Shared Reading: Hotel Secrets


With the holiday season approaching, many of you might be planning a getaway. Hopefully these tips will get you the best deal at a hotel.

The 1-800 reservations number will probably send you to a central office with set rates. If you call the hotel directly instead, you can negotiate.
When I worked at a hotel during college, we had over 100 promotional prices for different situations but you had to say the current "buzz word" for us to be able to access the price. The point? Explain the reason you are traveling. For business, tell them the company you work for and the reason for your visit. Visiting someone in the hospital, let them know.

Hotels can pay a commission of up to 30 percent to online booking sites. So offer me 20 percent less than the online price, and we both come out ahead.
As I mentioned above, calling the hotel directly can help you save money but this is another reason. Hotels pay commission to those "bargain" sites. Ask to speak with a manager and explain that you found a rate on a site (be specific). Explain that you would prefer to book directly through the hotel and see if they will match or beat the price.

Don’t ask me for an upgrade when other guests are within earshot. Want a more spacious room without paying more? Request a corner room or a handicapped one.
Asking for an upgrade is a tricky subject. You are more likely to get an upgrade if you check in late. If check-in begins at 2pm and you arrive at 2:30, they might be hoping that someone will call and book the more expensive room. At the sun goes down, they might be more willing to impress the current customers in hopes of repeat business.

No matter how confident the reservations agent sounds, if you request a king bed, there’s no guarantee. Call the hotel directly and make the request again a few days before you travel. Then do it again on the day of. If we still don’t have one when you get there and you’re nice about it, we may comp your breakfast or upgrade you to a suite.
This is yet another reason to call the hotel directly and not use a booking agent or 800-number. When I worked at the hotel, reservations made through third parties always seemed to have something wrong. For example, non-smoking requests would go in the comment section of our reservation system, but not the room type. If you book through an agent, wait 24-hours and call the hotel directly. This way the reservation has time to make it into the hotels system, but then you can make sure that it went through the way you wanted.

For these tips and more check out the following articles:


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