Few things give me more pleasure than receiving a great room at a low rate: luxury stays on a budget. Hotels are expensive. Luxury hotels even more so. The trick is to save on certain aspects of the trip and still travel safely and comfortably…with the occasional indulgence thrown in. Here are six tips I like for luxury or at least an upgraded stay on a budget.
- Use Discount extensions.
Groupon’s been around a long time and is still useful for finding good hotel and vacation travel deals, however, Honey is an extension you can use to receive additional savings. Honey is a Chrome feature that auto-applies discounts at check out to various sites like Groupon, Macy’s, etc. Once you checkout, the tool appears and takes a few seconds to search for more savings. It’s a nice bonus when you receive an additional discount at checkout. At the time of this writing, it’s still a desktop browser but I’d bet, they’re working on a mobile version as I write. Update: Honey is now available on mobile.
- Book a basic room: then be a member, ask to upgrade
If you’re on a trip where you’ll be out most of the time, having a basic room is really all you need for the 9 hours a day in your room – especially since you’ll be sleeping 7-8 of those hours. As long as the room is quiet and the bed comfortable, you’re set.
That said though, always book a basic room and always join the hotel’s frequent user club – even the first time you stay. Then when you check in, request an upgrade. As a club member, they will often upgrade you or potentially give you extra perks. Once at a Westin hotel, I received free wifi, a free restaurant breakfast, and a room upgrade because I was their ‘special’ club winner that day. Well, who knows if I really was, but why would I argue the point?
Recently, travel articles have been touting the advantages of requesting a corner room. That’s an excellent idea since it may have more light, more windows, and a better view. It may also be quieter because you’re sharing a wall with just one other room.
Another upgrade tactic that’s worked for me – ask at check-in if the hotel is at 100% occupancy that night. If they say ‘no’, then ask for a room upgrade. The chance of receiving an upgrade after asking that question is often successful.
- Stay in a lower star hotel, but pay a little extra to upgrade to the club floor
This tactic can be less expensive than booking a higher end hotel and you may still get the extras. Again, joining their members’ club is necessary but that’s usually free…join before you travel.
- For last minute trips, use last-minute booking sites.
Sites like Roomer.com can offer good pricing for last minute hotel bookings. They sell off canceled hotel rooms at discounted prices.
- Stay at newly opened hotels.
Newly opened hotels want new guests and want them fast. They often offer discounts for guests who stay there during the first 6 months or even the first year. Here’s a list of Travel + Leisure’s New Hotels for 2019. This list includes everything from a lux tent experience to a helicopter fly-in resort.
- Be Polite and Friendly.
Though you may be tired or traveled overnight or had an awful time getting to the hotel, it’s ALWAYS to your advantage to be pleasant and friendly with check-in staff – whether at the hotel or airport. If check-in staff like you, you’re more likely to receive an upgrade or special assistance or maybe bonus points.
Finding luxury stays on a budget IS possible by asking the right questions and by spending time pre-planning. And, be sure to use Opptee Travel Search when seeking out best prices on that lux hotel.