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When to Book Hotel Rooms

With hotel occupancy rates on the rebound, are last-minute bookings still a bargain? To find out, we reserved a standard room for one night at hotels in five U.S. cities two days, one week, and three months in advance. Across the board, one week out was the time to book. A caveat: you can often lock in an even better rate if you’re willing to pay when you book. Ask the hotel if it offers this option.

Chicago: Park Hyatt

2 Days: $365/night
1 week:
$335/night
3 months:
$465/night
Advance Purchase:
$284 (available only one week out)

Dallas*: Ritz-Carlton

2 Days: $399/night
1 week:
$329/night
3 months:
$349/night
Advance Purchase:
n/a

Los Angeles: SLS at Beverly Hills

2 Days: $419/night
1 week:
$369/night
3 months:
$369/night
Advance Purchase:
$289

New York: Four Seasons

2 Days: $655/night
1 week:
$655/night
3 months:
$855/night
Advance Purchase:
n/a

San Francisco: Intercontinental

2 Days: $159/night
1 week:
$159/night
3 months:
$189/night
Advance Purchase:
$143 (one week out); $170 (3 months out)

(*Prices are for the Club Level, which was the only category available two days out.)

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