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Travel e-Scapes: February 28, 2017

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DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY:

Travel e-Scapes: 02282017

Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$168 San Francisco, or $84 each way
A 7-day advance purchase required
Valid west Monday-Wednesday, Sunday; Tuesday-Friday east
Finish trips on or before May 23
Valid on Frontier, nonstop
Purchase by March 3


TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS

Total Eclipse Trip
Get ready, set, watch! August 21 is the first time in 38 years that the continental U.S. will be exposed to its first total solar eclipse. Plan to watch this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The entire western half of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles the Tennessee and North Carolina borders, fall under the path of eclipse totality.
The park will host a viewing party on the park’s highest point, Clingmans Dome. The area will be closed to vehicles, and its parking lot will instead serve as a special events site, complete with a Jumbotron to showcase the live NASA broadcast. Visitors will also have access to telescopes, exhibits, and featured speakers to help demystify the science of the total eclipse. Tickets go on sale March 1 and cost $30.  
Those lucky enough to get tickets will board buses in the morning at designated parking areas in either Gatlinburg, Tennessee or Cherokee, North Carolina. Buses will arrive at Clingmans Dome by 12:30PM. The stage program, with a special guest emcee, will begin at about 12:45PM, about 20 minutes before the partial eclipse begins, and will feature presentations until about 3:00PM, about 1/2 hour after totality. Return buses will begin shuttling participants back to town between approximately 3:15PM and 4:30PM.
The park does not recommend this event for young children.
For more information on the Great American Solar Eclipse, check out NASA‘s website. Another website, eclipse2017.org details other prime spots to watch the epic event. This website will be continuously updated with special eclipse parties and events

Best Hotels, Restaurants & Spas
Forbes Travel Guide rates properties in 42 countries in the Americas, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Only properties that meet the most stringent hospitality standards achieve a Five Star, Four Star or Recommended rating. Professional inspectors check into and check out every property rated regularly, evaluating more than 500 criteria to determine a Star Rating that takes the guess work out of travel planning and establishes a global benchmark for luxury travel. In all, 1,464 hotels, restaurants and spas are included on the 59th annual list.
Although few can enjoy splurging on a Five-Star hotel, savvy travelers can at least check out the location of the world’s finest hotels and then pursue more affordable digs nearby. Another useful tip is to explore the things-to-do at individual web pages for the most recommended activities, places to dine and more. For instance, the Portrait Roma Hotel’s website shares that the ‘Best Cocktail with a View’ is from the rooftop of a Japanese restaurant. It may well be worth splurging on a drink to get that perfect capture!
Here are the 22 new Five-Star hotels recently named by Forbes: 
Faena Hotel Miami Beach    
Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego    
Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace in Hungary    
41 Hotel in London    
Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona    
Mandarin Oriental, Taipei    
Marco Polo Ortigas Manila Hotel    
Portrait Roma Hotel    
SkyTower at Solaire Manila Hotel    
SkyTower at Solaire Manila Hotel    
Solage Calistoga in California    
The Darling Hotel at the Star in Sydney    
The Resort at Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas Mexico    
The Ritz Paris Hotel    
The Ritz-Carlton Beijing Financial District Hotel    
The Ritz-Carlton Macau Hotel    
Ayana Resort & Spa Bali    
Belmond Hotel Cipriani Venice    
FourSeasons Resort Bali at JimbaranBay    
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan    
Grand Hotel Cap du Ferrat in France    
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
Forbes also named 76 new Four-Star hotels and 83 new hotels in the Recommended category.
View the entire list at Forbes.


SPECIAL DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL OFFERS

Airfare offers – ones with a ticket-by date – and deals with our suggestion to ‘Hurry!’ can expire at any time.   Heed Clark’s advice: Buy that great airfare deal – and then figure out a reason to go there! Eventually, you’ll see the world at a fraction of the normal price!

