Over the past couple of weeks I have booked many nights of hotel stays for five different trips. There are several ways to find hotel rate discounts at the chain brands. I covered examples for elite member and AAA rate discounts in other articles today.
Promotional rates are frequently no deal at all. I used to regularly write up room rate analyses to show how bad many of the promotions from chains like Marriott and Hilton were poor value compared to finding a hotel rate discount for the same dates and purchasing the amenities you truly want.
In my recent series of hotel bookings there were several instances where I checked promotional rates to see real deals. That is not too commonly the case in my search experience.
To find low rates at any single hotel means a comparison of AAA rates, best flexible, advance purchase, reward nights and a look for a promotions/special offers link on the hotel website to see if there are hidden deals. One of these sort of hidden deals from Hilton Hotels is one I want to share in this post for a hotel stay in Las Vegas.
Hotel Discount Rate Checklist:
1. Advance Purchase – generally lowest available rate, but use it or lose it terms means I rarely book this rate more than 48 hours in advance of hotel stay.
2. Best Flexible – unrestricted rate with a flexible cancellation policy from time of booking to deadline for cancellation without penalty. Discount rates like member-only, senior and AAA are usually a percentage off Best Flexible. This is rate used for comparison in Best Rate Guarantee claims to online travel agency hotel rates. Best Rate Gurantee claims are one of my favorite no-risk hotel rate discounts.
3. AAA rate – most commonly the best hotel rate discount deal available for a hotel booking, even for many international hotels.
4. Elite and Member-Only Rates – most of the major chains have hotel loyalty member 5% to 10% discount rates.
5. Promotional rates – time consuming to check with each individual hotel property. Sometimes there is a special rate that will not appear on hotel booking meta-search engines like Kayak.com and Trivago.com. I generally only look for promotional offers when I have narrowed my search to a few hotels.
Tropicana Las Vegas, A DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
Sun Nov 27 – Tue Nov 29, 2016
Tropicana DoubleTree Las Vegas is a hotel I looked at this week. The main search show a $49 flexible rate and $46 HHonors Discount rate.
The link at bottom says “More prices from $38”.
This is my first USA example of what I complained about with DoubleTree Hotels in Slovakia not showing the lowest rate available in a general search. The webpage design makes another link click necessary to find the Advance Purchase rate. The reason I was mad about Slovakia is the DoubleTree Kosice had no link showing a lower rate. It was necessary to choose “Packages and Promotions” to see the lowest available advance purchase rate.
- HHonors Discount Advance Purchase = $38
- Advance Purchase = $39
- Band of Magicians promotion rate = $39.
I expected to find Advance Purchase rates, which do not interest me. The interesting rate offer here is Band of Magicians.
Tropicana Las Vegas DoubleTree Band of Magicians
Rate Details: Enjoy 2 show tickets per stay and 2 nights in our best in class rooms for the Band of Magicians.
If you wish to cancel, please do so 48 hours prior to arrival to avoid cancellation penalties.
Even more impressive than show tickets is the cancellation policy of 48 hours before date of arrival.
Best Flexible and AAA rate have 24 hours before arrival flexible cancellation. 48 hours works just as well for me and certainly beats booking a nonrefundable HHonors member-only rate for $1 less. Plus, there are two show tickets you have the option of using with the Band of Magicians rate.
Promotion and special offer rates are time-consuming to check with each individual property, but you might overlook the best deal at the hotel you are staying if you don’t check out promotional rates before check-in.