I was searching the internet for the very best rate I could find for a two night stay in the St. Paul, Minnesota area today. I use every search engine available to me for this as I truly am frugal. I found two rates for the same hotel- one on the hotel's website and the other on Expedia.
I always prefer to book directly with a hotel. You get better service (yes, it's true), your rooms are guaranteed, and you can cancel if necessary.
So when I found the lower rate I called the hotel. Quite often calling a hotel directly can garner a better rate. Not this time, though; the online rate on the website it the lowest rate they had.
Next I called the toll-free number for booking on the website. I was told that the best they could do was the online price.
BUT… Carlson Hotels have a Best Online Rate Guarantee. Here's how it works… You make your reservation and then you submit your claim. You have to supply the website where you found the rate and it must be for the same days, number of people and room type. If that can all be verified they will meet that advertised price and take an additional 25% off the rate.
Which is how my $74 per night room (which was a really nice rate to begin with) is now costing me $47.25.
Carlson Hotels include Country Inn & Suites, Radisson Hotels, Park Inn and Park Plaza Hotels.