Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

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Looking4Answers
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Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by Looking4Answers » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:19 pm

Came across this article which shows the majority of booking sites are all owned by two companies and how hotels are penalized if they offer bargains outside these arrangements. Thoughts on getting hotel deals?

https://www.checkbook.org/washington-ar ... rgain-7010

ResearchMed
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:31 pm

Looking4Answers wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:19 pm
Came across this article which shows the majority of booking sites are all owned by two companies and how hotels are penalized if they offer bargains outside these arrangements. Thoughts on getting hotel deals?

https://www.checkbook.org/washington-ar ... rgain-7010
About a year or two ago, it rather suddenly became very obvious that the "discount online booking sites" were offering the same prices.
At first, they might have started differing by only a few dollars per night, and then it became just $1 per night between the "highest" and the "lowest".
Next, the hotel's own website was the same, or more likely, it was the "discount" prices that started matching the hotels', or maybe some of each. (At the hotels we were looking at, higher end, it was more often the discount prices that were up, not the hotel sites that were down.)

Prior to this, we were indeed able to take advantage of several hotel chains "guarantees" such as "If you find a lower price on a published website, we'll match it and give you 10% back".
We got that honored on a few Fairmont hotels 2 years ago. No more.

Either the policies have changed or the software has gotten better so that everything is matching, etc.

We can get perks from a Travel Agent, but the base price usually remains the same no matter where we look nowadays.

ETA: So we book directly with the hotel, who has the possibility of changing things upon request, which usually the discount websites can't do. No need to use the third parties, who offer nothing extra.

RM
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bob60014
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by bob60014 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:01 pm

I haven't used those sites in years and always go direct with the airline, hotel or car rental companies. For giggles I will occasionally compare prices and by going direct and I've been ahead 99 % of the time. The real benefit, any issues that may come up I can get easily resolved almost immediately.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:21 pm

I use the booking sites because they allow me to rapidly compare most of the hotels in a particular area. Given that is apparently costs about the same, I like the convenience. There are also (admittedly not completely reliable) reviews.

I might be getting a "better deal" sometimes by more easily finding the hotels with temporarily better prices.

And I have been able to cancel or change online.

RudyS
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by RudyS » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:02 pm

I use TripAdvisor to check reviews. They do offer to do booking, but I have never found their prices to be better than the hotel web sites. And booking directly does, as said above, have advantages too. The AAA tour books have maps for larger cities (and some not so large) where you can learn exact location of possibilities.

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Alexa9
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:10 pm

I mostly use airbnb/vrbo now. Much nicer, quieter, cleaner, larger, less expensive with real reviews.

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onthecusp
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by onthecusp » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:28 pm

I only use the aggregated booking sites for areas without my two favorite chains.

runner3081
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by runner3081 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:36 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:10 pm
I mostly use airbnb/vrbo now. Much nicer, quieter, cleaner, larger, less expensive with real reviews.
Same here, outside of work travel, it is all AirBNB.

HIinvestor
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by HIinvestor » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:39 pm

We are mostly using hotels when on business and get the group/convention/AAA/Fed govt or whatever rate we qualify for.

We may have to start exploring AirBnB and VRBO sooner than we hoped.

TravelGeek
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:48 pm

Wait, so those endless and countless Trivago advertising campaigns are just a trick? :oops:

I always book direct. I want my hotel loyalty program points and benefits, which are not available for 3rd party bookings. And my employer has a leisure discount rate with three major chains that tends to be a bit cheaper than the generally cheapest “members only” rate with flexible cancellation policy.

HIinvestor
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by HIinvestor » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:51 pm

Yeah, I mostly book direct as that tends to have best cancellation policies. No wonder the prices all seem so similar!

GuyInFL
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by GuyInFL » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:58 pm

I still find hotwire to be cheaper. After I get my 'deal', i check the hotel web site and am always pleased with the price. Dont go for a hotel with less than 4 stars until you have a few stays under your belt.

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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by grabiner » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:29 pm

This matches my experience as well. I used to use hotels.com frequently, and often got better deals. But now I have found that it isn't worthwhile; I can check hotels.com for a list of prices, but if the hotel I want is a Comfort Inn or Courtyard, then going to choicehotels.com or marriott.com usually gets the same price (or a lower price if there is a lower AAA rate). I haven't actually booked a hotel on hotels.com in years.

