Travel

Club1 Hotels: THE Best Travel Booking Site I’ve Ever Used

A lot of people who don’t know about my blog tend to assume that I’m a travel agent. So I often get asked if I can get them exclusive deals and what the best travel booking sites are. Generally, I don’t see a huge difference in price between the major OTA’s. Priceline, Orbitz, Travelocity offer more or less the same deals, unless there’s a mistake fare. Because hotels will only price-match rates found on public websites, the best deals are hidden. Hands down, the best travel booking website I’ve ever used to score legitimate deals has been Club1 Hotels. 

How I Came Across Club1 Hotels

I learned about Club1 Hotels two years ago when I partnered with them to offer free membership to my readers. At the time, membership cost $695 per year, though they’ve since introduced tiers with more affordable rates. After several instances where I found incredibly low hotel rates through Club1 (and shared these deals on my blog), I decided to partner up with them as an affiliate. So if you decide to join Club1 Hotels, I’ll get a referral fee.

Amazing Travel Deals I’ve Found Through Club1 Hotels

When I first heard of Club1 Hotels, I figured this was yet another “save big on travel” gimmick. Except, I was able to save $1,300 on my first hotel booking. Just recently I saved 50% on a 3-night stay at the Finest Playa Mujeres in Cancun. I ended up having to cancel that trip, but it was pretty incredible how much cheaper the Club1 rates were. And since this was for an all-inclusive hotel, I didn’t care about missing out on points or perks that I might be eligible for through a site like Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts.

Private pool suite Nizuc Cancun
Private pool suite at the Nizuc Resort Cancun

I’ve also found that Club1 Hotels consistently offers the lowest rates at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. It’s not uncommon to find rates at half price through Club1 Hotels – even when Hyatt is running their 50% off promotions. I’ve seen rates as low as $224 per night. Take it from someone who has stayed at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos before – this is an incredible value. The resort is amazing and has some of the best food I’ve had anywhere. If you’re looking for even lower rates, look no further than the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, where Club1’s rates often fall below $200 per night. At those rates, it’s way better to save your points and redeem Arrival Miles instead,

I also began researching Club1 cruises recently and the discounts are insane! I found an MSC Cruise for half the price. An Interior room was going for $1,604 on the MSC Cruise website, while Club1 had the same room for $824.54. A $1804 Ocean View room was just $945.25 through Club1 Hotels. This was literally based on the very first search I conducted, so I imagine there are event better deals on non-premium cruises.

Why Club1 Hotels Offers Better Deals

By now you’re probably wondering how Club1 Hotels can offer 50% off hotel website rates. These low rates are offered in partnership with hotel chains. Hotels get to sell excess room inventory without publicly devaluing their brand. And because the rates are hidden behind the paywall, hotels don’t have to honor the Best Rate Guarantee for even steeper discounts. 

Club1 Memberships Options

Club1 Hotels offers two types of memberships. The cheapest membership costs $99 per year and gets you access to incredible travel deals, along with the following perks:

  • $25 off your first reservation
  • 1-year ShopRunner Membership
  • $30 LuggageFree gift card
  • 30 day money-back guarantee (as long as you haven’t booked a hotel or car rental)

If you’re looking for even more travel perks, consider the Premium Club1 Hotels membership. At $695 per year, it’s pretty hefty but comes with additional benefits:

  • $50 off your first reservation
  • 25,000 bonus sign-up miles from your choice of our airline partners including: Alaska Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines, Jet Airways, Philippine Airlines, AirAsia Big, reward-U, Oman Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Royal Brunei, Air Arabia or Etihad Airways
  • 1-year ShopRunner membership
  • $30 LuggageFree gift card
  • 1-year Airport Club Membership with standard PriorityPass ($99 retail value)
  • 30 day money back guarantee

I’m not one of those people who assigns set values to airline miles, but generally Alaska and United miles are valued at around 1.5 cents each. So those 25,000 miles are worth around $375. I personally think miles are worth whatever they save you on travel (at a minimum 1 cent each). And if you’re earning miles via manufactured spending, make sure whatever value you get out of them exceeds your gift card churning fees. 

Maximizing Savings with Club1 Hotels

Club1 Hotels has an intuitive interface that makes searching for travel deals super easy. There is, however, one very important trick to be aware of. Especially if you’re searching for hotels: The same hotel will sometimes appear multiple times in the search results, with different rates. So don’t click on the very first Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos you come across. Keep scrolling or do a Search + Find and look for lower rates. I have found the same hotel upwards of three times in the search results – all with different rates. It’s absolutely worthwhile to go through all the search results to ensure you’ve found the absolute lowest rate possible.

Club1 Hotels Best Rate Guarantee

You’re not always going to find the lower hotel rates through Club1 Hotels, which is where their Best Rate Guarantee comes handy. If you manage to find a lower rate at the same hotel for the same room type, Club1 will beat that rate by the following discounts:

  • $10 per night at 3-star hotels up to $40
  • $20 per night at 4-star hotels up to $50
  • $25 per night at 5-star hotels up to $100

Keep in mind that the Best Rate Guarantee policy does not apply to reservations made within 7 days of arrival. It definitely pays to be an early booker.

Final Verdict

There are tons of OTA’s and private booking sites out there, but Club1 Hotels is one I have personally used and found to offer the best deals. I could have partnered with any of the other companies if it was just about affiliate agreements, but it isn’t. This is a site I partnered with after I used them myself and conducted dozens of searches that turned up the cheapest rates on travel. So my recommendation is 100% based on that. If you’ve also managed to save money on travel through Club1 Hotels, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comment section.

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8 Comments

  1. Ariana,

    I have been reading your blog for a few months now. I find it enlightening. Is there any way that you can negotiate the deal that you had two years ago when you partnered with them?? Specifically, the free membership for your readers. The current prices are a bit too much for me as I am an infrequent traveler until I retire. If you can do so, I would join in a minute.

  2. Personally, I’d really like the ability to do a couple of searches to verify that pricing is better before paying. Maybe that just makes me a skeptic, but I’ve had supposedly easy refund situations become nightmares in the past. Is there anything you can do on that front?

    • They do offer a 30 day money back guarantee if you’re not happy with your membership. The only thing I’ve ever cancelled with them was a reservation and they took care of that promptly. In general, they’re super responsive via email.

  3. You should mention that anybody can get a membership for free! Gary from View From the Wing published a link to get a free one year membership – http://www.club1hotels.com/vftw/

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