Featured Canal City: Amsterdam
This is a city to ogle, from its famous museums to its infamous Red Light District. One of our favorite ways to gaze adoringly at some of Amsterdam's best assets is from a canal "bus." On board, you'll weave your way around the city, passing by all that arresting architecture, passing under all those picturesque bridges, and being passed by the many bike-riding locals. This is an enchanting experience by day and even more so at sunset, with a candlelight tour that's as magical and memorable as it sounds.
Where to Stay: De L'Europe
One of our newest finds in The Hideaways Collection, De L'Europe is a city landmark perched on a hairpin bend along the Amstel River. This hideaway had rather humble beginnings as a modest inn back in the early 1600s, but today you'll enjoy luxe touches and cutting-edge comforts, from the hotel's private wine cellar to your room's own iPad. Member-only perk: Enjoy a €75 food and beverage credit and full American breakfast daily. Exclusive perk: From Jan-01-12 through Mar-31-12, enjoy a guaranteed upgrade at time of booking, guaranteed early arrival (which is especially nice if you've arrived, exhausted, from a trans-Atlantic flight), and late check-out.
When to Go: Well, That Depends
Spring, when the tulips are in full bloom, is a lovely time to visit. But, if you're a spontaneous traveler, we suggest you go next month. Worried about the winter weather? Don't be! Member Paul McAskill sent us this travel post card: "'Amsterdam in December?!' That was pretty much the reaction we got when friends learned that my wife, Brenda, and I were traveling to this city of tulips, bicycles, and canals this past winter. Admittedly, it's not everyone's idea of the perfect season to visit Amsterdam, but when the timing worked out for us, we jumped at the chance to see a part of the world we'd always dreamed of visiting. As it turned out, the weather was dry, partly sunny, and in the 50s and 60s."
And Now, a Few Words from Mike
Hideaways Founder/President Mike Thiel returned recently from Amsterdam, and you don't want to miss his musings on how to do Amsterdam.
Other Charming Canal Cities
Venice: With something like 150 canals crisscrossing the city, each one hosting scores of the city's signature gondolas, Venice is "the floating city." Where to Stay: Hotel Cipriani. Member-only perk: Lunch for two at the pool restaurant (minimum 3-night stay). Deal for Spontaneous Travelers: Visit Venice this December and enjoy high tide and low-season rates at the Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli--a new 41-room boutique hotel on the Grand Canal--starting at just €120/night. Don't worry, the hotel will provide rubber boots so you can comfortably get around during the short-lived high tide! Book soon with Hideaways Travel Services (800-843-4433).
San Antonio, Texas: The San Antonio River meanders through downtown, inspiring the city's celebrated Riverwalk--the unique pedestrian-only walkways that line both sides of the river and are dotted with restaurants and bars. Hop on board a river taxi and enjoy the ride. Where to Stay: Watermark Hotel & Spa. Learn more about Watermark and San Antonio, then book soon with Hideaways Travel Services (800-843-4433).
Bangkok, Thailand: People throughout Thailand, and especially Bangkok, once used channels, or klongs, to get around. While most don't exist today, you can still make your way around central Bangkok by express boat on a portion of the Klong Saen Saeb, still in use for public transportation. Where to Stay: The Sukhothai Hotel Bangkok, which has a perfect traveler rating of 5 on Hideaways.com. Learn more about Thailand, then book soon with Hideaways Travel Services (800-843-4433).
BONUS CANAL CITY: Bruges, Belgium. This capital city, which conjures up images from a whimsical storybook, might best be described as Amsterdam's (innocent) little sister. Here, you'll find lace to buy, chocolate to sample, and picturesque canals to explore by boat.
Want Other Travel Suggestions?
Get matched up with your dream destination--based on your travel style, budget, & desires--when you entrust your vacation planning to the very capable hands of an expert planner at Hideaways Travel Services (800-843-4433).