30 Last-Minute Travel Deals To Book Right Now

by  Alex Schechter | Dec 23, 2013
Rooftop at the Empire Hotel NYC
Rooftop at the Empire Hotel NYC / Photo courtesy of the property

The twelve days of Christmas have come and gone, but that doesn't mean there's no more excitement to be had in December. In fact, for travelers, end-of-year sales and promotions can yield some of the best finds of the whole season. The tricky part? Finding them. But luckily for you, we've gone and done all the hard work to bring you the best last-minute travel deals available this week. Consider it our Christmas present to you...

The Marriott Stanton South Beach, located in the trendy "South of Fifth" neighborhood (a five-minute walk from Miami's famous Collins Ave), is calling full attention to its prime beachfront location with the "Life's A Beach" package. Valid through the end of March, and using the code YQ1, the promo could snag you a room for $309 per night, with two free drinks, two beach chair reservations, umbrella rental, and free Wifi.

Over in Curacao, the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort offers a novel approach to the holidays: in addition to luxury accommodations, a welcome drink, and free Wifi, guests who book the "Holiday Fun Offer" will also receive a Build-Your-Own-Sandman kit (that's in lieu of a snowman, which would be impossible to build in Curacao's climate). Valid through January 15, the package starts at just $185 per night; the resort also includes a golf course, spa, hydro-clay tennis courts, diving center, and five restaurants.

The entire Omni chain of hotels is celebrating the season right up through the end of the month with its "Elves and Eggnog" package. Valid for stays through December 30, the deal offers 20 percent off a two-night stay at any participating Omni Hotel, plus, two eggnog cocktails, late check-out, and breakfast in bed.

Over at Cheapoair.com, a few last-minute flight deals are good news for those planning a domestic trip between now and New Year's Day. Available until December 27 (with a travel period of Dec 29 - Jan 2), the website's top roundtrip fares include:

  • Los Angeles to Chicago from $465
  • Chicago to Miami from $471
  • New York City to Las Vegas from $542
  • Seattle to New York City from $655
  • Miami to Los Angeles from $832

If you've read our "5 Apps And Websites That Will Change The Way You Travel" article, then you already know what big fans we are of last-minute hotel booking app Roomer. It turns out the holidays are a great time to be scouring for discounted hotel rooms – for dates next week, we found New York's Cosmopolitan Hotel Tribeca going for just $181 per night, and the Empire Hotel at a very reasonable $213 per night. Meanwhile, in Chicago (from $133 a night), Las Vegas (from $96 a night), and San Francisco (from $97 a night), there are plenty of other deals to be found.

A handful of winning deals are available this week from Palladium, a resort group with 12 properties throughout the Caribbean, South America, and Europe. A few last-minute rates worth considering: get 55 percent off at Grand Palladium Jamaica, or Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton (travel through January 2); and in Mexico, Grand Palladium Vallarta and The Royal Suites Punta Mita are both offering 45 percent off (travel through April 30).

Heading west for the holidays? Consider stopping by San Diego, where a torrent of last-minute hotel deals are cropping up left and right. A "Holidays Made Easy" package (valid through January 5) at Hilton San Diego Mission Valley includes rooms from $109, two dozen freshly-baked chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies, and a free gift-wrapping workshop in the hotel lobby. Meanwhile, through January 21, you can book the "Star Light, Star Bright" package at La Valencia Hotel at 20 percent off with a $50 dining credit, two cocktails, and a bottle of wine. Finally, the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter is targeting shoppers with a $100 Macy's gift card for each night booked under the "Holiday Shopping" package (valid through December 31), from $229 a night.

Though it announced plans to close down by January 13, the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel is certainly going out with a bang. With the "Winter Getaway Package," guests can book a Grand Suite Room for as low as $135, plus a $50 free slot play credit and $50 dining credit.

And if you favor more modern AC digs, Revel is offering rooms from $159 per night with the HQ Package, which comes with two passes to the spa, $50 dining credit, and access to HQ Nightclub. Additionally, on Christmas Eve and Christmas, the hotel has rates starting at $139.

Lovable boutique brand Kimpton is going all-out for the holidays, with deals at almost every one of its 62 properties, though a few promotions in particular caught our eye: for example, in Chicago, book the "Shop and Shine On Monaco's Dime" package at Hotel Monaco (available through December 31; use the code SHOPS) for a 20 percent room discount plus a $50 shopping voucher. Meanwhile, check the hotel's website for bookable last-minute deals, available all this week from $99 per night.

The contemporary art-focused 21c Museum Hotels have serious goodies in store for guests who book the Holiday Package, available at all three hotels (Louisville, Bentonville, Cincinnati) through December 30. The package includes two Bourbon hot chocolates, milk and cookies, a limited-edition 21c print by Simen Johan, whiskey stones, and Malin + Goetz peppermint soap.

Valid through January 1, Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa in Bermuda is offering 45 percent off rates (plus complimentary breakfast) for last-minute holiday travelers. And  if you already know you're heading to Bermuda, it's worth checking out the island's Free Night Offer promotion, which gives the opportunity to book a free third, fourth, or fifth night free at participating Bermuda resorts (available through April 25).

We've already shown you why New Orleans can be a fun, festive alternative to the regular Christmas destinations, but a last-minute deal from Windsor Court helps prove our point. The Papa Noel package offers 20 percent off weekday rates, and 10% off weekend rates through January 13 (blackout dates apply), and the Grill Room's famed Reveillon feast continues through the end of December.

Last but not least: skiers can still take advantage of Hyatt Mountain Collection's ongoing "Stay At Three, Ski For Free" promotion. We wrote about it back in October, but the offer (which awards free ski passes to a guest who books a 3-night stay at each of the three properties) remains valid through April 20.

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