Hotel rate data from STR compiled over the past decade show Fridays are the lowest rates of the week and Tuesdays are the highest rates of the week. Sundays have the lowest occupancy of any day on average for US hotels.
TGIF is my motto when the weekend comes around and big city hotel rates drop.
While the low occupancy for Sundays is probably accurate for most hotels across the country, the low Friday rates depend on the location of the hotel.
Urban hotels in central business districts are the kinds of places where hotel rates often drop by more than half. San Francisco is my go to location for good hotel promotions where I can stay in an upper upscale market segment hotel like a Westin, Marriott, Hilton or Hyatt for under $150 (in the winter season) when the typical weekday rate is close to $300.
A location like my hometown of Monterey, California tends to have higher rates on weekends when the tourists come to town. Tuesday might very well be the lowest rates of the week for a place like Monterey.
Sunday can be a bargain rate for a resort location where the occupancy drops and the rate often drops too.
Need a Saturday night? Check two night rates for better deals.
One strategy I have learned over the years is to check rates for a two night stay when the Saturday night rates are high. In a city like San Francisco, hotel rates can be much higher for a Saturday night alone. Saturday is a night where there is typically a larger walk-up population for guests who make a last minute decision to stay in a hotel. Frequently hotels will have a higher base rate for a Saturday night stay. Sometimes the rate is significantly lower if booking Saturday night as part of a two night hotel stay for Friday-Saturday or Saturday-Sunday. It pays to check out the two day rate if that is an option for your hotel stay.