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Revel in Arizona’s hot summertime deals when triple digit temperatures can yield triple digit savings. Starting in April, top-rated resorts, spas and golf courses begin to publicize summer-only deals. Here are 10 sizzling tips to help you score.
1. Book Early
Long-range planning can land you deep discounts. For example, the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale offers a 15% discount for guests who prepay stays through September 7.
2. Book Late
Feeling like a spur-of-the-moment getaway? Procrastination could actually work in your favor if you are willing to go old school and call the hotel directly.
Hotels would rather book a room at a reduced rate than leave it vacant without revenue. The trick is to call for a same-day booking, when no-show or cancellations are likely to have surfaced. Ask specifically for what you want, such as a room for under $200.
3. Sweeten the Deal
Many resorts are willing to waive resort fees – which can save you up to $30 a day – or comp breakfast. Other properties will offer room upgrades, free parking, unlimited golf, discounted spa treatments, free WiFi, shopping discounts or a welcome amenity, such as a free round of drinks. All you have to do is ask nicely. If you are rejected with one request, suggest an alternative and keep a positive dialogue going.
Some resorts offer special summer packages with various resort freebies to sweeten the deal. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offers a Sip, Savor & Splash package, for $169 per night, with a $50 resort credit, which runs through September 6, 2015.
In Southern Arizona, book two nights at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort starting at $129, and you’ll garner a $50 resort credit that can be used toward tennis, spa or dining. Ask for the Best of Tucson package.
4. Flaunt Local Status
Once winter visitors head home in April, businesses look to locals to fill the void. That’s great news if you are an Arizona resident. In-the-know staycationers call and ask for locals-only bargains, even if resorts don’t advertise these specials on their websites.
5. Get Social & Save
It pays to “like” your favorite resorts on Facebook or “follow” them on Twitter for insider savings. Likewise, sign up for email newsletters and text alerts from your favorite spots, so you can scan special offers. Convention and visitor bureaus, such as Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson, also promote summer deals on their websites and social media outlets.
6. Travel Midweek
Most of us are more likely to travel on the weekends when rates are higher. But if you are flexible with your plans, you can score significant deals and enjoy more privacy and attention during the Sunday–Thursday lull.
Both the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North and The Phoenician lure luxury travelers with midweek rates that start as low as $179 and $159, respectively, saving guests as much as 60% off peak-season rates.
7. Monsoon Madness
Starting in July, Phoenicians and Tucsonans are treated to cooling monsoon showers. In addition to bringing much-needed, sweet-smelling (that’s the creosote) rain and often-spectacular lightning storms, it can also yield late-season bargains.
Even if you’ve researched deals in May or June, check back in July, August and into September for special offers. Through September 12, Tucson’s JW Marriott Starr Pass & Resort Summer Sizzle package offers suite accommodations, a day of premium cabana usage and $100 resort credit per night.
8. Surf Deal Sites
Groupon, Deal Chicken, Living Social and Scout Mob boast deeply discounted deals on travel, golf and dining. Sign up for their e-newsletters or Google a phrase like “play cheap golf in Arizona” and watch the results load. Even if the deal has expired, sometimes the reservation department will extend a similar offer.
9. Stay Longer for Less
Summer travelers can sometimes land a free night at a five-star resort. For example, at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa, guests pay for two nights, then receive the third one free, along with a $50 food and beverage credit.
10. Swing for Free
Arizona is home to some of the world’s finest golf courses. And with early morning and twilight tee times, golfers are tempted onto otherwise prohibitively expensive links.
The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa has a summer package dubbed the Fling & Swing that starts at $169 a night through September 7, with free golf on Faldo and Palmer championship courses. Rather play tennis? That’s gratis, too. They are even tossing in complimentary meals for kids under 12.
In Carefree, The Boulders offers unlimited golf with the Two by Fare package, good through September 10, with rates starting at $189 a night. They are also kicking in a 20% discount on spa services.
If you’re looking to only play golf at a resort – not stay and play – many courses offer cheaper tee times in the less-popular summer afternoons. Just be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen and bring plenty of water.