Frugal Traveler

Package perks add vacation value

October 6, 2012 

If you want the best value for your vacation, it pays to shop for packages rather than considering the basic room rate. While not every hotel offers an all-inclusive travel experience, many include exceptional complimentary items with seasonal and annual package rates. Ranging from happy-hour drinks to museum tickets and spa treatments to temple tours, the best package offerings keep things fresh and fun.

Treats: A popular perk in hotel packages is to include additional food and beverage items with the price of the room. Some venues are branching out beyond the basic breakfast buffet. For example, a recent promotion of Four Points by Sheraton included complimentary tokens for tasty treats such as free appetizers, desserts and specialty coffees. Mohegan Sun, a Connecticut gaming resort, includes cocktail credits with certain room packages, along with activities such as golf and tickets to sporting events.

Activities: The beverage and experience combo is apparently a popular one. The Revere Hotel Boston Common is getting into the game as well this fall with an urban art package, which includes a $24 drink credit at the venue’s Emerald Lounge and two $15 tickets to the Institute of Contemporary Art. If you favor a more international getaway, the JW and CasaMagna Marriott resorts in Cancun, Mexico, have packages starting at $199 per night that include spa treatments, tours of Chichen Itza and other extras.

Themes: Popular accommodation packages often have a theme on which the extra perks are developed. This can result in superior value, especially for luxury travel. Germany’s Regent Berlin, for instance, offers a scenic driving getaway that includes the use of a Mercedes-Benz vehicle stocked with picnic supplies and china so guests can enjoy the nearby countryside. A six-course, candlelight dinner at the hotel’s restaurant is also included in the two-day package.

Foodies may want to check out the gourmet holiday package for couples this season by CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. The five-night offering includes a cooking class, wine tasting, chef’s table dinner and multiple meals at the resort’s restaurants along with full daily breakfasts.

Myscha TheriaultMcClatchy-Tribune News Service

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