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Phone the hotel direct and ask for the pilgrim discount ...

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sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
Hi,

I read this phrase: "Phone the hotel direct and ask for the pilgrim discount " quite a few times the last couple of weeks in different threads.

Do all Hotels on the Camino give a pilgrim discount?

Also interested in learning how much this discount might be? That is, if there is an approximate average of discount or does it differ from hotel to hotel and no general answer is possible? And it's going to be trial and error?
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
No general answer is possible. Some do, some don't, and some will depending on who answers the telephone. My experience has been that pilgrims get the commercial rate-- on occasions when management directions don't allow this, desk staff have upgraded me, or provided me with free drinks, or free breakfast. I am grateful for whatever is possible. I would never think of asking a mom & pop operation for a discount, but have been pretty fearless with larger operations or chains. I also find that the more remote and less-trafficked the route, the better one's chances.

Others will likely have other experiences. I wouldn't mind hearing them.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I just make a reservation and would not dream of asking for a discount because I am a pilgrim. I see no reason why anybody would give me discount for doing a thing I do for my own pleasure/motives
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
I think it depends upon which hotel you are intending to stay at and whether they are "set up" as a camino / pilgrim friendly organisation. Check their web site, often this information will be included on their home page.
For all other hotels / casa rural etc, well there is no harm in politely asking (explain your situation etc). If there are two of you and you request a twin/double room they might be more accommodating. Cheers
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Do all Hotels on the Camino give a pilgrim discount?
I don’t think so. There are some hotels who offer a pilgrim discount on their website. I think two hotels at the beginning of the Camino Francés did so in the past (Roncesvalles and Akerreta) but maybe not anymore, at least I did not see it on their website.

When explicitly offered, I’ve taken advantage of it in the past. I think I might have done for Roncesvalles and Akerreta in fact and also in France. Otherwise I’m like @Antonius Vaessen: I wouldn’t dream of asking. It may be a cultural thing ...
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
The Parador in Leon (which is currently under renovations) had a special Pilgrim rate. They are very expensive to start with, the pilgrim rate knocked it down 20 euro when I stayed there, and included free breakfast. I indulged myself and it was worth it :)

I've seen pilgrim rates in some places other than that, but it was really random. Some places had discount vouchers for the nearby restaurant.
I usually do like @C clearly and say "Hi, my name is Ana, I'm a pilgrim walking to Santiago. Do you have a room? Does it include breakfast?" That immediatly tells them who i am and what I am interested in (bed and food).
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
Thanks for all your answers.

I think C clearlys way will be mine too:
I would say, when I call to make a reservation: "I am a pilgrim, walking the Camino X. Do you have a room for 1 person? What is the price?"
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Please remember that it makes a difference for small family-run hotels if you book directly. The booking sites take 15% of what you pay.
But no one is forcing them to be on the booking sites. I have mixed feelings about this. The small hotels get exposure and advertising by being on these sites.
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
I just make a reservation and would not dream of asking for a discount because I am a pilgrim. I see no reason why anybody would give me discount for doing a thing I do for my own pleasure/motives
The reason why I asked was, because I read this phrase: "Phone the hotel direct and ask for the pilgrim discount " quite a few times the last couple of weeks in different threads. So I wondered whether this is common practice or not. That's why I asked, because I don't like presumptuousness either ...
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
There was a message that has disappeared where someone mentioned how you can get discounts for all sorts of reasons. I think this is more common in some countries than in others. For example when I go to the UK, I still marvel about the many “2 for 1” or “3 for 2” offers in the shops. And during my first visit to the USA many years ago I was fascinated by pages and pages of vouchers and discounts for all sorts of things in free newspapers or brochures. I’m not used to this.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
There was a message that has disappeared where someone mentioned how you can get discounts for all sorts of reasons. I think this is more common in some countries than in others. For example when I go to the UK, I still marvel about the many “2 for 1” or “3 for 2” offers in the shops. And during my first visit to the USA many years ago I was fascinated by pages and pages of vouchers and discounts for all sorts of things in free newspapers or brochures. I’m not used to this.
There is a big difference between a discount being offered and asking for a discount.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
There would likely be more hotels offering discounts to pilgrims if there were more pilgrims walking reverse caminos. Say they do offer a discount to pilgrims in the hopes that each pilgrim will pass the word on so the hotel can make more money in spite of the discount by bringing in more pilgrims. 99 plus percent of the pilgrims will only be able to tell pilgrims who have already passed the place.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Also interested in learning how much this discount might be?
I just noticed that the Hospederia Monástico Pax in Leon offers a 5% pilgrim’s discount when you book through their website. This is a lovely hotel in a former monastery. The nuns are still there but the hotel part is either sold or managed by Keytel Hotels however they are. At a guess, such a discount is probably often in this range, perhaps up to 10% or 15% - a sum they‘d also “loose” if you booked through Booking.com for example 😊.

