Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Will buying and selling hotel rooms put the final nail in the coffin of last minute ‘bargains’?

In the dot.com boom of the 1990’s consumers were suddenly presented with an easy, user-friendly way of getting last minute bargains. Sites like lastminute.com allowed airlines to fill flights, luxury hotels to sell their last remaining rooms and consumers to get themselves a bargain.

Then the dotcom bubble burst, but over time more and more companies have appeared selling discount luxury hotel rooms at discounts on-line. Now it’s hard to see which offers really are bargains or what the standard price was in the first place.

If you Google ‘discount hotels’ and your desired destination you get loads of offers at temptingly low prices. But click on the link and the price for when you want to go is a lot higher. Booking last minute doesn’t seem to do you any favours either.

So the trick seems to be to book in advance but how do you find those special deals? Do they match up with when you are able to travel? Do they even exist?

HallSt.com, the first global marketplace for peer-to-peer hotel room trading, may have found the answer. The premise is simple. You book early and pay in advance and get a significant discount. If you can’t use the room you can advertise it for sale directly to other consumers on the HallSt. site. As you bought it for a discount price there’s a chance you can make a profit.

Their first 48 hour ‘flash sale’ is set for the 19th October and it features the elegant five star ALMA Barcelona in the heart of dazzling Barcelona. The standard rate is €215 but the optimum discount price for HallSt. members is €154.

If this sounds a little complicated they have got a clever little video here that shows even an ancient granny can understand how it all works!

HallSt.com: Advanced purchase of hotel nights. If you don't use the rooms, resell them. from Hall St. on Vimeo.

This innovative scheme could relegate last minute hotel hunting to a genuine spur of the moment decision to escape for a few days. If this is the case it might also be worth checking HallSt. to see if there are any last minute bargains as HallSt. believe that an empty room is a lost opportunity!

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