LEAP INTO LOVE PACKAGES
Feeling lucky in love? Inspired by an old Irish legend about Leap Day — allowing women to propose to their sweethearts on Feb. 29 — three distinctive hotels are inviting guests to Leap Into Love in the Berkshires. Choose from an array of proposal experiences, coordinated by Bonita Wilson, Main Street’s “proposal concierge,” while enjoying special romance packages at the Red Lion Inn (Snuggle Up, through May 26, from $345); Hotel on North (Date Night on North, through March 31, from $380); and The Porches (Date Night, through May 19, from $305). To arrange a bespoke proposal — and keep the surprise secret — make your plans via direct e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 413-298-1610, www.mainstreethospitalitygroup.com.
OLD-TIME WINTER FUN
Get out your hat and mittens and head to Vermont for the 60th Brattleboro Winter Carnival (Feb. 12-21). The
schedule is packed with indoor and outdoor events for all ages at reasonable — sometimes free — rates. Enjoy sleigh/hay rides, skating, skiing, ice fishing derby, children’s concerts, puppet and variety shows, Junior Olympic events, sugar-on-snow, pancake breakfast, chili cook-off, and more. You’ll need reservations for “Murder at the Luau!” (Feb. 20), a sunset luau and beach party-themed mystery dinner theater extravaganza ($35, www.brownpaper
tickets.com). Check website for schedule and updates. www.brattleborowintercarnival.org.
ART DECO REDUX
Art Deco hotels are beautiful to behold but sometimes accommodations are less than fabulous. The boutique Marlin Hotel in South Beach, designed by L. Murray Dixon in the 1930s, shows it’s possible to upgrade a historic property and get things right. In early 2015, MRK Collection purchased the property from Chris Blackwell — he of Island Records fame who recorded Aerosmith, Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, and more in his onsite studios — and recently completed the first phase of a multimillion-dollar renovation. All 14 spacious new guestrooms and suites have been redesigned in contemporary style with custom furnishings and décor, spa-like bathroom with a rainfall shower, and state-of-the-art amenities including a 55-inch LED TV with surround sound, SFERRA luxury linens, and blackout drapes with remote control. A custom-designed modern chandelier highlights the lobby lounge, which leads to the not-to-be-missed restaurant, Bází, an Asian-inspired concept by chef Michael Pirolo. Rates from $259 (Sunday through Thursday); $349 (weekends), excluding holidays. 305-695 3000, www.themarlinhotel.com.
ADVENTURE BIKE TREK IN SRI LANKA
Calling all adventurous cyclists: Geringer Global Travel is debuting Cycle Sri Lanka, a custom 14-day hybrid bicycle tour. Travel through jungles, beaches, small villages, and tea plantations in this lush, mountainous island in the Indian Ocean. Includes visits to an elephant orphanage and sanctuary, Dambulla Rock Temple (with 150 statues of Buddha), Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the Matale Spice garden, and more. Cyclists of different skill sets are welcome. Not only will a guide lead cyclists through difficult terrain, but a micro van with driver is available at all times for those who wish to rest. Includes all accommodations, daily breakfast, hybrid bicycles and microvans, English-speaking guides, all transfers, monument entrance fees, and assorted activities. From $3,895 per person, double occupancy. Price applicable through March 31. Book by March 1 and save $200 per person. Ideal travel months: September though March. 877-255-7438, geringerglobaltravel.com/cycle-sri-lanka-tour.
KEYLESS LUGGAGE PADLOCK
Travelers who tend to lose luggage padlock keys or forget the combination — and you know who you are — will be happy to learn about LockSmart Travel, a TSA-approved, keyless, Bluetooth-connected lock controlled by an iOS or Android app. Designed by Dog & Bone, a mobile device technology company, LockSmart Travel provides users with a trackable and secure solution for locking and opening a padlock without using physical keys. The app can manage one or several padlocks, and share lock access to others while tracking all activity such as username, date, and time of use. Unlocking options include using Touch ID, tapping the icon, entering a passcode, or the push-to-unlock feature. Recharge via micro USB hidden in a weatherproof seal. $89.95 www.dogandbonecases.com/products/locksmart/locksmart/lock-smart-keyless-bluetooth-padlock.
DURABLE SUNGLASSES FOR BABIES AND CHILDREN
When heading to the beach or ski slopes for vacation week, protect your little tyke’s eyes from damaging UV rays with Italian-made baby and children sunglasses by family owned ro•sham•bo baby. Designed specifically for youngsters — who love to put things in their mouths — these sunglasses have been laboratory certified as BPA- and phthalate-free, and are so durable they can be bent, stretched, pulled, and stepped on and will still bounce back to shape. Blocks 100 percent of UVA/B rays. Baby shades (0-2 years) and junior shades (3-12 years) come in a wide variety of stylish colors. $20/$25. www.roshambobaby.com.