Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Taking advantage of hotels' best rate guarantee

Most hotels have on their website words to the effect of a best price guarantee, being that if you find a rate for the same room and dates at the hotel via another website that they will beat that price.

Each of them of course come with terms and conditions as to how to make this work and it would seem from reading some of them that perhaps the guarantee is not as iron-clad as it may have originally seemed.

Starwood Best Rate Guarantee

That said, however, I have had some luck with the Starwood Best Rate Guarantee for a booking made last year. My sister was travelling to Europe and I had helped her book most of her travel and accommodation. She had fallen in love with the Hotel Bristol in Vienna, Austria and decided that was where she wanted to stay.

We looked online and saw that a hotel selling website had a double room with breakfast for the rate of 482 euros. We also noted that there was a 10 euro cancellation fee if the room was cancelled any time up to one week before the reserved dates.

We then looked at the Hotel Bristol website and saw that it had a rate of 310 euros per night (so 620 euros for the entire 2 night stay).

In order to secure the cheap rate in case it disappeared before the Best Rate Guarantee claim was assessed, I booked it on the website where we initially saw it.

The Best Rate Guarantee link at the Hotel Bristol website redirected me to the Starwood Best Rate Guarantee website which contains all the information you need about making a claim. It can be accessed at:

Claims have to be made either before making a booking or if you have already made a booking through the hotel itself then within 24 hours of that booking.

In the case of the Starwwood Best Rate Guarantee, if your claim is successful then you have the choice of either:
  1. an additional 10% off the Competing Rate per room per night; or
  2. 2000 Starwood Preferred Guests Starpoints per room per stay.
In this case, we elected for the 10% off the competing rate and we got exactly that. In order to secure the rate, once the claim was approved, all we had to do was book it via the Hotel Bristol's website and email the confirmation number. There was no need to pay all of it in advance or anything either.

So we managed to save money even factoring in the cancellation fee we had to pay to the initial website that we booked with and it didn't involve laborious paperwork either- just a simple form with contact details and the competing rate and site.

How about you? Have you taken advantage of any Best Rate Guarantees for hotel bookings either through the hotels themselves or through booking sites?

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