I booked one hotel on HotelTravel.com, which is not on Checkbook's list; while the hotel I booked is in the US, the booking site is in Spain. This was an attempt to book a hotel for a convention when the convention rate was not available. A week later, the convention rate appeared again, and it was lower than the already-booked rate, so I cancelled the HotelTravel.com rate and rebooked through the convention.
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FIBoston
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by FIBoston » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:28 am

I always used to book directly with the hotel. However, hotels.com and Capital One partnered up to offer 10x points to Venture Card holders for any reservation made through their site. Needless to say this was a good enough deal to get me to use hotels.com...

talzara
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by talzara » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:21 am

Looking4Answers wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:19 pm
Came across this article which shows the majority of booking sites are all owned by two companies and how hotels are penalized if they offer bargains outside these arrangements. Thoughts on getting hotel deals?

https://www.checkbook.org/washington-ar ... rgain-7010
Always book directly with the hotel.

The Booking/Expedia duopoly charges commissions of about 15% to 25%. Hotel chains are willing to split the commission with you if you book directly.

Occasionally, they will offer lower prices, which are only available if you sign in to their website. This satisfies the Most Favored Nation clause because they are not offering lower rates to the general public.

Most of the time, they will give you points that are worth about 10% of the price you paid for the room. Sometimes the points go much higher. If they're paying 25% in real money to the booking sites, it's much cheaper to give you points that can only be spent at the hotel chain.

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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by dbr » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:28 am

We always book with the location as near as possible, usually the B&B variety. Strangely enough our best finds recently have come from identifying offerings labelled on Google Maps of the area we want to be in. That gives you a head start on being in the location you want.

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El Greco
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by El Greco » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:33 am

I always book hotels direct and get better prices–and rooms–than the sites are usually offering. Sometimes I call, and have frequently obtained an even better deal, particularly with a hotel that is not affiliated with a huge chain.

talzara
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by talzara » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:02 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:31 pm
Next, the hotel's own website was the same, or more likely, it was the "discount" prices that started matching the hotels', or maybe some of each. (At the hotels we were looking at, higher end, it was more often the discount prices that were up, not the hotel sites that were down.)
Hotels are not allowed to advertise a lower price. There is a Most Favored Nation clause in the contract with the booking sites.

If you sign in to the hotel's website, you may be able to see lower prices since they are not available to the general public. Some hotels do offer lower prices to members. Some hotels give you a choice between earning points and getting a lower price. However, most hotels only offer points if you book directly.
ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:31 pm
ETA: So we book directly with the hotel, who has the possibility of changing things upon request, which usually the discount websites can't do. No need to use the third parties, who offer nothing extra.
The hotel will treat you better because you're paying them more.

If you book direct and pay the same price as the booking sites, then the hotel gets paid 18% to 33% more. You'll get a room that's far from the elevator and on the quiet side of the hotel. Someone who went through the booking sites will get a room that's right by the elevator, or a room that's facing a busy road.
Last edited by talzara on Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by Shallowpockets » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:04 am

On occasion you may get a better deal by booking direct with the hotel. That is, if the price is already better. It is highly unlikely that a desk clerk who answers your call will have the power to actually give you a better price than the rate he sees pop up on his screen.
Perhaps it will work at a mom and pop hotel. But those of you amassing points and perks are not stopping at any mom and pop places.
My usual haunt for hotels is booking.com. I can ascertain what a fair price is. I don't want to search around on seperate hotel sites trying to get a $50 room when all I have seen thus far is $100. Not likely to happen.
You can't always get a bargain and if you do it may require so much extra work, is it worth it?
All the booking companies have fairly easy to navigate websites. Click and go. Individual hotel sites vary tremendously in their user friendliness.
The title of the OP ends with "no bargains". That is a very fluid interpretation. I think most of us who book a lot of hotels know what a bargain may be. Those who travel infrequently may have unrealistic thoughts on what a bargain is. Perhaps rooted in some long past travel. Not really applicable to current prices.
Yeah, I used to get a candy bar for a nickel. Not now. I live in this world now.

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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by Leesbro63 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:05 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:31 pm
ETA: So we book directly with the hotel, who has the possibility of changing things upon request, which usually the discount websites can't do. No need to use the third parties, who offer nothing extra.

RM
+1. Exactly. I always book direct for the reasons stated.

Looking4Answers
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by Looking4Answers » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:19 am

Shallowpockets wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:04 am

The title of the OP ends with "no bargains".

