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Kids Stay Free at Club Med

It's ba-ack! Club Med's "Kids Stay Free" deal has returned for 2011, and this time the money-saver is valid at all of Club Med's 32 family resorts around the globe. For families looking for a relaxed yet active vacation, Club Med delivers plenty: all-inclusive pricing, good food, great kids' programming (including, at some properties, cooking classes and a circus school with trapeze workshops), and an array of sporty and learning activities.

When you book a seven-night stay at one of Club Med's family resorts, one child 15 and under can stay free with every paying adult. On average, this deal will shave about $1,500 off the bill for a family of four. You must book by Feb. 28 and travel before Oct. 28. As always, there are some restrictions and blackout dates. Book online or call tel. 888/WEB-CLUB and ask for the "kids stay free" offer.

Save Up to 30% at Loews in Orlando

If you need an excuse to max out an upcoming trip to Orlando, Loews Hotels (www.loewshotels.com) is giving you sweet justification. Its new Stay More, Save More deal is rewarding you for longer visits at its three Universal Orlando hotels: the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando, Loews Portofino Bay, and Loews Royal Pacific Resort. The discounts vary depending on which month you book, but the more nights you stay, the more your discount goes up: from 10% for three or four nights, to 30% for seven nights. (The promotion says you can save Â?at least 30%Â? until Feb. 17, but 30% was the max we saw at any of the three hotels.)

Even without a deal, all three hotels offer you a jump ahead in lines at Universal theme parks by showing your room key at almost any express entrance (exceptions, alas, include Harry Potter).

We took a look at how this offer would play out at the 1,000-room Royal Pacific -- which, besides being so close to the park, also has a sandy-beach lagoon pool, a kid's water-play area, a kids' club, and a 5,000-square-foot gym. When we price-checked dates in early February, we found a rate of $197 a night for a three-night stay, down from $219 (10% off). When we upped the stay to seven nights, the rate went down to $153 (30% off). Want to visit later in the spring? In mid-April, we found $305 per night for a four-night stay (the minimum for the deal during this period), down from the $339-a-night regular rate (10% off). When we price-checked a seven-night stay, the rate went down to $237 a night (30% off).

The promotion is valid for stays through Aug. 20. When booking online, look for the "Stay More, Save More" option after entering dates, or mention the deal when calling tel. 800/235-6397.

$50 Daily Credit at Tucson's Westward Look

Westward Look, the oldest resort in Tucson, has put out a special offer for this spring that entices you to do more than just lounge by the pool. Its Spring Spectacular package promises rates starting at $189 weekdays or $209 weekends, plus a $50-a-day credit to spend anywhere in the resort.

The 80-acre, AAA Four Diamond resort was a private estate when it was first built in 1912. Today, it offers a few ways to use that $50: You could put it toward a horseback riding excursions (starting at $35 per hour; minimum age of 7) or, of course, the spa ($85 for a 45-minute massage). Granted, it's also easy to just spend that dough at the restaurants, too. The resort also has three pools and plenty of hiking trails, or you could borrow binoculars from the front desk to get up close in the resort's Butterfly and Hummingbird garden.

When we test-booked the offer for a three-night stay in April, we landed a rate of $202 for a standard room with two beds. That compared to the regular rate of $219 and a nonrefundable advance-purchase rate of $178. When you factor in the $50 resort credit that comes with the Spring Spectacular, the special offer clearly wins the day.

The offer is good through April 30. Use promotion code SPRSPEC when booking online, or mention the Spring Break Spectacular when calling tel. 800/722-2500.

Special Offer at Colorado's Broadmoor Hotel

Finally, consider the venerable Broadmoor Hotel, which has been welcoming guests in Colorado Springs since 1918. The 744-room hotel has two pools, horseback riding, an on-site movie theater, golf, spa, tennis, and a kids' camp. You're also close to Pike's Peak, where you can take a train ride to the top (www.cograilway.com); the historic village of Cripple Creek; and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

The Broadmoor is offering several winter and spring deals right now, but its Spring Break Getaway is the most family-friendly. The deal includes:

  • 50% discount off adult zoo tickets (a savings of $14.25 for 2 adults)
  • 15% discount on select retail purchases
  • One complimentary Spa Day Pass (worth $24 per stay)
  • Complimentary access to the movie theater (always free for hotel guests)
  • Kids 10 & under eat free from the kids' menu ($42/day x 2 kids = $84 value)

By far, the biggest added value here is in the kids' meals, to the tune of $84 a day. Also, visiting in the springtime means getting a big seasonal break. Rates during March and April start at $180 a night for a standard room with two double beds. Yet when we were shopping around, we found that limited availability made it difficult to find a room for less than $240 a night. That's still more affordable than what you'd pay in May and summer, when rates hover around $360 per night. The spring break offer is good for stays through April 30. When booking online, click on the special before entering dates, or mention the offer when calling tel. 866/837-9520.


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