Holiday travel packages that light up the season

From winter food fests in Las Vegas to fun stays in Fiji, the season’s holiday travel deals are heating up Photo: Palazzo

WASHINGTON, November 21, 2013 — With Thanksgiving just a week away hotels and resorts are putting holiday travel deals on the front burner and hoping to give would be travelers a reason to wander near and far this season. Here are just some of the picks we’ve found:

Las Vegas Winter Celebration: Buon Appetito Venezia!

If you want to celebrate the holidays Las Vegas style you’ll have to do some over-the-top dining and then you’ll have to set skates to ice for some fabulous gliding under the neon. The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas are celebrating Winter in Venice,now through January 5 with all manner of fan fare.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

And that includes some meals of a lifetime during La Cucina Italiana Food & Wine Festival— a four-day event of Italian epicurean experiences, Dec. 5 - 8, 2013. Headlining the festival is Chef Mario Batali, and other chefs include Buddy Valastro, Dario Cecchini,Wolfgang Puck,Roberto Caporuscio, and Anthony Giglio.

Five different suite packages are available that offer prime access to culinary experiences and start at $199/night up to $849/night.

For the calorie conscious vacationers a Winter in Venice suite package that does not include La Cucina festivities is in place through January 6. It starts at $149 per night.

It includes a luxury suite and Passaporto di Winter in Venice – a passport book for skating, retail, dining and entertainment with all sorts of savings wrapped into these two behemoth Las Vegas hotels. Contact: Palazzo Las Vegas, (866) 580-1202.

Fiji for the Fun of it: Stay for three nights and pay for two

When times call for romance, be it honeymoon or the perfect getaway, Fiji is there to oblige. The Micronesian archipelago in the Pacific is a 10-hour flight from the U.S. West Coast. On Fiji Airways (formerly Air Pacific) most of these flights are night flights meaning some dinner, two movies, a nap and you’re there.

Yasawa Island Resort

Yasawa Island Resort, an added 35-minute seaplane flight from Nadi International Airport is running packages through June 2014 that allow guests to stay three nights and pay for two; or five nights and pay for four; or seven nights and pay for five. The single-resort island features 18 thatched Fiji-style bungalows packed with luxury and design.

Inclusive accommodations run around $850 per night, minus taxes and gratuities, and the island air transport may add another few hundred dollars per person. But the stay is inclusive of meals with private dining options and beach picnics, plus a roster of daily activities. Call (011-679) 6663 364.

Christmas in Bali: AYANA Resort Holiday Package

They’re playing Jingle Bells in Bali this year and celebrating sands pure as snow with the AYANA Resort’s “Christmas in Bali” package. A holiday in Bali includes a four night’s stay with spa pampering and Christmas Eve dinner.

The package runs December 23 – 28, with daily breakfast for two people, a festive Christmas Eve dinner for two, one-time access to the Aquatonic Thalasso Pool for two, and access to the 18-hole golf putting course and tennis pavilion.

The 290-room resort (and 78 private villas) sits on Jimbaran Bay, and spreads out along a mile of coastline. Location is around 7 miles from the international airport. A hotel shuttle offers transportation to shopping and activities in Nusa Dua and Kuta. Rates start at $461 per night. Contact: AYANA Resort , (011-62) 361-702222.

Vacations By Rail Early Booking Deals

Chicago-based specialty travel company Vacations By Rail gives travelers more for their money with a limited early booking bonus on select 2014 North America train vacations. Reserve a qualifying 2014 USA or Canada train vacation by December 13, 2013, and select a complimentary travel add-on such as: Pre- or post-night hotel stays Sightseeing excursions Shore excursions on select rail-cruise packages Complimentary upgrade on the Grand Canyon Railway for select Grand Canyon rail vacationsConnecting rail travel

Some 40 North American rail tours qualify, including a variety of trips to Glacier National Park, the Grand Canyon; and escorted tours to America’s national parks and monuments. Call (877) 929-7245.

Post Thanksgiving Booking Blowouts: Forget the malls; Travel instead.

