Posh Resort Offers $19 Empty Room —With Tent

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2009 6:18 PM CDT
The Rancho Bernardo Inn offers $19-a-night rooms, if guests are willing to give up basic amenities%u2014like light.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A chic San Diego hotel is offering rooms for only $19 a night—without toiletries, towels, sheets, or a bed, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. “It's our way of getting people here that might not normally come," says Rancho Bernardo Inn manager John Gates. Taken over by CitiGroup when it failed to pay debts, the resort is trying to attract attention in a hotel-killing economy.

Each amenity given up by guests earns them a better rate: Forgoing pillows, air-conditioning, and bar shaves off $80. Giving up lights—except for one in the bathroom—brings the bill down to $20. The hotel does give guests a complimentary tent. About two dozen have snapped up the offer since it was unveiled in June. One family "treated it like an upgraded camping trip, only Mom got a massage and Dad went golfing,” says Gates.