Will be arriving a day ahead of tour. I emailed hotel to obtain rate for extra night, and was told the R.S. special rate for a “double classic” room is €185. I went to their website and find the “double classic” rate is €180. I know it’s not a big difference, but is it rude for me to point this out to hotel before confirming a reservation?
If you are comparing apples to apples, I don’t think it rude to name the hotel. Perhaps one rate includes breakfast or some other amenity that the less expensive rate does not include?
No, not rude at all. I'd start out by asking if there is a difference in the rooms or if one includes breakfast?
Which city are you starting in?
I actually did this years ago on the tour hotel in Haarlem for the 21 day Best of Europe. I did not tell them I was on a RS tour but the price differed on the hotel website vs the Booking.com website. I emailed to ask about it and they offered me the lower rate on the Booking.com site.
When this happened to us a couple of years ago, the RS price included breakfast, at a substantially reduced rate.
We usually find different hotels in which to stay both pre and post-tour. We don't mind changing hotels, and save quite a bit of money. But many folks prefer the convenience of staying in the tour hotel.
Which tour are you taking? We may have more specific suggestions for you.
We are taking the Best of Southern Italy tour next fall. It starts in Rome and ends in Naples. We plan on arriving in Rome a day ahead of the tour, and will be returning to Rome at the conclusion of the tour in Naples.
Both room prices appear to include breakfast.
jillmc. we're taking that tour in the spring! We found the tour hotel price higher than we were happy with, so since we're going 3 or 4 days early, we're booked into a cheaper hotel - one we've stayed at before and are comfortable with.
If both prices include breakfast and the rooms are comparable, choose the cheaper option. Or as Pam suggested, tell them about the discrepancy. They may match the cheaper price, or even better it.
I am going on the Best of England tour next September. I contacted the hotel in London where the tour ends and enquired about booking another night, ensuring that they were aware I was staying there on a RS tour. They gave me a quote that I thought was quite high. When I checked out the same hotel on Expedia, it was about $50 cheaper and included breakfast. The quote from the hotel did not include breakfast. I e-mailed the hotel and asked if they would match the Expedia price. They replied immediately that they would, and threw in breakfast. If you are courteous when you request a price match, you may be surprised by the result. Good luck!
I recently made an inquiry of our first hotel for a RS tour in 2020, telling them I was on RS Tour (exact dates) . I contacted them directly, looked at booking.com and the hotel's website. The highest price of the three was the direct quote with them knowing I was on RS tour. All had breakfast included, all in USA dollars. Buyer beware.
We've had the opposite experience at least once: the "RS" rate was half of the on-line rate.
jillmc, sometimes hotels (as we learned in France) don't include a breakfast or some other service (like bottled water in the room) that they provide RS tours, and that might be the difference. But one thing that might be worth the extra 5€ is that they will likely put you in the same room that they are reserving for you for the tour. I'd be more concerned about confusing them than being rude, but you could just let them know about the lower rate when you show up and see if they can change it.
I hope this thread comes to the attention of the folks in the RSE office. They need to know that some of the tour hotels seem to be raising prices for tour members.
This has never happened to us, by the way. We do occasionally (well, probably more than half the time) opt to change hotels pre- or post-tour, but usually because we think the hotel is too expensive, or, as happened this year, we preferred a smaller, simpler hotel.
On longer tours, RSE usually chooses business class hotel for first and last stays (or so we have been told by a guide.) Business class hotels are more likely to have 24 hour reception, as well as other amenities that are useful for people just arriving in or leaving Europe.
Our personal preference is for the smaller, family run hotels that used to be more common on Rick's tours, and still are used on some of them.
Yes, it is not the €5 difference in price that bothers me...it gives me pause that this is supposed to be a R.S. discounted rate. On our previous Italy trip that we planned ourselves, the R.S. discounted rate we received at some of the B&B’s were indeed substantial. I would not expect a hotel to give us a R.S. rate that is higher than published rates. I will email the hotel again to be sure that I am comparing same level of rooms, even though they are listed as classic doubles on all sites that I have compared.