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Hotels Offer ‘Holiday Extra Bedroom’ Promotion for Relative Ease, Comfort

More than 30 local hotels are participating in Visit Santa Barbara’s program to draw off-season guests

Inviting your eccentric uncle or odd cousin to a holiday gathering sounded like a good enough idea until considering whether he or she would need a place to stay and realizing it might need to be with family.

That’s where local hotels are hoping to come in — and cash in — by offering extra incentives this holiday season.

More than 30 hotels have signed onto Visit Santa Barbara’s Holiday Extra Bedroom promotion in an effort to increase rooms booked during the off-season, specifically around the holidays now through Jan. 15.

Family and friends of local residents have the opportunity to stay at participating properties to receive either a reduced rate or free night stay with a minimum number already booked.

Locals looking for a relaxing “staycation” could also get the rad resident rates by mentioning the promotion.

“God knows you want them to come and stay, just not with you,” said Drew Wakefield, director of sales at Ramada Limited Santa Barbara, 4770 Calle Real. “It’s a great concept. We want to have happy holidays, and that generally means putting your in-laws in a hotel.”

Ramada Limited is offering a 25-percent discount on all rooms booked during the promotion period, as well as a host of specials. Among the highlights are two-for-one wine tastings at seven Santa Ynez Valley wineries and eight tasting rooms along the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail, 20-percent discount cards to local restaurants, $100 in free play at the Chumash Casino Resort and several other attraction discounts.

Eliminating the futon or inflatable bed from the holiday equation makes sense, Wakefield said, while creating comfort and bringing business to the community.

“It’s wonderful that hospitality is combining efforts with those of tourism,” he said.

Stay two nights at one of five Santa Barbara Hotel Group properties and the reward is a third night for free, according to Millie Matz, director of sales and marketing for the group that includes Best Western Plus Pepper Tree Inn, 3850 State St; Best Western Plus Encina Lodge & Suites, 2220 Bath St.; Brisas del Mar Inn at the Beach, 223 Castillo St; Lavender Inn by the Sea, 206 Castillo St.; and Inn by the Harbor, 433 W. Montecito St..

Matz was quick to note that all rooms in the hotels have DVD players and that the lobbies have extensive libraries for a true homey feel.

“That’s a great promotion because most everyone who comes in is staying at least two (nights),” she said. “You come to Santa Barbara and one night isn’t really enough."

Even Bacara Resort & Spa, 8301 Hollister Ave., is spreading the holiday cheer with "friends and family" rates starting at $199 a night through Jan. 31, based on availability and a few other restrictions.

Click here for a list of some of the other local hotel promotions.

Although Thanksgiving passed without much awareness for the program, Visit Santa Barbara staff members believe more people will have heard of and embraced the promotion by Christmas.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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