hotel booking - reserve or walk in?

Old Jul 25th, 2002, 05:51 AM
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hotel booking - reserve or walk in?

havent stayed much in US hotels - can you get a decent rate (compared to internet) if you walk in on the same day? want to keep travel plans fluid. Also re chain hotels - which is best - Days/BestWestern/Holiday Inn? looking to stay close to $100 US or less. Thanks.
Old Jul 25th, 2002, 05:53 AM
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Walk in rates are generally cheaper but you risk the fact of not being able to find a room or getting whats left which could be the bottom of the barrel.
Old Jul 25th, 2002, 05:59 AM
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You will also want to make sure you are aware of any local events going on in the towns you will be visiting. If the town is busy there is more likely of of a chance that there will be no rooms to be had.
Old Jul 25th, 2002, 06:42 AM
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Walk-up rates are often high. The hotel figures that if you have made the effort to come all the way in, are tired, and obviously want to stay in the area for the evening, you're more likely to accept a higher room rate than someone who is "shopping around" by phone. That said, you can usually haggle the room price downward. Clerks are trained to quote high and work downward. Why offer you a room for $80 if you're willing to pay $100 for it, right? The most common scenario is this one: "How Much is a room for the night?" "$100 for a deluxe queen". "Hmmm, I was hoping to spend less, anything else available?" "Well, I have a standard double for $85!" Patron turns to walk out and clerk says, "You know what, I can give you the $85 rate and upgrade you to the deluxe room if you're interested."

We have found phone rates to often be lower than walk-up rates as the clerk tries to lure you to their establishment. Even just phoning a hotel from a block away sometimes saves you $20 on the room rate.

Old Jul 25th, 2002, 07:01 AM
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I work in a hotel in the popular tourist destination city of Asheville, NC... and here are my tips for you.

In a resort city like Asheville, you will not find a rate of less than $89.95 - $99.95 on Fridays or Saturdays, so don't bother. If you're looking to stay in a busy tourist city for anything less, you're a moron -- sorry, but it's true, so don't act shocked at the prices. We have to charge you now so we can keep the lights on in January when the desk clerk has nothing better to do than sit around and watch TLC or the Discovery Channel for up to 6 hours at a stretch.

Here, you will get a much better rate if you book online, or through central reservations by calling the 1-800 number. They don't know about local events in the area, and we do, charging accordingly. This weekend, for example, you will pay no less than $105.95 because it's the weekend of Bele Chere, Asheville's annual street party, which is expected to draw at least 360,000 visitors. They are not aware of this at central or, and won't know to raise the price as the vacant room price drops, as we will.

We hotel clerks keep up with each other and rates. And if several hotels, each representing a different franchise (Comfort, Hampton, Ramada, Days, etc.) are all owned by the same corporation as they are here -- a handful of corporations control all the chain hotels -- the rates won't change much from hotel to hotel. Threatening to go to Days Inn, when it's owned by the same company as Ramada, where you didn't like the quoted rate, won't get you anywhere and likely, when you come crawling back we'll recognize you and raise the rates another five dollars. While you were gone, two more people checked in.

Know where you are. It's not uncommon for there to absolutely no motel rooms availabe in Asheville or Hendersonville, except at the no-tell motels that rent by the hour, so be prepared. You score no points with desk clerks by asking in an offended, grating whine, "Tourist season? Well, what's there see here?!" when told why there are no rooms in respectable establishments left.

Basically, for God's sake, make reservations. Don't walk in. Don't be a doofus. You get the best rates by planning ahead, being prepared, and knowing what to expect. You may enjoy the excitement of not knowing where you'll lay your head tonight, but we know your kind and have no qualms about grasping your firmly about the ankles and shaking until enough money drops out.

Old Jul 25th, 2002, 07:27 AM
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Very enlightning post,
Old Jul 25th, 2002, 08:20 AM
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thanks for email - guess ill phone the 1-800 a day or so before - by the way you shouldnt confuse lack of knowledge with stupidity - let me know which hotel you work at so i can avoid it - job satisfaction doesnt seem to be too good there (i did say $100 or so so $89-99 will be just fine)
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