Monthly Archives: February 2016

The 5 Best Hotels for Experiencing Times Square

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on February 1, 2016.

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For a winter vacation that’s worth bundling up for, why not consider heading to one of the greatest cities on earth? Yes, we’re talking about New York City, which welcomes over 56.4 million tourists a year— with 50 million of them heading to Manhattan’s iconic Times Square for its legendary restaurants, broadway shows, street entertainment, and shopping options. (Bonus points if visiting to witness the New Year’s eve ball drop!)

While New York is often considered the city that never sleeps, getting to experience Times Square and then walk right to a hotel to continue soaking in the sights is a real win-win. We’ve rounded up five hotels in the heart of Times Square that will make any trip to the Big Apple even that much more worthwhile.
Millennium Broadway Hotel

A room with a view (of Times Square) for $200 a night? Experiencing the The Millennium Hotel is hard to pass up, especially since it’s situated only a half block away from the heart of Times Square. They also offer coupons, promotions, and deals for things to do in and near Times Square for their guests, from dinners out to broadway plays—all within walking distance. Perhaps the best part is the hotel offers child care, too, so parents can treat themselves to a night out even if they have kids.

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Hilton Garden Inn

For the hands-down best offer found in Times Square, look no further than the Hilton Garden Inn. Rooms range from $109-144, and it’s still only steps away from the hustle and bustle of the city, including lines to grab discounted theatre tickets. The Garden Inn also has not only a gym, but a Stay Fit Kit for its guests, which consists of a yoga mat, dumbbells, and a Thera-Band—so people can get a good workout in and still enjoy a cocktail at the hotel’s rooftop lounge.
Night Hotel Times Square

Think of this hotel as an indoor version of Times Square. The suave and sleek lobby is bursting with colored lights, aquariums, and modern furniture and art. There is also a restaurant and lounge right at the hotel to enjoy a meal and a drink before heading to the next venture outdoors. Rates start at $199, another reasonably priced place to stay while being a block away from all the entertainment outside.
Room Mate Grace

After a long day walking around, who wouldn’t want to relax in an indoor pool and steam room and then enjoy a drink that overlooks over the city? Room Mate Grace is literally 300 meters from the center of Times Square, and has a selection of rooms from basic twins to luxury suites. There’s also luggage and laundry service, breakfast options, and access to VIP tickets for clubs right down the street. Depending on how fancy guests want to get, rooms go for $300-$700 a night.

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New York Marriott Marquis

Now this is vacation. The New York Marriott Marquis comes fully equipped with feather-bed mattresses, luxurious bathtubs, and rooms filled with granite and marble. The best part are the views; many of the rooms have stunning views that look straight into Times Square. Perhaps the coolest part of this place, though, is its signature revolving restaurant on the rooftop, called nothing else but “The View.” Rooms typically start for less than $600 a night.

5 Hotel Restaurants With Famous Chefs

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on February 12, 2016.

Food is one of the great pleasures of travel. So why not book a hotel known for its cuisine? Here, we’ve curated a list of premium hotels with renowned chefs who have brought their talents to travel industry. The menus have their stamp of approval (and ours)!
1. Café Boulud at The Surrey, New York City

New York is café culture, and at The Surrey NYC, you can experience Daniel Boulud’s namesake eatery. It serves traditional French and international cuisine made from fresh, seasonal ingredients. Brioche French toast is a great way to start a day of New York sightseeing, and an artisan cheese plate is a terrific way to end it. As you get hooked on NYC, check out Hipmunk deals at Waldorf Astoria New York City for your next trip.

2. Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

The flash, glamour and entertainment alone are reasons to check out Caesars Palace Las Vegas. If you’re also tempted by Excalibur Las Vegas, remember Caesars has Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. It serves the finest of Southwestern cuisine. There’s a wide choice of wines, and the cocktails feature only the highest-quality tequila. Try the blue corn-crusted halibut and the churros.

