Posts Tagged ‘beach holidays’

Miami Beach Welcomes Beach Lovers with Special Travel Offers this Winter Season

October 21, 2017
Fla-SBch-WP-080509 (c) Karen Rubin 028e2

Miami Beach is rolling out the welcome mat this winter with special discounts and deals © Karen Rubin/

Miami Beach is helping sun seekers find their seasonal beach escape with exclusive travel deals and offers this fall and winter. Discounts of up to 25 percent off are being offered at several area hotels including Dream South Beach, Loews Miami Beach, Mondrian South Beach, Gale South Beach and W South Beach.

“This beach-wide initiative to offer specialty discounts and deals this upcoming season is a testament to how our local Miami Beach hotel community is rolling out the welcome mat and working to help tourists de-stress with that coveted warm weather vacation to escape the cold,” said Peggy Benua, Chair of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) and General Manager of Dream South Beach. “We are preparing for a very strong season and look forward to welcoming vacationers and making it easier for them to escape to our beautiful city, Miami Beach, that is truly like no other place in the world.”

Beach lovers can select from a variety of Miami Beach hotel discounts (subject to availability and blackout dates) that will be sure to warm them up this season, including:

  • Dream South Beach:Travelers can book the Beach Lovers promotion and receive a 25 percent discount on room rates with a complimentary resort fee that includes luxury lounge chairs, beach towels and in-room Wi-Fi.
  • Loews Miami BeachExperience an enhanced oceanfront escape and book three nights to receive a $75 resort credit per stay and daily buffet breakfast for two.
  • AC Hotel Miami BeachGet away to warm weather and enjoy up to 20 percent off on advance bookings for stays now through December 22.
  • Courtyard Miami Beach/South Beach:Go art deco this winter season at a historical landmark, just minutes from the beautiful beaches and premier shopping on South Beach, with up to 20 percent off advance bookings for stays now through December 22.
  • Mondrian South BeachSoak up the sun in the heart of Miami Beach and experience the iconic Ocean Drive, Espanola Way and Lincoln Road with up to 15% off the best available rate.
  • Gale South BeachLuxury service, hospitality perks and complimentary food and beverage offerings await travelers with up to 15 percent off the best available rate.

Renowned for its culinary offerings, extravagant nightlife, rich culture, luxe shopping and plush hotels, Miami Beach is home to world-class museums, the New World Symphony, Miami City Ballet, Miami Beach Convention Center, international festivals and art exhibitions, boat and auto shows, over 187 boutique and resort hotels and 12 public parks. Boasting seven miles of white sand beaches, Miami Beach is easily accessible from the Port of Miami and Miami International Airport. The City of Miami Beach has been named one of the top cities worldwide for ‘walkability’ and is equally easy to navigate by bike or boat. Known for its year-round sunny skies, the vibrant destination has been ranked by TripAdvisor as a Top Winter Sun Vacation Rental Getaway Destinations, Top Romantic Destinations, Top 25 Beaches in the World and Top 25 Destinations in the U.S.

For more information and updates on additional Miami Beach hotel offers and discounts this winter season, download the Miami Beach Information App at


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Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Montego Bay Offers ‘Suite Spring Sale’

December 24, 2014
Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Montego Bay, Jamaica

Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Montego Bay, Jamaica

Spring Break in Jamaica will be sweeter in 2015 for guests of the all-inclusive Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego Bay thanks to a new Suite Spring Sale. Savings of up to 50% off published rates are available in KidSuites® and One-Bedroom Suites between February and April 2015:


KidSuites®   One-Bedroom Suites
Savings Travel Dates Rates Savings Travel Dates Rates
35% Feb 1 – April 11, 2015 $443 35% Feb 1 – April 11, 2015 $508
50% April 12 – April 30, 2015 $314 50% April 12 – April 30, 2015 $364

*All rates based on single/double occupancy

“Spring Break in Jamaica is always great, but in one of our suites, the experience is that much more magical,” said Nicola Madden-Greig, Group Director of Marketing & Sales. “Ultra spacious and more elegant than you might expect, our suites were fully-renovated recently to provide guests with an unmatched level of comfort for the money. Our new Suite Spring Sale makes an already great value even better.”

