27 December, 2007: For anyone who has to travel for work while everyone else is celebrating the holiday season, there is a silver lining: Hotels that cater to business travelers are charging deeply discounted rates.
"That is true even in cities where you may least expect it, like New York and London," says the Mercury News. It is a simple matter of supply and demand, the newspaper says.
Because business travel is so slow in late December and early January, occupancy rates are unusually low at hotels that cater to it. To compensate, the hotels often slash rates.
Bjorn Hanson, a lodging analyst for PricewaterhouseCoopers, estimates that these hotels can cut their regular rates by up to half.
In New York, for example, a standard room at the Millennium Hilton is $369 through 31 January, compared with $579 in early December. A standard room at the Hilton New York in midtown Manhattan is $239 from 1-12 January, compared with $489 during earlier peak periods.
To find the best rates, Tim Winship, editor-at-large of SmarterTravel.com., suggests contacting the hotels directly. "More often than not, hotels don´t make a lot of noise about discounts. It´s up to you to find out," he said.
Mr Hanson also recommended checking rates often and aggressively negotiating for the best deals.