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How to get a good deal on luxury hotel suites
I have had the Airbnb/hotel debate countless number of times and my verdict is final: hotels definitely triumph vacation rentals. I feel safer and more comfortable in a hotel and let's face it - a vacation is meant to be a relaxing break from your regular chores, not a trip where you're worrying about maintenance and upkeep of a stranger's house.
But of course, if you need to spend your vacation in a really nice suite but want it on a budget, you probably need a few hacks. So here are some ways you can book a suite on a budget.
Consider booking a suite
Consider booking a suite instead of multiple rooms if you're traveling in a group or with family. It usually works out cheaper on a per person per night basis, plus you also don't have to be cramped up and worry about lack of privacy. Hotels also offer suites with sofa beds and roll-away beds on request so you end up saving a lot (plus some come with complimentary breakfast, airport shuttle, bottled water and what not!).
Ever wondered about connecting rooms?
They are the best way to go for families. It is pretty much like an apartment on Airbnb - only way nicer! I have seen 2-bedroom suites that can sleep up to 6-8 people for around $100 average per adult per nighit at a 4 star hotel in Las Vegas. Look, and you shall find! (or just ask me and I'll tell you!)
Plan an off-season trip
Planning a trip during the off-season can help you find discounted suites or rooms. So, say London during winters is a good idea financially. Or, avoid going to Miami when an event is on.
For eg: Staying away from the crowds not only gives you a nice relaxed vacation, it also helps you save money. Las Vegas during peak summers might be a bad idea for people looking to chill by the pool. But if you're going to hit the casinos and watch shows, off-season deals are crazy!
Book in advance
Always book in advance to save more. You even have negotiating powers when you book ahead by calling up a hotel. Most OTAs offer 60-80 advance booking which also means more $$ to you.
Hotel website rates aren't final.
Don't just go to a hotel's website and take that to be the final rates. Compare prices using third party booking websites. Sites like Hipmunk, Suiteness, Hotels.com and Tripadvisor are great ways to compare and see the best rates you can get out there. Some of them even promise the best price and give a guarantee, so make use of it!
Ask for extra
Ask if something extra is possible. Don't hesitate from asking for something more. That's part of negotiation. Whether it be an upgrade, a complimentary shuttle, or even help regarding an expired coupon code, sometimes hotels and OTAs might oblige and make an exception - but you gotta ask!
Consider a loyalty program
Make use of loyalty/reward programs. I love the loyalty program of hotels.com and Amex SPG card. Hotels.com gives you a night free after you've booked with them 10 times. As for SPG card, it accrues points when you spend and you can book amazing SPG hotels with points.
Use your social media influence
This is for those few influencers on social media. The power of social media should not be dismissed. If you are an influencer on Twitter or Instagram or have a blog with a lot of readers, you might be able to get some discounts! This is especially true if you're looking for ambitious startups who can't afford a lot of marketing. But of course, you will need to prove your influence!
Next time, really enjoy that vacation!
End of the day, I guess my question is, have you really enjoyed your vacation? People are fed with ideas of living like a local, meeting with people, enjoying dinner with a stranger - how much of that is actually true? How many times have you actually sat down with your Airbnb host and had dinner?
And how many times have all this been about saving money by compromising on your vacation time (which, doesn't come often if you ask me) - which by the way is not true! Say your vacation rental helps you save on your accommodation - how much did cleaning and security and transport and food add up to? Overheads add up, and are often overlooked by people.
Anyway, I hope these hacks help you! There are so many ways to book stays at really amazing hotels right now, I don't know why people bother with vacation rentals. I've never enjoyed it. I like clean sheets!