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What's A Poor, Stranded Business Traveler To Do In NYC When All The Hotels Are Sold Out?

June 6, 2012 at 9:38 AM | by | ()

Whoops, you can't have this one!

[Update: 6/6/12 3:34pm, After being in touch with the folks at HotelTonight, they reminded us that their rooms are bought separately and ahead of time. So even if a hotel is saying it's sold out, any room that appears on HotelTonight is still valid and bookable.]

Oh dear. Being the dauntless hotel predators that we are, we try to keep a positive outlook when it comes to the Manhattan hotel scene—crowded, yes, but hopeless? Never. And yet, today, we had to sit back and watch in horror as a colleague of ours struggled all afternoon in vain to find a hotel room for the evening.

Hotel after hotel continually turned him away, saying they were completely sold out. The Ace, Trump Soho, Eventi, Gramercy Park, Conrad New York, Yotel. All sold out. On a Tuesday night! And for many of the ones that still had rooms, prices were exorbitant (Indigo Chesea for $999/night? No thank you!)

The situation was pretty desperate, we admit. But where there's a will, there's a midtown hotel rate below $600/night. And what kind of HotelChatter-ers would we be if we weren't able to make at least a few practical suggestions?

For a sound night's sleep, read on!

First, we just need to get off our chests how appalled we were by some of the rates put forth by hotels with rooms still available as of 9pm. $869/night at W TImes Square? $600/night at Thompson LES? Poo-ey!

What we were able to find were rooms at DoubleTree Metropolitan for $310/night, or at Westin Times Square for $339/night, or Paramount for $314/night. Hudson Hotel also had availability, but their rooms are sooo teeny, you're probably better off dozing off on the subway.

Additionally, HotelTonight was able to dig up rooms at two well-established hotels, and with decent rates—namely The Roger and Hotel Wales.

Have you been in the same boat? Is there a hotel that you can always count on to have available rooms at decent rates? Let us know in the comments below!

[Photo: HotelChatter]

Archived Comments:

Times They Are A-Changin'

I think most hoteliers will agree that no one quite expected as many city-wide sellouts in Q1 and Q2 as NYC has seen in 2012. The 'December' rates which followed (for those unfortunate enough to book late) have been some of the highest in over a decade. Given the demand over the last several weeks it's now difficult to be surprised that even limited-service branded properties are collecting +$600 on last-minute  Mon-Thur traffic. When a college friend of mine reached out to me for some help in accommodating his parents visiting mid-May, the best thing I could offer (given their budget) was to refer them to a Comfort Inn in LIC at $289/night. With NYU/Columbia kids graduating, and the Contemporary Furniture Fair starting later that week, even the poorest pickings in Manhattan were charging rates of $700-900/night. The thing hoteliers need to keep in mind is that such rates are a double edged sword: with extremely high rates come fitting expectations. I can't imagine anyone paying $500/night for a mid-scale hotel being complacent with just a mediocre stay experience. On days like these I make it very clear to my staff: anything less than exceptional will simply not do.


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