This simple hack can score you free—yes, FREE—hotel rooms! Read on to find out why else you should always book directly with hotels, according to Natasha Pathela, a Cluster Revenue Manager at AccorHotels.
There have never been this many booking channels to reserve hotels around the world. With thousands of distribution channels, both online and offline, we’re a little spoiled for choice.
A few channels have evolved and have become very sophisticated in understanding your travel needs. But take it from a customer and a hotelier who’s been in the industry now for 10 years, here’s the best way to get accommodations: BOOK DIRECT.
Why? Here’s why you should always book directly with hotels.
To start earning points, all you have to do is simply enrol in a hotel chain membership upon reservation or check-in. You’ll just have to provide a few details such as your name, email address, address and contact number to do so—membership comes at no extra cost.
Hotels take note of which guests booked directly with them, so you’ll get amazing customer service from reservations to front office to the concierge to housekeeping—basically every touch point.
You’ll also have more control on your reservation, whether you make them online, or by calling the hotel or even central reservations. The hotel or brand office will always take care of you.
And once you establish your loyalty, you might start to receive amenities and special gifts upon arrival and throughout your stay. Hotels take the time to get to know their loyal guests and soon take care of them further when they return in the future. Yes, this is done with all guests equally, but hotels make an extra effort with guests who book directly.
It may seem like an online travel agent has a cheaper rate, but it is a standard to give the same rates you are selling online to your online travel agents. If you book directly with a hotel and are part of their loyalty program, you will be eligible to a member exclusive rate.
Some hotels even extend an additional discount if you come back and book directly with them. When you book directly, you could get room upgrades to the next category—even a suite!
As you accumulate more points and stays, you will reach different tiers of membership, which can extend a discount of 10% or more at hotel restaurants and bars. This is a huge bonus considering we love to enjoy delicious food and drinks during our holidays and business trips.
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And this list goes on. In the short term, booking a rate you find through a wholesale or online travel agent may be most appealing at the time of reservation. But trust me, in the long run, especially if you want return to the chain, you will realise the big benefit of booking directly from the very beginning.
Who knows? When you want to plan your honeymoon or a special trip for someone special, you might be able to get it for free!
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