3. Bread Street Kitchen at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Chances are Gordon Ramsay won’t be dishing out his acerbic brand of kitchen discipline while you’re dining at Bread Street Kitchen — at least not within earshot. But if you visit Marina Bay Sands Singapore, you can enjoy his tasty British-style food. Why go to London for shepherd’s pie and fish and chips if you can enjoy it in Singapore? You can even stay late for drinks.

4. Man Wah at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

No matter what room you book after checking Hipmunk deals at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, head to chef Chi-Kwong Hung’s Cantonese eatery, Man Wah, on the 25th floor. Visit the restaurant at lunchtime so you can have dim sum, or go for dinner to enjoy the extraordinary view of Hong Kong’s city lights. Tough choice? Make it easy on yourself and try both.

5. ONE at The Hazelton, Toronto

The exclusive ONE restaurant is the vision of Executive Chef Mark McEwan. Housed in a Toronto boutique hotel, ONE serves French and Italian cuisine. There’s the ambient dining room, the candle-lit patio and private spaces for intimate culinary explorations. Hipmunk deals at The Hazelton Toronto come with a bonus: ONE offers 24-hour room service to guests.

6 Stunning Ski-In, Ski-Out Hotels

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on January 15, 2016.

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Planning a luxurious winter vacation? Slumber slope-side at one of the world’s best ski-in, ski-out hotels. These prestigious spots offer up the best of snow sports on your doorstep, along with five-star facilities, restaurants, spas, pools and more.
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort

One of the premium Hipmunk hotels in Whister, BC, The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort sits at the foot of Blackcomb Mountain on the edge of Whistler village. Relax in the al fresco spas and heated indoor/outdoor pools, work up a sweat in the gym, pamper yourself in the Vida Spa or dine in one of six delicious restaurants.
The Little Nell

Located at the base of Aspen’s Silver Queen Gondola, The Little Nell is a chic boutique hotel with spectacular views and a gas log fireplace in every room. The hotel is well equipped for après ski drinks, with four upmarket bars on the premises, two restaurants and of course a heated pool.
Stein Eriksen Lodge

Check out Hipmunk’s Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah for Norwegian-style charm without leaving the country. After a day playing in the powder, curl up with a book in front of one of the lodge’s many stone fireplaces, soak in the heated outdoor swimming pool, have an après ski fondue in the Troll Hallen Lounge, or enjoy the facilities and treatments of the 20,000-square-foot Spa.
Goldener Berg

It doesn’t get much more alpine than Goldener Berg in Lech am Alberg, Austria, which sits on a mountain between Mittagspitze and Warth-Schröcken ski resorts. If you don’t feel like skiing, you can take in the view with a glühwein in hand, dine in one of the hotel’s restaurants, or take advantage of the full-service spa, pool and hot tubs.
Hotel Koh-l Nor

Do ski-in, ski-out with modern French style at Hotel Koh-l Nor in Val Thorens. This striking hotel affords stunning views of the alps, contemporary interior design and all the luxury you could need. Two restaurants, a full service spa and indoor pools ensure you’ll be sufficiently pampered when you step off the slopes.
Copperhill Mountain Lodge

Instead of going “Scandinavian-style,” go straight to the source at Copperhill Mountain Lodge, one of many Hipmunk hotels in the Swedish resort town of Åre. Among the pines of Mount Förberget, you can spend the day exploring ski runs, go heliskiing or find a comfy spot in the Fireside lounge and bar. You can also enjoy the pool and spa or taste some traditional Swedish delicacies in Niesti restaurant.

Top 6 Hawaii Hotels for Honeymooning

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on January 15, 2016.

