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Frugality

What Would You Do For a Cheap Hotel Room?

hotel deals, cheap hotel room discounts, cheap hotel deals

 


Trying to make any sense out of how hotels price their rooms is a lot like trying to predict gasoline prices. Make a call, get a quote. Call again and ask slightly different questions and you may get a different quote.

My wife was dealing with that exact frustration working the phone trying to find us the best rate for a room while we were out of town last weekend. She asked each hotel the same series of questions, including if they offered a corporate rate for employees of the company I work for. My employer has a relationship with many of the larger hotel chains, so mentioning who I work for usually saves us between 10 and 25 percent on our bill. After calling half a dozen hotels we found one that gave us a great deal, and booked a room.

While we were packing, my wife reminded me that I had better pack my ID badge to provide proof of my employment.

The young woman working the front desk checked us in, and repeated the room rate we were quoted over the phone. Walking away from the desk I noted to myself that I hadn’t been asked to show my ID badge. Thinking back, I couldn’t remember a single instance where I was asked to provide proof that I was deserving of the corporate rate I asked for.

I started thinking, I know that hotels give discounts to people that are members of other organizations or clubs such as AAA. I wondered if I could call a hotel, tell them who I work for, as well as claim to be a member of several other organizations and then pick the best discounted rate.

If they aren’t going to ask for proof anyway, wouldn’t it work?

We all know that room rates aren’t really fixed. The rates are raised and lowered based upon the season, the day of the week and maybe even the color of shirt you’re wearing. We once got a room extremely cheap because we rolled into a hotel after midnight and they figured getting something for the room was better than leaving it empty. I’ve also heard of people just flat our negotiating the price of a hotel room to whittle the price down.

What do you think, would I get away with it? Would it be immoral or just a clever way of getting a discount on a hotel room?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

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Brock

8 Comments

  • I wouldn’t do it. But you can save just as much by going to Priceline. I know that negotiating makes people uncomfortable, but you’re naming a price to a computer, so who cares? 🙂

    We don’t often stay in hotels, but my kids love ones that have a pool when we do. Around here, an indoor pool is the way to go. And those tend to be pricey. So, I hit Priceline and pay La Quinta prices for my Four Seasons or Homewood Suites hotels–sometimes for the flagship Marriott and Hilton line of hotels, even.

  • I’ve actually heard of a lot of people doing this. I never have and it’s probably because I am afraid that the person will call me out on lying.

  • @Jenny – I’m one of those people that is uncomfortable when it comes to negotiating…but I wouldn’t have a problem doing it on Priceline. I’ve used it in the past, but in this case we had a couple of issues with using it – one being that we decided last minute to stay overnight in a hotel, our original plan was to drive home. I wasn’t sure if Priceline would come through for us on such short notice.

  • @James – I hear ya’ James…but as mentioned above (in my response to Jenny), we had a couple of issues using Priceline this time. The other being that while we were checking around, we really had our heart set on a particular hotel with an indoor water park. My wife was calling around because we could have been persuaded to stay somewhere else if the price was right – but we really just wanted to get the best deal possible at a particular hotel.

  • I wouldn’t lie about any affiliation to get a cheaper rate. I often do request a lower rate at the desk, or at least ask if I can get a room upgrade. It seems to work about half the time. No matter the outcome, I always try to have a smile and be pleasant while negotiating.

  • @bryce – I’ll have to try that Bryce…it is amazing how far a smile and a great attitude will get you sometimes. 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

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