How to Save Big on NYC Hotels
After the onslaught of travel that defines November and December, January is a notoriously slow month for the hotel industry. It’s a challenge that restaurants face, too, so as a solution, cities like Chicago, New York City, Santa Monica, Kansas City, Asheville, and Oakland offer Restaurant Week, when you can get three-course prix fixe meals at a wide variety of restaurants for a jaw-dropping price. Nancy Friedman took her cues from that movement when she launched Hotel Week NYC in 2012. This year’s takes place from January 5 through 15.
17 PARTICIPATING HOTELS
New York is the leading American city for hotel construction, Friedman says, with 55 projects in the works, which translates into nearly 140,000 rooms. Bargain hotel rates aren’t impossible to find in Manhattan on any given day, but Hotel Week offers some pretty exciting steals, mainly because most of the 17 participating hotels are independently owned boutique hotels, the kind that garner attention because of their singular design focus or special amenities.
UNIQUE EXPERIENCES AT GREAT PRICES
In fact, part of what makes Hotel Week exciting is that it features hotels that are experiences in and of themselves. To whit: a night in the Library Hotel near Grand Central Station, which features books of a different category of the Dewey Decimal system on each of the ten floors, is yours for a cool $200. Same goes for Hotel 50 Bowery, which boasts a lively lobby restaurant with food by “Top Chef” competitor Dale Talde and a rooftop bar with knockout views; the Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District, which features a heated rooftop pool (yes, it’s open in the wintertime) and a lively bar that's popular among locals; the centrally located, ultra-stylish Refinery Hotel, which is designed to winkingly play up the building’s former incarnation as a hat factory; and the James Hotel, part of the super-chic and elegant James Hotel—NoMad. And that’s just to name a few.
AN AFFORDABLE STAYCATION FOR NEW YORKERS
As far as Friedman sees it, in addition to catering to the countless tourists that visit, Hotel Week is a prime opportunity for locals to indulge in a staycation. “There isn’t anywhere you can find 24-hour entertainment that’s as enjoyable and relaxing as staying in a hotel. No better vacation than getting out of house and having someone make your bed, you don’t have to clean up and it’s okay to throw your clothes on the floor. They you can go down for a drink at night or breakfast in the morning and you don’t have to prepare a thing.”
Cheap Flights for Christmas and New Year's
No plans for the holidays? No problem. Our friends at Skyscanner.com have got big plans for you: They’ve crunched the numbers on Christmas and New Year’s airfares to deliver some truly amazing deals. Your only challenge will be to pick one of these dreamy destinations and book now. CHRISTMAS 2017 FLIGHTS UNDER $400 Houston, TX, to Los Angeles, CA (December 23 – 27). When a city is named for angels and nicknamed Tinseltown, you’d better believe it’s a sweet place to sing “White Christmas” (in fact, Irving Berlin wrote that iconic song in Los Angeles). From the Hollywood Christmas Parade to the L.A. County tree lighting to festivals of lights and music all over Southern California (not to mention the year-round warm beaches, diversity of world-class cuisine, and gorgeous museums), we heartily recommend flying west for the holidays. Washington, DC, to Miami, FL (December 24 – 28). When all you want for Christmas is a sunny beach, Miami delivers. The decidedly design-forward city is brimming with tree-lighting celebrations, holiday sand sculptures, and its always-vibrant medley of cultures and cuisines. Miami, FL, to Denver, CO (December 24 – 29). Ready for a real Winter Wonderland? Your holiday vacation in Denver can include the city’s great museums and public spaces, and a drive up into the Rocky Mountains will put you at the epicenter of Colorado’s epic skiing scene. Orlando, FL, to Salt Lake City, UT (December 24 – 29). Craft beer, amazing choral music, and jaw-dropping mountain trails just outside of town for skiing and snowshoeing make Salt Lake City one of America’s most welcoming holiday cities. Atlanta, GA, to New York, NY (December 23 – 28). You’ve seen NYC decked out in its holiday finery on TV, now drop in for a first-hand experience. From storybook store-window displays to the towering tree at Rockefeller Center, from the timeless grace of The Nutcracker ballet to uptown jazz and gospel celebrations, the Big Apple is welcoming more visitors than ever before. NEW YEAR’S 2017/18 FLIGHTS UNDER $400 Chicago, IL, to Charleston, SC (December 30 – January 7). For a taste of delicious Low Country cuisine, a charming small-town feel, and streets and public spaces that feel like a trip back in time, Charleston is one of our favorite mid-size cities, and its holiday displays, concerts, and unique shopping opportunities will charm you, too. Dallas, TX to San Francisco, CA (December 30 – January 5). A New Year’s Eve stroll through Golden Gate Park to the Pacific Ocean is one of the sweetest ways to say buh-bye to 2017. And San Francisco’s mild winter climate, exceptional wine and food (on every corner), and buzzy party scene make it one of the coolest places to ring in the New Year. Boston, MA, to West Palm Beach, FL (December 30 – January 5). For a warm beach escape with personal pampering available everywhere you turn, Palm Beach is a great spot to catch up with loved ones, eat and drink to whatever extent you like, and drink in the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean. Miami, FL, to Las Vegas, NV (December 30 – January 4). New Year’s Eve. Sin City. Any questions? Detroit, MI to New York, NY (December 30 – January 4). Everything we love about NYC at Christmas is available over the New Year’s weekend as well, and, if Times Square at midnight is on your bucket list, Skyscanner has found a way to get there for a price that won’t break the bank. Skyscanner is a travel search site offering a comprehensive range of flight, hotel, and car rental deals. Skyscanner’s Christmas deals and New Year’s deals are subject to change as we get closer to the holidays.
