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mdn Nov 15th, 2007 08:41 AM

NYC Hotels - Best Options for Wedding Groups?
Calling on all NYC hotel experts. We have a wedding coming up in May next year. I'm trying to get reasonable hotel rates for wedding guests. But this being NY, the rates are ridiculous, especially if I want desirable visitor locations like Times Sq. etc. I've already called Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Crowne Plaza etc. Each of these companies have multiple NY properties but they don't centralize the process (Marriott is the exception & I like them already just because of that) So, Hilton, Starwood etc. want me to call each of their properties & negotiate one by one.
There's no logic to the process as I got the same quote for Embassy Suites near Ground Zero as for the Waldorf Astoria.
Anywhere in Manhattan should be ok - downtown, midtown etc. Wedding is not in a hotel & will be held elsewhere outdoors.
Ideally, I would like 3-4 hotels set aside by price point. e.g. I have Sheratons, Hiltons etc. in the $225 -$275 range. So a hotel in the $150-$200 range would be good to add to that mix. I suspect one can't go much lower than that in this city.
Any suggestions as to which hotels I should try, will be appreciated.

nytraveler Nov 15th, 2007 09:21 AM

I'm not sure what you mean by "set aside". Are you going to reserve blocks of rooms and then make them available to guests? If so - you're risking an awful lot of money up front. Or are you just going to give guests a list of hotels with approximate rates?

(The hotels won;t block off a lot of rooms at guaranteed rates for any length of time unless you hold them with a credit card. And if you just give info to your guests availability and prices may well change by the time they get around to making reservations.)

In May $150-$200 is quite basic. Even apple core budget hotels (Super 8, Red Roof etc) are more like $229 plus tax for rooms on a weekend in May. You might look at to see what hotels are offering rates that low for your specific dates.

GoTravel Nov 15th, 2007 09:24 AM

Call The Park South Hotel.

It is a very nice boutique hotel in Murray Hill and I think it is probably the best bang for your buck in Manhattan.

It is literally steps away from the Lex line 4,5,6.

It is on East 28th Street between Park and Lexington.

mdn Nov 15th, 2007 09:55 AM

"Set aside" as in the hotels usually sign an agreement to offer rooms to wedding guests at the predetermined discounted rate as it's offered at the hotel's "group rate". Various properties have their own terms. Marriott is the best so far where upto 15 rooms can be "set aside" at the predetermined rate without any obligation on my part. Of course, a month before the event, any unoccupied rooms that were "set aside" will be put on the normal vacancy list. Other hotels have rules like I have to guarantee 80% of the rooms set aside etc. Not a bad deal in general.
I will call the Park South Hotel & check their policies.

MFNYC Nov 15th, 2007 11:41 AM

Back in May '04 we had some friends and family coming in for a family event. I called a few places that were in the most convenient locations to see if they had any special deals for a small group of rooms. I had no luck.

A few months before I started checking websites etc. had a great special offer at the time at the Shelburne. I immediately had people book it. There were some family groups of 4 who wanted a decent amount of space, and the Shelburne has these good sized 1 bedroom suites, with a kitchen.

I haven't been in a Shelburne room since, but all the visitors were delighted with the hotel, especially the spaciousness of the suite.

This may be a little early to snag a special deal, but that Marriott arrangement sounds promising. You may have to wait a few months and then check websites and call for good deals.

GoTravel Nov 15th, 2007 11:59 AM

mdn, 'set aside' means reserving a block of rooms. A room block is a hotel industry term.

GoTravel Nov 15th, 2007 12:00 PM

BTW, don't ask about 'setting aside' rooms. Ask for the minimum amount you need for a room block or group rate.

At some hotels it is as little as 10 rooms.

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