Long Term Hotel Stay. How to get a better deal?

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I will be staying at a hotel in Ohio for 95 days.I did some research and please provide your feedback / opinion so that this topic can become a guideline for others.
I will be staying at Marriott Towneplace

1-)Bargaining Price with local hotel manager
I have no experience on this yet.Your feedback is highly appreciated for step #1

2-) Complimentary room upgrade
Most hotels upgrade your room for free (usually) if you stay more than 2-3 weeks.
I am hoping to get a free upgrade to a 1bedroom suite from a studio unit.

3-)Saving via Payment Method
-Plastic Jungle offers 6.5 discount on Marriot and most hotel gift cards.
-Citi Thank you points also offer 1on1 deal on $100 gift certificates.
-You can find gift cards on eBay with 5% off.

4-)Tax
In most states, after the 30th night, you are not obligated to pay sales tax for your stay and you will get a refund for the first 30 nights. It is the state tax code.

5-)Comfort Level related issues
Unfortunately there is no code for noise standard in a room. Some refrigerators may be very noisy and you may wake up in the middle of the night.I usually set the fan low in AC unit and leave it on.

6-) Apartment Option
No place offers short term lease for 3 months. I offered 2X rent. No luck.

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
That's not what I would call a per diem, then. That's a travel advance. Per diem is a flat rate and it's up to the emplo... (more)

crhptic (Jan. 01, 2013 @ 5:51p) |

I hope you know what it really means..... right?

wfay (Jan. 01, 2013 @ 10:54p) |

I used Priceline extensively when I had to live in Texas for 3 months, 2 years ago. The hotel I lived in was Homestead
... (more)

arsenalfan (Jan. 15, 2013 @ 2:52p) |

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.


With all your searching, did you try simple Googling "Dayton Ohio Short Term Rental"? Returns an awful lot of sites. Also suggest same in tripadvisor.com. As to very long term stay in pre-determined lodging, the reservations manager is best bet; give a little time to work out best deal and get back to you. Studio will drive you bananas, if Dayton itself does not.

I have a fairly long and detailed post around here somewhere where I've given my experience on this topic. But here it is again in a nutshell:

Are you staying on your dime or company's dime? It can make a difference.

I stayed at a Candlewood Suites in Colorado Springs for 90-100 days a few years ago. I want to say we got the price down to around $1000 a month. It started higher than that and they dropped the price each time we called when we were comparing places. That got me a one bedroom suite with a living area and a good sized kitchen. I had a stove-top and a microwave, but no oven. An oven would have been nice (Papa Murphy's......) but beggars can't be choosers. They took really good care of me. I'm usually very loyal to Marriott, but the Towneplace or Residence Inn
(don't remember which) was considerably more expensive.

Long stay hotels have one major advantage over short lease apartments: housekeeping! At Candlewood, housekeeping came every four or five days to take towels, run or empty the dishwasher, etc. That's a nice perk when you're working long hours.

If you go with a long stay hotel, make sure you join their rewards program. You might as well get the rewards points out of the deal. Be aware that they might be based on the rate you negotiate, but something is still better than nothing.

Also check out airbnb, you can likely find a place to stay and work out a better rate. Probably no house keeping but you will likely stay someplace that is residential and not having people coming and going all the time like a hotel/inn/motel.

I recently stayed in Orlando for business for 3 out of every 5 weeks. My employer had negotiated a rate with the Staybridge Suites that was a dump for $74/night. I decided to do some negotiating of my own. I went around to about 15 different hotels and explained to the manager my situation. All but one was more than willing to bend over backwards to accommodate me. I ended up going with a Residence Inn
by Marriott. It was fantastic. I cannot say a negative thing about it. While it was not home, it was the closest thing to it after a long day of work.

Unfortunately, Marriott's rewards program is not as rewarding for those that choose to stay at the Towneplace Suites or the Residence Inn
's. I stayed several nights at a Springhill Suites prior to staying at the Residence Inn
and that was also very nice but did not offer the separate bedroom that the Residence Inn
did which made the noise level of the heat/AC unit a little annoying when it would come on in the middle of the night.

