Travel Steals & Deals


Sizzling Summer Savings
Asia's best-known hotel chains are now offering substantial summer discounts. For example, "Share the Experience" rates at Peninsula Group (800-448-8355) hotels are as low as $160 per night at the Peninsula Manila and the Kowloon Hotel in Hong Kong. The rates, valid until September 15, include breakfast. Summer sale prices at Shangri-La hotels (800-942-5050) are as low as $135 per night at the Traders Hotel in Beijing and valid until August 20. Other summer rates at the chain's 29 hotels are available until October 1. And the "Oriental Summers" rate at Mandarin Oriental hotels (800-526-6566) are as low as $114 a night in Macau and $140 a night in Jakarta. Prices are valid until September 15 and include breakfast.

Traveling through Britain in private
If British hotels aren't your cup of tea, you can travel all through the country by staying in private homes and cottages--and you'll save money, too. In London, Uptown Reservations (011-44-171-351-3445) books travelers into private homes in the city's most fashionable residential neighborhoods. Nightly rates, which include continental breakfast, are about $74 (single) or $105 (double). Throughout England, Scotland, and Wales, a company called Country Cottages (800-674-8883) rents more than 5,000 fully furnished and equipped country homes. Prices for a typical one-bedroom English cottage are as low as $676 per week.

Summers are a low-price dream in California
As the temperature heats up in Southern California, prices cool down. One example: the elegant, but informal, La Costa Spa (800-854-5000), located about 30 minutes north of San Diego. For $99 per person per night, the "Discover La Costa" package includes accommodations, buffet breakfast, free golf and tennis, and unlimited use of the spa. The rate, based on a two-day minimum stay, is valid Sundays through Thursdays until September 30. Back in downtown San Diego, the sleek Pan Pacific Hotel (800-327-8585) is offering a daily summer rate of $125 per room. Valid until September 15, the rate includes full breakfast for two. And on the waterfront, summer rates at the Hyatt Regency San Diego (800-223-1234) begin at $129 per room. Prices includes parking and breakfast and are valid through Labor Day.

Cultural glimpses of Eastern Europe
Americans looking for affordable travel in Europe this year are heading East and discovering a lively cultural landscape. The 8-day "Classic Bulgaria Tour" from Balkan Holidays (212-573-5530) includes visits to the museum town of Koprivshtitsa; the 11th Century Bachkovo Monastery; and the "Valley of the Roses," source of most of the world's perfume essence. Prices start at $999 per person for departures through December 18 and include roundtrip airfare from New York, accommodations, breakfasts and dinners. And in Poland, classical music lovers can attend the prestigious International Chopin Music Competition as part of a 16-day tour offered by Affordable Poland (800-801-1055). The tour, from October 7-22, includes nightly accommodations in Warsaw; daily breakfast and three dinners; sightseeing; and tickets to seven days of the Chopin Competition. The price is $999 per person, not including airfare.

This column originally appeared in Travel Holiday magazine.

Copyright 1993-2008 by Joe Brancatelli. All rights reserved.