STAYCATION: Great escapes abound right here on Guam

by Jessica Peterson
The Guam Guide

Editor's Note: Don't have time to get off the island for a vacation? Well, don't worry, Guam is a great place for a vacation, especially if you live on the island.

I took a “staycation” recently and I got the sunburn to prove it.

I read a funny redux of international traveler stereotypes. Turns out this American gal is part British. According to the article, commendable habits of the English are: “They can (usually) speak English, and the tendency to burn can be used as a handy vacation timeline. Day 1: alabaster. Day 2: lobster. Day 3: blister. Day 4: peeler.”

I’m at Day 4, but I have 6 good reasons to staycation on Guam. Residents, listen up!

1.You are really stressed – and you are really broke. Hang up that call to Philippine Airlines and book a hotel for the weekend. You’ll save time and money staying in Tumon instead of Manila and it will be a lot more relaxing. My husband and I booked a three-day weekend at Hilton Guam Resort & Spa and were upgraded to an ocean view room with our Premier Club membership. So, two nights were included with our membership package and the other night was just $89!

2.You still haven’t redeemed your Premier Club room stay vouchers. One of the prime features of membership is the opportunity to book two nights at some of Guam’s finest hotels, including Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, Hyatt Regency, Hotel Nikko, Pacific Islands Club, and Sheraton Laguna. Other benefits of the membership are 20 pool/tennis court passes, two complimentary rounds of golf, spa discounts, and 20 percent dining discounts at hotel restaurants. This means you can take a mini-staycation any time you like without missing a day of work.

Gaze out at the ocean as you unwind by one of the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa’s five pools or indulge in relaxing massage in the resort’s luxury spa. Choose award-winning Hawaiian cuisine at Roy’s Restaurant or sample delicious barbeque at the Tree Bar while watching a fire dance show. Enjoy beach water sports, stay in shape in the fitness club with gym or test your tennis skills on one of the five floodlit tennis courts at this Guam resort. Kids will love the paddling pool and Kidz Paradise Club.

At the Sheraton, enjoy breathtaking sunsets at the infinity pool or take a stroll at dusk along the elegant grounds of the lagoon and you will definitely feel like an indulgent tourist. Enjoy fine dining at any one of the Sheraton’s five restaurants, lounges, or bars from Japanese to Italian to barbecue. Relax at the resort spa or catch up on some z’s in the modern Zen-style rooms with ocean view.

3. You can’t miss an entire week of work. Let’s face it: When locals leave island, they’re gone for at least a few weeks. I don’t look forward to those 24 hours of flying time to get back to the States. So, when I need to hit the refresh button on my life, I check into a local hotel. I can even drive home to check on the cats.

4. You envy Japanese tourists every time you drive down San Vitores Lane. Take a weekend and start acting like a tourist. Get a petsitter, turn off your cellphone, and please, don’t bring your laptop. Slide into a pool chair, order a mojito, and get to work on your tan. You can thank me later.

5. You haven’t driven down South since the Guiterrez administration. With so much natural beauty, it’s worth staying on island and getting in touch with the nature you’ve been ignoring from inside your sad little cubicle. Make an afternoon drive a priority and snap some family photos at Cetti Bay Overlook, Fort Nuestra, and Inarajan Pools. It will help you appreciate your island that much more.

6. You’ve never been dolphin watching, banana boating, or diving. Why are you letting the tourists have all the fun? Call up Turtle Tours and book a morning trip on a catamaran to watch dolphins. We squealed with delight every time we saw the beautiful creatures dash by. And if you’re like us, you still aren’t a certified diver, though Guam has the lowest priced classes in the world! A staycation is the perfect time to get certified. (Next time!)

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our carefree weekend. It was an opportunity to reconnect (“Nice to see you again. It’s me, your wife.”), catch up on really bad TV, and see the dazzling Cirque Shanghai perform at the UOG Fieldhouse.

We even walked to ABC Stores and picked up some tchotchkes and sunglasses, stopping to smell the flowers, and take photos of Ypao Beach Park, just like the tourists.

So, next time you need a break, plan your staycation!

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