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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Local hotels increase prices for Fall Fest weekend

Published: October 11, 2012
Section: News

As Fall Fest at Brandeis begins this Thursday with a flurry of activity, it is not only families, students and professors on campus who feel the excitement of this weekend each year. The hotel community in Waltham and surrounding towns is also highly aware of the arrival of relatives to Brandeis each October, marked by a consistent and steep rise in hotel room rates.

“Right now hotels are in their busy seasons,” a front desk manager at Embassy Suites in Waltham said. She went on to say that, “September and October are our busy months, and every time we have a higher occupancy rate the room prices are a little higher. This weekend, room prices start at $140 a night for Brandeis families.”

Embassy Suites in Waltham offers the lowest room prices per night out of the hotels recommended by Brandeis’ Fall Fest website.

For families searching for more reasonable hotel room rates, there are several factors to consider for next year’s Fall Fest hotel reservations. The closer a hotel is to Boston, the likelier it is that its rates will be more expensive. The Boston Marriott in Newton has raised its room rate considerably this weekend, from an average $145 to $249 plus a nightly parking fee. The Boston Marriott in Newton did, however, offer a discounted university rate to those who booked early. Hotels in towns nearby Waltham, such as Natick, Framingham and Brookline offer impressive shopping malls, and a variety of highly rated restaurants at a lower cost.

Waltham does have a large hotel market that offers a wide variety of hotel options to parents visiting students at Brandeis and neighboring universities alike. Smaller, more boutique hotels like Crescent Suites Hotel in Waltham boast comfort and are in the middle of the price range of ‘express’ hotels, including the Holiday Inn Express of Waltham, priding themselves on utility and lower rates. The nightly rates at the Holiday Inn Express begin at a low $99.

Each year, Brandeis displays an online list of local hotels that offer discounted room rates for reservations that are made well in advance. Of the hotels, Crescent Suites Hotel takes into consideration the amount of money that parents and relatives of Brandeis students are already paying for tuition, and tries to offer affordable prices.

“For Brandeis University we would not raise room rates, because we understand that the people making reservations are college students and parents who don’t need to pay more than they already are,” a front desk manager at Crescent Suites Hotel said. “Our owner built this hotel after traveling a lot, so he tries to make Crescent Suites a home away from home for our guests. Although we are only 30 rooms, we try to add that personal touch,” she said.

Some parents plan ahead by several years.

“We take many things into consideration. For instance, the Brandeis graduation room rate is a similar price to the room price for this weekend. We are already booking well in advance for graduation. I spoke with a woman already looking at 2017 graduation room rates. Parents stay with us when students move in, and often make arrangements to stay for every Fall Fest weekend for the coming four years,” she added. The Crescent Suites Hotel offers a Brandeis University Fall Fest rate of $165 per night.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to Framingham and Natick as east of Waltham. They are west of Waltham.