Posts Tagged ‘los angeles’

Bundle up for six winter nights in Paris and London from $1,107

Bundle up for six winter nights in Paris and London from $1,107

In winter, Paris and London are quietest – and coldest. You could spend a week exploring the great indoors without the summer crowds when visiting the British Museum and the Louvre or shopping at Harrods and Galleries Lafayette. A six-night hotel and airfare package that takes you to both capital cities in January and February starts at $1,107 per person, but act quickly because the deal ends June 8.

The deal: I found this Europe Vacations package on Travel Zoo. Based on double occupancy, prices start at $1,107 per person, including taxes and fuel surcharges. The trip includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles to Paris, three nights at a hotel in Paris, a flight from Paris to London, three nights at a London hotel and continental breakfast daily. Use the promotion code “TZPAR3″ whether you are booking online or over the phone to get a $50 per person savings that’s part of this low rate.

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Going somewhere? Check out walking tours, sightseeing cruises on Goldstar

Going somewhere? Check out walking tours, sightseeing cruises on Goldstar

If you already use the free online discounter Goldstar, youre accustomed to getting half-off tickets to concerts, shows, ballgames and other events. But I also found some interesting travel options in Boston, Washington, D.C., New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul (added this month) and other cities on Goldstar’s roster.

The deals are always somewhat last-minute, but they’re worth checking out, especially if you have a particular event in mind. For example, you might look in November and December for discounts on tickets to the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” in New York City.

Register for Goldstar for free and then peruse events as well as reviews from folks who have been to the advertised event or tour. Here are some listings I found this week while browsing (prices below don’t reflect service fees added by Goldstar):

New York

• Take a nine-hour round-trip cruise from Manhattan to Bear Mountain State Park on the Hudson River with a breakfast buffet. You can hike in the park, visit the zoo, go fishing etc., before sailing back to the city. 9 a.m., July 5, $99 per person.

• Boogie on the Saturday Night Dance Cruise while you float past the Manhattan skyline on the Circle Line’s Zephyr boat.  8:30 p.m., June 26, disco/house music night, $14.50;  8:30 p.m. July 3, $14.50 per person, Caribbean night, $14.50 per person.

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New Zealand air deal: $399 round trips from Los Angeles

New Zealand air deal: $399 round trips from Los Angeles

Pop sensation Justin Bieber recently visited, and so did model-turned-TV-mogul Tyra Banks. So if you too have a hankering to visit New Zealand, get out your stopwatch and act quickly to take advantage of a 48-hour sale from Air New Zealand. The airline is offering round-trip airfares of $399 per person, plus taxes, from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Auckland.

When: You must purchase your ticket by 11:59 PDT Friday.  You must travel to Auckland between May 21 and May 30 and return between May 28 and June 6.

Tested: I went online and found that incredible price for outbound travel available the entire week of May 21, but Im sure seats will go quickly. As a test, I booked nonstop flights from Los Angeles on May 21 and returning June 4 at the special rate that, with taxes, came to $483.30.

Remember that although it’s spring here, it’s late fall in Auckland, where temperatures have been running in the 60s.

Contact:
Air New Zealand, (800) 262-1234

– Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

Photo: Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, is known as the “City of Sails,” with boating one of the most popular recreational activities. Credit: Rosemary McClure

By LA Times

La Descarga Heats Up Koreatown in Los Angeles, Cuban Style

La Descarga Heats Up Koreatown in Los Angeles, Cuban Style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pablo Moix mixes a libation at La Descarga

If you live in Los Angeles and haven’t yet heard of La Descarga, then you don’t read the paper, the magazines, or the hippest blogs in town.  That’s okay, you’ve got plenty of company, and you’re here now, right?   All is forgiven.

La Descarga is a rum bar.  A Cuban rum bar.  A Cuban rum bar with dancing girls, cocktails served in ice sculptures, and a secret entrance that takes you through a wardrobe – and you realize you’re not in Koreatown anymore.

As groovy and classy as the many themed bars that pepper the downtown area are, La Descarga has to be the most fantastical with its many quirky elements rolled into one place.  You have to make reservations.  The dancing girls come out of a trap door in the ceiling.  The music is played by a band on the loft-like second level – all Latin style, of course.  The mixologists are serious about their drinks and keep their recipes as secret as the unmarked entrance.

