I used Hotel Tonight to book a discounted staycation — but I wasn't prepared for one major drawback (2023)

I used Hotel Tonight to book a discounted staycation — but I wasn't prepared for one major drawback (1) I used Hotel Tonight to book a discounted staycation — but I wasn't prepared for one major drawback (2)

I used Hotel Tonight to book a discounted staycation — but I wasn't prepared for one major drawback (3)


With the help of an iPhone app, I took my first-ever staycation last week.

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My sister came to visit me in New York City and we decided to give the city's boutique hotels a shot rather than stay at my crowded apartment.

There's only one problem with boutique hotels in New York: They're expensive.

So we decided to look for a deal throughHotel Tonight, a free app for iPhone and Android.

Hotel Tonight isn't new. The app has been around since 2010, and it has a pretty basic premise: to find you a hotel immediately(or anytime in the next seven days) by offering you rooms the hotel itself couldn't sell.

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The app lets you narrow down your dates and location, then shows youavailableroomsin a list or map view. The app also shows you ratingsand lets you browse through a gallery of photos.But if you like to choose your room type, you're out of luck: The hotel picks your room for you, and you'll only find out what room you're getting upon arrival.

I used Hotel Tonight to book a discounted staycation — but I wasn't prepared for one major drawback (4)

Hotel Tonight

My sister found us two super-chic luxury hotels to try for the weekend, both at a discount: The Viceroy Central Park and the NoMad Hotel.

Both hotels were beautiful, provided excellent customer service (one concierge even sent us a drink at dinner), and had all the amenities of a boutiquehotel — at a discount.

A post shared by The NoMad Hotel (@thenomadhotel)

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A room at the NoMad.

Of course, hotel prices fluctuate, and the rates depend on the time of year and demand. We got our room at the NoMad for $284, which was cheaper than anywhere else online at the time — for comparison, rooms are going for $350 for next Saturday night.Our room at the Viceroy was $225, and was again cheaper than any other price we could find, but you can book a room there next Friday for $223 right now.

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There was only one major downside of booking throughHotel Tonight: The prices listed when scrolling through the app don't include taxes and fees, which can be steep.The fees totaled $121 for the whole weekend, which was an expense we weren't expecting. When booking through Hotel Tonight, you're charged both standard hotel taxes, plus whatever fees Hotel Tonightowes to the hotels themselves.

So, would I useHotel Tonight for future trips?

The extra fees were a bad surprise, and they put us well over budget for thetrip.

But booking through the app didn't affect the level of service we received, and both our rooms were as gorgeous as they would've been if we'd paid full price. Weprobably wouldn't have discovered either hotel without browsing theapp, and all in all, we had a fantastic time.Plus,by booking frequently throughHotel Tonight, youstart torack upsomething called HT Perks, which give you bigger discounts the more you book.

Even if you end up gettinga better deal elsewhere, Hotel Tonight could end up being a helpful tool in finding anything from a last-minute work tripto a fabulous getaway.

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Is it better to book a hotel in advance or walk in? ›

Turns out, though a bit cheaper, don't expect the bargain bin here. Rooms average 13% less when booked last-minute than booked four months in advance.

Does hotel tonight include resort fees? ›

Does Hotel Tonight Include Resort Fees? HotelTonight doesn't collect resort fees, they just charge the standard rate of the room, plus taxes. If the accommodation you're staying at has resort fees, those will be charged when you check-in.

Is Hotel Tonight a free app? ›

If you book last-minute hotels sometimes you can save money using the Hotel Tonight app, but not always. The Hotel Tonight app is a free smartphone and tablet app that lets you find discounted last-minute hotel rooms up to 7 days in advance.

How far out should you book a hotel reddit? ›

Best advice; book it 2 months in advance if possible. Call back 1 month beforehand to see if you can lower the rate; if there's a promo on or something, they will do it no problem. Call back a few days beforehand for the same reason. Some people know this strategy and it works well for them.

Do hotel prices go down closer to booking date? ›

Since hotels are always aiming to maximize their occupancy rate, many will decrease their rates if they aren't meeting their expected targets. That's why you'll often see hotels dropping their prices a few days before a check-in date or on the day of arrival.

Do you get a better room if you book direct with hotel? ›

Advantages of Booking a Hotel Directly

You can often find better rates by booking directly, too — a concern for budget-conscious travelers. By calling a hotel directly, you find out about any specials perks or packages they have available. In some cases, you can get a better room for the same amount of money.

