By Suzanne Steinert
For the first time in four years, Leap Day is again upon us—and just about everybody seems to be dishing out deals to entice travelers in honor of 2012’s extra calendar day. From a free three-course lobster dinner for "leapsters" (at Harry’s Oyster Bar in Atlantic City) to 29 cent room upgrades to $29/night hotel stays, the offers are piling up. Here are five of the best—but, you better act fast! Nearly all are blink-and-you’ll-miss flash sales that begin and end this Wednesday, February 29.
Leap Day Babies Stay Free on Feb. 29 at Cali’s Mammoth Mountain
The Deal: While deals for "leapsters" (aka anyone born on Leap Day) are popping up left and right, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, situated just outside Yosemite National Park, takes the cake—offering leapsters (and a companion) an entire one-night stay totally free on February 29. Those with the extra-special birthday can choose from four accommodation options on that night only: staying slope side at a lofty 9,000 feet at the eponymous Mammoth Mountain Inn; enjoying lake views and fireside chats at the mid-century Tamarack Lodge; opting for a one-bedroom, ski-in, ski-out condo at Juniper Springs; or keeping it classy at the upscale Village Lodge. Note that adult lift tickets are $89 extra.
Travel By: February 29 only
Book It: 800-626-6684 or visit www.mammothmountain.com. Reservations and valid ID upon check-in is required.
50% Off Aruba Marriott & Stellaris Casino
The Deal: Not one to let the bandwagon roll on by, Marriott is hosting a mega flash sale at a number of its Caribbean properties on February 29—slashing rates at select resorts in the Virgin Islands, Florida, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico by 30 to 50 percent. The best bargain? Book a room at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino on Leap Day and knock 50 percent off the nightly rate, starting from $108 (post discount).
Travel By: March 1—September 30, 2012
Book It: February 29 only. Online at www.arubamarriott.com. Enter promo code "D54."
"Leap Into Spring" with 29% Off 3 D.C.-Area Kimpton Hotels
The Deal: Jump on a quick getaway to the nation’s capital, courtesy of Kimpton. The chic boutique brand we all know and love for their eco- and pet-friendly policies (not to mention that nightly free happy hour!) is holding a 24-hour "Leap Into Spring" sale on Leap Day at its three highly rated Virginia properties: Hotel Monaco, Morrison House, and Lorien Hotel & Spa. All are located in historic Old Town Alexandria, 20 minutes from downtown D.C., whose charming colonial streets are an excellent starting point for exploring the District’s bustle and a destination in their own right for capital urbanites seeking a springtime respite. Rates start at $113/night.
Travel By: March 1—April 15, 2012
Book It: February 29 only. Visit www.kimptonhotels.com/leapyear and enter code LEAPYR.
Save 29% at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Deal: One of Boston’s most beloved boutique hotels, The Charles is offering a cheeky "Leap Into Savings" one-hour online flash sale. Guests can snag 29 percent off any new booking, so long as it’s made between 2:29PM and 3:29PM on February 29. Actually situated in the nearby intellectual enclave of Cambridge, The Charles’ facilities include free Wi-Fi, two in-house restaurants, an ice-skating rink, and a new full-service spa (opened September 2011). Rates from $141/night, including discount.
Travel By: Open travel window, however, limited blackout dates apply.
Book It: February 29 between 2:29PM and 3:29PM. Online only at www.charleshotel.com.
Save 29% on Donald Trump Digs from NYC to Waikiki to Panama
The Deal: Fancy a last-minute trip to Vegas or Chicago? How about sunny Panama? Or perhaps clean and cultured Toronto? Stay at a Trump Hotel while stealing away to any of the aforementioned locales this spring, and you’ll save 29 percent on your nightly suite rate. The sprawling, brand-wide deal also includes the Trump International Waikiki Beach Walk—a towering and typically Trump-style edifice set one block from both the beach and swank shops of Honolulu’s Luxury Row. Of course, you’ve only got February 29 to book. Starting rates (including discount) range from $120/night at Trump International Las Vegas to $706/night at Trump International New York.
Travel By: April 1—June 30, 2012
Book It: Reservations must be made online at www.trumphotelcollection.com on February 29.
Photo Credit: courtesy Charles Hotel