Just had another appearance as the resident Travel Expert for hotels.com. Today we’re in the Windy City, Chicago, to speak with WGN. I brought along some fun-filled ideas for unique vacation ideas today. Here’s what I suggested:
  • Castle on the Hudson, Tarrytown, NY – Tarrytown is one of my favorite little towns. You might know it better as Sleepy Hollow. Yep, Washington Irving is from this little gem along the Hudson River and his book is set here as well. The little North Church is still standing, and a must-see on your visit! Where to stay? The Castle on the Hudson offers a regal escape to the enchanted days of yesteryear, where the finest European traditions are blended with superb modern amenities. This unique hotel was originally an early 20th century estate with 45 rooms, fashioned after the Norman castles scattered around Britain. Hotels.com rate from $287/night
  • Quinta Real Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico – Escape to Mexico for your end-of-summer getaway, and consider your stay in this 19th Century bull-fighting-ring-turned exemplary hotel a unique history lesson. The hotel’s style is intriguing yet unassuming, fitting well with the city of Zacatecas, known for its Spanish colonial buildings, cathedrals, and quaint cobblestone streets. The hotel restaurant, serving Mexican and international cuisine, overlooks the bullring, from which spectators viewed bullfights decades ago. Hotels.com rate from $159/night
  • Universal’s Portofino Bay, Orlando, FL – Now you can experience fabulous Portofino, Italy without having to travel all the way there! If you’re planning on visiting one of Orlando’s world-famous theme parks, Universal’s Portofino Bay Resort is a unique accommodation choice. Designers and craftsmen painstakingly modeled the ambience of Universal’s Portofino Bay after an Italian Riviera resort. Elaborate paintings decorate exteriors and faux fishing boats are anchored in the harbor. The hotel is four miles from Sea World and eight miles from Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot. Room keys at this resort allow guests to skip the lines at most Universal theme-park rides and attractions. Hotels.com rate from $259/night
  • The Lodge at Buckberry Creek, Gatlinburg, TN – Travelers seeking idyllic mountain escapes in rustic lodge, settings or special family vacations will find all they want at the Lodge at Buckberry Creek. Perched on 26 acres only two miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the lodge is close to Dixie Stampede and Dollywood, the musical dinner theater and amusement park respectively owned by country-music legend and local native Dolly Parton, and the upscale Tanger Five Oaks Mall, which adds to the area’s 500-plus outlet stores. Guests can enjoy special-event facilities, walking trails, catch-and-release trout fishing and spa and health services. Hotels.com rates from $180/night
  • Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo, CA – If you are looking for a relaxing getaway with a twist, visit the Madonna Inn in California’s Central Coast hideaway town – San Luis Obispo. The world-renowned Madonna Inn offers 109 rooms, each uniquely decorated with a special theme and color scheme – and “unique” doesn’t quite capture the true essence of the themes and schemes involved. Guests can check out the many unique room choices available, including the Caveman Room with rock sink basins, the cherry blossom-themed Mount Vernon Room, and the cherub-covered Cloud Nine Room. Hotels.com rates from $198/night
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