A hot hotel sale

A major hotel booking site turns to social media to ramp up activity. It’s a move that could save you some money on your next trip. But you may need to move fast.

While hotel booking sites like Trivago and Booking.com are using TV commercials to hook the attention of prospective travelers, Hotels.com is going the way of social media to drum up traffic.

Here’s why that decision matters to you.

Hotels.com is offering what it calls a “Private Sale,” promising discounts of 50 percent and higher on hotel rooms worldwide, but only to its email subscribers and fans of its Facebook page.

The discounts being offered range from sweet to staggering. Here’s a sample of nightly rates they feature on the landing page for this Private Sale:

  • Augusta’s Apartments, St.Lucia: $127.
  • Marriott’s Grande Vista, Orlando, FL: $65
  • Sunrock Hotel 7 Residences, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: $48
  • Hotel Stuttgart Zuffenhausen, Stuttgart, Germany: $28
  • Blue Diamond Bay, Santorini, Greece: $22
  • Taba Luxury Suites, Istanbul, Turkey: $61
  • Dutch Design Hotel Artemis, Amsterdam: $58
  • Jasmine Grande Residence, Bangkok: $43
  • EAST, Beijing: $110
  • Sonaisali Island Resort, Fiji: $132

You get the idea.

Okay, here come the caveats.

We’re now in what’s known as “shoulder season,” one of those periods between major holiday seasons. Come summer, prices will be creeping upward again. They may still be very good deals, just not quite as good as these.

Further, there’s no telling how many of their rooms will be offered at these loss-leader prices, which means they could sell out fairly fast. Also, these are likely to be basic rooms; expect upgrades to cost more.

Last but by no means least, these prices may not include all local taxes and fees, which figure to jack up the rates somewhat, maybe significantly so.

Still, even with all that, you still might be able to score some pretty good deals here.

Again, however, Hotels.com says you have to be an email subscriber or “Like” their Facebook page to get access to these prices. But that process is both painless and free.

So if you’re planning a trip this spring, or even later, check it out and see what you can find. You have nothing to lose but a few keystrokes.

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