By Robert Farmer
I know I know. It’s all bad news all the time when it comes to the economy. And if you’re like me at all, which I think you probably are, the wall-to-wall doom-and-gloom in the press and everywhere else makes you want to head for the hills–or, at least to the rolling hills of California’s Wine Country. That in and of itself is a good thing, but it also happens to harbor some even better news for those intrepid travelers who are fortunate enough to get away.
The tough economic times have impacted every corner of the globe, and that includes the many and great luxury resorts and hotels that populate not only Wine Country, but all great destinations. Because the folks who run these places are appreciative of any business they get during this time, they are willing to be more generous than usual. That may already be obvious to many of you: several hotels and resorts have been actively luring travelers with unprecedented incentives ranging from free nights to free spa treatments or credits at the restaurant or bar when you book during a particular time for a particular period of time. But what most are also doing that has not been so publicly declared is showing a willingness to offer concessions to guests who are willing to ask. The trick for the guest is to know what to ask for and when to ask for it. (More in Part 2 this month…)