Hotel secrets: Insiders share what you should always do when booking hotels for best value

Hotel stays can easily see the price of a holiday skyrocket if you’re not careful. Luckily there are a number of ways you can help find the best deals for you. A panel of travel experts have revealed their top tips and travel advice for booking hotels.

HOSPA, the Hospitality Professionals Association and Profitroom, a leading SaaS supplier to the hospitality industry, along with Tregenna Castle Resort, a luxury hotel, have compiled their advice to help guests get the best value from their bookings.

Book the hotel directly

Comparison websites can help you get the lie of the land in terms of what’s in your price range, but when it comes to actually booking it’s far better to visit the hotel website or indeed ring the hotel directly.

By doing so, guests can benefit from finding the cheapest prices as well as a wealth of additional bonuses, such as parking, early check-in/late check-out, discounts, upgrades and more.

Time the hotel booking right

There’s a lot to be said for booking early when you know your plans to get the best price, but don’t dismiss later options either.

Always contact the hotel directly to make a booking – they might offer flexibility on rates, something also not offered by online travel agencies and websites.

Samantha Williams of Profitroom commented: “Hotels have long been in a battle with Online Travel Agents for bookings.

“Thanks to their prominence in search engine results, many people just opt to book what appears to be the most cost-effective option presented to them via an OTA. However, this impacts hotel revenue as they have to pay a commission fee on any booking, which can often be a sizeable chunk of the price.

“Bypassing these commission fees via a direct booking though often means more flexibility on price. Many consumers aren’t aware that, in most cases, hotels themselves provide the best rate.”

Make sure you bag the extras

Plenty of hotels offer bonuses for booking directly with them.

These could be as basic as ‘book direct for best rate’.

Alternatively, this could take the form of an extra meal included free of charge (such as afternoon tea for instance), a free bottle of wine in the room, a free spa treatment and so on.

Look into the hotel’s loyalty scheme

Hotels love returning guests and are more likely to treat them favourably.

If you sign up to marketing databases or specific schemes, you might be able to get extras, preferred rates, room upgrades or priority when it comes to availability.

Forming a relationship with hotels helps you to get the most out of bookings.

Don’t forget quieter areas which have the best value

Coastal areas are booming at the moment as are traditional holiday destinations such as the Lake District.

However, city centres, by contrast, are seeing very few bookings – with international travellers restricted and business travel at a minimum.

Now could be an excellent time to explore a UK city break.

Restaurants and bars are open, and you can still enjoy the sights of a city, which are made even more attractive by reduced crowds – offering the prospect of a relaxing break despite being at the heart of a normally bustling city.

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