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Old 12-03-2017, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
4,971 posts, read 6,372,242 times
Reputation: 4090

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MorriganStark View Post
Reasons like that is why the U.S should adopt some capsule hotels:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsule_hotel
Oh my! My dog stays at PetSmart about 4-5 days a week and has better accommodations:
https://cdn0.opinion-corp.com/review...3-gallery.jpeg

If I really wanted to splurge, I would put her into a PetSmart room that looks like this, but she isn't into watching TV. :
http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/...re-id564039225
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:54 PM
 
Location: U.S.A., Earth
4,492 posts, read 2,881,217 times
Reputation: 4008
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Seriously? No, it doesn't have to be "convenient to the airport" because there are airport shuttles that go between most major cities' downtowns and the airports. So that doesn't seem to explain it, at least not to me.

So $400 for a place that is "clean and safe"? These are all downtown hotels -- cleanliness and safety are pretty much standard for all. So again, why pay $400 for ONE NIGHT for a place to SLEEP? I'm sorry, maybe I am just naive or dense or ornery, but I do not get the value AT ALL of paying $400 for a place to sleep. I mean, I'll be at the conference for 5 days (4 nights), so with tax the cost would be close to $2,000 for a few days for a place to sleep! I'm sorry, but that is mind-boggling to me! I am honestly surprised that anyone would find that reasonable?



Safe and clean, yes. Internet access, alas, most hotels charge EXTRA for that (and the $400/night hotel did NOT specify that that was one of its "features," which makes me think that you have to pay extra for that). Parking, nope, most people going to a conference don't use that (and it, too, of course, is an EXTRA cost). Maid service, come on, ALL hotels have that (and some, including the high-end ones, are trying to STOP having that -- they actually make a point of asking you if you really "need" or "want" maid service because, you know, for environmental reasons maybe you SHOULDN'T want fresh towels and linens every day -- they make it sound like you are trying to ruin the environment if you want such things). Van transit to airport, well, ALL metro downtown hotels have that, so again, not a real plus. Prime location? There are dozens of hotels around there, same location, so THAT can't be it.

Complimentary breakfast? No, as far as I could see, the $400/night hotel did NOT include that (it was NOT listed as one of its "features"). I THINK, if I remember correctly, they included a mini-refrigerator in your room (which I DO like, but not, you know, $200+ worth of liking), but no free meals.

Seriously, is $400/night pretty "normal"? It sounds totally insane to me, and I go to conferences typically 1-3 times/year.



The conference I'm going to is actually LATE March (Wednesday 3/28 through Saturday 3/31, although I'm getting in on Tuesday 3/27). This period DOES cover Good Friday, but really, is there some special attraction of Indianapolis for Easter?!!

I put in the actual dates that I would need, and that's how I got the $400/night price (actually, it was slightly more than that, and did NOT include the 17% tax rate!). So the conference hotel rate of $164 plus the 17% is actually looking pretty good ... although still insane to me. There are SO many other things I would rather spend my money on than a $200/night place to sleep.
I generally tried to pay $50 to $100 a night in SoCal, but that was wishful thinking. There are hostiles for that cheap per night, but I'd rather pay more for my own space. Instead, $100 to $150 is more reasonable even for motels.
.
However, worth noting is they have many amenities b/c ppl expect them. Me, that's why I do motels more often than not... I'd rather not pay for the wifi, décor, and "class" that I won't really use anyways. On the flipside, if a motel looks too seedy, I would be concerned about getting robbed. Paying for a $400 a night venue helps cut down on those risks.


One time, I forgot to book a hotel, and b/c everything was taken up due to vacation season, I either had to drive an hour out of town for a $84 chain motel, or a $350 fancier hotel that was 10 minutes away. I can't afford to stay in such expensive rooms ALL the time, but it was nice being in a proper hotel fr once. The memory foam mattress really did do a lot to ease the remorse at such a high rate of a room!
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
3,543 posts, read 2,234,289 times
Reputation: 10607
I don't have to travel for business, so I may have a different opinion. I only travel on vacations and then the gloves come off. When I go to Vegas I always stay in a penthouse suite at the Mirage which runs $ 450 - $ 700 a night in season. It's just really nice. They pick me up in a limo at the airport, I don't have to stand in line to register, I call down and they reserve a chaise lounge for me at the pool. It's great! I go on vacation to be pampered, so the extra money is worth it to me. It's like flying first class. As long as you don't do it every week, it's really fun. And like they say in the Loreal commercials, "I'm worth it".