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The breathtaking islands of Hawaii will provide you with everything you can look for in a honeymoon; romance, adventure, and relaxation. Situated in the South Pacific, Hawaii is easily accessible by plane from most major cities throughout the country. You will also need to fly to travel from island to island on your adventures. To achieve the amazing honeymoon you desire, be sure to check out these top six Hipmunk hotels on the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Kauai.
1. Halekulani Hotel
Just an eight-mile drive from Honolulu International Airport is the beachfront city of Waikiki, which is where the Halekulani, or “House Befitting Heaven” in Hawaiian, is located. This luxurious hotel sits right on the beach and features its own restaurants and spa. It also boasts a beautiful pool with a unique orchid design that becomes illuminated at night. One of the more popular restaurants, House Without a Key, features al fresco dining as well as live music nightly.
2. Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach
The Hyatt Regency is also located in Waikiki and offers a more central location where you can walk to the public beach, local restaurants and the loads of chic shops and boutiques nearby. Go check out Diamond Head, a famous volcanic formation that can be seen from the beach, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, rent a car for the day and drive up to the north shore of Oahu. Another popular activity on Oahu is to visit the Pearl Harbor Museum, where you can step back to that fateful day in 1941.
3. Hyatt Regency Maui
Hopping over to the town of Lahaina in Maui, the Hyatt boasts an enormous swimming pool that has a cave complete with a cave bar as well as a super-fun slide. Be sure to check out the amazing collection of exotic animals on the hotel grounds. This hotel also boasts its own luau, The Drums of the Pacific Luau, that draws a large crowd on most nights. Be sure to venture to the lovely local restaurants Lahaina has to offer such as the Mala Ocean Tavern and Star Noodle, which are about five miles away.
4. Fairmont Kea Lani Maui
Situated on the other side of Maui, in Wailea, this hotel has a more upscale, quiet and romantic feel. Don’t worry; there’s still plenty to keep you occupied. The beach is just steps away and so are plenty of luxurious, delicious restaurants such as Nick’s Fishmarket Maui and Ko. While in Maui, be sure to ask your concierge about the Road to Hana, the turbulent and adventurous road that travels the perimeter of Maui to a small village called Hana. Also ask about the bicycle tour of Haleakala, Maui’s 10,000-foot volcano.
5. Grand Hyatt Kauai
Check out the Hipmunk deals in Koloa at the Grand Hyatt, a great place to get your Kauai fill. With a golf course, a lazy river and even a salt water lagoon, this luxurious hotel exudes the true essence of relaxation on Hawaii. Go to the concierge and book a boat tour of the Napali coast, the beautiful shoreline of Kauai that can only be seen by boat or helicopter.
6. St. Regis Priceville
This Hipmunk hotel is located on the other side of Kauai, situated just off the beautiful Hanalei Bay. You can only get to this side of the island through a one lane bridge. Hanalei Bay is one of the more popular beaches on Kauai, and this hotel provides breathtaking views of the ocean from every angle.The St. Regis provides you with the ultimate honeymoon experience of being pampered with its pristine rooms and high end restaurants such as Makana Terrace and Kauai Grill.

10 Places to Catch the World’s Most Beautiful Sunsets

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on July 9, 2015.

There’s nothing quite as romantic and breathtaking as a beautiful sunset! If you want to travel and catch some of the world’s prettiest views of the sun as it sets, check out the spots below. These places are well-known destinations where you are guaranteed to catch a colorful, beautiful and awe-inspiring sunset.
1. The Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, CA

People might think of Los Angeles as a place with smoggy skies, but it just might be these skies that cause some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. Book one of the great classic Los Angeles hotels, then head up to the Griffith Observatory around dusk. From the top, you can see not only a beautifully colored sky, but also an unforgettable view of the city and Sunset Boulevard.
2. Oia, Santorini, Greece

Santorini is known for its distinctive white and blue architecture. Set on a craggy cliffside, the village of Oia gives onlookers the perfect spot to watch the sun as it reflects on this stark white buildings, then sets into the Aegean Sea.
3. Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Travel to Rio de Janeiro, and you’re going to want to catch a sunset on legendary Ipanema Beach. The sunset is beautiful in Ipanema because it sets behind the rocky hillsides that border the coast. The beach is also a great budget destination to catch a great sunset due to many cheap hotels in Rio de Janeiro.
4. Diamond Head, Honolulu, Hawaii

