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 Steals & Deals

joe NOTABLE BARGAINS
FOR JANUARY, 2000


BY JOE BRANCATELLI

Football in Paradise
The National Football League playoffs are underway and tickets are, as usual, hard to come by. But you can score seats to the Pro Bowl, the NFL's annual post-season all-star game held in Honolulu. A five-day bundle from Spectacular Sport Specials (800-451-5772) includes game tickets on February 6; four nights at the Sheraton Moana Surfrider on Waikiki Beach; airport and game transfers; a game-day tailgate party with retired NFL players, and other perks. Prices for the February 3-7 package are $2,170 a couple or $1,725 a person.

Putting on the Ritz at a Lower Price
An elaborate Ritz-Carlton resort opened just before Christmas at Sharm El Sheikh on the Red Sea. The introductory package, available until June 30, includes accommodations, airport transfers, breakfast, an hour of tennis, and a choice of Egyptian Spa treatments. The price is $160 a night. Information and reservations: 800-241-3333. Meanwhile, Ritz-Carlton has lowered room rates at most of its hotels until March 31. Price include: $149 a night in Cleveland; $120 in Bali; $119 in Montreal; and $130 in Shanghai. Rates are valid Sunday to Wednesday at resorts and Friday-Sunday at city hotels.

Low Fares for Europe's Low Season
Air France (800-237-2747) is selling deeply discounted seats to Paris for travel until March 31. Prices range from $268 roundtrip (from New York and Boston) to $398 (from San Francisco and Los Angeles). Substantial restrictions apply and tickets must be purchased by January 31. ... Delta Air Lines has joined the European carriers in slashing the price of to the continent during the winter low season. Among the deals: $348 round-trip between Atlanta and Rome; $298 between Washington/Dulles and Barcelona; and $398 between Dallas/Fort Worth and Amsterdam. Tickets must be purchased by January 31; they require a 14-day advance purchase and a Saturday stay. Prices are lowest for midweek travel. ... Iceland in the winter? Not all that crazy an idea since the island nation offers geothermal spas, bathhouses, saunas and other warming winter amenities. And the prices sure can't be beat. For as little as $299 a person through March 27, the "Midweek Madness" package from Icelandair includes roundtrip airfare, two nights of midweek accommodations, daily breakfast and airport/hotel transfers. Information and reservations: 800-779-2899. ... The Tuscan Holiday package from CIT Tours (800-CIT-TOURS) includes roundtrip Alitalia flights to Pisa or Florence; five nights of lodging in the spa town of Montecatini Terme; a Hertz car with unlimited mileage; daily breakfast, a wine-tasting and a lunch. The price is $1,998 a couple for travel completed by March 31.

Hotel Hot Sheet
Hyatt hotels throughout the Midwest have posted special rates for AAA members through April 23. Prices are as low as $65 a night on weekends and $103 on weeknights. Samples: $89 weekends/$125 weeknights in Denver and $89 weekends/$119 weeknights in Minneapolis. Information and reservations: 800-233-1234. The 310-room Melia Panama Canal Hotel (800-33-MELIA) is scheduled to open on March 1 and introductory rates are $99 a night until May 31.

This column originally appeared at skymalltravel.com.

Copyright 1999-2010 by Joe Brancatelli. All rights reserved.