France in summer: Three ways to do it in style

Skip your usual vacation spot this summer, and go to France. You need a break from the norm (I sure do), and there are some great deals all over the country that make it hard to resist getting on a plane for seven hours of smelling the passenger crammed in next to you.

Focus on what happens when you hit the ground: it’s worth it.

Bessé Signature Hotels has put together three hotel deals in France that make the burden of air travel worth shouldering. Step off the plane and head to some of the country’s unique contemporary hotels, and you’ll forget all about having your sweaty neighbor’s head on your shoulder for the entire trip across the Atlantic.

Girls: Check out the Hotel Edouard 7 for a girls’ getaway, and you won’t be disappointed. The “Girls Night Out” package includes a suite for three, limousine transfers to and from the airport and three sets of Princesse tam tam pajamas – not to mention a variety of Keihl’s products and a bottle of champagne every day(!). The best part, I suspect, is the three VIP passes to Le Printemps, complete with personal shopping services and a 10 percent discount on all your purchases. As if this isn’t enough, you’ll score breakfast and dinner en suite every day. The deal is good through the end of August and starts at 380 euros a night.

Golf: Pack the ladies of to the Hotel Edouard, and take the guys out to Domaine de la Bretesche, in the Brittany region. Dinner for two every day at the Michelin-starred Montaigu is a nice touch, but that doesn’t compare to having your greens fees covered every day for 18 holes of golf. Get the frustration of the links rubbed out every da at the Spa de la Cour Carree, and you’ll have the perfect golf experience. Rates start at 800 euros a night for two guests, through August 31, 2010.

City: Beat the currency fluctuations with a guaranteed rate of $395 a night at theHotel Bel-Ami in Paris. Good through the end of the year, this deal includes a double superior room and breakfast every day. Explore the city, and dodge the beggars that lurk under the Eiffel Tower. It’s a great time.

Preferred Hotels Makes Your Golf Addiction Social

Do you prefer to improve your golf game? Yeah, anyone who swings a club is always desperate to do it better. So, if your handicap is your swing but you still have a jones for all things golf, check out the new Preferred Golf website from Preferred Hotels Group. It includes a social media platform and interactive capabilities you can use to get real-time golfing news, share tips and travails and commiserate with other duffers.

Preferred Golf is the next step in Preferred’s member-based program that includes access to more than 100 top courses, including The K Club in Ireland, Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina and The Broadmoor in Colorado.

“Members of Preferred Golf have always received the best value at the world’s top golf courses,” said Casey Ueberroth, President of Preferred Golf. “Our new website now adds convenience and customization to the list of benefits. So whether members prefer the customized service of our Golf VIP Desk or instant electronic gratification of the new website, we have all angles covered.”

When you’re ready to pack up your bags and head out for a weekend (or week) on the links, use the website to meet new golfers, set up buddy trips and get some extra help from the Golf VIP Desk.

This is a new way for you to feed your golf addiction!

Golfing dads should keep Keystone Resort in mind this summer

Father’s Day is coming, and if you’re old man’s a golfer, you might want to ship him off to Keystone Resort for a weekend. The “Stay and Play” package includes two free rounds of golf at the Ranch Course, and kids 17 and under can join dad (after 5 PM) for no charge, as well. For fathers with kids who are looking for some bonding time, this can be a great way to get together free of distraction (except that pesky white ball) for a few hours).

For the big weekend, rates start at only $144 a night, and they are as low as $125 for the rest of the summer. The “Stay and Play” package is also available at the RockResorts in Vail, Beaver Creek and Jackson Hole.

Free spa experience at the Ritz-Carlton Naples

Any spa-lover needs to visit the Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples, because the Elements treatment at the beach property is nothing short of incredible. Now, the chance to visit the spa free makes this an absolute no-brainer. This is one of my favorite spas, and the deal might be enough to get me to book a flight.

Stay at either the Ritz-Carlton beach or golf resort, with the Spa Escape Package, and you’ll get a $200 spa credit, basically making your treatment free. You may want to have a little extra work done, but to have $200 knocked off the price from the start makes that a lot easier to handle. Rates start at $349 a night for the beach resort and $259 for the golf resort.

Need more incentive? From June 1, 2010, through the end of October, you can take advantage of the spa’s “Me Time” deal. When you book a 50-minute massage or facial, you can have your choice of two complimentary enhancements (a $50 value). On the list are hair masks, back scrubs, collagen masks and lip treatments. This is available every Sunday through Friday from 9 AM to 1 PM (but it can’t be combined with other promotions or discounts).


Daily Pampering: Join up at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando

Is it time for resort and luxury membership club to make a comeback? The new program from the Ritz-Carlton Orlando – the Grande Lakes Membership Club – takes a personal approach, rather than push the same caned programs to the many different people who write the same big checks. The baseline consists of the sort of top-shelf amenities you’d expect, but the programs are differentiated by level: platinum, golf, spa and social.

Depending on what you choose, you could pick up an Executive Suite and gain unlimited access to the 18-hole, par 72 Greg Norman signature golf course or 50-minute treatments or salon services at the spa are nice – and that’s per month! Everyone scores resort pool and tennis court access, concierge services and member social events.

If you prefer predictability in our annual vacation and like a certain level of treatment, this is the way to go.