Comfy beds, designer toiletries, first-class service, soaking tubs, chenille bathrobes…the list goes on. I can’t remember the first time I stayed at a luxurious hotel, but I know once I did, I was hooked! Perhaps you’re thinking I was one of those spoiled rich kids who grew up with a silver spoon in my mouth? Well, I can assure you that wasn’t the case. So, where did my lust for the finer things in life begin? I’m fairly certain I can blame Dynasty, Dallas, Falcon Crest and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous…the TV shows I religiously watched throughout my childhood, for my lavish taste.
With the birth of the Internet, my prayers to be able to afford opulent getaways were answered! Excursion websites are everywhere touting posh travel for less. In order to indulge my jet-setting urges without upsetting the C.P.A. chefy hubby and our family budget, I’ve spent months surfing the Internet for sites that “walk the walk and talk the talk.” If you’ve been stifling your inner travel diva…squelch it no more! I’m divulging the websites I utilize to book champagne adventures on a beer budget!
www.priceline.com – I highly recommend the “Name Your Own Price” section of this site. 90% of the time, I utilize it to reserve four star accommodations. Why? It allows the bidder the chance to select the area of town they want to stay, the star level of the hotel and the price they are willing to pay. The bidder’s credit card is charged only if their offer is accepted. For the years I have been using priceline.com, I’ve never bid higher than $110.00 a night for a resort level hotel. Most of the time, my submissions between $78 -$90 are accepted for a four star or resort hotel. The same hotel is usually listed on other websites at a nightly rate between $179.00 – $250.00.
www.Expedia.com - Take a look at the vacation packages on this site. When purchasing airfare and hotel together…major savings can be found! Be sure to read the reviews left by former guests before purchasing travel. They are extremely helpful and I always make it a point to read them. when looking for new places to stay, with or without children.
www.Bookit.com - Check out the “Mystery” hotels this site offers. “Mystery” hotels are ones Bookit.com provides the star rating, reviews from former guests, the area the hotel is located and a room rate at least 50% off the published rate. They call it a “Mystery” hotel, because the buyer only finds out the name of the hotel after they’ve booked it. I’ve purchased several times the “4.5 Star Mystery Hotel” in the Orlando area and have never been disappointed. The accommodations have always been superior.
www.Mousesavers.com - This is a phenomenal website for Disney enthusiasts and for anyone planning a trip to the parks in Florida and/or California. Sign up on Mousesavers.com to receive their monthly newsletter, which includes exclusive offers for lodgings around Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
www.hyatt.com, www.starwoodhotels.com, www.marriott.com, www.hilton.com – Sometimes the best deals can be found on a hotel’s own website. Especially if you are a member of their frequent guest program . There’s no charge to sign up and most of the time you’re immediately eligible for discounts that can include “free night stays.”
The next time you’re aching for an adventure, try booking through one of my favorite sites. After all, Robin Leach shouldn’t be the only one enjoying “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”
*Disclaimer – Diva With A Fork was not compensated by any of the companies included in this article. They are businesses Diva With A Fork has and continues to purchase travel. Rates noted above are from previous travel. For current room and vacation package rates, visit the websites suggested above or one you frequent.