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How to find the best hotel deals in Thunder Bay

Stuart Bagnall, GM of the Thunder Bay Crossroads Best Western says online booking sites can’t match the deep discounts offered by the hotel chain

Expectations were that once the pandemic was in the rear-view mirror, people would start travelling again. But Stuart Bagnall, General Manager of the Thunder Bay Crossroads Best Western Hotel says he wasn’t anticipating a travel frenzy.

He says, “It has been absolutely crazy. We’ve never seen it this busy. The last six months have been phenomenal. Our occupancy has never been as high as it is now.”

Mining exploration and construction projects delayed by the pandemic are back on track. Summer travel and recreational activities are picking up. Fishing enthusiasts can’t wait to get their boats in the water. Some even show up at the front desk without a reservation and are surprised when told the hotel is booked up.

How to book a room to save money

Thinking that they’ll get a better deal, many people automatically go to a third-party hotel room booking site. But Bagnall says, “If they go through a third-party booking site, they’re likely going to pay more money than if they call the hotel or our own reservations office. If they book through an online booking site, they’re going to pay the rack rate, which is the posted rate. If you book directly with us, and you enrol in our rewards program, which is free, you’ll get a discounted rate.”

The Best Western Rewards discount is 12%. Let’s say the posted rate for a room is $200, and then applying the Best Western Rewards discount would bring the rate to $176. . Bagnall says, “You won’t get a discount like that on a third-party site. And with Best Western you can earn points towards gift cards and free stays.”

How to get the room you want

Bagnall can’t stress enough that the best way to get the room and amenities guests want is to book well ahead of their stay. If they want a specific type of room in a specific area of the building, it can be accommodated, providing it made ahead of time.

Bagnall says, “We do try to meet all requests, but if you request a ground floor room at the check-in counter, it may not be available. We can’t switch rooms at the last minute, but if we know in advance, that request can be filled.” Keep in mind that the drive-up rooms are always the most popular and the first to go. Mobility aids for bathrooms and oversized parking spots for boat trailers can also be provided.

Summer travel surge

Summer travel in Thunder Bay is soaring this year. More travellers are flying into the Thunder Bay Airport and looking for a hotel room for an overnight stay before boarding the Lake Superior Cruise ship. Tourists are stopping at the Fort William Historical Park, one of North America’s largest living history sites. The area is also home to the David Thompson Astronomical Observatory, which boasts one of the largest telescopes in Canada.

Travellers may have special needs while on the road and the hospitality industry has done its best to respond. Third-party booking sites are popular, but Stuart Bagnall says, “If you want to save money and guarantee your requests will be fulfilled book, directly with the hotel. “

Contact Thunder Bay Crossroads Best Western at (807) 577-4241 or visit them online here.