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How to Book a Hotel Room (Like a Boss): Part 2

May 8, 2014 at 12:34 PM | by | Comments (2)

Booking a hotel room isn't exactly rocket science. Find the hotel you like, click on the room or rate you like and boom, you're booked. But when there are so many ways to book a room--through the hotel, through an independent booking site, on your phone, etc.--things can get a little crazy. And if you're comparison shopping, then you can really get sucked into the dizzying booking vortex as you hunt down the best price.

Luckily, we've got a former front desk manager on hand who will tell you how to book a hotel room like a boss. (The bad ass person kind, not the actual boss of a company kind.)

Here are his Do's and Don'ts of Booking a Hotel Room. Yesterday, we gave you the DO's. Today it's onto the DON'TS. Got a question about booking a hotel room? Let us know!

THE DONíTS OF BOOKING A HOTEL ROOM (as told by a former front desk manager)

1. DONíT only rely on the traditional booking sites like Tripadvisor, Expedia and Travelocity for bookings. There are some other fantastic that offer travelers a truly customized booking experience based on your mood or even a specific amenity. Some of these include Tablet, HotelTonight, and Gogobot.

2. DONíT deal with multiple hotel staff when trying to book with the hotel. We are all one team and word gets around fast that a guest is trying to play the field. Trust that we do try our best to accommodate your every request. Going through the front desk agent, then a manager and then making a call to the Resident Manager is just going to frustrate the hotel staff. We are fully aware of how valuable your business is to us and we are going to do our best.

3. DONíT get carried away with one or two really bad reviews about a hotel. Make sure you read a fair sample of reviews and make sure of the timestamp; the hotel could have made significant refurbishments or management improvements since the last review.

4. DONíT make bookings solely based on famous hotel brand names. There are some fantastic independent hotels around the world that offer great, personalized service and top-notch hotel rooms!

5. DONíT believe that you will get all (if any) reward points if you book through a third-party website. Some hotels do offer their guests points for their incidentals only. This has significantly upset guests who are serial miles/points collectors.

6. DONíT always believe that booking last minute (day of check-in) means that you will have the highest rate. Hotel room nights are a "perishable" product. Meaning, when a room is going to go unsold for the night, the hotel will never get revenue for that night. Therefore, if a booking request comes in as a walk-in or last minute, the hotel can provide preferential rates because some revenue is better than no revenue!

[Photo: HotelChatter]

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In Agreement!

I totally agree with the 'don't' tips above, especially #3 and 6.

#3 There are a few (admittedly a tiny few) people who will never be satisfied and seem to relish airing the smallest of glitches. Hotels, restaurants, the lot!

#6 In my experience, booking a hotel room last minute is almost always the most cost-effective way.  The savings can be vast.  There's nothing more disappointing than discovering you've paid the top rate for a room without needing to!


Walked

It happens. I have been walked once or twice before and for me what makes the difference is the attitude of the people I am dealing with. In one instance neither the original nor the 'replacement' hotel were in any way helpful - in fact they acted like the whole thing was my fault (and I ended up in a room with a fold out couch for a bed!). In the other, both clerks were professional, apologetic and helpful. While it is nice to ask for perks, for me a heartfelt apology and acknowledgement that I have been inconvenienced goes much further. A very simple "I'm so sorry, but let me do what I can to make this better" is much more useful than rewards points or a breakfast. We have become too expectant on points, upgrades, miles, and freebies.

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