Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This hotel is too good for me

It has come to my attention that I am not classy enough to stay in nice hotels. Courtesy of Cornell, for the sake of Jeremy's conference, we are staying in the Marriott in downtown Boston. You can imagine how much it costs.   It's not just the per-night charges, either. Everything costs extra money at nice hotels.

It's strange, because you'd think paying an arm and a leg each night would entitle you to, you know, a donut and some milk for breakfast, on the house. Or wireless internet. Or a parking spot, for heaven's sake. But no. Those things cost extra. I found myself cracking open the room service menu our first day here just to see how much it would cost for the convenience of having breakfast at the hotel. It quickly became apparent that just by checking the prices, I had already proved I couldn't afford it. Someone who can spend $25 on toast, jam, and juice doesn't need to check the price list. They just do it.

So we may be staying in a swanky hotel, but we are not acting the part. I walked to the grocery store across the street to pick up some inexpensive breakfast and snack options. We couldn't avoid paying to park in the hotel's own parking garage, but we've left our car untouched the whole time so we didn't have to pay the costly re-entry fees. We did fork out 12 bucks for (wired) internet for one of the two days we stayed here, but we managed to rationalize it since we saved a little money elsewhere.

I don't know how much money you need to make to start being able to afford all the little niceties that are available at high-end hotels, but even if I ever do have that much money, I just can't imagine that I'll choose to spend it on toast and jam room service. Given the choice, there are many other plans I would make for my $25. And that's fine with me.


Aimee said...

That has ALWAYS driven me nuts. I think there should be extras included. If a Quality Inn gives me FREE wireless internet I don't see why those swanky ones charge you an arm and a leg. It costs them nothing to offer it. Ugh!

Suzanne Bubnash said...

It's more an attitude you have about money, than how much $$ you make. Everytime I spend--or think about spending, I consider how much time someone in our house worked for that $$$ & is this really the best use for it. I can guarantee that I would never answer yes to $25 toast & jam. I could be Bill Gates and still walk across the street for a bargain. If I did spend that $25 unwisely on toast & jam then in the future I would always wish I had it back. I have friends who just spend freely but I'm just wired differently.

Lilianne said...

And things do cost more in the East/NE, too. Elsewhere, a lot of times, you don't have to pay for parking and wireless internet...but room service is definitely always expensive! I remember when living in Washington, DC we had to pay to park to go to a grocery store. How ridiculous is that? In any case, the more space is limited, the more money they are going to try and squeeze out of you!

Spencer said...

I almost turned around when I was walking through the mall to the hotel on the first day. Definitely out of my league.

Be sure to have Jeremy bring you some of the candies that they have sprinkled throughout the conference rooms. I think that was the highlight of my MESA experience.

Anonymous said...

Hi B! It was great to run into you and your family outside the hotel in Boston this weekend. The girls are beautiful, and I really enjoyed J's presentation (he's such a rockstar now!). After returning from MESA, I wrote the following post: http://thetalibatan.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/twilight-has-fallen-at-middleburys-arabic-school/ I would love to hear what you guys think of it. I hope everything is going well in Ithaca!- A

sarah said...

perfect timing for this post. I was just thinking about how wisely you guys spend your money and wishing i had always done the same. Now that I've been working for a few years and on my own I realize how much work goes into earning that money and I no longer want to spend it on frivolous things..as much anyway. It seems as though there are a lot of frivolous-things spenders here in utah.

Susanne said...

I agree with you and your mom.

Whenever I hear of how we Americans use our money, I can't help but think of how many starving people could have been helped with *part* of that money. I know it's fine to spend your hard-earned money however you want and I'm not one of those liberals who wants to take your money to give to someone else, but still I wish we had more compassionate and sharing hearts.

Twenty-five dollars for toast, jam and juice or $25 to cover the sponsorship of a poor child for a month of food and schooling? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Anonymous said...

Scott and I bought yogurt and fruit so we could eat breakfast inexpensively in our room. I, too, was completely blown away by room service prices.

It was great seeing you, Jeremy, and the girls in Boston!


sandiwalk said...

I'm curious if they charged you each day for the parking anyway. My experience is they charge per day and how many times you leave and return don't count extra. That was my experience in Long Beach recently. I stayed at a nice Hyatt that I got a bargain on instead of staying at the Hilton where my conference was. But then I had to pay for parking at the Hilton two different times. Still didn't make up for the savings on the Hyatt rates.

On room service, I have a policy to never use it but had to I think twice in my life and there was a reason that made it worth it both times. However I don't believe the room service prices were as high as your Boston Hotel.

sandiwalk said...

I often sneak in lots of food if I have to stay in hotels. If I didn't think of it on my own, it's been drilled into me anyway due to being my mom's daughter!

Hareega said...

that's why I always prefer to stay in a Days Inn whenever I'm on a budget. Fridge, microwave, free internet, TV, and you park for free right in front of your room.

Bridget said...

Sandi, it's hard to explain and I don't claim to understand it myself, but the way their garage worked, it was cheaper to leave the car in the whole time and not remove it. We tried to leave one time and the attendant said if we left and came back, it would work out to an extra $35 in charges. Yes, "extra," meaning the total charges were much, much more than $35.

(The only way I could try to explain it is that it was a tiered charge system, so 20 hours of parking plus 28 hours of parking would cost a lot more than 48 continuous hours of parking.)


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