The Best of Groupon: Getaway Edition!

Logo of Groupon
Logo of Groupon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wanna Get Away?  Li’el in a Staccato Beat Magazine is bringing you our List of Top Five Groupon Getaways, selected for their great locales, their awesome deals, and the overall experience provided!

 

 

[Forum Boario, Rome, Italy] (LOC)
[Forum Boario, Rome, Italy] (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)
Italy Tour with Airfare – Rome, Tuscany, and Venice
Eight-Night Spring Trip to Italy from Great Value Vacations with Accommodations, Rental Car, and Airfare to and from New York (JFK) (3 Days left for this Deal!)
Vacation to Three Iconic Cities in Italy
On this eight-night trip from Great Value Vacations, you’ll drive across Italy in a rental car and stay in three of the country’s most popular cities. The self-guided vacation also includes round-trip airfare from New York (JFK) to Rome (FCO) and from Venice (VCE) back to New York (JFK).
Days 1–2: Rome
With its ancient temples, monuments, and ruins, Rome is a living museum and a sightseer’s paradise. The opulent Trevi Fountain is one of the crown jewels of the city’s marble sculptures. It depicts a scene with Triton, the god of the sea, and it’s said that if you throw a coin in the fountain, you’re guaranteed to return to Rome. You can also see some of the world’s most iconic artworks at the Vatican Museums, including Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
Accommodations: Hotel Villa Vecchia, located just outside Rome in Frascati, a hilly town tucked amid the Roman Castles. The hotel features a surrounding park with a swimming pool and patio where you can dine outdoors.
Days 3–6: Tuscany
Rural Tuscany, with its lovely rolling hills, olive groves, and towering cypress trees, is best explored by car. Many visitors prefer the small medieval villages and wineries here to some of Tuscany’s more popular tourist destinations. But you’ll still want to spend some time in Florence, the capital, to see Renaissance artwork and in Pisa to snap a photo with the Leaning Tower.
Accommodations: Fattoria Degli Usignoli. This hotel sits in the heart of the Tuscan countryside on a farm with an onsite winery. All rooms here each have either a balcony or outdoor living area where you can take in the surrounding scenery.
Days 7–8: Venice
Venice is both a feat of technical engineering—a cityscape of floating stone palaces—and a bastion of artistic brilliance. Even the smallest buildings here have works by some of the grand old masters, such as Titian and Giorgione. The Gallerie dell’Accademia has a particularly great collection.
To see the city as it was meant to be seen, take a gondola tour through the canals that thread through the city. If you want to avoid some of the crowds, it’s worth it to take a trip on some of the back canals.
Accommodations: Park Hotel Bolognese. This restored ancient villa lies 20 minutes outside of Venice on expansive park grounds, replete with a bamboo grove. Your stay here includes breakfast.
Eight-night Italy vacation with accommodations, rental car, and airfare to and from New York (JFK). Valid for Travel with a Friend packages (two Groupons required), or pay an additional fee to travel solo. Read about package structures here.
Option 1: $1,499 per person to travel 3/1/13–5/24/13, valid for departure Sunday–Thursday (up to a $1,999 value)
Option 2: $1,799 per person to travel 5/25/13–6/24/13, valid for departure (up to a $2,499 value)
Solo Supplement Fee: $800
Book by: 2/22/13
Travel by: 5/24/13 (option 1) or 6/24/13 (option 2)
Included in all options:
Round-trip airfare from JFK
Manual-shift rental car for duration of trip
Accommodations in Rome, Tuscany, and Venice
Some breakfasts, per itinerary

 

