go with the flo!

How to get the best deal on a hotel room

Tricks and tips you can use to find the best room rates

19:38 April 4, 2017
A visitor checks out a room at the hotel;
Danelle Ruth Palang

Planning a hotel stay anytime soon? Here's how you can find the best room rates and deals for a guilt-free stay.

I spoke with seasoned hotelier Danelle Ruth Palang, the Marketing and Communications Director at Dusit Thani Dubai, to get her top tips to booking a room.

Palang's first tip is to book directly through the hotel's website. You can get "value add-ons" like free breakfast, late checkout, airport pick-up or room upgrades that, if you think about it, add up to more savings, she says.

And since we're on the topic of freebies, Palang suggests: "Ask if the hotel provides complimentary welcome drink, shuttle service, WiFi, bottles of water, etc. Freebies, regardless of value, can still end up valuable when added up".

The length of your stay can also help you negotiate a cheaper rate, Palang says. "Hotels usually offer extensive savings on extended stays," she says. Check out hotels that offer discounts for long-staying guests or programs like free nights.

"Book early!" Palang advises. As clichéd as it sounds, the early bird still always catches the worm, she said. You usually get lower rates for hotel rooms booked in advance.

Palang also recommends including breakfast in your room booking, saying it ends up being cheaper compared to getting a room-only option.

If you're hoping to snag an upgrade, Palang recommends staying at a hotel on non-peak periods. In the UAE, that falls during Ramadan and summer, which is from May to August.

To increase your perks, check out the hotel’s social media sites for special offers and monthly promotions on dining outlets, spa and other services. "Hotel guests are usually entitled to exclusive discounts," Palang says.

Most importantly, before going ahead with a room booking, "take advantage of the live chat option either on the website or by sending a message on Facebook Messenger or Instagram, and clarify all the fees involved as well as inclusions you can enjoy", Palang advises.