How to score the best luxury hotel deals: 5 expert tips

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ROOMS TO MANUVER A hotel expert recommends that bargain hunters pick up the phone and call the hotel they want to book. Some hotels will offer new reduced rates to those who book directly or to former customers.


Drawing:

Jori Bolton

TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS one night for a hotel room with a king-size bed in Nantucket. Over $ 4000 per night for a “Desert View Suite” in Utah. Travelers impatient to get back on the road have a nasty surprise: the shock of hotel stickers. According to a recent survey by the travel booking app Hopper, accommodation prices in the United States are up 42% from the start of the year and are expected to rise further by the winter break. “We have seen incredibly high levels at some leisure destinations,” said Hopper economist Adit Damodaran. Why the peak? “The demand for hotels skyrocketed overnight” around Memorial Day, said Andrea Stokes, head of hotel practice at research firm JD Power. Additionally, many guests have chosen to stay in the United States this year instead of going overseas. The good news is, you can still snag a bargain or fight for a discount. We asked a few travel industry insiders for their top booking tips:

The good moment

Hopper advises making reservations at least 30 days in advance for a hotel in a resort area. But for downtown hotels, try the reverse route: book less than two weeks before your arrival for last-minute deals when stocks start. And look for midweek specials.

Regroup

By booking a flight and hotel package, you could save up to 40%. Recently, JetBlue Vacations offered a three-night trip to Palm Springs for two in October with prices starting at $ 949 per person, including round-trip flight from New York and a room at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa. .

Look at the underrated destinations

“Now is a great time to explore lesser-known places,” said Misty Belles, spokesperson for the Virtuoso travel consortium. Are you planning a wine getaway? Experience the Willamette Valley in Oregon instead of Napa, she said. For a beach getaway, opt for Destin in the Florida Panhandle over Miami.

Check the source

Subscribe to the mailing list of the hotel of your choice and follow the establishment on Instagram, where deals sometimes appear. Another insider tip: Pick up the phone and call. Some hotels will offer discounted, unpublished rates to those who book direct, and these rates will not appear in random web searches.

Work with a travel counselor

You might have to pay a fee, but advisers can afford to give you plenty of freebies – from free breakfasts and Wi-Fi to room upgrades – that can save you money at checkout. Look for one that’s affiliated with a consortium, like Ensemble, Travel Leaders, or Virtuoso, who uses their collective purchasing power to secure deals, like a third night free at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.

Experts say the price increases reflect an economy recovering from pandemic lows, but higher demand has made some vacation essentials harder to find. We explain why and share some strategies to help avoid sticker shock. Photographic illustration: Jacob Reynolds / WSJ

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What are your tips for finding great travel deals? Join the conversation below.

Copyright © 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the print edition of September 25, 2021 under the title “Des parts to maneuver”.


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