Can you get refunds on hotel tonight? ›

Unless otherwise specified during check-out for your booking or otherwise permitted by our policies or terms, reservations made on HotelTonight are non-cancellable and non-refundable.

Can you dispute hotel no-show fee? ›

The cardholder may request a no-show chargeback if one of the following is true: The cardholder canceled the reservation within the allowed timeframe. The cardholder arrived and used the accommodations. The hotel had no room available, even if the merchant arranged for accommodations (at another hotel, for example).

Can you decline resort fee at hotel? ›

While many hotels claim their resort fees are mandatory, that's not necessarily true. Guests can take a stand against paying these surcharges.

What is the best app for booking cheap hotels? ›

If you want to book the perfect stay, use one of these hotel apps
  • Booking.com. Best hotel app overall. View now.
  • Airbnb. Best hotel app for private stays. View now.
  • Hostelworld. Best hotel app for hostels. View now.
  • Hotels.com. Best hotel app for cheap hotels. View now.
  • HotelTonight. Best hotel app for last-minute stays. View now.
Feb 1, 2023

Is HotelTonight owned by Expedia? ›

HotelTonight is a travel agency and metasearch engine owned by Airbnb and accessible via website and mobile app. It is used to book last-minute lodging in the Americas, Europe, Japan and Australia.

What time of day is best to book a HotelTonight? ›

Prices usually plummet around 4 pm as hotels work to entice customers to their empty rooms. If you're bold enough to wait until after 8 pm, you'll find prices probably reduce by another 5-10% again.

What is the 15 5 rule hotel? ›

15/5 rule: When a guest is within 15 feet their presence should be acknowledged through some means whether a smile or head nod. Similarly, when a guest is within 5 feet they should be greeted in an appropriate manner whether that be a “hello”, “good morning”, or “good evening.”

What is 10x10 rule in hotel? ›

They refer to their customers as guests. Cast members are trained to acknowledge each guest with a smile anytime they come within 10 feet of that person.

What is the 10 5 rule in hospitality? ›

The 10 and 5 rule is a simple guideline that is widely used in the hospitality industry. The rule dictates that when a staff member is 10 feet from a guest, the staff smiles and makes direct eye contact, and when they are within five feet, the staff verbally greets the guest.

What happens if you book a hotel and the price drops? ›

Did you know that you're entitled to a refund if the price of your hotel room, rental car, or airfare drops after you've booked? Pricing in the travel industry is based on a surge pricing model, also known as supply and demand, which means that rates and fares go up and down all the time.

What day of the week do hotel prices drop? ›

Most travel agencies agree that the cheapest days to book hotels are Fridays and Saturdays. While these are the most expensive days for actually checking in and out, the best hotel rates are on the days when most people are traveling.

Do hotel prices go down the day before? ›

Booking at the last minute can save you money, says Berg. If you're flexible with where you stay, you can save as much as 25% by booking the day before or the day of your stay, she says. But keep in mind that you will need to be flexible with hotel quality and amenities to get the best price at the last minute.

How do you talk a hotel down in price? ›

Though it's best to phone ahead, you can negotiate on arrival. If you walk in without a reservation and are unhappy with the rate you are quoted, tell the desk clerk and ask if there is a lower rate or offer a rate that you are willing to pay. Always wait until the desk is not busy.

Can you cancel and rebook hotel for cheaper? ›

This can sometimes happen between when you book your stay and when you stay at the hotel. Thanks to the flexibility of booking award nights, you can generally cancel and rebook your stay if you see a price drop. This lets you rebook at the lower rate and pocket the points difference in the process.

Is it rude to ask for a different hotel room? ›

However you always are within your rights as a guest to request a different room for any reason at all be it a better view, a different size bed or just not loving your room. Do keep in mind that the hotel might not always be able to accommodate these changes but many will try.

Can I get a refund if I check out of a hotel early? ›

In most cases, the answer is NO because your room is yours for the duration of the booking whether you use the room or not.

Do you get penalized for canceling a hotel room? ›

The One Night Cancellation Fee

As a penalty for canceling your hotel reservation, you will be charged the cost of one night's stay at the hotel. You are entitled to a refund of or released of the responsibility to pay the cost of the rest of the reservation.

How do I get around a no refund policy? ›

Company Won't Give You a Refund? Here's How to Get Your Money Back
  1. Try to Work it Out with the Merchant First.
  2. Option 1: Request a Chargeback.
  3. Option 2: Consider Mediation.
  4. Option 3: Sue in Small Claims.
  5. Option 4: Pursue Consumer Arbitration.
  6. FairShake Can Help Make Arbitrating a Breeze.

