Mandy Farmer, President and CEO of Accent Inns gives you a few how to’s for our industry….
The skinny on How to Get the Best Price on a Hotel Room
- Do your research online, using Google searches, Expedia, Booking.com, Tripadvisor…etc. But I recommend that you actually book direct with the hotel themselves by either going to their website or calling their toll free number. Even if you find a deal on Expedia, chances are the hotel will honor that deal and make the reservation directly. Why not just book on Expedia? It’s better to go direct because then you have full control over your reservation, easily making changes and cancellations to it as well as ensuring any requests like “quiet side of the hotel please” get noticed which can easily fall through the cracks when you book through a middle man. Trust me, it’ll save you a lot of headaches!
- Call the hotel directly, haggle if you must, but be warned that haggling does nothing to butter up the reservation agent, so your chance of success is slim. Instead, ask for a free upgrade. It never hurts! And for the handful of you out there actually reading this, email me the next time you want a reservation and I’ll reward you with a free upgrade to a one bedroom suite.
- Watch out for hidden costs from hotels: daily parking charges can add up in a hurry. Other costs to watch out for are wireless or internet charges, local calls (I once heard of a local hotel that charged a guest’s room $1 for the front desk calling him a cab!), and exorbitant prices in hotel restaurants. My advice is to stay at places that don’t nickel and dime, and who have a family restaurant on site. Hey, that kinda of sounds like an Accent Inn?!
- There’s no such thing as Free Breakfast. Again, watch out for those hidden costs – hotels have to recoup the price of your breakfast somewhere!
And for your amusement, here’s a few stories from the trenches of our Frontdesk:
What doesn’t work:
“Do you need any odd jobs done around the hotel in exchange for a room? Any computers need fixing, windows washed?” Uh thanks but, we’ve already got that covered with our superb and highly trained staff.
“I’ll bring you donuts if you give me a good room rate”. Tempting, but they better be damn good donuts.
“I’m a close friend of Terry/Mandy Farmer (the owners and author)”. If we had a dime for every time we’ve heard that, we’d uh… well have lots and lots of dimes. If you are our good friend, email us, I’m happy to give you an awesome rate!
“I’ll even clean the room myself“. Yeah… thanks for the offer, but I think our housekeepers would do a MUCH better job! No offense.
“My last name is Farmer. Can I have a cheaper rate?” A valiant effort, points for creativity, but sorry, no cigar.
What might work:
True story: A lady called saying she was 95 years old and asked if we could do a “double senior” discount as she was staying for 4 nights and was nearly 100 years old. She was so cute and pleasant on the phone we were happy to oblige and gave her another $10 off her price. Moral of the story? Be very nice to the reservation agents.
What have you done to get a good room rate?