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I need to book a hotel in Delhi, India for mid-November. Someone suggested to me that I should haggle over the price for the room. Is it considered acceptable to haggle over hotel room prices in India? If so, by how much?

The hotel that was recommended to me is Hotel Lohmod which, according to Travelguru, normally charges 2184 rupees per night. I'll be booking the room by telephone.

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Related: How to successfully haggle / bargain in markets –  Mark Mayo Oct 18 '12 at 18:44
    
It is acceptable in most hotels, however 4 star and 5 star ones do not over price. For most hotels, you can start at 50% of what they say and settle at about 80%. I suggest, do a good research on all sites - especially tripadvisor, makemytrip and cleartrip and know the reasonable rates for the hotels. And book from one of these, it is much better. (except for hotels that cost less than INR 1000 per day) –  S Rahul Bose Sep 29 '13 at 15:48

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Here are the actual prices for Hotel Lohmod that you mentioned.

Okay, there are different kinds of accommodation in India and not every place is the same. If you are thinking of going to aforementioned hotel, you most likely won't be able to get the price down by haggling, only if you have a discount card or something. Besides, for such a hotel, the price seems pretty fair considering you're traveling there in November which is considered high season.

Also, as Paola mentioned, it's kinda hard to haggle through electronic media (not that it can't be done).

On the other hand, if you do want to haggle, choose guesthouses. There are budget ones, that you probably won't like (since you chose that hotel), mid-range guesthouses and premium, heritage guesthouses (that have a five-star-hotel price range). In budget ones you can easily get a discount if you don't mind using some tricks mentioned in the answer to the related question. I even got price down from 450 rupees to only 300 rupees and I stayed there just for three nights. You usually won't be able to get the price down too much if you plan on staying for a short amount of time. But if you have an itinerary that gets you back to the same city, try and explain that to the manager and tell them that you'll be staying there again if he gets the price down; be creative.

For mid-range guesthouses, you can usually get a bargain if they have a couple of rooms available. If not, you'll either have to pay the full price or get a discount from 1500 to 1400 rupees per night. You'd have to be pretty good with haggling to get a better deal.

And I believe that I don't have to explain that there is no haggling in heritage guesthouses. If you had to haggle, you wouldn't be staying at such a place.

The better the accommodation is (and more expensive), the lesser is the chance to haggle. But you can always try and ask about it and see where it takes you.

(One more thing, not really relevant, but once I managed to get a huge (and I do mean huge) discount in the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur just by explaining my situation, asking for a deal and by having luck on my side that time.)

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I've been to India a few times, usually in the southern part of the subcontinent, and hotel prices were the only "item" we accepted to pay as per request (along with food in restaurants).

I suppose that, if you go to a hotel counter in person, you may perhaps succeed in getting some kind of discount on the requested price, but I doubt you can do that over the phone or via emails, the way we normally booked our hotel rooms.

And finally, if the price you mention is for a room with an ensuite bathroom (and maybe even breakfast in the morning), I think it is a fair price.

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You can haggle over hotel prices, at most establishments (barring the 4-5 starred hotels) in India, but it needs to be done tastefully, and with tact. As far as I know, it is within the manager's prerogative to give discounts or not. During peak season, haggling is a tricky business. It is not recommended for phone bookings, because even if they agree to a certain price, you can't be sure what kind of room you will be getting.

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