Mav’s Fab 5 – January 14th, 2013

Travel Sites
our 5 picks

 AirBnB
(415) 800-5959
(855) 424-7262
www.airbnb.com

If you thought your travel choices started and ended with hotel vs. hostel we are about to blow your mind!  Meet AirBnB, where anyone from a Bed and Breakfast owner to your cousin who wants to rent out his guesthouse can post their available space (from room to mansion) for your traveling benefit.  But what about safety you ask?  AirBnB is built a like a glass house, so travelers and hosts alike set up profiles and pictures to introduce themselves, and then after each trip each side reviews the other and the reviews are listed as part of each profile.  So in addition to having actual insurance provided through the site, you will also be pre-informed if the pillows are like clouds or the bathroom door creaks.  We have only ever had fabulous experiences with this site!

onefinestay
(917) 383-2182
www.onefinestay.com

If you have ever wanted to live someone else’s life for a few days onefinestay is just perfect for you!  This ultra-hip travel site is exclusive to London and New York, and their specialty it hooking you up with the best home-stays in the coolest pads. While out of town, hosts rent out their homes through the site, allowing you to enjoy the perks of a hotel while really getting to live like a local. If you’re looking for vacation rentals or holiday apartments in London or New York, head to onefinestay and feel truly at home at your home away from home.

Hipmunk
www.hipmunk.com

If you’re an Expedia or Kayak frequenter looking for a new search engine to set up your travel with, then look no further! Hipmunk’s claim to fame is that they make travel planning faster and easier for you.  How, you may wonder? They list all relevant flight and hotel information on one single page for you. They even have a time chart available, which lays out your flight options in chronological order so you can more simply plan your travel around the requirements of your day.

Love Home Swap
877-778-8485
www.lovehomeswap.com

If you’ve got that pesky combination of the travel-itch and a tight wallet, Love Home Swap may be your new best friend.  For a small monthly fee, you can trade homes with other members from all over the globe.  Love Home Swap boasts the participation of thousands of homes across over 100 countries, which means your travel options are endless and what’s even better, your stays are free!  As far as options that allow you to see the world on a budget, we think this is one of the best!

Vacationist
877-313-6769
www.vactionist.com

Don’t you just love it when free turns into cash in your pocket? Well, signing up for a free profile on  Vacationist provides your with hotel discounts up to 60% off, brought to you by Luxury Link and Travel + Leisure. Membership gives you access to hotel deals that you won’t find on any other site. The only catch?  You can’t sleep on these deals, as they last between 3 – 7 days and are distributed on a first come, first serve basis. So if you’re ready to commit to an amazing vacation at an even better price, hurry up and get your browser to Vacationist.com!

Weekend Getaways
our 5 picks

Wine Tour at Mirbeau Inn & Spa
851 West Genesee St.
Skaneateles, NY 13152
(877) 647-2328
www.mirbeau.com

A few short hours outside of the city, tucked away in the beautiful Finger Lakes, lies Mirbeau Inn and Spa and their Finger Lakes Wine Tour Package.   Grab your someone special and spend your weekend basking in a six hour wine tour and picnic lunch, relaxing with spa treatments, luxuriating with a three-course dinner prepared by their award winning restaurant and unwinding on their beautiful grounds.  When the hustle and bustle of the city is getting a little too frantic for you, just call Mirbeau, they’ll help you out!

Ski & Stay at Winter Clove Inn
Winter Clove Road
Round Top, NY 12473
(518) 622-3267
www.winterclove.com

This winter wonderland is for you snow bunnies who think hot cocoa is a warm but brief distraction from your frosty fantasy land of slopes. Pack up your skis and head to the Winter Clove Inn in the Catskills!  Over the duration of your stay, you can spend hours on the slopes and then relax in the onsite heated pool and if you overdose on the cold temperatures, there is also a bowling alley and a recreational room for your indoor leisure as well!

Mohonk Mountain House
1000 Mountain Rest Road
New Paltz, New York 12561
(845) 255-1000
www.mohonk.com

If you are like us, you have watched Dirty Dancing about a million times and while we may not be able to provide you your own Johnny Castle to make sure you’re kept out of that pesky corner, we can guide you towards the uncannily similar Mohonk Mountain House.  You can rent a room, a cottage, have your wedding or even just spend a day exploring the grounds and then getting rubbed down in their in-house spa.  Picturesque doesn’t even come close to describing Mohonk which was named the #2 resort spa by Conde Nast Traveler in 2012.  This place is romantic meets rugged, Hollywood meets country getaway, we promise you will love it!

