Thursday, November 19, 2015

Black Friday to Cyber Monday: Vacation Planners Alert

With the whoosh of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday hype blurring the lines between family holiday and the January sale at Harrod's, it's no wonder that travel deals are flying into the many inboxes in our office.  Here is one roundup that just came out on and here are a few more choice ones, of special interest to families.

Sponge Bob poses at his ice cream parlor at the Azul Beach Club, Riviera Maya

Atlantis on Sale! Really?

The big, pink and very fun Atlantis, Paradise Island recently became a Marriott Resort and is now available to all you Marriott Rewards members.

But if you have to pay, it's fortunate that for a full week around Thanksgiving they are offering up to 50% in savings, with rates as low as $128/night. As fans know from our previous visits, Atlantis is famous for its incredible Aquaventure waterpark, beautiful Bahamas beach, and The Dig and Ruins of Atlantis aquariums packed with fish you can study through big glass windows.

The family-vacation mecca also offers tons of recreation options, from tennis to scuba, kids clubs to golf, from swimming with the dolphins to the CRUSH Teen Club. Within the huge resort complex and its marina village, guests will find more than 24 dining experiences, celebrity-chef restaurants, and the largest casino in the Bahamas.

Dubbed the "Black Friday / Cyber Monday" deal, the Atlantis special is available November 24 at midnight through Monday, November 30 (Cyber Monday) and includes a resort credit up to $500 when booking a four-night minimum stay. This once-a-year-deal is valid for travel between December 1, 2015 through November 22, 2016 (blackout dates apply.)

Beach Dreaming in Los Angeles

Maybe southern California is more your speed?  Vacation planners who think quick can catch the Shore Hotel’s “Cyber Monday” sale starting November 30, 2015 and running only for 72 hours. Satisfy your need for some sun and save by getting 30% off a partial ocean view room when booked between November 30 and December 2, 2015. Once booked at using the promo code “CYBER,” you'll need to use the room between the dates December 1, 2015 through February 28, 2016.

The Shore Hotel is conveniently located along Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, LA's beachfront. The AAA Four Diamond, super stylish property boasts an open-air, U-shaped design with stainless steel-clad trellis, outdoor “living room,” with pool, cocktail bar, water feature, and patio dining at Blue Plate Taco.  It's across the street from the very wide boardwalk where you can rent rollerblades or bikes or just jog up and down. We also like the Shore because it just a few steps from the historic Santa Monica pier, Tongva Park, and the Third Street shopping and dining district.

Hitting the Snows at Vail Resorts

The Austrian style Arrabelle in Vail's Lionshead Village has an ice skating rink out front.

From 12:01 a.m. MST on November 25 until Tuesday, December 1 at 11:49 p.m. MST, skiers and snowboarders will find savings of up to 50% on Vail Resorts and RockResorts lodging. Vail Resorts’ annual Cyber Monday sale covers the celebrity mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, and transportation provider Colorado Mountain Express (CME). Visit to book and find more information.

As a preview: in Park City, save up to 40% since rates start at $92/night for a stay at Grand Summit Hotel, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Park City, Sundial Lodge and Silverado Lodge this winter. At Vail's Lionshead and Vail Village locations, rooms at the Arrabelle at Vail Square; The Lodge at Vail, A RockResort; The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Vail; and Austria Haus start at $123 per night, a 50% savings.

The Pines Lodge above Beaver Creek Village starts as low as $115 per night or up to 45% off. The Keystone Lodge, the Inn at Keystone and a number of condos are available at up to 50% off, starting at just $99 per night. This Cyber Monday is particularly tasty when combined with Keystone’s Kids Ski Free program for families who book two or more nights at Keystone Resort accommodations, so you can have the kids 12 and under ski or snowboard for free.  At Breck, the DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge, the Village Hotel and the Village at Breckenridge are up to 40% off and rates starting at $119 per night.

Head west to California and get the best of Lake Tahoe with Cyber Monday savings of up to 40% in Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood. Rates start at just $97 at Sun Meadows in Kirkwood, $131 at the Village at Northstar and $180 at Concept Sierra in Heavenly.

Great Deals at the Karisma Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles run the pizzeria Dude at the Azul Sensatori Resort

For an all-inclusive option that eliminates the need to ever say "No" to the kids, think about the Azul by Karisma family resorts. As noted in this review, this small group of luxury hotels in Riviera Maya really knows how to provide a sophisticated vacation for adults while keeping kids entertained and enlightened.  Their new Nick Experience partnership gives the whole family a unique opportunity to see favorite Nickelodeon characters in-person, including Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Nickelodeon perks include a custom kids’ check-in with Slime Smoothies, Nickelodeon Concierges, a Nick Toy Lending Library, and special Nickelodeon themed amenities. There is theming throughout the well run, supervised kids' clubs, plus character dining opportunities, character meet and greets, and time to get Slimed.

During this period, families can take advantage of the "Winter is a Beach" promotion with a savings of up to 45% at Azul Hotels, for stays from December 23, 2015 – March 31, 2016. In order to get these savings, your stay must be booked by November 30, with a minimum 3 nights stay using booking code “WIBE”. Visit for more information and to capture that special rate.

Glamping Anyone?

Camp in a tent or a wagon at Conestoga Ranch in Utah
Situated along the shores of Bear Lake just outside Garden City, Utah, the year-old, self-described glamorous camping resort of Conestoga Ranch can accommodate up to 192 guests on its 18 acres.

The "glamping" resort is designed to make camping easy, cozy and comfortable because overnight guests can choose between tents and authentically styled conestoga wagons. (Yes, families can circle their own and hangout together.)  Each is outfitted with soft beds and fresh linens, and glamping tents feature en suite bathrooms. Resort amenities include a game tent, Main Lodge with private spa-style bathrooms, the Campfire Grill restaurant, Shake on the Lake for raspberry shakes, General Store, activities field, yoga and massage tent, and Wi-Fi. The resort will offer a Cyber Monday special on November 30 only; their 25% discount applies to all bookings for early summer rates (May 13 thru June 30, 2016) that are made online using the promo code “cyber.”

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