I paid all my expenses with my Chase Sapphire Preferred card which gets me 2 points per dollar.

how are you reimbursed for your per diem?

if they give you a flat rate, you will make some coin by staying at either staybridge or homewood suites. both feed you fairly well at either place

if you get a per diem, you will make some money on the deal

wads

Here is what I would do -

1. Find a Marriott property where you would like to stay, negotiate with the manager there (don't expect anything quickly since the decision makers maybe on vacation)
2. Buy Marriott gift cards using code AMT by Dec 31 to get a 10% bonus
3. Route this purchase through topcashback.com which gives 5% back on Marriott gift cards (requires follow up)
4. Use Chase Freedom and Discover credit cards for this purchase (both offering 5% back upto $1500 till Dec 31, Chase for hotels and Discover for online purchases)

I agree with the post by bozo007. If you plan on staying with Marriott, I highly recommend using the AMT code before the year ends. I've been doing this for my stays while earning CashBack. I would buy multiple in $1K individual transactions so the shipping is only $1. With this method, you should be able to come out with an extra $150 per $1K spent Your best bet is to contact the hotel manager. I only requested this once before for one of the Courtyard
properties and was able to get a $189/night (not counting tax) down to $109 tax free for monthly stays.

Bozo007 beat me to it. Combine these options to get a good deal but don't miss out on the 10% Amtrak bonus that expires Monday. eBates is another CashBack site with Marriott as an option. I've seen them vary from 2.5 to 5% Cash Back.

If you decide to do this, first call the property and ask if they accept Marriott gift cards. Most likely they do. This became a problem for me recently when I tried paying with the gift cards at an Autograph property. They had not yet been set up to accept gift cards. We finally worked something out but you don't want any unpleasant surprise.

As ststutr said, join Marriott Rewards. You should qualify for Platinum level by the time you are done with your stay. This won't help you much during your current stay but you might get the elite bonus points. Your future stays at Marriott during your Platinum time will be nicer - executive lounge access, room upgrades, welcome gift, etc.

I have not had an extended stay for quite some time but the property where I stayed required payment every 30 days. That may not be an issue, just something else to ask about.

Any chance you can visit the hotels in the area for a personal inspection before agreeing to a long term stay?

Good luck!

Whatever chain you stay with, enroll in a status challenge. With Marriott, they grant you status immediately without having even a single stay with them yet. Gets you elite bonus points and a few extras

bippie said:   As ststutr said, join Marriott Rewards. You should qualify for Platinum level by the time you are done with your stay. This won't help you much during your current stay but you might get the elite bonus points. Your future stays at Marriott during your Platinum time will be nicer - executive lounge access, room upgrades, welcome gift, etc.


With most properties, if you reserve the room for that many days in advance, they'll go ahead and give you status. Just let them know what you're up to.

Check if furnished apartments are available in the area. I was told they can do as short as 1 month (when the same apt complex wouldn't do less than a 6 month for non-furnished ones), include furniture bedding/sheets, TV/cable, pots/pans/plates etc. housekeeping. And they can be cheaper than long term hotel stays (for equivalent place size).

Wads said:   how are you reimbursed for your per diem?

if they give you a flat rate, you will make some coin by staying at either staybridge or homewood suites. both feed you fairly well at either place

if you get a per diem, you will make some money on the deal

wads
Very bad idea. Most employers won't take kindly after finding out the employee has been taking advantage of their per diem to pocket the cash. I know a few people that have been fired for doing this over the years.

Sonofspam said:   Wads said:   how are you reimbursed for your per diem?

if they give you a flat rate, you will make some coin by staying at either staybridge or homewood suites. both feed you fairly well at either place

if you get a per diem, you will make some money on the deal

wads
Very bad idea. Most employers won't take kindly after finding out the employee has been taking advantage of their per diem to pocket the cash. I know a few people that have been fired for doing this over the years.


I guess this depends on the employer. A major reason for employers to choose the per diem option is the paperwork is so much easier. Tax authorities don't ask for detailed receipts and employees don't have to keep/file all of those receipts. As long as the employee qualifies for per diem and the amount provided is within the per diem limits set by the tax authorizes, no further documentation is needed. I've had employers who explained that you can keep the difference if you don't spend all of the per diem. Since they get to deduct the per diem amount as a business expense, I don't know why they would care how the employee spends it or if they even spend it all.

While I have never encountered that situation, Sonofspam appears to know people who were fired for not spending all of their per diem. Not quite sure how employers found out since per diem employees typically do not submit receipts, but I suspect this is a minority of employers. Still, you should ensure you are not jeopardizing your job if you take this route.

One other thought. Are you the only person on the assignment? If there are others and they will also be looking for a long term hotel stay, try negotiating as a group. You can do this together or even have a corporate travel person do this for the group (if that is an option). You may have even more leverage for a discount if you're negotiating for more than one room.

I appreciate all the replies. I get paid for the hotel receipt (3* or 4*) and have 75$ limit for food and I submit all receipts. Travel agency of my company gave $89 per night but I was able to negotiate to $74 per night.So I was able to save around $1500.

