This post handles two different topics with a report on my Best Western Low Rate Guarantee success in Dallas last week and my attempt today to find another best rate guarantee for a hotel in Krakow compounded by confusing hotel names in this Polish city and best rate guarantee restrictions on international hotel stays.
Best Western Low Rate Guarantee success at DFW
Last weekend I stayed at a Best Western Dallas DFW Airport in Irving, Texas. My press media tour of Louisiana ended with a 3.5 hour bus ride from Shreveport to DFW at 3:30pm on Saturday afternoon drinking Louisiana microbrews with Australians and Portuguese writers as Portugal played their Euro Cup game.
A one-way ticket DFW-SJC was $60 lower to fly out June 26 on Sunday morning and I figured I could find a hotel deal at DFW. When I checked hotel rates for Dallas DFW airport hotels on Monday morning June 21, I found a Best Western rate discrepancy in a couple minutes and immediately booked Best Western Irving Inn & Suites at DFW Airport for $109.99 Best Flexible Rate for an all-in nightly rate of $126.49.
Priceline had the same room type with flexible cancellation posted at $79.99, a full $30 lower than BW website. The Priceline rate was even well below BW advance purchase rate of $98.99. The only difference between the room bookings is Priceline required cancellation by 11:59 pm June 23 and Best Western’s deadline was 4pm, June 24 for an extra 16 hours to cancel without penalty. BW Low Rate Guarantee terms do not require identical cancellation terms.
Priceline rate for Best Western Irving at DFW King Room $79.99.
I booked the room on BestWestern.com and immediately filed a Best Western Low Rate Guarantee claim.
Best Western Low Rate Guarantee Claims
Best Western has one of the best ‘low rate guarantee’ incentives, especially for a one night stay. A successful Low Rate Guarantee claim is rewarded with a $100 Travel Card. The reason I like this deal even better than the free night offered by Choice (international members only; U.S. members get $50 Visa card) and IHG is the Best Western hotel stay earns the $100 gift card and qualifies for earning points and promotion bonus offers. Of course a $300 free hotel night is also pretty cool deal if you land some InterContinental Hotel best rate guarantee claim.
The Best Western hotel was a bit below my desired hotel market segment, but fine for a one night stay. The room was clean, the bed mattress firm, the AC worked and there were no bugs seen, except for a few mosquitoes I swatted dead. The airport shuttle was convenient. I even had a good dinner meal of Szechuan chicken and vegetables at the Chinese restaurant adjacent to the hotel for $9.00 on a Saturday night.
To sum it all up, I paid $92 after tax for my room night and I will be receiving a $100 Best Western Travel Card good for hotels worldwide. I redeemed my last $100 BW travel e-card in Amsterdam for two hotel stays at Best Western properties last January.
Best Western paid me $8 to stay at the BW Irving at DFW. That lessened the blow of wasting $150 on my rental car for this same trip after I discovered I had never actually booked my $32 all-in 2-day rental one-way ‘Drive out of Florida’ discount rate from Orlando to New Orleans that I had marked in my travel files as a completed reservation back in April.
On top of the $100 Best Western Travel Card, my DFW hotel stay qualified for Best Western’s summer promotion of a $50 Travel Card after two hotel stays between May 23 – August 28, 2016. Registration required.
Cracking Confusion in Krakow, Poland Hotel Names
Back in mid-April I booked all my hotel reservations for a summer trip to Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Krakow, Poland. After my Orlando rental car oversight, I went through and rechecked my reservations this week for our summer trip to Europe. I also rechecked hotel rates in each of these cities to see if there has been any significant rate drops.
All the low airfares to Europe had me wondering about the current state of hotel rates? I actually found some significantly lower than average hotel rates in London compared to what they were last July when I vacationed there. But I have no plans to leave London Heathrow airport on this trip as I fly to Stockholm and pass through London on my return to San Francisco from Stavanger, Norway.
Krakow has lower rates now for July at some of the hotels I checked in April. For example, Hilton Garden Inn Krakow was $130 per night in April and this hotel is as low as $75 per night for a prepaid room and breakfast rate. I have HHonors Diamond elite status, so this is a hotel I think I might try.
