Travelers whose December holiday plans include a trip to New York should consider reserving now if they hope to stay in a preferred hotel. Many popular hotels already are filling up, especially for weekends.
Last December, the city had its highest hotel occupancy levels in years, and this year promises a repeat. The U.S. economy has continued strong (which encourages travel), the city has shed much of its crime onus, and its flash factor is way up with attractions such as the Times Square renaissance and Disney’s new presence there.
For people in search of a hotel, the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau offers these tips:
Try the peak season hotel hotline, 800-846-7666, which tracks vacancies at 80 hotels through year’s end.
Try hotels not owned by national chains; they may have vacancies when the chain properties, with their toll-free reservations lines and heavy advertising, do not.
Contact the visitors bureau at 800-692-8474. The bureau also has a hotel guide available.
Try travel agents, who sometimes can find rooms even where the “no vacancy” sign seems to be out.
Non-guaranteed reservations often expire at 6 p.m., so if you need a place for the night and call a hotel at 6:01, you may turn up something.
One side effect of high occupancy: some pricier hotels have a two-night minimum.