sell out for the four-day April event, which has an impressive roster of meals, cooking sessions, wine-tastings and after-hour parties. Spokeswoman Joey Kotick offers these tips on navigating what’s one of the more exclusive food-and-wine festivals in the state.

First-timers might want to watch chef Tom English at an hourlong cooking demonstration to pick up some new techniques and/or enjoy a wine-and-cheese pairing event with cheese expert Laura Werlin ($100 each, unless you buy a pass).

From there, Kotick suggests indulging in a meal, such as the Michelin 3-Star Lunch prepared by Daniel Bolud and Christopher Kostow (pass-holders only), or the Stars of Los Angeles Lunch featuring Michael Cimarusti, Lee Hefter, Rory Hermann and Sherry Yard ($200).

Serious food lovers, who may be festival veterans, probably will want to attend the tribute dinner to chef Thomas Keller of the French Laundry ($1,250) and a wine-tasting of Gaja wines poured by Gaia Gaja, the winemaker’s daughter ($500).

And though the chef and winemaker golf tournament already sold out, anyone may attend to watch the action on the links.

Date: The food event is April 12-15.

Price: Starting at $100 for a single session to $4,750 for a VIP four-day pass. 

Contact: Pebble Beach Food Wine, (866) 907-3663

Article source: http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-trb-pebble-beach-food-wine-20120321,0,1430322.story

Andrew Harper, on his secret identity and a local resort he loves

March 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

As disguises go, a newsletter over the face isn’t a particularly convincing one (see attached photo). But it’s enough for the man who isn’t Andrew Harper.

Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report has been praising and detailing luxurious, exclusive travel for more than three decades. The report recently released its Grand Awards 2012, a list that picked a newcomer to the Southern California resort world as one of the best grand resorts. (You may download the list with  free registration, but subscriptions for print and online editions of the Hideaway Report will set you back $195 to $350 a year.)

It’s written by Andrew Harper, a pseudonym for the real travel writer who doesn’t disclose his identity. Here’s a QA, via email, with the always-incognito Harper, who says his anonymity makes him “unsullied by the special treatment lavished on travel writers and editors who announced in advance their visits to hotels and resorts — and who stayed for free. Hardly a guarantee of honest, unbiased information!” (Los Angeles Times travel writers and editors generally travel anonymously, generally don’t announce their visits and pay for their expenses.)

Q: We never, ever know your true identity?

A: To ensure that Hideaway Report would be free from undue influence, I created the pseudonym Andrew Harper, booked all my travel under my real name, paid full fare on everything and refused to take advertising. Those policies stand today. As the company has grown, I have been lucky enough to assemble a very small cadre of trusted writer/editors with deep travel experience and passion to work with me in creating the monthly Hideaway Report newsletter and its expanded online edition, the Andrew Harper Collection, which is the directory of my favorite hotels and resorts, and the growing digital content on our website.

Q: Has your travel reader changed in light of the recession or do high-end travelers remain steadfast throughout the financial wild ride over the past few years?

A: I am delighted to say that the enthusiasm among our readers for travel has not waned and that, in fact, the Andrew Harper Travel Office had its best year ever in 2011. I have to add that it is a pleasure to write for such a devoted group of people who share my curiosity and love of seeing the world and experiencing it at its best.

Q: Southern California has finally made an appearance at the Hideaway listings with the inclusion of the Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach. What about this particular resort that made it worthy?

A: If I may, I would like to point out that there are other Southern California properties which I recommended, but the Resort at Pelican Hill is the recipient of our 2012 award for Grand Resort.

That said, I was particularly interested in Pelican Hill because of the vision and imagination behind the project. The concept of an Italianate resort in a beautiful setting on the coast intrigued me, to say the least. On my visit, I was impressed by the sophistication of the design not only in the rooms and public spaces but in the overall integration of the resort into the setting. The circular pool, of course, is stunning, and the cuisine and overall service also made a highly favorable impression on me.

Q: What’s upcoming from the Hideaway Report? Any particular trend/lists/etc.? And any plans for online readers to see more of your content?

A: I returned recently from an extensive stay in Chile, where I found several new properties that are of the highest caliber and distinction. Chile, with its incomparable scenery – from the dramatic Atacama desert in the north to the wine country in the Central Valley to the windswept steppes of southern Patagonia – highly developed infrastructure, notable cuisine and superb wines can now take its place as a wonderful destination for the sophisticated traveler.

My full report will be in the March issue of Hideaway Report. As for our online information, more of it is publicly available beyond the “wall” of our exclusive subscriber content than ever before and includes regular postings on Twitter, Facebook and on our blog. You can find all of this at AndrewHarper.com.

Q: Why are you granting an interview now, about a year since your last major media interview?

A: Our membership in California is substantial and growing, and it seemed to me that there would be a good overlap of interests between our readers. And, frankly, I was delighted by your interest in what we are doing! It is an exciting time for travel – despite the difficult economic conditions, new places are opening and people are interested in learning about and experiencing them.

Article source: http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-trb-harpers-hideaway-20130320,1,5154404.story

See Which Travel Rewards Cards Give You The Most Bang For Your Buck

March 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Spring break season may be on its way out, but summer travel deals are already springing up online. 

