Whenever a hotel proclaims that my “kids stay free!” my first response is “And?”
Perhaps I don’t yet appreciate how accommodating a “kids stay free” deal really is, since up until recently my kids were either young enough to skirt extra-person occupancy fees or small enough to cram into our standard room’s second bed. But even if a hotel convinces me that it’s doing me a favor by not charging my family by the head, I still expect it to surprise me with a few amenities and sweeteners. Here are two big city summer deals that are a bit sweeter than the rest.
If you love New York in June there are certainly more frugal ways to love it than from a room at the Waldorf-Astoria, but if you’re determined to immerse your brood in its old world charm, the Best of Waldorf Astoria promotion permits two kids under 18 to stay for free with up to two adults, includes free breakfast for the kiddies during your stay, and, if you book for four nights you’ll get the fifth night free. If your room size permits, you can also bring in a rollaway bed for fifty bucks a day. The deal’s valid for stays from the end of May through Labor Day with code PBWA1N.
The promotion’s also on at other Waldorf properties, where the minimum stay may vary. At the Roosevelt New Orleans, for instance, you can get a third night after paying for just two. Once you plug in the promo code for any Waldorf hotel you won’t see the free night come off your bill, which is evidently normal: A reservationist confirmed that the night will be subtracted once you check out. The agent also confirmed that several hotels had space available via the promotion even though the Web site told me otherwise, so it always pays to call.
Off the Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago, the Raffaello Hotel can claim that teen pop singer Justiin Beiber slept there, and if that means anything to your kids, they can, too. Call and ask about the Trekaroo package, valid through February 2011. The $133 per night rate includes a free upgrade to a Grand Executive Suite, in which two kids up to the age of 17 can stay free with up to two grownups. The deal also includes free overnight self-parking as well as four Chicago City Pass tickets – face value of $69 apiece – which gets you in free to the John Hancock Observatory or the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) Skydeck, as well as the Museum of Science & Industry, the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum. The observatory is the only site near the hotel, but the aquarium, planetarium, and Field Museum are in a walkable cluster. Perhaps the sweetest aspect of the deal is that there’s no minimum stay required.