Britain’s hotspots almost fully booked amid staycation boom

Demand for UK holidays has skyrocketed this week, as England enters phase two of the roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions.

Following the reopening of self-catered accommodation, campsites and beer gardens on Monday April 12, parts of Britain are close to fully booked.

A report by the Rest Easy Group confirmed 98 per cent of properties in Cornwall across its platforms are booked this week – with Devon and Yorkshire also close to full capacity.

“Only 3 per cent of properties in Devon are now available to book, followed by 5 per cent in Yorkshire and 2 per cent in Cornwall,” said Matt Fox, CEO of Rest Easy Group, which is a marketplace for UK holiday rentals.

Calendars are also brimming with bookings in other popular destinations, as the future of international holidays remains uncertain.

“We are still seeing the staycation market boom, with both Silverlake, Dorset and Lower Mill Estate, Cotswolds, fully booked today [Monday] and at 90 per cent capacity next weekend. We expect to see this increase in demand continue long into summer whilst international travel is still uncertain,” said Red Paxton, director at Habitat Escapes, which offers lakeside self-catering properties in The Cotswolds and Dorset.

Popular destinations in Scotland are primed for a booking surge, as Nicola Sturgeon confirms restrictions on cross-border travel between Scotland and other parts of the UK will be lifted on April 26, when self-catering accommodation will also be allowed to reopen.

A report by Tripadvisor found that Kinloch Rannoch, a popular holiday village in Perth and Kinross, is the most popular destination for staycationers planning an escape for the early May Bank holiday, having seen the biggest month-on-month increase in searches.

Scroll down for today’s updates.

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California Travel: Where To Have a Safe and Fun Staycation in Los Angeles

In many US cities, this has felt like the longest winter (and year!) ever, but LA’s got one big and bright thing going for it: blue skies. Whether you’re grabbing coffee or a light lunch, catching up with a friend you haven’t seen since 2019, going on a date or needing to escape your partner/kids/dogs for a few hours, there are socially-distant, outdoor solutions for switching it up where the weather is better.

Many hotels are offering day passes to their pools and rooftops, and with strict safety guidelines in place, you can enjoy a change in scenery while dining outdoors, laying out by the pool and recharging.


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Stay or Play at the LAX-Adjacent Hotel June

Five minutes from the airport, this hidden oasis offers up spacious rooms with ocean and mountain views, a cafe serving pastries and coffee in the mornings, complimentary bikes to explore the city outdoors and a pool deck that’s perfect for working/lounging. Hotel June could be your home away from home; the hotel is currently reserving two-hour time slots at the pool for its overnight guests and offers free yoga for guests on Saturday mornings, as well. If you’re not staying there, you can still get a Day Pass, which includes access to the pool, wifi, lounge chairs, discounted valet parking and more.

Freshen up with Aesop Products (in every room) and don’t forget to make a dinner reservation for Caravan Swim Club (just above the pool). Keep it light and delicious with a dozen oysters and the super fresh locally-caught crudo from the raw bar. Pair your meal with a sparkling chardonnay or a refreshing Marigold cocktail, and don’t forget to save room for dessert. Feeling lazy? You can order delivery at any time through your favorite app, and the concierge will deliver it to your door upon arrival. Another big perk: Hotel June is dog friendly so you can bring your pups and share your love of fluffy beds and pillows with them.

Treat Yourself at the Proper Santa Monica

While Hotel June has all the fun/hip summer vibes going for it, the Santa Monica Proper is a little more luxe, with rooms and suites designed by Kelly Wearster in a warm neutral palette. Splurge on a staycation here for a night or two and pamper yourself while you’re at it. Surya Spa’s menu consists of herbal oil massages, private Transcendental Meditation instruction and even health consultations with Ayurvedic Master, Martha Soffer.

Reserve lunch at the hotel’s Mediterranean rooftop restaurant, Calabra. Views of Los Angeles from up here are breathtaking, and the All Day Brunch menu is served from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. The mezze is perfect for sharing, and you should definitely add a side order of fries with vegan arugula-jalapeno aioli if you like to snack. The Washed Ashore cocktail with tequila, prickly pear, citrus and algae will transport you to a breezy cabana in Cabo, while the Sandia Punch with gin, watermelon and lemon will quench your thirst after a morning hike up and down Los Liones Trailhead.