Trail Rides at The Settlers Inn
4 Main Avenue
Hawley, PA 18428
800-833-8527
www.thesettlersinn.com

If you’re in the mood for a down home weekend but aren’t quite ready to sign up for a few days with the in-laws, check out the Settle in and Saddle up package The Settlers Inn in the Poconos.  Reconnect with yourself and get down with the “horseplay” while taking trail rides (all levels available) at the Vanderbeek Farm and Stables and then replenish your energy with the Inn’s farm-to-table dining.  Sometimes a little bit of country is exactly what us city folks need!

The Whiteface Lodge
7 Whiteface Inn Road
Lake Placid, New York 12946
(518) 523-0500
www.thewhitefacelodge.com

If you have varied desires for your weekend away and don’t want to settle on any front, the Whiteface Lodge could be exactly what you have been searching for.  The accommodations are pristine, the food delicious, the wine and beer lists are dense and well thought out and the grounds offer a bevy of options with which to entertain yourself.  From ice-skating, to bowling, multi-bedroom adjoined group suites to intimate dining, and of course spa treatments and indoor/outdoor swimming, the Whiteface Lodge provides a forum for you to unwind and recharge in style!

NYC Staycations
our 5 picks

Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC
18 Ninth Ave
New York, NY 10014
212-206-6700
www.hotelgansevoort.com

When you need get the heck out of dodge but simply don’t have the time, checking into your favorite nearby hotel and pretending you’re on holiday can be just what you need to decompress.  Our friends at the Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking district have created the perfect answer to your staycation needs with their Night Owl Package.  Their invitation reads as follows; check in early to your Deluxe suite, take a swim and enjoy a complimentary cocktail poolside, retreat to your room where you can prep for the night and pre-game with a 750ml bottle (see site for generous options) on the house and then hit the town with VIP passes to this seasons hottest club.  Wake up the next morning and get your hair did – you have 20% off at Prieto Select Hair Studio – girl you look fancy!

Hotel Tonight
www.hoteltonight.com

If you are a last minute kind of person, Hotel Tonight is right up your alley.  This app gets all of the sickest deals that you can’t get your hands on and offers them, discounted, to you each day at noon.  And we’re not just talking NYC hotels, Hotel Tonight covers over 50 cities nationwide and more in Canada and Mexico!  It’s genius really, this site has relationships with all of your favorite hotels and each day the hotels tell Hotel Tonight about their extra rooms and since vacant rooms are no fun for anyone, they pass them on with enormous discounts!  So the next time you wake up on the wrong side of the bad, get yourself a little staycation…we promise it will turn your day around!

Dream Downtown
355 West 16th Street
New York, New York 10011
(212) 229-2559
http://www.dreamhotels.com/hotels/new-york/new-york/dream-downtown/hotel-overview?propId=PX45548

Sometimes it’s nice to plan a staycation for your favorite over-worked, under-played brother, boyfriend, or best friend…If you’re in the market to make him feel special the Dream Downtown has a package called The Shot Caller that you need to know about!  The shot caller is like the NYC man’s spa-weekend, boasting a Platinum suite, a private cabana poolside (fits 5), a 12 pack of Heineken along with Kobe sliders and fries poolside. He can follow that up with his 60-minute Swedish massage, before he heads to Marble Lane for a three-course Prixe-Fixe dinner, and finally he can unwind in his new monogrammed bathrobe with on-demand movies and dessert delivered to his suite.

Ace Hotel
20 West 29th Street
New York, New York 10001
(212) 679-2222
www.acehotel.com

Want to feel like a rock star for a weekend?  The Ace Hotel has you covered.  Their Loft suite’s get even the most unimpressed travelers intrigued.  Not only is their vintage décor thoughtful, interesting and so un-hotel-like, but this suite in particular comes outfitted with a turntable, a carefully curated mini-bar an amazing view and here’s the kicker…a guitar.  That’s right, you can rock out high above Broadway and 29th and let that inner music god shine!  And should you get hungry or lonely, downstairs lives the Breslin and the John Dory Oyster Bar for all of your pork and seafood needs.

W New York
541 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10022
(212) 755-1200
www.wnewyork.com

Are you feeling frisky? That may just be your inner staycation-traveler telling you it needs a weekend at the W New York and their Flirty and Fabulous Package!  After you check into your plush suite, you can snack on some “Naked Strawberries” – which come with a side of chocolate dipping sauce so you can dunk or dab your fruit as you please.  When you’ve finished with your snack head down to the Oasis lounge for your complementary champagne and once the bubbles have you feeling brave, take your two hotel-provided tickets and be admitted into the Museum of Sex for an eye-popping, and arousing experience.  One quick tip – make sure you visit the animal exhibit – we’re telling you, you’ll leave with a whole new respect for Zebra’s!

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