"no bargains" was an attempt to comment on the overall impression of the article's summary of the change in using booking sites to find a bargain as compared to the past, not to imply no bargains can ever be found anywhere. Doubt I would have made the post if I felt finding a bargain was hopeless. My idea of a bargain is paying less than I would have to pay for a comparable product, either by comparison shopping or timing my purchase, using available discounts either through rewards programs, websites, etc.

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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by dbr » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:21 am

Shallowpockets wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:04 am
On occasion you may get a better deal by booking direct with the hotel. That is, if the price is already better. It is highly unlikely that a desk clerk who answers your call will have the power to actually give you a better price than the rate he sees pop up on his screen.
Perhaps it will work at a mom and pop hotel. But those of you amassing points and perks are not stopping at any mom and pop places.
My usual haunt for hotels is booking.com. I can ascertain what a fair price is. I don't want to search around on seperate hotel sites trying to get a $50 room when all I have seen thus far is $100. Not likely to happen.
You can't always get a bargain and if you do it may require so much extra work, is it worth it?
All the booking companies have fairly easy to navigate websites. Click and go. Individual hotel sites vary tremendously in their user friendliness.
The title of the OP ends with "no bargains". That is a very fluid interpretation. I think most of us who book a lot of hotels know what a bargain may be. Those who travel infrequently may have unrealistic thoughts on what a bargain is. Perhaps rooted in some long past travel. Not really applicable to current prices.
Yeah, I used to get a candy bar for a nickel. Not now. I live in this world now.
There is a lot more to arranging stays on travel than finding the best bargain. That is not why I contact properties directly whenever possible. A primary reason to book directly is to not have a third party between me and the property, hotel, B&B, what have you.

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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by alfaspider » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:27 pm

The prices are usually pretty close, but not always. Google does a pretty good job of aggregating search sites. I recently booked a hotel that was advertised at $400 a night on most travel sites and at the hotel website. However, there were two travel sites that were advertising $275. Not sure why, but it happens, so it's always worth a quick google search to check.

I'd also point out that you can get some real discounts if you don't particularly care which hotel you will be staying at. The Hotwire "mystery hotel" and the Priceline bidding feature will often get you genuine discounts. It's often possible to deduce which hotel it is likely to be. You do have to be careful, however, as the criteria for what constitutes a hotel of a certain class (i.e. a four star hotel), may not really correspond well to how nice the hotel is in real life.

e5116
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by e5116 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:35 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:36 pm
Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:10 pm
I mostly use airbnb/vrbo now. Much nicer, quieter, cleaner, larger, less expensive with real reviews.
Same here, outside of work travel, it is all AirBNB.
Question for your AirBnB aficionados: how have you found the price for short stays compared to nearby hotels? I explore airbnb/vrbo options when staying in a place for a long time, but I'm almost never in a place more than two nights and have found the (standard) cleaning fee to be cost prohibitive unless I'm staying with a large group. So, for the majority of my travel, I stick with hotels or bed and breakfasts still because I'm usually on the move and only stay at a place one or two nights (three at absolute most) with just my wife (and maybe child). I also have a lot of hotel points for business travel, so use that to stay for "free." Wondering if you all are seeing things differently and still use airbnb for short stays.

Incidentally, I agree that hotel booking sites aren't really deals EXCEPT for some of them that still hide the hotel name, like hotwire. In those cases, it absolutely is cheaper, but you don't get to pick your exact hotel and you have to pay all in advance. I usually book directly with the hotel, but I have found in certain countries, using a site like booking.com actually does provide an extra layer of protection/refundability as when I email a hotel directly, they sometimes want payment in full up front but are okay with an online service that keeps my credit card information but still has a refund in full policy (assuming the hotel doesn't have their own online booking system). Obviously, this is not an issue at the major chains, but I'm talking mom and pop type hotels in foreign countries.

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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:39 pm

Air BNB is the preference for me. If I'm staying at a hotel I'll use the deal sites to get a feel for prices and then usually book directly with the hotel because the price difference is negligible.

Freefun
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by Freefun » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:40 pm

I use Airbnb most often for personal travel - almost all international.

