Let’s face it, staying at fabulous luxury resorts across the globe is not cheap…at all. However, just because we love to indulge in the finer side of travel doesn’t mean we have money to burn and don’t love a good bargain. Any time I don’t have to pay full price for a stay or upgrade at my favorite hotel is a win for me, and since deals at top brands like Aman, Four Seasons and St. Regis don’t pop up often, it makes the deal even sweeter. These five tips have always served me well, and I’m sure if you try them, you’ll be living luxe for less in no time.
Loyalty is Key
This tip should be obvious. One of the best ways to receive free stays and upgrades, and to score deals, is to sign up for a loyalty program and stick to it. Going to your favorite hotel booking site and searching for the cheapest room might seem like a good idea, but you don’t earn loyalty with the hotel. Joining their program means you earn points, which over time add up to free stays, upgrades and other perks. To maximize your membership, look for companies offering opportunities to earn points with your favorite hotel brand. For example, Starwood Preferred Guests can earn points when using Uber during their stay, and members of Delta SkyMiles enjoy crossover rewards with SPG Platinum and Gold members earning 1 Starpoint for every dollar spent on eligible Delta flights, which are redeemable for free hotel stays,
Contact the Hotel Directly
So many people overlook this simple way to score great deals and upgrades. Using Hotels.com is great, but sites like these don’t always show you what promos the hotel may be running at the time. Go directly to the hotel’s website to check, and then take it one step further and call the hotel directly. When I say directly, I don’t mean the 800 number, I mean the actual hotel. The people working in the hotel have more power to upgrade you to a better room, if possible, and sometimes have knowledge of deals that may not have been made public yet.
Book During Shoulder and Low Seasons
Everyone wants to go to Europe in the summer and bask in the glory of their fancy beachside resorts, trouble is summer is peak season in Europe which means luxury hotel prices are typically sky high. In contrast, you could probably find a great deal at a luxury hotel in Dubai over the summer since high temps make that time of year their low season. Traveling during shoulder season or during low season, when hotels don’t expect much traffic, can more than likely get you a good rate. Just try to avoid the worst months weather-wise so you’re not disappointed despite the fact that you saved a lot of money!
Bonus: Book during off-peak days as well. Resorts tend to be cheaper during the week, and business hotels some times offer great deals over the weekends.
Break in a New Hotel
Often times when new properties open in an area they offer amazing grand opening rates, packages and perks that they hope will get the word out and increase business. This is the perfect time to book and use the low rates to your wallet’s advantage. Check your favorite hotel brand’s location directory to see if they have any new properties opening up in the destination you’re looking to visit, and then keep your eye on that property’s website, or call them directly to scoop up the great deals.
Mention Special Occasions
Already have a great deal on a hotel, but looking for a free upgrade or some other cool perk? Make sure to drop a note to reservations when you’re staying during a special occasion. Whether it’s your birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, or first time at that particular hotel, it never hurts to mention that you’re there celebrating. You could end up with a room upgrade, welcome amenity, spa discount and more.