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta:
$201 Albany, New York
A 21-day advance purchase required
Valid daily on nonstop Delta flights
Finish trips on or before January 25, 2018
No blackout dates

GO NOW! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$346 Toronto, Ontario, or $149 north, $197 south
No advance purchase required — go as soon as this week!
Valid daily through May 31
Not valid on nonstop flights
Valid on Delta via Detroit
Purchase by March 1

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$358 Portland, OR, or $179 each way
$368 San Diego, or $184 each way
A 7-day advance purchase required
Valid daily via Denver on Frontier
Finish trips on or before June 6

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta:
$379 Dublin
$380 Barcelona
$382 Shannon
$383 Madrid
$401 Amsterdam
$403 Venice
$408 Milan
$417 Palma, Majorca
$422 Rome
$432 Munich, Brussels
$434 Paris
$429 Bordeaux
$440 Zurich
$470 Stuttgart
$472 Manchester
$476 Palermo, Sicily
$486 Naples (London airport change)
$506 London
A 7-day advance purchase required
Valid daily on American/British Airways (a $70 value!)
Stay a Saturday night or up to a year
Depart by May 11 or September 11-early January
Start a search at Google.com/Flights
Routing may be via Chicago, Philadelphia or London
AARP members can save an additional $65 per round-trip when purchasing tickets at British Airways

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$576 Milan, Italy
Depart June 6-August 22
Add $30 per direction for Thursday-Saturday outbound and/or Friday-Sunday returns
A 7-night minimum stay required; three months max
Valid on Delta, nonstop
Purchase by March 2

NOTE: Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your flight! Additional charges now apply to budget and sale rates on most airlines for a carry-on bag, checked baggage and advance seat assignments. The least expensive fees are charged when these options are purchased during the ticket booking process. Fees climb higher after flights are reserved and even higher when adding these options at airport check-in. Kayak offers the most up-to-date Fees Chart for all domestic and international airlines.  

How do you find these great airfare deals? Visit Clark’s Atlanta Travel Tips page for a step-by-step guide.


SPECIAL HOTEL & RESORT OFFERS

Waterfront in London
The Good Hotel at Newham’s Royal Docks is London’s first floating hotel. After being transported from Amsterdam, the hotel will remain in London for five years as a not-for-profit business which aims to invest in the local community and encourage unemployed people back into work.
It’s actually a 148-room hotel with accommodations from premium to luxury. Room sizes range from a cozy 139 sqft to a spacious 323 sqft. Standard rooms come with twin or double beds, Deluxe and Corner rooms have king beds.
Amenities include private bathroom, in-room safe, coffee/tea facilities, small writing desk and free WiFi.
The Living Room is where good food and drinks are served all day and every day. Order an espresso, meet new friends, or get some work done at one of the communal tables.
The rooftop is an oasis of green and open space with a terrace and bar overlooking London, Canary Wharf and the river Thames.
Guest amenities include WiFi in all areas, 24-hour front desk and concierge services, bike rental and free iPads for guests’ use. Rates start from $80 per night through March and from $140 in the summer
The floating hotel is located in a vibrant area with direct travel links to Central London and cable-car access to Greenwich and the O2 Arena. London City Airport is the closest.

Spring in Vermont
The Inn at Manchester, which sits between the Green and Taconic mountains in Vermont, has a seasonal package with savings of more than $200. The ‘Maple Getaway’, available March 1-April 15, starts at $429 double and includes two nights’ accommodations, daily breakfast; behind-the-scenes tour of the Sugar Shack, a quart of maple syrup and a half-pound of buttermilk pancake mix and taxes.
Dating from the late 1800s, this elegant, family-run hotel is made up of two buildings on sprawling grounds. Country-chic rooms have private bathrooms with massage shower heads, free WiFi and iPod docks. Some suites feature fireplaces and sitting rooms, and two rooms have 4-poster beds.
Guests can enjoy an onsite pub, outdoor pool, front porch with hammocks and a garden with art and sculpture from around the world.
The inn is about a 90-minute drive from Albany, New York (see special airfare above).  


Travel e-Scapes is brought to you by Clara Bosonetto, Team Clark Travel Editor. Follow Clara on Twitter.


Looking for more deals?
View all current airfare offers at Clark’s Atlanta Travel Deals page or the National Travel Deals page.

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