News hotels The ultimate guide to help you bag the best hotel rooms

All articles

The ultimate guide to help you bag the best hotel rooms

Ever get to your hotel after a long day travelling and wonder why the couple in front of you have the penthouse suite with the sea view and you end up gazing out at the car park on the ground floor? Whether you’re off backpacking or on a quick city break, we’ve answered your questions on how to bag the best hotel rooms, and for the best price.

Is it worth asking for an upgrade? And how do I do it?

If you don’t ask, you just don’t get. When you book, if there’s an option to note any ‘special requests’, don’t be afraid to ask. If you’d prefer a corner room or extra cupboard space, jot it down and if the hotel can accommodate, they’re likely to try and fulfil your requests­. We’re not promising ‘They-upgraded-us-to-the-penthouse-suite!’ type returns, but that’s not to say that if a hotel has rooms available with a sea view, that you wouldn’t get it. And if you know your hotel is a high-rise building, ask for a room on a higher level. Your time spent in the lift may rise (pun intended), but it’ll be worth it for the view you get. Don’t set your sights on a particular upgrade, just see what they’re willing to offer you and be flexible. Often calling the hotel directly will get you the best results too.

After all, the hotel wants you to enjoy your stay, plaster it over Instagram and share it around the family WhatsApp group, so it’s in their best interests to make you happy and surprise you.

Search for hotels Search flights everywhere

When should I go and where should I stay to get the best value hotel rooms?

When it comes to finding the best hotel deals, it’s a matter of timing. Generally hotels in city centres, especially in business districts, will be cheaper at weekends (when all the worker ants have headed home). If you’re planning on a weekend city break, consider the business hubs. Most customers will be weekday workers, so hotels will no doubt be keen to fill their rooms on quieter days. Plus, as these are commuter hotspots, you can guarantee that travel routes into the inner city will be an absolute breeze. And if you’re looking for a more rural retreat, your average country house hotel will drop its prices significantly during the week. Hoteliers do this to ensure hotels are as full as possible, no matter what day of the week it is. So don’t write off that five-star Cotswolds crash pad just yet – especially if you’re visiting between Tuesday and Thursday.

Search for hotels Search flights everywhere

I want a hotel with a great restaurant AND a pool, but how do I find something I can afford?

Struggling to find a hotel that has the 5-star rating, the Michelin-starred restaurant, the glistening heated pool AND the lowest price you’ve ever seen? It’s time to weigh up what you really want. Don’t pass up a bargain just because you’re obsessed with one particular feature. That charming boutique hotel in Barcelona might not have an Instagram-worthy pool, but does it really matter when the beach is just a short walk away? And if that city centre hotel ticks all your boxes but doesn’t have a brilliant restaurant, it’s worth remembering that there’s sure to be a great lunch spot nearby. In summary, being flexible about hotel must-haves is a great way to save money and get better rooms. Skyscanner’s search tool can help you select the features you value the most, whether that’s a spa, 24-hour reception or a pool.

Search for hotels Search flights everywhere

When are luxury hotel rooms most affordable?

Before new hotels open their doors to the world, many often hold a ‘soft’ or ‘unofficial’ opening before the grand reveal. It allows hotels to iron out any kinks, get their staff trained up and get themselves ready for the big day, before the critics roll in. That’s not to say you’ll be getting sub-standard service – they’ll be doing everything they can to impress – but you’ll be a bit of a guinea pig. These soft launches mean that some of the most exclusive, luxury hotels offer cut-price rooms just to fill the hotel. So keep an eye out for any new hotels and bag yourself the best room for a not-to-be-seen-again price. And if you want even more luxury on a budget, read up on our 5-star hotels for under £100.

Search for hotels Search flights everywhere

I’m not happy with my experience – what shall I do?

If you’re not happy with your room or you weren’t expecting that charming pub across the road to turn into an all-night karaoke bar, then say so. The hotel and its staff want you to enjoy your stay and are likely to go out of their way to ensure that happens – no hotel wants a bad review. And if you’re particularly impressed with your room or the quality of the customer service, mention that, too. Feedback works both ways and hotel staff will always appreciate a compliment. Who knows, they might be more inclined to treat you to a complimentary upgrade…

Search for hotels Search flights everywhere

Does it pay to be loyal to one hotel chain, or should I shop around?

With so many hotels vying for your attention (and your hard-earner dollar), they have to do something really special to stand out. That’s where loyalty schemes come in, and now, even better, they often extend to booking via price comparison sites too, like Skyscanner. When the scheme is free, there’s no harm in signing up. Keep your loyalty card close to hand and remember to hand it over when checking in and bag those points. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they add up and, as they say, points mean prizes. Or in this case, cheap hotel deals and priority rooms. Many loyalty programmes now offer free nights at their hotels when you reach a certain number of points, as well as exclusive member rates and, let’s be honest, star treatment.

Search for hotels Search flights everywhere

Is it better to book in advance or leave it to the last minute?

Although there are perks to preparing and booking in advance, if you’re just not that kind of person, it’s not a problem. Looking for a hotel last minute can also be an advantage. You can shop around, and you’re more likely to benefit from flash hotel room sales (you don’t have to book in advance to benefit from these). And while we’re on the subject of last-minute breaks, if you haven’t settled on a location, you might just find some inspiration by selecting one of Skyscanner’s suggested hotels in a popular destination. Simply scroll to the bottom of the hotel search page to the ‘Need Inspiration?’ section. Who knows where you might end up!

Search for hotels Search flights everywhere

Once you’ve decided on your hotel, use our flight search tool to find the best deals.

Map