As millions of Americans stay safer at home, it’s only natural to dream of visiting locations outside of our living rooms. In an effort to beckon travelers back when the time is right, California hotels are turning toward future deals.
The programs are all slightly different, but they are built on a similar principle: You commit money now toward an upcoming trip and you can enjoy a deeply discounted rate, exclusive perks, or credits to spend during your stay. At the same time, you’ll be helping hotels by providing them with immediate revenue during a difficult time.
“Small businesses like ours are struggling right now,” says Sean Rowland, cofounder of the surf concept hotel Nomads in San Clemente. “Advance bookings will help us weather the storm.” Right now, Nomads is offering 20 percent off all travel, including surf packages, which include free wetsuit and board rentals, lessons, and more.
Other boutique properties like Sonoma’s MacArthur Place Inn & Spa are also leaning into forward-looking deals. At this award-winning resort and culinary destination, a $500 gift card gets you $100 in hotel credit—and can be applied at any of its great dining spots. In Mendocino, The Inn at Schoolhouse Creek is currently offering 20 percent off all gift cards to be used toward a vacation at the seaside resort, overlooking ocean cliffs.
At Beltane Ranch, a historic winery and bed-and-breakfast sitting on 105 acres of lush Sonoma County farmland, a $500 gift card comes with a free wine tasting and vineyard tour during your stay. Olivia Camilleri, hospitality manager at the ranch, says the response to the offer has been extremely positive. “Orders started coming in immediately,” she says. “I think people are so excited by the idea of traveling again.”
In addition to standalone deals, larger umbrella programs are helping hotels band together, while making it easy for guests to identify discounts.
Created by the check-in app Porter and Sail, the Hotel Credits program offers flexible incentives. Book a bucket-list stay at hotels like Gold-Diggers in Los Angeles and take advantage of swanky hotel features like the sleek decor alongside professional-level recording studios. Also included in the program, Sixty Beverly Hills serves up Hollywood glamor with a breezy rooftop pool and lounge. Purchase $200 from either establishment and you will receive $300 in credits to use any time before 2022.
The Buy Now, Stay Later initiative was developed by public relations firm Lion & Lamb Communications to benefit both hotels and travelers during this uncertain period. Just like treasury bonds, the program’s hotel bonds accrue value over time. Purchase a $100 bond now and it will be worth $150 in 60 days. Contact participating hotels, like Palm Springs’ mid-century chic Desert Riviera or the Spanish Mission–style Hotel California, directly to learn more.
We Travel Forward, founded by branding agency We Create Media, invites travelers to cash in on exceptional offers from high-end resorts and hotels. Schedule a trip to Carneros Resort and Spa, located in the rolling hills of Napa Valley, and receive a daily $50 dining credit and a complimentary room upgrade. For the urban explorer, consider the British-inspired elegance of the King George Hotel in San Francisco—$100 gift cards are available for $50 (limit nine per customer).
No matter what destination or deal you choose, reserving a stay sooner than later will ensure you get the best value out of an upcoming vacation. Additionally, nearly all options offer flexible cancellation policies in case plans change. Beltane’s Callimeri says that she’s thrilled by the idea of reopening one day soon: “The energy level is going to be amazing. Everyone will be traveling with so much gratitude.”