Dec. 12, 2011 at 12:17 PM ET
With the mercury dropping in many areas across the country, some of us may be ready to escape winter's chill. Nilou Motamed, features director for Travel + Leisure, suggests these surprisingly affordable warm-weather getaways.
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa, Hawaii
"A fun thing they do on Friday is Aloha Friday," Motamed said. "And from 4:30 to 6, they have hula performances, you can learn how to make leis, hands-on, so you can come back and impress your friends, and of course there is Diamond Head and the beautiful, warm waters right beyond."
This Waikiki resort also just completed a $13 million renovation that spruced up common areas and added a new restaurants. From $219/night.
Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs, Calif.
Motamed likes the retro cool of Palm Springs, no more so than at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club, from $109/night. "It just makes you feel cooler to go to this hotel."
At this hotel, the pool is open until 2 a.m., and they have DJs onsite and yoga classes. Plus, Joshua Tree National Park is nearby. "They just know how to basically throw a great party," Motamed said.
Malecón House, Vieques, Puerto Rico
This hotel on the southern coast of the Puerto Rico is located directly on the Malecón — the island's seafront promenade — in the tiny village of Esperanza. Rooms start at $175/night.
"The two owners took a year to renovate this house, and they are there and taking care of you with everything you need," Motamed said. "They only have 10 rooms, so you get lots of personal attention."
Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, Costa Rica
This 44-bungalow resort is surrounded by a tropical rain forest on the outskirts of the Arenal volcano. Rooms start at $245/night.
"What I like about it is you are really in a nature-lover's paradise," Motamed said.
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Fla.
This hotel has a great deal right now. Rates start at $239/night, with the second room half off. "So the kids can have their own room," Motamed said. The hotel also has a 2-acre pool that surrounds the property, and the package includes complimentary transportation to and from Orlando theme parks.
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