BTW, I went to the Annapolis Boat Show a few years back and then spent a week sightseeing in DC. At that time the Sofitel cost me about $ 375 on the weekdays and dropped a bunch on the weekend. I guess they jack up the rates during the week for the rich lobbyists.
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:05 PM
 
6,353 posts, read 5,159,916 times
Reputation: 8527
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreggT View Post
I find it amusing that a college professor whining about a $400.00 night stay on a probable worthless trip after burying their students in debt for the next 20 years without a second thought.
That is totally uncalled for. My professors taught me skills that allow me to spend $400 a night on a hotel room whenever I want if that is how I choose to spend my money.
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,610 posts, read 4,669,845 times
Reputation: 4649
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Thanks for all the replies! I have read them all and do appreciate them, even the kinda-sorta snarky ones. (I can't complain too much, I've been known to be snarky once or twice on C-D too!)

To clarify, the JW Marriott is actually the conference hotel; the conference rate is $164/night plus 17% tax, which will mean a total of ~$192/night. On a google map, the Westin Indianapolis looked like it was nearby and it was listed at $115/night. That was clearly a gigantic mistake, as when I went to the hotel's site it came up at $400+/night. That's the one I did this to!

The problem with conferences is that they run several days (this one is Wednesday to Saturday) and you usually have to buy your plane ticket before you know when YOUR conference session is (I'm presenting a paper but don't yet know on which day). So for this conference, I have to spend 4 nights at a hotel (not my favorite thing in the world, to begin with). The idea of spending close to $2,000 (with tax) for a place to sleep for only 4 days is, indeed, mind-boggling to me (especially given that my conference funds from my employer are $1,500!).
If everyone only went to present, what would be the point? Some of the bigger conferences I’ve been to would either have interesting talks the whole time, or organize sessions so that the right communities were there at the same times.

Of course, you’d still always hate to be stuck in a session at the end, talking to a bunch of disinterested suitcases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Oh, and of course I understand the law of supply and demand. What I find really odd is that a hotel like the JW Marriott is $254/night (regular price, not my conference rate) but just down the block the Westin is charging $400+. In terms of location, rooms (from photos), amenities, etc., they are not very different from each other.
The Westin is near capacity. They’re still not supposed to bump people with reservations (although it has happened to me), so to keep some capacity their algorithm has told them to raise the price. If someone really wants the room, they’ll take an insane amount, but mostly it’s a signal that they’re full.
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:16 PM
 
3,274 posts, read 3,694,831 times
Reputation: 5438
I can see the OP's point. Yeah it's her employer's money but it still "feels" wrong. And while there is a palpable difference between the Westin and a Motel 6, I can't feel much of a difference between a 5-star hotel and a 3-star one, honestly. All most travelers need is a clean bed, a safe room, some room service or an attached restaurant, Internet access, good air conditioning/heating and proximity to the airport. You can find all of these in a good 2-star hotel.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:11 AM
 
8,977 posts, read 8,107,191 times
Reputation: 19497
What you are not considering is, Cost Of Land for the Hotel, Building a quality hotel, and staffing and operating a first class hotel, cost of permits, are in a major city are so far above anything you can think of, and are the big reason for the high rates. And if things go right, there is a small percentage of the income left over for profit to the investors that invest in the project.

Motels not in the heart of a city, buy the land for a portion of the city center hotel land costs. They are a lot cheaper to build and bring into operation, and a lot, lot cheaper to operate.

Really it comes down to, what you are charged, depends on the facilities that you are seeking. Some are luxurious, and some such as cheap motel chains are plain Jane's of the logging world.

A lot of people have the money, or company pays, for the type of luxury they live with at home. People living on a $200,000,000 estate as some do, are not going to stay at Motel 6. If you can't afford to stay at a luxury hotel, then stay where you can afford to stay a cheap chain motel.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:59 AM
 
10,604 posts, read 14,205,380 times
Reputation: 17203
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Sorry, you can probably tell from the thread title that this is a bit of a rant.

I am a college professor and I usually go to 1-2 academic conferences per year. Usually the conferences negotiate "special" rates for the conference, but for one that I'm going to in late March 2018, it's still close to $200/night after you add in the 17% tax (it's in Indianapolis, which clearly has very high hotel taxes!). The sad thing is, I am coming to realize that that is actually a GOOD price for a hotel room!! (The conference rate is $164/night, but that's a bit over $190/night with the taxes.)