Enjoy Floor-To-Ceiling Hollywood Hills Views at the Line LA

This posh Koreatown hotel will always be one of our favorites thanks to its location, its restaurant and its bangin’ hotel room views. Get cozy in a bed that overlooks the city; at the LINE LA, you can see the Hollywood Sign without getting up on clear days—and bring your pup along if you’d like, too. Dogs AND cats are okay here, and they stay for free regardless of their size or weight. Ask about the VIP(et) treatment, which includes homemade treats, a pet bed and even a bowl for your furry friend.

What was once Roy Choi’s Commissary restaurant has been converted to Openaire, the second-floor poolside greenhouse space now run by two Michelin-starred chef Josiah Citrin. Serving up seasonal Californian cuisine and cocktails, Openaire puts charcoal front and center with most dishes, creating that signature smoky flavor with all items made on the grill. You’ll want to order everything on the menu, guaranteed. We suggest the heavenly garlic parmesan dinner rolls with black truffle butter (they melt in your mouth!), the ahi tuna tartare, the smoked carrots, charred broccolini and the dark chocolate cake to share. To drink, you must try the midnight margarita, made with tequila of course, plus cointreau, lime and charcoal. If you’re checking out or even just meeting a friend, you can grab a lobby coffee at Alfred (and a breakfast burrito) and take it to go or back to your room to enjoy while you work or just zone out to the crazy awesome view.

Hide Away in Los Feliz at the Cara Hotel

East of Hollywood, the Cara Hotel opened its doors just last year, and aren’t we glad it did. In the heart of Los Feliz, this is the perfect staycation location for Eastsiders who want to get out or even Westsiders who want to spend a little more time exploring this neighborhood. Book a dreamy Balcony room, with white and cream-colored curtains and linens and light oak herringbone floors. Even the bathroom is cream limestone, and each room has its own all-natural organic amenities and handmade soaps.

Enjoy a coffee from Maru in the morning or a cocktail in the evening. When you get hungry, make sure you have a reservation for Cara Restaurant in the courtyard. Open for lunch and dinner, Cara sources its ingredients from local California farmers who practice biodynamic and organic farming methods. Go for a smoked trout salad or a lemon pasta and do not skip the olive oil cake made with whipped creme fraiche and cara cara orange. Breakfast and room service are available to overnight guests, as well.

Take Your Zoom Meetings or Catch an Outdoor Movie at JW Marriott/The Ritz Carlton in DTLA

Called the “Work Anywhere” program and available both at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live (JWLA) and The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles in downtown LA, Marriott has a pass for everyone who wants a new place to work or even hang out for a weekend. Choose from the “Day Pass,” “Stay Pass” or “Play Pass”—whichever suits your fancy. We love that the Stay Pass allows you to check in as early as 6 a.m. and checkout as late as 6 p.m. the following day so you have time to work and relax during your visit. Guestrooms feature functional workspaces and lots of natural light and premium Wi-Fi, plus lots of outlets for your personal phone, work phone, battery pack, chargers and more.

You can also enjoy a $10 food and beverage voucher for any on-property dining or room service. Need a break and some fresh air? Grab a scooter on the road and explore the Arts District, Little Tokyo and the Broadway Theater District. For a real treat, check out JWLA’s Poolside Dinner & A Movie series. Every Friday and Saturday, you can enjoy a two-course, al fresco meal ($45) complete with classic film screenings and an iconic backdrop of the skyline in DTLA.

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Top Staycation Spots In Okla. For Spring Break Travel

Spring Break is coming up for students across the state.

With COVID-19 still a concern, you and your family might be making plans to stay in Oklahoma.

Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell joined News 9 at 9 a.m. Monday to share the top staycation spots for families.

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Here’s a roundup of top-notch travel deals, whether you’d rather staycation in Alaska or venture abroad

We’re in between the two tallest pillars of the retail universe: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And many travelers are itching to go somewhere.

It’s a delicate balance for travel companies offering deals, though. Coaxing travelers to fly, to sail or to stay somewhere when COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in many communities is challenging for companies. After all, there’s still no vaccine to fight the coronavirus and preventive measures — masks, physical distancing and hand-washing — can be difficult to enforce.

Also, each state or country has its own protocols for entry, which may include advance testing, quarantine on arrival, or both. And those entry requirements change all the time.

So this week, travelers who are shopping for deals are betting on a vaccine and for improved testing and mitigation conditions in 2021. Feeling lucky?

