There’s nothing I like more than a sweet deal, especially when it gets me first class travel. So imagine how delighted I was to book a beautiful $400/night hotel room for $80. Yes, $80! Here’s how…
In 2013, Trip Advisor released a fantastic feature that not only lets you compare hotels based on ratings, but also pulls up pricing for the room on a dozen different websites in one handy box. I’m heading to Munich for Oktoberfest (yay!) but of course that means rooms are at a premium—we’re talking about four times more expensive than usual. I was not looking forward to the prospect of staying in a dorm with a twin bed and shared bathroom for $200 per night. So after typing in my dates, I started browsing hotels and one caught my eye.
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Now you may be thinking, “OK, that looks gorgeous but the price is $379 plus taxes.” That’s correct, but check out the box below with the other compared prices. It shows that AMOMA.com has the room listed for $186!!!
I clicked on the site to verify that Amoma was in fact selling the double superior room for $199 (after tax), then went ahead and called Hotels.com which just so happens to have a best rate guarantee. It means that if you find the same room on another site, they will match the price.
The benefit of that is that I’m a member of their Welcome Rewards program, which means that after every 10 rooms booked through them I get a free night. As luck would have it I had a free night worth $120 to redeem, so I called their customer service line and booked a room at the gorgeous Pullman for Amoma’s price of $199. I was also able to redeem my credit, meaning the whole thing cost me about $80! Not too shabby for a beautiful room in a great location—and I won’t have to share a bathroom!
Even if I didn’t have the $120 credit I still would have saved $200- which would be a 50% savings!
To take advantage of this during your next holiday, be sure to do your homework about available promotions before you book a hotel room. Whether it’s calling the hotel directly to see if they can give you a deal (or throw in a perk like free breakfast or an upgraded room) or taking advantage of a promotion like ‘stay three nights get the fourth free,’ there are almost always discounts to be had.
My favourite travel hack is to make use of the best rate guarantees that all major hotel chains offer, and have used this method successfully to stay at the stunning Westin Market Square in San Francisco for about $80 per night less than the advertised price.
- The Hilton chain promises to match any lower advertised rate, plus take $50 off the bill or give a $50 American Express Gift Cheque.
- Starwood Hotels will match the rate and give a 10% discount or 2,000 Starpoints
- Marriott will match the lower rate, plus give a 25% discount.
- My favourite is the InterContinental Hotels Group promotion, which will not only match a lower price—they’ll also give you the first night FREE!
The only caveat is that you have to be extremely careful that you are making a claim for the exact same room, and in the same currency. Keep in mind it can take a while to process the claim, so it’s not a good idea to try on a non-refundable room.