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  • Gary B 40 posts

    Generally speaking does the room rate increase with time ie it’s cheaper to book many months in advance?

    JDB 4,654 posts

    This is something you can’t really generalise about as pricing is set by each individual hotel, not in a central manner like airlines. Room rates will fluctuate considerably depending on demand and many other factors. Demand/availability can change suddenly if the hotel gets a group booking or decides to take rooms out of service for refurbishment etc. Non-refundable advance rates ought to be more generous now that there is a time value in money, but I doubt it will happen for a while.

    Travel Strong 299 posts

    What can be said is, generally, a pretty solid strategy is:
    – Book a fully flex rate as early as possible
    – Keep checking back/rebooking (on a flex rate) if it goes down

    Personally, I’ve also learnt the hard way that a non-flex rate is never worth the risk, no matter how ‘sure’ I am of my plans!

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,268 posts

    All my bookings are on refundable rates. After almost losing £2,000 in the pandemic I wasn’t going to risk non refundable rates again.

    Some examples.

    On 25th July I booked a stay at a Kimpton (I’m here now) for 5 nights for € 1465.

    On 29th July the price dropped to € 1311.

    Then two days later it was € 1600+.

    I have no idea what the price was if I’d booked 6 months ago because I only decided to do the trip in the first place on the 25th July

    Same room same dates same cancellation terms.

    In August last year I booked the Mint House in New York for a stay in June for approx $1800. The price only went up.

    But June last year I booked it for January this year and the price went down by 1/3rd. (Note the original price was a good deal in the first place).

    On 28th April I booked the HI in Manchester for £320 for two nights in December. On 3rd May it went down to £ 285. Today it’s £330.

    Last September I booked the Rui Plaza Berlin for this September for €720 for 5 nights.

    Few days later the price doubled as a large event had its dates confirmed and it has never gone down in price since only up (I’d booked that weekend and the following one on a belt and braces basis.)

    What I’m trying to show is there really isn’t any sort of strict rule that booking months in advance is always cheaper.

    But like many of us here I regularly check my bookings to see if I can save any cash or points. I sometimes find that if prices do drop that I can get a better room for the same price as the original one and I’ll treat myself instead of saving the cash.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,158 posts

    Now things have settled down lockdown/travel closures wise, I’m moving back to non-refundable for future trips. The difference can be £30-50 a night and frankly I’d rather have that money in my pocket.

    If the world loses its head again over a new covid variant (I see in Ireland, RTÉ’s former covid correspondent is trying to make that happen) then travel insurance would cover any initial cancellations surely as covid lockdowns preventing you from travelling are no longer something to expect and anticipate.

    BJ 656 posts

    They’re all over the place IME. I book flexible rates as soon as I know a stay is required and I then check rates every few days, changing if worthwhile, until each stay draws near. It’s an easy but useful thing to do to fill otherwise useless moments like waiting for a bus, train etc.

    John 1,051 posts

    I’ve saved a lot more by booking non-refundable rates and no showing, than paying for refundable rates.

    Hotels can have sales at any time and it can also depend on when people cancel. At large events hotels may try to have high prices but fail to sell all the rooms and then you get a good deal a day or two in advance, which comes with the risk of having nowhere to stay.

    Guernsey Globetrotter 625 posts

    Just posting a reminder here that the IHG ‘Railcard’ rate is refundable (at least up until 3 days before) and is still coming up considerably cheaper than member non-refundable rates for me at many locations. For example, just booked a night at the Intercontinental Barcelona in October – You’d need to pay Euro 421 to get their standard refundable member rate at the moment (albeit that can be refunded up until 1 day before arrival). Member non-refundable rate Euro 380 v only Euro 350 for ‘Railcard’ rate…

    Lady London 2,140 posts

    Especially as non-refundable rates haven’t gone back to being much cheaper than refundable rates, I can’t see myself booking any hotel rate that’s not refundable until decent rates return for the risk.

    The other trick to be aware of, certainly for points bookings but also sometimes for cash bookings, is to book each night separately. This will certainly give you better flexibility, and may give you better pricing.

    Then just inform the hotel 2-3 days or longer before your arrival, that if poss you’d like to stay in same room. Usually hotel agrees as this saves them cleaning and laundry, but make sure when you check in that they issue key cards valid for your whole stay.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,158 posts

    Just posting a reminder here that the IHG ‘Railcard’ rate is refundable (at least up until 3 days before) and is still coming up considerably cheaper than member non-refundable rates for me at many locations. For example, just booked a night at the Intercontinental Barcelona in October – You’d need to pay Euro 421 to get their standard refundable member rate at the moment (albeit that can be refunded up until 1 day before arrival). Member non-refundable rate Euro 380 v only Euro 350 for ‘Railcard’ rate…

    Can you remind me of the railcard promo code to enter?

    Guernsey Globetrotter 625 posts

    Just posting a reminder here that the IHG ‘Railcard’ rate is refundable (at least up until 3 days before) and is still coming up considerably cheaper than member non-refundable rates for me at many locations. For example, just booked a night at the Intercontinental Barcelona in October – You’d need to pay Euro 421 to get their standard refundable member rate at the moment (albeit that can be refunded up until 1 day before arrival). Member non-refundable rate Euro 380 v only Euro 350 for ‘Railcard’ rate…

    Can you remind me of the railcard promo code to enter?

    Select corporate ID in the rate section of the hotel search and input 786996886 – this books into a ‘Preferred Partner Rate – at least 20% off’ according to the narrative on my latest booking 🙂

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