- Eileen Falkenberg-Hull For the AJC
Atlanta's hotels are home to rooftop pools, indoor/outdoor pools and wet bars that are all easily accessed...if you're in the know.
Unlike many "big city" hotels, most of Atlanta's staycation destinations don't allow pool access via a day pass or membership. This means the only way to access them is if you book a room at the hotel. For the cost of a day pass for a hotel pool in other cities, you and three friends can split the cost of a room.
The cost of a room? That's more expensive than you had in mind! Here's how to get the best deal:
Shop online. Discount sites like Orbitz, Priceline, and Hotels.com allow you to choose your hotel and see the best deals. Use sites like Retail Me Not to find additional coupon codes. For even more deals at some sites, opt-in to receive weekly emails that can contain additional coupon codes but are easily relegated to your junk mail folder until they're needed.
Take advantage of available discounts. Many hotels offer AAA, military service and government rate discounts. Don't be afraid to ask.
Call the hotel. If you're looking for a specific hotel, don't be afraid to call and negotiate. If you find a similar hotel nearby with a lower rate, ask the front desk of your preferred hotel if they can match the rate.
Book a room during the week. Take a day off of work and head out with friends for an evening on the town. Wake up in your room the next morning ready to spend the day at the pool. Unless the hotel (and pool) you want to access is in a 9 to 5-centric part of town, you're likely to score a weekday deal.
Wait until the last minute. There's nothing wrong with booking a room the day before your stay. Call up the hotel and see what their "best rate" is for an overnight stay. If you're just going to pool access, offer up that you don't need a room with a view and you don't mind booking the room near the linen closet or elevator.
Book at a less trendy hotel. Sure, the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center is beautiful but there's nothing wrong with the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. The Hyatt Regency, The St. Regis Atlanta and The Georgian Terrace also offer pools with a view.