Hunt the hotel offerCan you get cut price online hotel deals?

30 October 2012

Hotel interior

Which? members remain frustrated by the availability of online offers, giving poor ratings in this area in our latest hotel chains survey.

And when we tried to get offers at the headline price promoted by hotel chains, we found the best price was available for only a quarter of the 1,000 dates we checked.

Hotel chains that got two or fewer stars for availability of offers in our hotel chains survey included Britannia, Days Inn, De Vere Hotels, Ibis, Jurys Inn, Mercure, Millennium and Copthorne, Premier Inn, Ramada, Thistle and Travelodge.

UK hotel offers

We checked offers mentioning a specific headline price for the nine chains who had this type of offer, and found that we could get the best price offered for only 260 out of 1,048 dates checked.

When we checked a Britannia £29 bed and breakfast offer that was available for one week in September only, we found that the starting price was available for only 11% of the possible dates - even though we checked on the first day of the offer.

In September we also checked a Travelodge 'autumn saver' offer that ran until 18 November. We found the best rate offered was available for only nine of a possible 100 dates in five cities for one weekend in November. When we widened the search to include the whole week, the proportion available rose to 32%.

Cheap hotel deals

The best availability we could find was with Thistle, which had 63% of rooms at five cities available at the best offer price across one week in November.

The Advertising Standards Authority says 10% is the minimum proportion of rooms that should be available at the best offer price. It also says that availability should be spread over the period of the offer.

Britannia told us it tried to have its offer rates available at as many hotels and dates as possible. Travelodge said each promotion aimed to make sure 10% of rooms were available at the best offer price.

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