Visit the Groupon website and you’ll be hit with all kinds of deals and discounts, from spas, massages and manicures to restaurant deals – all being offered at discounts sometimes as high as 80%.
Groupon also have ‘Getaways’ – a whole section devoted to discount hotels, flights and other travel products.
Cheap2Travel investigates how good these deals really are.
We visited the UK and Australian sites and chose the first Getaways deal that was available in each country on the night of 17th March 2014. It may seem a ridiculously tiny sample from which to draw any conclusions, but the methodology to check is sound and easy for anyone to try at home.
Case 1 (Groupon UK)
14 nights at Marakech-Villa Amira & Spa for £569
This includes standard double room, continental breakfast, dinner, fruit basket, water and 45-minute massage per person. Valid from March 2014 to March 2015. The fine print says that it doesn’t include tax, which works out at about £2.20 per day.
So how much does it cost to stay here normally?
I went to Hotelscombined.co.uk so that I could see what the major online travel agents were charging for the same room.
Booking.com have come in more than £100 cheaper than Hotels.com and Venere.com at £703 – but that’s still a whopping £134 more expensive than Groupon. Booking.com does include the tax though, so the saving is actually about £100. However, the Groupon deal includes breakfast, dinner and a massage, while Booking.com includes only breakfast.
I ran a few other dates through the system. In November the best price was £718 and in August, £625. Thumbs up for Groupon.
Case 2 (Groupon Australia)
$115 for one night for two people at the Park Regis Suites in St Kilda. The deal includes buffet breakfast, bottle of wine and late checkout. No additional taxes, additional guests cost more. Valid for only April-June 2014.
So how does this stack up when we run the dates through Hotels Combined?
The best price of $134 can be obtained by booking directly through the hotel and that doesn’t include all the extras.
So, on this tiny sample, Groupon seems to stack up pretty well. Of course, this might not always be the case and travellers are always advised to check through the fine print carefully. However, by using the method described above anyone can check it out for themselves.
To check out Groupon deals near you, go to www.cheap2travel.co and click on the flag for your country.