Mammoth’s Tamarack Lodge Offers Discounted Fall Color Package

Labor Day weekend always seems to mark the unofficial end of summer, even though the season doesn’t actually change for another three weeks. But we all know autumn is just around the corner and with it comes cooler temperatures, crisp air and the changing of the leaves.

This year Mammoth’s Tamarack Lodge is offering visitors a chance to experience the brilliant colors of fall in the Sierra Mountains at an unbelievably affordable price. The rustic lodge, which has been named one of the Top 10 lakeside resorts in North America, will offer rates starting at just $49 per person per night between September 4 and November 11. That’s the perfect time to witness the changing of the seasons for yourself.

This isn’t a bare bones lodge experience, however. Upon check-in visitors will be given a complimentary bottle of wine and continental breakfast service is available daily. They’ll also receive two hours of boat rental for free, as well as complimentary fishing rod rental too. Additionally, guests at Tamarack Lodge also have access to the resort’s adventure activities, which include guided hikes, bike tours, fishing clinics and more.

The calendar may still say its summer but fall will be here before we know it. It’s never too early to start planning your escape and there are few places better to be in the autumn than the Sierras.

Alternatives to skiing: spa, anyone?

In the interests of disclosure and transparency, I don’t ski. I did a little bit of snowboarding 15 years ago, but it didn’t amount to much. So, when I write about the ski deals that come across my desk, it’s not lost on me that some people don’t hit the slopes. The latest package from The Lodge at Vail, a RockResort, has something for those of us who don’t stumble down the mountain. The “Spa, Savor & Snowshoe” deal is for everyone else. Guests can work up some hunger while snowshoeing, get those taxed muscles rubbed down at the spa and tie off the day with a three-course dinner at the Wildflower restaurant.

At $423 a night, the savings is around 25 percent, but you need to book a three-night stay. You’ll get a $300 spa credit, half-day guided snowshoe tour and daily breakfast for two (along with the dinner at Wildflower).

It looks like you don’t need to be a skier to enjoy winter in Colorado!

Outside of Lake Okareka Lodge by lebua in Rotorua, New Zealand

Perhaps the best thing about staying at lebua’s Lake Okareka Lodge in New Zealand is the setting. The island nation — and Rotorua especially — is known for it stunning landscapes, nature’s “greatest hits” so to speak. One can sit on the lodge patio and stare out at the lake and rolling, coniferous hills all afternoon, content in the southern hemisphere sun. Or if one had the hankering for adventure? Well, Rototura is that sort of place.

Many of the locals call it Rotovegas, actually, and for a good reason: it’s the exhillirating, thrill riding sort of place that inpires the same sort of high that Vegas does, a never ending urge to stay out, stay up, drink in as much of the landscape as possible and be happy.

And there is plenty to keep one happy in Rotorua. An outdoor adventure mecca, one can barely turn throw a stone wihtout hitting a new, adventure soaked activity begging to be visited. Yes, there’s the traditional, sky diving, white water rafting and bungee jumping. But there’s also monster truck and time trials at Off Road NZ, Zorbing, trout fishing and sledging (read: being dragged down white water on your face). They’ve even got big game hunting, which is a treat not for the joy of hunting or killing an animal, per se, but purely for the experience of mashing through the unique forests and landscapes of New Zealand, immersed in fauna and nature.

It’s the combination of myriad available activities and endless pampering that make Lake Okareka Lodge by lebua special, from departing on a volcano tour from your private helicopter pad to catching your dinner from the dock and having your personal chef cook it for you. Check out our profile inside of the property for more details.

Disclaimer: lebua sponsored our trip to come check out their hotels, though our opinions and experiences were all of our own design. No animals were harmed in creating these blog posts.

Inside of Lake Okareka Lodge by lebua in Rotorua, New Zealand

Opulence. It’s a term that I as a traveler have rarely been able to use in my years on the road, but I finally found a reason to use it this past September.

We had been taken to a small lodge deep in the heart of New Zealand, a 7000 square foot stone and wood mansion perched on a peninsula in Lake Okareka, just outside of Rotorua. A property managed by the Thai luxury hotel brand lebua, it’s got only three suites, each with a stunning view over the lake and premium furnishings.

Inside of each room there is the perfect balance of comfort, technology and elegance. One can plug an iPod into the Sonos sound system, order a complimentary scotch from the butler and gaze out into the New Zealand hills, jump on the bed and watch the BBC on the flat panel television or surf the internet from private patios — everything has been done to ensure a plush stay.

Into the bathroom, visitors are treated to luxurious, overhead rain shower heads and Bvlgari amenities. Were it not so comfortable in the suite, this room could seriously be a great place to spend the day.

Downstairs, a private chef and butler are at your service around the clock. David, the genius behind each of your meals will custom tailor everything to your tastes or if you’re feeling adventurous, can surprise with the fresh, local fare of his creative invention.

The entire lodge, staff and property are effectively at your service while you’re at Lake Okareka Lodge. If you’d like to arrange fireworks over the hill as you sit on your patio, you can do that. If you’d like to eat a five course meal at 3AM with no pants on, well, they can arrange that too.

Those interested in getting out into the property have a fishing boat, kayak, hot tub, jet ski and helicopter landing pad at their disposal. If it’s raining, there’s also a work out room, fully stocked bar, wine cellar, lounge and grand piano to keep busy.

So is it for you? lebua’s Lake Okareka lodge is expensive, exclusive and off the beaten path. Those looking to get away from civilization and be treated like royalty will find this place to be heaven. For a visitor with a tight budget or a desire to walk into the city to visit the nightlife, it’s not the best place. Why anyone would ever want to leave this lodge, however, is beyond me.


Disclaimer: lebua sponsored our trip to come check out their hotels, though our opinions and experiences were all of our own design. No animals were harmed in creating these blog posts, but that’s only because the rifle sight wasn’t calibrated.

Win a 5-night package at Chaa Creek luxury eco-resort in Belize

Chaa Creek, an eco-resort in the jungle of Belize, is giving away a 5-night stay for two to the winner of their Nature Quest Sweepstakes. To enter, you’ll need to write a 300-word essay on why you want to visit the lodge, and answer a series of questions about the property (the answers to which can all be found on the website). If you score 85% or above, you’ll be eligible to win the 5-night Inland Expedition package.

There are four additional prizes as well, which include a 5-night Inland Expedition package for one, or 50%, 40% and 30% discounts on 5-night Inland Expedition packages for two. The packages include round-trip transfers to the lodge from Belize City, a trip to the Belize zoo, all meals, and several tours and activities including bird-watching, canoeing, a trip to a butterfly farm and more.

The resort is set on a 365-acre nature reserve, has been operating since 1981, and has won numerous awards for its quality service and commitment to the environment. The 5-night Inland Expedition packages normally cost $1625 per person. Entries for the contest are due by October 30.