Taking 15-day Amtrak trip - Need hotel recommendations

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Jet Peddler, Apr 11, 2019.

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  1. Apr 11, 2019 #1

    Jet Peddler

    Jet Peddler

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    In May, I'll be riding Amtrak for 15 days. I'll be in sleepers all the way but will be spending two nights in each of the following cities (San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans), and will need hotels close to the Amtrak station in each. Want something decent but affordable. Clean, safe, secure and not more than $100 per night, taxes included.

    Any recommendations?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Apr 11, 2019 #2

    SarahZ

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    Chicago in May, near Union Station, for $100 night taxes included?

    You may want to consider HI Hostel. https://www.hihostels.com/hostels/hi-chicago

    (It's a nice hostel. I promise I'm not being snarky. Many AU members have stayed there.)

    Chicago has a hotel tax on top of the normal taxes, so it's pretty tricky to find something under $100 (total) come May. The hotels downtown will be busy jacking their prices for "YAY IT'S FINALLY WARM" tourists.

    If you're willing to use the Blue Line, you may be able to find something near O'Hare for that rate. I've had good luck with the Holiday Inn on Cumberland, and it's only a 5-minute walk to the Blue Line.
     
  3. Apr 11, 2019 #3

    Acela150

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    $100 a night including taxes in a downtown area?? Not gunna happen. Especially in Chicago.
     
  4. Apr 11, 2019 #4

    Ziv

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    Carlton Inn Midway is not city center but it is nice and only $125 a night. It is close to an Orange line stop, about 15 minutes out of city center. Not sure about the area, though.
     
  5. Apr 11, 2019 #5

    AmtrakBlue

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    I have stayed at the HI Hostel in Chicago and it is nice. A couple of blocks from buses that run to/from Union Station.
    HI has a new hostel in New Orleans. Not 100% sure it’s open yet, but was able to book a private room for Nov this year. It is near the trolley line.

    HI hostel has dorm rooms and private rooms. The private rooms may be over $100. The dorm room beds are usually less than $50.

    I’m a single older lady and have felt safe at the HI hostels I’ve stayed at in dorm rooms.
     
  6. Apr 11, 2019 #6

    anumberone

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    $100 not going to work in San Diego or Seattle. You can throw New Orleans in that group also. Hope it's not a game changer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
  7. Apr 11, 2019 #7

    dcwldct

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    I've found some pretty good deals at the Holiday Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown a few times in the past. It's right next to the Clinton Blue Line stop only four blocks south of Union Station. There are currently rates of $80 being advertised for tonight (but that's probably just to try to fill capacity at the last minute). It's outside the loop so a little less pricey they something on the other side of the river.

    Be sure to check a variety of booking sites. Last year I found a room at the Palmer House (a pretty nice, historic hotel in the loop) on Trivago for only $115.
     
  8. Apr 11, 2019 #8

    pennyk

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    The last time I was in Seattle (May 2017), I chose a hotel walking distance from the station. The rate was $400/night. Fortunately, I had enough points to "pay" for the hotel room. I was in New Orleans last July and the hotels were not that pricey, although they were over $100/night (without taxes).
     
  9. Apr 11, 2019 #9

    Bob Dylan

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    The others have given you good advice, especially about the HI Hostels!

    There are so many travel sights now, ( I like Trivago and Kayak)you should be able to find some deals on Hotels located away from Downtown on the Rail or Bus/Trolley Routes.
     
  10. Apr 11, 2019 #10

    GBNorman

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    In the Loop, there is Club Quarters (Adams & Clark) which is a club, but does take non-members "supply and demand". This is a popular spot for companies to send the "lesserlings" while the boss stays down the street at a JW or W.

    The "econo" and "lower tier major" brands all have properties in the River North area, at lesser rates than found in the Loop and Mag Mile.

    I "can't help you" regarding hostels; simply "not my scene".

    Finally, $100? Twenty years ago maybe, but not today.
     
  11. Apr 11, 2019 #11

    Maglev

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    There is an Embassy Suites right near King Street Station in Seattle, and I saw rates starting at $189. If you find a good rate at the airport, there is light rail to near King Street Station.
     
  12. Apr 11, 2019 #12

    jebr

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    It'll be a struggle to find a hotel for under $100, including taxes/fees, in pretty much any of those downtown areas near the train station. If you're lucky, you may be able to get some deals on the opaque booking sites like Priceline and Hotwire, but they're non-refundable and you don't know the exact hotel until you book. As such, I'd make sure to only go for it if they're significantly cheaper than comparable hotels on regular booking sites, and I wouldn't dip down below a 3-star property. I'd also make sure that whatever mechanism they have for showing the average user review shows quality reviews (7/10 would be bare minimum, 8/10 is better.) Also be careful on the boundaries of the "neighborhood", as sometimes they'll be fairly large and have one or two hotels right on the edge of the boundaries that are more difficult to get to.

    Another good option in many of those cities, if you're okay with compromising on travel time, is to book an airport hotel. In Chicago and Seattle for sure (I'm not sure about New Orleans or San Diego) the local rail transit goes to the airport, where you can access many hotels' airport shuttles. You'd likely have a long-ish commute time into the downtown area, but it'll be much easier to find a hotel in the $80-$85 range (which will result in at or below $100 after taxes/fees in most cities.)
     
  13. Apr 12, 2019 #13

    flitcraft

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    The cheaper airport hotels around the airport in Seattle can be pretty sketchy--drug dealing, prostitution, etc--please check out the reviews before you book; at that, you'll be tickling 100 after taxes. Maybe AirBnB would get you under $100? Otherwise, I think hostels are your only real option.
     
  14. Apr 12, 2019 #14

    SarahZ

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    You can still find stuff under $100 in the Loop, but not during tourist season.
     
  15. Apr 12, 2019 #15

    Charles785

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    I'll second the recommendation for the Club Quarters. I've stayed at least twice at Club Quarters Central Loop in Chicago and thought I had excellent rates. And the food at the adjacent Elephant and Castle Pub and Restaurant was very good.

    It's been a few years since I've been in Seattle but each time I stayed at the Inn at Virginia Mason, not too far from King Station (a short cab ride but too far to walk). If the
    hotel is still there I would recommend it for price and cleanliness. The prices at both might be lower than you would expect.
     
  16. Apr 12, 2019 #16

    glensfallsse

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    There's a Sleep Inn at the tail end of the Link light rail in Seattle, one stop past the airport. It's a 10 minute walk from the station, slightly uphill one way or the other, I can't remember which way, so it wouldn't be real convenient. Probably your only chance for a decent rate outside of the hostel.
     
  17. Apr 12, 2019 #17

    bratkinson

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    Panama hotel in Seatle is good, if you are OK with 1920 hotels with toilet and bath/shower down rhe hall.

    In New Orleans, I always Google New Orleans hotels and come up with a bunch axcessible by street car, as the end of one line is at the Amtrak station. I've stayed at the Hyatt and Holiday both only 2 or 3 stops from tbe station

    Special notice to all-
    Ma ny hotel booking sites that seem to be the hotel itself take you to ripoff 'booking' sites that charge $8-15 for the privelege. Expedia and others charge too but it is hidden. Sometimes it is cheaper to call the hotel directly for best price.

    Also, under $100 is mostly long gone, but after taxes, etc, under $125 is my usual target.
     
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  18. Apr 12, 2019 #18

    GBNorman

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    You should be mindful that the Chicago hotel taxes are an additional 20% over any rate quoted.

    If you are thinking $100, best think hostels, about which I know nothing.
     
  19. Apr 12, 2019 #19

    Michigan Mom

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    For Chicago near the Amtrak station, definitely examine Priceline and Hotwire, in that order. I've used both for years. Your best bet will be a Priceline Express deal. Yes it's nonrefundable but if you know you're going to be there, you'll have the accommodations without breaking your travel budget. Book anything that isn't below 2 stars and you will be in a better situation than a hostel. Also, when you book through PL the taxes are included so there are no surprises in the final amount you'll pay. If you're a single traveler this is even more advantageous, as PL/Hotwire classify "double occupancy" as one double bed in many instances. Which is why I don't use them for family trips. Traveling alone, no question about it.
     
