A Dozen Ways to Save in New England

Looking to make your travel bucks go a bit further this summer? Well, there are a dozen ways you can do it in New England. Twelve properties in the New England Inns & Resorts Association are kicking in extra nights, meal vouchers upgrades and comp’ed rounds of golf to get you under their roofs for a while. Here are three to whet your appetite

1. Free Golf at Crowne Plaza Cromwell
Head up to Cromwell, Connecticut and a two-night stay at the Crowne Plaza will get you a free 18-hole round of golf at Lyman Orchards Golf Course. Rates start at $131 a night, and you have to book at least seven days in advance.

2. Free night mid-week at The Wildflower Inn
From September 6, 2010 through October 29, 2010, you get a free fourth night when you book three at The Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville, Vermont. Take in the foliage, and breathe in air that’s just starting to become crisp – while sipping hot cider and nibbling on Vermont Cabot cheese. Rates start at $390 per couple for four nights (mid-week only).

3. Free for kids at Lake Morey Resort
Visit Lake Morey in Fairley, Vermont, and children under 12 can stay free (in a room with an adult), eat free and take full advantage of the supervised children’s program. It’s only available mid-week, now through August 22, 2010.

Crowne Plaza hotels help business travelers “switch off”

Crowne Plaza hotels in Africa, Europe and the Middle East have put together a service designed to help business travelers “switch off” at the end of a long day.

And no, the service does not involve forcing them to hand over their Blackberry – it is not much more than a polite reminder phone call at 7pm telling them that the time has come to put the PDA away and to close the laptop.

Crowne Plaza did some research on business travelers, and discovered that 60% of them struggle to turn their gear off before going to bed. According to the research, 27% of Brits actually take their gadgetry to bed – and will regularly check for messages during the night. Compare that to the Dutch, with just 8% and you’ll understand why 90 per cent of Dutch people claim to be completely relaxed before going to bed versus just 75 per cent across the UK, Germany and Belgium.

The “Switch Off” service is part of the Crowne Plaza SleepAdvantage program. The new sleep services will be introduced at 92 Crowne Plaza hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa including 24 across the UK and Ireland by the end of 2010. SleepAdvantage will offer guests luxurious bedding, dedicated quiet zones, a guaranteed wake-up call where you’ll get your call on time – or a full refund of your room price.

Memorable in Manhattan: Package for first-timers

You’ll never forget your first time. It may have been thrilling or awkward, but it was memorable. Many are still waiting for their first … their first trip to New York City. If you’re only exposure to this city is what you’ve seen on television or the big screen, this is your chance to experience it for yourself. The Crowne Plaza Times Square‘s First Time in New York Package will make it easy to give up your city virginity.

I don’t remember my first time in the city (let’s just say I was young), but I do remember my first stay at the Crowne Plaza Times Square. It was only a few weeks after Y2K – and the world didn’t end, in case you were wondering. I remember the feeling that came with stepping onto the sidewalk: the rush of energy was incredible. And then, I got sick – probably a combination of weekly travel, 80-hour work weeks and a diet that looked strangely like a menu at a baseball stadium. So, I really saw little more than the inside of my room, from which I stumbled when I was finally able to handle travel again, and grabbed the 1/9 train down to Penn Station for the ride back to Boston.Hopefully, your first time will be more pleasant! Doubtless, it will be. While the Crowne Plaza can’t immunize you from the nagging diseases that could screw up your trip, it can be all the protection you need when it comes to boredom. As part of the First Time in New York package, you’ll receive two 48-hour passes for the Classic New York Double Decker Bus Tour; tickets to the Empire State Building’s Observation Deck, ferry to the Statue of Liberty and the Natural history Museum; a detailed New York City sightseeing map; a New York City’s Official Visitor Guide; and a commemorative picture frame. At $598 for two nights, this is an absolute steal.

Your first time should be a memory to cherish and a story to tell. Treat yourself to two nights in Manhattan, and you won’t be stuck wondering what it feels like when you watch it on TV.

Pedal-powered hotel in Denmark gives guests a reason to go green

One luxury hotel has found a way to help you sleep well, lose weight and reduce your carbon footprint. The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, installed two pedaling bikes to generators and are encouraging guests to pedal for green living.

The bikes are free to use for all guests. Every person who generates 100 watt hours from pedaling will not only feel good about contributing to the hotel’s electricity supply, but also feel good about burning calories. No worries, though – the hotel will give you a complimentary meal worth approximately $36 to make up for the lost calories.

You’re not required to bike (although we do recommend doing your part to help the environment). You can stay in one of the 366 rooms at this hotel in Copenhagen and still enjoy all its energy through renewable and sustainable sources, such as solar panels and a groundwater-based cooling and heating system.

The hotel is no stranger to green concepts – it was the host of last year’s climate change conference and today is providing travelers with education and inspiration to live a greener (and healthier) life through its Green Key certification program that includes:

  • The first groundwater-based cooling and heating system in Denmark, expected to reduce the energy used in the hotel for heating and cooling by almost 90%
  • Low energy lighting and hand dryers
  • The largest solar panel park in Northern Europe to be integrated into a building, covering all the hotel’s sunny facades

The hotel says the electric bikes will be installed at Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers on April 19 and will run for a year. If successful, the new electric bicycle initiative will be offered to all Crowne Plaza hotels in the UK.

New Year’s Eve deals: Front-row, distinguished and out of town

New Year’s Eve parties are filling up fast, and the hottest spots are likely to go soonest. Whether you want to be as close to the ball as possible or plan to avoid the crowds, there are plenty of deals out there. New York City is always a top spot, with people from around the world soaking in live what many only see on television. But, that’s just the start. See below for a few suggestions on where to spend the final moments of 2009.

1. At the center of the action
There is only one place to celebrate New Year’s Eve: Times Square. But, to cram into the small spaces available (relative to the number of people, at least) and wait half a day or longer is an absolute nightmare. One of the top spots is at the Crowne Plaza, which offers a great view of the action. For $400 a person, you can watch the biggest celebration of the year from a private street-level viewing area and attend the hotel’s New Year’s Gala. The menu includes jumbo lump crab, Maine lobster salad and a grilled tenderloin with truffle celeriac mashed potatoes and is followed by a fantastic party. If the party isn’t enough, stay for two nights, starting at $1,998 (includes gala access for two).

2. The upscale alternative
Not even a mile away, you could experience a much different New Year’s Eve. Down on the southwest corner of Central Park, The Pierre will host a celebration in Two E, the hotel’s new bar and lounge. The corks will begin to fly at 9:30 PM, and the party will run past 2 AM. Access is surprisingly affordable for such a legendary property, with tickets for reserved tables at $125 a person and general admission only $75. Tuxedos and formal attire, according to The Pierre, are “very appropriate,” although they aren’t required.

3. Far, far away
If Manhattan isn’t your style, try Florida. The WaterColor Inn is hosting several parties, with fireworks over the Gulf of Mexico, dancing and a champagne toast. And, a hangover bar will be available to help you take the edge off. If you need something a bit more subdued, try the WaterColor’s AAA Four Diamond restaurant, where you’ll be entertained by a jazz duo and a meal to be remembered. Separate activities are available for the kids, so make the most of the last night of 2009!

Need a few more ideas? Click here for some upscale alternatives.