Posted: 23 Jun 2010 02:15 PM PDT
According to Travelocity, between 20 and 30 percent of online hotel bookings are for "opaque" hotels, the industry term used to describe a hotel whose name is not revealed until AFTER the hotel room has been purchased.
We rarely use hotels ourselves since we usually stay with family or friends when we go out of town. However, for the rare occasion that we do use a hotel the tips below seem very useful.
Dos and Don'ts of booking an opaque hotel:DON'T: Choose an opaque hotel if you're a brand loyalist or need a specific location. While you'll get general location (i.e., Midtown Manhattan vs. 5th and 53rd), the trade off is that the consumer doesn't know the name of the hotel until the booking is complete.
DO: Choose an opaque hotel if price is more important to you than hotel name or exact location. You'll get access to unpublished hotel rates at a huge savings – as much as 45% off. So here's an example – the opaque rate at a 4-star Chicago hotel is just $95 per night – 55% off the regular rate.
DO: Make sure the hotel has all the amenities you require for your trip. Make sure to book through a site that shows amenities such as pool, courtesy breakfast, non-smoking, high-speed Internet and shuttle service before making a decision.
DON'T: Book on a site that doesn't allow you to see customer reviews of the properties. Traveler reviews and ratings on things like cleanliness, location, staff and service, room quality and more are vital to making an informed decision.
DO: Consider the kind of trip you're taking. If it's a business trip, an activity-filled vacation, a last-minute getaway or a whirlwind city tour, an opaque hotel is probably a good choice for you.
DON'T: If you're a hotel junkie, a stickler for thread count, or in general will consider the hotel the make-or-break of your entire trip, this might not work for you.
What about you? Have you ever reserved a room with an opaque hotel? Were you happy? Do you have anything to add to the tips above?
|You are subscribed to email updates from Frugal Hacks |