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Works for Me Wednesday: Hotel Price Cuts & Perks

July 7, 2010

I love staying at nice hotels.   The well-decorated lobby, those amazing curtains that block out 99% of light in the room, having someone else make my bed and tidy up the bathroom, and of course… cable TV.  Everything about nice hotels to me is magical and wonderful and inviting.

Unfortunately, nice hotels can also be pretty darned expensive.  So whenever possible, I book our hotel rooms through Priceline.com.  I use the “Name Your Own Price” option and I always start with a ridiculously low rate and the highest star rating possible.  Here are some of the bargains I’ve been able to score:

  • In December 2008 when my dad was having surgery in Baltimore, I got a wonderfully luxurious room at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor for $50 per night.  If I’d booked through Holiday Inn, the rate would have been at least $121 per night. 59% savings!
  • When we went to DisneyWorld this past December, we stayed the night we arrived at the Marriott Orlando Airport for $44.  If I’d booked through Marriott, the rate would have been $179.  75% savings!
  • When we met my friends in Philadelphia one weekend back in April, we got a room at the Hyatt Regency Penns Landing (waterfront hotel) for $88.  If I’d booked through Hyatt, the rate would have been $190.  54% savings!
  • This past Independence Day, I booked a room at the Marriott Inner Harbor in Baltimore for $72.  We were able to see the fireworks at the Inner Harbor which was quite a show.  If I’d booked through Marriott, the rate would have been $289.  75% savings!

So, now that you’ve gotten a four star hotel room for less than half of what it would normally go for, you couldn’t ask for anything more, could you?

Au contraire!

A few weeks ago, my brother was telling me that every time he checks in to a hotel, he asks for a complimentary upgrade.  And he told me that nearly every time, he gets an upgraded room or other perk.  I said that I had always wanted to do that because I’ve heard of people who have had awesome experiences, but that I lacked the nerve to do so.  I mean, I’m already there at a discount of 50-75%!  My sister-in-law pointed out, quite logically,  that the worse thing that could happen was that they would say no.

So when we went to check in at the Marriott on Independence Day, I mustered up the nerve to ask for an upgrade.  I didn’t get a bigger room (although the one we had was big enough and certainly quite nice) but I got free access to the “Concierge Lounge.”  I had no idea what that was but smiled and thanked the woman at the registration desk.

Once we got settled in, we went up to the 10th floor to check out this lounge.  It was fabulous!  A magnificent view of the city (we could have watched the fireworks from there if we wanted to), free food & beverages, internet access, snacks, and so on.  It saved us the hassle of having to find someplace to buy breakfast the next morning and was way better than standard hotel “continental breakfast” fare.

You can bet I will be asking for a complimentary upgrade from now on!

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One comment

  1. Wow! I’m so happy for you that it worked out so nicely. What a great place to enjoy the 4th.



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