TPOL is back in the US after completing my ANA, Take Me ‘Round the World Trip and my expat experiment in Shanghai (see TPOL in Shanghai). I had one night in New York before going back to Puerto Rico. Like last year, I happen to be in NYC during UN General Assembly (see Thank You Trump! Best Marriott Anniversary Night Redemption). Like last year, the prices were astronomical.
In need of a hotel, I momentarily asked myself if it is worth paying $700 for the Aloft Brooklyn when I have stayed there for $100. I almost conned myself into believing that for $700 the Aloft will be seven times greater than it was when I paid the cheap rate. It’s the same as when I was in Porto Cervo, Sardinia and I tried to convince myself that $20 for a vodka soda was going to be more potent than a dive bar vodka soda for $5. I stared at the bartender pouring my drink and was traumatized by any splash of vodka that bounced off the ice onto the bar. Those precious milliliters were going to waste!
While I can rationalize a $20 drink, I refuse to be ripped off by basic hotels for basic rooms. The hotels say that the price is in line with the demand for this week as many foreign dignitaries are coming to NYC. First, there aren’t tens of thousands of dignitaries. Second, they aren’t staying at the Aloft Brooklyn.
The worst part of this is that I may have to use points. Points should not be used for work trips because they are intended for aspirational vacations and because I can’t write off points as a business expense. At the same time, since I am a sole proprietor, I wouldn’t want a $700 hotel bill impacting my bottom line even if it is tax deductible.
In short, New York should stop scamming tourists and business travelers by charging extortionate prices for standard rooms and pretending it’s a function of supply and demand. In the end, a vodka soda is a vodka soda. It’s not champagne.