The real deal: Round-trip airfare on a Cathay Pacific Airways carrier, round-trip airport-hotel transfers, four nights' accommodations, breakfast daily, a half-day sightseeing tour, and fuel surcharges and security charges, from $1,410 per person — plus taxes of $76.
When: Jan. 18–Feb. 28, 2009; add $113 for March 1–31.
Gateways: L.A.; add $120 for Phoenix, Seattle; $240 for Denver; $430 for Chicago, Houston; $460 for Miami; $480 for New York City; additional gateways are available.
The fine print: Lowest prices are based on weekday departures; add $120 to travel on weekends. U.S. and Hong Kong departure taxes add up to an additional $76 per person. Note that the included fuel surcharges and security charges amount to about $133 per person. Based on double or triple occupancy; single supplement starts at $363. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: No deadline; based on availability.
Contact: Asia Luxe Holidays, 800/742-3133, asialuxeholidays.com.
Why it’s a deal: According to a recent Kayak search, the lowest round-trip airfare between L.A. and Hong Kong starts at $837 including taxes for travel in early February (China Airlines). In comparison, for an additional $649, the Asia Luxe Holidays package covers airfare as well as four nights' accommodations, round-trip airport-hotel transfers, a half-day sightseeing tour of Hong Kong, and all taxes, services fees and fuel surcharges.
This isn't the absolute cheapest Hong Kong package around, but it provides a high quality, indulgent experience for a still-reasonable price — you get to fly Cathay Pacific, on which we bestowed an Extra Mile Award for its comfy redesigned economy-class seats, and you stay in a five-star waterfront hotel. As a more modest alternative, you could consider Virgin Vacations' package of air and five nights from $999.
Tour highlights: The included half-day tour features a cruise along Victoria Harbour on a Chinese junk (a traditional sailing vessel) and a cable-car ride to Victoria Peak, which rises about 1,811 feet above sea level and offers snapshot-worthy views of the harbor. You'll also visit Causeway Bay, Happy Valley, Repulse Bay, Stanley Market and Aberdeen, a traditional fishing port turned resort town known for its floating restaurants.
Lodging: Four nights in a harbor-view room at the elegant 554-room Harbour Plaza Hong Kong hotel on the Kowloon side of Victoria Harbour. It's a short walk to the lively Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood (and its metro stop), and to the Star Ferry, which makes the scenic trip across the harbor to Hong Kong Island in about 15 minutes. The historic Peninsula Hotel — great for afternoon tea or dim sum — and the Hong Kong Museum of Art are also nearby.
More: You can book additional nights at the Harbour Plaza starting at $142 per person per night for a double room and from $264 for a single.
Before you go: For more tips on what to do in the area, visit Hong Kong Tourism Board's official Web site. The package is valid for travel from January through March, which is the winter season for subtropical Hong Kong. It's a great time to visit as temperatures are mild (averages in the high 50s to high 60s Fahrenheit) and the air is less polluted than in summer.
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