Hotels are massively variable, as are their prices. The desire to get a good deal, with a clean room and good service however is universal. There are some things to remember when looking for a great hotel deal. There are certainly some things which should not be used in hotels if you want value for money. The main one probably being the telephone, pay to view television is another, as is the mini bar if there is one and room service is almost guaranteed to be more expensive than going out, or ordering take-out in your room. Here are some tips to getting a great hotel deal.
1. Think like the Hotelier
If a hotel thinks you will bring more business to the hotel in future, they are going to make sure you are well looked after. If they think you are plan to return with a group, use them to host an event, or even that you may return on a number of occasions they will make sure you get a good deal.
2. Contact the Hotel Directly
Try to avoid a central reservations office if possible. By booking directly, you deal with staff who are in a better position to negotiate and stand a better chance of getting a great hotel deal. It may not always mean you get the best available rate, but it can increase the chances of receiving an upgrade instead. You are more valuable as a direct customer, because they are getting a greater percentage share of your booking; in most case 100%.
3. Take Advantage of Loyalty Schemes
Offer them a reason to upgrade you. Do they have a loyalty scheme, if so join it. If you are a regular traveller it usually works best if you choose one chain and stick with them, but it is not unknown for an upgrade to be offered on the spot in return for joining a loyalty scheme.
4. An Empty Room is a Perishable Item
Hoteliers only have one night to sell them, after that the chance is gone forever. If you are up for a bit of negotiating it’s a way to getting a great hotel deal. The later it gets the more chance you have of convincing someone that what you are offering is better than the nothing they will get for an empty room.
5. Plan Ahead
As is the case for many things now, there is often a good deal for advance purchasing. Deals are often available if you book 3 or 4 weeks in advance. Check around a bit, compare rates at a number of different hotels in the area, so you know what you are dealing with. This is easy to do on the internet, and doesn’t take much time or effort.
6. Want a Boutique Hotel?
Here the trick is to check out new places which are just starting to get established, or one that was the in thing a couple of years ago. When a hotel is new they will price themselves competitively in order to test run the place and get it off to a good start. Once they have become established and are not quite so in demand as they once were, or they may soon be due a refit. Taking advantage of this knowledge to get a great hotel deal.
7. If You Simply Want Somewhere to Stay
There are other alternatives to hotels, such as serviced apartments. These are often hidden bargains, generally aimed at business travellers. You tend to get cooking and laundry facilities provided, and even access to a gym & pool. Hostels can be another good option. They are clean and functional if often quite spartan. Many of the bigger ones have family rooms, which give people the chance to meet and socialise with other families.
So there you have it, just 7 tips on getting a great hotel deal. I’m sure this isn’t an exhaustive list and that our clever readers have some more great tips for getting great value in hotels, home and abroad. Happy travelling.
Top Photo Credit: Courtyard by Marriott North Ryde