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Recession Hotel pricing - tourist bargains

There's an arch little article in the Times today on "bargains" at NY hotels and fancy eateries. There's even this delicious sentence:
"Newer restaurants that would have remained packed for months are now easier to get into... 'I think that one reason we’re seeing this is because when money is tighter, people are less willing to take a risk — to waste money on a high beta meal' "

A "beta meal" is like a theatre preview - 'Prime reservations were open at several hot spots in recent weeks, including Matsugen, a newly opened restaurant from Jean-Georges Vongerichten'. You still can't get into the Waverly, but if you're feeling 'beta', things are looking up for fancy meals at a knock-down.

So - if you're planning a New York visit, and a bit of wedding splurge, try the sites mentioned in the Times article, and do some judicious shopping:

"Right now, two Kimpton hotels, 70 Park Avenue and the Muse, are offering 20 percent off the best available rate Fridays and Saturdays. 'Even over periods that are extremely tight, there seems to be more availability than in the past,' said Ray Vastola, president of, pointing out some very good deals should be available for the first two weeks of December, when the city is typically packed with out-of-town visitors"...The Loews Regency, on Park Avenue, is promoting a “Harvest of Benefits” package through Dec. 30 with a $50 credit for a two-night stay, $75 for three nights and $100 for four or is offering as much as 20 percent off many New York hotels, including Le Parker Meridien, the Sheraton Manhattan at Times Square and the Westin New York.

and for a little pampering -- "Spa Week, which has become a bi-annual event, with spas offering signature treatments for $50, begins tomorrow and runs through Oct. 19 (,the popular Bliss spas are offering 10 percent off a facial, massage or body treatment if you book it for a Monday through Thursday".

Shop around. Be a tourist in your own city, as well, and hunt for a few wedding bargains.