Experience extravagance with travel to these hot destinations
TORONTO, Oct. 31, 2012 /CNW/ - We all deserve a treat every now and then, but we're not talking cookies and milk. Sometimes, we need to get away and a cottage retreat just doesn't always cut it - especially now that it's getting cold. Using its latest Hotel Price Index™ (HPI™), the experts at Hotels.com have uncovered the most extravagant destinations.
"These aren't everyday destinations for the average Canadian traveller, but they are all must-sees," says Taylor Cole, director public relations and social media, North America at Hotels.com. "They might not be part of the most affordable list, but you'll definitely appreciate what you pay for and can often find travel deals by visiting during off or shoulder season."
The HPI is a biannual report that looks at hotel prices in cities all around the world. The data is based on bookings made through the Hotels.com website and the prices listed are the actual prices paid by Canadians - not advertised rates. This most recent edition of the report compares the first six months of 2012 with the same period in 2011.
Coming in at number one with an average daily hotel rate of $302, Bermuda certainly isn't a budget destination. That said, the island of the rich and famous is worth every dollar. It's home to world-class golf courses, multi-million dollar homes and pink sand beaches. It's almost too perfect - if there is such a thing! Must-try activities include:
- Elbow Beach: Considered one of the most "family-friendly" beaches on the island, this is the place to be if you've got kids. Also, it's Bermuda's pinkest beach - how's that for colour!?
- Tobacco Bay: If you're sans-children, check out the sand here where they've got a licence to serve alcohol. Just make sure to bring your party sunglasses.
- Town of St. George: Make it an educational trip with a visit to the country's original settlement. You can join a walking tour to check out historic architecture - especially in King's Square, home to the Town Hall built in the early 1600s.
- See the Stars: We're not talking about those bright lights in the sky either. Just like Hollywood, you can board a tour for a glimpse of famous homes belonging to some of the most well-known celebs including David Bowie and his wife Iman, or Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones.
Number two on the list is another picturesque, yet considerably larger, island. Average daily hotel rates in this country come in at $291. Considering the 12 per cent price decrease over the last year, the Bahamas may have become just a tad more affordable, so why not take advantage of the current rates and head over? Must-try activities include:
- Swimming with Pigs: Who wouldn't want to do this? Appealing to both families and animal-lovers, you can swim with the oinkers and check out their aquatic skills on Pig Beach (fitting name, right?) in the Exuma Cays.
- Island Hopping: With more than 700 islands in the Bahamas to take advantage of, why not 'hop' around? The islands are extremely accessible and you can immerse yourself in a paradise that suits you with the drop of an anchor. Check out Nassau and Paradise Island for boutique shopping, Harbour Island for some tranquility and Eleuthera for its history.
- Island Jeep Safar Tour: If you're not a water baby, why not explore the land on a jeep tour? Experience some off-roading fun, see a mixture of ecosystems and drive the the uphill trail for a view of Grand Bahama Island's unique natural wonder - the inland blue hole.
- Lucayan National park: Named after the "Lucayans," who were the original inhabitants of the Bahamas, this park has one of the longest charted underwater cave systems in the world, spanning more than six miles.
Brazil may not be as consistently hot as its island counterparts, but its culture certainly is. Known for attractive beach-goers, football, Carnival and the Amazon, this is a country that aims to please. With average daily hotel rates at $227, Brazil has seen a 10 per cent price increase year-over-year and with Rio being chosen as the host city of the 2016 Summer Games, it's likely to continue on its upward climb. Must-see activities include:
- Christ the Redeemer: If you've not yet been to Brazil, you may recognize this statue from Fast and Furious 5 or the animated bird movie, Rio. This enormous statue, which stands 120 feet tall, towers over the city of Rio de Janeiro and even made the Seven New Wonders of the World list in 2007.
- Copacabana Beach: Barry Manilow brought this place to the masses with his single of the same name. This is one of the world's most famous beaches with 4km of white sand and stunning views of Sugar Loaf Mountain.
- Sugar Loaf Mountain: Speaking of Sugar Loaf, your trip would not be complete without a trip to this mountain. Take a ride up in the cable cars and experience breathtaking views of the city.
- Carnival: This world-famous carnival cannot be overlooked. It's one of the world's largest parties and, for many of the locals, more popular than Christmas, Easter or New Year's celebrations. The only thing in the country that comes close is Rio de Janeiro New Year's Eve celebrations.
Start saving those pennies now and you can experience some of these luxurious tropical attractions. Keep track of the best hotel deals to your dream destinations through our Facebook Deals App wish list feature and don't forget to start collecting Welcome RewardsTM which gives travellers one free night for every 10 collected.
*All prices are in Canadian dollars
Hotels.com (also known in Canada as Hotels.ca) is a leading online accommodation booking brand. Through its global network of websites, Hotels.com, LP connects travellers with almost 155,000 properties around the world, ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favourites and bed & breakfasts, together with all the information needed to book the perfect stay. Hotels.com, LP benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry, obtaining the best rates for its customers, and offers frequent sales, special deals and promotions. There are more than 6.5 million Guest Reviews on the websites from users who have actually stayed in the hotels to ensure customers can make an informed choice when booking. Through Hotels.com, LP's industry-leading loyalty program Welcome RewardsTM, customers can earn a free night for every 10 nights stayed at more than 85,000 hotels. Under its Price Match Guarantee, if a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com, LP will refund the difference. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multilingual call centers. Special apps for mobile phones and tablets can also be downloaded at www.hotels.com/deals/mobile_app/ enabling customers to book on the go with access to 20,000 last minute deals. Hotels.com publishes an award-winning twice-yearly review of international hotel room price trends called the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index™, which is now produced in 31 individual country editions, with North American data available at www.hotel-price-index.com. Follow Hotels.com on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Hotels.comCA, on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/hotelsdotcomca and on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/hotelsdotcom. Hotels.com, LP is part of Expedia, Inc., the largest online travel company in the world with an extensive portfolio that includes some of the world's best-known brands.
Hotels.com, Hotel Price Index, HPI, Welcome Rewards and the Hotels.com logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Hotels.com, LP. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. © 2012 Hotels.com, LP. All rights reserved. CST # 2083949-50
Image with caption: "Brazil's towering Christ the Redeemer is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World (CNW Group/Hotels.com)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121031_C2993_PHOTO_EN_19816.jpg