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This week, some great hotel deals from Rudy...

Deal of the Week: Great Hotel Rates (11/9/2001)

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I've done quite a few deals on airfares the last few weeks, so I thought take a look at hotel rates. You know, these days, airfares are so low, it's often the cost of staying somewhere that is the biggest consideration in budgeting for travel. But, reduced travel since September 11 means some good deals. Fewer people flying means that there are fewer people needing hotel rooms.

The media has been pretty good in spreading the word that traditionally popular US vacation spots, such as Orlando and Las Vegas, are offering huge savings on room nights. But I've also found many big cities that are doing the same. I took at look at the web sites of three cities - Philadelphia, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon. All three are touting discounted rooms for the next several months. If you visit http://www.gophila.com, you'll find two-nights-for-the-price-of-one at many Philadelphia hotels through the last day of March. Which means you're essentially getting half off. And there are some special one-night only rates, as well.

At the Seattle convention and visitor's home page - that's http://www.seeseattle.org - there's a link to Super Savers with rates cut almost in half through mid-April. I did some comparison shopping - check this out. I called one hotel I like in Seattle, the Hotel Monaco, and asked for their very best rate for a double room on Wednesday, March sixth of next year. The answer was $295. The online, SuperSaver rate was only $155!

I did the same thing after I visited http://travelportland.com, which promises savings of as much as 40 percent. That's the home page of the convention and visitors bureau, and there's a link to what's called "Big Deals." I called the Portland Hilton and asked the same questions I had for Seattle. The savings were a bit less, The cheapest price from the hotel directly was $139. It was $109 at http://travelportland.com. But, at the lower rate, I also got free parking and continental breakfast, so the savings would be even more.

I checked a couple more cities, as well. The New Orleans site - http://www.neworleanscvb.com - offers three nights for the price of one hotels, until the end of the year. My hometown web site, http://www.washington.org, had no offerings. But I can tell you, business is slow here, and if you go to a discount web site like http://www.priceline.com, you'll score a deal. A friend got a room at the Capitol Hilton last Saturday night for $80 that way. That's at least half off retail.

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