Keeping an Eye on the Bottom Line – Hotel and Travel Expenses
Watching your travel expenses of your staff requires having a policy on spending limits to maintain cost controls. The rule of thumb is to treat the money your staff is spending like its their own to maintain some financial discipline that includes finding the best value for accommodations.
The best value for business traveller is to get rooms for under $200 a night to help keep expenses low. This typically will get you a 3 star hotel like Best Western, Courtyard Marriott or the Holiday Inn. Sometimes you can get a suite hotel for that price also at some Double Tree by Hilton locations. Some of the locations will offer a free continental breakfast and free wifi. Best Western is renown for their free breakfast and the Double Tree by Hilton for their fresh chocolate chip cookies for their guests that you can smell in the lobby.
Hotel Rates in Toronto
To help with your budgeting and policy framework we have put together a snapshot of rates found online at the time of this article to see what you can get for under $200 per night from these 4 chains in Toronto. Here is what we found.
If we were to recommend a hotel in downtown Toronto our favourite is the Courtyard Marriott as it on the Yonge St strip north of College St. and is walking distance to the Eaton Centre and subway system and is reasonably priced at $179/night, but if you are more budget conscious the Holiday Inn has rooms starting at $148 night. The Double Tree Hilton Downtown is a 4 star and costs $201 night. If you are looking for rooms closer to the airport, room nights get a little cheaper and you can get rooms for around $110/night from all the major chains along with a free airport shuttle service.
AirBnb is a Cost Effective Alternative for Hotels
We would be remiss to not look at what is available on AirBnb for comparables in Toronto. For $135 night you can get a downtown 1 bedroom condo with wifi or a private room for $75/night. You can get a two bedroom condo that can accommodate 4 people for $192/night. A search on the site shows 300 properties available for rent. If you really want to save money AirBnb properties offer a good alternative as you can get rooms cheaper than a hotel or perhaps you can use AirBnb as leverage when negotiating corporate rates from the chains. The only concerns with AirBnb properties as some are illegal uses according to city and condo bylaws, the lack of landlord transparency and customer service is online.
Toronto has a train service from the airport to downtown called Union Pearson Express that takes 25 mins and costs $12.35 per trip that can save you on the $50 taxi ride and is quicker than the car. Keeping control of costs requires financial discipline by your staff so the best policy is to established upper spending limits for accommodation and food, but better yet ask them to treat it like their own money.