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Can a better price be negotiated for a Paris hotel room and if so, how?

Can a better price be negotiated for a Paris hotel room and if so, how?

Old May 16th, 2002, 07:37 AM
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Can a better price be negotiated for a Paris hotel room and if so, how?

I received a quote via email. Now that I'm ready to make reservations, is it possible to get a better price? How would I go about doing this? Or would the French consider this to be rude?
Old May 16th, 2002, 08:16 AM
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Somehow this message was posted twice.
Old May 16th, 2002, 09:36 AM
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Peter---I wouldn't do it. You've been quoted a price; take it or leave it. i think asking for a discount just to see if you can get one is tacky. The only alternative is to ask whether discounts are available for certain groups or ages (for instance, seniors, travel agents, other employees in the travel industry, special memberships in certain organizations, etc.). Your general question about possible discounts for these types of groups, if worded nicely, would not be offensive and just might generate a favorable response you are looking for.
Old May 16th, 2002, 10:48 AM
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I have to disagree here. I don't find it offensive to ask for a discount at all, and I will give you a couple of examples, however, neither of my experiences were in Paris, but they have been in London and Prague. I had priced a hotel for X dollars per night, and thought it was a fair price. I was using a booking agent who stated on its page that it had the best prices and would meet or beat any other price for the same hotel. Booked the hotel through the booking agent and still had the ability to cancel up to 3 days prior to occupancy. A couple of weeks later I went to the hotel's website to get the street address, telephone # and fax # so that I could leave the emergency information with my office. By chance I happened to check the hotel's rack rate, and found it to be $20 per night less than the reservation I already had. I contacted the booking agent that I had my reservation with and asked that the price be met -- just to be the same, not further discounted. I was told by the booking agent that it had a contract with the hotel and could not reduce the booking agent's advertised rack rate. I therefore said that I was sorry and had to cancel the reservation and rebook with the hotel. There wasn't an argument, the booking agent verified the reduced price, but the hotel was light on reservations and most likely reduced its rates to get further additional bookings.

Second scenario. I inquired about pricing for a hotel I was interested in. I was given pricing, which was satisfactory, however, I inquired if a further reduction would be given under two scenarios: I had an extended stay (I was staying for 9 consecutive nights), or if I prepaid the reservation in full. Most bookings at this hotel were for 2 nights. This manager offered that I pay for 7 nights, and that he would throw in 2 nights for free. That to me was satisfactory. There is no harm in asking. The worst that someone can say is no.
Old May 16th, 2002, 12:12 PM
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I agree with Wayne, I think it's rude, cheap and tacky. You've been given a quote which was already based upon your circumstances. I think you can lose in that they may take a disliking to you and you could get worse treatment or a worse room. I'm not saying that will, the odds are nothing negative will result, but I think it could in a smaller hotel where the reservations clerk may remember you. The only exception I can see would be for some real reason like paying in cash, not just because you want to pay less (Leslie's first example was not bargaining with the hotel, but with some extraneous agent, apparently)--long term stay is irrelevant it seems as you've already told them your dates, haven't you? In fact, I'm not sure they can even do that so much in France as prices are regulated more there than in the US where they can kind of charge you anything. I do not bargain over prices of things much, though, it isn't something I find I want to occupy myself (haggling over money) with for many reasons.
Old May 16th, 2002, 12:44 PM
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Actually, no Christina, I did not state how long I would be staying at the hotel in my second scenario - I inquired about pricing over a range of dates. And, using your theory that means that no one should ask for an upgrade on a flight, because you've already made the reservation, paid for it, and have the ticket in hand when you check in. As I said before, there is no harm in asking.
Old May 16th, 2002, 12:56 PM
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This is a small hotel right?
Unless you'll be staying there for more than two weeks, forget about any discounts. And it would be a small 5%-10% discount, at best.
In general, there is no such a thing as a discount in France. Even the retail stores are subject to regulated periods when they can have "soldes", i.e. put some items on sale.
In low season, some large hotel chains such as Novotel or Méridien could have promotional specials, but this is very rare. And even then, the small hoteliers (who, like all the small business persons in France, are a fairly corporatist bunch) will decry it on Place de la Bastille as unfair competition.
Old May 16th, 2002, 01:14 PM
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Thanks very much. It's as I thought, really. Some things that are quite acceptable in the US - particularly New York - or places like London and Prague - or anywhere in Eastern Europe for that matter - just don't apply to France, where propriety is defined in a very particular way.
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