For families, the new KidSuites® are simply ideal. KidSuites® feature a unique room within a room concept, where kids and parents enjoy their own private space. Each unit features a partially separated sleep/play area for kids, with one set of bunk beds, cable TV with kid friendly channels, and play table or desk. The main sleeping area has a king bed, flat screen cable TV with premium movie channels, direct dial telephone with voice mail, coffee maker, in-room safe, AM/FM clock radio, hair dryer, refrigerator, iron and ironing board. KidSuites® are also ideally located on the ground floor adjacent to the resort’s award-winning KidSpree Vacation Club.

One-bedroom suites offer the ultimate in comfort and refinement for guests of the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego Bay. Each of these ultra-spacious penthouse accommodations features a completely separate living area, full ocean view, private whirlpool, vaulted ceilings, dark wood accents, fine décor, flat screen TV with premium movie and sports channels, work desk, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, AM/FM clock radio, coffee maker, refrigerator, an in-room safe, and enough room to comfortably sleep up to five persons.

The Suite Spring Sale is valid on bookings made by April 29, 2015 for resort stays enjoyed between February 1 and April 30, 2015. There are no blackout dates and a minimum night stay of three nights is required for resort stays taking place February 12 – 17, 2015, as well as March 30 – April 5, 2015.

Savings apply to KidSuites® and One-Bedroom Suites room categories and include unlimited meals, snacks and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), non-motorized watersports, resort amenities (tennis, mini golf, fitness center, etc.), taxes, gratuities, and free nightly shuttle service to Margaritaville in the heart of Montego Bay’s nightlife center, The Hip Strip.

As an added value, free Wifi Internet service is accessible in all rooms and suites at the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego, and all kids 12 and under stay, play and eat free when sharing accommodations with parents.

Group bookings are ineligible and revisions on current bookings are not permitted. Savings of up to 50% cannot be combined with any other promotion or consumer savings and can be withdrawn at any time.

The Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego Bay is a 518-room full-service resort which combines the strength of the world’s most-trusted hotel brand with authentic Jamaican hospitality. Distinguished as the only 100% all-inclusive Holiday Inn*, the property helps travelers stretch their vacation dollars to new heights, offering a series of complimentary special programs benefiting families (KidSpree) and seniors (GoldenSpree). Those wishing to tie the knot can even take advantage of the Free Caribbean Wedding program (conditions apply). The resort continues to upgrade its facilities and amenities to better serve the modern traveler.  New room categories – Junior Suites for added elegance, and KidSuites® for more family fun – together with exciting dining options at the just-opened Kenko Teppanyaki Restaurant, upgraded rooms and common areas add a refreshed feel to the property, even for the most frequent of repeat guests. Additional amenities, such as the boutique Sol-Mer Spa & Salon, five restaurants/grill, four bars, two pools, tennis, mini golf, half-mile of pristine white sand beach and boardwalk, “Tek-it-Easy” private island, 4,000 square feet of meeting space, electronic casino, and more, affirm that the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego Bay truly offers something for everyone.


For Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego Bay reservations, visit, or call 1-888-288-6006.
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New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good

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Sand Sculpting World Cup Competition Convenes in Atlantic City, NJ Thru July 6

June 20, 2014


Matt Long gives a demonstration on competitive sand sculpting at Atlantic City, New Jersey's booth at the recent New York Times Travel Show. The DO AC Sand Sculpting World Cup is on now through July 6 © 2014 Karen Rubin/

Matt Long gives a demonstration on competitive sand sculpting at Atlantic City, New Jersey’s booth at the recent New York Times Travel Show. The DO AC Sand Sculpting World Cup is on now through July 6 © 2014 Karen Rubin/

Ever wonder what 20 of the world’s greatest sand sculptors can do with 500 tons of sand? The skillful art of sand sculpting has returned to its Atlantic City roots this summer as the multi-week DO AC Sand Sculpting World Cup hits the free beach again with more action, world-class sculptors and a new location.

This year’s sand-sculpting event starts at noon on Thursday, June 19, and runs through the July 4th holiday weekend to Sunday, July 6. The viewing hours on the beach have been extended this year from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the competition.

The DO AC Sand Sculpting World Cup event is free and open to the public and the sand art will remain on display through July 6.

Throughout the middle of June, the most noted sand-sculpting artists on the planet will be on Atlantic City’s Pennsylvania Avenue beach, adjacent to the famed Steel Pier and the Landshark Bar & Grill, crafting their masterpieces. The award ceremony — during which the final sculptures will be on display — is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday, June 27.

