I've noticed this particularly in the Northern Virginia/DC region and I'm sure its true of some other markets. Hotels in this area are usually $200 - $300 a night during the work week but on the weekends the rates drop to around $70-80 a night. If you book a room for Thursday night only in this area your rate will be in the $200 -$300 range. However if you book both Thursday and Friday night your room rate drops to the weekend rate for both nights making your total for two nights much cheaper than the Thursday only rate. Even if you had to depart on Thursday it would makes sense to book both nights and not check out when you leave on Thursday. I personally haven't had a need to try this trick but wondered if any other Insiders have tried this or given thought to the idea
Yes, I see this often (Fairview Marriott Falls Church and Tysons Corner Marriott here locally for example). I just booked the Houston West Loop Galleria Marriott using this exact scenario. I've written several times about Marriott's pricing algorithms, they are experts at what they do and very difficult to capture any real savings in their matrix. This is an example where it benefits both parties, us and them to increase their net occupancy. Since I have the luxury of booking months in advance, I am fortunate enough to book where the deals are. I have noticed on several occasions after booking what I find to be "a great rate" the rate disappears, so these values are occupancy controlled (like I said, those folks are experts).
I can even see pricing differences on weekends with Res. Inns and Springhills being higher than full service due to their (included, not free) meals and (included, not free) parking. Marriott is a formidable opponent (and yes, it is a competition) in the pricing game. They often have rates that defy logic (on the evil side) and you really have to be on guard or you might erroneously book a 'special' rate or AAA rate higher than the standard rate. That's why my recent (albeit, late to the game) discovery of Flyertalk - Marriott Forum (of which Marriott is a board member) was invaluable. It has terrific insights on how to secure the best values at a Marriott brand property.
Forewarned is forearmed. Thanks for posting about this subject which is dear to my wallet and thus overall travel potential.
You're right! I've seen rooms at the Mayflower in DC for $300 a night and then drop to $99 for the weekend. $99 is a real bargain for a property like the Mayflower! If I had to be there Thursday and was staying the weekend I'd be booking separate reservations to get the better weekend rate and have the hotel combine them when I get there.
It used to be (a few months ago) that if a rate adjusted downward during a stay that the rate (when clicking on the hotel) on marriott.com would show that the rate changes to $XX.XX on X day. Now, the 'rates' page doesn't seem to be showing these 'price drops' any more. They just show the full rate for the whole reservation time. It pays now to look at individualized days when booking reservations now.
Once again, you nailed it. I just booked a rate that was Thurs-Mon (giving me two CL breakfasts) using the 'weekend' rate. I added Monday night and it raised the entire rate each and every night - so I had to make two reservations. I'm telling you, those quants at intergalactic are out to get us. Insiders unite and beat back the beast!