Now that most holiday celebrations are over, an army of snowbirds is moving to warmer climates. Some will take extra time to savor the scenery and customs of new areas as they go or just take the opportunity to pamper themselves.
There are up to 20 members of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World along the east coast corridor from the Northeast to the South, and at least two are offering special rates for snowbirds.
New York's art deco-style Inn At Great Neck offers a snowbird rate of $169 for two per night that includes continental breakfast and is valid on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays depending on availability. The normal rack rate is $229 without breakfast. The Inn is in the Village of Great Neck Plaza on Long Island surrounded by shops and restaurants. Call (516) 773-2000.
The Southern charm of Charleston, S.C., provides the background for the Wentworth Mansion, constructed in 1886. Tiffany glass and Italian marble are part of the decor along with whirlpools and a rooftop cupola that provides a panoramic view of the area. Ask for the midweek corporate rate of $195 a night Sundays through Thursdays compared. The regular rack rate is $415. Call toll-free 1-888-466-1886 or go to www.wentworthmansion.com.
For other hotels in this collection, see www.slh.com or call (212) 953-2064.
SEPTEMBER DAYS: The venerable September Days Club, a discount-based program for those 50 and older created by Days Inn, has undergone a major transformation. The club is now called TripRewards and is a way for customers to collect points that can be redeemed for hotel nights, car rentals, restaurants and air miles. The club is no longer just for mature travelers, nor is it limited to Days Inns. Lodging chains now include Amerihost Inn, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Ramada, Super 8 Motels, Travelodge, Villager and Wingate Inn and Days Inn. For details, log on to www.triprewards.com or call toll-free 1-800-367-8747.
TWO FOR ONE: Travelers 55 or older who are heading to Europe can take advantage of a two-for-one offer from Mercure Hotels. A mature traveler pays for a single with the companion staying for free. The offer is based on availability and may include blackout dates at some of the hotels in the group. For details, go to www.mercure.com or call toll-free 1-800-637-2873.
OUTRIGGER'S 50 PLUS: Outrigger properties throughout the Hawaiian Islands, Marshall Islands, Guam and Australia offer 50 Plus rates for those 50 and older as well as veterans' rates. The discount averages 20 percent.
The Reef on the Beach at Waikiki quoted $210 a night for a city view room during March, which compares with the published rate of $280. Some hotels have a minimum stay of two or three nights. Proof of age or military service are required on check-in. Outrigger also has the budget-oriented Ohana Hotels. Ohana offers a Simple Saver rate with rooms starting at $69 and going up depending on location and availability. Call toll free 1-800-688-7444 for details or log on to www.outrigger.com. or www.ohanahotels.com.
MILITARY TRAVELERS: The war is rehabilitating discounts for service personnel. While some of the discounts are limited to the active military, others include veterans and/or family members. In addition to discounts offered by regular commercial establishments, there are lodging facilities devoted exclusively to the military. One such place is the Hale Koa Hotel on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu.
Rates are based on military rank with the rate charged matched to the occupant with the highest rank. Room rates range from $68 to $176 per night with reservations in demand. Call toll-free 1-800-367-6027 for details or see www.halekoa.com.
The Cape Henry Inn at Virginia Beach, Va., is another group of cottages and cabins for the military, both active and retirees. Fees depend on the season, but until March 31, winter rates are in effect and range from $29 to $80; summer rates that go in effect in mid May are $75 to $100. Call (757) 422-8818 or go to www.capehenryinn.com.
An excellent source of military travel information is Military Living Publications in Falls Church, Va. Among the titles offered by this company are Military Travel Guide to the U.S., European Military Travel Guide and Near East Areas and Military RV, Camping & Recreational Areas Around the World. Call (703) 237-0203 or go to www.militaryliving.com
_ Write Adele Malott at P.O. Box 50400, Reno, NV 89513-0400.