Travel deals at 20 percent off are pretty much the status quo, so we set the bar higher with Cyber Monday deals delivering 50 percent off or better. It doesn’t hurt that most of the destinations are relatively easy to get to, either here in town or a direct flight away from Chicago. Deals are good through today only unless otherwise noted (check individual offers for exact expiration times).
For locals and visitors to the city, the best deal in town is the JW Marriott Chicago’s rate of $149 a night—around 50 percent off the more typical rate of $289. Valid on stays from December 15, 2013, through February 13, 2014. Use the promotion code BAR online or by calling 800-228-9290.
Nab a fresh business-class room at the Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel Philadelphia in atmospheric Rittenhouse Square for $19.26. That dirt-cheap rate commemorates the year the hotel opened and its very recent $20 million head-to-toe renovation. Business class stays come with a few perks, too, including access to the brand’s signature lounge for complimentary breakfast and evening cocktails.
3. Wildwood, New Jersey
Morey Hotels is offering 50 rooms for $50 at its three Americana-cool beachfront properties on in Wildwood, New Jersey—the Pan American, Port Royal Hotel, and the Starlux Boutique Hotel—where standard rates typically range from $100 to $250. Offer given to the first 50 guests and is valid for stays now through June 17, 2014.
4. Sedona, Arizona
Book seven nights at the 219-room Hilton Sedona Golf Resort & Spa, set against staggering views of the Red Rocks of Sedona, and pay only $800, taxes and fees included, and no resort fee. (To get there, fly direct to Phoenix (PHX) and drive less than two hours to the resort.) Valid for stays from January 1 to November 30, 2014, with some undisclosed blackout dates noted. Use the code QO.
5. Paradise Island, Bahamas
If scoring 50 percent off at the legendary Atlantis Resort is a stroke of luck, today is your lucky day: A Cyber Monday deal is available at the budget-friendly Beach Tower with rates ranging from $99 a night in low season (valid from August 24 to October 29 and November 30 to December 25, 2014) to $199 a night in peak season (valid from January 27 to March 5 and June 12 to August 23); rates during these periods are typically $280 and $480, respectively. Here’s another incentive: On December 19, 2013, United is launching additional daily nonstop flights between Chicago O’Hare and Nassau (NAS) that will include the current Saturday service as well as new service on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.
6. Costalegre, Mexico
Duck into the 1,500-acre nature preserve of the 16-suite Las Alamandas on Mexico’s Pacific coast, a luxury hideaway where you can get a suite for $244 a night—a 50 percent discount. (To get there, fly direct to Puerto Vallarta, PVR, and drive two hours to Las Alamandas; or take a one-stop flight to Manzanillo, ZLO, and drive one hour to the resort). Valid for travel from December 2, 2013, to December 19, 2014, with one blackout week from December 26, 2013, to January 3, 2014. Use the code CYBERSUN.
7. Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Authentic Mayan experiences are the focus at the all-inclusive 957-room Sandos Caracol Eco-Resort and Spa and the 819-room Sandos Playacar Beach Resort and Spa, both situated on the shores of the Riviera Maya and offering up to 50 percent off today; all-inclusive rates per person per day usually cost $77 at Sandos Caracol and $99 at Sandos Playacar. Valid for travel in 2014 with some undisclosed blackout dates. Fly direct to Cancun (CUN) and drive under an hour south to the Riviera Maya. Before you go, read Chicago magazine’s guide to Playa Del Carmen.
And in other travel news:
Nico Osteria Opens Today at the Thompson Chicago
The list of stellar restaurants located in Chicago hotels just got better with today’s opening of chef Paul Kahan’s Nico Osteria, an edgy Italian restaurant with an open kitchen that flows into the lobby of the new Thompson, opened on the Gold Coast in October. And here’s what pastry chef Amanda Rockman has in store at Chicago magazine.
Gate-to-Gate Wi-Fi Available on All Southwest Flights
Last month, Southwest became the first U.S. airline to offer gate-to-gate Wi-Fi. This means passengers can use personal electronic devices in airplane mode from the departure to arrival gates on all Southwest flights, with free access to Dish television programming through an entertainment portal, movies at $5 each per device, and Internet access at $8 a day. Read more at Frequent Flier.
Panama Celebrates a Big Milestone and Some Big Developments
“If ever there was a time to visit Panama, this is it,” says Nicholas Gill at Condé Nast Traveler. “In 2014 its famous canal celebrates 100 years of connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and Panama City is gearing up for the milestone with a slew of major developments.” These include a new Frank Gehry-designed BioMuseo housing both art galleries and aquariums, the hot 50-room American Trade Hotel opened last month in Casca Viejo, and restaurants focused on local cuisine. Even better, Copa Airlines takes you there on direct flights from Chicago O’Hare to Panama City.