Sand sculpting returned to its Atlantic City roots in a big way in 2013 with more than 130,000 people coming to Atlantic City see the sand sculpting competition. This year’s DO AC Sand Sculpting World Cup is looking to be the biggest event of its kind ever, with more talent, the biggest prize purse in the history of sand-sculpting, and the first-ever McCord Cup, named after famous sand-sculpting pioneer Philip McCord — who practiced his art, starting in the late 1890s, at the same Atlantic City beach where the competition is taking place this year —on the line.

The top 20 sculptors from around the world, recruited by event director and professional sand carver, Atlantic City’s John Gowdy, will come together on the beach at noon on June 19 to dig in and begin drawing and carving their lines in the sand. Gowdy has also secured a panel of the very best judges for this year’s competition.

This year’s event will include 500 tons of sand. This allows the artists to build higher and more detailed pieces. There are no agents used in the mixing of the sand during the work. It’s not until the sculpture is completed that a mix of biodegradable solution and water is sprayed on to provide a thin coating that helps the art stand up to the weather.

There will be categories for both Solo and Doubles carving. The Solo competitors will be actively carving 20 sculptures from June 19-22. The Doubles teams will be carving a total of 10 sculptures from June 24-27.

A demo sand sculpture created by Gowdy will be on display throughout the duration of the event and will be visible from the Boardwalk.

Also new this year, Cheekoting, a game of racing plastic marble-like balls on a sand course that developed on Italy’s lively beaches after World War II will be played on site at the DO AC Sand Sculpting World Cup. This will be the first time the game has been played before the public in the U.S. The course is like a mini-golf course built in sand, with hills, valleys and tunnels. Competitors will flick their plastic marbles along a very long and winding track approximately 1-foot wide, with banked sides so the balls doesn’t leave the track. The game will played on the World Cup site, near the Landshark Bar & Grill at Resorts.

To read more about this year’s event, the competitors, the history of sand sculpting in Atlantic City and for photos and video from last year’s event, visit 

From sandals to stilettos and foie gras to funnel cakes, Atlantic City offers something for everyone. Enjoy world-class entertainment, dining, shopping, casino gaming, relaxing on the beach and strolling the historic Boardwalk in the city created to escape the city. For more information visit or:

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St. Pete Beach on Florida’s Gulf Coast is as Glorious as Ever

July 26, 2010
Postcard Inn on St. Pete Beach

From our room at the charming Postcard Inn on the Beach, we stroll out to St. Pete Beach © 2010 Karen Rubin/

Just back from St. Pete Beach, Florida, where we had the most delightful stay at the Postcard Inn, right on the beach (more in stories to follow). The Gulf Coast beach is as beautiful as ever.

One evening, as we were awaiting the nightly spectacular – the sunset – we saw a pod of dolphins swimming past just beyond where the buoys marked the edge of swimming area. Brown pelicans were diving for fish just near where we were swimming.

Just beyond where a couple swims in the Gulf of Mexico, a pod of dolphin pass by © 2010 Karen Rubin/

From our room at the  Postcard Inn on the Beach, chic, remodeled 1950s-era motel with the charm of an inn and the amenities and service of a boutique hotel, we stroll out to the beach.  (More on the Postcard Inn, 6300 Gulf Blvd, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706, 727-367-2711 main line, 800-237-8918 reservations,, to follow).

There are scores of phenomenal beaches all along this spit of Florida, between St. Petersburg Beach, with Fort DeSoto (you can visit the Spanish-American War era fort) and Pass-a-Grille which is a quaint, historic village with what I considered the most beautiful, white-sand beach of all,  at the southernmost point, up through Treasure Island, Indian Shores, Clearwater Beach, Caledesi Beach, and Tarpon Springs.

A delightful way to visit is by the trolley bus that goes from Pass-a-Grille in the south, up to Clearwater Beach.

Pass-a-Grille turned out to be one of our favorite places to idle away. You follow Gulf Boulevard passed the famous “pink castle” of St. Pete Beach, the 1920s era Don Cesar hotel, and find yourself in Old Florida – charming houses lining a narrow street that ends in a historic village. Four miles of undeveloped public beach along Gulf Way on the Gulf of Mexico wrap around the end of the key to meet Boca Ciega Bay on the harbor side of Pass-a-Grille. You can go on a shelling or snorkeling excursion to Shell Key, watch the dolphins play; or enjoy gentle sea breezes on a sunset cruise. Take a stroll on 8th Avenue, where you’ll find galleries, boutiques, and restaurants and an adorable ice cream shop, Paradise Sweets.

