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Best websites for hotel rooms
Old 02-19-2016, 12:40 PM   #1
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Best websites for hotel rooms

I used to use Priceline, but got burned once by a "4 Star" hotel that was pretty bad.
I've had decent luck with Hotels.com

DW and I are planning a few days in Savannah, GA, in April.

What strategies would you use to get the best room for the least money? Also, if you are familiar with Savannah (I am not) where would you recommend staying, both in terms of what area of the city, and specific hotels?

thanks,
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Old 02-19-2016, 12:57 PM   #2
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I read that the thing to do is to use websites like Hotels.com to narrow your hotel choices. Then call the hotel(s) directly and tell them you want a great "deal". They often give you a deal as good or better than the robo-websites. And sometimes you can negotiate a better room.

Anyway I have no personal experience with this but reading it makes it seem somewhat plausible.

- Good luck - let us know how it turns out
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:01 PM   #3
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I have used Travel Advisor along with the hotels own site for reviews. But for pricing I go to the hotels corporate site and put in flexible dates and AARP/Senor rates. I've done well.
Beware that Booking.com requires payment up front and its a hassle to get refunds. Learned that from a hotelier. Same goes for Holiday Inn corporate site. They quote low ball prices but to get then they require payment up front for the low price. If you want the ability to cancel until the last minute the price is higher.
With the issues associated with travel; planes,trains and auto's I rather be able my ability to cancel without charges.
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:09 PM   #4
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We stayed at the Planter's Inn. It was an easy walk to all the attractions . It includes a continental breakfast & a wine & cheese reception.
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:15 PM   #5
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I usually use Tripadvisor to picks the best hotel in a given location, then search booking sites as well as the hotel's site for the best deal.

Hotel sites often offer AAA rates at a good discount beating many other rates.
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:15 PM   #6
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I always stay at the Thunderbird in Savannah. But it is, ahem, an acquired taste. An old 1950s era motel that has been modernized to some degree. But we love it.

I would start somewhere like Kayak or whatever, then check prices against the hotel website and also any credit card portals you might have, like Chase Ultimate Rewards.
I've also stayed outside of the downtown area, when I was using points and got a better deal, but that means driving in, instead of walking around.

If you are just a couple, and not a crowd, stay safe by not straying off the main streets at night. It can be a dangerous place, in some areas, something that is not always apparent to the first time visitor.

Fun city, though. And you can drink on the street!
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:50 PM   #7
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This is our basic approach to finding the best hotel deal, listed in order.
  • Tripadvisor has pretty broad coverage so it's good to start there. Its especially useful when filtering for "specialty lodging" because many of those places don't show up on any other hotel site and can't be booked on line
  • Bookings.com has a huge inventory of properties, so they're usually my second stop. It's also helpful to go to the map so you can see where all the hotels are located (super important for us because location, location, location).
  • Bookings again to look at specific room details. I don't think anyone else has the detail that they do.
  • Agoda for booking hotels in Asia
  • Once we've found our property we check Trivago, Hotelscombined, to do a broad price comparison across multiple sites. Sometimes you really do find a cheaper price this way.
  • Hotel website. If you're traveling in the U.S. and are a AAA member you can often get the best price by using the hotel site and AAA rate.
  • Hotels.com is always our last stop because they have the very best rewards program - equal to 10% off the best published internet price. If Hotels.com has a room in the hotel we want to stay we'll book with them every single time. If we've found a better price somewhere else, we ask Hotels to match it and they do. After 10 nightly stays, we get a coupon to use equal to the average nightly rate of our last 10 nights to use on a future reservation.

    We've redeemed well over $1,000 worth of Hotel.com rewards during the last 2 years. And those discounts come on top of the very best internet rate we could find anywhere. In fact, we just went back and calculated that we saved $350 on just our upcoming trip to Portugal.
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Old 02-19-2016, 06:52 PM   #8
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Booking.com has an incredible number of hotel rooms in every city in the world.

I'll sign in and filter my search lowest price to highest price. Then I'll look for properties with abnormally high customer ratings--for a relatively inexpensive room. I'll then read their evaluations and sometimes will go to TripAdvisor to see what their people say about the Booking.com property. We've never been disappointed, and are usually very satisfied.

