Deal Alert: Cheap Hotels in Vancouver, British Columbia
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Tourism Vancouver's hotel booking site, beVancouver, is currently offering some great deals on cheap Vancouver hotels stays when you book by November 16, 2014 and check-in before or on February 28, 2015. Book a stay at one of beVancouver's participating properties, and upon check-in you'll receive an American Express pre-paid gift card worth between $50- $125 dollars, which can bring the net cost of the hotel to $25 at some properties.
Note that these deals represent pre-paid, non-refundable, third-party bookings, so you won't earn hotel points or elite credit in most cases. However, with some rates as low as $75 per night, the savings may still be worth your while if you've been wanting a winter getaway in Vancouver.
There are 36 properties participating in this offer, including several of Vancouver's amazing Fairmont properties, as well as brands like Hyatt, Sheraton and Westin. The room-rate offers are pretty good across the board, but keep in mind that room taxes and fees will be charged on top of these deals.
Throughout the promotion, you'll find especially good savings at several budget properties. The downtown YWCA Hotel is offering a $50 gift card and a nightly room rate of $75, so your net cost for one night would be $25 plus taxes and fees of $8.48, for a total of just $33.48.
Several mid-range properties have decent deals, too, with many hotels offering $100 gift cards. For instance, the nightly rate at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver is $149 per night plus a gift card discount of $100, bringing a two-night stay to $49 plus taxes and fees, for a total around $60.
However, most of the high-end participating properties, such as the Opus Hotel Vancouver and the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, offer a $125 gift card, which doesn't make much of a dent in room rates that start at around $350-500.
For example, during the weekend of December 12-14, 2014, rates at the luxurious Fairmont Pacific Rim start at $459 with a gift card discount of $125, making a two-night stay $793 before taxes and fees of $149.64, which is about $25 more than the discount itself.
If you have your heart set on the 4.5 and 5-star properties taking part in this offer, try to find nightly rates of $300 or less to maximize your savings. At present on beVancouver, dates in late November, early December and mid-January are showing luxury-property rates in this range.
A few high-end boutique properties are occasionally displaying lower nightly rates as well. Throughout much of the winter, The Loden, a boutique luxury property in Vancouver's Coal Harbour district, offers nightly rates of around $359. However, during the weekend of November 21-23, the Loden's lowest nightly room rate is $208, and the gift card offer is the full $125, bringing the per-night rate down to $ 145.50. With taxes and fees of $67.81, the total for a two-night stay drops from $483.81 to a more getaway-friendly rate of $358.81.
At the time of your beVancouver booking, you'll be charged the full, non-refundable and non-transferable amount of your room. The site accepts Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. It's not clear whether the prices are in US or Canadian dollars, or whether this charge will be processed as a foreign transaction. Just in case, I recommend using a card that doesn't incur foreign transaction fees, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard.
You'll receive one Amex gift card per booking rather than per night, and per hotel rather than for each consecutive booking at the same hotel. This offer allows you a maximum of three bookings per person; subsequent bookings will be charged at beVancouver's Best Available Rates, and won't include the Amex gift card. However, all beVancouver bookings count toward the site's usual bonus that every 10th booking is free.
If you're hoping to travel to Vancouver this winter, beVancouver's offer could provide some good hotel savings - just try to be flexible with your dates to get the best deal, and remember to factor in taxes and fees compared to the discount.