Sometimes finding the lowest rate at a hotel is not as straightforward as one would hope. If the hotel you’re eyeing is a chain property, you might assume that you can go on the chain’s website and the full gamut of rates will be on display: non-refundable, refundable, members’ rates, package rates, CAA, senior etc. The reality, however, is that discovering the actual lowest rate may require a little more digging.
For example, in Thursday’s Chronicle Herald newspaper there was ad for a promotional rate available at four hotels in Atlantic Canada:
The promo is called “Gas Up On Us” and the rate comes with a $25 gas card for each night of the stay (max 3 nights). Interestingly, it says “Call the hotel direct to book this offer” without mentioning the IHG Rewards website for the two hotels that belong to that program.
If you check the rates on the IHG website, you’ll see that the promo rate is not much of a deal at the Holiday Inn Express Inn & Suites Halifax-Bedford. Here’s an example from a random date (Aug. 27, 1 king room). The Gas Up On Us rate is $139 compared to the “Book Now, Pay Later” member exclusive rate of $112.
But, is the Book Now, Pay Later member exclusive rate really the lowest available? No, not if you’re an Atlantic Canada resident.
Check the Hotel’s Website and Facebook Page
If you go to the website for the Holiday Inn Express Halifax-Bedford, or its Facebook page, you’ll see an Atlantic Canada Resident rate under hotel offers. (Oddly, it says save up to 15% and then save up to 20%).
When you click through to the booking page, LOCALGETAWAYS is displayed with a rate of $104 for the same date.
It’s a similar story with the Holiday Inn Express Stellarton-New Glasgow. There’s a special staycation rate under hotel offers and highlighted on the hotel’s Facebook page. In this case, it’s a flat $99 nightly rate according to the Facebook ad and goes until the end of August as per a comment by a hotel rep. The hotel website’s blurb doesn’t mention the $99 or the validity period.
So first, I checked the IHG Rewards website on a random date (Aug. 8, 2 queen room) and found a rate of $129:
Then I used the link directly associated with the promo. The code LOCALGETAWAYS populates in the rate preference box and the $99 rate appears. Proof of Atlantic Canada residency is not included in the terms.
That “Pictou County Pizza Lovers” rate is awfully high in comparison. Just pay the $99 and buy your own Pictou County pizza. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the brown sauce. Lots of people love it though.
It can take a bit of effort to figure out all your options when you’re trying to book the lowest available rate. I suppose it’s possible these discount rates will eventually show up on the main IHG Rewards website and you won’t have to use a special link. In the meantime, remember to check the hotel’s own website and Facebook page when searching for the best deal. After this little exercise I don’t know whether to be annoyed that all available rates aren’t displayed or pleased that cheaper rates do in fact exist if you can find them.