Hotel Discounts for Seniors: One Vacation Perk From Getting Old

A few of us writers at Hotel Scoop woke up one day and found that they were entering their sixth decade somehow. Where did all the time go? While that can be distressing on a number of levels, there’s one aspect to celebrate as you’re putting together a list of vacation destination targets: hotel discounts for seniors.

hotel discounts for seniors at chains and resorts

The 60+ crowd makes up a huge percentage of the travel industry customer base because they have two things that younger working travelers often don’t: disposable income and ample time. They don’t have all the piled-up bills and family obligations they had in earlier decades. They spend their time doing what they want instead of showing up for work every day.

That doesn’t mean that every retiree is loaded, however, and that they don’t have to keep an eye on their expenses. As they scope out top destinations to visit in retirement, they’re often also looking at ways to keep the budget in check as they tour around Paris, Banff, or the Great Smokey Mountains.

If you’re in that camp or are approaching it soon, here’s a quick guide on how to save money on lodging with available deals and discounts that are age-targeted. Follow these tips and shave your rates by getting the best senior discounts on hotels.

Stay With Chains That Offer Consistent Hotel Discounts for Seniors

There are hotel chains we’ll get to in the next section that have “discounts up to x%” in their explanation or “rates vary by location,” but there are a few hotel chains that don’t resort to this kind of wishy-washy language on their website. With these brands you know what you’re getting up front, so you don’t have to go through the whole booking process or make phone calls to ask for the hotel discounts for seniors.

Red Roof Inn

SpotX Orlando lounge

This brand provides a discount of 10% off for guests 59 and older. Sure, many of their locations are roadside motels, but with The Red Collection they have been branching out into more mid-range offerings in convenient locations.

To see what I mean, check out our review of Spot X Orlando by Red Collection in Florida.

Motel 6

Again, not your choice for lots of pampering, but great for a road trip since you’ll get 8% off the best available rate if you’re 60 or older.

Econolodge

Seeing a theme here? This brand within the Choice Hotels umbrella offers a 10% discount across the chain for guests who are 60+ and show ID upon checking in.

Best Western

Their discount is not consistent across all brands, but I’m listing them here because they’re the most generous of them all, with up to 15% off and free breakfast thrown in too. The chain has thousands of locations, including Best Western Plus ones in prime spots near attractions. See our review of Best Western Plus in Santa Marta, Colombia.

See more about senior rates at Best Western here.

Best Western Corte Madera Inn outsidediscounts

Variable Senior Rates at Other Chain Hotels

At the hotel chains below, they offer a senior discount of some kind, but like a mystery grab bag in a brown wrapper at a gift store, you don’t really know what you’re getting until you’re booking your stay. Some of them show the amount on the website’s property page, while others make you jump through hoops. For Candlewood Suites, for example, the only way to get the discount is to call them on the phone and ask for it.

Still, though the discounted amount may be variable, it some cases it can be 10%, which is significant. For the largest chains like Hyatt and Wyndham, just assume you’re going to have to hunt it down after you start your search. For example, Wyndham says, “Up to 10% off, varies by location.” The same goes for IHG, which has a dedicated page on its website but only lists the minimum age (62) and no other concrete information.

Some brands that used to have an across-the-board discount, like La Quinta, have basically outsourced it to AARP instead (see the next section).

Here are a few that are outliers though, to the upside or downside.

Hilton Hotels

Hilton seems to be the stingiest hotel chain out there for seniors, with the minimum eligible age being 65 and their website saying, “up to 7% off our Best Available Rate* at participating Hilton properties.” There’s no reference for that asterisk either, so I guess it’s just a “watch out, we’re going to disappoint you” warning.

Marriott International

JW Marriott Clearwater Beach

Last time I checked, Marriott had 33 hotel brands in its portfolio, so there’s a good chance they’ve got a hotel or resort of some kind where you’re headed on your dream vacation. While we don’t think much of their loyalty program since their point redemptions are so high and so complicated, they’re more generous when it comes to retirees and older travelers.

The Marriott senior discount is listed as “15% or more at participating hotels” which means their minimum is more than double Hilton’s maximum. These discounts kick in at age 62 also, three years sooner. I’m guessing this doesn’t really apply across all brands though at the lower end because their Fairfield Inn brand’s site says you get discounts of up to 15%.

Caesars

This U.S. hotel and resort chain requires you to join their loyalty program and verify your age, but it’s worth it since once you do that, you get up to 30% off hotel stays with that brand, Harrah’s, and others that they run.

This is an expanding company too: see our recent review of the new Caesars in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Suck it up and Get That AARP Card

senior discounts at hotels from AARP

Nobody likes to get that envelope in the mail inviting them to join AARP, the organization for senior citizens in the USA, but if you pass on it because of pride, you’re giving up a lot of big discounts from hotel chains.

Nearly every chain out there gives some kind of discount to AARP members and it’s often just simple check box in the booking form next to veterans or active military. This discount is not minor either: it’s often 10% or 15% off the best available rate.

It’s not just hotel chains either. If you like to stay at independent hotels or B&B’s, they are able to participate in the discount program formally or they say on their website that you can get a deal just by showing your membership card. Sometimes you’ll get additional perks like breakfast or late check-out.

Use the Senior Portals at Online Booking Sites

The big OTA sites love senior travelers because that demographic makes up a huge percentage of their clientele. Unlike business travelers, these retirees on vacation aren’t very brand-loyal and they like to comparison shop for deals. So the agencies are all too happy to cater to them specifically.

On Expedia, for example, you can go to this AARP Travel Center page and search only for hotels that offer the discount, anywhere in the world.

If the booking site doesn’t have a specific search portal, it will probably have a filter where you can select just the properties offering hotel discounts for seniors or AARP members.

If you come up short for your next bucket list destination, don’t be afraid to just send some e-mails or make some calls. Hotel owners know their more mature guests aren’t going to throw a big party and trash the place and they’ll often extend a senior discount on a room to get your booking, whether one is listed on their website or not.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.