You know how Christmas trees, wrapping, and twinkling lights crash land in stores these days by August, bypassing all the other approaching holiday celebrations? That’s how I’ve looked at Halloween parties that have already been in full swing in September. For you readers who live in countries that don’t celebrate Halloween, you won’t understand the frenzy of costume parties that has increasingly attracted adults to attire themselves as characters from favorite books, TV or movies, or to parody trending political figures. Halloween used to be about youths dressing up as pirates, princesses, and super heroes one night a year to amass all the candy they could carry from neighbors doling out sweet treats. Halloween has morphed into one of the biggest expensed holidays in the world.
I mention Halloween because many of you who don’t know me personally have asked about the part of my bio that says I am also Natasha, The Psychic Lady. Yes, this is not a joke or just an act. Come October, I am put to the sleep-deprived test of having more work entertaining at corporate and social parties than I can possibly do. I constantly have wished some of this work would spread out to other months, and this year, it appears that wish has been granted. By the end of September, I have already worked several Halloween-flavored parties. At this rate, it won’t be long before I’ll be dressing for an assortment of themed Halloween events in August. Here’s just one of my looks for the “darker, witchier” themes that seem to be trending.
Now, on to the reason you regularly read this column: what exotic destinations are offering discounted deals, events to amuse or educate, and where you can travel either leisurely or with a group.
HOT DEALS FOR INTERNATIONAL DESTINATIONS
Design Hotels offers exceptional international destinations with unique venues and great promotional discounts. Here are just a few of current offerings. Save up to 20% for a stay til December 31 at the 101-room Avalon Hotel (Gothenburg, Sweden). The deal includes Read the rest of this entry »
In this issue: HOT DEALS ON RESORT STAYS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS!
If you ever thought a Hawaiian vacation was unaffordable, think again. With this tropically enticing offer from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, the longer you stay, the more you save… up to 30% for booking five or more consecutive nights. You must book by April 30, but the offer is good for stays through June 15.
(866) 443-4763 or call your travel agent with promo code 1734B ; www.aulani.com
Hotel Santa Fe The Hacienda & Spa adds a Traditional Native American Blessing by the Governor of the Picuris Pueblo to a 5% discount for any group meeting that spends at least $12,000 and is held by June 30. Additionally, for a $12,000+ booking, the group also receives a private wine reception at this famed Santa Fe luxurious resort. If the booking is between $6,000 and $12,000, you still receive 5% off the master bill, but must choose between the blessing and the wine reception.
Shula’s Hotel and Golf Club takes a swing at the meetings competition with group rates difficult to beat. Book a minimum of 10 rooms per night at this newly renovated property in the heart of Miami Lakes, FL and receive rates of $109 for single/double occupancy and $65 per person for a complete meeting package. With a minimum of 25 rooms per nights, many concessions are optional, from complimentary room for Planner or a round of golf or spa treatment to no resort fees, a complimentary drink for each guest on arrival, or discounted golf rates at The Senator Course at Shula’s Golf Club. Many more options.
Maria Pellitero (305) 820-8053; firstname.lastname@example.org
Omni Hotels & Resorts Summer of Music offers are so sweet you may find yourself singing out loud. Planners who book and complete a qualified group meeting by Sept. 27, with a minimum room spend of $15,000 and who successfully complete the Omni Meetings University course will receive one of the following and be entered into a grand prize drawings. Clients who spend $15,000 minimum in F&B are eligible for the same benefits. The Summer of Music grand prize includes the choice of $1,000 cash or two tickets to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on April 22 – 24, 2016. It includes two round-trip airline tickets to New Orleans and a two-night stay at the Omni Royal Orleans.
- A GoPro HERO4 Black Edition Camera
- Master Account credit of $500
- Charitable donation of $500
Business travel accounts that increase spending by $15,000 from April 16th – September 27th, over the same period in 2014 will also receive their choice of a GoPro HERO4 or a $500 charitable donation, a $500.00 rebate and will be entered into the grand prize drawing. Just in case you need an added incentive, consider this. Any group meeting the qualifying criteria can also claim Select Rewards and a second entry into the grand prize drawing when booking at one of following 14 select hotels or resorts: Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Omni Dallas Hotel at Park West, Omni Fort Worth Hotel, Omni Jacksonville Hotel, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Omni Los Angeles Hotel, Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale, Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Omni Riverfront Hotel, Omni Royal Crescent Hotel, Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade, Omni Severin Hotel, Omni Shoreham Hotel, and the Omni Tucson National Resort.
www.omnihotels.com/meetings; (800) 788-OMNI.
Book and stay at least a one-night at any of four Gaylord Hotels by September 14 and receive an instant resort credit per night. $100 per night at Gaylord National. $50 resort credit per night at Gaylord Palms, Gaylord Opryland and Gaylord Texan with a max of $100 per stay.
(800) GAYLORD. Ask for promotional code ZJL.
Save up to 40% off on Meliá Hotels International beach front destinations. Book by April 17 and travel between June 1 and August 20. Restrictions apply. Two kids up to 10 years old stay for free with two adults. Resort credit can be used for and enjoy a few days in paradise with Kids stay free. MeliáRewards Resort Credit can be used for room upgrades, YHI Spa services, premium dining reservations, vintage wines and exclusive resort experiences.
www.Meliá.com; (800) 336-3542
If the world renowned festivals don’t lure you to Montréal this summer, the Canadian city has some sizzling discount offers that may seal the deal. Book at least a two-night stay by April 30 on hotels that begin at $99 per night and receive 50% off the second night. You also receive a coupon booklet worth up to $455 to Montréal’s top attractions and activities. There are at least 25 hotels participating. For a full list of properties and prices, http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/Offers/spring. Here are just some of the city’s famed summer festivals.
Digital Spring (March 21 to June 22) -150+ events, ranging from installations to projections to electronic music showcase a daring and innovative digital arts scene, guided by this year’s theme of light.
The Chromatic Festival (May 17 to 23) – multidisciplinary program of visual, audio and interactive experiences high atop Mount Royal and at the Satosphere.
Festival Transamériques (May 21 to June 4) – offers events appealing to fans of contemporary dance and theatre
C2-MTL (May 26 to 28) – a mash-up of business and creativity on the cutting-edge of the next best thing out there. A-list guest speakers include Kevin Spacey, Chelsea Clinton, Andre Agassi, Carolyn Everson (Facebook), Phyllis Lambert and many other luminaries.
MUTEK (May 27 to 31) – mix of music, technology and digital creativity and live performances
MURAL (June 4 to 14) – Montréal’s urban art festival
Festival International de jazz de Montréal (June 26 to July 5) in the city centre.
Osheaga (July 31 to August 2) – rocks out another indie-music spectacular in Parc Jean-Drapeau MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE (July 2 to 12) – reunites the zany, brave and boundary-pushing entertainers, acrobats and aerialists of the circus arts world.
Just for Laughs Festival (July 11 to 25) – street and venue comedy performances
Ten perfect off can buy you lots of souvenirs in many countries, especially if you’re taking advantage of Design Hotels latest offerings. Plan a trip to cities such as Vienna, Istanbul, Hamburg, Stockholm, and Gurgaon in India to Bogota in Colombia to get your shopping on. Most of the properties offer free buffets, free WiFi and an assortment of other benefits if you stay by August 2 and stay at least two nights.
Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries. She is a Contributing Editor-Writer for Prevue Magazine and is an active member of ISES and MPI. She writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, Karen has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events. email@example.com; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady