about LivingSocial:

Introducing Escapes Editor’s Picks

In our new monthly Editor’s Picks series, LivingSocial travel expert Nick Stafford brings you the best value-packed vacation experiences.

Q: Hi, Nick. Do us the honor of telling us about yourself.

A: I’m Nick Stafford, armed with 15 years of experience leading travel businesses and a well-stamped passport. I’m responsible for LivingSocial’s travel business ‘Escapes’. Travel has been a personal passion of mine, ever since I traveled to Africa and Asia before college, and I’ve been fortunate to have a professional career in the travel industry. I’ve worked in both leisure and corporate travel in the U.S. and Europe, specifically in the airline, yachting, and hotel industries.

Q: What is LivingSocial Escapes?

A: Escapes provides a marketplace where LivingSocial members can discover, share, and buy great travel experiences. We work with the best travel providers, both near and far. So if you’re looking for that perfect weekend away, a luxury hotel in the Caribbean, or the trip of a lifetime to Europe, Africa or Asia, then LivingSocial is the place for you.

Q: What makes Escapes unique?

A: We focus on inspiring our members to travel, working with only a select and limited list of hotels, airlines, and B&B/inns. Inspiration is key. In fact around 70% of our members who buy tell us that they were not actively looking to travel at that time, until they discovered our travel experiences. Our weekly collection is curated. It’s often exclusive and it’s always tailored for our members based on their location. Our primary focus is those perfect nearcation Escapes.

Q: What is Editor’s Pick?

A: Though all of our partners provide great experiences, some stand out. “Editor’s Pick” allows us to share extraordinary places on a monthly basis. The selection will certainly be more art than science. Travel is all about inspiration so don’t expect cookie cutter experiences.

Q: Tell us about your first pick, Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley. What makes the property stand out?

A: Besides the delicious food, local wines, and excellent service, the resort offers an unheard of rustic elegance. Nestled in the trees, this private luxury retreat inspires total relaxation and fuels the soul.  The outdoor living spaces that each cabin offers is a real breath of fresh air.  It’s an amazing way to connect with nature as you enjoy your private outdoor shower surrounded by the majestic oak trees.

Q: Describe the guest experience travelers can expect.

A: Flawless hospitality. The staff at Calistoga Ranch anticipates each guest’s need before you can even ask. In the heart of wine country, you are close to lots of vineyards, restaurants, art galleries, etc.

Q: Let’s say you had 1 day to spend at the resort. What would you do?

A: Request breakfast and mimosas delivered to my private garden. Go for a hike and soak in the California sun and views of wine country. Go for a dip and enjoy lunch poolside – and of course, a taste of local wine. Soak in a mineral bath, pick a mud treatment, a massage or a facial at the spa. For dinner, order the tasting menu (chef’s choice) with wine pairings at the Lake House restaurant under the stars. That’s how I’d roll – and quite literally. After dinner, I’d roll a little bocce at the Ranch court.

A: Can you give us a clue about next month’s Editor’s Pick?

Calistoga Ranch was the perfect pick for January as the experience focused on rest, rejuvenation, and great food and wine. You can expect February’s selection to fit the season. All I’ll say is that if your happy place involves lifts and a little something called fresh powder, come back for our February reveal!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Resolutions: Ready, set, go!

It’s been two weeks since you’ve made those New Year’s resolutions, and barely a baby step toward getting them checked off. When it comes to reaching those goals, only about 8% of people are successful in accomplishing what they set out to do.

Never fear. LivingSocial has uncovered great deals to help step up for 2015. “Do more, spend less” doesn’t have to be so daunting. Here are some smart ways you can save money while jumpstarting your resolutions.

If health and fitness are on your radar, check out the Xtreme Xfit Band or Watch, a sleek and wearable technology that lets you track your fitness 24/7. Or if you want to exercise from the comfort of home (we feel those Northeast winters), the barre3 workout DVD package and core ball and non-skid yoga towel make great additions to your training arsenal. And for outdoor enthusiasts who crave challenge, the Sunset Strip Half Marathon lets you flaunt your running game on LA’s rock and roll road. (P.S. we are constantly featuring color runs, 5ks for a cause, and other shorter-distance treks all around the country.)

Perhaps you’ve resolved to hone a hobby or diversify your downtime instead. Grab some friends and head to a local Paint Nite event where you can channel your inner Picasso over a glass of vino. More of an adrenaline junky? Get revved up with a Ferrari or Lamborghini Autocross Experience, available across the country in cities like Portland, Savannah, Richmond, Minneapolis, and St. Petersburg. And for career-minded folks, this online PMP project management certification course may be just the ticket to clinching that coveted corner office.

If travel is front and center on this year’s agenda, then peruse our recent post on where to go when, and bookmark these links to stay in the know about terrific travel offers near and far: inns and bed and breakfasts, family-friendly, luxury, and global escapes.

2015 is your year!

2015 Travel: Where to go when

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 9.47.10 AM

Now that the New Year’s confetti has settled, it’s time to jumpstart the “travel more” resolution. Of course, there’s a smarter strategy for choosing your destination than throwing a dart to a map.

