When you think of booking a quick luxury hotel for a long weekend getaway where do you turn? Do you spend hours on the computer searching for the best place and end up either booking it through an online website, book it on the hotel website that states they have the lowest price available, or do you call a local travel advisor?
Many people think booking through a travel agency costs more. After all, how do travel agents make money? It must come from the customer! WRONG! It actually comes from the hotel or supplier! They make more money if you book directly with them. If you book with an agent, they pay the agent commission.
Let’s consider several things here…. How much is your time worth? How many hours do you spend trying to figure out where you would like to go and then which is the perfect room category for you? A knowledgeable agent has been to many of these properties or sells them enough to know all the categories and what to ask for. A knowledgeable agent is familiar with all the four- and five-star hotels in most parts of the world. A knowledgeable travel agent has experienced many of these properties and knows the vibe that each property has. Is it a quiet property or can you expect to be entertained in the evenings?
The best news of all is that if you use the right advisor, they can provide you with certain VIP amenities once you check into the property. Because of longstanding partnerships with travel companies and the sheer volume of bookings these groups generate for hotel, airline and cruise partners, they are able to negotiate special rates and perks on behalf of their clients, from free cocktails and room upgrades upon arrival to spa treatments and late checkouts. Many of the luxury hotels are part of my SELECT group of hotels that we are able to get free breakfast, early check-in and late check out, a room upgrade upon arrival and a $100 certificate to use on property! This is a special VIP program that you would not be able to get if you booked the property online.
Most recently, some of our clients have saved money at Blackberry Farm and received a room upgrade. Also, three separate clients were upgraded at the Cloister to a suite or room with a view as well as getting free breakfast every morning, a $100 credit, and an early check-in and late check-out! They would not have been able to get these perks by booking themselves online.
An agency can also handle covering your travels with travel insurance and provide transfers to pick you up at the airport. These details are not easy for travelers to handle on their own.
If you are just looking for a quick stay at a cheaper hotel, then it is just fine to go online and grab a quick room. If you are looking to have a finer vacation experience at a nice 4-to-5-star resort it will certainly behoove you to call your local travel agency to see what they can do for you!
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