The theme of this summer's hotel promotions is free nights. And for good reason: With U.S. hotel occupancy rates stuck below 60 percent, according to the latest report from hotel research company STR, the major hotel chains have plenty of empty rooms to give away.
Through June 30, Hilton is offering HHonors members a free night after either four qualifying stays or 10 nights.
Marriott is offering a free night after three stays, between June 1 and August 31.
Omni is offering a free night in conjunction with a paid weekend night through September 6.
And through July 31, Starwood Preferred Guest members can earn a free weekend night after every three paid stays.
The latest free-night promotion to be launched is from Carlson Hotels.
Between June 1 and August 31, members of Carlson's goldpoints plus program can earn one free night after two qualifying stays at Radisson, Park Plaza, Country Inns & Suites, and Park Inn hotels.
Free nights may be booked starting July 15, 2010, for stays completed between September 1, 2010, and February 28, 2011.
Up to seven free nights can be earned during the promotion period, after 14 stays.
Registration is required.
Deal or No Deal
Of the current free-night offers, this may be the best so far.
The qualification hurdle—two stays, which could be as few as two non-contiguous nights—is low.
The free nights can be earned multiple times, unlike Omni's offer, which is limited to one free night per member.
The most significant limitation is the period during which the free stays must be consumed. But while the redemption period is during the less desirable fall and winter months, it extends for a full six months, and there are no day-of-the-week or other such restrictions.
Reader Reality Check
If you've run across a more generous promotion for summer hotel stays, please share.