The June issue of Consumer Reports magazine has the results of a survey of hotel guests. They surveyed 27,506 subscribers who spent a collective 124,000 nights at 48 chains from Jan 2008 to April 2009.
The survey lists the best hotel chains in five different categories, and also offers useful hotel booking tips to help you save money and find decent but cheap hotels.
Out of the 48 chains in five categories (Fanciest, Luxury, Upscale, Moderate and Budget), the following were listed as the best – The Ritz-Carlton, Homewood Suites, Renaissance, Drury Inn & Suites, and Microtel Inn & Suites.
And here’s the highlights of the hotel booking tips offered by survey respondents:-
Don’t forget to haggle - Turns out most people don’t haggle (only 35% tried to talk their way into a better deal), but out of those who did haggle, 80% managed to get a lower rate or a room upgrade.
Suites - All-suite hotels offer suites at prices comparable to regular rooms at other hotels.
Booking method - Do you wonder which is the best way to book a hotel? Should you call the hotel, book through the hotel’s website, through an online travel agency, or just walk-in?
For starters, survey respondents say the method of booking does not affect how satisfied you’ll end up with your stay and the deal. You should also know, though, that respondents who walked into a hotel without an advance reservation paid $20 less per night on average than those who had reservations.
Respondents also cited social networking sites twitter and facebook as good places to get lower rates not available elsewhere.
The best way and most sure-fire way to get lower rates, said respondents, is through Priceline or Hotwire. While survey respondents who booked via these sites paid an average daily rate of $80, those who phoned the hotel or booked online by other means paid $120 for a comparable room.
Full survey results here – ConsumerReports.org