1. You get the best rate by calling the hotel's local number, not the 800 number.
The 800 number usually links travleing Paupers to an off-site centralized call center. Instead of asking for the reservations desk, ask to speak with the manager on duty, or the director of sales. These people have the authority to negotiate room rates.
2. Rooms are more expensive in the morning.
The best itme of day to make a reservation by phone is right after 6 PM. This is when hotels wipe out all the no-show reservations that were secured by a credit card. They then offer those same rooms at bargain rates. NOTE: In high-occupancy cities like New York or San Fransisco, the deadline is 4PM.
3. Everything is negotiable
Think parking is overpriced? If the lot looks half empty, offer less than the daily rate. Planning to make a lot of phone calls? Some hotels offer a per-day flat fee for long distance in the U.S. and local calling-- usually $9.95-- but you must ask for it.
Next post: More hotel secret confessions!