Britain hotels pare room rates with 'Dollars for Pounds' plan

LONDON -- The overnight price is right in Britain this fall and winter as several hotels launch rate-trimming Dollars for Pounds programs. Thistle Hotels, Le Meridien and London's Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments each are proffering their version of the promotion, which yields savings of up to 40% by exchanging one dollar for one pound. For example, one night at Thistle Hotels' Bloomsbury Park property in London is priced at $125 instead of 125 pounds, which would equal about $183 at normal exchange rates.

Thistle Hotels is offering Dollars for Pounds deals at 22 London properties, including the Royal Horseguards, above. Thistle is offering the deal at 22 London properties along with hotels in Manchester, England, and Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland, through Feb. 28. Rates range from $125 to $199 and require a three-night stay and prepayment by credit card. Covered in the price are daily breakfasts, service fees and local taxes. For reservations, call (800) 847-4358.

Meanwhile, the Athenaeum in London's Mayfair district is offering nightly weekend rates of $199, normally 199 pounds, Fridays through Sundays (including breakfast and taxes) and weekday nights at $265, plus tax, instead of 265 pounds, Mondays through Thursdays, until Jan 31. To book, call (800) 335-3300 or fax (800) 335-3200. For more information, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.athenaeumhotel.com.

For its part, Le Meridien slashed rates up to 40% on stays of at least two nights through March 31 at seven hotels in London, Leeds and Manchester and at Heathrow and Gatwick airports as part of its Dollars for Pounds deal. In addition, hotel guests save 10% on property restaurant tabs and earn double airline frequent flyer miles on American, Continental, Delta and Virgin Atlantic. To book, call Le Meridien at (888) 840-2959 or visit www.lemeridien.com. Ask for Dollars for Pounds by using reservations code UK Exchange.

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