5 Jan 2017

How To Get The Best Deals On Hotel Rooms

The Weltzeituhr or World Clock at at Alexanderplatz in Berlin. In case you forget when beer o'clock is.

Need a holiday already? Me too. 

More holidays are booked in the first three weeks of January than at any time of the year. With Blue Monday the 19th being the peak day. Understandable!

With the majority of us booking hotel rooms online, hotel rate comparison sites like booking.com are essential for finding the best rates. 

Thing is, most people don't realise that the websites they are checking are owned by the same two companies, Priceline and Expedia. Together they own a 80% market share, and that's not a good thing for competition.

Who Owns Who:

Priceline own: booking.com Kayak  Agoda

It's a brave hotel or hotel group that doesn't choose to work with either of them and risk being invisible on the web.

And when they sign up, they have to agree to a Parity Rate Clause which means they aren't allowed to market a lower rate with another online travel agent, or even on their own website. 

Parity Rate Clauses are outlawed across Europe in many countries including France and Germany, but not in the UK. Does that mean that we are victims of price fixing? I don't know, but a lack of competition is not a good thing. The courts will soon decide.

Let's do a quick example:

I checked Trivago for a 5 night stay in my favourite Berlin hotel from 31st January and it's showing the same £64 rate on ebookers, hotels.com and Expedia:


How To Get The Best Deals On Hotel Rooms

Chosen your hotel room? How to get it at the best rate:

1. Phone the hotel direct and ask for a better rate. 

Before you call them make sure you know the rates of other comparable hotels in their local area, to use as a bargaining tool if necessary. Also it's worth mentioning that you have a friend who worked in the online travel industry (me!) who told you that the commission they pay to these travel sites ranges from 18-30% per booking, so by selling you a room direct saves them money. If they won't offer you a deal, don't be afraid to politely say no thanks. 

2. Phone back the next day and try again.

Call at a different time to see if a different receptionist is on, and if the answer is still the same, try getting the evening meal included, a bottle of wine, wifi, late check out, or even an extra night. It's the same laundry after all. 

3. Don't worry, you're still guaranteed the best available rate.

The above two points usually work for me but if not, of all the sites I've listed, I recommend booking.com but be sure to bookmark their Best Price Guarantee page. If you could have paid less elsewhere, they will pay you the difference.

What about if you're flexible on dates, or maybe you need inspiration?

Check out the daily deals websites. They might not have the exact dates you're looking for, or even the same hotel, but their rates are incredible, with as much as 70% off.

The best ones to try are:

Looking for a great value deal on a family break?

Park Holidays are offering £150 savings if you book before Jan 31st, with £20 deposit and £30 midweek food vouchers on some breaks.

Eurocamp have over 180 parks across Europe and are offering many breaks at Easter for £245 or less, and May breaks for £175 and less.

Do let me know if you found the above useful and if you have any tips on getting the best deals on hotel rooms. Read also my 101 Ways To Save Money.

www.daddydeals.co.uk is a journalistic money saving blog and like all advice you find online, you should do your own research before acting. To help fund our time, many posts will contain affiliate links.

About the Author


Author & Editor

Anthony is a SEO, Social Media and Money Saving Blogger | Business Development Manager | Husband | Father to a noisy toddler | Optimistic | Boundless Enthusiasm | Fortunate!

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