Archive for the ‘budget’ Category

BOGO Lodging to Celebrate National Parks Week

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Let’s go BOGO. Who doesn’t love a buy one get one free lodging bargain? When it’s combined with free entrance to a U.S. National Park during the week of April 17- 25, your spring vacation is a budgetary winner. Sure, you could camp at Shenandoah or Yellowstone, but look at these bargains:


Far View Lodge

At Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado, explore the ancient cliff dwellings of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visits to Cliff Palace, Balcony House and Long House require a ticket on a ranger-led tour. Be sure to save some time for hiking one of the many trails or visiting the Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum. From your room at Far View Lodge, high on the mesa’s shoulder, the view encompasses three states and all the stars you can count in the dark, night sky. Rooms are priced at $99 with a consecutive night free. This offer is valid from April 22 – 30, 2010. And, entrance to Mesa Verde National Park is free through the end of April.

Experience Virginia’s beautiful spring with a stay at Skyland Resort in Shenandoah National Park. The historic resort, built in 1886, offers inspiring views of the Shenandoah Valley. But don’t spend all of your time looking out the window from the highest point on Skyline Drive — take a hike, go biking or visit one of the local wineries. Book one night for $125 and receive the second consecutive night free. Offer valid from April 18 – 29, 2010.


Kalaloch Lodge

Olympic National Park in Washington encompasses rain forests, rugged beaches and mountain splendor. Confused about what to see first? Why not split your visit into two Olympic experiences? First take in the rugged Pacific coastline from your accommodations at Kalaloch Lodge. The bird-watching paradise includes hiking, biking and beach-combing opportunities. Next, head 12 miles into the heart of Olympic National Forest for a stay at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. Soak away tired muscles after an invigorating hike through an old growth rainforest. Both Kalaloch Lodge and Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort are offering accommodations priced at $157 with a second consecutive night free. This offer is valid from April 17 – 25, 2010.

Shenandoah, Mesa Verde, Olympic — I’m having a hard time deciding which National Park BOGO lodging adventure to choose. How about you?

Photos courtesy ARAMARK Parks and Destinations.

Review by Donna L. Hull, My Itchy Travel Feet.

Hotel Lorimar, Cheap But Unfriendly Hotel in La Paz, Mexico

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

If all you care about is price, it’s hard to beat the Hotel Lorimar in La Paz, Mexico, where I got one of their “old rooms” for $22 per night, however the room had a few drawbacks. First, it was in desperate need of a good cleaning and a little maintenance work wouldn’t have hurt either. The concrete walls had been repeatedly patched but not painted, and the concrete that had crumbled onto the floor had obviously not been swept in weeks. I had to find a broom and sweep the floor myself before I could walk around barefoot and not come away with grit on the bottoms of my feet. The bathroom floor was disgustingly dirty and hadn’t seen a mop in quite some time.

Hotel Lorimar, La Paz, Mexico

An "old" (unrenovated) room - very basic & not too clean

Bathroom in an "old" (unrenovated) room - very rough

There is also a definite attitude problem at Hotel Lorimar. The staff is more interested in watching soccer games on TV or surfing the Internet than helping its guests, and their indifference made me feel unwelcome. Yet, if the lack of friendliness doesn’t put you off and you can afford one of he “new rooms,” priced at around $35 U.S. per night, the Lorimar is a great place to stay, due to its  ideal location just off the Malecon within easy walking distance to the central square and marina. The hotel also provides a TV, teapot, microwave, and free purified water in the common area.

Interior courtyard at the Lorimar Hotel

A "new" (renovated) room

Bathroom in a "new" (renovated) room

Hotel Lorimar is located at Nicolas Bravo No. 110 Centro, La Paz, Mexico. They do not have a website, but reservations may be made by phoning internationally +52 (612) 125-3822.

Photo Credit: Barbara Weibel
Article by Barbara Weibel of Hole In The Donut Travels

Cabo Inn Offers the Best Rates in Cabo San Lucas

Friday, March 26th, 2010

In the tourist mecca of Cabo San Lucas on the tip of Baja California, Mexico, budget accommodations are hard to come by. However, there is one hotel that can be relied upon to provide a fair price for clean, well-maintained rooms in the heart of town: the Cabo Inn Hotel.