Jump on These Black Friday & Cyber Monday Travel Sales
With money-saving Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals extending throughout late November and early December, now is one of the best times of year to find bargains on hotels, package tours, and other travel experiences. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite Black Friday and Cyber Monday travel sales and we’ve organized them into tropical bargains, warm American beaches, great American getaways, international travel you can actually afford, and some incredible sales from major hotel chains. Please note that some Black Friday and Cyber Monday web links won’t be active until the date that the sale begins, and most deals are for specific travel periods and may be based on availability and may involve minimum stays and blackout dates. Happy travels! TROPICAL BARGAINS Aruba Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa & Casino: Save 25 percent, plus parents can save 50 percent off a second room when traveling with children 18 and under. Sale dates: November 27 to 30. Bahamas Grand Lucayan, Grand Bahama Island: Cyber Monday rates starting at $91 per person, a $50 spa credit, and more. Sale dates: November 23 to 30; reference code BLKFR when booking. Dominican Republic Casa de Campo Resort & Villas: 35 percent off and up to 50 percent off villas. Sale dates: November 24 to November 27. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Punta Cana: Up to 40 percent off deluxe room rates. Sale dates: November 20 to 27. Mexico The Westin Los Cabos Resort Villas & Spa: 20 percent discount for stays between December 7 and January 15 (blackout dates: December 25 to 31). UNICO 20’87 Hotel, Riviera Maya: Up to 20 percent off an all-inclusive stay for two. Sale dates: November 20 to 27. Mahekal Beach Resort, Playa del Carmen: Up to 50 percent savings. Sale dates: November 16 to December 8. Hacienda Encantada Resort & Residences and Marina Fiesta Resort & Spa, Los Cabos: Up to 50 percent savings, with up to 60 percent savings for a hotel and flight package. Sale dates: November 23 to 27. Turks & Caicos Sailrock Resort, South Caicos: 50 percent off beachfront villas. Sale dates: November 24 to 27. The Somerset on Grace Bay: 30 percent off a villa vacation. Sale dates: November 20 to 29. WARM AMERICAN BEACHES Florida The Don CeSar, St. Pete Beach: Up to 45 percent off the lowest available room rates. Sale dates: November 24 to December 1. The Brazilian Court Hotel, Palm Beach: Up to 25 percent off, plus a complimentary upgrade, and free parking. Sale date: November 27. The Gates Hotel Key West and 24° North Hotel: A wedding deal gives newlyweds a complimentary three-night stay when they book their wedding at the new 12,105-square-foot event lawn. Sale dates: November to 27; email email@example.com. Pelican Grand Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale: 25 percent off the best available rate and a $50 resort credit when guests book two nights. Sale dates: November 27 to 30. The Gates Hotel South Beach, Miami Beach: 20 percent off, plus two welcome drinks at check-in. Sale dates: November 24 to 27. Hawaii Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu: 30 percent off rooms. Sale dates: Now through November 28. GREAT AMERICAN GETAWAYS Arizona Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale: Up to 50 percent off lowest available rates. Sale dates: November 24 to December 1. The Wigwam: 50 percent off its best available rate with a minimum two-night stay. Sale dates: November 24 and November 27. California Carmel Mission Inn, Carmel-by-the-Sea: Complimentary welcome drinks for two and complimentary breakfast for two. Sale dates: November 24 to 30; use loyalty code CM. Colorado The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs: Up to 50 percent off lowest available rates. Sale dates: November 24 to December 1. Illinois The Talbott Hotel, Chicago: Up to 40 percent off the best available rates. Sale dates: November 23 to 29. JW Marriott Chicago: 15 off room rates. Sale dates: November 24 to 27. The Godfrey Hotel Chicago: $89 per night, plus 20 percent off at the hotel’s Dolce Italian restaurant. Sale dates: November 27 to December 1. The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago: 15 percent off the lowest available room rates. Sale dates: November 22 through 27. Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Chicago: Up to 40 percent off. Sale dates: November 27 to 29. Louisiana NOPSI New Orleans, a Salamander Hotel: 50 percent off lowest available rates. Sale dates: November 24 to December 1. Maine The Kennebunkport Resort Collection (KRC): Gift card discounts include a $100 resort credit for the purchase of a $500 gift card, and a $25 resort credit for purchase of a $200 gift card. Sale date: November 27. Massachusetts The Godfrey Hotel Boston: 50 percent off. Sale dates: November 24 to 27. Hotel Commonwealth, Boston: $100/night (more than a 50 percent savings). Sale date: November 27 at 10 a.m. EST, concluding at 11:40 a.m. (100 minutes); use offer code Score100. Minnesota Radisson Blu Mall of America, Bloomington: 35 percent savings off the best available rates. Sale date: November 27; use promo code CYBER. Missouri Hotel Phillips, Kansas City: 20 percent off, plus complimentary breakfast for two. Sale date: November 27. New Jersey Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City: 25 percent off Classic Rooms and 35 percent off Flore Suites. Sale dates: November 26 to 30; use promo codes CYB79 (for rooms) and CYB109 (for suites). The Asbury, Asbury Park (Budget Travel’s Coolest Small Town in America 2017): 50 percent off. Sale dates: November 24 to December 1; use code CYBERSTAY. New Mexico La Fonda, Santa Fe: Up to 30 percent off lowest available rates. Sale dates: November 24 to December 1. Sunrise Springs Spa Resort, Santa Fe: 30 percent off stays, plus, for those traveling with dogs, one free private “puppy play session,” part of the resort’s “animal interactions” program. Sale dates: November 27 to December 4. New York Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC: Up to 35 percent off (depending on the day of your stay, with discounts ranging from 10 percent for Fridays and Saturdays to 35 percent for Sundays). Sale dates: November 24 to 27; find promo codes on the hotel’s social media accounts, @Gansevoort. Hotel Saranac, Lake Saranac: $90 credit at the hotel’s salon and spa, food and beverage venues, and retail shops, and a portion of the credit can be used toward the nightly rate. Sale date: November 27. The Maritime Hotel, New York City: $208/night. Sale date: November 27; use code MANICMONDAY. Executive Hotel Le Soleil New York: 20 percent off. Sale dates: November 27 to December 3; use promo code CYBER. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, New York City: Buy one ticket, get one free. Sales date: November 27; use code BOGO17. New York Water Taxi, New York City: $17 tickets (more than a 40 percent savings) for ferry rides including an all-day access pass, Statue of Liberty Express, and Statue by Night cruises. Sale date: November 27; use code CYBER 17. Box House Hotel Group, Greenoint, Brooklyn: 20 percent off. Sale date: November 27; use promo code CYBERBOXHOUSE. Vermont Hotel Vermont, Burlington: Rates starting at $129. Sales date: November 27; use promo code CYBER. Woodstock Inn & Resort, Woodstock: Up to 50 percent off standard rates. Sale dates: November 27. Kimpton Taconic, Manchester: Book a deluxe room for $201.50 and get a second night free. Sale date: November 27 from 11:27 a.m. to 1:19 p.m. EST. Virginia Williamsburg Inn, Williamsburg: Up to 30 percent off lowest available rates. Sales dates: November 24 to December 1. The Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs: $99 ski passes. Sale date: November 27. Washington, D.C. The Jefferson: Up to 40 percent off lowest available rates. Sale dates: November 24 to December 1. Fairfax at Embassy Row: Up to 30 percent off lowest available rates. Sale dates: November 24 to December 1. Wyoming Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson: Book a two-night stay and get the third night free, plus 50 percent off a massage at the ranch’s spa. Sale date: November 27. INTERNATIONAL TRIPS YOU CAN ACTUALLY AFFORD United Kingdom One Aldwych, London: Get three nights for the price of two. Sale dates: November 24 to 27 (Greenwich Mean Time). Dukes, London: 40 percent off. Sale date: November 24 (Greenwich Mean Time). Italy NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi: Up to 30 percent off lowest available rates. Sale dates: November 24 to December 1. NH Collection Florence Porta Rossa, Florence: Up to 30 percent off lowest available rates. Sale dates: November 24 to December 1. NH Collection Venice Palazzo Barocci, Venice: Up to 30 percent off lowest available rates. Sale dates: November 24 to December 1. Package Tours Intrepid Travel: 15 percent off more than 1,000 trips, including a 9-day tour of Peru, 8-day “best of Jamaica,” and 14-day “real food adventure” in Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Territories. Sale dates: November 20 to 30. HOTEL BOOKING DEALS Budget Travel’s Book a Hotel page: Always a good place to save money on hotels around the world, not only during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but every other day of the year. Pacifica Hotels: 40 percent off rooms at 26 California hotels. Sale date: November 27, PST; use promo code CYBER. Loews Hotels: 20 percent off. Sale dates: November 27 to 29. Hotels.com: Up to 50 off. Sale dates: November 21 to 29.
