This Week's Top 20: Hemingway, 'World's Best' Stays & a Side of Poe
OK, just kidding, that's not the theme (kind of), but I chatted with PIX11 about where we think there will be major deals next year with our 2016 WOW Deal Destinations. It really comes down to two big trends:
- The dollar is strong right now. It's obvious that this means stretching your dollar further abroad. But the other side effect is this: it's expensive for international travelers to come here, so they'll go elsewhere, leaving empty rooms where there historically aren't and making U.S. destinations more affordable for "locals" than they've been in years.
- Increased inventory. That's fancy travel speak for: more hotel rooms and more airplane routes being added. More space = more competition. More competition = lower prices as airlines and hotels fight to win your travel dollars.
In that same vein, we're seeing these trends sprinkled throughout the Top 20 this week. Some other themes I'm seeing this week:
- Literary geniuses love great hotels (can we blame them?)
- Travel + Leisure's World's Best list (just released this month) recipients are scattered throughout the Top 20 –- I love this magazine.
They are fighting for you to stay there. That's what's creating a nearly 50% off deal here. I especially love that this is $249 in November. NYC pricing really falls come the new year, so to see a discount for prime fall is rare -- and exciting! Cool factor alert: Hemingway used to hang here way before these lofts were restored. I'm pretty sure that's reason alone that my dad would stay here (I mean, if my brother was a girl they were going to name him Hadley – Hemingway's first wife's name).
Today, Charleston tops the Travel + Leisure's Readers Choice list, and has been a presence here for over a decade. I don't know about you, but when I go on vacation there's nothing like some southern charm, grits and the ghost of Poe to make me feel warm and fuzzy.
So if you like your vacations super-sized -- unlimited buffets and all -- then this is a GREAT deal. Plus it comes with a balcony cabin for some fresh air, when you need a breather. Why book this now? It's the lowest price we've seen for these balconies.
Just kidding, I have LOTS more to say. This is another case of history getting a facelift. This 1909 building was just refreshed in March, landing it on the ... (everyone together now) Travel + Leisure 500 World'’s Best Hotels list. Thanks to said renovations, this is fresh and modern take on a Ritz-Carlton -- which can have an "older" reputation. Plus guests don't have to worry about dealing with pricey Ubers, a house car will take guests within a couple miles for free.
I don't know of any famous writers who stayed here ... but photographer Ansel Adams also told beautiful stories and is from San Francisco and was there when this hotel was built, so we can start a rumor that he at least passed this hotel at some point.
Durban is known for its world-class surfing, miles of beachfront and Asian-inspired gastronomy. Even CNN calls it "the coolest city in South Africa you've never seen.”
- This is the No. 1 hotel in San Juan on TripAdvisor
- Architectural Digest deemed it "legendary" (it was built by the same architects who designed Grand Central Station)
- Almost as important, we're pretty sure this would be Ron Burgundy approved as the inside is oozing with classic leather furnishings and lots of wood
- It's a legit 5-star hotel that's less than $200 per night (yes that includes weekends!) plus it comes with a room upgrade AND $50 spa credit (so basically it's the gift that keeps on giving)