To plan a trip, contact St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau,  13805 58th Street North, Suite 2-200, Clearwater, Fl 33760, 727-464-7200,  877-352-3224,

See our full coverage of St. Petersburg and the Gulf Beaches at

–Karen Rubin/Travel Features Syndicate

Florida’s Magnificent Gulf Coast Beaches: See Them Now

June 3, 2010

Vacationers have been hesitant to book trips to Florida's Gulf Coast beaches, but now is the time to visit and VisitFlorida provides real-time tools to make your plans to places like Caledesi Beach (c) 2010 Karen Rubin/News&PhotoFeatures).

Travelers so far have been hesitant to book summer vacations to Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches, as the BP Gulf Oil spill saga continues to unfold.

That is a big mistake.

So far, the beaches have remained as pristine and spectacular as ever, and Visit Florida, the  state’s official tourism marketing corporation, has created an excellent network of real-time web-cams and on-site reporters so you can see conditions for yourself at the state’s beaches and destinations, on line in real time, (just click on the map) – muchlike the ski industry lets you see a real-time videocam to show conditions on the slopes.

But the fact that the beaches are unspoiled is all the more reason to go now to experience these treasures.

Like Venice, these treasures are not to be taken for granted.

Places like Sanibel Island, Caladesi Island State Park,  Clearwater Beach, and Naples.

Some of Florida’s Gulf Coast beach destinations have gone so far as to offer liberal cancellation policies, such as the Beaches of South Walton, a destination located along a 26-mile stretch of Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast and comprised of 15 picturesque beach communities, and white sand beaches and emerald green waters for which the region is renowned. It was named as one of the Top 12 travel destinations for 2010 by Frommer’s. (For more information about Beaches of South Walton, visit or contact the Visitor’s Center at 800-822-6877).

The South Walton TDC and lodging partners are monitoring conditions with the BP Oil spill closely, and partners are developing generous travel policies should any of the beaches be impacted. Visitors are encouraged to contact their lodging provider directly to discuss specific policies and programs. To keep visitors informed about beach conditions and the county’s preparedness the TDC is continuing to post daily updates and images on, including information on a fully funded action plan to protect the destination in the event of oil reaching the shore.

Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches are in many ways even more magnificent than its Atlantic Ocean beaches, and afford more ways to explore, experience and enjoy – there are the most magnificent nature preserves, world-renowned birding areas, and kayaking along designated trails.

“Visit Florida’s role to the consumer is to be a trustworthy provider of accurate information, so the traveler can make travel plans,” said Kenneth Morgan, Public Relations Manager. “We want vacationers to make their travel plans based on current information, not out of fear or misinformation. At this time, our beaches are clear and open, and not impacted in any way.”

The Florida Live site provides a Googlemap of the state – visitors can click  on twitter feeds from various destinations and be linked at the “hyper-local level” to get up-to-date local information.

You can also find out about vacation deals and events.

More complete information about Florida’s plethora of destinations, including beaches is available from with links to real-time information about local destinations.

You can click on the “Florida Live” tab to see photos and videos that are authentic, real (they are uploaded by local people).

Visit Florida has also created a “Share a Little Sunshine” advocacy program: a fan page on Facebook that Florida residents subscribe to and invite people to Florida.

Other contacts:

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel) is the best source for trip planning (12800 University Drive, Suite 550, Fort Myers, FL 33907, 239-338-3500,  800-237-6444,, Email: It also has a link on its site for updates on the impact (or none) of the oil spill, which when we checked, had none  and it was reported safe for swimming and fishing (

Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, 401 Cleveland Street, Clearwater, Florida 33755, 888-425-3279 or 727-461-0011, Clearwater Beach is also monitoring the oil spill situation. “We are monitoring the oil spill situation closely, but there are no negative impacts in Clearwater and we are open for business as usual.” For regular updates visit:

Naples, Marco Island & Everglades Convention & Visitor Center, 800 688 3600, 239-225-1013,, Email:

The Florida Keys & Key West tourism council has added a section to its site to provide travelers up-to-date information on the TransOcean/BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The site provides official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oil slick trajectory maps as well as a Q&A section on the oil leaks. The 72-hour forecast maps are updated on a daily basis  (visit www.fla-keys.com_.

Also see our story:–Gulf-Coast-Beaches-See-Them-Now.

Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate