Booking Hotels

I’m planning a trip to Toronto in a few weeks. I always heart that you shouldn’t pay the “rack” rate at hotels (amount published). Does anyone know of any discount services or ways to get these special rates. I remember a guy on the radio once who knew of all these hidden promotional deals for nearly every city in North America. We are AAA members and that is usually good for 10%, but I was looking for something more. Should I try Priceline?

Call the hotel and ask if there are any specials. Even after you have your reservation booked, you might want to call and check the rate, if they have too many unoccupied rooms, the rates may fall.

Call the hotel chains 800 number. Call twice. Sometimes it all depends on who you get on the other end as far as digging for a good rate.

psycat is right: you have to be persistent. I always start off by asking what is their “best available rate” and then go on to say that I’m a member of AAA (or CAA in Canada) [I’m not, but the person who usually travels with me is – In any case, they more often than not don’t ask for proof when you register]. In addition, most hotels usually have special rates for seniors. They also have corporate rates so, if you’re with a company, you can take advantage of it even if you’re not travelling on business. And finally, ask for any special Internet rate – you’d be surprized at the possible savings.
You have to be willing to spend a little time on logistics. Could very well be worth your while.

By the way, same comments apply to car rentals.


Take a good look at the city you’re going to. Is it a tourist city or a business city? The Wall Street Journal noted a few weeks ago that hotels price their rooms according to popularity. A business city hotel would charge more during weekdays (particularly Tuesdays and I don’t know why on that one). Such a hotel would charge less for weekend visitors.
A tourist city hotel would charge more on weekends when families are there.

Good point Doug. I work for a hotel group (for a few more days, anyway). I recently needed to stay in NYC-the last NYC IRL- mid April- a weekend. I ended up staying in the Financial District for that very reason. The hotels in that area, actually, the whole area in general, is a virtual ghost town on the weekends.