Nearly anywhere on Oahu is a great place to catch a sunset, but climb up Diamond Head, a volcano and state monument, and you’ll be able to catch the stunning setting sun over legendary Waikiki beach. If you want to stay near Diamond Head, check out a room at the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach, which is located close to the foot of the volcano.
5. Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Everything about the Taj Mahal is beautiful, but it has become an international destination to visit at dusk, because of the beautiful sunsets that occur behind it and the stunning colors that reflect around the building.
6. Mallory Square, Key West, Florida

Key West is known for its stunning sunsets. For the best view of the sunset on the island, head to Mallory Square, where people gather each night to watch the sunset together. Sometimes, you’ll be accompanied by entertainers — like jugglers and street musicians — to celebrate the sunset with you.
7. Milovaig, Isle of Skye, UK

The Isle of Skye is an island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland in the UK. While the entire island offers a stunning view of the setting sun, one of the best spots to catch it is the pier at Milovaig, which offers onlookers a multi-colored, breathtaking scene.
8. Parish Church of San Rocco, San Rocco, Italy

High in the cliffs of the Portofino National Park, on the Ligurian Coast of Italy, there is a small town with a cathedral called San Rocco. In that town is a cathedral with a beautiful terrace overlooking the Ligurian Sea, and from there you can catch a breathtaking sunset nightly, over the small coastal town of Camogli.
9. North Cape, Finnmark, Norway

North Cape, Norway is so far north it’s nearly in the Arctic Circle. Thus, during the summer, the sun hardly ever sets. Visitors can take in the midnight sun — or the sun that sets just to the horizon, but never fully sets. Seeing this strange sunset phenomenon can be a once in a lifetime experience.
10. Ao Kao Beach, Koh Mak, Thailand

Located in Trat Province in Thailand, Koh Mak is world famous for its stunning sunsets. Far from the big hotels in Bangkok, Koh Mak features idyllic, serene nature with no skyscrapers or cityscape to obscure the sunset, making the consistent, nightly sunset into the great blue yonder an unforgettable experience.

5 of the World’s Best Hotels Are in Singapore

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on December 21, 2015.

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The tiny island of Singapore has far outgrown its reputation as a stopover city, with more than enough attractions to make it the star destination of your next Asian adventure. In this rich melting pot of Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures, the sights, smells and flavors are as varied as they are tantalizing. From rain forests buzzing with wildlife to sparkling skyscrapers, quiet farmlands to bustling urban marketplaces, there is something to excite the senses around every corner. Here are our top picks for places to rest your head at night:
1. Marina Bay Sands

Combining the luxury of a 5-star hotel with all the glitz, glamour and entertainment of a top casino, the Marina Bay Sands is truly in a class of its own. Conveniently located on Marina Bay, across from downtown Singapore, you’re a stone’s throw from the attractions of the city, though there’s plenty to keep you busy within the resort itself. Perched atop the hotel’s three 55-story towers is the Skypark, which features an observation deck, spa and infinity pool with spectacular views. When you’ve worked up an appetite from swimming, you can dine in one of the hotel’s 15 restaurants before dancing the night away at one of five nightclubs and lounges. You could try your luck in the casino or attend a symphony, stage production or concert. Want to treat yourself to a bit of luxury? Take a look at Hipmunk deals at the Marina Bay Sands.
2. The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

Located in the buzzing Marina Bay area, this is one for lovers of art and architecture. The building was designed by Kevin Roche and is home to a 4,200-piece art collection featuring works by Andy Warhol and David Hockney. This is a hotel oozing with sumptuous, modern style from the guest rooms to the restaurants and bars. With impressive views over Marina Bay and top-notch service, it’s a real gem.
3. Raffles Hotel

