For this week's smart deal, we return to Hawaii, as it's popular with readers and normally tends to be a bit expensive as a destination, so we are always looking for a good sale. Pleasant Holidays (tel. 800/742-9244; www.pleasantholidays.com) is having a Hawaii year-end blowout, priced from $349 for three nights of accommodations with airfare. Here's the nitty gritty: the advertised prices reflect airfares from San Francisco collected at the end of October for travel January 12-26, 2009 and taxes and transfers are not included. Hawaii ticket tax and round-trip fuel surcharges are covered.
Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii's Big Island are all part of this special and the properties range from condos to high-rise hotels with ocean views, smaller boutique hotels, and chains such as Hyatt and Sheraton. Many of the hotels have added other incentives to the special, too. On Oahu, the lowest price advertised reflects the Aqua Waikiki Beachside, a high-rise property with ocean views (Continental breakfast for two is included). A handful of other properties in different styles are also available, such as the Aqua Bamboo and Spa, a newly renovated boutique hotel priced from $465. Children 17 and younger stay for free and continental breakfast is included. Stays on Maui start from $399; Hawaii's Big Island is priced from $579. On Kauai, the oceanfront ResortQuest Aloha Beach is priced from $585, with a special for children 12 and under who can stay for free. The resort has its own enclosed swimming and snorkeling area and is located on Wailua Bay. The Point at Poipu, in Kauai-Poipu, is chockablock with amenities such as a freshwater pool and rooms with kitchens, entertainment centers and 820-square foot rooms; it's priced from $719 for the same time parameters.