Cabo Inn Hotel, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Owner/managers Stan and Maria go to great lengths to ensure their guests have a pleasant stay. Upon arrival, Stan provides each guest with a rundown, pointing out the corner laundromat, a 24-hour juice and fruit stand around the corner, and a nearby food shack that sells delicious, huge burritos. Maria knows all the best tour operators and can arrange for guests to visit the rock window at Land’s End or go whale spotting. In hostel fashion, the ground floor patio has cable TV with English stations, filtered water, and a coffee pot with free coffee each motioning. Guests are encouraged to buy and prepare their own food, using the communal refrigerator and microwave.

Room with two twins

Nice common area outside the rooms

Rooftop lounge and library

Small pool and massage area on roof

Each modest but clean room is outfitted with homey bedspreads, fluffy towels, and mini refrigerator. The bathrooms are modern, with spacious showers. The uppermost floor of the three-story hotel offers a communal sitting area with book exchange library and a small pool, which is open until 10 p.m. each night. After 10 p.m., this area is reserved for the use of the guests in the two rooftop rooms, which go for significantly more than the $45 regular rooms.

Ground floor common area with small kitchen, microwave, refrigerator, coffee pot, and TV

The only drawback is the hotel’s location, a mere three blocks from Squid Roe bar, where a DJ screams at the top of his lungs three or four nights per week until at least 4 a.m., making it particularly difficult to sleep on these nights. On the other hand, those who come to Cabo to party will find the location near the Marina to be a bonus. Contact the Cabo Inn Hotel through their website:, email at, or phone their U.S.number: 619-819-2727, or their Mexico number: +52 624-123-0819.

Photo Credit: Barbara Weibel
Article by Barbara Weibel of Hole In The Donut Travels

Travel Portland Perks – $50 Cash Back for Hotel Stays

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Travel Portland, the tourism marketing organization for Portland, is offering $50 in cold hard cash to anyone who checks into one of the 17 participating hotels under a promo called Portland Perks.

Book your stay at one of these hotels by April 25, 2010. Minimum two night stay required. Valid for travel through May 9, 2010.

Portland Perks

Portland Perks

In addition to $50 in cash, the ‘Portland Perks’ you get include:- 

Exclusive rates at participating hotels;
Free overnight parking (avg. savings over $20/night downtown);
Complimentary continental breakfast for two; and
A discount-packed Portland Perks coupon book

If you check out the list of participating hotels in Portland, you’ll find rates ranging from $80.99 to $189.

In between, there’s some nice hotels on the perksy list, including the Paramount Hotel, the Westin Portland and two Kimpton Hotels – the Hotel Monaco and the Hotel Vintage Plaza.  

For cheapskates searching for rock-bottom, start with the $80.99 Best Western Inn at the Meadows. You end up with a $182 tab for two days (including taxes). 

Get back $50 in cash, plus the complimentary breakfast, free parking and the coupon book for discounts, and you’re down below $100 – for a two day stay.

Related Posts:-
Stay for Free at Choice Hotels
Best Western New Oregon Motel, University of Oregon Lodging

Accor Hotels Launches Crazy Prices Promo

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Accor Hotels is offering a limited time promo under which nearly 2000 hotels in Europe are offering discounts of upto 50% off.

Accor 'Crazy Prices' promo

Accor 'Crazy Prices' promo

The Accor offer called ‘Crazy Prices’ is available on the website from March 13-22, 2010. Discounts of up to 50% are available for stays in between March 22 to May 2.

The offer applies to the following Accor hotel brands – Pullman, Gallery, Mercure, Novotel, Suitehotel, Adagio, ibis, all seasons, Etap Hotel, hotelF1 and Lucien Barrière hotels.

Pullman and Gallery are upscale brands with each hotel having its own unique personality and identity.

Novotel and Suitehotel are midscale hotels which offer the same standard facilities all over Europe. 

Adagio is a midscale extended stay hotel chain, while ibis offers economy and the same standard experience at all properties. All Seasons hotels offer economy and differing boutique styles.

Etap and hotelF1 are both budget options with the same standard experience.

Lucien Barrière offers a small group of luxury hotels and casinos.

Start your search for a hotel offering the Crazy Prices promo in your destination here. Popular destinations where many hotels are participating in the promo include London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, and Madrid. Here’s the full list of participating hotels.

