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Motels Trying Harder

The Bargain Corner

May 31, 1987|JACK ADLER

With the dollar not faring well abroad, domestic hotels are expecting a good year, especially during the summer months. And several chains in the low- to medium-price category have some extra inducements for travelers.

For example, Motel 6 has sweetened stays for travelers by offering, since the beginning of the year, free local in-room phone calls as well as gratis in-room movies on color TV sets. Previously, the use of the TVs and movies cost $1.49.

Children under 18 can stay free when sharing a room with a parent. Most Motels 6 charge $21.95 or less per person, and $5 more for two people, according to a chain spokesman.

Motel 6 has more than 400 properties in 40 states. You can get a Motel 6 directory from the chain at 51 Hitchcock Way, Santa Barbara, Calif. 93130. The reservation number is (505) 891-6161. While not toll-free, a call to this number can generate computerized information on the nearest Motel 6 near a city or sightseeing attraction as well as driving distances between points.

Rooms cost $29 to $75 at Vagabond Inns, with the average around $44. These tabs also get you a free continental breakfast in the inn's lobby each day of your stay, and free local phone call1931503218available daily in the lobby.

Under the chain's family plan, children 18 or younger can stay free with one adult. One extra roll-away bed or crib is gratis.

Vagabond has 43 properties in California, Nevada and Arizona. Free 1987 directories are available from Vagabond Inns, Box 85011, San Diego, Calif. 92138. Reservations can be made by phoning (800) 522-1555.

Ha'Penny Inns is a good bet for those who want to save money by eating in more often. Units feature kitchenettes with stoves and refrigerators as well as mini-bars. There are 11 of these properties in Southern California, with rates ranging from $25 to $40. Rates go down for extended stays. You can figure $150 to $195 for a week. Children under 12 can stay free with a parent.

Despite the name "Executive Lodges"--run by the same outfit that has the Ha'Penny Inns chain--many of the chain's guests are not business travelers, according to a company spokesman. Rates range from $39 to $55, which includes kitchenette facilities, a free (and full) breakfast and complimentary hors d'oeuvres and beverages during an evening social hour. Children under 12 with a parent stay free.

For more information on Ha'Penny Inns and Executive Lodges, call (800) 854-6111.

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