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How to stay in a luxury UK hotel for £100 a night or less

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The delights of a luxury hotel shine through that little bit more potently if you've managed to secure them at a bargain rate.

For the savvy traveller, there are ways and means of obtaining excellent value - even in a Five Star hotel. You need to have your finger on the pulse when it comes to all the best discount apps, and be bullish (or charming) enough to ask the right questions at the right time.

We've rounded up the best ways of sneakily securing luxury for less, according to leading experts in the travel industry. 

And for those of you who can't quite be bothered to play the game, we've also picked out a handful luxury UK hotels that already have rooms for £100 or below, as a matter of course.

Read on to find out how exactly to land a top-end hotel room, without the eye-watering price tag...


Insider tips for nabbing a luxury discount

Behold the tips and tricks for getting your hands on a luxury hotel room at a bargain price:

phone

Hotel apps are your friend

This is the first point of call for most people securing a slice of bargain luxury, and for good reason. HotelTonight has a great repertoire of discounts and on-the-day rates at luxury hotels in Manchester, Brighton, Birmingham and London. You can book up to seven days in advance, but the best deals are last minute; it currently has rooms at the Hoxton Shoreditch for £99 a night (for tomorrow night), and regularly works with boutique boltholes such as Drakes in Brighton and the Town Hall in Bethnal Green

LateRooms is another brilliant app for bagging a Five Star bargain. Its luxury section (powered by Secret Escapes, another app for your hit list) draws from a large database of luxury and boutique hotels with rooms to fill, and members can bag discounts of up to 70% on the going rate. Groupon is another must-have app for those tracking down luxury for less, as is the Mr and Mrs Smith app.

You'll need to be flexible to get the best rates on any of these apps. As a general rule of thumb, same-day and mid-week (or Sunday night) bookings represent your best chance of securing excellent value. 

... But booking direct may get you a better deal

Always bear in mind that while third party sites and apps are the quickest way of searching for hotels, booking with the hotel directly may get you a better rate.

"With small, independent UK hotels, you may be able to get a better deal if you deal directly with the staff," says travel writer Fred Mawer.

"Remember that hotels prefer direct bookings because this means they can avoid paying commission fees. It's also worth looking out for added value - I've come across examples where, for direct bookings only, breakfast or free wi-fi is included, or a later checkout time is available."

That's not to say you shouldn't book via an app or search site. Just check with the hotel too, in case you're missing any special discount rate you could get by booking directly. 

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Haggle via phone for the best rates

"We're all familiar with haggling when it comes to buying a house or a car, but you can also do it when booking a luxury hotel," says Mark Hodson, founder of 101 Holidays

"Many top-end hotels are flexible on price if they have spare rooms, particularly if you are booking very late and especially at a time of the week when they are not so busy. Sunday nights, for example.

"This is very hush-hush, so the best way to get the deals is by phone. Call the reservations department, speak confidently and make them an offer. You'll often get a discounted rate, a free room upgrade or breakfast thrown in."

Ask for an upgrade at check-in

"When you check in to the hotel, ask for an upgrade," says Matt Kepnes, of Nomadic Matt. "Tourism is very bad right now and you are much more likely to get free upgrades and goodies just by asking. They want to keep customers happy and have them go home recommending them to others. Use that to your advantage."

Travel expert Wendy S. Goffe agrees that you shouldn't hesitate when it comes to asking for a bargain: "Hotels with vacancies are often willing to negotiate to fill a room. Don’t be afraid to ask for a free breakfast, internet, parking or use of the workout facilities. Hotel managers would rather make a little less on an occupied room than leave it empty for a night."

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Get some rapport going with the general manager

Travel and lifestyle blogger Elizabeth Houck recalls how she emailed the general manager of a hotel after a "mediocre" experience there. 

 "I wrote the GM about the experience and he was happy to extend a fantastic rate for me to give the hotel another chance," she says.

"Needless to say, the upgrade to the king suite on my next visit was well worth the few minutes it took to write the email. In a follow up phone call before my next arrival, I asked for exactly what I wanted - a good rate, no resort fee, and a king room. I then emailed him confirming my stay."


Britain's luxury hotels with rooms for £100 or less

We've pulled together a snapshot of luxury hotels you can book for £100 or less:

The Berkeley Square Hotel, Bristol

Bristol

Luxury factor: stand-out modern art

Some of Britain's most exciting contemporary artists are on show at this vibrant abode in the heart of Bristol. Each room in the Grade-listed building is unique and guests have access to an award-winning restaurant and a private members' club. 

Rooms from £94 a night, cliftonhotels.com


Malmaison Dundee

Malmaison

Luxury factor: decadent décor 

Malmaison's signature opulence reigns supreme at this waterfront hotel overlooking the River Tay in Dundee. From the wrought-iron staircase to the grand, domed ceiling, there's an abundance of exquisite period detail - and excellent cocktails await in the elegant Brasserie. 

Rooms from £95 a night, malmaison.com


The Queensberry, Bath

Queensberry

Luxury factor: Innovative food and wine

This delightful retreat has the very best of Bath right on its doorstep and has won a host of awards in recognition of its beautifully designed rooms, friendly service and extensive wine list. Feast on imaginative, tasty dishes at the hotel's Olive Restaurant.  

Rooms from £99 a night, thequeensberry.co.uk


The Bull Hotel, Dorset

hotel

Luxury factor: the character-led rooms

A luxury boutique hotel, The Bull in the Dorset market town of Bridport, has a host of chic and individually furnished bedrooms to its name. Order a plate of moules-frites to mull over in the pretty courtyard garden, or pop by the pizza and cider restaurant for a hand-picked collection of local beverages matched with classic Italian fare.

Rooms from £100 a night, thebullhotel.co.uk


At The Chapel, Somerset

Chapel

Luxury factors: the fabulous little touches

Bedroom four - a romantic attic room tucked beneath the eaves - comes in at exactly £100 a night, at this contemporary Somerset escape. Expect king-size beds with Egyptian cotton bed linen, REN toiletries in the marble-tiled walk-in shower and freshly baked croissants from the hotel bakery delivered to your room in the morning. 

Rooms from £100 a night, atthechapel.co.uk

Photos: ThinkStock

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