Negotiate Your Own Hotel Deal
Knowing how to approach a hotel clerk when you want to find a room can be the key to really scoring a sweet deal for a trip or last-minute getaway. Like most consumer industries, hotels have their secrets. The more you know, the better chance you have of successfully negotiating a better price and enjoying your stay a little more. Here are some tips for better hotel negotiations and better service during your next stay.
With the abundance of wheeler-dealer travel websites, few people bother to make direct contact with the actual hotel. Big mistake! Forget the toll-free reservation line as reps likely won’t be authorized to reduce the room rates. Speak directly with the hotel’s front desk and don’t be shy in asking for a deal.
Another tip is to contact hotels that are independently owned. They are more likely to give you a deal or a discount than a national chain would. Big, national corporations generally have rates they stick with consistently.
When dealing with the negotiation side, remember that hotels pay up to a 30% commission to booking sites and agencies for recommending their hotels. You can actually ask for up to a 20% discount and still get a price cheaper than online reservations. The hotel is still making money and it’s win-win for everyone.
If you are considering a request to upgrade your room, do yourself a favor and ask the desk clerk discreetly. If you shout out your upgrade request with others close by, everyone will expect an upgrade too.
If you booked a standard room but want more space for no additional costs, ask to take a corner room which by design are larger than other rooms.
Thou Shall Not Steal
When you settle in, it can be tempting to borrow indefinitely whatever is not literally nailed down. You can significantly reduce your hotel bill by leaving the hotel’s belongings in the hotel. No one cares if you help yourself to the lotions and shampoos but think twice before you hock the hairdryer, coffee pot, or bath towels. The hotel will have no problem assessing the additional fees directly on to your credit card. Be assured the replacement cost of these borrowed things will be much higher than you anticipate.
Skip the Concierge
If you are staying in a hotel in a place where you are not familiar during a business trip or vacation, you might be inclined to seek the help of the on-site concierge. Keep in mind that the concierge gets kickbacks for referring you to the most expensive attractions (aka tourist traps) nearby. If you want free advice that is probably spot on, ask the bell hop, desk clerk, or bartender for input. They most likely live in the area and have a good knowledge of what you can do for a reasonable price.