Considering a spontaneous getaway this Memorial Day Weekend, but think you can’t book travel at this late date? Think again as these destinations in Belize, British Columbia, Canada, Paris, Portugal, Chicago, New Orleans and Miami can’t wait to host you with these travel deals.
The great thing about “Memorial Week” travel (the last week of May) is most kids aren’t yet out of school and temperatures aren’t quite summer hot. This makes for a less crowded and more comfortable trip.
Also, hotel and flight prices can drop dramatically if you can extend your getaway past Tuesday, especially on last-minute deal sites like HotWire. (Don’t miss even better discounts on Hotwire’s app and emails that keep arriving days after your initial search.) HotWire has some of the best rental car insurance prices anywhere, so consider adding it to your purchase.
You may not have enough time (at least two weeks are recommended) for a trip to Africa, but what about South America? There’s still time to book a trip to out-of-this-world Belize.
The villas at Belize’s Matachica Resort & Spa sit beachside, atop tiny Ambergris Caye island.
Matachica Resort & Spa is ideally located across from the second largest coral reef in the world on tiny Ambergris Caye Island. This boutique resort has just 31 relaxing villas and a gleaming white sand beach. The thatched-roof villas are just what you’d expect in such a tropical paradise along with in-house dining focusing on local seafood, a relaxing spa with organic treatments, jungle hikes leading directly out of your luxury “hut” and some of the world’s best scuba diving nearby in the cay’s warm, turquoise-colored waters.
If this tiny resort is sold out, ask about Matachica’s sister resort, GAIA Riverlodge. Located inland in a tropical jungle, GAIA takes advantage of having a series of waterfalls right on the property. The wood stick and thatch-roofed “huts” may look rustic, but inside is a glamping paradise full of sophisticated comfort. (Think wood plank floors, hand-painted Mexican tiles and bright, white Frette linens.) GAIA’s main lodge, restaurant and bar sits just above the falls and serves up three delicious meals a day, plus cocktails any time.
Victoria British Columbia, Canada, is a paradise in late spring with blooming flowers everywhere and their glorious scents in the salty Pacific Ocean air. This seaside city on the tip of a 300-mile-long Vancouver Island is both regal (as BC’s government seat) and chill (lots of hippies, hipsters, cafes, markets and boutique shopping galore). While the city center may be quite urban and very walkable, Victoria’s outerlying towns are chock full of organic farms and wineries whose products happily end up on your plate and in your glass at every restaurant in town.
The Fairmont Empress is not only an iconic historic monument smack dab in the middle of the city’s bucolic harbor, but it is also one of the best addresses in Victoria for its central location, plush rooms, stellar service and abundant food and beverage offerings, including a world-renowned afternoon tea service. Know to locals just as “The Empress,” this luxurious Fairmont hotel is undergoing a comprehensive renovation and, therefore, offering a veritable lineup of deals from a romantic “love” package to a trip that combines the hotel’s sumptuous tea service with a visit to the colorful Butchhart Gardens. In June, The Empress is launching a new restaurant and bar: Q at The Empress.
Gone is the classic British decor at The Fairmont Empress as the hotel has gone modern with its almost-open (as of May 31, 2016) Q at The Empress restaurant and bar.
Wanna pop the question in style, be spontaneously romantic or simply fulfill that yearning to see Paris? World-renowned Paris Perfect apartment rental company took two years to renovate an entire apartment building and just recently opened it for guests at one of the city’s most stellar addresses: 25 Place Dauphine. Located at the very tip of Ile de la Cite (Notre Dame sits on the other end), Place Dauphine is a park-like square with a royal history. The tall, narrow building was originally built in 1610 on the order of King Henri IV and, for decades, hosted the tiny and historic Hotel Henri IV.
Situated literally in the middle of the Seine River with the Right Bank’s Samartaine and the Left Bank’s Quartier Latin literally just across the scenic Pont Neuf bridge, 25 Place Dauphine is now a quiet jewel of an adresse right in the very heart of Paris. For just $1,355 per couple (for three nights), you can be one of the first guests to stay in a one-bedroom apartment. Your brand new refrigerator will be stocked with treats, including cheese, wine, meats, dips and a baguette. Your kitchen counter will hold a welcome basket of biscuits, coffee and teas. You will also enjoy a private tour of Ile de la Cite and a Seine sightseeing cruise.
Apartment rental and concierge service Paris Perfect has 100+ other well-equipped and gorgeously-decorated studios and one-to-three bedroom apartments potentially available as well. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 888-520-2087 or visit www.ParisPerfect.com.
Portugal is an oft-overlooked European destination and that’s too bad, because this friendly country is not only beautiful but affordable too. Portugal’s northwestern region of Vinho Verde has a booming wine tourism business. The picturesque region’s top wine estates have added boutique luxury hotels and day spas to their tasting rooms for “wine tourists,” honeymooners and those who just love to combine travel, food, wine and culture.
For example, stay in Casa do Valle’s Guest House, which sits on the same property as two wineries. This large, five-bedroom, 18th century stone farmhouse is located atop a rustic Portuguese hilltop with views of the impressive Maro and Alvao mountain ranges and the Tamega and Douro river valleys. The house is a convenient five-minute walk from a local grocery store and cafe, and a 10-minute walk amongst the vines to the winery’s main lodge where you can dine and taste wines. Or you can just lounge under a cork tree next to your very own swimming pool.
Stateside, most travelers have already booked their Memorial Day weekend getaways. So here’s a short list of places that may still have reservations available:
Miami’s newly-renovated Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach isn’t quite full to capacity, but this rather affordable, modernized property right on the beach is attracting guests of all ages. The bright white Art Deco-ish exterior is captivating and set against the whitest of white sand beaches and blue ocean waters. This 100% non-smoking hotel is also green, and friendly to pets and families.
Did you know New Orleans was named one of the “Best Cities in North America” by Travel+Leisure readers? Perhaps for this reason, two millennial-focused hotel brands have recently had spring openings in New Orleans’s central “business district.” Unfortunately for last-minute travelers, Memorial Weekend bookings at Art Deco stunner Ace Hotel New Orleans and tech paradise Moxy New Orleans (by Marriott, so you can use any saved up Marriott Rewards!) may be gone by the time this story is published.
Centrally located inside Chicago’s iconic Aqua Tower (221 N. Columbus), Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago has an unparalleled location just steps from Millennium Park and the Magnificent Mile. The hotel has rooms at the ready for Memorial Day weekend in this now warm and slightly breezy city. Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago also has an outdoor pool with an incredible skyline view, a two-lane indoor lap pool, an 80,000 sq. ft. recreation deck and modern Italian in-house dining at its famed Filini Bar & Restaurant.
Can’t swing an international travel vacation so soon? International travel trips are usually best suited for long-term planning. Tours by Anaheim-based Contiki may focus on millennials, but that’s exactly what makes their global tours affordable and fun. Start planning now for trips in late summer and early fall, such as Contiki’s most popular 13-day European Discovery, 12-day China Adventure and 17-day Kiwana Panorama tour of New Zealand from Christchurch to Auckland.
Sometimes, it’s more fun to not plan and just go when it comes to travel, especially when you are able to extend a three-day weekend such as Memorial Day into a week-long adventure!