Have you ever bargained with a hotel?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sunseeker, Apr 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sunseeker
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    sunseeker Silver Member

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    Recently we had an early flight out of IAD and wanted to spend the night, get a Hilton stay, and leave the car. Often the price of just parking at the airport can make a park, sleep, fly a pretty good deal. The cheapest Hampton deal I could find was $159, but I found a website that offered a local Embassy Suites for $109 including a week of parking. I knew I would not get stay credit . When I called Hilton to ask for a match, the CSR acted like I was crazy as that ES was asking over $200. I called the hotel and, although they would not match the price, they gave me a price of $129. I took it as I need some stays. This bargaining was on the day of the stay, so they knew their availability.

    Have you ever done that?
     
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  2. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    It never hurts to ask, just ask to speak with a manager or ask the clerk what options may exist.
    This is especially true if you are planning a stay that exceeds a week or two, you may be able to negotiate a better rate.
    Often times just mentioning another hotel and rate can shave a few bucks off.
    Keep in mind demand is the driving factor so you will have little leverage on New Years eve in Times square, or Spring training in Phoenix.
     
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  3. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I negotiate on rates quite frequently. Roughly half the time I do get something, sometimes free parking, sometimes free breakfast (when it is not already included) sometimes a drop in the price. The status certainly makes that easier, but I would do it anywhere, anytime. Nobody ever has taken offense, although I have been told it was impossible. One thing is certain; you will not get a price reduction if you do not ask for one.
     
  4. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Indeed, the way I see it the worst they can say is no. And if you don't ask then you will definitely not get anything. :)

    But it goes without saying that it's supply and demand. If the going rate for all the comparable hotels is about the same, or if they're pretty much booked, they'll probably not do anything for you. But certainly name-dropping will help, just like if you're shopping at Best Buy... if you tell them that you checked xyz hotel and their rates were $50 less, that might give them an incentive to work with you.
     
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  5. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    If you actually show them a cheaper confirmation that helps too. i carry those with me from time to time. evidence can be compelling!
     
  6. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Tell me about it... if it's comparable product, you're gonna have to work to get me to buy it from you rather than your competitor. :)

    That is of course assuming you don't need to stay at a particular place.
     
  7. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    For long term stays, negotiation almost seems to be expected.
     
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  8. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I wouldn't expect Hilton corp to match or help ease price in any way, you need to speak with the property itself IMO, at least that is what I've always done.
     
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  9. mrsmortis
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    mrsmortis Silver Member

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    I always negotiate if I'm on business but I tend to travel for the same place three or four nights a week for the length of a project (sometimes that's a year or more) so I'm basically organising my own corporate rate. If you can commit to a minimum number of nights you can get a significant discount and alsorts thrown in.
     
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  10. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    I've done it before, especially at properties I'm a repeat customer. All they can say is "no".
     
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  11. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    And especially if you want a suite or specialty room- or as others have noted a long-term stay- works very well.
     
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  12. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Yes, I'd imagine the best way to do this is say, "I have XYZ status level and would really like to remain loyal to your chain. But your competitor across the street is $50 cheaper for a similar product. Is it possible for you to match their price for a repeat customer?"
     
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  13. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    That's almost identical to what I say, but I include the number of times I've stayed a particular property and why it's my preferred property in X city.
     
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  14. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Excellent point- I would sugest that how many times you have stayed in X city, how many meetings you have had in X city, and how often you plan to stay in particular property/X city holds significant weight. Status close to zero actually.
     
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  15. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    To me when negotiating, I don't bring up status as that can sometimes put you into the DYKWIA category. Also, just because you have status, that doesn't mean you have history with X property.
     
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  16. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Exactly- and in some cases this may count "against" you as it could mean extra costs to the property.
     
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  17. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Most properties in which one stays frequently have Front Desk people who recognize the guest. I don't remember any case in which that has not been true, even giant hotels. When you're recognized the process becomes much easier. Polite, gentle, but firm and the deal improves most of the time.
     
  18. stimpy
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    stimpy Silver Member

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    I only do this on walk ups. Normally I book in advance over the net. But as a walk up, you can generally negotiate, especially in Asia I have found. Once I did a walkup at the CP in KL. I ended up with a cheaper rate than the Internet showed, plus a Club upgrade when they saw my Platinum card.
     
  19. WormHole
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    WormHole Silver Member

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    I like to renegotiate my rate after the first night. You'd be surprised how much leverage you can muster when you present the manager with a list of 2 dozen shortcomings you found in the first 24 hours.
     
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  20. Frequent Freak
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    If I'm on the road and don't have a reservation (ie, walking in) I will usually try to bargain. I'll ask, "is that the best you can do?", nicely of course, and let them know I'm shopping around. The mom-and-pop places tend to be the most flexible. Sometimes I'm successful getting a lower rate than the first quote, sometimes I'm not, but if I really am going from door to door it's rare that I don't find an agreeable combination of price and comfort.

    Also, if I'm walking in and it's not a brand with a strong reputation for consistency I'll ask to see a room. I've been refused once, ever, over hundreds of requests.
     
  21. sdcarver
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    sdcarver Silver Member

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    I have multiple times, each time has been for when I was bring a group and asking for multiple rooms though...

    sdcarver
     
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  22. trooper
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    trooper Silver Member

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    My only experience was also with a "group booking"....when I was tasked with arranging accommodation for the ships company during a refit...

    Was interesting to see the reaction when you call hotels asking about rooms for 60 people for several months...

    Both properties referred me quickly to a manager type... one of whom immediately invited me to lunch "to discuss it"...

    Eventually organised a package that included meals onsite.... which the troops hated because they would rather have got the per diem meal allowance - then eaten fast food and pocketed the difference...:rolleyes:
     
  23. druiddation
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    druiddation Gold Member

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    I try to travel to int'l destinations during off peak times. Before the trip I'll email several hotels asking if they have any deals for my dates. Usually end up getting some much better deals that way.
     
  24. goodandclassy
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    goodandclassy Silver Member

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    My favorite is when i find a deal on kayak that is much cheaper than the hotel rate - i always call the hotel directly and ask if they will honor the rate. I tell them I prefer to do business directly with the property and let them save on the intermediaries' fees. it also helps me deal with only one party if there are problems.

    i am yet to get a negative response, and i have even gotten better rates than the lowest advertised. Upgrades have been known to happen too :D

    repeat business is huge, too.

    in mom and pop-type places (think bed and breakfasts or boutique hotels - hello Buenos Aires!), I have also found paying in cash and last-minute special pricing to be Extremely effective.
     
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  25. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I've had travel agents with whom I work and also the elite chain booking line agents call the property and ask when a good special rate (AAA, special package, government, etc.) is available only for some nights of my stay. IIRC, they have always extended the rate I wanted to my entire stay. This assumes that if was not a weekend rate versus some weeknight stays.
     

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