This brings me back to Best Western as I sought out the loyalty program trifecta by booking two Best Western hotel stays for under $200 through Best Western Low Rate Guarantee claims and earning $250 in Best Western travel cards in addition to the 2 hotel nights.
I found a rate discrepancy for Best Western Q Hotel Krakow, BW Premier Collection.
Booking.com has a room only rate for 330 PLZ and with breakfast the total rate is 440 PLZ. The 10PLZ rate difference is more than a $1.00 minimum rate difference required for a Best Western Low Rate Guarantee.
Two issues derail my attempt for a low rate guarantee at Best Western hotels in Krakow.
1. After re-reading the Best Western low rate guarantee terms & conditions, I came across this statement at the end of the terms.
Offer valid for North America hotels until further notice.
2. Even if the Low Rate Guarantee applied to hotels in Europe, I would be hit with this restriction for my travel dates in Krakow.
Only one check-in/check-out permitted per stay. Limit one (1) Travel Card per household per claim for any stay and only one (1) Travel Card per household during any thirty (30) day period (lower rate will be honored regardless of eligibility of Travel Card due to limitations).
I can’t earn another BW $100 Travel Card until July 26.
Looks like I’ll be looking for my trifecta Best Western low rate guarantee for a California hotel in August.
Best Western has new Hotel Brands in 2016
Aside on BW brand differentiation: I need to write a piece about the brand updates to Best Western. Back in 2011 they divided their 4,000 hotels into brand levels of Best Western (most hotels), Best Western Plus (about 1,000 hotels) and Best Western Premier (about 200 hotels). In the past year they have added a few more brand categories with BW Premier Collection (highest level with about 30 hotels including the Krakow hotel), an extended stay brand named Best Western Executive Residency (only one hotel currently in Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada) and a new budget ‘millennial’ geared brand, Vib, pronounced ‘Vibe’, just like all the other chains have with brands like Starwood’s Aloft, Marriott’s Moxy and Radisson Red.
Cracking Hotel Confusion in Krakow
Yesterday, I wrote a piece on finding significantly lower airfare for United Airlines tickets from Chicago to Paris through several obscure OTA booking sites.
Loyalty Traveler – Significantly lower United Airlines ticket prices with OTA sites. How do they do it? (June 30).
Check out this find when I searched Best Western hotels in Krakow on Momondo.com.
Best Western Premier Krakow Hotel rates found on Momondo.com.
Firstly, Best Western Premier Krakow Hotel is a different hotel from Best Western Q Hotel Krakow, BW Premier Collection, which is a different hotel from Q Hotel Krakow.
Just like I found Momondo.com low airline ticket fares for United through obscure OTA websites yesterday, the Best Western Premier Krakow Hotel has websites offering lower rates than the Best Western site. HappyRooms.com is a website I have never heard of and a $55 rate looks great.
HappyRooms.com $55 rate is significantly lower than $83.39 rate on Best Western website.
So even though the rate shows $55 on happyrooms.com, buyer beware. Check out what happens when I click that $55 rate on HappyRooms.com.
The link on Momondo for the $55 Best Western rate is actually a different Best Western hotel in Krakow. Bestwestern.com has the same $55 rate for the Best Western Efekt Express.
HotelTravel.com shows $59 rate on Momondo for Best Western Premier Krakow and after tax room rate prices at $70.00 all-in.
That is a savings of $13.39 compared to the Best Western rate for this hotel.
I’d book the Best Western $83 rate for this hotel, if I could make a claim for a Low Rate Guarantee in Europe and receive a $100 Travel Card. As it stands, I would earn a $50 Travel Card and about 1,750 BWR points ($75 x 10 points + 1,000 points online booking bonus) booking the Best Western $83 rate compared to saving $13 booking the $70 room rate on HotelTravel.com.
I already have three overlapping hotel reservations with IHG, Radisson and Hilton in Krakow for my week. I need to cancel two of those hotels. I still have my eye on Best Western and Hilton reservations at different hotels. So many hotel choices in Krakow and so many low rates to choose from.
Too bad I only have five nights to stay in Poland and I already booked a September trip for Italy, Switzerland and Austria.
Loyalty Traveler July 1, 2016 – KLM $529 San Francisco to Krakow, Poland (valid for departures Sep 6-30).