NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer travel season. With many airlines and hotels preparing for what could be a record turnout of travelers, consumers should try to shore up plans as soon as possible or find themselves priced out of a summer getaway. Regardless of your budget, here are some unique three-day weekend getaways for every budget.
Rhode Island has been a summertime getaway for gilded American families dating back to the Astors and Vanderbilts, who built grand waterfront palaces in cities such as Newport. It's here that Greece's Grace Hotels has acquired the 1909 mansion of Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt and turned it into a charming boutique hotel in line with their properties in Greece's Aegean Islands. Located near tourist-popular Thames Street,
is walking distance to the sailing harbor as well as nearby shops and restaurants. Within the hotel, visitors find a thoroughly New England styling of double staircases leading from the lobby of white wainscoting and artwork inspired by Norman Rockwell.
Rhode Island's Vanderbilt Grace mansion has become a charming boutique hotel in line with properties in Greece's Aegean Islands.
The in-house dining room spares no expense. It has a country club glamor that retains the grace of the formal parlor space with 1920s artwork, and there's an adjacent conservatory with more casual all-day menu. In both, the menu is presided over by well-known New England chef Jonathon Cartwright.
Rooms include "loft" and "superior suite" categories with kitchenettes and bi-level architecture with a sophisticated, minimalist decor, including cushy couches and cozy seating areas. There are two pools, including a basement-level one for year-round enjoyment and an outdoor option along the back terrace ideal for humid summer days. In early June rates can be had for as low as $425 per night -- and you come away with the bragging rights of staying at New England's hottest new boutique hotel.
A waterfront beach house in California's Orange County may sound like a getaway for the privileged few, but the
offer a collection of oceanfront beach bungalows featured in movies such as
that is one of the most affordable waterfront properties you can find on the Southern California coast. Located in the land of
and pedigree golf resorts such as Pelican Hill, Orange Country's Crystal Cove stretches over three miles of white-sand beach popular in the 1930s and '40s when a series of 46 cottages were built -- now protected as part of the National Register of Historical Places. Of the 46 cottages, 21 are available for public use while the remaining cabins undergo a meticulous renovation
A neighborhood of cottages called Fisherman's Perch and Long Board Lodge offer iconic shingle siding and period interiors with head-on views of the crashing Pacific. Properties are available dorm-style in shared houses or as fully private homes with grand terraces and minimally outfitted kitchens. The nearby Beachcomber Restaurant is a full-time eatery popular with guests and locals, and there is a small grocer and rental shop for umbrellas and beach chairs. Rates range from an incredibly affordable $125 per night for smaller private cottages to $353 for larger nine-person units. Bookings are tough to score, though; they're facilitated through the California State Parks direct online
booking service, with dates released on a monthly basis that are usually snatched up in a matter of minutes.
The party atmosphere of St. Tropez and St. Barts has debuted along the Las Vegas Strip at the landmark
, with a high-end pool scene to compete with the likes of MGM Grand, The Palms and Hard Rock Hotel. A glittery new entrance feels more like Collins Avenue in Miami than a Las Vegas casino, with its glass facade and soothing white aesthetic culminating at the new outpost of Nikki Beach, arranged along a multitiered pool deck with tanning ledge and center palm tree island.
The look of Nikki Beach exudes South Beach cool with freestanding teak loungers and white sunchairs that add a sultry feel to the gaming destination. New Cafe Nikki offers a casual-dining arm with all-day menu ranging from 11 a.m. breakfast to sushi at high-top tables with barstool seating or a terrace dining room arranged in white director's chairs with Nikki logo. Upgraded rooms extend the South Beach look with white shutters and modern island decor with infinite summer deals -- including 15% off for Facebook fans and packages that include late checkout and Nikki Beach freebies, with rates as low as $69.99 per night for entry-level rooms or $144 per night for Club Spa Suites with personal steam room, saunas and oversize whirlpools big enough for any Nikki Beach after-parties.
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Michael Martin is the managing editor of JetSetReport.com, a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in InStyle, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine and on ITV and the BBC.