Information and Provisions
TRAVELER IDENTIFICATION AT CONTRACT HOTELS
When checking into a contract lodging establishment, please be prepared to show one of the following forms of identification as proof that you are entitled to the State of Texas contract rate:
- a State of Texas or Cooperative Purchasing Participating Entity employee ID card;
- a corporate card issued by the State’s current charge card vendor and embossed with State of Texas or embossed with the state entity’s logo
- a State of Texas or Cooperative Purchasing Participating Entity payroll ID (i.e., check stub); or
- a letter, on state agency or Cooperative Purchasing Participating Entity letterhead and signed by an executive officer of that agency/entity, identifying you as traveling on state business and authorized to use state contract rates.
If you do not have one of the above types of ID, the contract lodging establishment may refuse to give you the State of Texas contract rate.
TIPS ON USING CONTRACT HOTELS
GUARANTEEING THE RESERVATION:
Guarantee your reservation when necessary. Hotels have time deadlines for holding a reservation. Ask the hotel or your travel agency what the deadline for check-in is at the hotel you have selected. If you are arriving after this deadline (usually from 4 to 6 p.m.), make sure it is guaranteed for late arrival. Guaranteeing the reservation means it will be held for you until midnight. You may guarantee the reservation by prepaying the first night's cost, giving a major credit card number, or by whatever other means the hotel requires.
Some hotels are charging a cancellation fee. If you do not use your reservation and do not cancel the reservation within the hotel's cancellation deadline, you will be charged a cancellation fee in accordance with the lodging establishment's policy. Ask the hotel or your travel agency for the cancellation deadline when making the reservation. At some establishments, this is the equivalent of a one night's stay. If you incur a cancellation fee, you are responsible for paying the charge, and this charge will not be refunded. Check with the Comptroller of Public Accounts for reimbursement guidelines, if applicable.
EARLY CHECKOUT FEE
Some hotels are charging an "early checkout" fee. If you check out before the time your reservation is up (i.e., a day or two before your reservation indicates), ask if you will be charged this fee. If so, you may be personally responsible for paying the charge. Check with the Comptroller of Public Accounts for reimbursement guidelines, if applicable.
CHARGING OF CREDIT CARD IN ADVANCE:
Also, some hotels are charging credit cards at the time of reservation instead of waiting until check-in. If you cannot afford to pay the charge before being reimbursed for the trip, you might need to go to a different hotel, since charge card companies consider payment due when the charge is billed.
In addition, some hotels are charging for duplicate or additional copies of receipts. So, if you lose your receipt and request another, you may find your charge card billed for it (usually about $5). According to the Comptroller of Public Accounts, this charge will usually NOT be reimbursed.
- Reservations for hotel stays may be made through the state's contract travel agency when making airline reservations or by calling the hotel directly. Ask for the State of Texas contract rate. If the reservationist does not know about the contract rate, ask the person to check with the Director of Sales (DOS) or the General Manager (GM). If you have a problem getting the contract rate from the DOS or GM, contact your state agency Travel Coordinator and/or the STMP. We will assist you in obtaining the correct rate or the appropriate refund.
- If your stay at a contract lodging facility was uncomfortable or unpleasant due to conditions at the facility, contact your Travel Coordinator and/or the STMP. You may use the Vendor Feedback Incident Form located on the STMP Web page, if you prefer. Also, please let us know if you are particularly pleased with a contract property, so we can pass the information along to other travelers.
- If a hotel listing indicates they have ADA services but they do not have them, please contact the STMP.
- If you have a favorite hotel and it is not on contract, please contact your Travel Coordinator and/or the STMP and we will invite them to contract with us.
FIRE SAFETY AT HOTELS
All lodging facilities in the state are required by state law and our contract to have working smoke detectors in each room. Each hotel or motel is also required to have visual fire alarms for the hearing impaired.
In 2002, there were 135 reported hotel and motel fires in Texas. As a result of these fires, there were ten injuries and two deaths. In 46 of the fires, no detectors were present.
The State Fire Marshal inspects hotels, but there are only 15 inspectors for the entire state. If all state business travelers would check the smoke detector in each hotel room they check into, it would give the Fire Marshal, and all travelers, a real edge in the fire prevention fight. It might also save your life.
