When you want to know how to do something, you go to the experts. As an expert on New York City hotels, I asked Adele Gutman, Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Revenue of The Library Hotel Collection in New York City (Hotel Elysée, Casablanca Hotel, The Library Hotel, and the Hotel Giraffe) what insider’s secrets she can provide to those who want to book a hotel room in New York City. Here are her top five tips!
1) Always Visit A Hotel’s Own Website Directly
You know the advertisements where websites say they are compiling all the rates for you at all the hotels to assure you are getting the best rate? This is not absolutely accurate. You’ll find that most hotels’ own brand direct website rate is NOT listed on those “meta-search” sites unless they are paying the website to put them there. Most hotels cannot afford to participate directly. Before you book, be sure to look at the hotel’s own website in case they have an offer that is not available on any third party sites.
2) See What The Hotel’s Own Special Offer Is Posted on TripAdvisor
Many hotels feature a special offer right on their TripAdvisor page, and, in many cases, it will be a better rate or added value package which is a better deal than anything available from the online agencies that advertise their rates also under a hotel's TripAdvisor listing. (Editor’s Note: an online agency is the equivalent of Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Travelocity, etc.)
3) Sign Up For E-Mail Offers From A Hotel You Would Like To Stay At
Sign up for e-mail offers from any hotels you are considering staying at in the future. Hotels often offer significantly reduced rates and specials exclusively to their eclub members. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on special offers they are exclusively offering to their social media fans.
4) Some Months Are More Affordable Than Others in New York City
January and February and July and August tend to be the most affordable months in New York City as many people prefer to avoid extremes in hot or cold weather. A visit to NYC in August can save you $100 per night or more as compared to a stay in September for the same room in the same hotel, plus a bonus; you can take advantage of all the free concerts and theatrical performances the city offers. A stay in January can be half the price of a stay in December, and early in the month, you will still see all of the holiday lights and decorations, outdoor skating, and holiday shops. And you'll also be able to take advantage of a special bonus: the stores will have some of the best sales of the year in January!
5) A Better Location Doesn’t Always End Up Costing More
Remember that you will save time and money paying more for the best location since you will spend less on transportation. I have often heard of people who stayed outside their preferred area (sometimes in Brooklyn or Queens instead of NYC or far out of midtown) just to spend twice what they saved on the hotel room on taxis and other modes of transportation just to get back into the areas where they want to see the sights, attend Broadway shows, etc. More importantly, it saps your time and energy. Also, look for hotels that have a policy of including a lot of added amenities like breakfast, WiFi, wine and cheese receptions, etc. These are all true value-added extras. In New York City, a Continental breakfast can cost as much as $80 including tax, service, and gratuities so this can have a big impact on how much you have available to spend on experiences that will really enhance your trip.
And feel free to use many of these tips as a rule of thumb when traveling to any city.