Our friends at Travel & Leisure recently wrote about when to cruise where, based on prices, weather, tourism peaks, and more. We’ve taken their expert recommendations to dry land in this roundup of great properties and resorts you can book through LivingSocial in these destinations. Plus, purchase by January 11 for an extra 10% off when you use promo code TRAVEL2015 at checkout.

When: January – April

GO!: Caribbean/Mexico, South/Central America, Southeast Asia, Netherlands/Belgium

Before you hit your breaking point with the frigid temps, head south of the border for some sunshine and olé action. Visit the Viceroy Riviera Maya in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, at 34% savings, and explore the beach, spa, and rain forest, all within walking distance of this magnificent property.

Have the adventure bug? Discover beautiful Chile on this 11-day Patagonian trek (29% off), where you’ll experience everything from serious hiking, to wine tasting, and even a catamaran ride, while soaking up Mother Nature’s most brilliant moments.

Finally, The Four Seasons in Bangkok – need we say more? (Opulence!)

When: May – August

GO!: Mediterranean/Greek Isles, Alaska, Northern Europe/Iceland, Transatlantic Crossing

Explore Athens, Mykonos, and Paros in one fell swoop with this 9-day Greek odyssey (20% off with flights included.) Ancient cities, Mediterranean delicacies, and island hopping await your arrival!

Realize the charm of the Emerald Isle with an 8-day trip to Ireland (50% off). You can pick your own adventures (golf, pubs, riverbank walks, cathedral tours, literally counting sheep) as you tour and explore.

Or, stay stateside. This Alaskan luxury inn and spa offers a woodsy retreat for folks who are looking to let go and disconnect.

When: September – December

GO!: South Pacific/Hawaii, Rhine/Danube Rivers, Antarctica

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa (24% off) is the perfect paradise for early birds and night owls alike. You’ll have a full 40 acres of a playground to swim, surf, siesta, and dance the night away (hula preferred.)

Another Four Seasons, Hawaiian style. This Maui resort is rife with world-class amenities and staff, as well as an impeccable beachfront. And, it’s the only AAA 5 Diamond and Mobil 5 Star resort in Hawaii.

TRAVEL2015

Last Chance NYE Getaways

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 2.22.23 PM

The New Year is a time for reflection. Resolutions aside, sometimes you just need a change of scenery to relax. Perhaps the holidays are getting to be too much of a group thing and you need some alone time with a BFF or beau. Or maybe, like us, you ate all of the Christmas cookies early and are ready to give another food group a go.

You deserve a delightful getaway and we’re here to help point you in the right direction, be it north, south, east, or west. Book it now and start off 2015 in style:

Treat yourself to some Palm Springs pampering at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa (pictured above). Boasting multiple pools and golf courses – as well as 350 days of sunshine a year – you’ll be living like a celebrity in this desert playground for the stars.

Time moves a little slower at the enchanting Graylyn Estate in Winston-Salem, NC. The historic manor is ideal for R&R and the nearby downtown area offers a hearty dose of Southern charm, including galleries, boutiques, and theatres to check out.

Do it up, right in Dallas at the four-star Adolphus Hotel. Each room is embellished with elegant English flair. Plus, the hotel’s on-site restaurant (the French Room) has been hailed by Travel + Leisure as one of the world’s top 25 dining experiences. Lobster-potato gratin, anyone?

Visit Vancouver and call the chic Hotel BLU your home (sweet home) for a few days. From its coveted Robson Street location, the modern New York-style hotel puts amazing restaurants, shopping, and nightlife right at your fingertips.

Bon voyage, 2014!

There’s Still Time to Get Festive

string_lights_red

There isn’t just one way to ring in the holidays. From glittery nights on the town, to cozy moments at home, LivingSocial has what you need to get ready for some festive fun.

Prepping for the party circuit is as easy as a little ice. This braided crystal necklace is an affordable way to glam up a LBD. Or if you’re ready for more of an investment, these classic diamond 14K gold studs are the perfect go-to accessory.

Getting ready also doesn’t have to take forever. Party prep is fast with the right tools: Oscar Blandi dry shampoo revives your locks with a quick spray, and is the ideal beauty trick when you don’t have time for a proper wash, and treat your tresses with a Proliss ceramic-tourmaline curling iron, an amazing 90 percent off of retail value. Or consider a different kind of sparkle for your holiday get-up, Flash Tattoo metallic body art will have you lighting up any room.

If you’re staying home sweet home for the holidays, one tree may not be enough to deck the halls! These adorable mini Christmas trees from ProPlants are perfect for your tabletop, and warm up your house and your hands with a hot beverage, made easy with these single serve hot cocoa pods for your Keurig.

Finally, even if you don’t have grand plans, you can still have fun with your attire. Check out these monogrammed bathrobes – one for you and a friend – or these printed fleece-lined leggings – you will be the most fashionable thing in front of the fire.

Follow Us

About Us

LivingSocial is the best way to connect with great deals, meals, events, and travel at home and on the go. Thanks for stopping by today and be sure to check back for all of our company news, announcements, and offers for all the stuff you love.

Email Us

Pick of the Week
Spring cleaning means more room in your beauty drawer. Scoop up this delightful Essie deal and get 4 new nail polish shades to add to your collection. For $14.99, you'll have the freshest digits on the block! Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 10.35.35 AM