Serving guests since 1887, the Raffles Hotel Singapore has become an icon of the island. The stunning colonial architecture of the building is matched by the chic antique furniture and elegant design of its interior. Sit at the bar and sip one of the hotel’s famous Singapore Sling cocktails, enjoy mouthwatering meals in a variety of restaurants, lounge by the pool or catch a play in the Victorian-style theater.
4. Capella Singapore

If you want a retreat from the chaos of the city, Capella Singapore is the perfect place to unwind and breath in the South China Sea air. Nestled on a leafy hillside on Sentosa Island, this getaway for Asia’s elite is a 15-minute cab ride from downtown but feels like it’s a world away. Capella Singapore features all the amenities expected of a 5-star hotel, plus elegant colonial architecture, Mediterranean and Cantonese restaurants and the perfect bar for sun downers.
5. The Fullerton Bay Hotel

This one is true decadence. Another of Marina Bay’s dazzling high-end hotels, this one features a rooftop pool with views over the bay, which is also home to one of the city’s most stylish rooftop bars, Lantern. Rooms are comfortable, bright and spacious with floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies so you can sit back and enjoy the vista. Dining options at the Fullerton Bay Hotel include the upscale French La Brasserie and more relaxed grazing at the Landing Point lounge.

7 Travel Destinations Made Famous by James Bond

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on December 3, 2015.

With the recent debut of the latest installment in the James Bond movie franchise, Spectre, we’ve been reminded of one of 007’s greatest qualities—namely, that he’s better traveled than most people on the planet (okay, he’s a fictional character, but the point still stands).

In fact, in his 50 years of service, Bond has visited nearly 50 countries, while most of the films feature upwards of six distinct locales. Want to globe-trot like James Bond? Simply jet-set to any of these stellar destinations.

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1. Hong Kong, China

The bustling city has been featured in several Bond films, including You Only Live Once, Die Another Day, and The Man with the Golden Gun, which includes scenes shot in the famous Peninsula Hotel. Considered one of the world’s best hotels, the Peninsula boasts a Rolls Royce fleet, a rooftop helipad, marble baths, exceptional service, and (fittingly, for Bond fans) traditional British tea.

2. Istanbul, Turkey

In the opening of Skyfall, Bond finds himself in search of a stolen hard drive in the city of Istanbul. He then chases an assailant through Eminonu Square, one of the oldest in the city (Bond also visits Istanbul in From Russia with Love and The World is Not Enough). To make your visit as luxurious as Bond’s would have been (had he not been dodging would-be assassins and chasing down bad guys), book a stay at the lavish Shangri-La Bosphorous, which promises an in-room espresso machine, 300-count linens, heated bathroom floors, a separate shower and soaking tub, and complimentary high-speed WiFi.

3. Jamaica

The whole country makes the list on account of its significance to the Bond franchise. Not only was nearly all of the original James Bond movie, Dr. No, filmed on the island, but it’s also the site of the emergence of Honey Ryder (the first Bond girl, played by Ursula Andress). The country is also heavily featured in Live and Let Die. To top it all off, Goldeneye, Jamaica is the former home of the late Ian Fleming, the creator of the James Bond franchise. His house has now been incorporated into a luxury boutique hotel, which keeps Fleming’s writing desk and typewriter on display.

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4. Khao Phing Kan, Thailand

Dubbed “James Bond Island” by 007 fans, this island in Thailand had its moment in the spotlight in The Man with the Golden Gun. Located within the Ao Phang Nga national park, it makes for a stunning destination for nature lovers and film buffs alike. Head to any of the cheap hotels in nearby Phuket after your day of adventure.

5. London, England

No list of this kind would be complete without mention of 007’s headquarters. Home to M16 and featured in nearly every film in the Bond franchise, London is hands down Bond’s most frequented destination. While M16 has moved from London office buildings to Whitehall’s Old War Office, the Barbican, and its eventual headquarters on the Thames, London will forever remain Bond’s home.