Where to Find the Best Pizza in America
MIDWESTERN PIZZA: CHICAGO-STYLE AND BEYOND "Pizzeria Uno on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Birthplace of Chicago-style." —James Michalek "In Chicago, I head to Lou Malnati's for famous deep dish pizza." —@SheilaS "Classic Slice in Bay View, WI (Milwaukee)." —Jill Gronowski Czajkowski "We love the pizza at Dough Trader Pizza in Spearfish, South Dakota. Yummy sourdough crust from start that is 100 years old. It is pizza to die for." —Cheryl Wyckoff Smith "In Chicago, Eduardo's." —Michelle Buchecker "Imo's Pizza in St. Louis. Delicious!" —Reesa Lehr "Pizza Shoppe in Kansas City, near Liberty, Missouri. The crust has the right amount of crunch with great sauce that compliments any toppings." —Mamie Kuhl "In Chicago, Lou Malnati's, and in Madison, Grampa's Pizzeria." —Sher BonDurant "Gino's East in Chicago." —Alisha Nicole "The Art of Pizza in Chicago. Best deep dish in the city, hands down." —Jennifer Hayes "Alibi in Troy, Michigan." —Denise Martin-Capling "In Chicago, Pequods Pizza. The caramelized crust is awesome." —Kanya Babu IS THE NORTHEAST AMERICA'S PIZZA CHAMP? "Federici's [Family Italian Restaurant] in Freehold, NJ. My parents had their first date there in 1950." —Carol Davison "Patzeria Perfect Pizza on West 46th Street near Broadway in NYC. It is literally a hole in the wall consisting of a counter and four seats, but the pizza and cheesecake are fabulous! New York Style at its best. We stop there every year during our annual trip to NYC." —Michelle Persinger Caruthers "Louie and Ernie's, in the Bronx, is my favorite pizza in NYC." —Robert Firpo-Cappiello "Pepe's in New Haven." —Michele Herrmann "Lombardi's on Spring Street in Manhattan." —Alex Chan "Al Capone's in Downtown Boston. Their subs are outta this world also!" —Denise Keats "Grimaldi's. They have several locations, but the best is in Brooklyn." —Lisa Gordon Liff "Pizza Land in North Arlington, NJ. Soprano's Pizza." —Ana Rosa "Benny Tudino's in Hoboken, NJ." —Lori Schmidt Ernest "Pizza Wagon in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NYC." —Michelle DiGaetano "Santarpio's Pizza, in East Boston, near the airport." —Mike Buscetto "Rowayton Pizza in Rowayton, CT! You can sit outside in the summer, it's BYOB and you can smell the salt air. Divine!" —Kelsey Leigh Williams "Lobingers in PA." —Kerry McAllister "Stanziato's in Danbury, Connecticut." —Kristy Anderson Boiano "Alfredo's Pizza in Bally, PA. Greasy, foldable, and delicious. The best." —Anita Ling Vanzile "Pizzeria Regina in Boston's North End." —Gina Cali "Sally's in New Haven." —Kelly Jameson Walker "American Flatbread in Burlington, VT. Mack's Pizza in Wildwood, NJ." —Rich Brown "Stone Harbor Pizza in Stone Harbor, NJ." —Marilyn Capolarella Currey "Pino's Pizza in Cleveland Circle, Boston." —Michael P. Nasser "Paras Pizza in Sanford, Maine." —Cathy T. Bradbury SOUTHWESTERN-STYLE PIZZA "Dion's Pizza in Albuquerque. The salads there are awesome too!" —Thu Doan "Rome's Pizza in San Antonio, the De Zavala location. Yum. I really miss it (living in Chicago now). Be sure to check out the menu. My favorite pizza is the Tomato Duet. There are other great unique topping combos." —Kim Jones"Oregano's in Gilbert, AZ. So delicious!" —Carrie Collins PIZZA WITH A SOUTHERN ACCENT "DiCarlo's Pizza in Wheeling, WV. Order by the slice or by the tray. Best there is." —Helen Gibbs "Slice Pizzeria in New Orleans on historic Magazine Street near the boutiques, between the Zoo and Garden District." —@Winny_Churchill "Vinnie Van Gogo's in Savannah, GA." —Aubrey Hanson "In Atlanta, it's Antico Pizza or nothing!" —Lauren Hanson Mitchell "Oklahoma City, Plaza District: Empire Pizza is phenomenal. Everything from standard to exotic local flavor combinations. Great price, just over $3 a slice, and you must try adding the pink sauce!" —Holly Fothergill "Primanti Bros. in Fort Lauderdale. Family-owned small chain