Reading the rate for a room during your travel research may seem as fixed as the very print on your computer screen. However, let's think of that number as an "average." You've already compared apples to apples, scoped more savings . . . and called the hotel directly to hone in on a better price?
Well, wait right there. Instead of asking for a break outright, consider switching your story. Let's consider a hypothetical situation in which you've booked a room (that you know it is still refundable) but you would rather stay at a smaller hotel with higher posted rates. When calling this location, let them know that you have a cheaper rate at a different resort, but that you'll book with them if you can get a discounted price, free night, or even an upgrade. Independent hotels and local chains can often offer more flexibility since they get hit harder with the recession and feel more of a pressure to fill rooms.
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Another call I've made is to a boutique hotel I had been dying to stay at — and offered to book (and pay for) my trip in full, in advance. They matched the lowest rate at the larger chain probably because there was a guarantee I wouldn't cancel 48-hours beforehand, and then I waited 'til I arrived to let the true bargaining begin.