US: With recession looming, high-end lodgings offer luxe for less
A weeknight stay at the white-pillared Clifton Inn, a member of the chichi Relais & Chateaux consortium in Virginia fox-hunting country, used to run $295 in fall and gallop upward. This month and next, guests at the Charlottesville-area retreat can tuck into homemade pastries and sip Earl Grey, sink into a four-poster and savor a sumptuous breakfast (maybe gingerbread pancakes) for a bargain $129 rate, on slow Sundays through Thursdays. And that's far from the only steal on the luxury lodging landscape. As the stock market slumps, luxury hotel revenue — holding strong until recently as hoteliers fought to hang onto profitability and exclusivity — is falling as fast as autumn leaves. Every day brings news of a new deal.