I like to stay in hotels or casa rurales with historic roots reaching far into the past or those that have been restored and still feel authentic. They are often family-run and I just hope they flourish and remain much the way they are and are not swallowed by Best Western etc. The Norte y Londres in Burgos is such a hotel with an authentic „feel“. I think this is where you may have read very recently the advice to ring and ask for “the“ pilgrim discount ... I stayed there but don’t know whether they have such a discount. Your question is totally legit, btw and imho. 🤓
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
Lots of options here. Speaking for myself I am thrilled to get senior rates now that I am way over 65. It's a rate I have earned.
Not every business offers a senior rate however, I walk the Camino Francis every year and have been kindly requested by hotel managers to book directly next time to get the repeat customer rate.
Of course albergue rates are already low but some charge tourists (non pilgrims) more.
So cultural difference aside, I enjoy the the kindness offered, accept and thank them.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
I always explain that I am a Moderator on the Most Powerful Camino Related Forum on the Internet and that if I don't get a free room and a bottle of Cava they are done for...

This has provided for much laughter, the occasional shrugged shoulder and, once, some excellent exercise for their dogs. Nevertheless I will persist in my belief that I am someone special and entitled.

But I'm minded of the friendly Hotel Favila in Oviedo where, on our first visit, the desk clerk looked at our packs and boots and asked to see our credencials and told us of his own caminos and included cena and desayuno in the room rate and the bar-man who figured the postprandial brandies were included too. I suppose there is a reason why we keep going back...
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
I always explain that I am a Moderator on the Most Powerful Camino Related Forum on the Internet and that if I don't get a free room and a bottle of Cava they are done for...

This has provided for much laughter, the occasional shrugged shoulder and, once, some excellent exercise for their dogs. Nevertheless I will persist in my belief that I am someone special and entitled.

But I'm minded of the friendly Hotel Favila in Oviedo where, on our first visit, the desk clerk looked at our packs and boots and asked to see our credencials and told us of his own caminos and included cena and desayuno in the room rate and the bar-man who figured the postprandial brandies were included too. I suppose there is a reason why we keep going back...
Last week in Bitola (North Macedonia) I stayed in a backpacker hostel booked through Bookingdotcom. Without that site I wouldn't have known of its existence. The friendly host explained he had to pay €3 to Bdotcom. I stayed a second night - and it was three euros cheaper. I (shamelessly) use the same site often to find accommodation then Google the phone number and phone directly. It NEVER costs more and often costs less. It pays back in full the effort to learn enough language to speak on the phone. Some hotel proprietors are unfriendly. But I like to start with the assumption that they love me.😁
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
How about asking if a discount is offered to pilgrims? Slightly different from asking for a discount because you are a pilgrim.
Exactly!!!

