April is a great month for quick spring weekend getaways, spa retreats and longer trips. Southern California offers warm spring weather, gourmet restaurants and scenic views. Arizona is popular for golf and spa getaways - the days are warm and sunny, perfect for playing outdoors. You will find some great deals because it is shoulder season in many popular vacation spots such as Hawaii, Florida and New York. If you have time for a longer trip, visit a tropical island or explore the restaurants and cultural attraction of an Asian city.
»The Westin Langkawi
A scenic beachfront getaway in Malaysia, the Westin Langkawi Resort and Spa is popular with couples and families. The resort has 202 rooms and suites, many with scenic ocean views. Recently renovated rooms are decorated with neutral tones, stylish furnishings and the signature Westin Heavenly Bed. Ask for one of the Premium Rooms to have the best views of Andaman Sea. Each Premium category room has a private balcony where you can relax surrounded by fresh ocean air. A walk-in Heavenly Shower is separated from the bedroom by an elegant glass wall. Families looking for more room have a choice of suites and villas. Suites all feature private terraces with garden and ocean views.
One-Bedroom and Premium Villas each have a private infinity pool and a large terrace for family dinners under the stars. The Premium Villas have a private pool with a Jacuzzi. Guests have access to a variety of water sports, including kayaking, sailing, scuba diving and snorkeling. There is plenty to explore and the tour desk can help you plan your activities. Options include nature tours, culture tours, waterfall exploration, jungle trekking and mountain biking. There is also bird watching, eagle feeding or elephant riding. The spa offers a selection of massages, wraps, baths, facials and many other treatments. The spa features pure white decor accented with dark tropical woods and fresh green palm fronds. Each treatment is customized to your needs. Each spa visit begins with a signature welcome. Room rates at the resort start at MYR 712 per night.
»Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando
At the Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando you can get a taste of the tropics without leaving mainland USA. The resort features a bamboo forest entrance, a tropical lotus lagoon, beautiful outdoor gardens and colorful sunsets. There is plenty to do for families who like to try a variety of activities. Relax by the lagoon-style pool with a sand beach, play volleyball, work out in the fitness center, visit Universal Orlando and enjoy South Pacific-inspired entertainment at the resort. Learn the hula dance, and watch knife twirlers and fire dancers at Wantilan Luau on Fridays and Saturdays.
Kids can play in the Royal Bali interactive children's water play area. The Mariner's Club offers supervised children's activities. The property offers 1,000 guest rooms and 54 suites that overlook the swimming pool and the tropical gardens. Dining choices abound - there are five restaurants and lounges to choose from, including celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse's new Emeril's Tchoup Chop. Room rates start at $219 per night (407-503-3000, loewshotels.com).
»Inn on the Alameda
Inn on the Alameda is an affordable getaway located in Santa Fe. You'll be able to enjoy the quiet residential neighborhood, surrounded by art galleries, museums, fine restaurants, and boutique shops. The inn has two outdoor whirlpools, an exercise room and a library with books and games. Choose from 71 rooms and suites with classic southwestern decor, local artwork, handmade furnishing, and Adobe-style surroundings. Ask for one of the room with a private balcony.
In the mornings, sample fresh fruits, pastries and freshly-squeezed juices from the continental breakfast buffet, included in the room rate. A complimentary wine and cheese reception is also offered each afternoon. There are numerous restaurants to choose from in Santa Fe; the hotel can provide some recommendations based on what you are looking for. Browse more romantic trips. Room rates start from $159 (888-984-2121, 505-984-2121, innonthealameda.com).
»Deer Park Hotel in Sri Lanka
Escape to Sri Lanka for a few days of relaxation at Angsana Spa and explore Sri Lanka's UNESCO World Heritage Sites nearby. Deer Park Hotel is located next to ancient ruins dating back 2,500 years, wildlife parks and rural villages. Take a jeep safari through Minneriya-Giritale National Park and observe 160 species of birds and rare wildlife. The wellness center has five outdoor and four indoor pavilions where guests can sample a range of massage, body and beauty treatments.
