What's the Deal?
The week's best travel bargains around the globe, by land, sea and air.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


· Club Med is offering two specials for travel through Oct. 30: Kids Stay Free and Half Off Your Better Half. One child age 15 or younger stays free for each adult at five all-inclusive resorts; a second adult gets a 50 percent discount at eight properties. Both deals apply to Club Meds in Florida, Guadeloupe, the Dominican Republic and Mexico; the half-off deal also applies to resorts in Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas and Martinique. Pricing varies by resort and dates. For example, a family of four traveling to La Caravelle, Guadeloupe, for seven nights in July pays $3,562, including taxes and membership fees, a savings of $3,454. A couple staying in Punta Cana, D.R., for a week in early May now pays $1,905, a savings of $1,575. Booking deadline for both is Feb. 28, and a minimum seven-night stay is required. Info: 800-258-2633, http://www.clubmed.us.

· Ski free this winter or golf free in spring at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Va. With the Family Ski Free package, available through March 17, a family of four pays $199 a night (plus 7 percent tax and 15 percent resort fee) and receives four lift tickets ($186 value weekends, $156 weekdays). For the golf package, valid March 15-May 3, the nightly rate of $225 double (plus taxes and fees) includes one free round of golf per person with cart on the Old Course or Lower Cascades and use of the driving range and range balls. Greens fees and range balls typically cost $131 to $166 per person. Info: 866-658-5580, http://www.thehomestead.com.

· Auberge La Lucarne aux Chouettes, also known as the Owl's Nest Inn, in the Burgundy region of France has reduced its room rates by more than 40 percent for stays through March. Price now starts at about $128 a night (including taxes), a savings of up to $91. The inn, which is owned by actress Leslie Caron, has four rooms and is 90 minutes from Paris via train. Info: http://www.lesliecaron-auberge.com.

· Two lodges on Washington's Olympic Peninsula are offering a Trees to Seas package through March 28. Starting at $449 double, the package includes one night in a lakeside room at the Lake Quinault Lodge, in the area's temperate rain forest; a night in a log cabin at the oceanfront Kalaloch Lodge; breakfast and dinner at each location; and taxes. Room-only rate for one night at each property typically starts at $408, and meals would cost at least $60 per person per day. Info: 866-297-7367, http://www.visitwashingtonparks.com.


· Book a houseboat by Feb. 17 on Lake Powell, which straddles the border of Arizona and Utah, and receive discounts of up to 30 percent. Prices vary by boat and dates. For example, rent a 46-foot Voyager, which sleeps eight, for three nights in mid-October and pay $1,214 (plus $175 taxes and fees), a savings of $596. Also, add a powerboat starting at $149 per day, plus taxes; usual rate starts at $400 a day. Info: 888-486-4665, http://www.lakepowell.com/lpfun.

· Seabourn's one-week sale, which discounts 14 voyages by 60 percent, ends Feb. 16. Trips include one transatlantic voyage from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Lisbon, Portugal; three Northern Europe cruises; and 10 Mediterranean cruises. Ships depart March-July. Prices vary. For example, a seven-night Italian Idyll trip between Venice and Civitavecchia, departing June 20 or July 11, now starts at $2,840 per person double (plus $17 taxes), a savings of $4,260. Info: 800-929-9391, http://www.seabourn.com.

· Book a European river cruise with Uniworld by Feb. 27 and receive 2-for-1 airfare. Also, receive a discount of up to $600 per couple on cruises booked by April 30. Prices vary. For example, a seven-night Enchanting Danube cruise from Budapest to Passau, Germany, departing Aug. 1, offers a $300 per-couple discount, plus an airfare discount from Dulles of $1,490 (second person pays $120 air taxes); total cost after discounts in a category five cabin is $3,462 per person double. Info: 800-733-7820, http://www.uniworld.com.

· Star Clippers is offering a Third Berth Free in Tahiti deal for cruises May-December. The promo applies to seven-, 10- and 11-night sailings of the Star Flyer. Price varies by cabin and itinerary. For example, on the seven-night cruise, which travels round trip from Papeete, Tahiti, price for first two passengers starts at $2,125 each (plus $220 port charges), and the third passenger sharing the cabin pays port charges only. Usual price for third person in cabin is $495 plus port charges. Info: 800-442-0551, http://www.starclippers.com.


· Virgin Atlantic has sale fares from Washington Dulles to London. Round-trip fare for travel Feb. 11-March 22 and Oct. 22-Nov. 30 is $500, including taxes. Other airlines are matching. Cheapest fares are for Monday-Wednesday flights. Purchase by Feb. 24; Saturday-night stay required. Info: 800-821-5438, http://www.virginatlantic.com.

· American Airlines is offering discounted fares to destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico. For example, round-trip fare from BWI Marshall to San Juan is $258, including $46 taxes; other airlines are matching. Sale is good for travel departing by May 12 and completed by May 14. Cheapest fares apply to Monday-Thursday flights. Book at http://www.aa.com by Feb. 25, or pay $20 more by calling 800-433-7300.


· Dooley Vacations is offering a six-night package to Ireland this summer starting at $1,073 per person (including $154 taxes), based on four people staying in a three-bedroom villa. The Ireland Summer Resort package includes round-trip airfare from Washington Dulles to Shannon; six nights at Adare Manor Villas; and six-day rental of a full-size car with manual shift. Travel June 16-Sept. 30; some dates are sold out. Priced separately, air is about $848 per person, the villas are $774 a night and a car about $450 a week. Buy at http://www.dooleyvacations.com by Feb. 27, or pay $25 by calling 877-331-9301.

-- Carol Sottili

Prices were verified and available on Thursday afternoon when the Travel section went to press. However, deals sell out quickly and are not guaranteed to be available. Restrictions such as day of travel, blackout dates and advance-purchase requirements sometimes apply.

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