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#TravelDeals of the Week: Free Helicopter Rides, Dinners, and More

June 12, 2014

(Courtesy: Kamalame Cay Private Island & Residences)

Summer is almost here and with it, vacation time. Stepping up to promise memorable getaways are hotels and resorts with offerings custom made for the season. Many of these “extras” at properties around the world are free, if not close to it.

(See alsoThe Top 10 Hottest All-Inclusive Resorts)

(Courtesy: Kamalame Cay Private Island & Residences)

Island adventures in the Bahamas

Now through Sept. 7, guests who book the Summer in the Sun promotion at Kamalame Cay Private Island & Residences’ La Dolce Vita Summer in the Sun promotion. Now through Sept. 7, guests who book the package can get bird’s-eye views of the islands with up to a $600 helicopter or Safari Seaplane credit. For most groups, that helicopter credit will cover the entire ride from Nassau to the resort.

When the azure waters beckon for immersion, a high-speed boat will transport you for snorkeling at Rat Cay’s blue hole. This is just one of Kamalame’s free daily island adventures that run the gamut from reef fishing to moonlight kayaking through mangroves. Making the package extra sweet: a $100 Overwater Spa Credit.

 The Capital Wheel. (Photo: Howard Ignatius/Flickr)

Going aloft on a Ferris wheel in Washington

New on the Washington, D.C., skyline is the Capital Wheel. The 180-foot-high attraction is the tallest observation wheel east of the Mississippi River. From the top, riders can see the White House, Washington Monument, U.S. Capital, Pentagon, and Potomac River. Guests at Aloft Washington National Harbor Hotel can book the property’s Capital Wheel Package for $229 per night and get an e-ticket of sorts – two VIP combination passes to the Capital Wheel and The National Harbor Carousel.

Take a free day

Miami, New York, Anguilla, Mexico are on the list of 12 Viceroy Hotels and Resorts destinations offering the company’s “Be Provocative and Stay Free” deal. The weeklong special begins Monday. What can be grabbed? Free nights. When guests can cash in on those nights depends on the property — Viceroy Zihuatanejo rewards with a second free night and breakfast for two daily (starting rate $390). Viceroy Maldives antes up with a fourth night free (starting rates at $815). Looking for a full-fledged vacation? Viceroy Snowmass may be the best bet with a sixth night free and starting rate of $199. Get in on the action when booking by using the code JUMPSMR.

Puerto Rico Nature Trail. (Courtesy: St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort)

Communing with the rainforest in Puerto Rico

Trekking into the depths of Puerto Rico’s El Yunque National Rainforest is what St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort summer promotion is all about. An on-site marine biologist guides participants through the reserve, beach, and certified Audubon Gold Signature Sanctuary on a complimentary nature walk to see rare and indigenous flora and fauna. Also on tap for further exploring: complimentary bike and kayak rentals.

(Courtesy: Langham Hotel Chicago)

Nickel & Dimed in Chicago

The Langham Hotel Chicago is giving a tip of the hat to its sister property in London on its 149th birthday. Who’s getting presents? Guests who book the Nickel and Dime Anniversary Tea. This monthly celebration costs the same as it did back in 1865 – one shilling and six pence, or a whopping 15 cents. Grabbing seats isn’t easy, though. For the next celebration, on July 21, those interested need to be tuned into the Langham’s social media channels on July 17 when reservations/phone lines open for the three available seatings. How fast are these coveted reservations are snatched up? June’s were all booked within the first 10 minutes.

(See alsoDreamy Hotels Worth a Detour)

(Courtesy: Tanque Verde Ranch)

Buckaroos Stay Free at Tanque Verde Ranch

The siren song of the Wild West can be heard coming from Tucson’s Tanque Verde Ranch, where, through Aug. 31, kids (two per family, ages 4 to 11) stay free. Young cowpokes can enjoy horseback-riding lessons, trail rides, team penning, guided mountain biking and hiking tours, a Nature Center with educational outings, fishing lessons, tennis clinics, cowboy cookouts, an extensive Kids Program, and… pickle ball. Making this deal a shoe-in for the whole family: the ranch is all-inclusive.

(Courtesy: Jumeirah Zabeel Saray)

Breakfast and lunch or dinner in Dubai

A free table for two at some of Dubai’s hottest restaurants is what’s on tap at the Jumeirah properties – Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Al Qasr, Dar Al Masyaf, and Mina A’Salam. Their Summer Flavors promotion, available from $370 per night/double occupancy, kicks off with complimentary breakfast at guests’ home base hotel. Included each day are reservations for lunch or dinner at one of over 50 city restaurants. Some on the list: Al Mahara, Tortuga and Lalezar.

(Courtesy: Hotel Belleclaire)

Batter up at the Belleclaire 

Summer and baseball go hand in hand. With this in mind, New York City’s Hotel Belleclaire’s offering a Grand Slam Baseball Package, starting with accommodations in the Babe Ruth Suite. Included in the package, which starts at $489, are two “Main Section” tickets to a Yankees home game (based on availability), two Yankee T-shirts, a $75 Hard Rock Café gift card, two round-trip metrocards, and daily continental breakfast for two at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

(Courtesy: Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai)

Farming Chiang Mai’s rice fields

Visit the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai and there are a lot of built-in “freebies,” from mornings that begin with blessings from the local monks, to daily greetings from the resident water buffalos, Tong and Tone. At the heart of the resort are its rice paddies, where farmers celebrate the end of the day with a 5 p.m. parade. Guests who feel inclined to join this happy throng can do so through complimentary garden tours or, even better, rice planting