Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hotel happiness...

I am just heading home today from a trip to Minneapolis with a friend who needed some medical tests.  I am an old fashioned gal at heart, I went to the hotel web site and checked the rate then called to see if they offer a discount for folks going to the University for medical reasons.  Indeed they do have a special rate for that and it saved us $45 per night on out rooms.  When I was done booking the rooms I decided to check and Expedia just to see what they said and I was able to get the same rate through them but not on the club floor.  Whats the big deal with that you may wonder?  Well here is the difference, by me calling and asking for that rate the woman in reservations signed me up for the Gold Rewards Program automatically, no additional paper work for me, I got free valet parking for my car, a $6.00 gift card for each night we were in the room to Starbucks (which are good at any Starbucks, not just the hotels branch) and $10.00 each night we were in the room to the hotels lounge.  So in addition to the amount saved on the room we got money to spend in the hotel.  In all, with two rooms for two nights we saved $180 on the rooms, plus got $64 to spend on food and beverages.  I think that was worth the call for sure and just proves that sometimes the best way to hunt for a deal is to not hunt too hard.

The other problem with some of the online hotel booking sites is that some chains, like the Kimpton's, have the same rate no matter where you go, which means that booking directly through the hotel site is the best bet because you can request things that the hotel may offer for free.  In the case of Kimptons the have "tall" rooms, which means a longer bed and higher shower heads, something my husband loves, these can't be requested using another site.  The other problem I ran into was checking on Hotwire; you don't actually get to see what hotel you will be staying at until AFTER you book the room.  This is not for me, I like being able to see a picture of the room because if I have to spend a week in a overly modern space it makes me a little nuts.

The moral here is that it pays to do a little homework but I would suggest calling the hotel directly and ask if they can meet the rate you found on line and what comes with your room.  Some hotels will even sign you up for their rewards programs which will entitle you to a free upgrade or other amenities.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!




  1. You go girl! I'm so glad you asked about rates for folks going to the U. So clever!

    Drive safe and keep an eye on your speed, Ms. Speed Demon.

  2. Oohhh I love hotels!

    I just found your blog through a Saturday blog hop. Have a great weekend!

    Amanda @

  3. Thanks so much for this post. My husband and I were just talking this morning that we need to learn all the ways to get good hotel rates before we start "really traveling" in a year when he retires. This is great to add to my travel folder. Please stay in touch. Sandra

  4. this was some INTERESTING and most HELPFUL info! Thanks so much for sharing!


I love to read your comments, but due to spamming I have had to turn on the word verification again. Sorry for the extra step.