By Jane Wooldridge
RISMEDIA, Nov. 1, 2008-(MCT)-If you ever needed a stress break, now’s the time. But given the economic turmoil, you may not be in the mood for spending.
There’s no need to drop big bucks. Hotels and travel suppliers are feeling the pinch, too, and luring travelers with discounts on cruises, hotels and travel packages good through the fall- and in some cases, even during the holidays. Some include resort credits that can make an upscale hotel stay a relative bargain; others offer a fourth or fifth night free. Some of the best take you far away- but include airfare.
Here’s a selection of 25 offerings. In all cases prices are subject to availability and may change; some blackout dates may apply. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Scour the Web, watch for sales (even the hard-pressed airlines are cutting some fares) and call travel suppliers directly. They should be happy to hear from you.
Free Gas from Choice Hotels
Stay at three Choice hotels (including Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, Quality) through Nov. 30 and get a $50 gas card. To qualify, you have to join the free Choice rewards program. www.choicehotels.com.
Through Dec. 31, guests pay $225 per night on stays of three nights or more at the Four Seasons in downtown Miami. Not available during Art Basel or Christmas. www.fourseasons.com/miami; 305-381- 3381.
Stay three nights or longer and get 30 percent off regular rooms rates at the popular Tween Waters Inn; mention “The Big 3-O” when you reserve. Offer good through April 2; some dates restricted. Regular rates through Dec. 18 start at $190. www.Tween-Waters.com/30; 800-223- 5865.
Florida-resident rates at Disney’s value resorts (Pop Century, All-Star Movies, All-Star Music, All-Star Sports) start at $49 per night for select Sunday-Thursday stays through Dec. 23; use booking code DHX. 407-W-DISNEY; www.disneyworld.com.
The Chesterfield’s B&B package costs $199 per night in a queen room through Dec. 15. www.chesterfieldpb.com; 800-243-7871.
At the Intercontinental, get a third night for $1 when you pay for two previous nights at the prevailing rate, which starts at $139. Good through Dec. 29. 866-915-1558; ask for rate code IPAHD; www.intercontampa.com.
Through Dec. 22, the all-inclusive Club Med Sandpiper at Port St. Lucie offers a three-night package for a family of four in a two-bedroom suite for $999. Throughout the Caribbean, the Club Med resorts offer a variety of deals this winter, including two nights free with three paid nights and room upgrades. Details vary by date and resort; www.clubmed.us.
Children 17 and under sail free this winter on Caribbean sailings on Costa Cruise Lines when sharing a cabin with two adults. The offer includes all of the line’s seven-day sailings from Fort Lauderdale, including holiday voyages. Rates for adults start at $669 per person, double occupancy; with taxes and surcharges the cost is $791-$810, depending on the sailing.www.costacruise.com; 800- GO-COSTA. (MSC Cruises has a similar offer; ask about rates for Boomers and seniors www.msccruisesusa.com; 800-666-9333.)
Visit the capital for Thanksgiving and pay $119 per night at the Renaissance M Street Hotel. You must book at least 14 days in advance; must including at least one night between Nov. 23 and 30. www.renaissancemstreethotel.com; 888-803-1298.
The Omni Interlocken outside Boulder offers rooms starting at $109, including use of the fitness facilities and hot tub and ski rental discounts. Good through Dec. 30, space permitting. 800-THE- OMNI; www.omnihotels.com.
Just about every hotel in Las Vegas is offering deals right now, and if you’ve always wanted to stay at the (Wynn, Mandalay Bay, Venetian, etc), now’s the time to check rates. Here’s a package deal from Southwest Vacations: Book an air-hotel package by Oct. 23 and get a discount ($50 per person on trips of two-three nights, $100 per person on trips four nights or longer) plus 10 percent off shows, spa treatments and activities (you’ll need promo code LASOCT.) Two-night package, from $329 per person, double, from Fort Lauderdale, plus about $35 per person in taxes and fees. Good for travel through Jan. 6. (Note: You may get better prices online than if you call.) 800-423-5683; www.southwestvacations.com.
