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Getting the best hotel rate...

Ocean City
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Getting the best hotel rate...

NOTE: This only works if you booked directly with the hotel. If you use a third party (Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, etc. you can not do this!).

Let's say you have a reservation. Before you check-in, pretend you are a walk-in (meaning, you just walked in off the street and do not have a reservation).

Ask for a room exactly like the one you booked (so the value will be the same). Believe it or not, the rate might be lower! Why? Because some hotel owners (especially the mom and pop types) don't use the concept of supply and demand. They actually set HIGHER rate earlier and then LOWER the rates at the last minute because they have a TON of rooms to get rid of!

So, if you are given a lower rate the your reservation, demand the lower rate. If the clerk won't give it to you ask for the manager or owner. Usually in the smaller hotels, the owner is on the premises or is a cell phone call away. They should be willing to work with you on the rate.

Hanover, Pa
Destination Expert
for Ocean City
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3,196 posts
62 reviews
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1. Re: Getting the best hotel rate...

This is called bush league.

Charles Town,West...
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2. Re: Getting the best hotel rate...

and this really works? have you

tried this?

Twinsburg, Ohio
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155 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Getting the best hotel rate...

I agree with tfunky, definately bush. If you make a contract, honor it.

YORK, PA
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65 posts
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4. Re: Getting the best hotel rate...

Most hotels, etc. have already charged your credit card a 'deposit'. Canceling at the last minute if you don't get the better price would likely result (rightfully so) in a 'full room charge' due to cancellation policies. Perhaps a more appropriate solution, to this reverse bait and switch tactic, would be to ask at check-in if there are any applicable discounts available (AAA, AARP, Cash payment, etc.).

EQfan
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87 posts
4 reviews
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5. Re: Getting the best hotel rate...

Well there is nothing wrong with the original suggestion except the " demanding of the lower rate" part. In most cases a reputable hotel will grant you the lower rate if you point out to them that you were quoted more originally and booked a higher rate.

If you think it's fair to demand the lower rate then you should expect to have to pay a higher rate if the rates actually increased. But I doubt you would agree to that possibility.

It is a valid result of supply and demand to offer a lower rate nearer the check-in date if the hotel finds itself with many vacant rooms. Airlines do the same thing with empty seats, usually by selling them to a third party wholesaler.

Any discounts such as AAA, government or military, etc. and applicable specials should be asked about at the time you make your reservation, not after the fact. If you wait til check-in to ask for specials or applicable discounts, the answer will usually be that there are none, because the hotel already has your deposit and reservation commitment.

Hanover, Pa
Destination Expert
for Ocean City
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3,196 posts
62 reviews
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6. Re: Getting the best hotel rate...

Like ocboy said, you better check cancellation policies or you end up paying twice christinec12. Your decieving the hotel/motel that your a honest guest, what's next a class on five-finger discounts in OC.

Ocean City
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7. Re: Getting the best hotel rate...

There's nothing "bush" about expecting a LOWER rate when booking earlier.

All too often I've booked travel plans MONTHS ahead of time, only to see at check-in time, an actual walk-in receive a lower rate (hear it while standing behind them).

I would not suggest canceling the room if the hotel won't give you a lower rate. The hotel probably will not refund your deposit.

Hotel rates are negotiable. There is no "contract" to honor. The hotels can make up any rate they want. And you can also negotiate for the best rate.

Ocean City
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8. Re: Getting the best hotel rate...

It usually works when the hotel still has a TON of rooms remaining.

If you are dealing with an objective front desk clerk, (and they see that you booked the room WAY AHEAD of time at a higher rate), they'll honor a lower rate.

What's that old saying? The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Ask and you shall receive.

New York
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674 posts
13 reviews
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9. Re: Getting the best hotel rate...

christinec:

In today's world if ANY action saves you a few bucks go for it. Making the effort to ensure you have received the lowest possible rate is not as some would seem to think "bush".

Nor the suggestion this somehow is related to "five finger discounts" or being dishonest.

Some people simply need to hear themselves all the time whether it makes sense or not.

Thanks for your suggestion and for taking the time to share your thoughts.

And good luck getting the lowest rates possible!

Enjoy your Summer.

Twinsburg, Ohio
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155 posts
6 reviews
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10. Re: Getting the best hotel rate...

If you have a reservation, and pretend not to have

one at check-in, how is that not dishonest?

A reservation is just what it means, a reserved

room. You pay the rate at the time of booking to

ensure you have a room. You take the risk that

there will be rooms available at a lower rate when

you make the reservation. When you make the

reservation and pay your deposit, you have made a

contract, like it or not.

I am all for saving money wherever you can, but I

don't believe dishonesty is the way to do it. I will

never compromise my ethics to save a buck. There are

better ways to negotiate the price of a room

before you arrive. Most reservations can be changed

or cancelled 7-10 days before arrival. That is the

time to check your rate, not when standing at check-

in. If you haven't heard there is this thing called

the internet which lets you check hotel rates

anytime. Failure to use this service smacks of

laziness.