Small Hotels Can Compete With Big Discounts

<i> Kovell is a veteran journalist in seniors' interests</i>

While major hotel chains are able to convey discount information for mature travelers through national advertising campaigns, small individual hotels and hotel groups are not always able to afford such promotion.

Thus it is advisable to check smaller ads in senior publications and to seek the advice of travel agents when planning trips. Even the smallest of hotels often provide toll-free telephone service for reservations and prices.

In San Francisco a group of hotels, HBR, includes three properties of interest to seniors. The Atherton is a small hotel near San Francisco’s Civic Center and Performing Arts Center, with tour availability and nearby public transportation. The cost is $49 daily, single or double, plus a 10% discount in its restaurant. At least one member of the party must be 50 or older.

Another in this San Francisco group is Hotel Richelieu, which costs $53 for singles and $58 for two persons. Other features for seniors include complimentary limousine service to various downtown locations, coffee and pastry in the lobby each morning, wine and hors d’oeuvres in the evening and high tea with the general manager on Thursdays. A gym also is available to guests at no charge, plus free parking.


Still another San Francisco value for seniors is the Lombard Hotel, which offers rates of $50 single, $53 double. It too offers a 10% discount on meals in its Derby restaurant, chauffeured limousine service, a nightly hospitality tour and a Thursday evening party with the hotel manager. Minimum age is 50.

Information, brochures or reservations for these HBR hotels are available by calling toll-free (800) 227-3608.

Base for Touring

Visitors to San Diego will find the Somerset Hotel, another in the HBR group, a convenient base for touring.

Studio suites with fully equipped kitchens are $63 double. A one-bedroom suite runs $72 for two and also includes a kitchen.

Rates include a complimentary continental breakfast each day, free parking, a heated pool and Jacuzzi. The Somerset is within walking distance of Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. The toll-free number for California is (800) 356-1787.

In Denver, Executive Tower Inn offers a special senior rate of $45 a room, single or double, and $50 with three or four in the room. Regular rates are $78 to $118. It offers a complete breakfast buffet from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.--all you can eat for $3.95. Use of the Tower Athletic Club is included; it features a weight room, a pool, steam, sauna, gym area and hydro spa.

The Tower Inn location makes it particularly attractive to seniors because the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, six theaters, is across the street from the hotel.


Historic Latimer Square, a restored area with a variety of shops, and the 16th Street, mile-long pedestrian mall with department stores and shops are within two blocks of the hotel.

For a brochure or reservations, call (800) 525-6651 or write to Executive Tower Inn, Department MT, 1405 Curtis St., Denver, Colo. 80202.

Another Price Break

Senior visitors to Corpus Christi, Tex., get a price break at the Marriott, which has a $49 rate for two, including breakfast. One of the two must be 62 or older. It also offers a one-third discount to all senior citizens in its Capers restaurant.


The Corpus Christi Marriott is on the city’s waterfront and offers free transportation to the new Corpus Christi Athletic Club, with guest privileges for indoor and outdoor health facilities. For more information and reservations, call (800) 228-9290.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, the Mini Price Inn is offering a third night free through Aug. 31 for all seniors. In addition, there is a 10% discount off regular prices for the first two nights.

Its Prime Time Senior Club offers free membership (just ask) and allows a 10% discount on guest rooms, gift shop purchases, free coffee in its restaurant with meals and a second drink on the house in the bar, plus discounts on show tickets and car rentals. Room rates are from $30 double a night on weekdays, $38 on weekends.

The Mini Price Inn is near the Las Vegas Strip, within easy walking distance of many of the major Strip resort hotels.


For your free Prime Time Senior Club membership card, call (800) 634-6541 or write to Mini Price Inn, Department MT, 4155 Koval Lane, Las Vegas, Nev. 89109.