- I don't enjoy hotels much, but i've lived in hotels during my career much more than in my own homes so perhaps that explains it.
- I find Airbnb cheaper than hotels
- In many cases I negotiate even better rates on Airbnb that what's listed
- In many cases I negotiate early checkin and/or late checkout. Long haul international may mean early morning arrivals / late departures.
- I much prefer recommendations from local people (airbnb owner) than hotel folks. I'm likely to get good places for authentic food from locals and at much better prices, than following the recommendations of a concierge who's getting kickbacks.

In summary, it's difficult to negotiate much in a hotel, but prices in general are much better in Airbnb's, and everything is negotiable.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

runner3081
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by runner3081 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:33 pm

e5116 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:35 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:36 pm
Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:10 pm
I mostly use airbnb/vrbo now. Much nicer, quieter, cleaner, larger, less expensive with real reviews.
Same here, outside of work travel, it is all AirBNB.
if you all are seeing things differently and still use airbnb for short stays.
No, only 7+ days. Coincidentally, many properties offer a decent discount for a week as well. Sometimes that 7th or 8th night is basically free.

audioaxes
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by audioaxes » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:09 pm

I rarely see hotels direct pricing beat third party sites, unless there's some killer promo code. I tried the whole haggle with the hotel for a better price but the few times I tried that didnt work so now I dont even bother.

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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by kjvmartin » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:49 pm

Worked at a hotel for 3-4 years. Call the hotel. Call back and get a different associate if you're not getting anywhere.

Unless it's a big event in town, they have a big incentive to make money on the room rather than let it sit vacant. They probably pay the housekeeper $3.50 per room (at 2 rooms an hour) and you might use $5 worth of consumables and electricity.

I would, on slow nights, rent $59-109 rooms for as low as $25 after negotiating. We were not supposed to let anyone off the phone or out of the lobby without a room or reservation. Some coworkers wouldn't budge below 10% off the rack rate. All the travel websites will be about 10% below the rack rate, which anyone can get by asking for it. AAA/AARP/Nurse/Military/Law Enforcement/Corporate etc.

In a town with multiple hotels you can also play them against each other. They know the others rates by hearts and will probably match anyone else's rate.

kjvm.

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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by goodyear35 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:17 pm

Looking4Answers wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:19 pm
Came across this article which shows the majority of booking sites are all owned by two companies and how hotels are penalized if they offer bargains outside these arrangements. Thoughts on getting hotel deals?

https://www.checkbook.org/washington-ar ... rgain-7010

As someone who as been involved in the hotel industry for many years, always always book direct. So many reasons as already listed and it’s possible if you book with a third party that you “may be walked”, meaning if they accidentally oversell, the hotel will make the third party you used find you a room at another like hotel. Guests who booked through a third party get walked before guests who booked direct. This may not happen often but it happens more than you would believe.

BHUser27
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by BHUser27 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:23 pm

1) Check best price booking direct from Hotel's website.
2) Call the front desk using the local area-code number (not corporate 800 number) during non-busy hour of the day
3) See if they can offer help getting best booking price.

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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by DesertDiva » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:40 pm

GuyInFL wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:58 pm
I still find hotwire to be cheaper. After I get my 'deal', i check the hotel web site and am always pleased with the price. Dont go for a hotel with less than 4 stars until you have a few stays under your belt.
I used to book through hotwire.com. I've had some fantastic deals over the years, e.g., a nice hotel in mid-town Manhattan for $120/night and a beachside resort in Cabo San Lucas for $99/night. However, after a few (although rare) incidents where I couldn't get a refund or change the reservation, I stopped using them. Their customer service is lousy! I've found that there are times when I would rather know the name of the hotel I'm going to reserve before I book; therefore, now I'm more likely to go directly to the hotel's website or call the chain's reservation line now, e.g., Hilton or Marriott. Bonus: I am able to get points that I can't build up by using hotwire.

Nate79
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by Nate79 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:58 pm

Clark Howard still touts Priceline's Express deals where you don't know the hotel until after booking.

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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:03 pm

I use hotels.com for hotels. I earn 10% back towards future stays + cashback portal rewards on my stays. This allows me to book the cheapest comparable room wherever I go instead of being locked into a brand. You’d be surpised how often a Hilton Garden Inn or Courtyard by Marriott can be priced differently same night, same location, same experience. In fact, if Capital One would approve me, I’d use their portal to earn an equivalent of 22% total back per night stayed.

