Most Interesting Hotel Booking Experience

Last year I had a two-day training to attend in Arlington, VA on Feb. 9th, Thursday and Feb. 10th, Friday. I conducted some research and decided to stay at The Westin Arlington Gateway. Using Expedia, I got the following result for my selected hotel and dates.

2 night rates

It would cost $222 per night, or $444 for two nights. Expedia also displayed prices from other brands such as Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, In my case, the rates were all the same. Before I went ahead to book the hotel, I checked how much the hotel rate was for each individual night. Below is what I found.

Night 1 Rate

Night 2 Rate

It turned out that the same room would cost $229 for the first night, but only $172 for the second night. The total was $401 for two nights. Therefore, if I booked those two nights separately, I could save $43, almost 10%. Ha! That’s interesting.

Wondering if I should spend another day to visit Washington D.C., I added another night and checked the rates for 3 nights in a row. This time, I got an even bigger surprise. Below was the result.

3 Night Rates

Staying at this hotel for 3 nights would cost me $142 per night, or $426 in total. Without hesitation, I booked three nights from Thursday to Saturday. Booking one more night saved me $18. Could you believe it?

During my stay, I had a chat with the hotel front desk. The lady told me, “Most of our guests are business travelers. Therefore, we have higher rates in weekdays than in weekends. You got a good deal probably because our system categorized your stay as a weekend reservation.”

On that Saturday, I visited the Smithsonian museums, which are several metro stations away and also free. That’s a great trip!

With that experience, I began to explore more booking options when I needed to stay a hotel for multiple nights. Although I had found some good deals from time to time, I also realized that I had spent too much time on this. Number of combinations can grow quickly when I need to stay more nights and have multiple candidates to choose. I am wondering if there is a better way to do this.

Guess what? Without much effort, I found a website called It really blew my mind.  For those puzzles that may took me several hours to solve, FindOptimal can get an answer in seconds. It not only finds the best booking combination on one hotel, when you enable the “Optimal Rate” option, but also provides an approach to combine different hotels. For a single traveler without much luggage, that’s a great way to save more on hotels.