Horseshoe Falls, viewed from Table Rock Centre...
Horseshoe Falls, viewed from Table Rock Centre in Niagara Falls, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview – Niagara Falls, ON
1-Night Stay for 2 with Dining Credits or Family Package, Valid for Check-in Sunday–Friday. Up to 3 Kids Stay Free.
High-Rise Hotel One Block from Horseshoe Falls
Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview hotel is located within short walking distance of one of North America’s natural wonders, the roaring Horseshoe Falls. But the hotel is also directly connected to one of the area’s best manmade attractions, thanks to an indoor walkway that leads to Fallsview Casino. There, visitors find more than 150 gaming tables, 3,000 slots, and an array of video-poker machines, as well as a music venue, where upcoming shows include rockers Matchbox Twenty (February 19–20) and Hank Williams Jr. (March 19).
High above all the glitz, Four Points rooms offer unobstructed views of either Horseshoe Falls or the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House, located right on the property, has recently opened and serves up its signature premium-cut steaks. For Italian fare, stop by East Side Mario’s, also located inside the hotel. In the morning, you can enjoy breakfast fare at IHOP, which is open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays. The hotel also has a Starbucks onsite.
Niagara Falls, Ontario: Panoramic Views of the Falls near Vegas-Style Casinos and Water Parks
At Niagara Falls—considered by many to be one of the world’s seven natural wonders—water thunders downward from a height of nearly 200 feet, crashing onto craggy boulders below. The falls straddle the border between Canada and the United States, with segments located in both New York and Ontario, but the Canadian side of the Niagara River is universally hailed as the finest vantage point to take in all three of Niagara Falls’ photogenic brinks: American, Bridal Veil, and Horseshoe Falls.
The iconic Maid of the Mist has ferried raincoat-clad passengers around the base of the falls since 1846. The tours run from April through October, depending on the river’s ice conditions. Year-round, Journey Behind the Falls grants a glimpse behind the curtain of Horseshoe Falls—board an elevator that descends 150 feet into the bedrock, then stand at an observation deck steps away from the cascading water.
A 10-minute walk from the falls, you’ll see the neon glow of the Clifton Hill neighborhood. Its Fallsview Boulevard has plenty of Vegas-style kitsch, including glitzy casinos, restaurants, and soggy Elvis impersonators.
What You Get
One-night stay for two, valid for check-in Sunday–Friday. Up to three kids 17 or younger stay free.
Option 1: $95 for a two-queen or one-king city-view room with dining credits (up to a $180 value)
Option 2: $95 for a two-queen city-view room with a family package (up to a $264 value)
Option 3: $105 for a one-king whirlpool city-view room with dining credits (up to a $190 value)
Option 4: $125 for a two-queen or one-king falls-view room with dining credits (up to a $220 value)
Dining credits include:
$60 credit at Ruth’s Chris Steak House
$20 credit at IHOP
Family package includes:
$50 game-play card at Dave & Busters
$20 dining credit at East Side Mario’s
$20 dining credit at Outback Steakhouse
$10 dining credit at IHOP
4 passes at Lazer Maze
4 passes at Captain Jack’s Mini Putt
Book by: 4/12/13
Travel by: 4/30/13

Ireland's Highest Peak
Ireland’s Highest Peak (Photo credit: mozzercork)

