Finger Lakes, New York Trip Report (Part 1)

This past weekend we spent our time in the Finger Lakes region of New York State after reading the Budget Travel article last year as the Most Beautiful Wine Region in the world! I previously talked about planning for this trip here and here.

First lets start with the hotel. We booked the Staybridge Suites located in Corning, New York. We were very satisfied with the hotel. I had reserved two rooms using the Friends and Family rate. One of our rooms was upgraded to a King Suite, so I gave that to my inlaws. Our room was a standard Queen Suite, which had a kitchen area, sitting area, bedroom, and a large bathroom. The hotel had a fairly large lounge and breakfast area. On Tues-Thurs, the hotel hosts different nightly events which include beer, beverages, and food. We were there on Thursday, which they had a brocolli and cheese soup available. The hotel also features a gym, indoor pool, and courtyard complete with a basketball hoop.

Overall the stay was comfortable and the accommodations met all of our expectations. We swam on our first night with both our children, and besides the pool being slightly cool, we enjoyed it. My oldest son was shivering at the end though yet did not want to get out.

The breakfasts in the morning were GREAT! We had ample choices including a variety of cereals, fresh hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, yogurts, tons of different breads, bagles, and pastries, outmeal and assorted toppings, fresh waffles, fruits, and various hot items including scrambled eggs, sausages, etc. It was a great way to start each day.

Upon arrival, they allowed my son a chance to spin a bonus wheel for each of our reservations since we were Priority Club members. We had won a free item from the snack bar and 750 free points. My son did us good with the maximum free points on the wheel, and we allowed him to choose a snack of his choosing.

The only issue I find peculiar is that we booked with the Friends and Family rate, and had a slight issue when it came time to check out. Here are the terms of the rate:

Reservations require full prepayment for the entire stay at time of booking. Fully non-refundable. Prepayment is charged to credit card between time of booking and day of arrival and is non-refundable. No refunds if cancelled or changed. PC Points do not apply. Must present voucher at check-in.

So when I made the reservation, I fully expected that I was charged for both rooms. I thought I even remembered seeing it on one of my previous statements. However, the hotel had no record of me actually being charged and paid in full for the reservation despite the terms stating I would be pre-paid. I actually had to call Discover while standing in the lobby to verify where I had been charged or not. Discover Card confirmed that an authorization was not placed onto the card until our arrival date (April 28, 2011). Therefore, I allowed the hotel to charge us for both rooms.

I find this interesting only because why would they delay charging my card? Even though the terms state it is non-cancellable, is it really? I assume we would still be charged even if we did not show up, but who knows. I am not about to test it and loose money. All I know is the Friends and Family rate saved us about $75 per room per night. It was a substantial savings and worth the cost to not earn points for the stay. However, I should still receive credit towards my Crack the Case promo and possibly receive points for other various promos I registed for ahead of the trip.