The best hotel rates are usually accompanied by a special rate code. You never know where you will find that almighty elusive code. I consider the AAA rate as my baseline amount and try to find lower rates than that.
Recently, I was looking up college football schedules. On the website with the University of Miami schedule, there is a link to “travel and leisure partners.” I clicked the link and checked out some of the hotels. One of the offerings is the Ritz-Carlton in Coconut Grove. I looked at sample rates for a weekend in October. Here were the rates:
$189 – University of Miami rate
$269 – AAA rate
$299 – regular rate (corporate rate)
$299 – hotels.com (Best Rate Guaranteed, ha!)
I am confident $189 would be the lowest rate but to make sure I could check a few other online booking sites. Then, I would call the Ritz-Carlton main reservation center (800-542-8680) and the property (305-644-4680)—and ask if there are any weekend specials, visitor rates, etc. (I love to find deals).
Spending a couple of minutes (and discovering this secret, negotiated code) saved me $110 PER NIGHT (or $80 per night off my AAA baseline rate). Places to find other magic codes include FlyerTalk.com, magazines, e-mail subscriptions, your company’s HR department, and so on. Any other suggestions?
Please note: now on the Ritz-Carlton website (under Special Rates) it says “Proof of eligibility required.” It was not there when I first looked. When checking in, you may be asked to prove your association to get Ritz-Carlton discounts (for any rate code, not just this one).
Incorporate this strategy into your travel skill arsenal and save big money on lodging. Even if you want to stay at a Ritz-Carlton.
For current Ritz-Carlton promotions, check the Ritz-Carlton Offers page.