How do I dispute a hotel charge and win? ›

How to dispute a hotel chargeback
  1. The cardholder contacts their bank. ...
  2. The issuing bank reviews the claim. ...
  3. The acquirer receives the chargeback. ...
  4. Merchant receives the chargeback. ...
  5. Acquirer receives the evidence. ...
  6. The issuing bank receives supporting evidence. ...
  7. Arbitration.
Oct 14, 2020

What is a rebuttal letter for hotel chargeback? ›

What Is a Chargeback Rebuttal Letter? A rebuttal letter is the cover letter for a chargeback representment package, summarizing the case and the evidence that supports it. This is typically the first thing that the person assigned to your case will read.

Can I get chargeback for a hotel booking? ›

Yes, you can do a chargeback if the service at the hotel was horrible. You should contact your credit card company and explain why you are requesting a chargeback. Be sure to provide details about what happened during your stay that made it so unpleasant.

Is a resort fee refunded? ›

Is a resort fee refundable? No, resort fees typically aren't refundable. These are a required cost at many hotels and resorts, which means you'd have to pay these fees when making your booking online or paying for your stay at the hotel.

What is the 20 dollar trick in Vegas? ›

The 20 Dollar Trick, sometimes called the sandwich trick, is a $20 tip sandwiched in between the necessary ID and credit card required at the hotel front desk check-in. In the past, this was a great way to get a complimentary upgrade.

Can you legally refuse to pay resort fees in Vegas? ›

No. You do not legally have to pay any hotel resort fee. Resort fees are in violation of Nevada's Deceptive Trade Practices Law. Fifty Attorneys General are currently investigating hotel resort fees for being deceptive and misleading.

Is it cheaper to call hotel directly for best rate? ›

Once you find the lowest available price at the hotel you want to visit, call the hotel's reservation desk. Many hotels will meet or beat the best internet rate when you book with them. They'd much rather skip the commission to the travel site and book your stay directly.

What is the least expensive way to book a hotel? ›

15 Tips To Book The Cheapest Hotels
  • Use Credit Cards With Huge Travel Cash Back Perks. ...
  • Sign Up To Hotel Booking Engines Loyalty / Rewards Programs.
  • Download Hotel Booking Smartphone Apps. ...
  • Check Prices Directly With Hotels. ...
  • Book In Advance With Free Cancellation. ...
  • Book In Advance With Non-Refundable Rate.
Dec 29, 2022

Is it cheaper to book a hotel directly or through booking com? ›

It's Cheaper to Book Direct

When you book directly with the hotel, there are no hidden fees. Using third-party booking services has additional fees that you may on top of the rate. Online travel agents also charge a commission, which could be up to 20% of the booking, from the hotel.

Why did Airbnb acquire HotelTonight? ›

The acquisition of HotelTonight: 1. Accelerates our work to build an end-to-end travel platform that serves everyone. We are making it easier for people who use Airbnb to find last-minute places to stay when Home hosts are often already booked.

Did Airbnb buy HotelTonight? ›

HotelTonight and Airbnb announced today that the acquisition bringing the two companies together has closed.

Is it better to wait for last minute hotel deals? ›

While it's almost always cheaper to book a room last-minute, how much cheaper is it, really? Turns out, though a bit cheaper, don't expect the bargain bin here. Rooms average 13% less when booked last-minute than booked four months in advance.

Is it worth waiting until the last minute to book a hotel? ›

On average, travelers saved about $30 per night by booking last-minute, which can really add up. The savings were even higher for luxury hotels: About 22% cheaper when booked 15 days out. However, if you're traveling to a popular destination or during a busy travel season, you risk not snagging your first-choice hotel.

Is Hotel Tonight reliable? ›

Yes, HotelTonight is a legit website. With customer reviews and ratings averaging 4 out of 5 stars across the board, people are entrusting their personal information to this site with absolute confidence.

What is the 80/20 rule in hospitality? ›

Under the 80/20 Tip Rule, you can only apply a tip credit to an employee if they spend at least 80% of their time in category 1, and no more than 20%, or 30 consecutive minutes, in category 2. Meanwhile, no tip credit can be applied to any work in category 3.

Why is there no room 420 in hotels? ›

Some hotels are playing it even more safe by removing room 420 altogether from their room numbers. It´s kind of a superstitious move – the same way hotels went mad some decades ago and removed level 13 and room number 13. Other hotels have been even more creative with their solution, labelling room 420 as “419 + 1”.

