A great way to save extra money is using Priceline Express Deals. You select the location and what star hotel you'd prefer and for a hefty discount they choose which hotel you'll stay in. You won't know what your hotel is until after checkout though. It sounds like high risk high reward kind've thing.. but there is a way to figure out which hotel you'll get before buying. With this outlined method you can decide if it is truly a good deal (our favorite) and a place you want to stay.
Heres how to crack the ExpressDeal puzzle.
1. Go to priceline.com and search for the dates and location you desire. On the left side of the page select the Express Deals selection. You will need 2 tabs open, one for the Express deals and the other being the normal results page. *hint you'll be comparing the 2 pages. We will first focus on the Express Deal tab!
2. Select which star rating you prefer. I recommend looking at how much each one is to decide your budget. Then select the highest star rating within your budget. In our example we will focus on 5 stars. Go big or go home.. right?!
3. Next on the results page and description take note of the following 5 sections highlighted below. These sections will be what is used to compare between the two tabs.
The most important one that will most likely narrow down the most results is the price and discount being provided. In this example it is $90 dollars a night with a 36% discount. You'll need to do a simple math problem with these 2 numbers to find out what the non discounted rate is. The formula is:
Price of the hotel per night divided by (100%-discount)
Here you'll see $90 per night and we divide it by (100%-36%) *remember those math days in school, this is in terms of percentage. To convert it you can do 1.00-.36 which gets you 64% or .64.
The regular price is equal to $90/.64= $140.63. Remember that!
Next, take note of the hotel Amenities and guest rating. The guest rating for our mystery hotel is 8+ and the amenities are listed below. These will be useful to narrowing results especially when multiple hotels have matching prices.
Lastly, the number of hotel stars and the location will be used to filter your results on the other tab.
4. Jump back to the second tab of Priceline that shows all results and filter by stars and the matching locations. Our example is filtered by 5 stars and Paradise Valley. Fortunately for us that means only 2 results. Which means its between the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Sanctuary Camelback Mountain.
5. Begin to match the 5 criteria from below to your hotel options. Right away you'll note the Omni is $143 dollars, very close to the $140 our math problem gave us. You'll notice the guest rating is a 8.8 which matches the 8+ on our mystery hotel. And the amenities match up well.
*bonus criteria* compare the verified guest reviews. The Omni has 314 reviews and the mystery room has 300 reviews. These 2 are very close, I'm assuming as they do with the guest rating it is rounded to help conceal which hotel you are booking.
6. The last step to confirm our assumption is to walk through as if we were booking our stay on both pages.*don't actually book at this point. This only works if your hotel has a resort or mandatory fee. If you are staying at a resort you'll see a mandatory fee on the checkout page for your mystery hotel.
This fee is the last item to check before booking. It should match with your checkout on the hotel you have deducted you're staying at. It potentially may be off slightly due to room sales the hotel is currently having. As in our example due to the Omni having an additional sale our resort fee displays higher.
*but when viewing other room results for the Omni, I found several options that had a $29 a night resort fee which would be $58 dollars for two nights. A perfect match is preferred but won't always happen.
Based on all the matching criteria you should feel confident the room is at the Omni. It isn't a perfect science and cannot guarantee 100% success. But this should help narrow it down and make you feel confident purchasing a stay at an unknown hotel. And this is why we will be booking a 5 star hotel this summer for $90 dollars a night!