From stranded travelers to powerless locals -- hotels along the Eastern seaboard are dealing with an influx of people as the power outages continue in Hurricane Sandy’s wake.
Hotel reservations desks have been fielding countless calls from thousands of stranded travelers seeking to either cancel their rooms or find a place to stay around major cities in the Northeast.
Despite the volume, there isn’t a lot of price gouging that has occurred in other storms. In fact, some properties are offering special deals. Kimpton Hotels is offering 20 percent off stays (Oct. 29-31) at hotels in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Alexandria & Washington D.C. (Use rate code SANDY or call 1-800-KIMPTON.)
Aqua Hotels & Resorts will not charge any cancellation or no show fees through November 1, and is also offering a 15 percent discount on best available rates for travelers. (For reservations, call Aqua at 808-924-6543 or toll free at 1-866-406-2782.)
In Baltimore, hotels like the Hotel Monaco and the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court, are also offering discounted rates for their storm guests.
Even if a hotel isn’t advertising specials, guests should ask anyway. Travel experts say this is a chance for hotels to reach out to the community and provide people an outlet.
For many, hotels can be one of the few outlets there are.
Powerless New Yorkers are taking advantage of hotels to power up their mobile devices and occasionally sneak in to use the bathrooms. At the Ace Hotel a flock of people were seen recharging their phones at the hotel’s external electrical outlet. At the W Hotel in Manhattan others gathered around the hotel lobby to tap into the free WiFi.
Many hotels have waived WiFi fees to guests and non-guests alike. And along with the standard bar and restaurant scenes, some properties have even created special events and activities to keep the boredom way.