If you find a state contract hotel without detectors or with non-working detectors, please contact the State Fire Marshal at (512) 305-7909. The Fire Marshal will let the STMP know if a property does not comply with the fire laws, and the hotel's state contract will be canceled if the violation is not corrected within a specified amount of time.
Contract hotels provided in SSSD's on-line Hotel Directory must be used unless a non-contract hotel provides for a lower total cost or a valid exception exists. Reimbursement for hotel expenses are limited to the contract hotel rates as provided in T.A.C. § 20.303
REMINDER: In some cases, the contract hotel rate may exceed the reimbursable allowable amount. Therefore, you may not be reimbursed for this overage.”
Pursuant to the General Appropriations Act, state employees traveling may be reimbursed the actual cost of lodging, not to exceed federal travel rates set by the U.S. General Services Administration. HOWEVER, a state agency may set a reimbursement rate that is less than the maximum rate specified or have other varying policies.
For more comprehensive information on reimbursement guidelines, check with your state agency travel coordinator, the Textravel website published by the Comptroller of Public Accounts (CPA), or call the Comptroller's Expenditure Assistance Section at (512) 475-0966.
TAXES ON HOTEL RATES
State of Texas employees, except employees of institutions of higher education as defined in TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. Sec. 61.003 (Vernon Supp.1990), are NOT exempt from state, county, and local hotel/motel occupancy taxes when staying at hotels in Texas. An institution of higher education is not exempt from paying county or municipal hotel occupancy taxes. Effective September 1, 1995, executive branch employees must pay the taxes and file for reimbursement of them. (House Bill 2129, 74th Texas Legislature).
On hotel stays outside the State of Texas, all travelers are subject to all taxes imposed by the hotel.
Some hotels charge fees for parking, internet usage, etc. Fees included in the contract are notated in the Amenities Key. Other fees such as Energy Surcharges, Housekeeping, etc. must be included in the contract rate and not listed as a separate line item charge.
NEW CONTRACT HOTELS
We offer hotels the opportunity to sign a contract with us throughout most of the fiscal year. As new hotels are approved, they are added to the list of contract hotels on this Web site.
The listings for contract hotels are listed in alphabetical order by city in Texas, and by state and city in other states.
RATES FOR CONTRACT HOTELS
1) When requesting the rates listed in this directory, ask for the State of Texas contract rate. If you ask for the "government" rate, you will probably get the wrong rate. Please ensure the rate provided during the resevation is the correct rate provided in the Hotel Directory.
2) The rates listed in this directory do not apply to conferences and group meetings. Those rates are negotiated as a part of the conference package. The rates listed in this directory are for transient/individual travel ONLY. If you are attending a conference or are part of a group, do not ask the hotel for a different rate. You are obligated to pay the conference/group rate or stay at a different lodging facility.
3) In some instances, the contract single-room rate is higher than the allowable amount. The STMP accepts these rates because the discount the hotel is offering meets contract requirements. The STMP lists them because: some travelers choose to stay at a nicer property and pay the difference themselves; some travelers choose to share a double room rate at a nicer property; some categories of state travelers are reimbursed the actual cost of their travel. Do not expect these hotels to give you a rate comparable to the allowable amount. They are only obligated to offer the contract rate listed. You may ask these properties if lower rates are available.
4) If you request the State of Texas contract rate from one of these hotels and the hotel does not honor the contract rate listed, ask to speak with the DOS, Sales Manager, or GM. Most of the time, they will know the correct rate. If this does not solve the problem, call the STMP for assistance in getting the correct rate or a refund if you have already stayed there. Call (512) 463-3435 and state that your problem is with a State of Texas contract hotel rate.
CONTRACT HOTELS LISTED INFORMATION:
Hotels were asked to indicate whether their property would be classified as Luxury, Up-scale, Moderate, Economy, or Budget. In some instances, we felt their designation was not entirely appropriate and listed a different classification. To a great extent, these ratings are based on the standard rates charged by properties. In addition to the classification, the number of room and floors are listed.
