Hipmunk Hotels: Cozy and Unique Places to Stay in the West From Flagstaff to Beverly Hills

The post was originally published on Non Stop Destination on May 1, 2016.

Each time I peruse the internet for a few hours of holiday planning, I make sure to look for a hotel that sets itself apart from other ones in the area. I love quirky, cozy, and unique hotels that will make my holiday just a little bit more special. Luckily, there’s no shortage of unique and cozy hotels in the US. The following hotels in the West of the US have thrown the ordinary out of the window and offer you a different but relaxing experience during your stay.

Haunted Hotel in Flagstaff
Hotel WeatherfordThe Weatherford Hotel in Flagstaff, AZ” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  feverblue

Flagstaff in Arizona is a popular stopover on the famous Route 66. Road trippers can explore the lush national forests around the area as well as experience outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and in winter, skiing. The historic Hotel Weatherford is located downtown and is hard to miss. Built in 1900, the hotel has an imposing façade and quaint turn-of-the-century decorated rooms where you can rest after an active day outdoors. Be warned though, the hotel is supposedly haunted!

Modern Sophistication in Bakersfield
The Padre HotelThe Padre Hotel, Bakersfield” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by  LadyDucayne

The Californian city of Bakersfield has plenty on offer for the outdoor enthusiast (especially whitewater rafting fans), and what better place to rest those tired feet than at the Padre Hotel. Unwind in this historic hotel, which first opened its doors in 1928. The themed rooms have been meticulously decorated with great attention to detail. From swanky chic to modern sophistication, you’re bound to find a room to your taste.

Historic Haven in Glenwood Springs
The Hotel DenverHotel Denver Foyer” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by  Liralen Li

Situated in a river valley with steep hills surrounding the city, Glenwood Springs is a mecca for nature lovers. Apart from skiing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and cave exploring, Glenwood Springs is known for its natural hot springs. Head over to Hotel Denver for a genuine historic experience close to everything the city has to offer. Each room is unique and features authentic touches transforming your sleeping quarters to a cozy haven.

Quirky Adobe Villas in Sedona
Adobe Grand VillasAGV” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by  BrownGuacamole

If you’re looking for an active getaway, Sedona in Arizona is the place to be. Hailed as the most beautiful place in America, Sedona offers great outdoor activities with the typical red rock canyons as a backdrop. For a truly unique stay, book a villa at the quirky Adobe Grand Villas. The adobe style rooms all have an individual design, with wooden features throughout. A country garden villa interior or a wagon wheel bed? You’ll find it here.

1950’s Style in Beverly Hills
Avalon HotelLoved staying at the Avalon in Beverly H” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  designmilk

A chic neighborhood needs a chic hotel, and 1950’s style Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills is the perfect place for indulging. The modern retro style and color block designs with soft natural colors can be found throughout the hotel, radiating a sense of calmness and serenity during your stay. After a day of shopping on the famous Rodeo Drive, treat yourself to an in-room spa treatment. When your pampering session is over, lounge in a private cabana by the poolside while sipping an exquisite 1950’s inspired cocktail.

Hipmunk’s Guide to Landing the Lowest Sumer Airfare

The post was originally posted on the Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on April 12, 2016.

summer-buy-blog

Gas prices are down, the temperature is heating up, and travelers are inevitably looking to take advantage of both this summer.

In fact, with all the sunny news about oil prices you may be itching to plan an escape of your own. But summer is three whole months long, airfare is usually priced at a premium, and there tends to be a lot of confusion for travelers around the optimal purchase date to obtain the best deal. Indeed, the most asked travel advice question posed to Hipmunk Navigators concerns the best time to purchase a ticket.

As of March 31, 2016, overall domestic summer airfare (flights departing and returning during June, July, or August), is down from a median price of $330 to $286.

Similarly, flights from the US to major European countries – Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland – follow the same trend: travelers this summer are paying about 15 percent less than last year, from a median price of $1331 to $1129.

And those savings seem to translate into a higher proportion of people planning longer getaways: In 2015, 46 percent of summer vacations that involved flights lasted four days or fewer, while just 33 percent lasted between seven and 10 days.

In 2016, however, 40 percent are four days or fewer, while 38 percent are between seven and 10 days, indicating a shift towards longer vacations.

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To ensure that the hardest decision you’ll have to make this summer season is which umbrella drink you’ll order, Hipmunk analyzed its historical booking data to find the best time to buy summer flights on a monthly and holiday basis. Further, you can find an an interactive guide to summer airfare that show the best times to book flights book flights from the top US cities to trending destinations for summer 2016, as well as Memorial Day, Labor Day and July 4th here.

Let’s dive in.

When to Buy: Summer Holiday

An analysis of Hipmunk’s historical data found that flights booked at least five to seven weeks in advance of major summer holidays—Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day—generally lock in better airfares.

Memorial Day: 5 weeks prior
The kick-off summer holiday weekend is also the second most popular travel time of the season and flight prices rise rapidly. The optimal time to buy according to historical data is five weeks prior to the holiday. (31 percent less than the week-of high.)

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Fourth of July: 6 weeks prior
The most popular time to travel during the summer season is the week leading up to the July 4th holiday. To avoid steep price hikes, it’s best to book six weeks prior. (21 percent less than the week-of high.)

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Labor Day: 7 weeks prior
The unofficial end of the summer also has the longest lead time. A safe bet is to purchase tickets towards the end of July when prices are their lowest—about seven weeks before the holiday weekend. However, if your plans are up in the air, you might be able to secure that same price up to three weeks in advance. (60 percent less than the week-of high.)

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When to Buy: Vacation Month

If your dates are more flexible and you’re trying to decide when to buy tickets to score the lowest prices for a particular month, our data showed that there were two times when travelers could optimize their purchasing power: two months before the beginning of summer or five to seven weeks prior to their departure month, with a vacation in August needing the least amount of lead time and a vacation in July the most.

June: Now, or mid-May

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July: Now, or the first week of June

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August: Next week, or the last week of July

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Now that you know the best times to buy for your summer vacation, it’s time to start planning. Try Hello Hipmunk, your free personal travel agent, to get flight and hotel recommendations straight to your inbox.

METHODOLOGY
Hipmunk analyzed its historical roundtrip airfare data from the top 30 US airports to determine the best times to purchase airfare.

To compare summer 2016 airfares and vacation lengths to those in summer 2015: Hipmunk calculated the median weekly round-trip flight prices for all flights booked during the first week of Jan 2015 through the last week of March 2015 for flights that departed and returned between Memorial Day and Labor Day, as well as the number of days of trip length for those flights, from the top 30 US airports (flight prices were included the week in which the flight departed). Hipmunk performed calculations with the same criteria for 2016 flights, and compared the results.

To find the best times to buy for lowest airfares: Hipmunk calculated the median weekly round-trip flight price from the top 30 US airports, for flights booked from the first week of April 2015 to the last week of August 2015 .

Hipmunk considered a flight for a holiday weekend one that departs up to three days prior to a holiday and returns up to two days after.