Booking Hotel Rooms
Booking hotel rooms is not as simple as it seems. If you are not particularly looking for cheap hotel rooms and don’t mind spending well over the odds, it’s a simple process. But if you want any kind of bargain, it’s much harder. This Bargain Hotel Finderblog is all about helping you get the best value hotel rooms.
One essential rule when booking hotel rooms is to never accept second best. If you are promised a room with a view of the Seine, make sure you get a room with a view of the Seine and not of a service alley. You should always request an upgrade when you arrive to check-in. Never in a pushy way, but in a friendly way. Hotel reception staff are people just like you and me and, like all of us, they respond better to charm than to threats and aggression. Another important rule when booking hotel rooms is to “make friends” with the staff. By that I don’t mean get over familiar and offer to take them out for drinks, but to make every request in a manner you would use when dealing with a friend. No one appreciates an angry “Hitler” making demands on them and be in no doubt: these people have the power to make your hotel stay “memorable” in so many ways, good and bad. On a slightly different subject, the same goes for restaurants. Having worked in several kitchens, I can assure you that the staff have ways of getting back at you if you are mean to them. You really don’t want to know some of the things I have witnessed being added to food on difficult customers’ plates. But we digress; back to the hotel room booking…
Getting The Best Deal When Booking Hotel Rooms
- There are various ways to book a hotel room. The three best ways are via hotel booking website such as SuperBreak, LateRooms and LastMinute; by searching for individual hotel websites and booking online; and via the telephone or by email or in person. Cheap hotel rooms don’t come easy. You’ve got to work at it if you’re going to see any success.
- Have a pen and paper handy – or use the Notebook on your Mac or PC. You might think you can remember things, but it’s much better to have them written down.
- When booking hotel rooms for the best deal you have to see what all the options are. Shop around. Click on a few promising links (“70% off hotel rooms”, “Half Price Hotels”, “Amazing Hotel Deals”, that kind of thing) to see what the discounts are. Remember that these links can be updated instantly and will probably offer the best available deals at the time of your search.
- Make a list of the various hotels you think might be suitable via the various hotel booking websites, then look up a reviews site such as Trip Advisor and see what the reviews are like. But don’t book anything yet. Your research isn’t over yet. If you’re going to get the best hotel deals, there’s no point leaving the job half done.
- You should now have a shortlist of up to ten available hotels you think might be suitable at prices you can afford. When booking hotel rooms it is important to remember that prices vary wildly not only according to which site you are looking at but also what the supply and demand situation is. When booking hotel rooms, this can change day by day and even hour by hour.
- The next step is to search for each hotel’s individual website. This may well be a page on a larger website in the case of a hotel chain. Prices can be cheaper booking direct with the hotel online. Often but this is not always despite promises that declare “lowest prices guaranteed”. (Take a look at the small print to see how they get out of that one!
- By now your list should be trimmed down to two or three hotels. Find out each hotel’s telephone number and call them direct. Can they offer a better deal than the best online price? Some will, some will not be able to. Don’t spend too long on the telephone unless you are calling via Skype. You can easily lose most of your cheap hotel savings in large telephone charges.
- Before booking, you should check that you are getting exactly what you think you are getting. Does it include breakfast, parking, double bed, sea view, and so on. Do not book anything until you are certain.
- Finally we get to the part were we are actually booking the rooms. Make sure you do this via the cheapest available method, checking for hidden extras such as credit card fees and local taxes. If your chosen website tries this one on, leave them and go to the next cheapest.
Booking Hotel Tip #2: look out for hidden extras!
When you are booking hotels, to get the best price and the best deal (not always the same thing) you have to be methodical. Make a check-list and write things down. It’s very easy to forget whether the Radisson was cheaper than the Marriott on hotels.com or whether the Hilton was less than the Travelodge on laterooms.com. These are important details. It is also imperative that you decide what kind of “best hotel deal” you want. Booking hotel sites can offer you a five star hotel for virtually the same price as a three star. Some people regard this as the best kind of deal, whereas others see getting a three-star for a few pounds or dollars (or even euros) as their booking hotel aim. It’s horses for courses but it is something you have to decide before you start you hotel room research. Cheap hotels or great hotel deals? Remember, when booking hotel rooms it is important to check out every option in advance and then, when you are at the hotel, to be as nice to the staff as you can,without appearing over friendly.