Hotels promote booking through their websites instead of online travel agencies in a variety of ways. One is the new model of the ‘member discount for booking direct’ to convince you that they have the lowest prices on their own websites.
Nonetheless, that often still isn’t true and I find lower prices through online travel agency websites all the time.
You’re supposed to be able to get a hotel chain to match the price through their best rate gaurantees. But those are so riddled with terms and outs that more often than not those guarantees are meaningless.
I frequently find lower prices through online travel agency sites when prices in a city are high, and hotels are selling out. They may no longer have base rooms available through their website, but those rooms are still being sold via third parties.
For a stay last month I found the Park Hyatt DC at over $700 on Hyatt’s website, but around $300 at Prestigia.com. That’s because Prestigia was selling standard rooms, and Hyatt showed they were out of those rooms. I couldn’t use a Best Rate Guarantee because I couldn’t book the same room through Hyatt that I could through the third party site. I didn’t wind up staying there (I didn’t actually want to spend $300 a night).
This week I needed to be in DC for two nights and hotels were priced super high. Full service hotels in Arlington were running over $400 per night.
The Marriott Key Bridge was sold out of standard rooms — but Getaroom.com had two nights for less than $400 total inclusive of tax. I booked with Getaroom.com, and of course with different room types I couldn’t do a Look No Further Guarantee claim.
There’s another way hotels encourage you to book direct. And that’s that in a sell out condition, what kind of room do you think they’re going to assign to a cheap OTA booking?
I knew walking in that I wasn’t in one of the better-maintained rooms on property.
Here were my sheets:
And this was my shower:
I also didn’t have a premium view:
First world problems, to be sure. My point is that being out in the back of the property the room seemed to be ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and of course it’s the view you give someone at the bottom of the rung for room assignment. At least I don’t mind Marriott’s toiletries.
The room was fine enough… except for the tissue stuffed into the peep hole in the door.
I left the tissue there throughout my stay wondering if housekeeping would do anything about it. They did not.
At least I had the opportunity to tip housekeeping.
Then again, I was grateful to the previous guest who (I assumed) put the tissue into the peephole. There wasn’t anything to cover the super wide peephole in the door, and this was a Marriott afterall.
“Stop clicking around” … or else.