The most amazing New Year’s Eve luxury travel experience you can imagine

Find 17 of your closest frends and bring them to Palmasola. The beachfront estate will deploy its full-time staff of 16 to attend to your needs in this 25,000 square foot paradise, which includes Chef Peter Lodes, who has worked Michelin starred restaurants around the world. He’ll pull together Mexican and Mediterranean flavors for you and your guests, pairing each meal with exquisite wines, which you’ll enjoy in the villa’s dining rooms, verandas or just outside under the moonlight.

The destination’s New Year’s Eve package is designed to give the 18 of you an experience you’ll never forget. It includes all meals for everyone in the estate, a Mexican Fiesta night (with tequila tasting and traditional dance performance), and a traditional piñata party for the kids. Guests get full access to the nearby Four Seasons Resort, which includes a Jack Nicklaus golf course.

Set up on 200 feet of shoreline, the villa has a media room (with home theater), heated pool, Jacuzzi and fitness center. There are two game rooms — one for adults and another for kids — not to mention two residences and two more apartments, adding up to nine bedrooms. Workaholics can spend some time in the business center, which comes equipped with computers and WiFi access.

Fourth night free at Cambridge Beaches, just in time for the holidays

In Bermuda, Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa is offering a fourth night free if you pay for three by the end of the year. Experience some serious luxury at this AAA Four-Diamond resort, where you can wander the 30-acre peninsula on the island’s west coast, soak in the sun on private beaches and get rubbed down at an award-winning European-style spa. Meals and afternoon tea are intricate affairs designed to impress, and duffers can lose themselves on the Port Royal Golf Course, a public course that’s only five minutes from the resort.

To score the fourth night free, you’ll need to book by the end of the year for a stay between November 1, 2009 and April 15, 2010. So, you can disappear for the coldest months of the year, or hide during that strange period in March that isn’t really cold but is just incredibly raw.

But, the real draw for this deal is in December. Holiday stress can be a real nightmare. Yeah, it’s only October right now, but you know what’s coming. Thanksgiving will having you running a mile a minute, and that’s nothing compared to the December death march. Instead of trying to extract yourself from the dizzying schedule with a short weekend away requiring little more than a drive, plan now for the break you’ll so desperately need. If I were able to get out of town for a bit in December, I’d do it in a heartbeat … and I purposefully keep my holiday commitments to a minimum.

Orbitz launches My Ideal Beach travel website

One of the most popular questions I usually see out on the travel forums comes from first-time travelers who are looking to leave town for a “once in a lifetime” trip with their significant other. The typical question sounds something like this:


This question, of course, leaves too many unanswered questions. When? What do you want to do? Where are you leaving from? Can you give us somewhere to start?

Luckily, I now have Orbitz’s My Ideal Beach search engine to point them to. Powered by the web crawler’s wealth of hotel and travel booking data, the easy-to-use website asks users a few simple questions about their travel preferences and desires, namely: Type of Traveler, Interests and Hotel Options. Given your choices, the engine will pick out a few favorite resorts for you and spit out a couple of optimal results.

What the engine won’t do is sort by price or exclude travel options — for example, I may not only prefer an Adult-only resort, I may require that no children be present at all on the premises.

But when I think about it, this search engine isn’t really for nitpicking travelers who want to seek out the best deal at the best price. This is tool for softcore users who want a pretty interface and who want to be led to their favorite resort on a private beach behind 20 foot walls. For those travelers, this site is perfect.