Regardless of the type of hotel and its location, there are a multitude of options when it comes to booking a room, and the price you are willing to pay. It takes a bit of research to get the best deal and have the most enjoyable hotel stay, so be certain to give yourself a few hours to dedicate before clicking and paying.
Did you know that most hotels will offer a “price match” guarantee? If there is a lower published rate, they will honor that amount. To be able to get the published rate, many times a hotel will request that the individual bring in a printed copy of the website or the listed deal. As long as the specifics are identical to what is being booked, the hotel will generally honor this.
For a hotel to be able to list their rates on Internet booking sites, they need to do this at a discounted rate plus pay a fee for each booking. Because of this, the smart hotel reservation agent will want to ensure that a guest is booked directly through the hotel. Remember as a traveler, you can use some powers of negotiation when working with a hotel agent on the phone.
Depending on the hotel, there may be various package options that are promoted. These can be quite varied and may be of special interest to the vacation traveler. You should be especially careful when booking a package deal. In many instances there can be significant savings—however, while certain components of the package are set at a discounted rate, other items may have been increased so that the hotel can profit on them.
Another advantage to booking directly with the hotel would be that special requests such as room preferences can be made. Not all hotel rooms are created equal, so there may be certain areas or floors of the hotel that are less desirable. Rooms in the hotel to avoid would be ones near elevators, ice machines, mechanical closets or next to the laundry facilities and housekeeping department. If unfamiliar with the hotel and the specifics, reading online guest reviews can often give an overview of problem areas in a particular hotel.
Once on site at the hotel, it is always wise to check with the front desk or concierge service to learn about hotel amenities, local attractions, special discounts and any other perks that can be had. They will have a wealth of information, usually brochures, and possibly discount passes for you—not to mention availability to VIP areas, insider knowledge of nearby best restaurants and sightseeing, and transportation tips.
The Internet is flooded with websites that are dedicated to special deals on hotel rooms, flights, rental cars and more. A common misconception would be that the booking site is where one can get the cheapest rate. While these sites do offer great promotions, there are some things to remember:
Always look for deeply discounted rates and special promotions on the booking site. Many times, a hotel will list a short-term promotion at a fantastic rate. To take advantage of these specials, there are often stipulations such as a minimum length of stay. If the promotion fits in with your schedule, these can provide great savings.
Flexibility will most times bring you the best bargains whether for flights, hotel rooms and cars. While price shopping, try adjusting your dates to weekdays or Sundays and even moving back your departure a week—this may often mean hundreds in savings! Last minute deals may also be available, and standby flights are great if your schedule—and patience allows.
Comparison shop between different booking sites, then check with the best priced airline at their own website. There are a number of different websites and programs that allow the user to compare multiple travel sites at the same time. One great comparison site, hotels-fairy.com has lots of amazing photos for each hotel, lays out the rates of all the top booking engines in one place, and offers a unique travel blog to help you decide where to go.
Before booking any hotel room, a certain level of research should be done. Check out the Internet booking sites, pore over at least a few guest reviews and speak with a hotel representative directly–the time spent should produce a much better stay with the greatest value.
Tommy Ramirez maintains hotel websites and writes about many Internet subjects. He recommends checking out Website Host Reviews for online comparisons of cheap web hosting, details of services and best values to fit your business and personal sites.