News & Politics

Saving on Summer Fun

Two family resorts in Virginia offer deals for Washingtonian readers—including free nights. Plus a New York hotel toasts the season with free burgers and martinis and a great rate.

Kingsmill Resort offers boat rentals, golf along the James River, and a special deal for Washingtonian readers. Courtesy of Busch Entertainment Corp.

Summer Playground

Few guests say “I’m bored” at Kingsmill Resort & Spa.

Tennis players can get on the courts day or night. There are stroke-of-the-day clinics and a matchmaking service if you don’t have a partner. Golfers will find that the four courses offer a good variety of play. There’s also a golf academy.

At the marina, guests can rent kayaks, paddleboats, johnboats (with electric motors), and fishing gear. The marina bar is a great place to grab a bite and watch the water activity.

A sports center offers swimming indoors and out, exercise equipment, racquetball, and a spa. Guests can rent a bike and ride through the resort. Right outside Kingsmill is Busch Gardens; a few miles farther is Water Country USA.

Kingsmill is offering a Discovery Package through October that includes accommodations for two nights, unlimited visits to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA for up to seven consecutive days, free greens fees after 2 pm on the 18-hole Arnold Palmer–designed Plantation Course (a cart fee applies), unlimited play on the family-friendly par-3 course, use of paddleboats and kayaks, free fitness classes and golf clinics, and complimentary tennis-court use after 11 am. Prices start at $599 for a family of four—a savings of about 20 percent, but mention The Washingtonian to get another 5 percent off.

Kingsmill Resort & Spa, Williamsburg, Va.; 800-832-5665;

New York City on Sale

The newly renovated Affinia Shelburne is within walking distance of New York’s Grand Central Terminal and Empire State Building as well as theaters, shopping, and restaurants. The hotel offers city views from its rooftop bar, a fitness center, and, this summer, rates that are 33 percent off. Its Live Like a New Yorker package includes a room upgrade to a suite (based on availability), two signature New Yorker burgers, two martinis at the bar, and a “neighborhood-access pass” for local discounts. Available June through September; rates start at $189. Booking code: live.

Affinia Shelburne, 303 Lexington Ave; 212-689-5200;

Free Nights at the Homestead

The luxe Homestead, in Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains, has the usual resort activities—indoor and outdoor pools, tennis, three golf courses. And the unusual—falconry, shooting, horseback riding, bowling. Prefer to relax? You can sit on a rocking chair on the grand porch, sip afternoon tea, or unwind at the hot-springs-fed spa.

The Homestead’s Family Fun Package includes a room plus 50 percent off outdoor activities and the Kids Club. Up to two children age 12 and under eat free. Mention The Washingtonian to get a free third night. Prices start at $245 a night, a 33-percent savings. Available June through December 20.

The Homestead, Hot Springs, Va.; 800-838-1766;

This article first appeared in the June 2009 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.