Reader Travel Deals for March

Make the most of the month that comes in like a lion and out like a lamb

By: Alice Shapin

March is a finicky month. One day it feels like winter, the next day there’s the promise of spring. Whether you want a bit of spring or summer, we have places and discounts just for Washingtonian readers.

EARLY SPRING
The Clifton Inn, 1296 Clifton Inn Dr., Charlottesville, Va.; 888-971-1800

Enjoy mountain vistas at this intimate inn, which has 18 rooms and suites. Some accommodations have peaked ceilings and garden views; others have a sitting room and a clawfoot tub. Breakfast is served on a sun-filled verandah; for dinner, the dining room features a fireplace and beautiful hardwood floors. The chef is committed to supporting local family farms, and the menu is divided into four categories—delicate, light, full-bodied, and robust—to describe the “body” of each dish. Charlottesville offers lots to do: University of Virginia tours, the presidential homes Monticello and Montpelier, vineyard tours, and walking tours of downtown.

The deal: The Equinox Escape package includes one night’s accommodation with a complimentary upgrade if available, a welcome bottle of Virginia wine, a four-course dinner for two, a full made-to-order breakfast for two, and afternoon tea with pastries. The price is $300 a night, a savings of $141 or just over 30 percent.

When: Valid Sunday through Thursday through March 31, 2011.

NEW YORK FUN
Hotel Elysée, 60 E. 54th St., New York, N.Y.; 212-753-1066

A European-style boutique hotel, the Elysée offers lavish continental breakfasts (fruit, boiled eggs, hot cereals, muffins, pastries, and coffee/espresso); daily passes to the nearby New York Sports Club; and more. The hotel, between Park and Madison , and is easy walking distance to Fifth Avenue, Central Park, museums, Rockefeller Center, and restaurants

The deal: The Welcome to the Big Apple package includes one Washington Apple Martini per guest at the Monkey Bar, a bottle of red wine on arrival, a small box of Leonidas chocolates, and a savings of 10 to 15 percent off standard promotional rates. Click to book or call and mention “Welcome to the Big Apple—Washingtonian to get this deal.

When: Valid through March 31, 2011.

SUNSHINE STATE
Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort, 36750 U.S. Hwy. 19 N., Innisbrook, Fla.; 800-492-6899

On 900 acres on Florida’s Gulf Coast, this recently renovated property—owned by Sheila Johnson of Middleburg’s Salamander Resort & Spa—offers a variety of activities. There are four championship golf courses, a new spa, 11 tennis courts, indoor racquetball courts, a fitness facility, and six pools. The area’s famed beaches are 15 minutes away. Nature abounds with plants, alligators, and herons. You can bike, hike, stroll, and dine.

The deal: The three-day, two-night Innisbrook Your Way Golf & Spa Package begins at $189 a person per night and includes suite accommodations, a 50-minute massage daily, including gratuity, or 18 holes of golf daily at either the North or South Courses (per night of stay per person), a $25 retail credit, and complimentary onsite transportation. This package represents a 30-percent savings off items if purchased a la carte. When booking online or by phone, Washingtonian readers can use the code “March” to receive an extra, exclusive 20-percent discount. Package pricing is based on double occupancy. There’s a surcharge on the famed Copperhead Course, site of the PGA Tour Transitions Championship.

When: Book by May 31, 2011, and stay by September 30, 2011.

DESERT GLORY
Kimpton’s FireSky Resort & Spa, 4925 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ; 480- 945-7666

FiresSky Resort & Spa is a garden oasis in the heart of Scottsdale. A boutique hotel, it plays on four elements: fire, water, earth, and air. The lobby living room showcases a stunning stone fireplace and airy cathedral ceilings. The hotel grounds feature two pools, a hot tub, a Mediterranean lagoon surrounded by poolside cabanas and secluded fire pits. You can dine indoors or alfresco; hanging lanterns and torches topping poolside fountains turn the night into a magical setting. The resort has a 3,500-square-foot spa where products are based on natural, plant-derived ingredients.

The deal: The Green Getaway Package includes a bottle of Arizona wine, two Desert Botanical Garden tickets, a tree planted in honor of the guests with American Forests, car service in a hybrid Escalade within a three-mile radius of the hotel (which puts you into downtown Scottsdale, with its shops and restaurants), and “concierge access,” giving guests paper-free, computer reservations to a lineup of nearby attractions. Mention The Washingtonian and also receive one free appetizer. Prices are from $199 a night. This package saves about $131. Use rate code PGRN online.

When: Valid through May 31, 2011.

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