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Rob5TCP
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by Rob5TCP » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:20 pm

As I mentioned in a similar post; the only bargains I see are express pass at Priceline. Virtually all the sites are owned by those two companies and they charge the same thing. I "love" the ads for Trivago that state they scour the internet and present you with all the different sites prices. That, of course, is a total waste of time (they are always the same +/- a dollar).

I also use AirBnB for longer stays (1-3 days the cleaning charge can eat-up any savings.

daheld
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by daheld » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:30 pm

Always call the hotel's reservation line. I've gotten much better deals by doing this than booking online, usually because they're offering some kind of discount code that I otherwise wouldn't have known about. It's a bit like ordering pizza--just ask if they have any specials. :P

ResearchMed
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:33 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:49 pm
Worked at a hotel for 3-4 years. Call the hotel. Call back and get a different associate if you're not getting anywhere.

Unless it's a big event in town, they have a big incentive to make money on the room rather than let it sit vacant. They probably pay the housekeeper $3.50 per room (at 2 rooms an hour) and you might use $5 worth of consumables and electricity.

I would, on slow nights, rent $59-109 rooms for as low as $25 after negotiating. We were not supposed to let anyone off the phone or out of the lobby without a room or reservation. Some coworkers wouldn't budge below 10% off the rack rate. All the travel websites will be about 10% below the rack rate, which anyone can get by asking for it. AAA/AARP/Nurse/Military/Law Enforcement/Corporate etc.

In a town with multiple hotels you can also play them against each other. They know the others rates by hearts and will probably match anyone else's rate.

kjvm.
"All the travel websites will be about 10% below the rack rate."

This was part of the discussion, that this used to be the case, that one could do better with the online discounters.
We used to get some terrific rates on those discount websites, and they didn't all agree back then, either.

But now, not the same, at least not for the properties we've been using.

They tend to match to the exact dollar what the hotel website states.

On some hotel websites (mostly overseas, but not entirely), there can also be non-refundable rates on the hotel site, and these can be some of the best rates, but only available directly through the hotel ONLINE.
We've had good luck asking these hotels to extend the special low rate for other nights when it wasn't showing online.
We figure, the worst they can do is say "no", and we are back where we started, with some lower nights, and some not to much.
But we had to inquire via email. The regular reservations folks apparently aren't able to do this in some cases.

It can vary a *lot* from hotel to hotel, so it's always worth asking.

RM
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Doctor Rhythm
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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by Doctor Rhythm » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:44 pm

Clark Howard still touts Priceline's Express deals where you don't know the hotel until after booking.
Definitely agree with making a 'blind' purchase (via Hotwire or Priceline) if you aren't determined to stay at a specific property. Usually you can actually determine with high probability what the unnamed hotel will be by looking at the listed neighborhood, star-rating, amenities, and customer review score. The sites have even made guessing easier by listing the % discount - so you can back-calculate the original price and then look up the named properties going for that price. I typically save 25-45% off the list price on the same website. Blind bidding (Priceline only) can yield even lower rates, but there's less certainty about where you'll end up and requires more research.

The main downside is that these are non-refundable purchases, so you need to be certain of your plans before you pull the trigger. Also, watch out for "resort fees" that aren't included in the purchase price but have to be paid on-site.

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Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

Post by Walkure » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:50 am

e5116 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:35 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:36 pm
Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:10 pm
I mostly use airbnb/vrbo now. Much nicer, quieter, cleaner, larger, less expensive with real reviews.
Same here, outside of work travel, it is all AirBNB.
Question for your AirBnB aficionados: how have you found the price for short stays compared to nearby hotels? I explore airbnb/vrbo options when staying in a place for a long time, but I'm almost never in a place more than two nights and have found the (standard) cleaning fee to be cost prohibitive unless I'm staying with a large group. So, for the majority of my travel, I stick with hotels or bed and breakfasts still because I'm usually on the move and only stay at a place one or two nights (three at absolute most) with just my wife (and maybe child). I also have a lot of hotel points for business travel, so use that to stay for "free." Wondering if you all are seeing things differently and still use airbnb for short stays.
Just booked 3 nights in a condo on Hilton Head with Airbnb. Even 1 night with taxes, cleaning and booking fees came out cheaper than a mediocre hotel with a 10 minute walk to the beach. The "resort fees" in destination places that get tacked on to the quoted room rate basically cancel out the one-time fees for Airbnb. Many of these same locations are awash in timeshares and condos whose owners are willing to get any revenue out of their vacant units and list for half the going hotel rate.

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