Using giftcard+CashBack option, I'll be personally making around $1000 in gift cards. Since I get paid per receipt, I don't feel uncomfortable.


bippie said:   Sonofspam said:   Wads said:   how are you reimbursed for your per diem?

if they give you a flat rate, you will make some coin by staying at either staybridge or homewood suites. both feed you fairly well at either place

if you get a per diem, you will make some money on the deal

wads
Very bad idea. Most employers won't take kindly after finding out the employee has been taking advantage of their per diem to pocket the cash. I know a few people that have been fired for doing this over the years.


I guess this depends on the employer. A major reason for employers to choose the per diem option is the paperwork is so much easier. Tax authorities don't ask for detailed receipts and employees don't have to keep/file all of those receipts. As long as the employee qualifies for per diem and the amount provided is within the per diem limits set by the tax authorizes, no further documentation is needed. I've had employers who explained that you can keep the difference if you don't spend all of the per diem. Since they get to deduct the per diem amount as a business expense, I don't know why they would care how the employee spends it or if they even spend it all.

While I have never encountered that situation, Sonofspam appears to know people who were fired for not spending all of their per diem. Not quite sure how employers found out since per diem employees typically do not submit receipts, but I suspect this is a minority of employers. Still, you should ensure you are not jeopardizing your job if you take this route.

kiteguru said:   I appreciate all the replies. I get paid for the hotel receipt (3* or 4*) and have 75$ limit for food and I submit all receipts. Travel agency of my company gave $89 per night but I was able to negotiate to $74 per night.So I was able to save around $1500.

Using giftcard+CashBack option, I'll be personally making around $1000 in gift cards. Since I get paid per receipt, I don't feel uncomfortable.


Now, on to signing up for restaurant frequent diner clubs. Since you have to submit receipts this is another earnings venue for you. You may get tired of eating in restaurants so make sure you look at pizza delivery/takeout programs.

Check out which restaurants are nearby and enroll. You can also use a Cash Back credit card to increase your return. Hint: some programs give you an enrollment and/or birthday bonus good for a limited time. Plan accordingly.

Sonofspam said:   Wads said:   how are you reimbursed for your per diem?

if they give you a flat rate, you will make some coin by staying at either staybridge or homewood suites. both feed you fairly well at either place

if you get a per diem, you will make some money on the deal

wads
Very bad idea. Most employers won't take kindly after finding out the employee has been taking advantage of their per diem to pocket the cash. I know a few people that have been fired for doing this over the years.


That really surprises me
Every time I have had a per diem deal the employer has encouraged me to find the best deal
and has always explained they are offering a "middle of the rad" rate
If I want an expensive hotel I can pay the difference and if I want to stay in a dump I can keep the difference
Me, I would live with a small hotel if I got cash out of it
And, yes, I have spent a month in the same hotel room before
I loved it and wish my employer would find me another traveling gig

JonnyRock said:   Sonofspam said:   Wads said:   how are you reimbursed for your per diem?

if they give you a flat rate, you will make some coin by staying at either staybridge or homewood suites. both feed you fairly well at either place

if you get a per diem, you will make some money on the deal

wads
Very bad idea. Most employers won't take kindly after finding out the employee has been taking advantage of their per diem to pocket the cash. I know a few people that have been fired for doing this over the years.


That really surprises me
Every time I have had a per diem deal the employer has encouraged me to find the best deal
and has always explained they are offering a "middle of the rad" rate
If I want an expensive hotel I can pay the difference and if I want to stay in a dump I can keep the difference
Me, I would live with a small hotel if I got cash out of it
And, yes, I have spent a month in the same hotel room before
I loved it and wish my employer would find me another traveling gig


I believe people were let go for violating the company travel policy. It is probably stating that you have to return the unused balance.

one thing that worked for me in the past was to have an alternative place to stay with pricing. I called the hotel manager of the place where I wanted to stay and asked if they would make me a deal on a "lock out" rate for 90 days. I told them I have a place to stay that was in x location and costing $y but my preference was to stay at their hotel. Then I asked them to please work a deal for me that was the same or better. The hotel manager worked a great deal for me. I wrote a letter to the HQ about the great job the hotel manager had done for me. Hotel employees love to be recognized for doing a great job. The hotel staff took great care of me cause it was common knowledge I had written that letter--i'm guessing the hotel manager had mentioned it.

Good luck!

I like using Priceline bidding for almost all of my hotel stays and have saved thousands of dollars over the years doing it. The length of stay may pose a problem and you could end up in several different properties also you lack the ability to choose amenities you are looking for and may make this idea less than ideal.

I would consider checking Hotwire though where you can choose amenities and using a site like biddingfortravel.com and betterbidding.com you may be able better identify what properties are available on Hotwire in your area. While those rates include taxes and fees if nothing else for comparison purposes or as a negotiating tool with your desired property.

