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The Mature Traveler

Hotel Chains Offering Discounts to Seniors

December 13, 1987|BILL HUGHES | Hughes is a 25-year veteran travel writer living in Sherman Oaks.

To help mature travelers with their holiday plans, here is a compilation of discounted rates that are offered by several of the larger hotel chains.

Request the senior discount when you are making reservations and keep in mind that in many cases only a certain number of rooms are set aside for these special rates, so make reservations as far ahead as possible.

For travel throughout the year, you will find it helpful to keep on hand a directory from each of these chains. Then when you look up your destination, you can see which of the chain's hotels offer the best deal. Request these directories through the toll-free phone numbers.

Watch also for that deceptive word participating, which means that not all members of the chain offer special rates.

Best Western Inns: (800) 528-1234--Usually offers 10% off for guests 55 and over. Usually about 10% for 55 and over.

Clarion Inns: (800) 228-5050--See Quality Inns.

Comfort Inns: (800) 228-5050--See Quality Inns.

Days Inns: (800) 241-5050--September Days Club. Minimum age 50. Annual fee $12; two years, $20; three years, $27; five years, $40. Discount ranges from 15% to 50%, depending on location. Must be reserved on a space available basis. Discount of 10% on food and gift-shop purchases. Car-rental discounts. Travel/Holiday magazine every three months, foreign travel discounts, insurance savings, pharmaceutical savings up to 25% on prescribed brand name medication and up to 50% off on both prescribed over-the-counter generic medication, vitamins and other health aids. Up to 50% off admissions to theme parks, museums and attractions.

Econo-Lodge: (800) 446-6900-- Offers a 10% discount to guests 55 and older and to members of AART at participating locations.

Harley Hotels: (800) 321-2323-- Offers a 10% discount to AARP and AAA members, except in New York City.

Holiday Inns: (800) 654-6852--The Travel Venture Club is still offered but as of Jan. 1 it will merge with Sears, Roebuck's Mature Outlook, which has more than 1.5 million members. Minimum age is 50 and over. Annual fee for Mature Outlook will be $7.50 whether single or double. A 20% discount will be offered on rooms and a 10% discount on food at participating hotels (slightly over 1,300). Travel Venture members will automatically be enrolled in Mature Outlook. The phone number for Mature Outlook information is (312) 291-8232. AARP and NRTA members are offered a 10% discount.

Howard Johnson's: (800) 634-3464--Road Rally Club. Minimum age is 60 or member may qualify by belonging to such qualifying associations as AARP. No annual fee. Discount of up to 50% at participating locations. Member inns are constantly changing their senior offers, so it's best to check when you reserve on a space available basis. Discount of 15% for AARP members may be available when 50% discount is not.

La Quinta Hotels: (800) 531-5900--Offers 15% discount to guests 55 and over and to members of AARP. (Only seniors receive discount, not the entire party.)

L-K Motels and Country Hearth Inns: (800) 848-5767--A 10% discount at participating motels and inns for those 55 or older, members of AARP and AAA members.

Marriott Inns: (800) 228-9290--Does not have a club of its own but offers members of AARP a discount of up to one-half off of regular room rates. Discount varies from hotel to hotel and is subject to availability. Note that the discount is not 50% off, but can be up to 50% if you're lucky and space is available for that rate and the member inn offers it.

Master Hosts Inns: (800) 251-1962--Works with Hospitality International Corp. along with Scottish Inns and Red Carpet Inns and offers Identicard Program. Minimum age is 55, which qualifies for a 10% discount at all participating inns of all three chains. No membership fee. A discount of 10% is also offered for Hertz Rental cars. The phone number listed is for national reservations, which handles queries for all three inn chains.

Omni Hotels: (800) 843-6664--Offers 50% discount at all Omni Hotels to members of AARP.

Quality Inns: (800) 228-5050--Prime Time Discount Program offers 10% discount at all Quality Inns, Comfort Inns and Clarion Hotels to any member of any senior citizen organization or to any person 60 years or older. Identification of age or membership required upon check-in.

Radisson Hotels: (800) 228-9822--With few exceptions a 25% discount is offered at participating sites for guests 65 and older and for members of AARP and Mature Outlook.

Ramada Inns: (800) 272-6232--A 25% discount at participating locations is offered to members of AARP, Catholic Golden Age, AARP, National Assn. of Retired Credit Union People, National Council of Senior Citizens, National Retired Teachers Assn., Retired Enlisted Assn., Retired Officers Assn.

Red Carpet Inns: (800) 251-1962--Works with Hospitality International Corp. See Master Hosts Inns description above.

Rodeway Inns: (800) 228-2000--A 10% discount offered to guests 55 and older.

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