Ireland Vacation with Airfare – Dublin and Irish Countryside
Six-Night Ireland Vacation with Hotel Stays, Rental Car, and Airfare from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), or Chicago (ORD)
Four-City Tour Explores Ireland’s Bustling Cities and Quiet Countryside
On this six-night trip from Great Value Vacations, you’ll explore Ireland by car, staying in four different hotels along the way. Each stop gives you a different taste of the Emerald Isle’s varied character—from Dublin’s lively pubs to the idyllic countryside. This self-guided vacation includes round-trip airfare from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), or Chicago (ORD).
Day 1: Killenard
Killenard is found in central Ireland’s rolling, green countryside, one of the most untouched regions on the island. It’s only about an hour from Dublin, so day trips to the city are easy. There’s plenty to do in town, though. You can go hiking in the Slieve Bloom Mountains or make bets at one of several nearby horseracing tracks.
AccommodationsThe Heritage Golf & Spa Resort features a spa, traditional pubs, and a golf course with lush fairways and more than 7,000 trees.
Days 2–3: Dromoland, near Shannon
Just north of Shannon, you can trace the footsteps of Pulitzer Prize–winning author Frank McCourt, go biking in the Ballyhoura Mountains, or catch a rugby match at Thomond Park Stadium. The Cliffs of Moher are less than an hour away. These 700-foot sandstone cliffs stretch across nearly 5 miles and are home to more than 20 species of seabirds. In some seasons, you’ll even see surfers out on the breakers.
AccommodationsClare Inn Hotel lies just north of the Shannon estuary, with scenic views of the Clare Hills.
Days 4–5: Blarney
No trip to Ireland is complete without a visit to Blarney Castle. Here’s where you’ll find the famous Blarney Stone, said to confer the gift of gab on all who kiss it. While you’re in town, stock up on sweaters at Blarney Woollen Mills, a 40,000-square-foot retail store in one of the country’s oldest wool mills.
Accommodations: On a 170-acre wooded plot in the Shournagh Valley, Blarney Golf Resort is anchored by a John Daly–designed 18-hole golf course. The award-winning Inniscarra Restaurant serves traditional Irish cuisine, such as steamed loin of pork with spring cabbage and sweet cider jus.
Day 6: Dublin
Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, features a harmonious blend of Victorian pubs and stately Georgian townhouses with modern nightclubs and chic restaurants. Grafton Street, near Trinity College and St. Stephen’s Green, is filled with window-shoppers checking out the high-end stores. Throw back an irish whiskey or Guinness in one of the city’s cozy pubs, then learn about the drinks’ origins on tours of the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson distillery.
AccommodationsNorth Star Hotel, renovated in 2009 and located in Dublin’s city center, has a fully-equipped gym and Scandanavian spa.
What You Get
Six-night Ireland vacation with round-trip airfare, accommodations, and car rental. Nine options available, including departures from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), and Chicago (ORD) between March and August 2013.
http://www.groupon.com/deals/ga-great-value-vacations-4/options
Note: All options priced per person and valid for a Travel with a Friend package (two Groupons required), or you can pay an additional fee of $300 to travel solo.
Included in all options:

 

Round-trip airfare from Aer Lingus
Standard hotel accommodations at The Heritage Golf & Spa ResortClare Inn Hotel,Blarney Golf Resort, andNorth Star Hotel Hotel
One-week car rental (manual transmission)

Book by: 3/8/13

Buffalo Hills Resort – Southeastern Ohio
One or Two Nights for Up to Four in a Standard or Specialty Cabin with Horseback Riding for Two. Combine Up to Four Nights.
Top Reasons to Visit Buffalo Hills Resort
The resort spreads across 360 acres in southeastern Ohio’s hilly countryside near Amish country.
A herd of buffalo lives on the resort grounds. Keep a camera handy to snap photos of them grazing on the property.
This deal includes horseback riding for two along trails crisscrossing the resort.
Other onsite recreation opportunities include ATV rentals, mini golf, and fishing.
Most of the cabins on this private resort come equipped with full kitchens.
Senecaville, Ohio: Quiet Village near Southeastern Ohio’s Amish Country
The small village of Senecaville sits in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in southeastern Ohio. The verdant hillsides are dotted with Amish farmhouses where locals sell baked goods and handcrafted furniture. It’s not uncommon to see a horse and buggy clopping along the tree-lined streets. Not far from Buffalo Hills Resort, you can go fishing at Seneca Lake, a manmade reservoir that’s one of the largest lakes in Ohio.
Senecaville is about two hours from Columbus if you’re interested in taking a day trip. Some of the capital city’s major attractions include the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and COSI, which keeps kids and adults entertained with hundreds of interactive exhibits.

What You Get
Stay for up to four with two horseback-riding passes
One-night stay
Option 1: $99 for a standard cabin (up to a $250 value)
Option 2: $119 for a specialty cabin (up to a $275 value)
Two-night stay
Option 3: $189 for a standard cabin (up to a $400 value)
Option 4: $229 for a specialty cabin (up to a $450 value)
Book by: 4/5/13
Travel by: 5/31/13

Anhingas spread their wings to dry them after ...
Anhingas spread their wings to dry them after diving. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Casa Luna Hotel & Spa – Costa Rica
Four-Night Stay for Two with Nature or Adventure Package Including Tours and Activities. Combine Up to Eight Nights.

