Today (April 21, 2017): travel tricks to get the best deal at a luxury hotel (and save money).
Today, I am reblogging one of my very first blogposts, one that I find particularly interesting since it kind of explains how I book my stays at luxury hotels (and how I am able to afford this lifestyle). Because my audience has grown significantly since I launched the blog in 2014 ( to over 100,000 readers, excluding my 60,000+ Youtube followers), I though it couldn’t hurt reposting the article since most of you won’t have read it. When booking a room at a luxury hotel, you always have to choose whether you want the cheapest rate for that room, or whether you want to enjoy extra perks and/or flexibility. I hereby present you my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel and saving (lots of) money:
- Inspiration for finding the right hotel
- Tips for when to book
- Tips for booking a room at the cheapest rate
- Tips for booking a room with (complimentary) extra perks
- Tips for staying for free at luxury hotels
- Key points
Think I forgot a tip? Share your own travel tricks for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel in the comments section below (so we can all learn from each other).
INSPIRATION FOR FINDING THE RIGHT HOTEL
- Be inspired by my luxury travel blog. Every week, I post top 10 travel lists and reviews of luxury hotels. You can subscribe to my newsletter (3x/week) and/or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- The Kiwi Collection is a great website (and my prime source of inspiration), featuring a selection of the very best luxury hotels in the world.
- Read the Conde Nast Traveler and Travel&Leisure magazines, which are both published once a month (I do prefer though their printed magazines over their websites).
- Read reviews of luxury hotels on Tripadvisor. Although I don’t pay too much attention to the occasional furious rants, I always read a few reviews before booking a hotel.
- Read reviews of luxury hotels on Flyertalk (google the name of the hotel + flyertalk). I find Flyertalk a very good source of information, since they have a forum dedicated to luxury hotels where people with knowledge post their genuine reviews of luxury properties around the globe.
- Watch Youtube clips of hotels (you can find some examples on my popular Youtube channel).
TIPS FOR WHEN TO BOOK
- Do not book too late as the world’s most luxurious hotels will often sell out months in advance. Do not count on a last-minute deal (which are not offered by most top hotels anyway).
- If you want to save some bucks, you should travel in the shoulder season (e.g. summer months for the Caribbean, autumn months for the Maldives), but try to avoid the months with the worst weather as you may find yourself very disappointed despite the fact that you saved a lot of money!
TIPS FOR BOOKING A ROOM AT THE LOWEST PRICE
- Most of the time, the lowest room rate can be found on the aggregator websites Hotelscombined and Trivago. These aggregators verify hotel prices at hundreds of other sites (e.g. Booking.com, Hotels.com, Otel.com, Hotelopia.com, Expedia, Ebookers, etc…) and show where you can book the cheapest rate. Try it out for yourself:
- The member-only websites Jetsetter and Secret Escapes (which do not feature on aggregator websites) negotiate temporary, special rates with some of the world’s finest hotels, which can represent a discount of up to 60% (room only or room with breakfast). Membership is free and without hassle (just submit your name and email address). When you sign up for the Jetsetter and Secret Escapes newsletters, you will stay updated about their temporary offers. Read here why I like Jetsetter, and here why I am a fan of Secret Escapes.
- Always compare the price that you found on an aggregator or member-only website with the one featured on the official hotel website to make sure that it is the best price indeed. Do not forget to click the “special offers” section that is present on most hotel websites (and which can save you lots of money).
- If you find elsewhere a lower price than the one offered on the hotel website, you should make us of a Best Rate Guarantee. Not only will the lower room rate be matched, you will often receive an additional discount as well (of up to 25%)!
- Make use of discount coupons that you can find anywhere on the internet (google the website of hotel name + coupon). For example, Hotels.com is one of my preferred hotel booking websites that regularly sends out 10% discount coupons by email (albeit not valid for the big hotel chains though).
- Except when staying at one of the big hotel chains (Starwood, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Hilton), I always try to book my hotel stays through the website Hotels.com and you can read here why. In a nutshell: Hotels.com is not only very generous in matching the best price that you may have found on another websites, but you also collect credits towards free hotel stays and they always have discount coupons on offer.
- Sign-up for the newsletters of your preferred hotel (chains) or booking website. They often email coupons or advanced notifications when they’re having a sale.
- Stay for free by using hotels points and credits that you collected in a hotel loyalty program (albeit very few of the top luxury hotel chains offer that option though).
- Stay for free or at a highly discounted rate by keeping an eye out for erroneous rates in this Flyertalk post.
TIPS FOR BOOKING A HOTEL ROOM WITH (FREE) EXTRA PERKS
- Some of the world’s most exclusive hotel brands (e.g. Aman) will only display the best rates on their official hotel website (so do not waste your time trying to find a lower price on an aggregator or member-only website as you won’t find one).
- Check the hotel website directly for packages that include extra perks like spa credits, breakfast, or complimentary nights.
- Absurdly, when booking a room at a top luxury hotel, it is sometimes advised not to book it directly on the hotel website, but rather through a Virtuoso travel advisor. Not only will they create unique journeys and explorations in every corner of the globe, but more importantly, you will also get free access to special amenities and receive complimentary perks (e.g. upgrades, dinners, etc …) which would not be the case when you book the same rate via the hotel directly. All hotels were you can enjoy the Virtuoso extra perks are listed on Virtusos website. If you are an Aman junkie, like me, then Virtuoso is the only way to book your stay. You can read here why I love Virtuoso so much. Most of the times, Virtuoso hotel bookings are not made online, but through a Virtuoso travel agent. There are exceptions though, such as the website of Classic Travel which offers an online booking tool.
- Holders of an American Express premium or Visa Signature credit card can also benefit from extra perks when they make the booking via their credit card travel office and/or pay with their credit card. Contact your local credit card company to find out whether they offer this travel service.
- Elite members of hotel loyalty programs will receive several benefits during their stay, ranging from late check-out and complimentary WiFi to suite upgrades and breakfast. Read here my reviews of the world’s best hotel loyalty programs (with pros and cons).
- Elite members of Cathay Pacific‘s frequent flyer program (Marco Polo Club) are entitled to special benefits (e.g. early check in, late check out, room upgrade, complimentary breakfast) with partners such as Hilton, Hyatt, Fairmont, Marriott, Langham, Mandarin Oriental, Shangri-La, Swissotel, Peninsula, Swire and Ritz-Carlton. While some of these deals only apply to hotels or rentals in the Asia-Pacific region, others do not; the Mandarin Oriental benefit is applicable worldwide, for example.
TIPS FOR STAYING FOR FREE AT A LUXURY HOTEL
You can always try your luck and score a complimentary stay at a luxury hotel by reading my tips for getting free hotel nights.
- Inspiration: my blog + the Kiwi Collection.
- When money is an issue: book outside the high season.
- Cheapest room rate: mostly found on Hotelscombined, Trivago, and/or the official hotel website. Always check all 3 of them.
- Best Rate Guarantee: match a lower rate and receive an additional discount.
- Free extra perks: book a package on the hotel website, through a Virtuoso travel agent, or via your credit card travel office.
- Complimentary stay: subscribe to of a (hotel) loyalty program.