Negotiating Hotel Rates

Old Jan 22nd, 2009, 09:46 AM
  #1  
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Negotiating Hotel Rates

Looking to book 3 week nights in Captiva Isl FL in March, and wonder how negotiable hotels are in general from what is posted on their websites? Does anyone have any experience "haggling" and any suggestions as to how to go about it? Thank you.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2009, 11:38 AM
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I would think FL in March would be high season rather than a time to try to haggle.

But - you can always call and ask if they have any special promotions or give discounts for any of your affinity organiztions.

Have you looked at all of the standard discounte sites to see what they have?
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Old Jan 22nd, 2009, 11:57 AM
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nytraveler has the idea - give the hotels a call and ask if they have any discounts available. Lots of times they have some that are not published on the net.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 03:31 AM
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But don't hold your breath.

March is still high season, early March is _really_ high season, and three days is an awkward amount of time. You might do better for a week or for one night.

I would start by checking out the usual booking sites, then, as suggested, calling the properties you are interested in, though I assume you know that on Captiva, as compared to Sanibel, your choices are pretty limited.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 06:58 AM
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FWIW, I notice that some very attractive part-week deals are currently being offered in Key West. I suspect it's a reflection of the softening economy, and the upscale accommodations may feel it more than usual.

I know nothing of Captiva, but as the time gets closer, it might be worth checking with various hotels/motels. I notice that there is a link on the following site for same-day lodging vacancies in the area: http://www.sanibel-captiva.org/stay/index.asp . That would suggest that vacancies, even in high-season, are available.

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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:58 AM
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bookhall,

actually it's the other way around. Because of the economy, we here in Florida and I can speak for Sarasota area, are seeing great numbers of tourists. Many of the same people that would have traveled to the Caribbean or Europe are packing their kids in the family car and driving to Florida instead. The traffic around Sarasota is getting very bad with license plates representing just about all of midwest and northeast. People still want to vacation and many can't afford the type of vacations they took in previous years so they do the next best thing. In some ironic twist, just because of the economy, Florida will probably do much better this year than it did in previous years.

OP,

I doubt very much you can haggle with any hotel at the peak of the season, especially if you're just staying for 3 nights. You'll be lucky to find vacancy at that time of the year. I would not count on any discounts, specials in March.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 04:53 PM
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Thanks for the input. I thought possibly since we're interested in 3 week nights I might have more luck. But as noted, it IS March in FL...prime time.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:02 PM
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I'm just wrapping up a week in the Ft Myers area. And got back from Sanibel several hours ago. I have NOT seen, at all, this week, any NO VACANCY signs.

That's observation, FWIW, not speculation.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:18 PM
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bookhall,

this is January and we're talking March, peak of the tourist season. Not saying that the OP can't find a room, but basically it's either take what what the hotel is offering or? Not too many deals to be had.....
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:26 PM
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bookhall, with all due respect, there are only a couple of real "motels" on Sanibel. Most accomodations are condos. How many vacancy/no vacancy signs exist on Sanibel? For the life of me, I can't remember any. In fact, these days how many of those regular chain hotels/motels have "no vacancy" signs? I haven't seen any anywhere in years.

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Old Jan 24th, 2009, 09:02 PM
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I'm in Fort Lauderdale right now, so I can't whip over to Sanibel and count motels. A quick web search indicates somdewhere between 10 & 20 motels. Sure, some are condos. But if they rent by the night, they fit my definition of motel (if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck....)

Again, if it's got a vacancy sign hanging out, my experience is there are rooms for rent.

And March may, indeed, be a much greater month for lodging business in Florida than January. I've, generally, never found the rates to reflect that, though I have noticed some tweaking of winter rates by an occasional lodging.

Hey, I'm not Charlie know-it-all when it comes to the subject. I was reporting my observations, and offered a thought on the matter. I'm gonna be here for a week, and then I'm going down to the Keys for a week, spending several days in Key West. And I have no reservations for down there. I did it last year, as well, with no problem. As the lady in the Key West Welcome Center said then, "availability has not been an issue."
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Old Jan 24th, 2009, 11:07 PM
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A quick web search indicates someewhere between 10 & 20 motels.

I guess you have never been to that island. As Patrick posted, there are 2-3 motels at best and that's stretching it. It's mostly condo complexes and couple of hotels as in Tween Waters Inn (I think?)

It's true that some of the condo places rent by day but I would never call these places motels or even hotels.

March in Florida is high season, period. Once again I will say that it's not impossible to find a place on the little keys but it will cost you and sometimes it may not be the place you really want.

Just like Patrick I live in SW Florida, have friends that run some of these places so I think I know exactly what's going on.
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Old Jan 25th, 2009, 02:37 AM
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Ah, yes, Sanibel. Herewith a couple of pictures: http://tinyurl.com/c277df . The final one shows us leaving the island. Indeed, as I am now doing, with this post.
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Old Jan 25th, 2009, 05:08 AM
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sorry that you are so offended by the basic honesty of this situation. Perhaps you were right. Perhaps in a fit of nostalgia, all the hotels and condos have recently returned to putting cute little neon signs out front lighted for vacancy and no vacancy. I just haven't seen that quaint custom in years.

My comment had nothing to do with whether or not places are full, simply that I would think saying you didn't see "no vacancy signs" on buildings means little as I don't suspect there are many such signs. I'm in Savannah now. I haven't seen a single no vacancy sign at any of the dozens and dozens of B&Bs, Inns, or hotels I've passed here either. Then again, I haven't seen a single vacancy sign either. They just don't seem to have those things any more. See my point?

Sorry you misunderstood and feel it necessary to run away embarrassed.
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Old Jan 25th, 2009, 05:35 PM
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But if they rent by the night, they fit my definition of motel (if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck....)

just curious, but if they rent by the night, why do they call themselves hotel?, not motel. (if it walks like a duck......)
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Old Jan 25th, 2009, 06:59 PM
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Do you want to stay on Captiva? You could also try staying in Ft. Myers or Ft. Myers Beach, both of which are not too far from Sanibel/Captiva. Your options would be a lot greater doing this. Have you tried to find a private party to rent from? We found a nice house near the beach in Ft. Myers Beach to rent in the middle of February for a decent price. Just wondering if you had considered not actually staying on Captiva. It costs about $8 to go across the bridge to Sanibel/Captiva each time. That is another thing to consider. Hope you find a place for your trip.
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