La Descarga is the kind of place where you can wear the red lipstick, you might be able to find street parking, and get in and out of there for under $40 for a round of drinks for two.  The magical experience is priceless.

[photo by Chuck T. via flickr]

By UpTake

Off to see the queen? Air New Zealand has L.A.-London nonstops on sale

Off to see the queen? Air New Zealand has L.A.-London nonstops on sale

Spend enough time on “the official website of the British Monarchy” and you’ll suddenly have a hankering to immerse yourself in all things royal. My favorites are the adorable pictures of Queen Elizabeth II at age 2, looking very Shirley Temple. Each year the queen opens parts of her Buckingham Palace home to visitors for just eight weeks in late summer and fall – the latter a perfect time to take advantage of lower fares and post-peak crowds.

Deal: Air New Zealand is offering a $778 round-trip airfare (plus taxes and fees) on nonstop flights between Los Angeles (LAX) and London (LHR). This fare requires passengers to travel on Mondays through Wednesdays; add an extra $30 each way for travel on other days of the week.

When: You buy your tickets by May 12 for travel between Sept. 10 and Oct. 20.

  

Off to see the queen? Air New Zealand has L.A.-London nonstops on sale

Tested: I tried to find this fare online with September dates and was pleasantly surprised to find a slightly lower-priced ticket. (Air New Zealands website states that “some days with lower airfares are offered” but “there are not enough seats to advertise.”)

On a test booking for a Sept. 13-20 round trip, I found a $749 fare, or $911 with taxes and fees. In scanning other September and October dates, I found good availability for the $778 round-trip fare and limited choices at the $749 rate. As a comparison, fares on the same flights two weeks earlier – leaving Aug. 30 and returning Sept. 6 – cost $1,123, plus tax.

Contact: Air New Zealand, (800) 262-1234

Royal tour: You can tour the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace from July 27 to Oct. 1. Adult admission is $26. For $46, you can tour the State Rooms plus the Royal Mews and the Queen’s Gallery.  Contact: The Royal Collection, 011-44-20-7766-7300

– Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

Photo: (top): Take a spin to London from Los Angeles in late summer and fall with low fares from Air New Zealand.  Credit: Chris Erskine / Los Angeles Times

Photo (bottom): The State Rooms of Buckingham Palace are open between July 27 and Oct. 1.
Credit: Jessica Erskine

By LA Times

AirTrans one-day sale to 50 destinations from Los Angeles

AirTran Airways is having a one-day sale with one-way fares as low as $44 (plus taxes and fees). You have to book Friday for travel by June 16.

Deal: The super-low fares on this deal feature East Coast destinations: Boston to Baltimore ($49) and Nassau, Bahamas to Orlando ($44). From Los Angeles, one-way sale fares for 50 destinations are in the $104-to-$179 range, including $104 for Washington, New York and Boston; $166 for San Juan, Puerto Rico; and $124 for Atlanta. You have to travel Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays to get the lowest prices.

When: Purchase tickets by 8:59 PDT May 7 and complete your travel by June 16. Tickets must be bought seven days in advance of travel; blackout days are May 28 and 31 (Memorial Day weekend).

Tested: I tried various date combinations from Los Angeles to New York but couldn’t always get the $104 rate both ways. For example, leaving Wednesday, June 2, the lowest fare I could find was $129, though I could get the $104 rate to return on Saturday, June 5. As I tested various dates between L.A. and New York, the $129 rate showed wider availability than the rock-bottom $104, but that may be because seats are going fast.

Contact: Air Tran, (800) 247-8726

– Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

Image: Air Tran logo

By LA Times

Good excuse to leave town for Memorial Day: Southwest Airlines air-hotel deals

Good excuse to leave town for Memorial Day: Southwest Airlines air-hotel deals

Southwest Airlines has some travel packages for Memorial Day weekend if your plans are open and you have a hankering to leave town. Most of the lowest-priced round-trip airfares included in the packages return on Memorial Day morning – so you still have time to squeeze in a family picnic at home.