Trying to save a bit of money for my employer, I looked online for hotels close to the conference hotel (which is the J. W. Marriott downtown, not to be confused with about half a dozen OTHER Marriott hotels in the vicinity). The nearest hotel was something like $159/night plus taxes, which was not enough to make me go there since the conference hotel is $164/night. But at first, on a map I saw that the Westin in Indianapolis, just a few minutes' walk from the conference hotel, was $115/night. Yippee!!, I thought. But no, that was clearly an Internet error (and a GIGANTIC one!!). When I went to the hotel's site (the CHEAPEST site for its rooms), I saw that the rooms were actually around $400/NIGHT -- for a place to SLEEP!!

Maybe I am completely naive, but I was astonished at this. I guess business travelers pay this (since their corporations are actually paying)? That's the only thing I can think of as I try to understand how anyone in their right mind would spend $400/night on a place to SLEEP. And yes, I know I keep saying that, but seriously, for me that's all a hotel room IS -- a place to sleep. OK, I might watch a bit of ESPN on TV before falling asleep (especially if my favorite team is playing), but otherwise, I will mostly be OUT of the hotel room during the day.

Am I nuts to think that I should be able to get a decent room -- I mean, seriously, a place to SLEEP -- for, say, $150/night?!!
YOUR corporation is actually paying, too, no? That's funny to me that you see a difference between the Academic world travel and corporate world travel.

I don't consider that high for a downtown Marriott. Then, you're not paying to "sleep" in these conferences. They have meeting rooms, business centers, concierge service, amenities, food, entertainment nearby etc.

How did it jump from roughly $200 a night to $400 per night in the last paragraph?

Of course OTOH when people have expenses paid by others, there's no consideration about budget. Then you have your location factor. Large spendy cities.

If your association were in the least bit interested in budget, they would have chosen a different location. Or even a different Hotel chain.

I had a client who's friend decided she wasn't going to visit her and stay with her when coming to town because her company would pay for an expensive hotel room so "why not?".

It's ACADEMIC CONFERENCES. Big spenders getting government grants, high tuitions. That's why universities have such glamorous stuff on campus etc.

It's an ongoing political issue, maybe you're not aware. See: tuition.

Meanwhile, try Comfort Suites. I stayed in one for a hurricane and it was awesome. New, clean, modern, blah blah blah. $100.00. Close to Atlanta.

It's my understanding they're all being renovated.

Last edited by runswithscissors; 12-04-2017 at 07:08 AM..
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:48 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,262,981 times
Reputation: 7586
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMike77 View Post
I don't have to travel for business, so I may have a different opinion. I only travel on vacations and then the gloves come off. When I go to Vegas I always stay in a penthouse suite at the Mirage which runs $ 450 - $ 700 a night in season. It's just really nice. They pick me up in a limo at the airport, I don't have to stand in line to register, I call down and they reserve a chaise lounge for me at the pool. It's great! I go on vacation to be pampered, so the extra money is worth it to me. It's like flying first class. As long as you don't do it every week, it's really fun. And like they say in the Loreal commercials, "I'm worth it".

BTW, I went to the Annapolis Boat Show a few years back and then spent a week sightseeing in DC. At that time the Sofitel cost me about $ 375 on the weekdays and dropped a bunch on the weekend. I guess they jack up the rates during the week for the rich lobbyists.
Of course it is "really nice" and "really fun". But it depends on how much you make, and what you need to save for in the future.

If you make $200,000 a year, of course it is completely OK to throw that amount of money. If you make $75,000 a year and still have students loans, or plan to buy a house within the next five years, then yes, it is still "nice" and "fun", but those are simply stupid financial decisions.

Most Americans live pay check to paycheck not because they make too little, or everything is too expensive, but because they think they are "worth it" when seeing anything nice (the new Iphone X, the $800 bag, the $400 a night hotels in Vegas etc etc). They think as long as there is some money in the bank account, they should use it.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:52 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,262,981 times
Reputation: 7586
Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithscissors View Post
YOUR corporation is actually paying, too, no? That's funny to me that you see a difference between the Academic world travel and corporate world travel.

I don't consider that high for a downtown Marriott. Then, you're not paying to "sleep" in these conferences. They have meeting rooms, business centers, concierge service, amenities, food, entertainment nearby etc.
.
95% of travelers simply sleep and that's it. Why do you need a meeting room or business centre when you travel? Concierge service is usually useless (you just pay someone big $ to give you information that you find online in 10 minutes. And do you really need someone to arrange a taxi or book a hotel for you? it takes 1 minute to make such calls).
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