Flash deals—steep discounts offered for brief periods of time—are now the “in” thing online. The trend really caught on with Groupon (a Spot Cool Stuff favorite) and then spread to all sorts of competitors and specialty sites. We’re working on an overview of the best of them for our cool websites review blog. But there’s one website offering flash hotel and resort deals that we didn’t want to wait to write about: Snique Away.
Technically access to the site is “invitation only,” though that seems designed more to create an aura of exclusivity than it does to keep people out. Simply click on this link to get an invite through us.
The way the SniqueAway site works is straightforward: Every week a new set of hotel and resort deals are on offer. Unusually there’s a choice of rooms or packages. You choose the room and dates for your stay as you would on any hotel booking website.
Two cool features of SniqueAway besides the good deals:
There are no surprises or sneaky fine print. On many flash sale sites with resort deals (including Groupon) you purchase the right to a room—only after spending your money are you able to make a booking. If you don’t read all the details you might be surprised by blackout dates, room exceptions or limited availability. On SniqueAway you see your exact reservation before you purchase.
SniqueAway’s selection of resorts are truly cool and luxurious. Spot Cool Stuff gives huge kudos to whoever selects the properties on offer at SniqueAway. Every now and then we find a resort that, in our opinion, is a bit sub-standard. On the whole, though, all the accommodations offered on SniqueAway are places worth staying at the full rack rate.
The one potential downside: Most of the resorts discounted on SniqueAway are in North America. Many weeks they have at least one offering in Europe, the Caribbean, Thailand or elsewhere, but the selection is limited.
Below are the current SniqueAway deals at the time of writing. If you are reading this at a later date, head on over to the SniqueAway website to scope out the up-to-date selection:
Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Banyan Tree’s Mayakoba resort has our favorite spa in Playa del Carmen. Their villas are rather huge and amazing and include a private pool! A night’s stay sets you back $605 booking through the resort but only $375 through SniqueAway. For even more opulence, stay in a courtyard villa that has an over-sized private pool, private hot tub and semi-outdoor living pavilion with hammocks for $499 (usually $805).
(If you can pull yourself away from the Mayakoba resort, check out the unusual Alux cavern restaurant and lounge while in Playa del Carmen).
The Waikiki Edition
Honolulu might be our least favorite place to stay in Hawaii, but if a night there works for you (before catching a flight, for example) The Waikiki Edition will treat you with style. At $956.25 for an ocean view room we think it is way overpriced, but much more reasonable with the SniqueAway discount rate of $395.
The Cottages & Lofts at the Boat Basin
A four-star resort overlooking a little harbor on Nantucket island. Stay in a cute 1-bedroom cottage for $122.50 (usually $175) or a 2-bedroom cottage for $423.50 (usually $605).
The Hotel Telluride
A wonderfully atmospheric resort, a night at The Hotel Telluride is well worth $169 or $179 for a double or king select room. On SniqueAway pay $105 or $115, respectively.
Villa La Estancia
Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
The Villa La Estancia is huge, and so it’s the sort of place for which discounts can be found with some frequency. It is also very well run. The Estancia’s beach and pool are arguably the best in Nuevo Vallarta. $185 gets you a deluxe room on SniqueAway; it lists at $363.
Inn and Spa at Loretto
Santa Fe, New Mexico
We love the Inn and Spa at Loretto. SniqueAway discounts traditional rooms at $99 (usually $159) but we think it is well worth upgrading to a deluxe room that includes a private balcony.
Westin Mission Hills
Rancho Mirage, California (near Palm Springs)
Here’s an example of a SniqueAway resort Spot Cool Stuff doesn’t think too highly of. There’s nothing wrong with Westin Mission Hills, per se. We’re just of the opinion that there are several more interesting places to stay around Palm Springs. That said, a night here is a strong value with the SniqueAway discount: $89 (down from $140) for a deluxe villa and $119 (not $190) for a premium villa.
The Villas of Grand Cypress
The Villas of Grand Cypress offers a complimentary shuttle to Walt Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Studios. There are also a variety of activities (eg. a rock-climbing wall) so it’s a good place to say with teens. A Club Suite on SniqueAway is $125 (usually $199), a 1-bedroom villa is $185 (as opposed to $299).
The Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa
Litchfield Park, Arizona
$109 is a really good value for a traditional adobe at The Wigwam. It’s a superb deal at the current $99 SniqueAway rate. Snag a private pool suite for $175 (usually $279).
The Sutton Place Grande Hotel
The Sutton Place Grande is a high-service luxury hotel with an outstanding location next to Oak Street, a block from Michigan Ave, and two blocks from a beach. A king room through SniqueAway is $125, less than the $200 rate rate and much less than you’d pay at nearby hotels of similar quality like The Talbott.
(If you’re paying full price for a hotel in this location, we’re partial to the $225/night Elysian Hotel, but the quality difference is definitely not worth the extra $100 over the SniqueAway discount).