In the U.S., I usually stay at one of the Choice Hotels or LaQuinta. We seldom travel outside of cities I'm very familiar win. Choice often has a special where you stay in two different properties and you get one free night.
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:16 AM   #9
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I use TripAdvisor for planning and if the rates are within a couple of bucks I use Hotels.com to book and get my rewards night.
I used Travelocity for the first time in years last week and it was a nightmare. I'll never use them again.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GravitySucks View Post
I use TripAdvisor for planning and if the rates are within a couple of bucks I use Hotels.com to book and get my rewards night.
I used Travelocity for the first time in years last week and it was a nightmare. I'll never use them again.
I didn't know Travelocity still existed!
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Old 02-20-2016, 04:09 PM   #11
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I didn't know Travelocity still existed!

Yeah I'm pretty sure Expedia bought them. They offered 20% off if you download the Travelocity app but they messed up the reservation, hung up on us repeatedly when trying to resolve the issue then somehow canceled the account once they credited it for screwing up.

Danged Gnomes.
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Old 02-20-2016, 05:26 PM   #12
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Fun city, though. And you can drink on the street!
Wait! You can't do that everywhere? Oops.
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Old 02-20-2016, 08:26 PM   #13
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They'll lock you up in Charleston! Unfortunately...but Savannah is our rowdy Georgia cousin!
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:51 PM   #14
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well, I've partied in Charleston, and I've partied in Nawlins, so I'm looking forward to partying in Savannah.
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
I read that the thing to do is to use websites like Hotels.com to narrow your hotel choices. Then call the hotel(s) directly and tell them you want a great "deal". They often give you a deal as good or better than the robo-websites. And sometimes you can negotiate a better room.

Anyway I have no personal experience with this but reading it makes it seem somewhat plausible.

- Good luck - let us know how it turns out
I had someone tell me this when I checked in to a hotel. They said hotels.com took a 30% cut of the price the customer paid and that I should call them to negotiate a price.

Frankly, I like the fact that I get a 10% discount from the list price and I like having hotels.com behind me. Every time I've spoken to hotels.com they were wonderful and their help desk appears to be US based which makes communication much easier.
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Old 02-24-2016, 04:25 AM   #16
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When we bid on Priceline or use Hotwire we always check two sites for data...betterbidding.com and biddingfortravel.com.

We find that some cities are particularly good for Priceline bidding, others not do much.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:33 AM   #17
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We love Savannah. Was just there a few days ago. I second the notion that you should stay downtown in the historic district. Every thing you want to see as a "tourist" is right there and there are a lot of hotels. The Savannah suburbs (including areas right near the downtown) can be "gritty"

We stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn downtown. New, reasonable and walking distance to every thing. A lot of the chain hotels are represented in that area. If you end up staying longer, there are a few suites and longer stay type hotels that are a straight shot down Abercorn from downtown but then you'd end up having to drive back into the downtown.

As to sites, I usually look at Priceline or Hotwire, double check against Tripadvisor and then try and book directly with the hotel ! If they will match the price (99% of the time) I always feel safer and more appreciated being a direct customer.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:42 AM   #18
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booked into Planters. I owe DW a first class vacation.
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:01 AM   #19
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On a few road trips we have had success doing this aroun 5or 6 PM.

We pre select one or two places. DW will call them while I am driving. She says that we are about a half hour out of town (which we are). She asks what their very best rate is for a room. They know that if the answer is not attractive to us we will be calling their competition. They have one chance of selling the room to us. It has been a successful tactic on a number of occasions. And once she gets a good rate we ask about the rest...breakfast, view room whatever. She is very good at it.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:03 AM   #20
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On a few road trips we have had success doing this aroun 5or 6 PM.

We pre select one or two places. DW will call them while I am driving. She says that we are about a half hour out of town (which we are). She asks what their very best rate is for a room. They know that if the answer is not attractive to us we will be calling their competition. They have one chance of selling the room to us. It has been a successful tactic on a number of occasions. And once she gets a good rate we ask about the rest...breakfast, view room whatever. She is very good at it.
That's definitely a successful strategy in places you can count on to have lots of available rooms. But you never know when the annual falconers convention is in town, so it's not a strategy completely without risk.

If you're just staying for a single night or don't really care whether you can stay in a preferred location or even your desired town, then there's limited downside. Even more so if you're driving because it vastly increases your options versus when you arrive by bus or train.

Negotiating hotel deals on the spot is a favorite tactic for budget travelers around the world. We've tried it ourselves but found that searching for rooms after a long day of busy travel just isn't for us. And we've seen far too many folks walking from hotel to hotel looking for a room to think that the potential downsides aren't very real.
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