DESIGNATION OF ROOM ENTRANCE:
For each hotel, the hotel listing indicates whether the entrances to sleeping rooms are either from inside or outside of the facility, or both.
For each hotel, the nearest public, commercial airport, is listed. For properties in locations with more than one commercial airport in the same area, the closest two is listed.
CANCELLATION AND EARLY CHECKOUT POLICIES:
We have noted "cancellation fee charged" or "early checkout fee charged" on entries for properties that have indicated they will charge a fee if the cancellation deadline is not met or the traveler checks out before the date reserved. If you do not cancel a reservation or notify the property of an early checkout by the specified deadline, you will be personally responsible for paying the fee. The cancellation deadline should be printed on the trip itinerary you receive from the travel agency or check with the hotel at the time you book the reservation.
Check with your state agency travel coordinator or the Comptroller of Public Accounts to find out if an incurred cancellation fee is reimbursable.
- Single - rate based on one person occupying the room and/or one bed in the room.
- Double - rate based on two people occupying the room and/or two beds in the room.
- One Bedroom Suite - rate based on one bedroom and/or separate living room or kitchen.
- Two Bedroom Suite - rate based on two separate bedrooms and/or separate living room or kitchen.
- Additional Person - rate based per person for three or more people in one room.
- Additional Charges - additional charges by a property.
- Note: The above definitions are for general reference only. Definitions of rates for room descriptions vary from one property to another. Please check with the property when making a reservation.
METHODS OF PAYMENT:
The STMP indicates in each hotel listing which form of payments each hotel accepts. The form of payment key: MC-Master Card, AX-American Express, VI-Visa, DC-Citicorp Diners Club, CB-Carte Blanche, DS-Discover, ER-Enroute, JCB-Japanese Credit Bureau, Cash, and Check. If the hotel requires a deposit for cash or check, the hotel listing will state "deposit required." Using the corporate travel charge card to pay for state travel hotel stays is preferred, but not mandatory.
The STMP and the Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities have devised new standards for contract hotels for FY 2005. Texas properties are required to be certified by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) as meeting ADA requirements or provide documentation showing they are in compliance without the certificate. Out-of-state properties must certify they are in compliance with ADA guidelines.
ADA requirements vary by type of property, number of sleeping rooms, and date built or remodeled. Some lodging facilities, such as historic buildings, properties with fewer than five sleeping rooms, or properties built or remodeled before the requirements became effective, are exempt from meeting ADA requirements.
Hotels that offer the contract rates for personal travel do so at their own discretion, based on availability. The hotel may choose to offer these rates for personal travel only on certain days of the week or at certain times of the year; it is their option to do so. The contracted lodging facilities are not required to offer the contract rates for personal travel. If you are using a contract property for personal travel, confirm the rate with the hotel at the time you make your reservation and again when you check-in.
SAFETY TIPS FOR HOTEL STAYS
- Verify all unexpected deliveries to the room with the front desk and always look through the peephole to see who is at the door before you open it.
- Don't venture into large parking lots or darkened areas on hotel grounds. If you cannot avoid these areas, the hotel should be able to provide an escort. Ask for one.
- Request a room that is not on the ground floor or accessible from the ground.
- Don't reveal room numbers within earshot of unfamiliar people. If a desk clerk mentions your room number out loud, request another room. Don't needlessly display your room key in public or carelessly leave it on the restaurant table, at the swimming pool, or other places where it can be easily stolen.
- Don't enter a room if the door is ajar. When you check-in, request an escort to accompany you to your room and check it out.
- Always use the deadbolts or auxiliary locks provided on the door of your room.
- Never sit in a room with the door left open. Never leave the door open when you leave the room, even to go for ice.
- Never display large amounts of cash in shops, taxis, hotel lobbies or on the street. Don't call attention to yourself by wearing expensive jewelry.
- Carry a rubber doorstop with you and place it under the door of your room. Or carry a portable electronic safety device to use on the door or in the room itself.
- Avoid dimly lit, out-of-the-way entryways when returning to your hotel or motel late in the evening. Use the main entrance of the facility.
- Ask for a room near the office when checking into a motel.
- Avoid eating dinner alone at the same lodging establishment where you are staying whenever possible.