Here are the 4 aces of negotiating Hotel prices, these aces are not negotiable, any honest and reasonable hotel is going give you a discount.

The 4 Aces of Hotel Discounts

Entering any Hotel is the same as entering a casino, the odds are stacked in favor of the Hotel. The management of the Hotel knows how to make you feel comfortable, relaxed, and agree to spend all your money, you walk away broke, but for odd reasons feel good.

Hotel Management staff practices continuously in the art of booking rooms.

4 aces

I have live in over 1000 Hotel rooms, I am 100 percent positive Hotel owners see me as an easy mark, a soft sale, they never met a person who lived in Hotel rooms for 15 years.

I am a traveler with four aces in my hand, negotiating with hotel is high stakes poker.

Living in expensive cities requires me to have a full deck of knowledge. Generally, the average traveler believes in blind luck, and hopes a great room is granted with no thought. I am like a professional gambler, I always win, because I know my card, and play them well.

The Hotel is the professionals, they are experts in maximizing the room rates, and convincing you they are fair.

10 Dollar Rooms Dominate the Hotel Industry:
The average price of 90 percent of the Hotels on the planet is right at 10 USD per night. And 10 dollars Hotels love to say,
“Our rooms start at 40 USD per night.”
I always remember, the 90 percent of Hotel will rent there rooms for 10 dollars per night.

Please, understand, 50-70 percent of people on planet earn less than 10 dollars per day, this people also need Hotel rooms, and they cannot pay 100 USD per day, it is impossible. The locals never pay the same as tourists and they have rooms, these Hotels are the vast majority of silent, mom and pop Hotels that are easy to find.

In Haiti, they would ask 80 USD per night, and I would negotiate the prices down to 10. This was the biggest spread I ever experienced.

If you take the top 10 Hotel on TripAdvisor for a city, 90 percent of the Hotels are not even listed, the TripAdvisor Hotel are must a minor percent of the Hotels in any city. These are the "Tourist Trap Grade Hotels."

Business Hotel have zero reason to negotiate, the business traveler is billing it to the company and is happy to abuse his or her company. The tourist grade hotel are selling a pig in a poke, they know tourist are incapable of critiquing the value of the Hotel's bundle of benefit. Tourist only live in Hotels 7-14 days a year, they are inexperienced travelers, all Hotels are great, it is wonderful to be on vacation with cleaning staff.

These are the four aces of room discounts, anyone can play them, you do not need to be super savvy, just strict in your price. These four aces make the professional Hotelier soft, and willing to rents you a Hotel room at super discounted prices, all their super marketing programs are neutralized.

I am assuming you want to live in the Bed and Breakfast, Boutique, or Family Ran Hotel, and not the super sophisticated marketing programs of the Hilton, Sheraton, Ritz where the game is so rigged, they know you are a mark, you have almost zero chance to be the House.

First Ace: Monthly Rent
Owners of Hotels will discount the Hotel from 30-80 percent. Many small Hotels need 300 dollars in one lump sump, so they can buy a new air conditioner, or a major purchase.

It is hard for a Hotel manager to say,
"You pay 3000 dollars per month, they know that is an outrageoust sum of money for their room." 

Second Ace: Weekly Rent
I use this one 1-2 times per month, it saves me on average 30 percent off the price of room, it is paid in advance, guaranteed profit for Hotel, and less cost for them in clean fees.

Third Ace: No Reservation:
I almost refuse to reserve a room, I do this maybe for 3 hotels out of 100. And, only because I have no choice. 99 percent of the time, I arrive in the city before noon, and find a room at my leisure, and this alone decrease the cost of the room by 75 percent. And, without a reservation, I can choose the best room in the Hotel, and they cannot force me to accept a bad room. I am in the power position, I have the aces.

Fourth Ace: Off Season:
There is high season, and low season, most of my readers just do not get it, going to any tourist destinations at high season guaranteed you pay 2-5 times more than off season.

98 percent of Hotels deal from the bottom of the deck, they cannot be trusted, they will say anything to make you a mark.

The idea of giving a great room, for honest rates, is not the monetization model of the tourist industry. The monetization model is finding naive, use sweet words, terms of endearment, with easy mark. Then keeping them content and happy like fat pigs, with good reviews, you are gamed, and the bigger the Hotel, the slicker the graft.

