Laura

Entrance at the Affinia Fifty in Manhattan

Entrance at the Affinia Fifty in Manhattan

Affinia has decided to ring in the new year with a 7-Day Sale, offering rooms up to 30% off in their New York and Washington, D.C., hotels. We have a special place in our hearts for this consistently reliable brand, and we’ve lauded several of its properties for their pet accommodations, room service, gyms, and bathrooms. Below is a list of some of our favorite Affinia hotels.

Note that the sale ends Sunday, January 10, and these rates are valid for stays from January 4 – April 5, 2010. To book call 1-866-246-2203 and mention promo code 7Day or click here to reserve your room online.

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Lobby of the Four Seasons Boston, which is currently offering a third night free promotion

Lobby of the Four Seasons Boston, which is currently offering a third night free promotional deal

Suddenly it seems hotels everywhere are offering the same promotion: Buy two nights and get a third one free. Though some bargain hunters might scoff at the offer as nothing more than the deal-du-jour, we say a deal’s a deal — and any deal that cuts your daily room rate by 33% is nothing to sneeze at. Especially if it means getting one night free at super luxe properties such as these, and potentially saving more than $800 (as you could at the St. Regis New York)!

Here are some of our favorite hotels that are currently running a 3-for-2 promotion:

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Lobby of the Hotel Madera, one of our picks for the capital's gay-friendliest hotels

Lobby of the Hotel Madera, one of our picks for the capital's gay-friendliest hotels

Washington, D.C. could soon become THE hot new wedding destination if a same-sex marriage bill recently passed by the city council gets past the U.S. Congress, which must approve new laws in the nation’s capital. That could happen as early as March, so the city’s hotels have already begun to ramp up their marketing campaigns in an effort to attract spouses-to-be. We did our homework before the bill passed, however. Here’s our list of D.C.’s best gay-friendly hotels, all of which have been approved by the Travel Alternatives Group and/or the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association:

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For those of you who can’t get enough of our Photo Fakeouts, check out Oyster CEO Elie Seidman as he discusses with ABC’s ’20/20′ the various tactics hotels can use to misrepresent reality in their online marketing. Photo-shopping, distortion and cropping, oh my!

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Main cabin onboard Virgin America

Main cabin onboard Virgin America

Having just stepped off our maiden voyage on Virgin America (to Vegas, incidentally, but more on that later), all we can say is – wow. Although airline reviews aren’t quite within our realm of expertise, we nevertheless felt obligated to whip out our cameras and document this unbelievable experience.

Really…we couldn’t help ourselves. It’s what we DO.

Aesthetically speaking, the airplane is a knockout. The first U.S. airline to incorporate mood lighting into its aircraft décor, boarding these cabines feels more like entering a VIP room at The Roxy than entering a plane. In the words of the passenger who boarded behind us, it’s “very psychedelic, man.” Row upon row of black leather seats adds to the chic-effect, and everyone is provided with their own 9-inch screen plus an in-seat entertainment handset with gaming controls and full keyboard. Totally rad.

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Bed in the Spectacular Studio Room at the W South Beach

The Spectacular Studio Room at the W South Beach

The new W Hotel South Beach, beautifully designed by architect Costas Kondylis, has finally arrived to take its rightful place among the top designer hotels in Miami: the Mondrian, the Tides, the Setai , the Delano and the Fontainebleau.

The large, scenic pool (WET) offers an almost unparalleled experience of comfort and ambience. Surrounded by dense palms, colorful squishy-looking ‘beds’ and wood-lattice cabanas (which cost extra), pool guests are waited on by attentive staff who are quick to bring you a cocktail or tuna tartar should you so desire.

Though there’s been a lot hype over the hotel’s newly opened Entourage Bungalow, in which guests are offered a sampling of the Vincent Chase lifestyle, the hotel’s standard rooms are far from glamourless.

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Townhouse Hotel in South Beach, Miami

Townhouse Hotel in South Beach, Miami

We all know that vacations should be times of rest, but what happens when a few too many Fruity Screaming Fuzzy Navels (try to say that 5 times fast…or 3 drinks in) start making your swimsuit fit a little too snuggly? If you’re frequenting a 5-star, then not to worry; most high-end hotels boast fitness centers comparable to that of the super posh Equinox Fitness or Sports Club LA. You can trot away those extra inches in air-conditioned ecstasy and personal-TV bliss.

But when your “gym” is limited to stationary bikes at the end of hallways

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The Official Entourage Bungalow

The Official Entourage Bungalow

What do you get when you combine W Hotels with the cast of HBO’s “Entourage”? Apparently, a match made in cross-marketing heaven.

Starting July 27 and running until September 27, these two iconic brands are teaming up to launch a national campaign that will offer hotels guests the opportunity to slip into Vinny and E’s shoes for (a minimum of) two nights. The promotion kicked off last Thursday at the newly opened W South Beach, with Adrian Grenier onsite to unveil the official “Entourage Bungalow” at the hotel’s outdoor pool, WET.

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