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Luxury Hotels That Won’t Break the Bank

by Felicity Long

Nov 11, 2017

© Travnikovstudio | Dreamstime


Are the words “budget” and “5-star” mutually exclusive concepts? They aren’t if Friendly Planet Travel and American Express Travel have anything to say about it. Experts at the two companies came up with five ways to book luxury hotels for your special vacation at prices that won’t break the bank.


Take advantage of hotel rewards programs. Shaving money off your room charge using reward points is even more important when booking a luxury property for that upscale family vacation. Keep in mind your favorite hotel for business travel might also have a brand that will work for your family vacation, and the points might be reciprocal. So the next time you book a business trip, consider building loyalty with one or two brands — it might pay off later on.


Book last minute. Yes, booking closer to your travel date can be nerve wracking, and sometimes prices do go up rather than down the longer you wait. But the reverse is also true, especially for very last-minute travel — say a couple of days before your trip. When hotels have empty rooms, they are often willing to offer deep discounts via sites like Hotels.com or Hotel Tonight, so if you are comfortable with a little uncertainty, hold off on those early bookings.

booking online

Photo: Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime

Subscribe to online flash sales.
If you already know where and when you want to go and are one of those people who can act quickly, consider checking for alerts from websites like JetSetter.com, Secret Escapes and SPG Hot Escapes, which offer virtual flash sales for hotel rooms. Make sure you sign up for e-newsletters that will let you know when sales are happening, and have your credit card ready to pounce.


Travel with a tour operator. Keep in mind tour operators can often get better deals at properties around the world and have the clout to throw in value-added extras, like hotel upgrades, discount air and personalized services. Friendly Planet Travel, for example, can offer all-inclusive packages even at luxury, 5-star hotels, like Palacio de Inka in Cusco or the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, at attractive rates. Best of all, the packages can also include well-thought-out itineraries designed to make sure you don’t miss the best of what the destination has to offer.


Book through a travel credit card. Are you making the most of your rewards credit card? Amex card holders can not only book through the American Express Travel site, but they can also rack up cashback points to trim costs even further.


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