The sports canter offers a fitness center, swimming pool with a waterfall, sauna, basketball, volleyball and squash. There are 77 cottages set in the jungle. Book one of the 61 cottages which feature open-air garden bathrooms, or splurge on the exclusive Deluxe Pool Suite which has its own private pool. Dine at two restaurants which serve healthy cuisine, including vegetarian and organic dishes. Rates start from US$ 110 per night; the Deluxe Pool Suite starts at US$550 per night (+9427 224 6272, website).
»Westin Miyako Kyoto
There are several great reasons to check into the Westin Miyako Kyoto - a rejuvenating spa, two swimming pools, an on-site mountain trail and the beautiful Japanese-style gardens. There are three distinct gardens where visitors can relax their body and spirit surrounded by tranquil sounds of waterfalls. The centerpiece of the Aoi-den Garden is a three-level, 15-meter waterfall originally created in 1933 by the landscape architect Jihei Ogawa.
The hotel's newest garden is called the Garden of Philosophy. It was designed by the sculptor Bukichi Inoue and features cool, clear water flowing from the Eastern Mountains. The gardens have been designated as Kyoto City Cultural Assets. The Trail and Wild Bird Sanctuary is a 40-minute walking trail looping around Mount Kacho, past a shrine, wild strawberry patch and a mountaintop observation lookout. Since there are over 50 different species of wild birds to see on the way, be sure to borrow complimentary binoculars from the hotel concierge. The property offers both traditional Japanese-style rooms and Western rooms. The Western rooms have Westin Heavenly Beds and scenic city or garden views. The traditional Japanese-style rooms are situated in a special guest house surrounded by gardens which you can admire through floor-to-ceiling windows. The rooms have a 40-inch flat screen LCD TV, Heavenly futon, legless chairs, a tokonoma alcove and a cedar tub in the bathroom. Room rates start at $150 USD per night (81)(75) 771 7111.
»BLUE Hotel in Sydney
Enjoy scenic views of Sydney Central Business and Shopping District, the harbor and Royal Botanical Gardens. BLUE Sydney - A Taj Hotel is located in the heart of a luxury marina and entertainment complex. There are 100 guest rooms, including 36 stunning Loft Rooms. Try the Superior Lunar Loft, a split level loft with a lounge area downstairs. Enjoy 24 hour room service, premium 250 thread-count cotton blend sheets and luxurious bathroom products. If you want to stay in shape while in Sydney, Australia, swim in the 17-meter indoor pool and work out at the hotel fitness center. The Wharf Woolloomooloo restaurant complex offers a choice of dining experiences and cuisines with stunning views across the marina to the city. Room rates at the hotel start at AUD 290 per night.
»H Hotel Dubai
The H Hotel Dubai is a luxury getaway with Arabesque architecture situated at the social and commercial center of Dubai. The property offers convenient access to the city's top tourist attractions and other places of interests. You will have easy access to the Dubai Mall, the world's tallest building Burj Khalifa, Dubai Financial Center (DIFC), Exhibition Center, World Trade Center and the stunning Arabian Gulf. The 33-story tower houses 236 rooms, suites and apartments, including the exclusive club rooms dedicated to businessmen. All guest accommodations are spacious, completely furnished with 5-star amenities and provide excellent views over the Sheikh Zayed Road, the Arabian Gulf and the city.
The Balinese-inspired Mandara Spa has steam chambers, saunas, whirlpools and relaxation lounges that provides guests with ultimate bliss in this luxurious metropolitan retreat. Quantum Health Club offers state-of-the-art fitness facilities. You will find many great golf courses nearby, such as the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, an 18-hole, par-71, 6,857-yard golfer's paradise laid out over undulating terrains, attractive water hazards, well-groomed shrubberies and fairways tree-lined with dates and palms to lend a distinctive tropical atmosphere. The palatial Al Massa Ballroom with magnificent royal designs is the perfect setting that can accommodate 500 to 800 guests for grand wedding receptions, gala dinners, fashion shows and other glamorous events. The pillar-less ballroom which has 13 business meeting rooms fully-equipped with sophisticated audio-visual technology is an ideal venue for corporate business functions and accommodates up to 120 persons. Room rates start at 700 AED per night (+971 4 501 8888, >website).
