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Getting the rate down

November 17, 2002|Beverly Beyette

CAMPTON PLACE

Location: 340 Stockton St.; (415) 781-5555, fax (415) 955-5536, www.camptonplace.com.

The bottom line: Published rates are $335-$2,000. A clerk recited rates ranging from $335-$460. When asked about discounts, she offered a superior king

including breakfast for two in the hotel's restaurant for $295 a night. But when told about an Internet rate of $195 for a king with shower only, she matched it.

THE FAIRMONT

Location: 950 Mason St.; (415) 772-5000, fax (415) 772-5013, www.fairmont.com.

The bottom line: The Fairmont says it does not have published rates, but I was recently quoted $169-$750. I was offered a limited-view room in the original low-rise building for $239. After I mentioned an Internet rate of $209 and asked about possible discounts, that $239 room was $207.65, or I could have a nicer room with a better view for $224.65. I chose the view room.

FOUR SEASONS

Location: 757 Market St.; (415) 633-3000, fax (415) 633-3001, www.fourseasons.com.

The bottom line: Published rates are $469-$3,900. The best deal I was quoted was $339. When I suggested that it was a little rich for my blood, the clerk quickly countered with a moderate room on a lower floor with limited view at $299, "the lowest rate we're offering at this time."

THE PALACE

Location: 2 New Montgomery St.; (415) 512-1111, fax (415) 543-0671, www.sfpalace.com.

The bottom line: Published rates are $590-$4,400. The clerk volunteered a discounted double for $260. He couldn't match a $199 Internet rate. When asked about an AAA discount, he came up with a room for $199.

THE CLIFT

Location: 495 Geary St.; (415) 775-4700, fax (415) 441-4621, www.ianschragerhotels.com.

The bottom line: Published rates are $325-$2,025.

A clerk quoted $220 for a standard king, although on the hotel's Web site the same room was offered for $195 through Dec. 31.

-- Beverly Beyette

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