The Alaska Collection by Pursuit is offering a 40% off sale for 2021 adventures here in Alaska. This includes Kenai Fjords Tours in Seward, Denali Backcountry Adventures and the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge.

My favorite boat ride in Seward is the six-hour “National Park Cruise,” which departs Seward’s small boat harbor, heads out Resurrection Bay and rounds the corner to visit Aialik Bay. Regular price for the cruise is $169, plus tax, and lunch on board is included. Cruises start on May 1, 2021. The sale price using the code CYBER40 is $112, and there’s no discount on the taxes.

Major Marine Tours also is offering a 40% off sale for its cruises in Seward to Kenai Fjords National Park.

If you want to stay overnight in Seward, which is a good idea, stay at the Seward Windsong Lodge. The hotel opens May 14 and the sale pricing brings the cost down from $179 to $107 per night. Use the discount code CYBER40.

Up in Talkeetna, the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge is opening for spring break starting on March 6, 2021. The rooms are much cheaper, and the snow will be ideal for skiing, cycling or snowmachining. The regular price is $129 per night, but the sale price is $77 per night. When the lodge reopens for the summer season on May 15, 2021, the rates go up to $229 per night. Using that same discount code brings that down to $137 per night, plus tax.

At Denali National Park, the company Pursuit offers a daily tour from the park entrance all the way back to Kantishna, at the end of the 92-mile park road. The Denali Backcountry Adventure tour includes a meal at the end of the road at Denali Backcountry Lodge. Very few travelers get this far back in the park. It’s a great opportunity to get the perfect shot of Denali, with Wonder Lake in the foreground.

Denali is reflected in a small pond just east of Wonder Lake in Denali National Park on August 23, 2006. (Bob Hallinen / ADN archive)

Usually, the bus tour is $199 per person, but the sale price — including the $15 Denali National Park fee — is $134.40. The discount code is a little different: CYBER40DBA. The tour leaves from Denali Cabins, located 8 miles south of the park entrance. However, the bus will pick you up at other hotels or campsites.

Denali Cabins consists of 46 individual cedar cabins. Usually, the summertime rate is $169 per night, plus tax. But using the CYBER40 discount code, the cost comes down to $101 per night.

There are other Black Friday sales for hotels, but none caught my eye like Fairmont Hotels. I got on their mailing list after staying at their beautiful hotel Chateau Lake Louise in Canada’s Banff National Park.

This is a big hotel in a spectacular setting. The rate when we stayed there was more than $500 per night. I used some credit card points there, as well as at the Fairmont Jasper Lodge farther north on the Icefield Parkway in the Canadian Rockies.

Of course, both of these hotels are off-limits to us right now, since the Canadians don’t want visiting Americans to potentially spread COVID-19.

But Fairmont has some beautiful hotels around the world, including the Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle. I checked the sale price for a stay in January: $185 per night. The Kea Lani resort in Maui also is a Fairmont resort, but I could not find a date where the Black Friday discount would work. The rack rates started at more than $500 per night.

It’s worth surfing around the Fairmont site to see if there’s a property that works for you in Chicago, California’s Sonoma County or Scottsdale, Arizona.

A view of the Hurtigruten’s vessel MS Roald Amundsen, docked in Tromso, Norway, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (Terje Pedersen/NTB scanpix via AP)

One cruise company that stood out, though, is Hurtigruten. This Norwegian company has the craziest itineraries: around Iceland, to Antarctica and to Greenland. They also offer some itineraries around the coast of South America, in the Caribbean and in Alaska.

There were a few airfare specials on various airlines, but none here in Alaska. Sometimes, when there are no super-specials from Alaska, you have to cobble together a ticket to San Francisco or Los Angeles, along with a ticket to your final destination.

Cathay Pacific has some good Black Friday deals for travel starting in April. So, clearly, they’re banking that travelers will be allowed to visit by then. Here are some of the best rates:

• San Francisco-Taipei: $475 round trip

• Los Angeles/San Francisco-Ho Chi Minh City: $480 round trip

• Los Angeles-Manila: $469 round trip

• Los Angeles-Denpasar, Bali: $474 round trip

Other destinations also are available, including Tokyo and Singapore. But at this time, American citizens are not allowed to visit. Travelers on Cathay Pacific can earn Alaska Airlines miles.

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