Let’s face it: Black Friday is not renowned for crazy travel deals. That consumer festival is for something you can touch… well, maybe, if you have the strength, stamina, and reflexes that won’t die after camping for the night outside of the doorbuster paradise of your choice. Travel providers are not like that. Travel agencies do not hire extra security the night before, and neither hotels nor airports get overrun by the unruly crowds (although, in case of airports, you might beg to differ, sometimes).
However, travel providers want our money as much as the next guy, and they know that come Friday, we are getting excited and looking for a deal. So there are some bargains to be had, for sure, although you’d have to sift through a lot of white noise to find anything worthwhile.
The most worthwhile Black Friday deal I’ve found to date (although, the month is still young) is the one from the famed Atlantis Resort.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale:
Atlantis, Paradise Island is offering four days of giving to travelers everywhere, from November 29-December 2, 2013, good through 2014:
- For $99/night*: book for travel August 24-October 29, November 30-December 25
- For $159/night*: book for travel October 30-November 24
- For $179/night*: book for travel April 24-June 11
- For $199/night*: book for travel January 27-March 5, June 12-August 23.
The Atlantis Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are refundable and can only be booked with Atlantis directly. Travelers can book the best deals of the holiday season by calling 1-800-Atlantis or visiting atlantis.com.
Here are the most important T&C points:
- The rates are per night, double occupancy, in the Beach Tower Terrace standard room based on a two night minimum stay.
- Bookings are non-transferable and non-refundable if cancelled more than 1 day after booking, inclusive of the full cost of the room, mandatory taxes, gratuities and service fees.
- Black-out dates apply and are as follows for 2014: May 22-25, June 19-24, July 3-6, 23-25.
I believe that the real deal ends at $99 a night. Other rates don’t strike me as anything special.
First, what’s not so great about this deal and the resort in general.
- Non-refundable doesn’t need to be explained. You pay for it at the time of booking, that’s it. You only have one day to change your mind.
- The room you’re booking is in the Beach Tower. The Beach Tower is the farthest from the water park, and the rooms there are typically very small.
- The “mandatory taxes, gratuities and service fees” may sound benign, but they’re not. They add up to $70 a day, although the fees supposedly depend upon the type of accommodation. And, believe me or not, they charge you for the electricity, too. Now, that’s a novelty item…
- Internet costs $20 a day.
- Food at the resort costs an arm and a leg, too!
Now, why is this still a good deal?
- This is not the first time they’ve run $99 a night promotion, but I don’t think they’ve ever offered this rate during the summer break (might be wrong, though). The two-week period between Aug 24th and the beginning of school is just what makes it perfect for a family.
- There have been consistent reports of free upgrades to the better Coral Tower. Consistent, meaning those upgrades must have been more than just a stroke of luck.
- Resort taxes and fees are insane everywhere on the island. Every hotel is playing this game.
- They give you free 15 minutes of internet daily at the library. Or use your T-Mobile plan with free data.
- They have a free movie theater for the times you feel especially bored.
- There are reasonably priced eateries in walking distance from the resort, which means there are choices. You don’t have to pay $30 for breakfast or $50 for lunch.
What do you think? A good deal or an average deal, and is it likely you’ll be taking advantage of it?
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49