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NCTigerFan
LSU Fan
North Carolina
Member since Nov 2007
292 posts
 Online 

How Does Last-Minute Hotel Pricing Typically Work?

I'm in NC and have decided to head to Asheville and the Grove Park Inn tomorrow. How does last-minute pricing typically work? If I don't book today, do I risk a price increase tomorrow, or do I just risk there not being a room available to book? What are the odds the price goes down (and when in the day do hotels usually make that adjustment)?

Lots of questions, but I appreciate anyone with insight into hotel pricing. I'm a planner who usually books months in advance.

I am keeping an eye on inventory on Omni's reservation site to make sure I don't get shut out entirely. Just curious how pricing works and whether I might see rates on the higher categories of rooms drop enough to make me pull the trigger on one of those instead.


Thanks.


CoachChappy
LSU Fan
Member since May 2013
29522 posts

re: How Does Last-Minute Hotel Pricing Typically Work?
It really depends an which site you use to book. In the past, I had great luck booking day of/week of using Priceline. You do run the risk of rooms selling out.

really, you just need to find a price you are comfortable with and pull the trigger. Check the actual hotel website first and make sure you aren't getting screwed with fees through a 3rd party vendor.


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baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
16097 posts
 Online 

re: How Does Last-Minute Hotel Pricing Typically Work?
Unless you are talking to someone that works for the hotel, anyone else's thoughts would just be a guess.

Hotels use complicated algorithms written by top MBA teams. Sometimes there are last minute deals, and sometimes there are not. A lot of it depends on their occupancy, local activities, etc.

But, here's an insider tip. Call the hotel directly and ask them for the best deal they can give you. If their occupancy is low, chances are they can give you a better deal over the phone then anything online. If no one is willing to help you out, chances are they are planning a lot of last minute reservations so you should book sooner then later. Or their current shift of staff suck.

ETA: Most hotels have free 24 hour cancellation right now due to Covid. So you can often book, cancel, and rebook if a better deals is available.
This post was edited on 1/13 at 1:16 pm


Rollwave034
Member since Feb 2013
470 posts

re: How Does Last-Minute Hotel Pricing Typically Work?
Thats not true at all. All hotels I’ve looked at lately are like 72 hour cancellations unless you specifically pay for the ability to cancel anytime


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LSUfan4444
LSU Fan
Mandeville
Member since Mar 2004
48745 posts

re: How Does Last-Minute Hotel Pricing Typically Work?
Your best bet is to always book a refundable rate as early as possible because the biggest variable in pricing will be occupancy. Then, continually re-price there and other places to see if anything better comes along.

Last minute pricing is luck, not strategy. Having an idea of then the cancellation policy is will help but rarely offers consistency and this is the same with cruises, airlines, etc.

At one point it was different. I remember as a kid going to the airport with my grandfather and having no clue where we were going..he and my grandmother would just pack me warm clothes and he would go from gate to gate looking for cheap and empty seats.

The dynamic pricing structure across the board really changed the game


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TheChiefHasArrived
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Dec 2011
569 posts

re: How Does Last-Minute Hotel Pricing Typically Work?
Try Hotels Tonight app


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baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
16097 posts
 Online 

re: How Does Last-Minute Hotel Pricing Typically Work?
quote:

Thats not true at all. All hotels I’ve looked at lately are like 72 hour cancellations unless you specifically pay for the ability to cancel anytime


To be fair I haven't looked in the past couple of weeks or more. But I went on a multi week vacation in November and booked multiple hotels in multiple states all with 24 hour cancellation policies.


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NCTigerFan
LSU Fan
North Carolina
Member since Nov 2007
292 posts
 Online 

re: How Does Last-Minute Hotel Pricing Typically Work?
Thanks, everyone.

I am here at the hotel now.

Booked yesterday after watching inventory on the hotel website drop to 1 room left in the bedding/category I was looking at. No 24-hour cancellation option available.

Hotel website rates (applying AAA discount) were lower than any 3rd party sites. Before booking I called the hotel to make sure there weren't any unadvertised lower rates (there weren't).

Checked today out of curiosity and prices are up across the board on the hotel site (which is still cheaper than 3rd party sites). No availability on Hotel Tonight.

Just my experience, FWIW.

Glad I booked yesterday. Thanks again.


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Lima Whiskey
Member since Apr 2013
15299 posts
 Online 

re: How Does Last-Minute Hotel Pricing Typically Work?
Pricing is based primarily on historical demand, and what comparable hotels are charging.

They will probably override that for special events and holidays, charging whatever their maximum is.

Prices move season to season, and change year to year.
This post was edited on 1/15 at 6:04 am


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