»Hotel Metropole in Monte Carlo
The historic Hotel Metropole dates back to 1886 and has hosted many celebrity guests, including Claudia Schiffer, Britney Spears and Sting. It is located just steps away from Monte-Carlo's legendary Grand Casino. The property offers the only outdoor heated seawater swimming pool on Casino Square. The pool has a spacious sun deck and its own bar and restaurant. The bar and lounge area offers a bird's eye view of the Grand Prix circuit. The gardens comprise over 30 species representing more than 3,000 varieties of plants. Take a romantic walk through the beautiful historic grounds.
The luxury spa by Espa offers 8 treatments rooms and 2 VIP Suites. Choose from many signature therapies, saunas and steam baths. There are 141 rooms and suites. Ask for one of the rooms that have been completely refurbished. If you decide to splurge on a Junior Suite or Suite, ask for one with a private terrace facing the sea for best views. The luxury Penthouse Suite has the best views in the house. The terrace can accommodate a party of up to 50 guests. The restaurants serve contemporary Mediterranean cuisine and Japanese dishes. Yoshi is a Michelin-starred restaurant by chef Joel Robuchon. Rates at the hotel start at 450 Euro per night.
»Hotel Be Angkor in Cambodia
The Hotel Be Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia is an upscale hotel with excellent service, stunning rooms, and beautiful terraces. You can select among several deluxe rooms, including the Saffron or the Terrace Suite in Bamboo or Sepia with panoramic views of the Old Market, both of which feature a king size bed, rainfall shower, and internet access. There is also a villa close to the hotel that has its own walled gardens, open-air terraces, and water features. Although they are not on site, you have access to the gym and swimming pool at a nearby hotel during your stay and you can arrange babysitting for the chance to explore the city without your children. You can book a package that includes daily breakfast as well as meals in the surrounding area. Stepping outside of the hotel leaves you in The Passage, part of Siem Reap’s Old Market Area, where you can browse art or relax with a cocktail or glass of wine. Rooms start at $74 per night (website).
»San Alfonso del Mar in Chile
If you want to swim in the world's largest pool, head to San Alfonso del Mar in Chile. This pool is the size of 6,000 standard pools and feels like a lake, complete with sailing, water skiing and kayaking. A sandy shore is just steps from the pool. The saltwater lagoon color is bright blue, making you feel like you've arrived in the Caribbean. Each resort building has access to a private bay lined with palm trees. Nearly all rooms at San Alfonso del Mar face the ocean which means that you get to enjoy spectacular views. Choose from two- to five-bedroom apartments at the hotel. The duplex penthouses are the most luxurious, offering huge balconies and open-air Jacuzzis.
»The Covent Garden Hotel London
The Covent Garden Hotel is located in the London theater district, near the Royal Opera House and Soho. The hotel is a part of the Firmdale Hotel group which runs a collection of small chic hotels, great for vacation and business stays. The property has a drawing room with wood paneling and a stone fireplace which leads into a library with a fireplace and a bar. If you are planning a party, you can rent one of the hotel's three private rooms, or a 54-person THX Screening Room. There is a workout room and a spa which offers a range of relaxing treatments.
There are 58 bedrooms and suites, some with views over the city rooftops. The rooms are individually decorated and have luxury bathrooms. Guests can dine at the Brasserie Max, a popular restaurant for pre and post theatre diners. The restaurant, which is open all day, serves Modern British cuisine and offers a selection of wines, champagnes and cocktails. In addition, there is 24 hour room service. In addition to people watching at the Brasserie Max, on a Saturday you can join the Weekend Film Club and enjoy a three course dinner followed by a screening of a film of the week (from £ 30). The hotel is situated near 21 theaters, numerous restaurants, bars and clubs. Double rooms start at £ 195 plus tax. The hotel is approximately one hour by taxi from Heathrow Airport and about 1.5 hours from Gatwick (+44-20-7806-1000, website).
»Loft 523 in New Orleans
Loft 523 is a hip all-loft hotel located in the Central Business District, two blocks from the famous French Quarter. You will love the open feeling of the loft style rooms and won't have to deal with crowds since there are only 18 rooms. Guest accommodations are sleek with concrete floors and oversize bathroom areas. The bathtubs in the rooms are made by noted Italian manufacturer Agape and all resemble cappuccino cups. The beds have Frette linens, CD/DVD players and wireless internet access. There is a bar as well as room service. Rates range from $139 to $199 per night (504-200-6523, website).