For those looking to get away from home and cozy into a hotel for the Independence Day festivities this weekend, there are a few things you should know before booking a room.
Contrary to popular belief, hotels are not as busy during the Fourth-of-July weekend as you may have thought, but it never hurts to plan ahead.
“We usually slow down for the holiday weekend,” Crystal Padilla, a front desk assistant at the Marriott said.
Padilla has worked at the well-appointed hotel for the past two years. Having worked at other hotels prior to her experience at the Bridgeport Avenue location, she has seen her fair share of Fourth-of-July guests walk through lobbies looking for rooms last minute.
“If we are sold out of rooms, we will recommend other hotels for people to go to,” she said. “Sometimes we will even call other hotels for people.”
Padilla predicts about half of the rooms at the Shelton will be available for the second half of the Independence Day weekend.
“We are sold out Friday and Saturday because we have some going on,” she said. “About half of those rooms will open up on Sunday and Monday.”
Believe it or not, employees of hotels often find themselves in situations where they need a room and have no luck upon arrival.
“I’ve definitely been in a situation where I’ve tried to get a room last minute and couldn’t,” Shelton Courtyard Marriott’s bartender, Stacey-Ann Malcolm said. “I ended up staying at a friend’s.”
Malcolm warns guests not to be deceived by the time of year they are checking into hotels when needing a room last minute.
“Our rooms are never really busy on the holiday weekends,” she explained. “During the year we have events going on at the hotel. People who are in need of a room should look into any events that might be going on at the hotel they want to stay at before dropping by. It will be easier for them to make sure they can get themselves a room.”
Due to the location that the Shelton Courtyard Marriott is in, Malcolm has seen rooms book up with teams of people, literally.
“Sometimes if there is a game at thenearby, the [sports] teams will book a lot of the rooms,” Malcolm explained.
Moral of the story, plan ahead and you may not find yourself desperately scrambling for lodging. For those who happen to be accustomed to the jewel of planning ahead, benefits are often reaped. Jackie Santiago, a desk attendant at Shelton’shas seen smart lodgers work their magic.
“People wanting to spend their fourth-of-July weekend in the city have stayed at our hotel and taken public transportation into New York City,” she explained. “They get to come back to a quiet area and save some money too.”
Faith Olson, Front Desk Manager of the Shelton wants customers to know that they can usually strike a sizzling deal on holiday weekends.
“Our hotel is a lot cheaper on holidays,” she explained. “We also offer bed and breakfast deals. If they book their room the day of the holiday, they can get their breakfast included in their rate. It saves them ten to twelve bucks.”
Santiago recommends the Romance Package for guests arriving on a holiday weekend. It includes a bottle of wine and chocolate-covered strawberries for those looking to find a few sparks after the fireworks display.
“There is also the Connecticut Wine Trail this weekend,” she said. “It’s a beautiful landscape where you can take pictures. It’s romantic and it’s fun.”
Padilla from the Shelton Courtyard Marriott often recommends a visit to the orfor those toting tots or teens.
“There is the Discovery Museum and for those willing to drive out a little farther this weekend, there is a great children’s museum in Norwalk.”
Whether a fan of the fireworks or a fiend of discounted deals, if you do your research and ask some questions, you can save money while celebrating your independence this year.