Hotels.com Recommends the Top Five Islands to Kick Off 2013

         Hotels.com Recommends the Top Five Islands to Kick Off 2013

Start your resolutions early and escape to a new and unusual adventure just in
time for the New Year

PR Newswire

DALLAS, Nov. 15, 2012

DALLAS, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Need an island getaway but want an
off-the-beaten path destination? For those looking to cure their wanderlust
this holiday season, Hotels.com® has compiled a list of five fascinating,
unconventional island getaways where travelers can take a much-needed
end-of-year break. Through each of these destinations, vacationers can relive
summer days, experience new, offbeat adventures, or escape into undiscovered
wonderlands just in time for the New Year.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121115/DA13842)

Based on data from the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®), these five
islands remain affordable (all under $210) despite having some of the largest
hotel price increases in the first half of 2012. Plus, they offer distinct
activities and cultural attractions for all types of travelers.

"From secluded beaches to quirky theme parks, these islands have it all," said
Taylor L. Cole, director public relations and social media, North America at
Hotels.com. "Why not start your resolutions early and do something different
for the New Year? Each of these exotic islands has something great to offer,
and there is no need to break the bank to visit any of them."

Boracay, Philippines

Boracay is a small island in the Western Visayas of the Philippines and is
known to have some of the best beaches in the world. It was named "Best Island
in the World" in Travel + Leisure's 2012 World's Best Awards, and has seen an
immense hotel price increase of 62 percent, which is the second largest jump
out of all the islands in the HPI after Oahu, Hawaii. Even so, Boracay still
retains an affordable average room rate of $143. Here, travelers can de-stress
at any of the island's pristine beaches, sprinkled with white shells and
picturesque sunsets, or explore bat caves and go snorkeling at Crocodile
Island where swimmers can feed fish by hand.

Sapporo, Japan

Sapporo is the fourth-largest city in Japan by population, and the largest
city on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Reflecting its emerging
popularity, hotel prices in Sapporo rose 27 percent over the year, yet room
rates remain modest, averaging $132 per night. Once the base of the first ever
Winter Olympic Games held in Asia in 1972, it is now internationally known for
its annual Sapporo Snow Festival, which draws more than two million tourists
from around the world. The city is also home to the Sapporo Ramen Republic, a
ramen-inspired theme park set in an early postwar Sapporo town, making it the
perfect place for foodies and cultural connoisseurs alike.

Ischia, Italy

Travelers looking to replenish their health and wellness can turn to the
famous thermal spas of Ischia, Italy. As a volcanic island, Ischia's tourism
industry centers on its thermal hot springs and volcanic mud – fruits of the
island's natural volcanic activity. Visitors can unwind at Giadini Poseidon –
the most famous of Ischia's baths – with soothing massages and hot mud baths,
and then take a relaxing stroll through the Giarini La Mortella – a green
oasis of subtropical and Mediterranean flora. History buffs can also visit the
historic quarter of Ischia Ponte, which houses the ancient Aragonese Castle
and stone streets seemingly frozen in time. With hotel prices at just $199, up
23 percent from last year, this is a health haven not to be missed.

St. Lawrence Gap, Barbados

For those in search of some excitement and dancing until three in the morning,
St. Lawrence Gap in Barbados is the place to go. Up 22 percent in hotel
prices, more and more travelers are discovering all that this colorful little
Baja neighborhood has to offer. "The Gap" features a one-mile stretch of bars,
hotels, clubs, restaurants, resorts, and shops all within a few hundred feet
from each other along a powdery-sand beachfront. It is a must-go night spot
for any holiday trip to Barbados and offers a diverse shopping experience of
craft and gift shops, as well as local trade.

Sabah, Malaysia

There are few cultural experiences quite like the one found in Sabah,
Malaysia. Situated on the beautiful island of Borneo, Sabah is abundant in
nature diversity – including world's largest flower, Rafflesia arnoldii –
unique cultures, beautiful beaches, and exotic cuisines. As a melting pot of
32 diverse ethnic groups, this is the ultimate destination to experience dense
cultural heritage. Visitors can watch graceful traditional dances, sport vivid
ornamental costumes, experience unique fish massages (where fish nibble on spa
attendees' dead skin to create smoother and suppler skin), and shop for
virtually anything under the oversized umbrellas and shady trees on Gaya
Street. With rates at just $133 per night – even after a 15 percent overall
increase – vacationers can explore all the odds and ends of this other-worldly
destination and develop experiences of a lifetime.

For more great travel ideas visit www.Hotel-Price-Index.com.

Press Contacts:
Amy Chang, Finn Partners for Hotels.com
Phone: 212-715-1667
Email: amyc@finnpartners.com 

Taylor L. Cole, APR
Hotels.com North America
Phone: (469) 335-8442
Email: taycole@hotels.com

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