Tips for Getting the Most for your Dollars
£1 = $2.028 … depressing. London has always been an expensive city, but the cost factor has been exacerbated by the declining U.S. dollar. That £500 hotel room in central London will cost an American $1,014 a night. Plus tax.
The weak dollar creates a corresponding problem for British hoteliers. While upscale British and European travelers may not be staying away from luxury properties in London, many Americans who pay with devalued dollars are looking for more affordable options. Lower demand means empty rooms. Empty rooms mean diminished revenue, income forever lost to the hotel.
Some hotels have addressed this problem by creating guaranteed U.S. Dollar rates for the American market. The hard part is finding those rates. One London hotel’s website offers an “Internet special” for a Superior Queen Room but makes no online mention of the Guaranteed USD Rate. The Internet special rate is £305. With taxes, the total charge for the room comes £358.38 ($726.80) with no meals included. The same hotel has loaded into the GDS a “Guaranteed USD” rate of $500 for the same room, inclusive of service charge and taxes. I recently booked this very rate for a client.
But it gets even better. The hotel honored the Virtuoso amenities for my clients. They were upgraded at time of booking to a Deluxe King (internet rate = £450 + taxes = £528.75 = $1,072.30), and the hotel extended complimentary daily English Breakfasts (I don’t know the price, but let’s assume it was £35 each or approximately $140). Total value of the package with upgrade and breakfast: over $1200 per night. Total cost to my client: $500 per night.
UK and European residents can take advantage of this as well. While this rate is for North and South America markets only, virtually anyone can book a hotel room through a Virtuoso travel consultant in the United States.
Armed with this knowledge, that £500 hotel room in central London will cost you $500. Tax included.