SUNDAY nights are the cheapest if you’re looking to score a serious hotel bargain, according to a travel expert.
And you can save even more by booking directly with the hotel – but only after you’ve checked price comparison sites first.
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Jane Knight, 55, is a travel writer and the editor of the Good Hotel Guide.
She stays in dozens of hotels a year as part of her job and often checks out new openings before anyone else.
Speaking to Sun Online Travel, she said: “My top tip for getting a great hotel deal is to book a Sunday night stay.
“During off-peak months in particular, these can be up to half the price of a Saturday night, often with extras such as a free meal or a spa treatment thrown in.”
The 16-room Chester Townhouse for example has room-only rates for £71 on a Sunday compared to £159 on a Saturday night.
Or you can check into the sleek and modern LEVEN Manchester for £88 a night on a room-only basis – this would normally set you back £199 on a Saturday.
The best time of the year to score huge discounts is between January and March, as well as November to mid-December, according to Jane. Prices will be higher just before Christmas, over New Year’s and February half term though.
If you’re looking to book a weekend break rather than just a one-night stay, a business hotel is usually a good bet. These are rarely busy at the weekend so there are better deals to be found.
You can also save by booking budget-friendly offerings from well known names,
Jane explained: “You can stay in the fabulous Mollie’s Motel in Oxfordshire (also in Bristol) from £60 a night.
“It’s one of Nick Jones’s hotels – he’s the guy behind Soho House – so yes, it may be cheap and cheerful, but you can be sure it’s good.”
And it’s always worth signing up for loyalty schemes as some do offer great deals. “It doesn’t mean you have to book with them all the time though,” Jane added.
In terms of where to look for bargains, Jane has a few suggestions.
She said: “The Good Hotel Guide has a special deals section on its website and Groupon often has some great deals.
“If you want to go down the secret hotels route, where properties are shown at a discount but you don’t know the name of the hotel until you’ve booked it, try lastminute.com and hotwire.com, which says it can save up to 60 per cent. You can often work out where the hotel is by doing a little research.”
To check whether it’s a genuine bargain, you’ll need to do a bit of research.
Jane suggests: “Check out the prices at other times of the year. And if you’re on a booking site, always check the direct rate with the hotel.”
In fact, booking directly with the hotel is one of the best ways to get a good discount, according to Jane.
“Do your research”
She said: “Hoteliers want you to book directly with them rather than through a booking site, which costs them a hefty commission of about 15-20 per cent.
“If you find a booking site has a cheaper price or a similar one, call the hotel up and ask them if they can give you an upgrade, a better price, or even a complimentary drink.”
As for whether you should book way ahead or at the last minute, that depends.
Jane said: “A lot of hotels will give huge discounts if they have lots of empty rooms at the last minute. But if you want to get away on a specific date, particularly if it’s on a Saturday or during the school holidays, book well ahead.”
Sometimes you can book ahead but still take advantage of a better rate closer to the time.
Jane explained: “I booked [a hotel] at the beginning of February to stay in Norfolk during the Easter holidays because I wanted to stay in that particular property in a certain room.
“Like many properties, it offers a money-back guarantee if I cancel, so I can always change my plans.
“If the room rate goes down later on, I can cancel the original booking and rebook it at the cheaper price.”
The owner of a boutique hotel has revealed how guests can get a free upgrade on their room – but warns people not to be greedy.
Some travel experts have explained how they get luxury hotel room upgrades for free every time they spend a night away.
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