Here are a couple of examples. I researched these trips last week; your costs may vary by the package and booking date.

Los Angeles to Scottsdale, Ariz.: This Southwest package features a stay at the luxury Fairmont Scottsdale, rated Five Diamonds by AAA,  with a third night free. The all-inclusive price includes round-trip airfare, three nights at the hotel and a rental car for two.

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Indulge in a Chinese Foot Massage – Los Angeles

Indulge in a Chinese Foot Massage – Los Angeles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relax the night away

This is proof that you can find offbeat fun just about anywhere.  If your idea of fun is being manhandled by a strong Chinese man, this is the post for you.

Chinese foot massage parlors have popped up all over the Los Angeles area in the past few years.  They’ve probably been here all along, so maybe it’s just that I started noticing them only recently.  The one I visited is nestled in the corner of a Vons shopping center at Mason and Devonshire in Chatsworth – look for the window sign that says Super Relax.

First of all, be aware that the massage is not just for your feet.  They do everything they can with you fully clothed.   When you enter the storefront, you are greeted by the lovely owner, an older gentleman who offers you some tea or water and a cushy couch to sit on while you wait for a chair to open up.  When its your turn, you go to the back where there are four rows of three plush armchair/ottoman sets.  The room is dimly lit, there is soft music playing, and the art on the walls depicts tranquil settings in nature.

First you sit on the ottoman facing your armchair with your feet soaking in hot water and fluffy pillows on your lap.  As you sink into the pillows, the therapist works the kinks out of your neck, shoulders, and back.

Then its time for the zone:  an in-depth, full-service foot massage that also includes your legs and arms, but with serious attention to the feet.  I giggled a little when my sensitive feet got ticklish, and then I felt embarrassed because the room was filled with customers who were so relaxed they were practically asleep.

I went to Super Relax on a Friday evening with two girlfriends and we sat three in a row for our massages.  Then we walked across the street to Angelos Italian Restaurant (818) 831-0544 which we found totally by accident and were very pleasantly surprised to find it a)packed but with one open table and b)delicious, albeit with slow service that allowed us to chat the night away.

Chatsworth, everybody!  Who knew?  Our massage/dinner experience was a perfect Girls Night Out, but it would also be great for a little getaway for Mom or Dad (the massage was only an hour long) or the beginning of a date night for Mom and Dad.

Definitely call (818) 886-8866 for a reservation – their book was filled several days ahead.

[photo by Luis Solis via sxc.hu]

By UpTake

7 Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in the US

If you usually travel with your pets, youre probably on the lookout now for hotels that accommodate dogs and cats. This doesnt mean that you have to give up five-star services just to be with your furry friend. Why should you when you can have the best of both worlds? Below are the most animal-friendly five-star accommodations you should look into if youre planning a summer getaway with your cat or dog.
 

Top room service menu

7 Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in the US

When you stay at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, located in California, both you and your pet can enjoy the best meals you can ever ask for. While the list for human guests isnt bad, the pet menu is pretty impressive. These are, of course, exclusively for privileged guests, and you may want to keep earning those loyalty points if you want the best chow for your Chowchow.

The pets favorite in their menu is the Petite New York Stake. This is a generous slab of medium rare stake served with fresh, raw vegetables. Other varieties which are just as good include the half-pound cheeseburger, the mushroom ravioli (you can ask for the cream to be set aside), and the baked salmon.

This special pet room service is available from 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM. You can also take your pets to dine with you at the al fresco restaurants, although the areas are limited to certain patio areas of the inn.

Cutest Door Tag

7 Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in the US

How do you know if a hotel really welcomes pets? When it encourages you to travel with your pets, of course. Whether youre travelling with Fido or Fluffy, this hotel will always be close to your heart if only because their door tag spells “animal lover” . The Hotel Arista which lies just outside Chicago, is both trendy and eco-friendly. Their cute door tag will feature your very own pet.

How is this possible? Upon making your reservations, you can send a photograph of your pet. On the day of your stay, youll be welcomed warmly by a personalized door tag framing a photograph of your furry little buddy.

