Five top tips for getting a good deal from hotels

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16 April 2012

1. Read third-party reviews. Compare what guests are saying, check sites such as Oyster and TripAdvisor.

2. Book on the hotel's website. This usually gets you the best deal, gives you peace of mind, and ensures you more flexibility. If you travel frequently, check the hotel's Facebook sites. That way you'll see their promotions as soon as they become available.

3. When you get to the hotel, consider asking for an upgrade. This means getting a better-quality room or suite with respect to the one you booked. It generally means paying a bit more. They may be able to give you a better room at a discounted rate, or sometimes they may give you a free upgrade. Good public relations for them.

4. Package deals – hotel plus flight – can offer discounts on both flight and hotel. It's worth exploring when you're buying your flight ticket. Usually there isn't a vast choice of hotels, but discounts can be good.

5. Remember that your final bill for the hotel room may include charges that weren't shown when you booked your ticket. These may include items such as airport shuttle, the bottle of water left on the table in your room, a so-called "energy surcharge," in-room safe charge, Internet, taxes and other local charges. It's worth asking about these when you check in to avoid surprises at check-out. When booking, you could call the hotel and ask if there are any extra fees that will be added to your bill.

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See listing for the Bauer & Bauer Il Palazzo hotel, shown in the photo