And let me remind you that empty plane seat is the most expensive seat for the company. Same with room that hasn't been sold out. Simply ask IF and not FOR and as @C clearly does and it might do the trick. If the room cost 25€ it's still better to get 23€ than 0€ for the proprietor. But be sure you'll leave those 2€ in that village nevertheless ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Lots of options here. Speaking for myself I am thrilled to get senior rates now that I am way over 65. It's a rate I have earned.
Not every business offers a senior rate however, I walk the Camino Francis every year and have been kindly requested by hotel managers to book directly next time to get the repeat customer rate.
Of course albergue rates are already low but some charge tourists (non pilgrims) more.
So cultural difference aside, I enjoy the the kindness offered, accept and thank them.
I am a repeat offender on some routes and have been given repeat-guest discounts and upgrades at several places, without asking for them. Another casa rural, situated directly on the del Norte, kindly gave me a bottle of cava on my 3d visit, and I was able to sip on it as the end-of-day pilgrims walked by, and was able to cheer them on to their destination. Booking directly is usually positively received by most innkeepers.

Discussing this with another pilgrim friend, she noted that this entire discussion fell under the rubric of "first-world problems."
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
this entire discussion fell under the rubric of "first-world problems."
Same as the discounts for old age. I am fortunate to be healthy and affluent enough at my age, when I have time to do them. Nevertheless, it is nice to get a little gift in the form of a discount, however small. @KinkyOne made a good point about leaving the benefit in the village.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Discussing this with another pilgrim friend, she noted that this entire discussion fell under the rubric of "first-world problems."
LOL, walking a camino is a first-world endeavour. Can’t imagine that anyone has third-world problems there ... besides, I can barely regard this topic as a problem and don’t see much expression of indignation in the thread. Someone asked for clarification about what she read in recent threads and it was actually @oursonpolaire himself who said that he „wouldn’t mind hearing“ other people‘s experience. 🙃
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Please remember that it makes a difference for small family-run hotels if you book directly. The booking sites take 15% of what you pay.
Some take a lot more and then prohibit the hotel operators from advertising any lower prices. So yes where possible book directly!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
LOL, walking a camino is a first-world endeavour. Can’t imagine that anyone has third-world problems there ... besides, I can barely regard this topic as a problem and don’t see much expression of indignation in the thread. Someone asked for clarification about what she read in recent threads and it was actually @oursonpolaire himself who said that he „wouldn’t mind hearing“ other people‘s experience. 🙃
For clarity, I was mocking myself, not others. It's what the academics call autoreferential ludic discourse.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I always explain that I am a Moderator on the Most Powerful Camino Related Forum on the Internet and that if I don't get a free room and a bottle of Cava they are done for...

This has provided for much laughter, the occasional shrugged shoulder and, once, some excellent exercise for their dogs. Nevertheless I will persist in my belief that I am someone special and entitled.

But I'm minded of the friendly Hotel Favila in Oviedo where, on our first visit, the desk clerk looked at our packs and boots and asked to see our credencials and told us of his own caminos and included cena and desayuno in the room rate and the bar-man who figured the postprandial brandies were included too. I suppose there is a reason why we keep going back...
So the password is "I'm a friend of Tinker's" together with a knowing wink? Gotcha, thanks T!
 

Ozrob

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Nord
Coming from Australia, despite the awful exchange rate - all the accomodation rates seem like discounts to me
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
In old times you saw a we take American Express you could ask right away for a 10 % discount when not paying with American Express.
Booking.Com takes 15% for using their site so with calling directly they can offer you that discount if you ask.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo
Hi,

I read this phrase: "Phone the hotel direct and ask for the pilgrim discount " quite a few times the last couple of weeks in different threads.

Do all Hotels on the Camino give a pilgrim discount?

Also interested in learning how much this discount might be? That is, if there is an approximate average of discount or does it differ from hotel to hotel and no general answer is possible? And it's going to be trial and error?
I won’t be asking for a discount. Spain has high unemployment and I think if I can afford the time, airfare, food and accommodation costs then I am happy for my money to go into the local economy.
 

Pipmahoe

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2018
Central Portuguese April 2019 8 weeks post hip replacement!
When walking the Camino I have noticed that some hotels advertise “Pilgrims Rates”, so perhaps it would be nicer to ask if they offer “pilgrims Rates” 👣😀
 

Keyes

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF May-June 2016
Francesco June-July 2017
Francigena July-August 2017
Portuguese July 2018
Semantics may be the death of us all. . . . also self-righteousness
 

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