Nature-Inspired Hotel with Tropical Gardens Close to Arenal Volcano

Until 2010, Arenal was Costa Rica’s most active volcano, known for its impressive eruptions of ash and elongated lava flows. Today, the volcano is in an indeterminate resting period; it could be months or even years before its next explosion. But the lush rainforests around Arenal are very active, overflowing with tropical birds, bubbling hot springs, and gushing rapids and waterfalls. Casa Luna Hotel & Spa is located close to the volcano in the rural town of La Fortuna, making it a convenient spot for travelers to explore these natural wonders. Its setting certainly helped the eco-friendly resort earn a place on TripAdvisor’s 2013 list of Costa Rica’s top hotels.

Nature lovers founded Casa Luna, and it shows—the hotel’s tropical gardens grow native plant species, creating a natural ecosystem that attracts toucans, iguanas, howler monkeys, and other wildlife. The hotel also hosts its own nature walks, canopy tours, and horseback rides. Resident bilingual guides can lead tours to some of the area’s most prominent sites, pointing out the flora and fauna along the way. The hotel owners have also made an effort to minimize the resort’s ecological footprint, using reforested wood and other recycled materials during construction.

Nature also inspired the look of the hotel. It has a colonial-style aesthetic with vaulted, exposed wood-beam ceilings and wicker armchairs. Wooden doors open into guest rooms tiled in terra cotta. The onsite restaurant also reflects the hotel’s rustic ambiance with wrought-iron chandeliers contrasted by the dark woods of the tables and seats. This is where guests gather for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to sample an eclectic variety of dishes, including steaks and pastas.

Adventure or Nature Tour Through Arenal Volcano and Rainforest Wildlife Refuges

For this deal, Casa Luna Hotel & Spa offers one of two excursions via Ecoterra Costa Rica, a local tour company. Both packages include English-speaking guides, roundtrip airport transfers, some meals, a hot-springs visit, and a tour of Arenal Volcano.

Nature Lover’s Package: This laid-back tour focuses on appreciating the surrounding rainforest and wildlife. You’ll take a tour of La Fotuna, which has 200-foot waterfalls. Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge is a remote spot that serves as a flyover for many birds, including the green-backed heron, the rare Nicaraguan grackle, the glossy ibis, and the American anhinga.

Adventure Lover’s Package: This tour ratchets up the adrenaline with two hours of whitewater rafting on the Balsa River. On another day, your guide will lead you up to Arenal Volcano on horseback to a zipline that spans 12 cables and takes you nearly 2 miles through the forest canopy. After the trip, you can unwind with a dip in a natural hot spring. You’ll also pay a visit to a farm restaurant and sugar-cane processing plant.

Between excursions, you’ll have days off to relax at the hotel or join another activity. La Fortuna is a convenient jumping-off point for a variety of natural attractions. You can also make the two-hour drive south to San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital city, which has a wide selection of museums.
What You Get

Four-night stay for two in a double room with experience package

Option 1: $999 for a Nature Lover’s package (up to a $1,983 value)
Option 2: $999 for an Adventure Lover’s package (up to a $1,953 value)
Book by: 4/12/13
Travel by: 6/30/13

Nature Lover’s package includes:

Ecocentro Danaus tour
La Fortuna Waterfall tour
Arenal Volcano tour
Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge tour
Adventure Lover’s package includes:

Rafting tour
Cultural tour of sugar-cane mill
Zipline tour
Horseback riding to Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano tour
Both experience packages include an English-speaking guide, roundtrip transfers from Juan Santamaría International Airport, admission to hot springs, daily breakfast, and two lunches and one dinner.

 

 

Check out these amazing deals on these hot getaways at http://www.groupon.com/getaways?d=travel_countmein!

 

Li’el

 

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