Restoring Sanity to the New York Hotel Market
Here's a new way to save money while traveling, although I recommend only it advisedly: staying in hotels that are under renovation. Depending on when and where you visit, "under renovation" can mean anything from cosmetic changes to a complete overhaul of a hotel's lobby and rooms. But if you time it right, visiting a property once the major refurbishment is over and before it's complete, you can snag yourself a true deal.
For instance: When was the last time you stayed in a hotel in the New York area for $59 a night?
Okay, the place is in Stamford, Conn., but before you balk, consider this: the bedroom community is only a 47-minute train ride from Grand Central Station, a commute that's well worth it, when you consider that the average hotel room in Manhattan is over $200 a night. And if you buy your Metro-North railroad ticket ahead of time, you'll pay just $18 roundtrip.
The hotel in question is no fleabag but the Holiday Inn Select, where a major renovation is expected to be completed in a month or so. If you search for the hotel on TripAdvisor.com, you'll see that the stays were nightmarish until recently, where one traveler in July noted that "a cardboard box would have been a better experience!" and another in early August said that "the lobby is torn apart, with unfinished drywall all over the place."
Just this past weekend, however, when I found the hotel on Hotwire.com for the $59 (plus tax) rate, it appeared that much of the work was done. Of course, you still have to enter the hotel through the parking garage, but hey, it's 59 bucks. The newly renovated rooms are stylish and, for what it's worth, feature large screen high-def TVs and other contemporary features.
Anybody else have some New York area hotel deals they'd like to share? Manhattan's great but the hotel scene is madness.
By Scott Vogel |
August 26, 2008; 7:12 AM ET
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