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Old 12-04-2017, 07:54 AM
 
2,987 posts, read 1,217,623 times
Reputation: 1934

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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?!!
Supply and demand.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:30 AM
 
5,281 posts, read 3,321,375 times
Reputation: 6469
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeyore1954 View Post
Supply and demand.
Pretty much, if nobody (meaning personal travelers, companies, institutions, etc.) wanted to pay those prices and the hotel sat there empty (I know that will never happen) they would have to drop their prices. As long as "people" are willing to pay that price, it will continue.

There will always be a market for high end hotels that charge ridiculous prices, when seen from the average person, but remember they aren't going after Joe Shmoe.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:38 AM
 
10,604 posts, read 14,205,380 times
Reputation: 17203
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
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).
The Concierge is free. I've received more free tickets to events than I can count thanks to a nice Concierge. Including hockey games and famous musicians's shows.

As a lifetime corporate employee, yeah, plenty of people use the event space...meeting rooms and other amenities . Some even want food and room service, not vending machines.. I SAVED my budget using room service and ate and worked at the same time.

Some have a full blown Starbucks and famous restaurants like Ruth Chris or whatever.

At the phone company we used to have our yearly meetings IN the hotels. Up to 800 customers at once. Including parties and entertainment. Once in NOLA we had Buckwheat Zydeco and a huge pig roast. For a customer conference we sponsor every year. The CUSTOMERS chose the locations.

And for locations that can't handle volume, you book a Convention Center type of deal and the closest hotel to your site. Of course, they're going to be higher. They're in demand. They take a YEAR of planning one year to the next.

Just like they have WEDDINGS in there.

This is for a yearly conference - from all over the country. It's not just some random travelers.

Wonder where they're having their events: meetings, breakout sessions, speakers, etc???

Maybe you're not familiar. Downtown Marriott has 40,000 sq ft of meeting space.

In fact, they're EXPANDING their event spaces.

PLUS Marriott specializes in Corporate travel.

Not only do some hotels have "a concierge" but concierge FLOORS where you pay the upgrade or RECEIVE a courtesy upgrade and it includes free booze, food and more. I used to use one in Pittsburgh that gave me a complimentary upgrade because my team spent so much money there every week. They put me next to Pavarotti one time because his team insisted on knowing it wasn't some "stranger" near his room and they knew me.

When you have a conference in my home town of Philly, your concierge does much more than call for a taxi, which you don't need to anyway because they're lined up outside.

And we have 92,000 sq ft of event space in the Philly Marriott downtown.

In fact, now, Concierge service is going digital.

And back to my original point, most of THESE people we're discussing are permitted to book there by their companies/universities and are going to make a fun trip out of it. They even bring their golf clubs. They're not some random salesperson rushing into town for one meeting or whatnot.

It's even unlikely you'd get full TURNOUT if you booked a Comfort Suites in podunk suburbia that offers nothing but a basic room. With the choices of having to call for Pizza Hut or DRIVE to a chain restaurant.

Which wouldn't even WORK because, again, WHERE would you have your actual WORK MEETINGS for so many people?

Then there's the issue of TRANSIT to and from airports. How about factoring in the cost of a car rental/taxi/limo for every single employee/attendee versus free/cheap transit?

And a host of other factors.

Last edited by runswithscissors; 12-04-2017 at 10:41 AM..
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,756 posts, read 4,173,173 times
Reputation: 15486
who on earth pays $400/night for a place to SLEEP?!!

I have nutty relatives that would. They have gone on vacation to a place that charges $30,000 a week.

Completely nuts and totally rich without a care of cost.
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:51 AM
 
10,604 posts, read 14,205,380 times
Reputation: 17203
Quote:
Originally Posted by jencam View Post
There are plenty of hotels like that for far less than $400.
So was THIS hotel for the OP.

There is no information about where she derived $400.00.

Everything she talked about was $200 except for some search she did "on the internet".

At this very moment, the Marriott Downtown Indi. has $200 rooms for THIS WEEK.

And ONE for $400 which is a 715 sq foot four person SUITE.


There are a lot of variables booking hotel rooms, including which internet source you're using. Not all hotel chains release all their best rooms and rates to the other aggregates like Expedia or whatever.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:03 PM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,265,341 times
Reputation: 7586
Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithscissors View Post
The Concierge is free. I've received more free tickets to events than I can count thanks to a nice Concierge. Including hockey games and famous musicians's shows.

As a lifetime corporate employee, yeah, plenty of people use the event space...meeting rooms and other amenities . Some even want food and room service, not vending machines.. I SAVED my budget using room service and ate and worked at the same time.

.
You are talking about business travel, which is paid by the employer, so why would I care whether it is $400 or $4000 a night.

I am talking about leisure travel out of your own pocket. And I am sure you don't need the conference room.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:21 PM
 
Location: South Tampa, Maui, Paris
2,879 posts, read 1,801,138 times
Reputation: 2713
The days of $100 and even $200 a night for a decent hotel room are over (unless you zero in on a special or go off season or during construction or during a natural diaster). I am seeing $300 and $400 rates in small cities like San Diego and Pittsburgh for places like Hampton Inn and Ramada Inn. And those are the "special conference rates"! Get used to it!

And even if you do find a rate that is below $200, by the time they add the taxes, Internet charges, parking charges, and the dreaded "Resort Fee" that all hotels are now seemingly charging, you will be well north of $200 anyway.
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Old 12-04-2017, 03:40 PM
 
1,209 posts, read 708,259 times
Reputation: 2143
After reading all this, It sure looks like the $164 offer at the conference hotel is the best bet.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:28 PM
 
Location: West Madison^WMHT
3,281 posts, read 3,129,768 times
Reputation: 4074
Angry Conference rates are the worst offenders

I've paid upwards of $500/night, but that was always personal travel and 3-bedroom suites, I wouldn't try to expense that sort of extravagance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinatras View Post
The days of $100 and even $200 a night for a decent hotel room are over (unless you zero in on a special or go off season or during construction or during a natural disaster). I am seeing $300 and $400 rates in small cities like San Diego and Pittsburgh for places like Hampton Inn and Ramada Inn. And those are the "special conference rates"! Get used to it!
Ever make plans to travel for a conference and find that the "special conference rates" at the hotel is higher than the regular rate for those same dates?

Worse yet, sometimes the hotel website jacks up the rates when you query is for just the conference nights, but if you make a reservation that extends through, for example, the Monday after the conference, suddenly the total stay becomes cheaper than if you checked out on Sunday morning!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal25 View Post
It's not just a place to sleep, it's some place to sleep that is clean, safe and convenient to the airport and the place you need to be. I'd rather plunk the $400 to be in the same building as a conference than $150 to be six miles away, especially in cities where driving and parking are a hassle.
For work-related travel, our company policy specifically allows for booking a higher-cost room in the case when staying at the conference hotel.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:36 PM
 
Location: West of Louisiana, East of New Mexico
2,536 posts, read 2,027,970 times
Reputation: 5825
Location, the number of hotels in your chosen area, the quality of those hotels and many other factors can affect price. I recently booked a night at a "4-Star" Hyatt for $70. I can say without question that while the hotel was nice and the price was reasonable, it wasn't exactly what I'd consider 4-stars. Two hotels in the same general category/tier can be wildly different in terms of experience.

$400 seems really expensive though. For that price, I'd be expecting waterfront property with excellent bell-service, all the amenities and nearby attractions and restaurants that are top-notch.
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