Related posts:-
Stay for Free at Choice Hotels
£19 Travelodge UK rooms for stays 12 March – 31 May 2010

Hotel Lerma in Mazatlan, Mexico is a Good Option for Budget Travelers

Friday, March 12th, 2010

I’ve always had the wanderlust. I used to think there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t stay in any one place for very long, until I realized my urge to travel was just trying to point me to my destiny. I finally stopped fighting it, quit my “regular” job, slapped on a backpack, and headed out into the wide world, determined to make myself into a travel writer and photographer. There was only one problem. It would take some time before I would begin to earn money as a writer, so traveling on a budget became a necessity. That’s how I came to be a budget travel guru, and as I backpack around Mexico, Central and South America for the next four months, I will be sharing some of the budget (lowest priced) and economical (modest priced) accommodations I discover along the way.

Hotel Lerma, Mazatlan, Mexico

My first budget discovery was the Hotel Lerma in Mazatlan. Originally constructed as an elementary school in Mazatlan’s Old Town, in 1952 the Lerma family purchased the building and converted it to a hotel. Built in a large rectangle around an open-air courtyard, the old school is ideal for use as a hotel. By day the large wooden gates at the main entrance are swung wide for cars to access interior parking; at 10:30 each night the gates are closed and locked for security. However, the front office is manned 24-hours per day, so guests who partake in Mazatlan’s active night life can get back into their rooms at any hour simpply by knocking on the gate.

During the 47 years that the Lerma family has run the hotel, it has gone through a number of changes. For many years it was a favorite of Mexican nationals on holiday from other parts of the country, however over the past few years it has been “discovered” by American backpackers, who now make up the majority of its clientele. There is definitely a hippy vibe at the hotel, yet because the owners live on site, it is not a party place.

Rooms are basic but clean

Bathroom with open showers

Budget hotels and hostels are generally bare bones in terms of facilities and Hotel Lerma is no exception. Room are basic concrete squares (painted in riotous colors nonetheless) furnished with simple, heavy wooden furniture. Electrical wires and conduit run down the outside of the concrete ceiling and walls, and my room had only one electrical outlet. Windows are glassless, with bars and wooden shutters and floors are terra cotta tile. Bathrooms are even more basic, outfitted with a shower head that sprays water directly into a corner of the room where the floor slopes to a drain. Make no mistake about it – this is a basic accommodation. But the rooms are clean, the linens are crisp, the location is within walking distance of the city center and beaches along the Malecon, and the Lerma family is gracious and happy to help with whatever their guests need.

By now you are probably wondering about the price, so I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. The rate is $150 pesos per night – the equivalent of $12.50 U.S. dollars. Don’t look for a website, though. To book, call the hotel directly at +52 669-981-24-36 or email Carlos Lerma at

Photo Credit: Barbara Weibel

Article by Barbara Weibel at Hole In The Donut Travels

Studying abroad?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
If you’re planning to study abroad, you’ve probably got a lot on your mind. There’s a passport and visa to apply for, plane tickets to buy, suitcases to pack, housing to figure out — and that’s all before you even leave the country! Once you get to your destination, you have to worry about budgeting [...]

New York Hotels Listed as America’s Costliest

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

The Hogg Robinson Group (HRG) just released its annual hotel survey which lists the average hotel room rates of major cities in the world. Moscow tops the list as the world’s costliest city for hotels for 2009, while hotels in New York were listed as North America’s costliest.

North American Cities - Avg Hotel room rates for 2009

North American Cities - Avg Hotel room rates for 2009

New York topped the list inspite of a drop in average room rates from last year of 23%, or nearly $95. New York was also the third costliest in the world, after Moscow and Abu Dhabi. Houston was the only US city on the list where room rates actually increased (by 7%) in 2009.

So now you know that the average room rate in New York City is $318.98. Which makes you wonder just who all these people are that pay above $300.

With rock-bottom rates and plenty of deals (such as the third night free offer from to choose from, its easy to get a fairly decent hotel in New York for at most $250 per night.

Want to see for yourself? Head over to UpTake’s New York hotels page, and set the Price sliders to show hotels between $250 and $200. Front page results include The Benjamin, Westin New York Times Square, New York Marriott Marquis, Sofitel and even the Waldorf-Astoria, with a couple of Hiltons and a Kimpton thrown in for good measure.

Also makes you wonder whether travelers who pay above $300+ for a hotel in New York would still do so if they knew they could stay at any one of these nice hotels for $250 or less. Ignorance is bliss – for New York’s costly hotels.

Visit for more details about the hotel survey.

Related posts:-
HRG Hotel Survey – Moscow World’s Costliest City for Business Travelers
Cheap Hotels for New York Visitors