Step 1: Choosing Dates
Let’s move onto the first step on how to choose a luxurious hotel at an affordable price. It is to choose the respective days that you are planning to travel. It can be either 2 days, 3 days or even more. Usually, in Sri Lanka, Saturday nights can be very busy but yet happening. If you are planning for a relax get away, better avoid Saturday nights, but if you are up for a weekend with some music, band and events, Saturday is the day.
Step 2: Area to travel
The next thing is, planning your preferred areas to travel. It depends on your budget, your travelling month, your duration of the stay and some other factors. Once you select the area, what we usually use is the Agoda booking platform to get a good understanding about the prices and availability of the hotels in the selected area (Better to have agoda app installed in your phone). In our opinion, Agoda has the lowest prices out of all other sites, such as booking.com, hotels.com etc.
Step 3: Choose few hotels tentatively through Agoda
The next step is to tentatively choose few hotels/villas from agoda. You should be mindful in cross checking whether you have the total price in Sri Lankan rupees (including taxes), which will not let you frustrate after going for checkout. You may go ahead with booking.com and other platforms also to have a comparison with the prices, but usually agoda would be cheaper.
Step 4: Trip Advisor for Reviews
After selecting the hotels, the next step is visit tripadvisor.com for reviews. Trip advisor is undoubtedly the best for reviews of hotels and also for real pictures of the hotel. Both management as well as users are allowed to post pictures to the trip advisor. We do not encourage much to use Trip Advisor tools to compare prices of different sites though, since we can be deceived by sales promotions.
Sale 5: Call the hotels directly
This can be the main step on how to choose a luxurious hotel at an affordable price.
If the price is affordable for you and you are confident with reviews, the next step is to call the hotels directly. Then you can ask the prices for bed and breakfast, half board and full board basis. Sometimes, hotels will also offer all inclusive package. Don’t worry, usually the direct prices of hotels obtained are higher than the other means (But try your luck, last minute offers, off season offers might appear suddenly). You may also ask from them whether they have any available offers specifically. Unless you ask, most of the hotels will not tell you about the credit card offers or other promotions.
Step 6: Check with Credit Card offers
Meanwhile, if you have any credit cards available with you, it’s always better to check the prices and offers that you have for your respective credit card, by logging into their website or from the promotional messages that you get.
Step 7: Check prices with the hotel website
At the same time it can be beneficial if you can check the respective websites of your chosen hotels. For example, hotels in Cinnamon group, Jetwing group will usually have exclusive website offers, which can be handy.
Step 8: Pick the Best and Enjoy Travelling
After analysing and comparing all these prices, go ahead with your booking on the best prices obtained.
These are the steps on how to choose a luxurious hotel at an affordable price. That is it. So, Pack your stuff and get ready to explore!!!
Useful tips on how to choose a luxurious hotel at an affordable price
1. Usually, in hotels and villas, there are five main meal plans that you can go for.
- Room only Package: You will only be entitled for one night stay only, without meals
- Bed and Breakfast Package: This will let you enjoy one night stay with breakfast
- Half board Package: In this basis, you will get Dinner and Breakfast with a night stay. However hotels will be flexible if you want to change your plan to “lunch and dinner” or to “lunch and breakfast”
- Full Board Package: The next option is the full board package, which includes dinner (day 1), breakfast (day 2) and lunch (day 2). If you are planning to have lunch on the day 1, better inform the hotel beforehand. Usually, full board packages do not include any additional snacks, but you are anyway provided with in room tea and coffee making facilities irrespective of meal plans.
- All inclusive: The last option is all inclusive package, which will usually consist of dinner (day 1), breakfast (day 2), lunch (day 2) as well as snacks and items in the mini bar. Hotels will also provide you with some custom made activities also included in your all inclusive package.
2. We usually prefer to go ahead with bed and breakfast specially because half board rates in Agoda are higher than usual. Further, when you book on bed and breakfast, you have the freedom to have your dinner using ala carte option (ordering from a fixed priced menu) or even you can go for Buffet at their standard buffet prices. If you are too tight with the budget, you may have your own dinner :D.
3. When you are going ahead with website bookings, half board basis will usually have some attractive options because usually hotels provide offers on half board or full board basis.
4. Credit card offers will mainly be applicable on half board and full board basis only.
5. On comparison between Agoda and Booking, Agoda will have the lowest prices. But, the range of options/hotels will be higher in Booking.com than Agoda.com, since booking would facilitate a lot of hotels, including the small scale hotels and home stays. However, in terms of luxurious hotels, agoda will have almost all the required hotels that you will be searching.
That’s it for today. You are good to go on exploring !!!
Checkout on our experiences on hotels and villas here
Do not hesitate to put a comment, if you want any clarifications from us. Will be more than willing to help you out.