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As the winter drags on endlessly, are you craving a spring break escape—in the company of other adults? Well, you’re in luck, because new TPG Contributor Christine Cantera can suggest just the ticket: seven delightful destinations around the world that will be low on crowds and perfect to visit in March and April.
Sadly, Venice (VCE) is often an afterthought for people who are traveling to Italy. But the city’s true beauty can only be experienced once the day trippers have come and gone, and the silent streets and misty canals are once again reclaimed by the locals. With seasonal direct flights in March from New York (JFK) on Delta and Philadelphia (PHL) on US Airways, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have this on your spring break list. (For more details, be sure to see Destination of the Week: Venice.)
One big reason why Venice is a great destination now, though, is the new JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa on Isola delle Rose in the Laguna di San Marco. This hotel is just opening, and there are great deals to be had in March—starting at 306 EUR ($370 USD) or 40,000 points per night. While it’s not “in town,” so to speak, the views of Venice proper are to die for and the resort’s private boat service will take you anywhere you want to go in classic Venetian style.
Although it’s often a pit-stop for college-age backpackers, Nice (NCE) is actually the ultimate spring break destination for adults. You’ve got gorgeous weather and private beach clubs where you can lounge on a sofa just feet from the sea, enjoying a mid-day glass of rosé. After nightfall you’ll be feasting on fresh seafood on restaurant terraces, either in Vieux Nice or along the quais of the port—perhaps after a long lunch in Ventimiglia, Italy (I recommend Ristorante Margunaira, Passeggiata Marconi, 3) and before a late night at the Casino in Monte Carlo.
Consider landmark grand-dame lodgings like the Hotel Negresco (at the far end of the Promenade des Anglais), which has insanely ornate decor sure to bring out your inner Russian oligarch, or the Boscolo Exedra, whose wedding cake exterior belies a stunning, modern interior of all-white rooms. Le Palais de la Méditerranée, with its iconic Art Deco architecture, is a member of the Five Star Alliance and has been rejuvenated under the Hyatt Regency umbrella; with a Hyatt Gold Passport Double Your Points deal, a room with a partial sea view starts at €274 ($311 USD), or you can redeem 25,000 points per night.
Havana (HAV) is on everyone’s mind right now, and with good reason. With more relaxed travel restrictions to Cuba, it’s not only the most determined traveler who’s looking into flights and hotels on this historic island. Read The Points Guy’s report on how to get to Cuba and back for first-hand info from his recent sojourn—and get there this spring, before the hordes descend and change the island forever.
As for the particulars, we can’t say it better than the big/tall guy himself—so make sure to check out these pieces by Brian: Where and How to Book Hotels in Havana, Cuba, What to Do and See in Havana, and his hotel review of the Hotel Occidental Miramar.
Fingers crossed that budget airline, WOW Air, launches more $99 one-way fare deals to Reykjavík (KEF)—where your vacation will start right after leaving the airport. There are services that will take you directly to the Blue Lagoon for a dip in the geothermal waters, and then on to your hotel—they’ll even hold your luggage for you. Welcome to Iceland!
After a few days of exploring the capital city, your vacation should be all about day trips. From waterfalls to glacier hiking to volcanoes to the exact spot where the planet’s continental shelves divide, there are experiences aplenty just a short distance from Reykjavík. To see more details on day trips, check out The Wow-Air $99-Fare Guide to Iceland.
Boutique hotels and unusual lodgings tend to be the trend here, but there is always the wonderful Hilton Reykjavik Nordica, which comes highly recommended by Hilton fans. Rooms average 32,200 kr ($244 USD) or 40,000 HHonors Points.
San Antonio, TX
San Antonio (SAT) tends to get brushed off in favor of hip Austin, which makes it an ideal getaway spot for spring—so much so that it made our list of spring break trips for budget travelers, too. With its balmy weather and beautiful, pedestrian-only Riverwalk lined with bars and restaurants, this immaculate, friendly city is aces with grown-ups.
There are two fun events in March that visitors should try and catch. First up is the Culinaria 5K Wine & Beer Run on Saturday, March 21 at The Shops at La Cantera (no relation to this writer). You can walk or run the course, and at the finish line be rewarded with fantastic eats by some of San Antonio’s best chefs, and yes—beer and wine. Everyone’s a winner!
Once you’ve recovered, on Thursday, March 26 is the Annual RiverTini Pour-Off at the Wyndham Garden Riverwalk-Museum Reach. For this event, top bartenders in town whip up unique martini recipes inspired by the Riverwalk; guests sip and vote, and the winner of this delicious, boozy contest goes to the Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans later in the year.
As for accommodations, you’ll want to be where the action is, which means the Riverwalk. The Category 7 San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk is a good choice, with rooms starting at $249 or 35,000 points per night.
Palm Springs, CA
In the summer Palm Springs (PSP) is a raging inferno; in the early spring, however, it is a delightful outdoorsy destination that has visitors from the colder climes shedding those pesky layers. Golf courses abound, and hiking is a popular pastime that is rarely, if ever, marred by foul weather. And with casinos, nightclubs and plenty of hip lounges, it’s about as close to a grown-up spring break as any on this list.
There’s also no dearth of culture in Palm Springs. A new Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion, in downtown Palm Springs has the art world abuzz since its opening in November of 2014. In late March is the American Documentary Film Festival, which conveniently coincides with the Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert™ nearby, featuring more than 80 wines and Champagnes offered for tastings at 50 restaurants.
As for hotels, we recommend the Hyatt Regency Suites Palm Springs. It’s in a bull’s-eye location, but west-facing rooms are quiet with tranquil views of the San Jacinto Mountains. Rates in March start at $160.65 plus an additional $15 resort fee. 12,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points are required for a one-night stay.
For city slickers who just can’t go to Paris one more time, Colombia is red-hot right now, and Bogotá (BOG) is the epicenter: A warm spring break destination that has the buzz of big city life. And now that LAN Colombia is officially a part of Oneworld, there are benefits to be enjoyed while traveling down there.
We’re also excited about the new W Hotel that is opening in Bogotá, which we think is just one more reason to believe that Colombia is trying its best to welcome new visitors to a place we gringos only heard about on the nightly news. The hotel has 168 rooms, an AWAY Spa, a casual Market Kitchen restaurant, the W Lounge for snacks, and all the amenities you’d expect from this brand. Rates at this Starwood Category 5 hotel start at $360 or 12,000 Starpoints per night.
While you’re there, options abound. Enjoy the views after hiking Quebrada La Vieja in the morning (it closes at 9 a.m., so rise and shine!); if you’re lazy or a late riser, the views can be had via funicular from Cerro de Monserrate. Wander around La Candelaria and Usaquen in the afternoons for amazing food, gorgeous architecture and fun shopping. Then dance the night away at Centrico, with its 40th-floor views and hot DJs. Sounds like fun to us!
Headed anywhere for spring break—with other grown-ups? We’d love to hear about your plans! NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,200 CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
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