Hotwiregives you amenities and a quality level and betterbidding.com is your best Hotwire resource as it shows the properties based on amenities and previously purchased deals.

Its worth looking at as it may give you a negotiating tool even if you don't end up using it. Both forums have great FAQ's and you can ask for assistance if you have a question. I like to support them but I also like CashBack. The sites want to drive you to purchase using their link but remember both Priceline and Hotwire have CashBack here on Fatwallet

Interestingly Hotwire has a feature I was unaware of until I just looked for a room for a 90 day window now called hotel planner for stays longer than 30 days that you give them the criteria of what you looking for and submit it and they look at inventory and get back to you with an offer. Not completely sure how this works but at the very least try to put your dates and city in for Hotwire and follow the link to the hotelplanner website.

Hope thats helpful. Would be interested to hear back on what you find so please keep this thread going.

kiteguru said:   JonnyRock said:   Sonofspam said:   Wads said:   how are you reimbursed for your per diem?

if they give you a flat rate, you will make some coin by staying at either staybridge or homewood suites. both feed you fairly well at either place

if you get a per diem, you will make some money on the deal

wads
Very bad idea. Most employers won't take kindly after finding out the employee has been taking advantage of their per diem to pocket the cash. I know a few people that have been fired for doing this over the years.


That really surprises me
Every time I have had a per diem deal the employer has encouraged me to find the best deal
and has always explained they are offering a "middle of the rad" rate
If I want an expensive hotel I can pay the difference and if I want to stay in a dump I can keep the difference
Me, I would live with a small hotel if I got cash out of it
And, yes, I have spent a month in the same hotel room before
I loved it and wish my employer would find me another traveling gig


I believe people were let go for violating the company travel policy. It is probably stating that you have to return the unused balance.


That's not what I would call a per diem, then. That's a travel advance. Per diem is a flat rate and it's up to the employee to spend it as they wish.

When I started a consulting job once, someone told me that "per diem" is Latin for "They don't need your receipts".

crhptic said:   kiteguru said:   I believe people were let go for violating the company travel policy. It is probably stating that you have to return the unused balance.

That's not what I would call a per diem, then. That's a travel advance. Per diem is a flat rate and it's up to the employee to spend it as they wish.

When I started a consulting job once, someone told me that "per diem" is Latin for "They don't need your receipts".

I hope you know what it really means..... right?

charliebeagledog said:   I like using Priceline bidding for almost all of my hotel stays and have saved thousands of dollars over the years doing it. The length of stay may pose a problem and you could end up in several different properties also you lack the ability to choose amenities you are looking for and may make this idea less than ideal.

I would consider checking Hotwire though where you can choose amenities and using a site like biddingfortravel.com and betterbidding.com you may be able better identify what properties are available on Hotwire in your area. While those rates include taxes and fees if nothing else for comparison purposes or as a negotiating tool with your desired property.

Hotwiregives you amenities and a quality level and betterbidding.com is your best Hotwire resource as it shows the properties based on amenities and previously purchased deals.

Its worth looking at as it may give you a negotiating tool even if you don't end up using it. Both forums have great FAQ's and you can ask for assistance if you have a question. I like to support them but I also like CashBack. The sites want to drive you to purchase using their link but remember both Priceline and Hotwire have CashBack here on Fatwallet

Interestingly Hotwire has a feature I was unaware of until I just looked for a room for a 90 day window now called hotel planner for stays longer than 30 days that you give them the criteria of what you looking for and submit it and they look at inventory and get back to you with an offer. Not completely sure how this works but at the very least try to put your dates and city in for Hotwire and follow the link to the hotelplanner website.

Hope thats helpful. Would be interested to hear back on what you find so please keep this thread going.


I used Priceline extensively when I had to live in Texas for 3 months, 2 years ago. The hotel I lived in was Homestead
suites (2*) and I paid like $600 per month. Then, entertainment book 2010 had a bonus cash coupon for Priceline where you could save $10 per day up to $100. You wouldn't need to buy the entertainment book (~$35) to use that coupon. A membership card was sufficient. I bought a few membership cards off eBay and craigslist for like 2 bucks each. So, using the strategies in the bidding sites charlie mentioned, I would bid $15 (effectively $25 with $10 bonus cash) and ended up reserving a room in this hotel for 10 nights. It would come out to a little under $200 for 10 nights. Priceline also allows you to extend your stay at the same rate and for the same duration. Luckily for me, there weren't other 2* hotels willing to accept that price and I would always get the same hotel. I'm not sure if that coupon exists now and if the offer is still the same but it worked out well for me at the time.



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