Cyber Monday is the day for online deals, and hotels are also getting in on the act.
It makes sense, since most reservations are made online. Hotels are using websites, social media and email to alert potential guests of discounts.
This is the third year that the King Charles Inn in downtown Charleston has advertised Cyber Monday discounts on its website. The 91-room inn at 237 Meeting St. is offering 35 percent off reservations made Monday for stays through Feb. 15 and 25 percent off stays between Feb. 18 and Dec. 31, 2018.
The Feb. 16-18 gap will be filled by those attending the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, which kicks off the unofficial start of the tourist season. The inn isn't offering discounts for that weekend. Some other popular days are also not eligible for discounts, as specified on the website.
Sales Director Ray Berrouet declined to say exactly how much extra business the Cyber Monday push has generated but said the effort has paid off. HEBS Digital, which specializes in getting hotels more direct bookings, maintains the website.
Many boutique hotels promote Cyber Monday discounts through emails to previous guests rather than through their websites, according to Stuart Butler with Fuel Travel of Myrtle Beach. Some also offer sneak previews on Facebook, which is also a tactic to encourage followers.
"It’s been growing significantly every year," he said. "A lot of people who used to wait until after January to book their summer vacations now are doing it earlier to get the best rate of the year."
Not all hotels include summer in their discounts.
Charming Inns in Charleston doesn't play up Cyber Monday on its local websites for the Wentworth Mansion, John Rutledge House, Kings Courtyard Inn and Fulton Lane Inn, relying instead on emails to announce 30 percent discounts for reservations made Monday, according to Linn Lesesne, vice president of sales. This is the fourth year for the promotion.
The discounted dates for the John Rutledge House and Wentworth Mansion are Dec. 3-21 and Jan. 2-Feb. 8. The dates for the Fulton Lane Inn are Dec. 3-30 and Jan. 2-Feb. 8. Some dates are not available.
A 30 percent discount for Cyber Monday reservations at The Kings Courtyard Inn is advertised on the website of Historic Hotels of America. Those dates are Dec. 3 through Feb. 3.
The Historic Hotels website is also offering a 20 percent discount at the Francis Marion Hotel through Feb. 18 and at The Dewberry through the end of 2018.
Not all of the dates during the advertised time span are available. The reservations are non-refundable, so travelers are advised to read the fine print.
The major chains are also advertising Cyber Monday deals for those who make reservations Monday through their websites.
Choice Hotels is offering 20 percent off the best available rate on Cyber Monday.
Choice lists 27 affiliated hotels in the Charleston area, including the Comfort Inn near the Medical University and Bluegreen Vacations with Ascend on King Street on the peninsula.
Marriott’s Cyber Monday sale started Thanksgiving Day. Marriott is not advertising a particular rate but says they're lower than the best available rate for reservations booked through Monday.
The window for Marriott's discounted reservations is rather narrow, from Dec. 7 through Jan. 15. The deals are for members only, although joining is pretty simple through the website. The reservations are not refundable if canceled.
Marriott lists 13 participating properties in the Charleston area, including peninsula hotels The Grand Bohemian, which is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, and The Renaissance.
Wyndham is offering discounts of 30 percent to 55 percent off the best available rate for reservations made Black Friday through Cyber Monday. At least two nights have to be booked. Again, the reservations are non-refundable.
The only hotel in the Charleston area that Wyndham lists is The Mills House, for reservations through March 29. However, it’s not clear whether any discounted dates are actually available. A dozen attempts Friday on Wyndham’s Cyber Sale website to find a couple days where the discounted rates applied were unsuccessful.
The online travel agencies are also promoting Cyber Monday deals.
Hotels.com is offering a Mystery Coupon for up to 99 percent off a reservation.
The coupon is available through Monday night by entering your email. Click the response to find a discount of between 7 percent and 10 or a few for 99 percent on a reservation through March 31. Only 300 of 300,000 available coupons will be for 99 percent, according to the website.
Priceline.com is advertising Monday "insider" discounts to those who enter an email for details.
Expedia’s deals for reservations through March 31 change daily from Thanksgiving Day through Monday.