Thank you,
Andy Graham 15 years of Perpetual World Travel
90 countries

Natitingou, Benin West Africa

2 comments

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Bill99 from has written 2 comments

Greetings Andy,

This is interesting and I have tried it at times. It works well in China in general but what about countries other than poorer countries like in Africa, Asia?
Ive tried it in Europe and it works at some hotels but after checking the rooms I decided no way would I stay there.
But nice and clean hotels stuck to their basic prices and this was true in the off season.

What about Austrailia and So. America in big cities, etc?

Thanks.

revelo from wrote 1 comment

Have you really gotten $10/night in the United States? Typical weekly rent is $160 tax included in the cheaper towns of the west (like Reno which is my homebase), or about $23/night tax included. For one night, I seldom get a rate below $35/night tax included. Also, I dont feel comfortable bargaining at these rates. Motels at those rates are barely profitable and pushing them further will put them out of business, and then there is nowhere to stay.

For France, 20â?¬/night is typical bottom rate in small towns, and 30â?¬ in larger cities. Anything lower, and youll almost certainly get bedbugs. I dislike paying for a week in advance because noisy neighbors might move in. Probably could get the rate down by a few â?¬ by paying advance though. 20â?¬ is about $27 right now.

For Spain, 10â?¬/night is typical bottom rate in small towns of the poorer areas, and 20â?¬ in larger towns or richer areas. As with the United States, Id be hesitant to push the hotels down much below the rates just listed, because they are already on the verge of bankruptcy and I dont want to see fewer hotels available. Further, the hotel owners will strongly resist bargaining down from these rates, at least in the tourist hotels. And yes, for a white United States citizen to bargain down from these rates will have you labelled as a miserable cheapskate and Ugly American. I would not like to be labelled as such myself, given how generous the Spanish can be, even in the current recession. For example, a bartender where I had a sandwich yesterday offered me a free sample of the local specialty liqueur. Imagine if I had tried to bargain with him about the price of the sandwich (3.60â?¬ including soft drink)! As with France, if you are willing to sleep in the immigant hotels, with people sleeping on the floor everywhere and even people sleeping in the stairwells and bedbugs and filthy toilets, you can get better rates. Also as with France, you can get better rates for a week in advance, but I like to keep on the move rather than locking myself down for a week, plus theres the issue of possible noisy neighbors. 10â?¬ is about $14 at current rates and 20â?¬ about $27. 25â?¬ in a small Spanish town gets a room with American style full private bath and immaculately clean and probably a nice view. Unlike cheap American motels, which douse the beds with stinky chemicals and have carpets to pick up odors and dirt, Spanish motels use plain bleach for cleaning and dry everything in the sun, so there is no smell, and the floors are usually marble, which is easily cleaned with soap or bleach, so no smell there. Cheap American motels are prodigal with heating and air-conditioning and hot water, whereas the Spanish motels are much more frugal about energy use. But Id rather have a clean but cold room than a warm room that stinks of cleaning chemicals and filthy carpets. Also, some American people are pigs and stink up the mattresses hopelessly, whereas there are few native-born Spanish people like that. Compare the clientele in a greyhound station in the United States, which is like a refugee camp for wretched of the universe, to the clientele in a typical spanish bus station, which is like the clientele at the airport, and youll see what I mean.

I be surprised if you can find anything near $10 in England or Switzerland or most of Germany and Netherlands. Standard rates in small towns in Greece were 20â?¬ when I was there in 2007. Sometimes I was offered at rate of 10â?¬. As with Spain, Id be relucatant to bargain at those prices, especially since I didnt speak Greek well enough to bargain well. That said, I think Greece was way overpriced at those prices and the hotel owners knew it in their hearts. Most of these grew up in a time when even 10â?¬ would have been considered expensive for one night. However, I suspect that the government squeezes the hotels hard with taxes and licenses, so that they dont get to keep all of the 20â?¬ they charge. I have no idea what is happening now in Greece, but I would imagine 20â?¬ is still the going rate, with 10â?¬ as rock-bottom for tourist quality hotels (shared bath at those rates).

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