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Summer season opens many opportunities for great hotel deals. Big or small, hotel companies to tiny Bed & Breakfasts to chains to small-family owned properties are lowering prices in hope of drawing tourists looking to take some breaks from their hometown doldrums. With deals to be had all over the country as we approach Memorial Day, some excellent single and double occupancy price options can be had by travelers for low prices. While www.hotels.com may have great listings at low prices for big cities, some hotel corporations who own many properties are offering company-wide deals.

First, a hotel company called Kimpton (tel. 800/546-7866; www.kimpton.com) has some "Hot Dates, Great Rates" packages that make hotel stays affordable at some of its luxury properties in a variety of destinations including Aspen, Boston, Salt Lake City, Denver, New Orleans, Miami, and New York, especially in sunny or hot time periods. Even if it gets hot in New Orleans through the summer months, a hotel room for $134 per night for early to mid-week stays is still a good deal, especially when the hotel is the Hotel Monaco (tel. 866/685-8359; www.monaco-neworleans.com/index.html) on St. Charles Avenue. Constructed in 1926, the Hotel Monaco is all old school in look and feel, but modern in its comforts and amenities. Almost all Kimpton properties have a special appeal in their location and their creature comforts. Each room in the Mayfair Hotel and Spa (tel. 800/433-4555; www.mayfairhotelandspa.com) in Miami's Coconut Grove is equipped with a 42-inch plasma screen TV plus there's even a smaller LCD set in the bathroom. Check the site for the low "Hot Dates, Great Rates" specials available through August.

Choice Hotels (tel. 877/424-6423; www.choicehotels.com) is the major franchise owner of Comfort Inns and a few other low-frills but abundant hotel properties including Econo Lodge and Quality Inn. Using the website's search engine, a stay in Portland, Oregon in early June during the middle of the week will run you anywhere from $49 to around $160 for accommodations in the immediate Portland vicinity. The site search picks up availability at any Choice Hotel property. All you do is put in the dates and location, and the least expensive rates come out. It even allows you to choose the type of rate program you're looking for including government/military, senior, Choice Hotel Business rate, an Internet User's rate and the standard rate. In case you're wondering, Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites upped its amenities, and now you can expect free high speed Internet access with your stay at Comfort Suites and free local calls when you stay at any Comfort Inn. Choice Hotels has properties worldwide, from Wales to Lithuania, so enjoy global savings.

For a hotel company that specializes in Northern California including San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Napa and San Jose, check out the offerings from Joie de Vivre Hospitality (tel. 800/738-7477; www.jdvhospitality.com). Joie de Vivre's 26 properties can accommodate small business conferences to large-scale events such as weddings or family reunions. The unique hotel "Matchmaker," a short multiple choice quiz that matches a Joie de Vivre property with your personality or the types of people you'd like to meet, selected five hotels in San Francisco and the Mill Valley area. Rates at the Acqua Hotel (tel. 888/662-9555; www.jdvhospitality.com/hotels/hotel/21) in Mill Valley (in Marin County) start around $109 per night. The Matchmaker must have picked up on the rustic setting I noted as important and the urbane crowd I was seeking. The small hotel looks out on the San Francisco bay from the Marin side and fuses the contemplation of the Far East with the modernity of the Western world. The hotel has a funky exterior that adds to the peace and quiet of the surrounding area. See Joie de Vivre's package page at www.jdvhospitality.com/packages for the full gamut of spa and city packages including romantic getaways and dance-the-night-away trips.

Finally, for those looking to hit New York City for a summer romp, Apple Core Hotels (tel. 800/567-7720; www.applecorehotels.com) has five Manhattan properties located all over Manhattan Island to spread around summer savings. Their properties include a Super 8, a Comfort Inn, a Red Roof Inn, a Ramada and a La Quinta -- all with free wireless Internet service. Once again, the availability of a corporate-wide room search engine gives you findings for all five Apple Core properties. A search for a room in New York City from Thursday, June 9 to Sunday, June 12, 2005 for two adults yielded rooms starting at $139 for the Thursday night at the Ramada Inn Eastside and going up to $179 for the weekend nights (a good price for a Manhattan hotel during the summer season). Obviously, midweek stays reap better savings. All the Apple Core Hotels are centrally located in Midtown Manhattan walking distance to many of New York's sites such as the Empire State Building and Times Square. Public transportation is easily accessible from almost anywhere in New York, so getting around is as easy as buying a subway map at any newsstand and a Metro pass at most subway stations.

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