6. Mexico City, Mexico

Spectre marks the second time Bond has found himself in Mexico. The first time around, in License to Kill, Bond checked in at the Grand Hotel Ciudad de Mexico. This time, 007 is amongst the crowds during the Day of the Dead parade celebration in Mexico City’s Zocalo square. Mexico City is one of the most populated cities in the world, so you’ll have no shortage of sightseeing opportunities at any time of year.

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7. Venice, Italy

The canals and gondolas of Venice make for frequented terrain for the Bond franchise, with spots in From Russia with Love, Moonraker, and Casino Royale. Stroll the Piazza San Marco and ogle the Cipriani Hotel, where James Bond is seen mooring his yacht in Casino Royale (It’s also reportedly where Daniel Craig himself stayed during filming).

While you may not be landing on a helipad or saving the world from nuclear meltdown, you can still travel the world in style at any of these 007 locations.

Email hello@hipmunk.com to check hotel prices to Hong Kong, Istanbul, Mexico City, Venice, or London!

Cover Photo: Nationaal Archief, the Dutch National Archives, and Spaarnestad Photo.

One More Reason to Visit Greece: It’s Rebuilding the Colossus of Rhodes

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on December 3, 2015.

The 500-year-old statue of the Greek sun god Helios, felled by an earthquake in 226 BCE, is reportedly being rebuilt bigger, badder, and more earthquake-proof than ever.  And it’s expected to increase tourism to Rhodes by huge numbers—maybe even helping to revive the troubled Greek economy in the process. While the project is still in the conception phase, go ahead and add “to see the Colossus of Rhodes” to your list of reasons to visit Greece.

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The History of the Colossus

Less than 200 years after the Greek city of Rhodes was built, residents erected the statue in order to celebrate Rhodes’ military victory over Syrian prince Demetrius the Besieger, who attacked Rhodes for over a year before finally giving up.

To this day, historians debate the Colossus’ exact location, but legend has it that the statue straddled the island city’s harbor, so that ships entering the city passed between the sun god’s legs. What historians agree on is that the statue took approximately 12 years to complete.

Even after it fell, the statue’s remains—consisting of huge, hollow pieces which laid on the ground of Rhodes for several centuries—were deemed suitably impressive to qualify as one of the Seven Wonders of the World (as determined in circa 150 BCE). But around 653, the remains were carted away by an invading military looking to capitalize on the scrap metal.

Today, a replica of the statue can be found in the town of Faliraki, while the actual suspected location of the statue, in Mandraki Harbor, is noted with a marker.

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Visions for the Future

In addition to being significantly larger than the original, the proposed rebuilt Colossus would also include an interior library, museum, cultural center, exhibition hall, and a crowning lighthouse that can be seen from up to 35 miles away.

The structure would also employ modern technologies and construction techniques in order to make it earthquake-proof and wind-resistant. And in an homage to the Greek sun god Helios, the original statue’s inspiration, the exterior of the structure would be covered in golden solar panels.

Currently, it’s estimated the new statue could be constructed in three to four years for a total cost of more than $250 million. Funds would come from a combination of institutional investment and global crowdfunding.

In reanimating the statue, the team behind the proposed project hopes to inspire massive growth in tourism to the island specifically and Greece as a whole. In the process, they hope the project will supply much-needed jobs and an estimated two billion Euros in tourist money during a time when the Greek economy finds itself beset by troubles.

This isn’t the first time a team has proposed a reconstruction of the ancient Colossus. Updates were proposed in 1999 and in 2008, but neither project came to fruition. While no construction dates have been released for this latest proposal, here’s hoping that this one actually has legs.

In the meantime, there are plenty of great reasons to visit Rhodes, even if the statue never gets built. From the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea, to quaint, whitewashed houses, to warm ocean breezes, Rhodes makes for a veritable island paradise. A five-hundred-foot statue of Helios would simply be the icing on the cake.

Escape Dreary Weather with These Winter Surfing Destinations

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on January 19, 2016.