You can make your travel miles work for you by signing up for a travel rewards credit card if you haven’t already. The tricky part is picking your way through hundreds of options available. 

NextAdvisor.com has done part of the work for you, independently analyzing the biggest cards in travel rewards to find out how rewarding they really are. 

“Sometimes this value can be murky because rewards are given in points or miles, but placing a numerical reward value on each credit card can help users compare the cards side-by-side,” said Tasha Lockyer, senior editor at NextAdvisor.

Article source: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-03-22/news/31223743_1_rewards-summer-travel-deals-flights-at-different-times

Deal of the Week: New Orleans Jazz Fest Vacation

March 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Book your New Orleans Jazz Fest holiday at the last minute with Travelocity

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It’s almost that time of year again. The famed New Orleans Jazz Fest kicks off April 27 and runs through May 6 with an unparalleled lineup of incredible performances from the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty to Herbie Hancock and Al Green, with Florence + The Machine, Esperanza Spalding, and the Eagles in there for good measure. That isn’t even to mention the mass of local food offerings around the festival, from classic New Orleans po’boys to alligator pies and from muffulettas to jambalaya.

Of course, at only a month away, traveling to New Orleans for the festival is becoming less and less realistic.

But Travelocity is running a deal now offering 34 percent off on travel to New Orleans when you book airfare and hotel together. Depending on the departure city and which hotel you choose, prices range from $856 to $3,000. The best deals can be found when departing from East Coast cities, and particularly from Newark, N.J. Los Angeles was by far the priciest departure city we searched, with the lowest prices jumping just above $1,000. But here’s the bottom line: Not only are there actually hotels and flights to be had for Jazz Fest, they are on sale. So take advantage!

If you’re sold, but need a few suggestions on where to eat, we’ve got you covered. We rounded up the best eats in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, can take you on a bar crawl beyond the French Quarter, discovered the 10 best oyster bars in town, and finally, to help those hangovers, we revealed the four best brunch spots in the city. 





Article source: http://www.thedailymeal.com/deal-week-new-orleans-jazz-fest-vacation

Unbeatable Airfare Deals Take Flight at TripAlertz

March 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals


Click to view news release full screen


Lowest Fares are Guaranteed with “Double-the-Difference” Pledge

SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – In time for the summer vacation season, travelers worldwide are guaranteed the best deals on domestic and international flights, thanks to free-to-join discount hotel and airfare site TripAlertz.com. The company today launches a new flight search tool and unprecedented “Double-the-Difference” Airfare Guarantee.

With this groundbreaking new Airfare Guarantee, should travelers find a lower rate for the same itinerary with a public online travel company, TripAlertz.com will not only refund, but double the difference of the fare. Travelers can contact the TripAlertz team within four hours of booking to double their money up to $100 per ticket, with a maximum of a $400 bonus per household or group of associated parties.

“TripAlertz is not just matching, but actually beating the fare prices of other online travel sites. Our search tool uses the ‘private-sale’ rates of airfare wholesalers to provide the best fares – it cannot be outdone,” explains Chairman CEO, Mark Donohue. “We offer particularly large savings on international flights, where our deals can provide $50 to $100 off per ticket on some major routes for coach fares. Travelers can save up to $3,000 per ticket on business or first-class flights, as compared to the numerous public airfare sites. No matter the destination or seat class, customers always get a better rate, since TripAlertz subsidizes $5 toward any ticket purchased as a company marketing cost, even for domestic airfares.”

Beginning this month, TripAlertz will additionally launch a periodic AirAlertz e-newsletter to notify members of the best global airfare deals, thanks to the site’s direct wholesaler relationships combined with TripAlertz reducing its profit margin.

Currently, TripAlertz reaches a private community of more than 10 million travelers worldwide, with member-only discounts on hotels and resorts of 20 to 67 percent off the leading public hotel sites. TripAlertz serves the custom needs of hotel partners by filling empty rooms in weaker occupancy periods, yet does not require “last-minute” booking to realize these great savings.

Signing up for membership in TripAlertz is free and takes seconds. Membership is required to access these unbeatable travel deals, based on rules in the travel industry.

For additional savings, every member that a person refers gains them $5 in TripCash, which can be used toward any of the TripAlertz Exclusive Hotel Offers. Members can also choose to meet other TripAlertz members as they travel, share advice, and create friendships on a private collaboration page, before and after traveling.

For more information on the TripAlertz “Double-the-Difference” Airfare Guarantee and this new flight search experience, visit http://www.TripAlertz.com. For more specific terms and conditions, visit http://www.TripAlertz.com/pages/terms.

MMGY GLOBAL – MEDIA CONTACTS:
Amanda Drake
(727) 420-8395
adrake@mmgyglobal.com

Mary Jane Kolassa
(407) 838-1803
mkolassa@mmgyglobal.com

SOURCE TripAlertz.com

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RELATED LINKS
http://www.TripAlertz.com

Article source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/unbeatable-airfare-deals-take-flight-at-tripalertz-143845046.html

Tingo and BackBid are new online hotel booking sites with a twist

March 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

I’m always looking for better, easier ways to save money on hotel rooms. Tingo and BackBid are two booking sites I haven’t yet tried but plan to. Each has an interesting way of delivering savings in the low-hotel-rate game — and none of them involves William Shatner. If you’ve tried either one, please share your experience in the comments section below. 

