How to Book a Hotel Room for Less


The secret to grabbing a great hotel accommodation at a price far less than the company’s “rack rate,” is to understand these simple truths: Hotels are bound to have nights when they have empty rooms. Empty rooms do not generate cash flow. Someone in that establishment is directly responsible to see that as many rooms as possible are generating some amount of income, every night.


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Here are the steps to follow to help that hotel meet its goals and get a great bargain at the same time.

Nail down the exact hotel and specific location where you wish to book a room. Going online is the easiest way to figure out your choices. Find that specific location’s local telephone number.

Know the going rate of rooms at this specific location. You can find this online at the hotels site. Visit This is a site where Priceline and Hotwire bidders disclose their winning bids, along with the name of the hotel they landed. The information that others have posted here will give you a good sense about the rate you may be able to negotiate. Notice the wide range or rates others have paid. This should give you confidence that the hotel will let rooms go for bargain rates to keep the place full.

The best time to snag a great deal on a hotel room is at 4 PM, local time on Sunday. This is when you will have the best shot at speaking with the employee whose job depends on keeping rooms filled, who can also negotiate room rates. But this can be tricky, so here are the steps to follow:

Call the local phone number. Do not call the hotel’s 800 number. That will connect you to a big clearing house that books rooms for hundreds of locations. The people who answer those phones in do not have the authority to give you a better deal. Instead, call the specific hotel’s local direct line. Go online or call directory assistance to get the local phone number for the specific location where you’d like to stay.

Next, do not ask for the reservations department, which will only get you routed back through to the 800 number clearing house you are trying to avoid. Instead, ask to speak to the manager on duty, who at this time of day on the weekend will probably be a lower level employee whose job it is to keep rooms filled. This is the person on duty who has the authority to negotiate rates and book rooms. This is better for you than calling during the week when you will be connected to a “revenue manager” who is more interested in keeping the rates high.

Be very courteous. Say that you are shopping for a accommodations during a specific week at a great rate, followed by, “What can you do for me?” See yourself as a valuable commodity at this moment because you will take an unsold room out of inventory, which represents job security for the person you’re speaking with. That’s it. You’ve cut out all of the middlemen and just given yourself the very best shot at bagging a bargain hotel reservation. Use this opportunity well and to your fullest advantage. You’re doing the hotel and yourself a great service.

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3 replies
  1. Lee G
    Lee G says:

    My daughter and I had to travel to our state capital city. I paid for a hotel room. I booked on line with and paid $90 for an economy double room in a 4 star hotel. Miss 18 was happy to share with me. We had previously stayed there several time and Miss 18 mentioned this. What was the result? We were upgraded to a queen suite, with 2 queen size beds instead of a double, we also got a sitting room and bathroom which was larger than ours at home.

  2. Susan Embry
    Susan Embry says:

    I completely agree with the above comment. My husband is one of “those guys” who does the revenue analysis for a very large hotel chain. The Manager on duty or MOD is of manager level or higher who always has decision making capabilities whether it is Sunday at 4 or regular business hours. Mary you were misinformed that it is some lower level employee. If there is a problem during your stay by all means contact the MOD . To get a better hotel room rate before you even have checked in No .

  3. Joy Kwiatkowski
    Joy Kwiatkowski says:

    thank you for telling your readers to research online!! I am a reservations agent for a very large hotel chain. We do not get paid commision for booking but it counts against us when we dont book and it hurts us in the long run when some calls with a bunch of questions (info thats online) then they dont book a room. We are paid under $10 bucks so it really hurts!!.We do not price match 3rd party website (expedia etc) The price on hotel website is the same we will quote so calling the hotel doesnt get you a better deal. If website says hotel is sold out for your dates then we are sold out no need to call we are not holding back rooms most cases we are over booked. The best deals actually are online thru 3rd party websites such as expedia etc why? because they buy a block of rooms from us very cheap then resell them. Rates are based on dates and availablity so they change all the time. I never seen them go down so if you see a price you like book it!! If you call please have a credit card we cant hold or book w/o it Again you have taken money out of our pockets for something any adult should know. Do you go to buy anything else w/o $$? No. its the same thing..It is highly unlikely you will speak to a manager and he/she will negotiate rates with you unless you are booking 20 or more rooms and in that case you will speak to the sales manager. The manager is there to manage the day to day operations and reservations dept makes reservations!! Now you have the inside scoop!


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