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$1,000 per night in Africa, but do you also splurge for domestic travel?

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Oct 1st, 2005, 01:36 PM
  #21
 
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Rocco, I think when you refer to Big Sur you're talking about Post Ranch Inn or Ventana. We've splurged at both. Is it worth it? I'm not too sure. An ocean view room at the Post Ranch is something like $700. I don't think that's worth it. On the otherhand, dinner there is definitely a great experience.

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Oct 1st, 2005, 02:39 PM
  #22
 
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We are staying two nights in Amsterdam (for free with points), three nights in Cape Town, one night in Spier winery to see this Cheetah rescue program they have, and three nights in the Royal Malewane. We have a private driver and guide when we are in Cape Town and Spier. So we don't have to worry about anything. The flights were a total of $3300 for both of us. I booked it through a very well known travel agent (rated as top agent by Conde Nast). She planned our honeymoon and we were very pleased with her work and connections. We could not stay any longer on vacation since my hubby has to get back to work.
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Oct 1st, 2005, 02:43 PM
  #23
 
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roccco-

What have you heard about the royal malewane?
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Oct 1st, 2005, 02:58 PM
  #24
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I have met a couple different people whom have stayed at the Royal Malewane and loved it.

One such person was a Venezuelan woman I met during my Singita stay. She preferred the accomodations and the food at Royal Malewane to Singita, although she conceded that the rooms were not as big or the gameviewing was not as spectacular. While Singita is in the heart of the Sabi Sand, Royal Malewane is not in the Sabi Sand.

As far as the agents go, they pretty much all have access to the same properties. It has been my experience that once an agency gets its accolades in a publication like Conde Nast Traveler that you can pretty much count on their prices going up.

In any event, you have a very nice itinerary and should have a wonderful time. Where are you staying in Cape Town?
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Oct 1st, 2005, 02:58 PM
  #25
sandi
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Julian -

You're funny. Hey, we were butlered up the wazoo at the Peninsula in BKK. Okay, compared to other destinations, BKK is reasonably priced, paying maybe $175/person (incl. full breakfast) for a Jr. Suite (all rooms are at minimum), probably as big or bigger then my NYC apartment. Certainly the bathroom was larger.

You name the gadget, this room was LEDing the temp and humidity indoors and the outside "ugly" (hot, humid, sticky) of BKK streets. TV at the far end of the very large bathtub... more buttons to push for whatever that after a few days we were complaining about push-button fingers rather then dishpan hands. Upon first entering the room, I didn't have the phone back in the cradle asking for the top sheet (forgotten when the maid made up the room) between the down comforter and duvet cover that was changed daily - the houskeeper was ringing the bell chimes. Bed was remaid in total! It seemed hotel doors were opened before we arrived at the building, elevators arrived as soon as we rang for them... it was almost overkill. But we loved it for four-days.

It's one thing to have a weekly houskeeper, even live-in help - been there, done that - but this, admittedly, was wonderful. LOL! More, more... then, maybe not.

Roccco -

Granted when we visited Singita in '01, paying $600/$650 nite person (those were the days) we were blowing our budget, but just had to see what the fuss was all about. It was about "outstanding" and a once-in-a-life that we paid this much. Like, BKK the service was grand and attentive, food scruptious, guiding out of this world, game viewing only so-so (maybe I was expecting too much) but I did finally, after numerous safaris, see my first leopard. Overall, our stay was so wonderful, we kicked ourselves for not staying an extra day just to enjoy the "house" and forget the gameviewing.

And as we've all acknowledged, Africa prices are almost all totally inclusive except for tipping. Would I pay these prices in the States or elsewhere if not inclusive - doubt it. And, even if inclusive, for the Caribbean, no way - not "for a beach." A beach, anywhere, for that matter.

I believe that when we're all on our own turf, we have a better comfort level and manage to find "deals." Whether it's local quaint restaurants, B&Bs, etc. Like MTbeds in SA, if one has the time and patience to not book till the last minute. South Africans can, as can Americans or Europeans when they can move on a moments (ok, 2-days) notice in our own (or closeby) backyards.

Good thread!
 
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Oct 1st, 2005, 03:44 PM
  #26
 
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Hi Sandi,

$175 for the kind of service you describe is a good deal -- I'd also be willing to pay more in place like Bangkok where the weather makes it very unpleasant to go outside and you might end up spending quite a bit of time in your room. But personally, I tend to value privacy and peace and quiet more than being waited on hand and foot -- the idea of having a bath butler come in to pour salts or essential oils into the bath just seems intrusive to me.

