I stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel in Times Square this past week because the Entrepreneurs’ Organization was having their annual EO Nerve Conference. EO Nerve is a regional event that is held every year. Two years ago, I attended one in Atlantic City. Last year, it was in Washington, DC. I like to go every year because it’s a full day of learning about best business practices and sales techniques.
This year the conference was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in NYC. I decided to stay overnight.
The hotel has a slick look. It’s located in the heart of Times Square and within minutes you can be at any theatre on Broadway. The lobby is nicely decorated too. The rooms are spacious. The staff are very nice.
However, what I didn’t like was how they pinched every penny possible. For instance, when I checked in, they told me that I had to pay for Internet, that the wifi was not included in the room. The room was only $299 a night.
Also, I had a valet park my car. When I went inside to register, I was told that parking was $55 for 24 hours. I could have requested to get my car back but since I already gave it to them, I left it there.
That evening, Lori Alexy, VP met me in the city and we took a mutual friend and client out to dinner. After that, we walked over to the Ava Lounge to meet up the EO gang but when we got there the room was totally packed so we decided to go back to the hotel and have a drink. When the bill came I was flabergasted. It was nearly $50 for two drinks!
The next day, during the conference, I asked the waiter for a bottle of water. I noticed that all the speakers and Nerve staff had water. I wasn’t feeling good. I was very dehydrated. The waiter told me he had to ask his boss. When the boss came by, she told me to go upstairs and buy a water bottle or use the glasses on the table. (Since I am measuring my water intake, I wanted to get a bottle.)
When I went upstairs and into their deli, I asked how much for a water. “That’s 4.00 for each bottle,” the man behind the counter said.
I ran outside and down the block and found a hot dog stand where they were selling water bottles for $2. I bought two for the price of one. (Anywhere else in the city, water bottles are $1!)
“Are you getting more money for the water bottles because we’re in a tourist destination?” I asked.
The man at the stand just smiled.
I felt that every where I turned the hotel was just racking up the charges. And everyone had a straight face when they told me the prices. At one point I asked one of the staff if there was a charge to use the bathroom since there seemed to be a charge for everything else. The staff member laughed.
What struck me most was that people from all over the world come to New York City and many stay at the Intercontinental because of it’s location. However, what they don’t realize is, there are a lot of nicer hotels throughout the city and if you decide to stay at the Intercontinental, be prepared to pay! My bill was more than $400 for one night!