Most Comfortable Pet Bed

7 Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in the US

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The Most Expensive Cities in America

The Most Expensive Cities in America

When you live in a city with topnotch hotels and malls where luxury shopping is the main event, its easy to drain out your bank account. For example, Mojitos in Miami can cost as much as $15, and if youre a Mojito-lover, youll know how fast you can blow off your salary. There are ways for you to dodge the spenders traps, though. For example, if you must have a Mojito after work, you can stick to places with Happy Hour specials.

Even if youre just traveling to these cities, you should take the time to do the math. It might take some of the fun out of traveling, but itll keep your budget (and sanity) intact. Below are the most expensive cities in America to watch out for and what you should expect from them before you purchase your plane ticket.

New York

The Most Expensive Cities in America

Youre at the center of the center if you live in New York. Unfortunately, that also means paying a pretty big bill just to live in a world class city. What do you expect, though? The Big Apple has the biggest luxury stores, the most famous restaurants in the world, and the richest hotpot of culture. Yes, culture.

It is, as Alicia Keys song said, a “concrete jungle” with a demographic that can represent almost all races around the world. Of course, most of them are called Americans, now, but you can be sure that they have a lot of history to talk about, especially if they werent homegrown.

Youll have to be a pretty tough cookie to survive here, though. While it rated #1 in the AFC richest city survey, it also places last in the “friendliness” category.

Honolulu

The Most Expensive Cities in America

The principle is simple: the more tourists a city can attract, the more expensive all of its amenities get. Its the simple law of demand and supply, and this simple economic principle applies to Honolulu as well. The Hawaiian city ranked number two in AFCs survey simply because it topped the categories “romance” and “relaxation” . Money talks even in paradise, but dont spend all your cash on culture hopping, though.

Or maybe a hula lesson wont hurt. The hotel ratings arent bad. Its the fourth out of thirty cities to have topnotch hotels. It places last for classical music and theater, though, so keep your dough for the beach. Theres no use spending on something thats not worth seeing. Every cent counts in this expensive summer getaway.

Los Angeles

The Most Expensive Cities in America

Certainly, the City of Angels cant be an affordable city to live in. Not with the long stretches of beaches and almost a year-long access to all that sun. However, the survey shows that much of the money youll be spending in L.A. wont really be allotted to hotels and drinks. Theyll be spent on your clothes. This is one of the USAs fashion capitals, and it wont do for you to be seen in rags.

The city has the third most expensive luxury stores and the fourth most expensive boutiques. Why? People here put a prime on their appearances. While they havent quite reached New Yorks rank, yet, the locals here are the fourth most stylish and attractive people in the USA.

San Francisco

The Most Expensive Cities in America

Even if youre not living in San Francisco, you should prepare for quite a big amount of money just to rent out one of the rooms. The citys luxury hotels rank fourth most expensive in the country. The boutique hotels are even more expensive, ranking third in the survey.

If youre writing a novel or a travelogue, though, this is a pretty good city to visit. The demographic diversity ranked number two, here, and theyre not hard to look at, either. The people in San Francisco ranked third in stylishness, and the city is the fourth best city for people watching.

Miami

The Most Expensive Cities in America

If you ever find yourself in the South Beach, you know that most of your money will be spent on cocktails. Miami is the second most expensive city when it comes to the bar scene. The only plus side in this city is the majestic sunset and views of the ocean. People-watching is also fair game here. The city ranks first in terms of having the most attractive locals.

San Diego

The Most Expensive Cities in America

While pretty much everything is expensive in this city in equal proportions, youll certainly enjoy an entire year with clear, sunny skies and a comfortable (not scorching) 70ºF temperature. If San Diego topped anything in the survey, its the weather category. Youll also probably love the more mellow beaches in this vicinity. While Miamis are crowded with bikini bums, San Diegos beaches are less populated and peaceful.

San Diego also ranked fifth best as a relaxing retreat. Meanwhile, the city got sixth place in romance and sixth in cleanliness as well. While its not the most popular honeymoon destination, its certainly one of the places youd want to go to if youre planning to escape the hassles of the work place. Just save up enough money, look for a decent lodging which wont drain your account, and have as much fun without blowing the budget.

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