Hotel manager explains how to save money & enjoy free perks on post-lockdown stays

Royal Lancaster London promises an ‘exceptional experience’

Whether you’re dreaming of a foreign getaway or a staycation, the reality of the past year has meant holidays have been few and far between. However, hotels continue to need our support once travel restrictions are lifted, and one expert as explained a simple way to get more from your stay.

Though holiday comparison sites, which compare the price of flights and hotels, are often seen as a great way to bag a bargain, Sally Beck, the eternal manager of London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel warns against booking with them.

“Just try and book a property direct,” she told

“By all means look online for the best prices but book rooms direct.”

She says by doing so hotel staff will not only be able to accommodate for special requests more, but they may also boost guests into a room better suited to their needs.

This could even include upgrades so suites for special occasions.

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“Tell them about any special things, whether there is birthdays or you are getting together with your girlfriends and things like that because it helps us choose really great rooms for you as to what you are going to do,” she contained.

“All hotels care desperately about giving people as much fun as we are allowed to give them and we want people to come.”

She added: “Ring them up directly and let them know what you are doing and you will find that you’ll get upgrades and suites for cracking prices because we want you to come and stay.”

Her advice comes after a difficult year for hotels.

Though many hotels and holiday parks in countryside and coastal regions flourished during the months of eased lockdown, city centre hotels are still “struggling”.

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Booking directly with hotels will give them a much-needed financial boost, with all income going straight to the source, according to Ms Beck.

“There are always commissions when you book through any other third party,” she explained.

“So if you book a property direct, say my charges are £200.

“If you book a property direct that is £200. If you book through a third party there’s a fee that I pay this third party. So, you’re still paying £200, I am not getting £200. When you come to a property direct it is just a better way for the property.”

Though Ms Beck points out the hotel “totally love” some third parties due to their ability to reach customers booking from “international markets”, she advises Britons to always pick up the phone and go direct.

“If you are in the UK it is easy to book a property direct,” she said.

“You are on the same language, you are in the same time zone, we can all understand each other.

“Have a look at the competitive sites, look at the best prices or ring up a property and say if you have seen us somewhere lower, tell them.

“We all like to know who our customers are. Sometimes, if it comes through a third party, we never know who they are until they arrive at the front desk and we don’t know if they have got a special event or what they preferences might be.

“So, if they want a special car parking space blocked for them or a space in the gym booked or one of our restaurants, getting a space in the restaurants can be quite difficult at the moment.

“All of those things help to make a stay really lovely.”

Of course, with how rapidly lockdown restrictions have changed in recent months, it is no surprise some customers may be cautious about planning stays for the future.

However, according to Ms Beck, this isn’t something they need to worry about.

“We allow cancellations on the day and there are no cancellation charges,” she explained.

“They shouldn’t worry about that at all. Just check that when they are making a booking, just make sure.”

She added: “All of us want to make sure people come and have a great stay and come back again.”

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