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Is this true? Luxury Beach hotel $20 per night

Brisbane
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Is this true? Luxury Beach hotel $20 per night

Hi All,

This may be a silly question but its worth the ask.

We are looking to book a trip to Phuket in Feb2009.

A friend at work has been a number of times and he has told me NOT to pre book accommodation. He said he simply shows up at a resort that he likes and then bargains a rate with them for his stay (usually a week or two) He said travel agents quote him $180 a night and off the street he got a rate of $20 per night?

Has anyone tried this?

Is February considered 'peak' season. I'm wonding if this would only work during off peak as Id hate to be stuck without a nice room in a hotel for my stay!

Thanks!

Kanazawa, Japan
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1. Re: Is this true? Luxury Beach hotel $20 per night

It is a partial truth.

You can indeed walk into some places and get a room for $20/night. BUT, it will not be a luxury resort by any stretch of the imagination.

If you don't mind spending your holiday time wandering around looking for a place to stay, and don't mind if the places you favor are a) more than $20/night and b) possibly sold out so you need to keep looking, then you can certainly find somewhere to stay. Whether or not it is your ideal sort of place really depends on what you are looking for. Walk in rates are often rack rates, too, well above what you might have paid had you reserved ahead either directly or via an agent like www.sawadee.com.

Keep in mind that many places in Phuket are not on the beach, too, and many places that are directly on the beach are not inexpensive.

Kuala Lumpur
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2. Re: Is this true? Luxury Beach hotel $20 per night

February is still High Season. Walk in for $20 a night will probably get you a room in some run down guesthouse.

Phuket
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3. Re: Is this true? Luxury Beach hotel $20 per night

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Here are the faulty assumptions:

Faulty Assumption #1. That the decision maker (resort owner or manager) is behind the desk when you arrive and ask for a bargain. They are not typically there. Many hotel owners own several properties. The man who owns the new Marriott Courtyards in Thailand, for example, owns at least five resorts. And - do you think he spends his time at reception waiting to give you a $20 room? I don't think so.

Faulty Assumption #2. That your negotiation can surpass that of online booking services in terms of price. Most online booking services reserve literally HUNDREDS is not thousands of rooms at each hotel every year. You want to book ONE room. Hmmmm. Do you think you can beat their price? Again, I don't think so.

Faulty Assumption #3. The resort has rooms held back just for you in HIGH season. Nope, ain't gonna happen - they are quite happily booking those rooms at high season rates.

Off peak you might get a deal - but, again, no one on the front desk wants to get fired by letting you have a room so cheaply - do they? And, the owner/manager is too busy to stand behind the desk waiting for your $20 offer.

GREAT idea - but just doesn't work. And, why would you want to start your vacation by humping your luggage around town HOPING you get a favorable rate? You already spent a fortune on plane tickets. Book a room in advance, go and enjoy.

Just my opinion.

Brisbane
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4. Re: Is this true? Luxury Beach hotel $20 per night

Thanks for your replies. I didnt ever consider turning up in another country with $20 to my name hoping for a cheap room. I was just very surprised that my work friend said it was possible as I have done my research and the rooms we like in the resorts and locations we want are $250 per night

Adelaide
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5. Re: Is this true? Luxury Beach hotel $20 per night

G'day Kylie

Ask your friend which "hotels" he stayed in for $20 a night and what months. Then, if he can, kindly tell us all.

Regards

Peter

Brisbane
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90 posts
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6. Re: Is this true? Luxury Beach hotel $20 per night

He said it was the Hilton in Dec last year

Perth, Australia
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7. Re: Is this true? Luxury Beach hotel $20 per night

Hi Kylie,

Feb. is Peak Season and you have to take holidays when you can get time off but as I've said many times in my posts on this forum, if you don't HAVE to go in peak season, DON'T. Unless you're a really keen diver in which case the water is best at this time of year or you only have a very few days in Phuket in which case even a few days of rain will mean your whole holiday is wet.

It's so rare that it rains enough to spoil a week or more, during monsoon season, that it's not even worth worrying about and it can rain in peak season anyway. We take advantage of the sun and relax by the pool, shop in the market at night and save the department stores for wet days. You'll probably get two or three days of rain and mostly in the night or a couple of hours during the day. We've been going to Phuket for over 8 years and always go in low season and it has never been a problem. If you love the heat, go in April (shoulder season) or May. We usually choose October. The cost of accommodation is at least half that of peak season.

If you're fussy about accommodation, book in advance. We absolutely LOVE the Holiday Inn as do a huge number of people on this forum.

Rawai Beach, Phuket
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8. Re: Is this true? Luxury Beach hotel $20 per night

Wow, the Hilton for $20! now that's a deal!

I think high season would be a very risky time to try it.

Now we are in low low season and i just had a friend visiting. He wanted to stay in a nice place and could speak Thai. We went to a 4 star hotel (won't mention names) and he said: I want to see your best room. They showed it to him and it was really nice with a 3 room suite and 2 baths and choice location and all.

Then he said, i want to see you cheapest room. They showed it to him. It wasn't bad.

Then he said, I want your best room at your cheapest room's price!

The girl went to the phone and talked to her boss (i guess) for a while, they came back and negotiated a bit in Thai and he ended up getting the best room for about 500 baht per night more than the cheapest one.

So, it can be done this time of year when it looked like there were only 3 or 4 other rooms occupied (out of perhaps 60?) But when they are full, of course, i doubt you will have much success. Right now, they are just trying to keep afloat and maintaing their staff.

It's all about supply and demand of course.

hamilton
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9. Re: Is this true? Luxury Beach hotel $20 per night

MMm was he breathing petrol fumes. or was he drunk when you got told this one, I dont believe it,

maybe it was the Bngkok Hilton he stayed ,and shared a room with Nicole kidman ,.?

December and January is peak time there with the European market paying top doller beyond our price limits to get away for the northern winter .

ive been many times to Phuket, and was a hotel manager (SPHC,& Hilton ) and i do alot of traveling, i always ask, and I cant say as i can get a better deal than most large wholesalers,unless i know someone in management.

And i think that it is unwise to arrive at a city or destination without a booking,unless your a backpacker. i can not think of a quicker way to ruin a good vacation ,then to spend my time in the heat ,with a suitcase looking for a bed to sleep to save $20 dollars.

maybe they gave him a $20 discount ,??

Bangkok
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for Thailand
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10. Re: Is this true? Luxury Beach hotel $20 per night

Tedkarma has summed it up.

The Hilton for $20 ! the guy is having some game with you !

It is peak season, places are booked, A$20 might if you are lucky get you some small room in a guesthouse that someone will 'give away' because someone just cancelled that morning, otherwise forget it.

This person is playing jokes with you !