Five Stars For Less

Deals abound as hotels try to recover

At some of the nation's nicest hotels, it's the summer of the discount.

Prices have been cut as much as 30 to 50 percent, as hotels try to convince more travelers to hit the road between now and Labor Day.

"Now customers can afford to stay in a four-star property or five-star property, where they wouldn't have been able to afford that before," said Noreen Henry, of travel-booking giant Travelocity.

More travelers are now booking four- and five-star properties on Travelocity's Web site because of the discounts, she said.

Some of the biggest discounts can be found in big cities, where prices had soared in recent years.

Five-star hotels in Chicago are now priced as low as $204 per night for an upcoming weekend in July. Last year, many of the same rooms would have sold for well more than $300 a night.

In New York, some four-star hotels now list for $160 on a July weekend, and on the Las Vegas strip, four-star rooms can be found for less than $100.

Many hotels are also throwing in special credits and promotions.

The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, a AAA-rated five-diamond resort, is offering summer packages that include a $50 resort credit, valet parking and free breakfast for two each morning.

"It's a great time to come out and experience this iconic, beautiful hotel," said Duncan Graham, the hotel's managing director.

For travelers such as Lee Evans, the summer deals mean more money to spend on the extras.

"You probably eat at more expensive places while you're there (and) shop more there, so it probably helps those cities," he said. 

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