How to secure the best hotel rates

INSIGHT

How to secure the best hotel rates

Hotel savings

When booking hotels we all want to secure the best inclusions for the best rate.  And for businesses looking to minimise spend whilst maximising traveller satisfaction, getting the best value is essential. So how can travel bookers ensure they secure the best hotel rates? FCM's Land Product Manager, Kat Holloway, shares for her advice...  

From Booking.com to hotel websites, travellers and travel bookers are often faced with an overwhelming and confusing array of booking channels to choose from. Add to this a wide range of possible inclusions, and most simply don't have the time to shop around on all possible channels, making 100% sure they're getting the best deal. 

Luckily, that’s what FCM's hotel specialists are here for. Every week, our hotel specialists team conduct an audit of a selection of different rates with various inclusions at hotel properties around the world. We cross-reference our own negotiated room rates alongside the best available rates across Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), hotel websites and membership schemes.


On a recent study spanning six months, our hotel specialists team recorded savings data from a random selection of 1,000 hotel room nights from properties around the world.  These hotels include globally preferred hotel chains, our unique SmartSTAY rates and a selection of local chains and independent hotels. For each hotel night, we compared our own FCM hotel rates with those offered by OTAs and those booked direct on the hotel’s website or app. To guarantee parity, we compared like-for-like inclusions (such as breakfast or wifi) and levels of flexibility.

The results were conclusive. Across 1,000 room nights, the average amount saved by booking an FCM rate (vs highest rates available with an OTA or hotel direct) is £28.03 per night. This equates to 13.9% average saving per room night. If your business is currently booking 1,000 room nights per year (at rates of £100+ per night), this study shows that you would be saving over £14,000 by booking your hotel rates with us.


In addition to monetary savings, many of our rates automatically include traveller benefits – complimentary inclusions that are not available through OTAs or when booking on the hotel’s website. These are our SmartSTAY rates, available exclusively through FCM. SmartSTAY rates are special rates offered by our preferred hotel partners (IHG, Accor, Wyndham, to name but a few) not only offering you the best-in-market rate, but also providing three unique benefits for every traveller.

These benefits will always include a complimentary breakfast, and may also include a room upgrade, late check-out, early check-in, complimentary food/drink or bonus loyalty points. Unlike rates offered by OTAs, our rates will also allow travellers to accumulate hotel loyalty points and membership benefits.

Increasingly, we are finding that the wellbeing and satisfaction of business travellers is being heavily prioritised by procurement managers. As regular corporate travellers know, the quality of our accommodation can make or break our business trip. By offering these three additional inclusions within our best-in-market rates, we are helping to alleviate stress and maximise comfort, whilst also keeping an eye on your company’s bottom line.

The average amount saved by booking an FCM rate is £28.03 per night - this equates to 13.9% average saving per room night

The ‘hidden’ value from our SmartSTAY rates

As part of their weekly rate audits, our hotel specialists team also monitor the ROI that our customers can expect from the value-added benefits included within our SmartSTAY rates. On average, our SmartSTAY benefits offer travellers an additional 5.3% of added value when compared with like-for-like rates with OTAs or direct with the hotel.  

In our study of 1,000 room nights, 475 nights included our exclusive SmartSTAY benefits. Including all value-adds, the total amount saved across these 1,000 room nights amounted to £39,218 – resulting in a total saving of 18.08% when compared with booking elsewhere.

Accessing these rates is easy; simply book hotels with your FCM consultant or through our online booking tool. If you have specific requirements, or you need advice on amending your travel policy to ensure travellers are accessing our best rates, simply contact your Travel Consultant or Account Manager.

If your company books a significant volume of room nights into the same hotel property, or within the same city, it’s also worth getting in touch with your Account Manager. Our Account Managers are experts at consolidating hotel spend through negotiated hotel rates, uniquely tailored to suit every client.  You may be able to make even greater savings by establishing a bespoke hotel programme, with your own negotiated rates and inclusions.
 

Look out for these stand-out rates...
 

NOMO SOHO, NEW YORK (PREFERRED HOTELS) SHANGRI-LA, ABU DHABI
•    £465 per night, saving £92 vs Booking.com rate
•    This is a SmartSTAY flexible rate, meaning your travellers get breakfast, wifi, late check-out, early check-in and a complimentary room upgrade, completely free.
•    £250 per night, saving £56 vs rates on both Expedia and Hotels.com
•    This is a SmartSTAY flexible rate, meaning your travellers get breakfast, wifi, late check-out, early check-in and a complimentary room upgrade, completely free.
JURYS INN, BELFAST RAMADA JUMERIAH, DUBAI (WYNDHAM)
•    £85 per night, saving £21 vs Hotels.com rate
•    This is a SmartSTAY flexible rate, meaning your travellers get breakfast, wifi and late check-out, completely free.
•    £68 per night, saving £23 vs booking with the hotel direct
•    This is a SmartSTAY flexible rate, meaning your travellers get breakfast, wifi and same-day cancellation, completely free.

 

Ready to up your corporate travel game? Talk to us.

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