Finding the best travel bargains has felt like an insider’s sport. Despite our unprecedented access to real-time pricing, suspicions abound that there could be a better deal out there that we have yet to unearth. How do we get behind the invisible velvet rope? What’s the secret?
It is hidden away behind members-only sites that ooze exclusivity and mystery hotel deals and auctions that leave you guessing. Here are some methods to getting substantial price cuts on luxury hotels. There is no reason why you shouldn’t live the luxe life.
Membership only sites
A trend that has been steadily rising is members-only luxury lodging sites. They were created to offset the empty hotel rooms caused by struggling global economy. And they are successful, in large part, due to people’s keen interest in how the wealthy live. Plus the fantastic deals, of course.
Getting into one of these “elite” sites such as SniqueAway, Jetsetter, Voyage Privé, and Vacationist is easier than it appears. Most do an instant email identification check while others will approve you within a few days. The properties featured are hand-selected by the site and negotiated directly with the hotel for the best prices. These deals are available for a limited time. Don’t be worried; the dates to travel are usually aplenty.
Growing in popularity are secret hotels, and with sites like secrethotels.org you can be in on the secret! You’re provided a star rating, relative location, and basic details about the hotel’s facilities. Until you secure a reservation, the property’s identity will not be revealed. Why do they hide their names? Often times the prices on these sales are significantly lower than what is published on the hotel’s own brochures and website. If you are flexible about location and can relinquish control over knowing which exact hotel you’ll be booking, this is a great way to get luxury hotels for less.
A “reverse-auction” site, Priceline has been the king of name-your-own-price when it comes to booking hotels. You fill out basic information—what star hotel and the general neighborhood you want to stay in. Then name a price and send. If accepted, you are awarded a hotel that fits within your specifications. If declined, you are supposed to wait 24-hours before trying again. But by adding another qualification (a second neighborhood, for example) you can rebid immediately.
With vacation auctioning sites such as SkyAuction, Luxury Link, and Generous Adventures, the hotel simply goes to the highest bidder. Generous Adventures has $25 bid increments while you can increase your bids on Luxury Link by just $1. Similar to secret hotels, bidders won’t know what the name of the hotel is until afterwards.
Although you may have champagne taste with a beer budget, by utilizing these methods, you will soon be enjoying the good life in your luxurious accommodations.