How To Get A Better Deal From Hotels - Birchills Blog
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How To Get A Better Deal From Hotels

We all want a better deal when we are booking a hotel and there is a better way, one that gives you more control, more options and lower prices. It's simply about having a conversation.

Have you noticed how expensive hotels are getting? The price seems to go up every year. One of the reasons that they are so expensive is the commission they pay to the booking sites like, Secret Escapes, Last Minute .com and Trivago. The commission is usually between 15% and 25%. So, for every hundred pounds you pay the hotel booking site takes something like £20.  Even worse for the hotel, is that you pay the booking site and they choose how and when (and if) to pay the hotel.

So, lets save everyone money! The hotels don't like paying the booking sites. It eats heavily into their revenue. If you give the hotel a phone call directly they are usually delighted to give you a discount. It's not about haggling, but simply having a conversation.


The last couple of conversations I've had went something like this:-

I phoned and the call was answered immediately bvy a nice sounding lady. We talked about the room that I wanted and when I wanted to arrive. The nice lady told me the price and I asked, "Is that the best you can do? "
She said, “Well I could look at £80 if that would help.”
I said, "That's great, thanks.” The deal was done.  Okay, it was only 10% but for saying six words that's not bad.

As a second example, I wanted to find a London hotel. After a bit of faffing around, I found the direct number of the hotel I wanted to stay in. I called and they said, “We will put you through to bookings.” The price on the website was £270 but they immediately offered £199 without me asking at all and threw in breakfast!


Because you're talking you get to make requests, for example, “Can I have a room with a view?” or maybe even ask for a particular room.

If you have flexible timing then you can ask the time when they are least full, or a time when  they have any special offers on.

Booking directly has other advantages, such as, many hotels don't charge you until you leave. Most booking sites charge you upfront.

Many hotels have a far more lenient cancellation policy than the booking sites, again as an example, an aunt of mine died which meant I couldn't take a booking I had made.The hotel was very sympathetic and didn't charge me at all. So of course, I will go there again

Talking is good, often you get the vibe from the hotel staff when you book directly. One Scottish hotel owner was so off hand and almost rude that I chose not to continue the booking.  I'm glad that I did because when I read the reviews the hotel seemed to be absolutely awful.


The way I work, is that I will do some research on the web. Location is very important when choosing a hotel.  So, I start by looking at Google maps and identify possible hotels. Then, I look at the reviews and the prices on the booking sites. Personally, I try to minimise the amount of time I spend doing this because if I carry on too long I get lost in a deluge of information and it becomes very difficult to make a decision.

Finally, I'll choose a time to phone up. I'll try and avoid mealtimes and phone in the week when I hope they'll be quiet. 11 o'clock in the morning or 4 o'clock in the afternoon seems about right to me. When I call it's a polite enquiry and a chance to have a chat and save some money.


If you can find a hotel:-

  • where you want
  • where the price is low
  • with the quality you want

then you will have done well.

Phoning up and talking directly makes a good outcome a lot more likely.

I'd love to know your experiences are when phone to book. It would be great if you could share them in the comment section below.
Hunting a better deal from hotels

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