Through Dec. 18, rates at the Aruba Radisson start at $206 per night-a 25 percent savings over regular rates. Stay five nights and get a $150 resort credit. www.radisson.com/aruba.
Through Dec. 14, Tranquility Bay in Ambergris Cay offers a 25 percent discount off regular rates, with a one-bedroom cabana at $139, a two-bedroom for $169, for stays of four nights or more. 501-220- 5880; www.tranquilitybayresort.com.
The Victoria Golf & Beach Resort on the north coast of the Dominican Republic is offering rooms from $130 for a double room through Dec. 23; guests can add $20 per person per night to upgrade to the all-inclusive meal plan. 809-320-1200; www.vhhr.com.
The Westin St. John in the U.S Virgin Islands offers a Florida resident rate of $242 per night through mid-December; ask for Set Account # 351186. Looking for a cheaper option? Join Starwood’s Preferred Guest program and get 35 percent off at many Westin Caribbean resorts if you book by Oct. 31 for stays through March 31. Best deal: $99 per night at the Westin Resort in Cancun, Mexico. 877-782-0149; www.westin.com; use booking code CPW. Some dates restricted.
Book by Oct. 31 and travel through Dec. 22 for low rates at all-inclusive Superclubs, Grand Lido, Breezes and Hedonism resorts in Jamaica; some blackout dates may apply. The least-expensive value is at Breezes Runaway Bay Resort & Golf Club, with rates starting at $125 per person, double occupancy; three-night minimum required. www.superclubs.com; 800-467-8737; see “double early booking bonus” under specials.
A number of hotels on the Riveria Maya are offering favorable fall rates and a fourth night free through mid-December. Among them: the luxury Paraiso de la Bonita Resort (www.paraisodelabonita.com; four-nights double including many meals and a massage, from $2,400).
Turks & Caicos
Through Dec. 21, at studio at the Ocean Club Resorts in Providenciales costs $179 per night plus tax of 21.9 percent. 800-457-8787. Another option: The sexy Nikki Beach offers a deluxed king oceanfront room for $250 per night through Dec. 14 plus tax if you book by Oct. 31; www.nikkibeachhotels.com; you’ll need the promotion code GETAWAY.
Get a fourth night free with three paids nights at the Four Seasons Great Exuma through Dec. 18, some dates excluded. Rates per paid night start at $275 through Oct. 31 and $375 as of Nov. 1, plus taxes. www.fourseasons.com/greatexuma.
Cruise the Amazon for four nights. Package includes cruise, all meals on board and guided excursions, plus two nights in Quito (beginning and end of trip) and airfare from Miami for $1,870, double occupancy. Sunday departures. www.taratours.com; 305-278-4464.
Tourcrafters offers a four-night package to Paris including airfare from Miami for $684 per person, double occupancy, plus taxes and surcharges that bring the total to $961 per person. The package is valid from Nov. 1-March 31, but many December dates are blacked out. www.tourcrafters.com; 800-482-5995.
Central Holidays offers a 14-night air-hotel package including air from Miami and hotel on the Costa del Sol for $1,650 including taxes and surcharges. The price applies to departures on Nov. 10 and 17; Dec. 1 and 8; and in 2009, Jan. 5, 12, 26; Feb. 9 and 23, and March 2. 800-935-5000; www.centralholidays.com.
If you’re looking for a tour to any far-away place, consider one of the well-priced tours from SmarTours. Among the choices: a 20-night trip including airfare from Los Angeles for less than $4,200 per person, double occupancy, for Nov. 26 departure if booked by Oct. 31. The itinerary includes top sites in both countries. Other dates cost slightly more. www.smartours.com; 800-337-7773.
Gate1travel’s Istanbul package including air from New York, four nights hotel and breakfast daily starts at $749 per person, double, plus taxes and fees, through March. www.gate1travel.com.
Asia is still a bargain-especially if you buy a package including air. Ritz Tours is offering up to $400 per couple off packages booked by Dec. 15. One option: 10-day Beijing, Xian and Shanghai starts at $2,177 including discount per person, including fees and surcharges. www.ritztours.com.
© 2008, The Miami Herald.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.