brought their pizza to Florida. They have a 24-hour shop across the street from the beach. Also have heavy duty sandwiches. Grab some of that great pizza and go and eat it in front of the waves." —JoJo Red THE BEST PIZZA IN THE WEST "I'd like to say I travel the world for pizza, but Blaze Pizza is great and they are headquartered in Pasadena, California, about three miles from my house!" —Shannon McConnell "George's in Brookings, South Dakota. Walk up window!" —Ann Shoup "Gioia in Berkeley, CA." —RuthAnn Yeo "Boston's North End Pizza Bakery (aka Boston Bob's Pizza) in Kailua, HI. We always went there when I was a kid and Bob would put on whatever music we wanted—he always got a kick out of us asking him to play The Beatles!" —Kaeli Conforti" Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco and Gina's Pizza and Pastaria in Corona del Mar, CA." —Julie Hamilton "Big O To Go in Mission Viejo. Same location, same owners for 30 years, and the best fresh ingredients piled high on every pizza." —Pi Scofield "Quei Bravi Ragazzi in Encinitas, CA." —Allison Fraiberg
Why You Should Take All Your Vacation Days This Year
It’s one of the first question people ask when they land a full-time job: how much paid time off do I get? The answer, however, may not actually matter, as according to recent studies, Americans aren’t necessarily taking all the time off they’re given. Chalk it up to fear of looking like you’re not motivated enough or anxiety around of being replaced, or just chalk it up to being on perpetual overload and the fear of drowning in work upon return, but the bottom line is that American workers are essentially handing money over to their employer, and having less fun while they’re at it. AMERICANS DON'T TAKE HALF THEIR VACATION DAYS The average U.S. employee who receives paid vacation has only taken about half (54%) of those days in the past 12 months, according to a survey of more than 2,200 employees, released in May by Glassdoor, a job site. That number hadn’t changed much since 2014, when employees reported taking 51% of allotted days. READ: Lonely Planet's "Best in 2018" Will Surprise and Inspire You This is consistent with Project: Time Off, an initiative funded by the U.S. Travel Association which surveyed 5,600 full-time workers and found that in 2016, more than half (54%) of Americans didn’t use all their vacation days, up dramatically from 42% in 2013. That’s amounts to 662 million vacation days that went unused. A study released by Society for Human Resource Management, a trade organization, dives deeper into the nitty gritty of what PTO actually means. Among organizations that do not allow vacation rollover, 77% report that most employees (81-100%) use all of their vacation days each year. Among these organizations, 64% report an average of up to two unused vacation days and 31% report three to five unused days. Among organizations that allow rollover, 31% indicate that most employees (81-100%) use all of their vacation days each year. One-quarter of these organizations (26%) report an average of up top two unused vacation days, 39% report three to five unused days, and 34% report six or more unused days. READ: Travel 101: Best Credit Cards for Travelers ON VACATION, BUT STILL WORKING But even when Americans use their vacation days, the Glassdoor study found, 66% reported that working during off-time. That’s up from three years ago when that figure was 61%. Project: Time Off delved deeper, finding that 78% of employees want the piece of mind to be able to connect while away. They also found that that preference is not a generational issue. Baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials voiced that attitude 77%, 82% and 75%, respectively. Looks like more Americans need to head to Europe during the vacation time they do take. Europeans legendarily get at least four weeks of paid vacation each year. That’s by law. We can learn a lot from their work ethic.