Updated on March 26, 2014
Updated on March 26, 2014
Our flight to Zakynthos was a seemingly round-about one with a layover in Dusseldorf stuck in the middle. Made for a very long few days, let me tell you. As we were approaching this layover, we weren’t sure where we were going to stay as there just didn’t seem to be any good (cheap/free) options so we turned to one of our favorite tricks. A BRG.
In this post I’ll give you a brief run-down of how we got a free night at the InterContinental Dusseldorf (with club lounge access) by discussing the following things:
The booking: A simple revenue reservation for a cancelable room
The tools: Kayak.com, essentially
What will you learn: How to find a better rate on an outside site and how to submit a BRG claim with that rate.
So here’s what we did and ultimately, what you can do too. Heck you can probably even replicate the same stay as sometimes hotels are slow in updating their prices once you point out a disparity on a third party site for them.
Like I said, as we were approaching our overnight layover in Dusseldorf, we still had no reservations made. So in that sort of scenario, here is our plan of action.
1.) First, we scour the web looking for two things: a cancelable rate at a hotel that offers a Best Rate Guarantee and a matching room on a third party site that offers a cheaper rate. Back and forth back and forth we constantly compare the cancelable rooms on their own cite with the matching rooms on a third party site.
This essentially means lots of time spent on Kayak.com as it lends itself well to this kind of search thanks to an ability to search for hotels very specifically. In our case, we wanted to compare an InterContinental club room so we simply searched for the InterContinental in Dusseldorf.
2.) Hurrah! *Drew does victory dance* Drew found a cheaper rate on Kayak for an EXACT match on InterContinental’s website. The “exact” part is pretty important. The more holes there are in the match, the more ability the hotel has to disqualify the claim on the basis that it’s a different room. Make sure the beds are the same, the amenities are the same (ex: breakfast or no breakfast), the “view” is the same if that applies, etc. It’s probably not going to be a word-for-word exact, but you’ll know if it’s describing the same room or not and know that sometimes hotels have goofy things to differentiate their rooms. Like adding a desk instead of a coffee table and calling it a “business room.”
Lucky for us the exact match was with a club room meaning we’d get club access!
3.) Now that the room is found and the victory dance is done, book the cancelable rate on InterContinental’s (or whoever’s) website. We like to open up another browser window for this so that we can have both the IHG rate and the Kayak rate readily viewable.
4.) When the booking is made, you can submit your claim. The hotels that offer BRG’s will have a page where you can read the rules of a BRG claim, and make a submission. You can follow the link I’ve provided here to get to InterContinental’s online submission form.
Otherwise, look at the bottom of IHG’s homepage for the “Best Price Guarantee” icon.
From that page, clicking either of the indicated links as shown below will take you to a page from which you can finally access the form.
Finally when you see this string of options, click the one saying “Best Price Guarantee.”
Thorough enough? I hope so.
The online form offers prompts that will cover all the information needed for your claim. Within 24 hours you should be hearing from the hotel about your claim.
IHG’s BRG (or Best Price Guarantee) offers your first night free for any accepted claim. This works out particularly well for stays of one night. 🙂
Our free night at the InterContinental Dusseldorf
Thanks to an unpredicted glitch of some kind, the free night was given to us in a backwards sort of way that ended up serving towards our benefit. Instead of charging us 0$ as is the norm for a 1 night BRG stay at IHG, the hotel charged us the ordinary price of $300+ dollars, then refunded us the money a week or so later. Why is this a good thing? Well this somehow counts as a paid stay and therefore earns us points! 14,000 to be exact. Not bad for a free stay.
While the room itself was great, the most note-worthy part of the stay for us budget-conscious travelers was the lounge. Does the average person in a hotel lounge treat the hors d’oeuvres as a meal? I have no idea and in fact I’ve been observing others in lounges this entire trip to try to resolve this question. Do we? Yes. Yes we do. If we get lounge access that is one less food expense we need to make. Especially at a lounge like this one where they DO give you actual hot meal items.
But really it wasn’t just the food that made the Dusseldorf InterContinental’s lounge noteworthy (though the food was indeed good,) but rather the unique loft set-up of the lounge. It was not a closed floor but rather an open-walled loft with a balcony overlooking the lobby. The one existing wall of the lounge was covered with book shelves full of seemingly German literature.
The only unfortunate part about this stay was that we had to get up at 5 in the morning to continue our flight to Greece. Otherwise the food was delicious, the room was up-to-date, and the price, at 0$, was perfect.
For more information…
Hopefully you’ve gotten a basic rundown of how to make a BRG claim for an InterContinental stay, but here’s a link if you’d like to dive a little bit deeper into IHG’s Best Rate Guarantee policy.