  20. Apr 12, 2019 #20

    SarahZ

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    I've used the app "Hotel Tonight" in many major cities, including Chicago and Seattle. You can see your hotel before you book it, and the farther away you live, the better the rate. (They call it a "Geo Rate".) That's how I get the absolute best deals on hotels downtown. That said, I tend to avoid the busy tourism seasons. I went to Seattle in early March, and I do day trips to Chicago May through September.

    Chicago's total hotel tax is 17.4%, which includes the tourism, state, and Cook county taxes. So, you'll want to look for rates around $80 if you want to stay under $100.

    I also second (third?) the Hotwire recommendation. They're a bit more transparent with their hotel searches now, so it's pretty easy to figure out where you'll end up.
     
  21. Apr 12, 2019 #21

    crescent-zephyr

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    I stayed at the Palmer House Hilton for under a $100 night before tax during the summer. Booked directly through Hilton. It's totally possible. But... the Palmer House can also be super $$$ during a special event or when a convention is in town.

    I don't think I've ever stayed overnight in San Diego so I can't help you there.
    Seattle - Homewood Suites is a $5-ish taxi / uber ride from King Street Station. You get a decent free breakfast and it's right across the street from the Starbucks Roastery Room which is a really cool place to visit. (If not for the coffee.. visit for the working solari board!).

    Chicago - Palmer House is an awesome historic hotel right downtown that can have good deals. I've also stayed at the Hampton Inn and Hilton Garden Inn close to Michigan Avenue.

    New Orleans - Lots of hotel options. There's a Drury Inn a few blocks from Union Station on the St. Charles line. Drury's are great with free hot breakfast and essentially a free dinner as well (salad bar, baked potatoes, etc.). Right across from the Drury is a Homewood Suites. Lots of hotels on Canal Street including Crown Plaza, Sheraton, etc. also a Holiday Inn pretty much right next to the train station.

    Pricing for all the big cities will vary wildly. Do you use priceline? If you have google chrome get the "Hotel Canary" app and you can find out what hotel the express deals are. I've used this a few times and gotten some crazy good deals. (I prefer to book direct with Hilton for the points and benefits, but when those prices are too high, Priceline is the way to go).
     
  22. Apr 13, 2019 #22

    Devil's Advocate

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    So far I've seen...

    1. Substitute a Hostel
    2. Opaque Aggregators
    3. Distant Airport Hotels
    4. Points Redemptions
    5. Change Dates/Seasons
    5. Time Travel 20 Years
    6. Call Hotel Directly
    7. Shared Sans En Suite

    Let's go ahead and add these as well...

    8. Corporate Contract Rate
    9. Friends and Family Discount
    10. Sneak in Through Service Area
    11. Adverse Event Guilt Trip
    12. Emotional Drama Scene
    13. Interstate Wire Fraud

    Paying under $100 all-in for a safe, clean, and comfortable hotel in San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, and New Orleans on short notice with an economy redlining on cheap debt is going to be a heck of a score. I can't even find a decent airport hotel near LAX for less than $150 six months in advance.
     
  23. Apr 13, 2019 #23

    Acela150

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    I am dying here at DA's post. Especially at 10 and 13. LOL!!!
     
  24. Apr 13, 2019 #24

    SarahZ

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    This is my favorite.
     
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  25. Apr 13, 2019 #25

    crescent-zephyr

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    I put in random dates in May into priceline and using Express Deals you can get decent rooms for around $100- $130 plus tax and fees. Varies from day to day of course. There were some 2 star hotels (example Travelodge) listed in the $80's plus tax... I personally wouldn't go for them but that may work for some people.

    Looked like about the same for Seattle.
     

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