If you're happiest when ensconced in the lap of luxury, listen up. We've uncovered three spring steals that combine oh-so-posh digs with big-time savings this spring.
2 Free Nights + $350 Credit
The U.S. dollar is trading fairly even with the Canadian dollar these days, so we were intrigued by the gorgeous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise's "Play for Seven, Pay for Five" package. The deal at the AAA Four Diamond resort in Alberta gives you two free nights during a seven-night stay, as well as a $350 credit that you can use toward dining, lift tickets, or winter activities such as skating, snowshoeing, and tubing. The resort also offers a lot of great indoor kid activities from cooking to painting and afternoon "teddy bear teas."
Come to Lake Louise during the winter and you'll find the legendary turquoise-blue glacial lake covered with ice and snow, creating an idyllic winter wonderland. It would be easy to fill up a week with activities. The postcard-pretty ski resort -- two hours north of the Calgary Airport -- offers skating on the lake, plenty of room for snowshoeing around the grounds, and easy access to the nearby slopes; it's also a short drive from the bustling ski town of Banff.
The offer promises rates starting at C$279 per night -- fabulous value for this caliber of hotel. When we price-checked March dates online, we found a rate of C$289 per night night (US$291) for a room with two queen beds, which is almost 10 percent lower than the C$329 regular rate. With this offer, you'd pay for five nights, which comes to US$1,455 U.S. before taxes -- or US$208 per night if averaged over seven nights. That's 37 percent less than the regular rate. Plus, that $350 credit is like shaving $50 off each day's expenses.
The offer is good through April 30. You can book online by using the promotion code PSTY or mention the deal when calling tel. 800/257-7544. The free nights will be applied once you check in.
Stay and Play Package at Hawaii's Kona Village
Looking for an unplugged yet plush family getaway? Kona Village Resort is an upscale all-inclusive property set on 82 oceanfront acres on the Big Island of Hawaii. It welcomes guests with black- and white-sand beaches, lush lagoons, and private Polynesian-style bungalows with no phones or televisions. Included in the rates are meals, tennis, a fitness center, a kids' club, a luau, a stargazing program, and a lengthy list of water activities. Located on the grounds of an ancient fishing village, the resort weaves that heritage throughout its activities, from the Alaka'i Nalu ("ambassadors of the waves") in charge of ocean activities and education, to the unique kids' programming (think Hawaiian net throwing and crab catching).
With the resort's "Stay and Play" package, guests who book a minimum of five nights receive eight credits for activities, from golf to spa treatments and shopping and more. The offer's advertised nightly rates start at $780 for two people, but would this be a good deal for families? We took a close look to find out.
When we test-booked this offer on a five-night stay for a family of two adults and two kids age under 12, we found a nightly rate of $1,150 for a one-room bungalow. Turns out, the non-package rate is the same. So those activity credits? They're pure icing on the cake. Depending on which activities you choose, they could add up to nearly $2,000 in value. For example, a day of golf at the nearby private Hualalai Golf Course is worth $250. A facial and a massage at the spa would normally cost you $255. Maybe you'd like to add the $125 shopping credit at the resort's boutique, or a private candlelit dinner on the beach at $550? There are more than a dozen options, including whale-watching, windsurfing, and a one-day car rental.
No matter how you decide to spend your credits, you'll be getting big-time added value. The promotion is ongoing, so you don't have to hurry to take advantage of it. Be aware that certain weeks in May and September are designated as adults-only.
Free Nights at RockResorts
RockResorts (www.rockresorts.com), a chain of luxury resorts with locations in the U.S. and Caribbean, is known for providing plenty of creature comforts, from heated ski lift walkways and private butlers to helipads and equestrian centers. With RockResorts' "Spring Break on Us" package, guests get one night free when they enjoy a minimum stay at more than a dozen participating properties. For example, stay five nights at The Landings St. Lucia and you'll get a sixth night free. That's a 15 percent discount, and since room rates start north of $700, that's nothing to sneeze at. And if you'd rather spend spring break on skis? Try The Lodge at Vail, where a fourth night is free -- saving 25 percent and bringing the per-night spend down from $1,300 to $995.
Even with a free night, this would still qualify as a splurge for most folks. But if you like snagging luxury for less, this is one way to do it. Package details (travel dates, minimum-stay requirements) vary widely from property to property, and blackout dates apply. Book online or call tel. 877/528-7625 and ask for the "Spring Break on Us" offer.
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