I usually have a good idea about which hotel(s) I want to stay at for any given trip, but I don’t stop shopping around once I book my room.
I’m going to walk you through my standard Las Vegas room booking process. I have an extended trip coming up where I will be mixing business with pleasure. I am spending a few nights at the Las Vegas Hotel (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) and the Imperial Palace while attending a conference and then moving to the Gold Coast and the Mirage to relax after the conference.
I booked the room at the Las Vegas Hotel after receiving an offer for 3 nights for $99 (total) based upon my history of playing a little bit of video poker there during conventions. The room at the Imperial Palace is comped due to my history with Caesars Entertainment casinos (which the Imperial Palace is part of). I was able to book a room at the Mirage for a discounted rate due to my Mlife membership. I have no history with the Gold Coast but want to see what it is like, so I booked that room directly through their casino website at the going rate of $59.
I knew that I would not be able to get better rates at the Las Vegas Hotel or the Imperial Palace, so once I made those reservations, I stopped checking. I had a feeling that I could do better at the Gold Coast and the Mirage, though.
A few weeks after booking the room at the Mirage I received an emailed offer from them that included rates of $39 and $49 per night for the nights I needed. I called the Mirage, inquired about getting the lower rate and now I have 2 nights at the Mirage for under $100. Since I have no history with the Gold Coast, I made sure to sign up for their emails and check the site from time to time. I have received emailed offers from them, but nothing that was useful. I checked the website on Monday though, and saw that the room I had booked for $59 per night was now $38 per night. I booked the new rate online and cancelled the previous reservation.
This process of booking and re-booking is one of the reasons why I only make my reservations directly through the hotel/casino instead of using a site like Expedia. Most hotels allow you to cancel your reservation up to 72 hours before your trip without penalty and many also have price matching guarantees so if you do find a cheaper rate on Expedia, you should be able to get that same rate through the hotel. Booking through the hotel also means you only have to prepay the first night’s room rate as a deposit instead of paying it all up front. Since I do gamble, booking directly with the casino means that they can comp part of my stay if I play enough. If you book through Expedia or Hotwire the casino cannot comp your room later.