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With an unseasonably warm December finally giving way to arctic-level temperatures in January, it might be time to plan a winter getaway and rediscover the sun and sand. Escape the threat of snow by heading to one of the five destinations below, known as some of the best surf spots during the winter months!

1. San Diego, CA: Black’s Beach

San Diego’s Black’s Beach is a secluded, two mile beach situated at the base of 300 foot cliffs (where you can often spot hang gliders floating above, adding to the excitement!). The cliffs are part of the beautiful Torrey Pines, one of the wildest stretches of land in Southern California. Black’s Beach boasts one of the most powerful surf breaks in Southern California, with exceptionally strong waves. Due to the large surf, fast waves and crowds, Black’s Beach is best tackled by more advanced surfers. Visitors to the area should check out the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina or the Bahia Resort Hotel, both competitively priced and located near the beach.
2. Kauai, HI: Hanalei Beach

The Hawaiian island of Kauai, known as the “Garden Isle” for its tropical rainforests, is home to Hanalei Beach. Hanalei, a two-mile beach with white stands, is both a romantic paradise and a world-class surfing destination. The best surf season is a fairly long one, from September to May, so it’s the perfect place to check out in the winter. The beach is a great option for surfers of all levels as the current is study and the waves break evenly. Kaui Shores and Waipouli Beach Resorts & Spa by Outrigger are decently priced yet upscale hotel options for visitors, both located just a 40 minute drive from Hanalei.

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3. Rincon, Puerto Rico: Rincon Beach

For budget-conscious travelers, Rincon Beach, located on the northwestern coast of Puerto Rico, is an inexpensive surf destination boasting great waves.The island itself offers unparalleled beauty, with the clear water, white sand beaches, and palm trees, making it the perfect place to forget about snow! Rincon offers waves for all levels, with the gentle Caribbean providing softer swells while the Atlantic produces tougher waves for more advanced surfers. Those wishing to stay in the undisputed surfing capital of the Caribbean should consider the Rincon Beach Resort or the Case Verde Hotel, offering laid-back luxury at hard to beat prices.
4. Queensland, Australia: The Gold Coast

Those willing to travel Down Under for their winter surfing fix should explore the steady waves of Australia’s Gold Coast. Host to the Association of Surfing Professional Tour, the beach is a haven for fans of the sport. Early birds will enjoy mornings, when waves nearly always come in. The fun continues all day as well, as the southern stretch of the Gold Coast offers some of the longest rideable waves worldwide. Visitors have many options for lodgings, but the Crowne Plaza Surfer’s Paradise and the Mantra on View Hotel are affordable options catering specifically to out-of-towners looking to ride the waves.

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5. Bathsheba, Barbados: The Soup Bowl

Home to the Atlantic’s most consistent surf, the eastern part of Barbados offers a constant swell and endless routes, making it a great option for surfers looking for new challenges. The Soup Bowl, so named for its foamy surf, is an always rideable reef break popular with both locals and visitors. It’s best for surfers who don’t mind crowds, as the consistent swells mean there’s always someone around. Visitors should try staying in the Crystal Cove All Inclusive Resort or the Atlantis Hotel, both just a quick 30 minute drive from the beach.

 

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Holiday that celebrates flowers

An extremely small number of cities in the world have a holiday that celebrates flowers, the most rare flower species that despite winter cold manage to blossom when no other plant is able to.

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This rare flower-tree is a mystical Mimosa, but not less beautiful is following Camellia, which also blooms in February. To date is not discovered the reason why Mimosa survives and is most widespread especially in Herceg-Novi, where we can notice her bright yellow color  in the gardens and slopes of villages on the Riviera.

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Strong and proud, during harsh winter time Mimosa smells and creates the magical atmosphere known to all guests from Europe and the world who had the opportunity to stay in February and March in the city of Herceg-Novi. Come to Montenegro to experience this unusual winter feeling and enjoy in flowers that bloom and blossom during the coldest season.  “47 Mimosa Festival” started on February 05th and will last until February 25th in Herceg-Novi.

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