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Deal of the Week: San Fran For Sale (1/11/2002)

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Deal of the Week (1/11/02) Rudy Maxa

Diana: This is the Savvy Traveler, I'm Diana Nyad, and our travel expert-in-residence, Rudy Maxa, is back with us now to tell us about his deal of the week. Rudy, let me just ask you something. Where do you find these deals?

Rudy: I'd like to say I'm the only one in the world who knows about them, Diana, but, in fact, they come from a variety of sources. I spend all week talking with travel suppliers, travel agents, airlines, hotels, public relations folks. I peruse quite a few travel sites online every day. I guess I do all the legwork that most people don't have time for. But, then again, that's my job, isn't it?

Diana: It is. So what's up this week?

Rudy: Well, it's not often that an entire city is put on sale, but that's sort of what's happening to San Francisco.

Diana: Lots of cities have been hit hard by the downturn in travel, I'm assuming San Francisco is the same.

Rudy: It is. In fact, hotel deals abound everywhere you look these days, but for San Francisco in particular, it's easy to take advantage. More than two dozen hotels have launched a coordinated sale, offering rooms for between $99 and $135 a night. And these aren't your average rooms either -- some of the best boutique hotels in the city.

Diana: That sounds great.

Rudy: And listen to this: If you use an American Express card to pay for your room, you can lop an additional 10 percent off the rate.

Diana: That's great! What about getting there? Any ideas?

Rudy: Most major airlines are having sales right now -- log onto Orbitz or Expedia, any Web site will do -- but, remember, the low-fare carrier Southwest has lots of flights into nearby Oakland and San Jose, and they have some great sale fares good all over California. And if you book on line at swa.com, you'll get double "Rapid Reward" credit. Four roundtrips in a year gets you a free ticket.

Diana: OK, how long are these sales on?

Rudy: Southwest's fare sale is Web-only and you have to purchase by Jan. 28th. The hotel discounts are good until the last day of April. You'll find a list of participating hotels, like I said, at sfforsale.com. I tried booking a couple of hotels as a test and found some nights aren't available, or are sold out at the special rate, so I'd suggest if you have the City on the Bay on your mind, you might want to move quickly on this.

Diana: Got it. Are hotels not listed offering deals?

Rudy: Because business has been so bad, yes, you should be able to negotiate a lower-than-usual room rate at most San Francisco hotels. Check this: The new Four Seasons in the hip, South-of-Market neighborhood offers opening rates of $299 a night. That includes breakfast for two, plus you can sweat to your heart's content in the hotel's huge, new sports club.

Diana: Thanks, Rudy -- are you dropping hints about your New Years resolution?

Rudy: Hey, anything I can do to shed a few is...Well, San Francisco is one of the great cities in this country, and if you can visit and save a few bucks, that's a great opportunity.

Diana: Thanks Rudy, we'll talk again next week.

Rudy: Have a good one Diana.

Savvy Resources:

Web site info:

To take advantage of this week's Deal, visit sfonsale.com




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