Got post Thanksgiving plans? Now you do. Spend some time at the computer and telephone putting travel into your 2014 lists of things to do.

Atlantis Resort Paradise Island

Atlantis is running a 4-day sale over the Thanksgiving holiday in which it is offering the lowest rates possible throughout 2014 as its own “Black Friday - Cyber Monday” sellathon. Rates start as low as $99/night, plus an extra 10% off of’s lowest offers - for up to 50% off rack rates in Atlantis’ budget-friendly Beach Towers.

Atlantis Resort

Beach Tower Rates for 2014:

• $99/night: For travel August 24 - October 29 and November 30 - December 25

• $159/night:For travel October 30 - November 24

• $179/night:For travel April 24 - June 11

• $199/night: For travel January 27 - March 5 and June 12 - August 23

(Regular rates in low season at the Beach Towers are approx. $280 and $480 in high season. Rates here are based on a two-night stay).

A link will be live on atmidnight on Friday, Nov. 29. Booking must be completed by December 2. All Atlantis stays include complimentary access to the Aquaventure Water Park, The Dig, and The Ruins of Atlantis aquariums. Call (800) Atlantis.

The following super Cyber Monday deals must be booked on December 2 only:

New York City

THE OUT NYC,an urban resort just steps away from Broadway and Times Square, is offering:

  • 25% off room rates for January through March 2014
  • $20 voucher for The Spa
  • Two complimentary tickets to off-Broadway production the Hot Mess Drag Revue
  • Two welcome cocktails in KTCHN Restaurant

Book at the following link:

The Jade, an architectural gem in Greenwich Village, has taken inspiration from its Gatsby-like vibe and created a 1920’s-themed Cyber Monday package:

$192 room rates for the months of January and February 2014

  • Lunch at Grape & Vine for $19.20
  • Two complimentary 1920’s theme cocktails at Grape & Vine
  • Standard room accommodations

Book at the following link:

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Spring Creek Ranch, a stunning mountain retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyo., is offering the following:

  • 2 evenings in a Single King or Double Queen Inn Room (Price is $299 per room, double occupancy, for 2 nights)
  • $75 resort credit for use at the Wilderness Adventure Spa or food and beverage
    Free Airport Transfer (value $72)
  • Resort Fee included ($20 per night value)
  • Good until April 5, 2014

Call: (800) 443.6139

Turks + Caicos

Gansevoort Turks + Caicos on Grace Bay Beach is offering the “Get Monday and Tuesday On Us” Package. Stay a minimum of six consecutive nights that include Monday and Tuesday and Mon & Tue are free.

Daily breakfast for two included. Travel dates through Oct 2014. Book online using promo code CYBER or call directly: (888) 844-5986.

St. Lucia

Saint Lucia’s Rendezvous Resort, an intimate couples-only hideaway in the Caribbean, is offering 50% off room bookings booked on Cyber Monday. Rates start at $396 per couple per night (normal rates start at $792 per couple per night)

  • Minimum stay of 4 nights
  • Travel window is from December 10, 2013 – May 24, 2014

Call (800) 544-2883 and providing the offer code: CYBER


Hyatt Regency Aruba is offering 20% off the deluxe room rate plus a $12.02 daily credit towards cocktails at Piet’s Pier Bar, and $20.13 daily credit at ZoiA Spa. Call (011-297) 586-1234

Lark Gould is an author of eight books on travel and a journalist who has been covering the travel industry for more than two decades.

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Lark Gould


Lark Ellen Gould is an award-winning journalist who has spent the last few decades reporting on news, trends and nuances in the travel industry for top travel publications with a focus on Las Vegas, California, Africa, Asia, Pacific and the Middle East.
As a veteran news reporter covering hot spots (and cool spots) around the world, Lark knows where to go – and where not to go. Follow her findings in the Communities Digital News, LLC at The Washington Times where she is an associate editor for Food & Travel; also Larkslist and Travel-Intel, a weekly news publication that goes out to the travel industry.

Contact Lark Gould


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