Those who hesitated might have lost out on bargain New Year's Eve hotel rooms in New York City and San Francisco, but how much you pay also might depend on where you want to stay.
NewYorkHotels.org reports prices in Big Apple hotels are way up for Dec. 31 compared with regular rates. The survey shows rooms at Hotel 91 on the Lower East Side jump from $125 to $933, and the Cosmopolitan in the Wall Street area increases from $129 to $549. Even the midtown Holiday Inn NYC's rates jump from $179 to $649.
SanFranciscoHotels.net's survey found more than 50 hotels have rooms available on New Year's Eve but partiers should expect to pay about 140& more than regular rates. In Union Square, for example, rooms at the Union Square Plaza Hotel jump from $120 to $400 and Nob Hill Hotel rooms that usually cost $109 are $599.
Surveys conducted Dec. 27 by the two online hotel booking sites are based on prices for the cheapest doubles available on Dec. 31 on Expedia, Priceline and Orbitz and comparing those with regular room rates on Jan. 7.
I decided to check out what rooms for Dec. 31 would cost for last-minute reservations made today (Thursday). My advice: Stay close to airports for the best prices.
In San Francisco, I found availability for a room with two queen-sized beds at the Radisson Hotel San Francisco Airport for $169 plus tax on Expedia and a room with one queen bed at the Crowne Plaza San Francisco International Airport for $139 plus tax on Orbitz.
In New York, it was more difficult to find anything affordable in the city; most rooms cost $400 and up. I found a room with one queen bed for $399 plus tax at the Hilton Manhattan East near Grand Central Station on Expedia. Going farther afield, I found a $259 room at the Marriott LaGuardia Airport and a $269 room at the International JFK Hotel at that airport (prices don't include tax), both on Hotel.com.