Tingo: The website launched Wednesday by the folks who bring you Smartertravel, Bookingbuddy, Airfarewatchdog and OneTime as well as Sniqueaway, the membership-driven travel booking site.

Here’s how Tingo works: Register for free and make a hotel reservation at a price you like. The prices are those you would find on Expedia and other booking sites. If the price on the room goes down for one or all nights of your stay, you get the lower rate and pocket the difference — without doing anything.

Airfarewatchdog’s George Hobica says he made a reservation for a Kimpton hotel in Washington, D.C., and found rates had dropped $22 the next day. Orbitz, by comparison, has a low-price guarantee that will refund the difference if you find the same prepaid room in the same hotel for the same dates at a lower price online.

Tingo gives you the refund if the rate drops just one day of your stay. Of course, the rate might not change at all, so it’s like gambling with nothing to lose.

BackBid: The quirky concept for this online travel site based in Montreal is that you make a reservation and then invite hotels to make you a better offer.

Here’s how BackBid works: You make a standard hotel booking via phone, a travel agency, an online travel company or directly with the hotel — but one that isn’t prepaid. Once you receive confirmation of your reservation, the fun begins.

Fill out a free profile on BackBid and list the amenities you like, how many stars you require your hotel to have and other information. Then add confirmation of the hotel reservation to your account. Hotels in the same area as the one you booked will look at your reservation and your criteria and then offer you a “bid.”

You may get no bids at all. Or you may bet a bid at a lower rate or the same rate with free breakfast and an upgraded room. It’s related to what you say you prefer in creating your profile. If you decide you like one of the bids, you cancel the existing reservation (which is why this doesn’t work for prepaid rooms) and pay in full on the offer you have received. USAToday gave it a test drive with pretty good results. BackBid applies only to hotels throughout the U.S.

What I like about this is that the hotels “bidding” for your business are known quantities, unlike Priceline where you make the offer and only learn of the hotel’s name after you have paid.

Article source: http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-trb-hotel-booking-sites-20120321,1,3100960.story

Unbeatable Airfare Deals Take Flight at TripAlertz

March 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –
In time for the summer vacation season, travelers worldwide are guaranteed the best deals on domestic and international flights, thanks to free-to-join discount hotel and airfare site TripAlertz.com. The company today launches a new flight search tool and unprecedented “Double-the-Difference” Airfare Guarantee.

With this groundbreaking new Airfare Guarantee, should travelers find a lower rate for the same itinerary with a public online travel company, TripAlertz.com will not only refund, but double the difference of the fare. Travelers can contact the TripAlertz team within four hours of booking to double their money up to $100 per ticket, with a maximum of a $400 bonus per household or group of associated parties.

“TripAlertz is not just matching, but actually beating the fare prices of other online travel sites. Our search tool uses the ‘private-sale’ rates of airfare wholesalers to provide the best fares – it cannot be outdone,” explains Chairman CEO, Mark Donohue. “We offer particularly large savings on international flights, where our deals can provide $50 to $100 off per ticket on some major routes for coach fares. Travelers can save up to $3,000 per ticket on business or first-class flights, as compared to the numerous public airfare sites. No matter the destination or seat class, customers always get a better rate, since TripAlertz subsidizes $5 toward any ticket purchased as a company marketing cost, even for domestic airfares.”

Beginning this month, TripAlertz will additionally launch a periodic AirAlertz e-newsletter to notify members of the best global airfare deals, thanks to the site’s direct wholesaler relationships combined with TripAlertz reducing its profit margin.

Currently, TripAlertz reaches a private community of more than 10 million travelers worldwide, with member-only discounts on hotels and resorts of 20 to 67 percent off the leading public hotel sites. TripAlertz serves the custom needs of hotel partners by filling empty rooms in weaker occupancy periods, yet does not require “last-minute” booking to realize these great savings.

Signing up for membership in TripAlertz is free and takes seconds. Membership is required to access these unbeatable travel deals, based on rules in the travel industry.

For additional savings, every member that a person refers gains them $5 in TripCash, which can be used toward any of the TripAlertz Exclusive Hotel Offers. Members can also choose to meet other TripAlertz members as they travel, share advice, and create friendships on a private collaboration page, before and after traveling.

For more information on the TripAlertz “Double-the-Difference” Airfare Guarantee and this new flight search experience, visit
http://www.TripAlertz.com . For more specific terms and conditions, visit
http://www.TripAlertz.com/pages/terms .

MMGY GLOBAL – MEDIA CONTACTS:Amanda Drake(727) 420-8395adrake@mmgyglobal.comMary Jane Kolassa(407) 838-1803mkolassa@mmgyglobal.com

SOURCE TripAlertz.com

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Comtex

Article source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/unbeatable-airfare-deals-take-flight-at-tripalertz-2012-03-22