Extended stays at a hotel create more opportunity for hotel revenue managers to play with room rates. Often this can work in your favor with a discount rate for a free or reduced night. Other times this can work against you for easily finding the lowest room rate for your hotel stay.
Yesterday, I came across a rate anomaly at the DoubleTree by Hilton San Jose, California hotel when checking rates for a 4-night stay. This rate search shows an example where your quick rate search might result in paying about $100 per night too much for the same room and dates.
DoubleTree by Hilton, San Jose, California
Wednesday, July 11 – Sunday, July 15, 2012
AAA rate for this 4-night hotel stay.
- 2 Queen Beds with balcony = $227 per night = $999.35 total.
- 1 King Balcony, Club Level = $255 per night = $1,124.29 total.
- 2 Queen Beds with balcony = $191.09 per night = $876.84 total.
- 2 Queen Beds with balcony = $203.15 per night = $930.88 total.
- 1 Executive King = $228.65 per night = $1,047.24 total.
Expedia.com room rate July 11-15
After checking the Hilton website, Kayak and Expedia the lowest rate is through Kayak.com at $876.84.
Turns out that Hilton website has this same rate of $876.84 through its prepaid, nonrefundable “The Great Getaway” sale. This rate requires prepayment at least 7 days in advance and is nonrefundable with no changes to the reservation allowed.
Hilton.com Great Getaway rate for DoubleTree San Jose July 11-15, 2012.
Is this prepaid, nonrefundable rate the best rate for this 4-night hotel stay at DoubleTree San Jose?
No. There are other options available when booking a 4-night hotel stay.
“Seize the Possibilities” when booking extended stays
Extended stay dates sometimes pull up different rates when the rates are checked for separate date patterns among the four nights of the hotel stay. These four nights from Wednesday, July 11 to Sunday, July 15 offer many different patterns for booking the same room on the same dates. There is no rule that you need to book a 4-night stay as one reservation. You can book this 4-night stay as separate reservations. The hotel might merge your separate reservations into one, but they can’t change the rate you booked.
Combinations available for booking a 4-night stay as separate reservations:
- July 11 (1 night) + July 12-14 (3 nights)
- July 11-12 (2 nights) + July 13-14 (2 nights)
- July 11-13 (3 nights + July 14 (1 night)
- July 11 (1 night) + July 12-13 (2 nights) + July 14 (1 night)
- July 11-12 (2 nights) + July 13 (1 night) + July 14 (1 night)
- July 11 (1 night) + July 12 (1 night) + July 13-14 (2 nights)
Chances are you are not going to check all these different rate combinations. And hotel revenue managers know this. These different patterns can result in different total rates.
Here is an example of how the rate changes when one of these other patterns for booking the same four nights is checked.
DoubleTree San Jose July 11, 2012 = $236 for King Balcony (AAA rate).
Thursday, July 11 room rate = $270.90 total.
DoubleTree San Jose July 12-15 AAA room rate for three nights on a separate reservation.
- 2 Queen Beds with Balcony = $107.10 per night = $369.60 total.
- 1 King with balcony = $107.10 per night = $369.60 total.
- 1 King Balcony/Pool View = $116.10 per night = $400.41 total.
Breaking this 4-night stay into two separate reservations drops the total rate significantly.
- July 11 King Bed Pool View = $270.90 total.
- July 12-15 King Bed Pool View = $400.41 total.
- Grand Total = $671.31 for July 11-15 (AAA rate).
July 11-15 Great Getaway prepaid, nonrefundable rate for 2 Queen Beds
- 2 Queen Beds, balcony, pool view = $191 per night = $913.15 total (prepaid, nonrefundable).
July 11-15 AAA Day before Arrival cancellation with no penalty.
- 2 Queen Beds, balcony, pool view = $227.21 per night (AAA) = $1,041.00 total.
Breaking this 4-night stay into two separate reservations reduces the AAA rate from $1,041 total down to $671.31 total for a $370 rate savings. These two reservations for July 11 and July 12-14 also saves $242 using AAA with day before arrival cancellation with no penalty compared to the Great Getaway prepaid, nonrefundable rate.
The DoubleTree Hotel will likely merge your two reservations into one reservation, but your booked rate savings is guaranteed. The hotel can’t change your rate from what you booked even if they merge your reservations into one reservation for the 4-night stay.
Takeaway Tip: You need to be aware when booking multiple nights for a hotel stay that there might be lower rates available by booking your extended stay as separate reservations.
Revenue rate managers are betting you do not take the time to search different combinations of dates for your hotel stay.
Trying different date combinations takes time, but as I have shown here, the rate savings can be significant.
Ric Garrido, writer and content owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.