If you're still uncomfortable flying and plan to stay a little
closer to home this year one of the best travel bargains out
there are luxury hotels. You can drive to one of your favorite
cities and enjoy the pampering and upscale lifestyle most
people can only dream about. The money saved in airfare will
more than pay for a stay at some of this country's finest
Since September 11, upscale properties have experienced a
sharp decline in business. Occupancy rates have fallen and
estimated 20 to 30 percent, forcing luxury hotels to drop
prices as they reach out to a different set of consumers.
Consumer Reports conducted a recent survey of high-end properties
in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and found some great
For example, The Peninsula Chicago is promoting "The
Spa" package, which includes a massage, bathrobes and
gifts starting at just $499 per room based on double occupancy.
This deal is good through June 30.
In Los Angeles, the Luxe Summit Hotel Bel Air has an "Unforgettable
Romantic Weekend Package" for $225, with a full American
Breakfast and champagne upon your arrival included.
In Beverly Hills, the Avalon Hotel and Maison 140 are offering
packages until December 31 starting at $199.
And if you've ever been to New York City you already know
the price of a hotel room can cost you several weeks pay.
But if you want to live the Life Style of the Rich and Famous,"
even for a few days, the St Regis has a "Taste of Luxury"
package for $525 a night per night based on a minimum three-night
stay. If you go in July and August the fourth night is free.
If this still sounds expensive, my own quick search of rooms
at the St Regis found prices from $650 to $1450 and I'd be
willing to bet the rack rate is even higher.
The St Regis is also offering a "Luxury Holiday"
package starting at$495,
but you must stay six nights to take advantage of this offer.
A daily breakfast is included in both packages.
My advice would be to shop around and book early, these prices
won't last forever.