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?
Citi Prestige® Card
- Annual Fee: $450 fee
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The increase to 50,000 ThankYou points for the Citi Prestige card may be a signal that Citi wants back in the game, big time. The sign-up bonus has just been increased to 50K points from the previous 30K offer. An added benefit is a $250 annual air travel credit each calendar year -- so, if you sign up in April, you'll receive the credit this year, and again in January of next year -- which more than covers the $450 first year fee. When you add in lounge access for you and up to two of your guests, you’ve added another $400+ in value. One more benefit worth mentioning is the fourth night free for any four-night hotel stay booked through Wagonlit Travel. And lastly is the $100 statement credit when you sign up for Global Entry and pay for it using the Prestige card. Don’t forget the ever-growing number of airline transfer partners that work with the ThankYou points program.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases