Arthur Frommer points out in a recent blog entry that there are initiatives afoot in Hawaii, New York City and France to ban short-term apartment rentals to visitors.
And he asks: Is the motive to protect the residents and neighborhoods where apartments are rented, as most proponents claim, or is it to protect the hotel industry? Good question.
Certainly there are some places where hotel rates are beyond the means of middle-class travelers. My husband and I simply could not have paid the hotel rates in St. Petersburg, Russia, where we stayed in a pleasant (and rather highly fortified) apartment for a week.
If apartments could not be rented there, the results would be fewer visitors. And how would the rest of the businesses that tourists patronize — transit companies, restaurants, attractions, tour companies — react to that?
What’s the difference between a fee for a service and a discount for not using it?
Not much but semantics. The hotel industry is moving toward a la carte room cleaning options, and it hardly matters whether we get a discount for opting out of housekeeping or pay a fee for opting in. The bottom line is the same.
Two things to know about bidding for hotel rooms on Priceline:
1) There’s no substitute for doing the homework;
2) Sometimes when you do the homework, you get a little bonus!
It has become a pernicious habit of Las Vegas hotels to charge guests to print boarding passes for their return flights, but there’s no need to pay for that.
Sure, it’s a good idea to check in online well in advance of your flight, as a means to protect your seat. If you’re flying on a standard fare on Southwest, it’s critical to check in early if you want to get a good seat. The good news is that if you don’t have access to a printer, you can check in without printing the pass.
Over the years, I’ve had to evacuate a hotel because of fire alarms at least three times that I can remember. None of those incidents involved a serious fire — the causes were along the lines of overheated coffeemakers — but it might have made me think.
It didn’t, really. My fire safety precautions have consisted only of locating the stairways when I stay on a high floor and always having a small flashlight in my luggage. I’ve never tried to find out when choosing or checking into a hotel whether it has sprinklers in the guest rooms. But after reading a recent Associated Press story on the subject, I’m going to pay a lot more attention to that detail.