Travel news, deals and updates for the week of May 11, 2009
AIRLINES & AIRPORTS
Aloha, by Alaska. Starting Nov. 9, Alaska Airlines will fly four times a week between Oakland, Calif., and Kahului, Maui; starting Nov. 10, it will fly three times per week between Oakland and Kona, Hawaii. If you buy a ticket on one of these new routes before May 21, you'll score a one-way fare of just $169.
Business Class Twofer. Get free companion tickets in business class on Openskies from New York City's Kennedy Airport or Newark to Paris or Amsterdam. So, you and your traveling partner can get access to the private lounge before boarding and, once on board, luxury service and lie-flat beds. A round-trip flight to Amsterdam costs $3,400, and to Paris $3,900.
HOTELS & PACKAGES
If the recent flu scare had you longing for isolation, try getting out into the clean, open air minus the crowds at these 10 hotels. Whether your preference is in the mountains, on islands, in the desert or by the ocean, we've got you covered.
Snaefellsnes, Iceland. On a mountainous peninsula about three hours northwest of Reykjavik, the Hotel Budir sits on the edge of a lava field overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Time.com's deputy photo editor, who visited in May, says it feels like the end of the Earth (in a good way). It may be desolate, but there's no shortage of stuff to do: fishing, hiking to a nearby waterfall, climbing a volcano, horseback riding and touring the sea aboard the hotel's boat. The rooms may be on the small side, but the well-appointed lounge, with contemporary art, a fireplace and views of the bay more than make up for it. The restaurant has a gourmet tasting meal that, given the favorable exchange rate, isn't out of reach. Room rates start at $188 per night; the tasting menu starts at $64. IS-365 Snaefellsnes, Iceland; +354-435-6700 (See pictures of luxury private islands.)
Lake Louise, Canada. Overlooking Alberta's Bow Lake and the glaciers beyond it, is Num-Ti-Jah Lodge, a rustic 26-room retreat with stone fireplaces and deer heads mounted on the log-cabin walls. The lodge, which is a two-and-half hour drive from Calgary, is my favorite cozy get-away-from-it-all hotel. No TVs here, just lots of hiking, board games by the fire, good food and fluffy beds to sink into after a long day. There's also a sauna hut out in the woods. Rates start at $215 per night including breakfast, or $392 per night including all meals, until June 11. After that, rates start at $354 per night. Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada; 403-522-2167
Jura, Scotland. The Jura Hotel is the only hotel in the only village on the remote Scottish island of Jura a cozy refuge, where you can tuck into drams of whiskey (the famous Jura distillery is nearby) and roast venison or locally caught lobster. (The island is also where George Orwell wrote the novel 1984.) You can go deer stalking here the deer outnumber the residents and fish or go on pony treks along the moor. Rates start at $55 per night, including breakfast. Isle of Jura, Argyll, Scotland; +496-820243
Galway, Ireland. If you want to feel like a luxuriating Lord, try the four-star Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, the former residence of a co-founder of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The 40-room hotel, which is located on a 450-acre estate in Galway, is most famous as a fly fishing destination, with its salmon and sea trout fishery. If you prefer food with feathers, there's woodcock shooting, and for more peace loving folks, there are plenty of walking and riding trails and wildlife to see. Rates start at $320 per night. Connemara, County Galway, Ireland; +353-95-31006