What is the golden rule in hospitality? ›

The Golden Rule of hospitality: Do unto others as you believe they would want done unto them. forbes.com.

What is rule of thumb in hotel? ›

The Rule of Thumb Approach sets the rate of room at $ 1 for each $1000 of construction and furnishing costs per room, assuming a 70% occupancy. • For example – Hotel ABC incurs a total expenditure of Rs. 15,00,000 on a room, the room rate will be Rs. 15,000.

What is the 5 10 15 rule? ›

Intermede Investment Partners employ a "5-10-15" rule when investing. "Five refers to a minimum 5% a year revenue growth, on average, annually. 10% is the annual EPS growth that we're looking for. And 15% is the ROE minimum threshold," explains Intermede CEO Barry Dargan.

What is the 10 5 staff rule? ›

Within ten feet or so of a customer, you should acknowledge them with a facial expression. I add to that, it should be a smile! And within five feet or so of the customer, you should acknowledge them verbally.

What are the 3 C's in hospitality? ›

The key to finding opportunities to enhance the guest experience is to focus in on the things that guests secretly crave – the three C's: Communication, Convenience and Choice. Satisfy the guests needs for all three of these and you are on your way to greater differentiation and incremental revenues.

What are the 4 P's in hospitality? ›

The 4Ps in tourism are “product,” “price,” “place,” and “promotion.” They are intangible factors for enthusiasts, planners, and adventurers and are categorically streamlined as follows.

What is the first rule of hospitality? ›

Extend a welcome: Make eye contact, smile, say hello, introduce yourself, call people by name, and extend a few words of concern. Notice when someone looks confused: Stop and lend a hand. Take time for courtesy and consideration: Kind words and polite gestures make people feel special.

Is it cheaper to book a hotel online or walk in? ›

On average, the same-day rate of a hotel room is 10% cheaper than booking in advance.

Is it better to book a hotel the day before or the day of? ›

Booking last minute seems to consistently be the cheapest way to book hotels. In the two to three days before your travel day, you will find that prices drop - particularly if you book directly through the hotel's website.

Why is it necessary to book a hotel in advance? ›

Early Booking Makes It Easier to Make Special Requests

Most hotels will do their best to accommodate special requests guests may have, as long as they're reasonable. By booking in advance, you'll give the staff at the hotel some extra time to make any necessary arrangements to satisfy your requests.

Do hotels get cheaper the longer you wait? ›

“Actually, hotel prices decline the longer you wait,” says Shank, “so if you haven't made plans yet, you can be rewarded for that with a better deal.” Same-day rates on HotelTonight are, on average, 10 percent less than if you book the day before, according to Shank.

Do hotel prices go up the more you search? ›

Most hotels use revenue management software and other algorithms to automatically update their hotel room rates. If you search different dates for the same location you will notice that hotel prices can go up and down from day to day.

What is the most expensive day to book a hotel? ›

The research shows that the lowest average daily rate (ADR) for domestic accommodations tends to occur on Mondays, when travelers can save more than 15% compared with booking and staying on the most expensive day, Friday.

What are the 3 types of hotel reservation? ›

Types of Reservation in Hotel
  • 1) Comfirmed Reservation. a) Comfirmed guaranteed Reservation. b) Confirmed Non Guaranteed Reservation.
  • 2) Waitlisted Reservation.
  • 3) Tentative Reservation.
Jul 25, 2022

What are the two types of booking? ›

There are two core types of bookings: 1) Direct Bookings and 2) Indirect Bookings. Within these different types of bookings there are also multiple variations including instant booking (guaranteed booking) and pending bookings.

What are the two types of hotel reservation? ›

There are two types of hotel booking sources, including Direct and Indirect booking.

What time of day is best to book hotel? ›

Best time to book a hotel on the day of your stay

Prices usually plummet around 4 pm as hotels work to entice customers to their empty rooms. If you're bold enough to wait until after 8 pm, you'll find prices probably reduce by another 5-10% again.

How important is hotel reservation? ›

At the end of the day, a hotel reservation system is the helping hand you need to keep your occupancy up, even during the slow times, and make sure everything is running smoothly.

What month are hotels cheapest? ›

Best Month to Book Domestic Hotels (in the U.S.)

During the month of December, hotel bookings are 6% cheaper on average. The second cheapest month to book a hotel deal in March. Avoid October, as this is the most expensive time to book a hotel stateside.


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