Friday, August 12, 2011

Incredible Island Getaways

Who doesn't love a fantastic Island Getaway? Just envisioning white sandy beaches, swaying palm trees and the romance of the island breeze is enough to make you day dream all afternoon. But what are some of the best and most unique Island Getaways? Here are a few to consider:

Hamilton Island, Australia

Hamilton Island is one of 74 tropical islands in the Coral Sea between the Queensland coast and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia (where Oprah recently stayed). The largest inhabited island in the Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island is on the same latitude in the southern hemisphere as Honolulu in the north with an average of 81F temperatures year round. With more than six accommodation choices, 10 restaurants and varied water and beach activities, the Island makes the perfect launching pad for U.S. travelers to enjoy Australia's most spectacular beaches, explore the Great Barrier Reef and create an unforgettable vacation in tropical Australia.
qualia, Australia's world class luxury resort on the Great Barrier Reef, is located on the secluded and breathtakingly beautiful northern-most point of Hamilton Island. qualia has 60 elegant one-bedroom pavilions and a Beach House, each set among eucalyptus trees with postcard views of the idyllic blue, green waters of the Whitsundays. Two superb restaurants and Spa qualia cater exclusively to guests of the resort. Also available are a Yacht Club, golf club and two spas. Offering special seven-night deal with accommodations, champagne, dinner for two and a sunset cruise for $6,270.

Mackinac Island, MI
Located in Michigan’s Lake Huron, this island is 3.8 square miles. The entire island is a National Historic Landmark as the 500 year round residents ensure the historic aspect of the island is preserved. You can get there by boat, ferry and air. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the island; only horse & buggy and bicycles.
The Grand Hotel is charming, historic and affordable. For about $1,000 guests can stay 3 nights, have a 5 star meal three times a day at one of a kind dining...on a one-of-a-kind island. The food, the atmosphere, the service is spectacular. And there's No tipping! That really makes it affordable.
Full breakfast and five-course dinner are included daily in most guest room rates. Guests 11 and under stay and eat free. Significantly reduced rates are also available for guests 17 and younger. Thanks to many activities and kids' programs, the readers of Travel + Leisure Family magazine consider Grand Hotel one of the 10 kid-friendliest resorts in the U.S. and Canada.

Catalina Island, CA
Santa Catalina Island, often called Catalina Island, or just Catalina, is an island off the coast of Southern California. just 22 miles SW of Los Angeles. To get to this 76 square mile island, you can arrive in 15 minutes by helicopter or 1 hour by boat. So much to do, camping, snorkeling, snuba, beach, museum, theater, kayak, shopping, segway tour, glass bottom boats, spas, fishing, ocean rafting, historical walking tour, ziplining, tennis, hiking.
Accommodation options include: bed and breakfasts, hotels, campgrounds, vacation homes/condos, 4-star inn.
Free family friendly concerts, live entertainment,
The newly renovated Pavilion Hotel has 71 rooms and is just 14 steps from the beach. The hotel’s “Unlimited” package includes: 

* Minimum 2 nights accommodations (starting at $159/night)

* Complimentary deluxe continental breakfast
*Complimentary afternoon wine and cheese pairing

* Preferred seating and reservations at the New Avalon Grille Restaurant

* 50% off the New Zip Line Eco Tour (savings of $50 per person)

* Children aged 11 and under stay free!

Little Palm Island, FL
Discovered over two decades ago, the private, 5 1/2-acre Little Palm Island (pictured above) has been the escape of choice for presidents, high profile celebrities and savvy travelers alike. The magic of this island is its exclusive location where a captivating view exists in every direction and Snowy Egrets are your only competition for a prime beach spot. Crushed seashell paths, 30 oceanfront suites, thatched roof bungalows, make this a unique getaway like no other.
There are no telephones or televisions, or guests under the age of 16 - the only distractions are the outdoors and each other. Located on Little Torch Island in the relaxing Florida Keys, this resort is listed on Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List, Travel + Leisure – 500 World’s Best Hotels. You can do as much or as little during your stay: Snorkel or scuba Looe Key, a living reef located in the Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Resort’s on site spa, water sports (kayak, fishing, kite boarding, seaplane, sailing). Thirty minutes to downtown Key West and Swim with the Dolphins. Life-sized chess and checkers, pool relaxation, gourmet island dining. Absolutely gorgeous!

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