Cheers,
Julian
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Oct 1st, 2005, 04:00 PM
  #27
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Well, to answer my own question, I am just leaving for a wedding in Palm Desert (110 miles from home) and I ended up buying a room on Hotwire for $130 USD total.

Hotwire keeps the identity of the hotel secret, but it was made known to me that it was a 4* resort and a "customer favorite."

It ended up being a Westin Resort, so I think I did okay, considering that I will sleep in the room and perhaps enjoy Sunday brunch.

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin...ropertyID=1008
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Oct 1st, 2005, 04:04 PM
  #28
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I just checked it out and I ended up saving $85 by booking on Hotwire instead of directly with the hotel. About a 35% savings. Not too bad.
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Oct 1st, 2005, 04:28 PM
  #29
 
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Rocco -

I just stayed at the Westin Mission Hills this past July. Breathtakingly hot in July! But, the room was nice and my room, in particularly, was oversized.

And the bed was, indeed, heavenly.
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Oct 2nd, 2005, 04:20 AM
  #30
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Julian -

In further checking my records, the $175/person when we were in BKK, at the also included (not thru the Peninsula Hotel, but a separate tour operator) our guide, driver and air conditioned Mercedes for our touring.

I definitely agree with you - some of the services are a bit intrusive... I can pour my own bath salts and sprinkle my own rose petals everywhere/anywhere.
 
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Oct 2nd, 2005, 05:02 AM
  #31
 
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Hi Sandi,

Sounds like you definitely got a bargain in Bangkok -- the Peninsula hotels are known for superb service.

For me it's more about value for money than the amount spent. Londoz at $500 a night gives much better value for money than a hotel in New York or London for that same amount of money -- at Londoz you get not only a posh room but some of the world's best game-viewing and great food, whereas in New York you just get a room (and probably a smallish one at that).

However, I will pay for exclusivity and privacy, which is why I prefer an intimate boutique hotel to a large international 5-star when I'm on holiday (on business it's different, as I may need the facilities only a larger hotel can offer). I also really enjoy renting a flat when I'm somewhere in Europe -- it's much more like living there than simply being a tourist.

If I am staying in a hotel, I tend to spend less on the hotel so I can splurge on food -- when I'm in Cape Town, I stay at a little boutique hotel for R450 (about $85) a night and spend the money that would have gone for accommodation on dining at the top restaurants and tasting the best wines. We all have our priorities!

Cheers,
Julian
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Oct 2nd, 2005, 05:21 AM
  #32
 
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Is this an Africa thread? Why donít you go here instead: http://www.millionaire.com/ ?
>)

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Oct 2nd, 2005, 05:45 AM
  #33
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Of course it's an Africa thread. It's nice and refreshing to deviate a bit and add some humor and lighhearted topics.
 
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Oct 2nd, 2005, 06:20 AM
  #34
 
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Hello,

It certainly highlights the high value for money travel in Africa represents.

Cheers,
Julian
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Oct 4th, 2005, 07:13 AM
  #35
 
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Hi this is uhoh_busted. I had to get a second identity over the weekend when I got locked out of Fodors for some strange reason. So since I no longer need to worry about being "[email protected]" as I've retired early, I am "LadyOLeisure" -- at least when I'm on the downstairs PC, the upstairs one is still automatically signing me in as uhoh.

ANYWAY, we never spend even half of what we spent per night in Botswana last year, staying anyplace, anywhere, anytime. I like to use points or website deals for good places, but we rarely spend over $150/night, except maybe in NYC or LA because of all the extra room taxes, etc. I like to use the affinity hotels (Beekman, particularly but also the one in Murray Hill) in NY and the Kor properties in LA.

We just got back from ten days in Oregon, and rarely spent more than $75/night. One of the coolest places we stayed was Timberline Lodge, atop Mt Hood. While not "posh" it was totally comfortable and kind of like stepping back into the 1930s for the weekend.

We have a favorite small family owned place we like in Negril, and return there every couple of years. (The Charela Inn) It is the only place I'd consider going all inclusive, We really don't do much in the line of "resorts." There are usually so many wonderful restaurants we want to try (or so much to see in the place we're traveling to) that we'd rather spend $ on food, wine and culture than on a bed and a shower. Obviously that's not an option in the bush



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