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Government Rate

Cleveland, Ohio
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Government Rate

I'm looking for a NYC (Times Square/Mid-Town /Central Park areas) hotel for late July. Does anybody have any experience with any particular 3-4 star type hotel that offers a very good federal government rate? Non-business trip with my wife and daughter so I know that I'll need to clarify with the hotel whether I'll qualify for the rate. With all of the hotels available, I could spend weeks researching on my own so hoping to save some time. Thanks!

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New York City, New...
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1. Re: Government Rate

Hotels in, e.g., the Marriott and Hilton families have government/military rates, but they are often not cheaper than the best internet rates, especially if your stay includes weekend nights and/or is during an "off-peak" time of year for tourists. So price any hotels under consideration with and without checking that box, and the AAA rate too if you're a member.

Here's the 2010 chart with the authorized per diem rates for NY locations (they fluctuate by calendar quarters) & a per diem hotels web site I think is useful:

http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/contentView.do?queryYear=2010&contentType=GSA_BASIC&contentId=17943&queryState=New+York&noc=T

http://www.hotelsatperdiem.com

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Government Rate

You may do better with a discount rate/website or Hotwire than with a govt. rate. For example I know the Millenium UN Plaza has good govt. rates but looking at the end of July, there's a great rate of $165/night plus tax for prepaying vs the govt rate. of $279/night! Hotel has a somewhat rare enclosed rooftop swimming pool, great views and nice rooms. I think you can put a roll away bed in their king rooms and will have decent space.

For the Millenium Broadway in Times Square, if you use the code "zoo" in the promo code box, you'll get a rate of $169/night for a king room (again I think a roll away is ok there) Without that code, the govt. rate is $285 with breakfast included.

DC
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3. Re: Government Rate

No need to clarify anything with the hotel. You don't qualify for government rate.

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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4. Re: Government Rate

"No need to clarify anything with the hotel. You don't qualify for government rate."

OK...I have to ask: How do you know?

DC
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5. Re: Government Rate

The government rate is for government employees on official business. The OP is clear that this isn't official business, so it doesn't qualify.

new york city
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6. Re: Government Rate

And if I had a dollar for everytime a govt employee used that rate on vacation, I would be a rich man. Get real---just like airline employee rate or other corporate rates--- if you call up and make a reservation under some rates they will never challenge it at check in-- you just need to know the system at each hotel; Not that I would ever do that !!!

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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7. Re: Government Rate

"The government rate is for government employees on official business. The OP is clear that this isn't official business, so it doesn't qualify."

That's a common misconception, but government rates may be used for personal travel by government employees. The traveler needs to notify the property that they are requesting the gov rate for a personal trip and it's up to the property whether to allow it or not. Some do, some don't. I would think with the usual high rates and high occupancies of NYC hotels that they probably don't allow it too often. I did this often in my former life as a gov employee, but never in New York so can't offer any specifics there.

Portland, Maine
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8. Re: Government Rate

I've used the state government rate (which I do qualify for) for personal travel all over the country for decades. I did the same with the federal rate when I qualified for that. Not once was I ever denied the rate because it was personal travel, and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I was ever even asked for relevant identification. I agree that it's not usually the best available rate in New York, though.

Edited: 27 April 2010, 03:44
new york city
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9. Re: Government Rate

And I see people using their police parking tags to park in no parking spots when going to the movies in Downtown Brooklyn . That does not make it right.

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Government Rate

Following a booking I made for work-related reasons, I booked another hotel in the same chain for a weekend getaway. At check-in, I was told they were giving me the government employee rate because it was a bit cheaper than the rate at which I had reserved. When I said this trip wasn't for official business, the desk clerk looked at me like I had 3 heads and said "I'm happy to extend this discount to you."

Of course, when you're not on government business, you're not exempt from paying the hotel taxes. But I see nothing immoral about accepting the discount if the hotel is willing to forego a bit of profit in the interest of fostering customer relations -- just as they give a discounted rate to seniors and AAA members (I bet you take advantage of those, bil) -- and yes, it did make me more inclined to look first at that corporate hotel family's properties when looking for reservations. Unlike using the NYPD tag to snag an on-street parking spot for a movie date, you are not taking the room away from anyone else.

Edited: 27 April 2010, 04:49