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Getting a Best Deal for Car/Hotel Booking

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Midlevels
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6 posts
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Getting a Best Deal for Car/Hotel Booking

Hello again,

I am planning a trip for a big group of family members in February.

What I did was to work out my own itinerary (based on the guide books/tripadvisor) and hotel and asked around for a quote.

At last point, I was contacting a very small agency Sri Lanka in Style. Anyone heard of them?

Anyway, I expected my agent to get a better rate for the hotels but it appears that they can only get the hotel published rates. Is this the norm?

Also, how much would a car and driver cost? I was getting a quote of US$731 for 5 nights/6 days. Is that on a high side? Where is a really good and cheap place to get a competitive quote?

Please help!!!

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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51,261 posts
175 reviews
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1. Re: Getting a Best Deal for Car/Hotel Booking

Hi there,

a) A good travel agent has access to the local tour operators, like Aitken Spence and Hemtours, that have 'block bookings' at the SL hotel and hence block rates. Generally these are clearly lower than the published one, upto 40-50% of that price. If you agent can't get find another..

b) Rate for a car and driver has different models. Two main ones are

1. Km rate, usually around Rs 35 (.35 USD) per km. So with an average day of 100-150 km that is USD 50 per day and for 6 days less than half of what is given to you! Note however that this is a rate for a sedan car, max. seating 3-4 pax. Larger minivans or small buses of course are far more Arabdelight-thirsty....

2. Fixed day rate with a max km, usually around USD 50. Same as for 1.

In the forum many driver contacts have been published, and I am sure at least some of them can also arrange vehicles for larger groups. Ourselves we also have 2, available by mailing to erikdr@popmail.com.

At your service,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Singapore
2 posts
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2. Re: Getting a Best Deal for Car/Hotel Booking

This all really depends on the sort of holiday you want. Sri Lanka In Style are arguably the best travel agent in Sri Lanka, offering style, comfort, service and reliability. Go with Aitken Spence or Walkers and you will get pushed into their own large chain hotels. No boutique hotel in Sri Lanka will ever give you 40% discounts. You will be lucky to get 10% in the low season as a promotional rate. But then you need to do the leg work and figure it all out, which in Sri Lanka can lead to disaster. Sri Lanka In Style is not for everyone, but if you want the best drivers, guides, good service, sound recomendations, they are definetly the people to go with.

3. Re: Getting a Best Deal for Car/Hotel Booking

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4. Re: Getting a Best Deal for Car/Hotel Booking

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