Guaranteed is no guarantee

PHUKET, 31 March 2017: Outrigger Enterprises Group announced Thursday the launch of its first-ever best rate guarantee for direct bookings made online across the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts portfolio.

Guests booking any of Outrigger’s multi-branded hotels, condominiums and vacation resort properties from are guaranteed the best publicly available rate possible.

Should guests find a lower rate for the same hotel, room type and date anywhere on a US-based website within 24 hours of booking, Outrigger will not only match the lower rate, but also extend an additional 10% discount.

The US-based website requirement could be a snag for consumers as it is difficult to determine the actual location of the booking website or portal.  Is US-based, Bangkok-based or Singapore based?

The group claims the advantages of booking directly with include no hidden fees; most-current room availability across the portfolio; a best rate guarantee; and benefits of the Outrigger Discovery loyalty program.

Now for the small print

The Outrigger best rate guarantee is available only for exact itinerary matches.

The lower price claim must be for the same room type at Outrigger hotels or condos during the same travel dates as previously booked through The lower price must also be available for purchase on a stand-alone basis through the website.

The room cannot be included as part of a package with any other travel services or activities.

Outrigger will make its rate comparison based on the total nightly room rate plus any and all other mandatory charges, including but not limited to taxes and fees.

The best rate guarantee applies only to prices both advertised and available to the general public on an English-language website, and is not available for bookings on websites where the property, itinerary or similar booking details are unknown until after purchase.

It does not apply to any bookings for stays at the Ala Moana Condominium Hotel. Then to round it off: “Other terms and conditions may apply”.

By now any enthusiasm for Outrigger’s best rate guarantee has waned. Overwhelmed by exceptions  we might wonder if it is really worth the trouble?  At lease when we browse a third party booking site we can enjoy the freedom to compare the competitive set.