The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare and three nights' accommodations, from $449 per person—plus an estimated $69 in taxes.
When: Through Nov. 15, 2008.
Gateways: New York City; add $54 for Chicago; $59 for Dallas; $72 for D.C.; $115 for St. Louis; $155 for Denver; $159 for Raleigh; $178 for San Francisco; $200 for L.A.; additional cities available.
The fine print: Does not include taxes and fees of about $69 per person. Based on double occupancy; single supplement starts at $241. U.S. citizens will need a valid passport for air travel to Canada; a visa is not required. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: Nov. 5, 2008.
Contact: American Airlines Vacations, 800/321-2121, aavacations.com.
Why it's a deal: American Airlines Vacations is offering special air/hotel deals with Fairmont properties. The lowest-priced trip is the one mentioned above, and we tried pricing the components of the package out independently. In a recent Kayak search, we found a $247 round-trip flight on Northwest from New York City to Toronto in early November. The lowest rate at the Fairmont Royal York in early November is $219CAD ($206 at press time) per room per night. So, when booking independently, you would pay about $556 per person, including airport taxes, but before hotel taxes. By booking through American Airlines Vacations, you save $38, plus your hotel taxes are covered.
Trip details: The Great Savings and Superb Offers deal features American Airlines flights and Fairmont Hotels accommodations.
In the package mentioned above, you'll fly from New York City to Toronto on American Airlines and then stay three nights at the Fairmont Royal York. The 1,365-room hotel in downtown Toronto is home to five restaurants and four lounges. There's also an indoor pool, a spa, and a fitness center. You'll stay in a standard room (two doubles, a queen, or a king bed) of about 250 square feet with limited city views.
Nine Fairmont properties in Canada are participating, so if Toronto's not your style, there are other locations to choose from: the Fairmont Banff Springs, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, and the Fairmont Palliser in Alberta; the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello and the Fairmont Tremblant in Quebec; and the Fairmont Empress, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, and the Fairmont Waterfront in British Columbia.
More Canada savings
Rocky Mountaineer Vacations specializes in guided rail trips in the Canadian Rockies. It has an offer good at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, as well (as the largest luxury chain in North America, Fairmont seems to dominate the Canadian hotel scene).
The Early Booking Bonus with Rocky Mountaineer Vacations is good for summer 2009 six-night packages. If you book by January 15, 2009, you will receive one gift card per reservation worth up to $600 that can be redeemed at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. The gift card may be used for any purchases billed to the guest room, and for dining, shopping, and spa treatments. The amount of the gift card is dependent upon the class of service booked.
One of Rocky Mountaineer's eligible six-night trips is the Classic Rail Circle. You'll ride the rails from Vancouver through Kamloops, Jasper, Quesnel, and Whistler. The regular class of service (called Red Leaf) starts at $2,069 per person; you'll receive a $200 gift card for your reservation, if you book by January 15.
If taking a rail excursion in Canada intrigues you, also consider VIA Rail Canada, which sells train tickets for travel between Canadian cities.
If you purchase before December 11, 2008, you can take advantage of the 2-for-1 deal. We recently tried booking some tickets and found the following round-trip fares for early November, including taxes: Quebec to Montreal $189, Toronto to Ottawa $281, and Montreal to Toronto $328. Note that these are typical one-person fares, which would cover two people thanks to the current promotion; you must choose "Comfort - Supersaver fare" when booking. See all the terms and conditions.
Canada's weather in late fall varies depending on your location. Eastern Canada's temperatures range from the low 30s to the upper 40s.