Three years ago I did a Camp Mom solo trip to Provence/Cote D’Azur. While researching that trip I found an amazing website: HIP Escapes (Referral link). Simply put, HIP Escapes is the liquidation arm of the HIP Hotel Portfolio. HIP is a Leading Hotels type boutique hotel group with properties worldwide but concentrated in Europe. For that trip I got a 90% off deal at the Residence du Vieux Port (the 5th best hotel) in Marseille: an August weekend for 41 Euro all in.
I had stopped browsing HIP Escapes as often because the deals I found were topping out at 70% off, which is good but not TDM good. I’m working out the details for Camp Mom this summer. I had 10 free days in July to go anywhere in Europe so I browsed the HIP Escapes deals in July. I’m happy to report that the 90% deals are back! I just booked a room that goes for 219 Euros a night for 131.39 Euros. For six nights. Total.
Basically, HIP Escapes is paying you to be their marketing arm. Their system seems a little convoluted but is quite intuitive once you get it- and once you do get it up to 90% off is definitely worth a bit of work up front.
- Dates are limited and spelled out in advance.
- Offers change frequently.
- Rooms almost always sleep two. I wouldn’t push this and show up with more people as European hotel fire codes can be very strict. You may be able to buy two packages for the same dates, however.
- Auctions work in reverse: the price goes down to the minimum off until someone buys.
- Not only do you earn referral credits, and credits daily for sharing their sales, but 30% of the credits everyone earns go into a kitty to be shared.
Here’s what I’ve figured out so far:
- Once you sign up you can see the list of properties and dates.
- On the sign up page you’ll be directed to watch a video. Let the video run to the end (mine was 1:37) and you’ll earn your first 20 Euros in referral credit.
- Deals start at the retail price and go down based on everyone’s credit until someone buys or the price hits the min (70%-90% off). The price then resets and the credits go away.
- There are three types of credit: referral credit (20 Euro per “signup”), earnings credit (activities like sharing on Twitter or liking the hotel), and community credit.
- Here’s something that needs more testing: I’m not sure if the community price bottoms out at 70% and your referral credits can get it to 90%, or if some properties just bottom out at 70 and others at 80 or 90. If you’ve purchased it, please share your results and I’ll update the post.
- A person who signs-up doesn’t have to buy for you to get credit. All they have to do is one “qualifying activity”. Those include watching the intro video, visiting a website or Facebook Page or sending a tweet.
- If you have friends (who you trust not to snatch the deal from under you) you can ask them to share and like the deal as well. If your friend does an activity (like visiting the hotel’s website) , the deal gets cheaper for everyone.
- Some earnings credit activities (like visiting the website) can be repeated daily on the same deal!
- Earnings credit is only valid on a specific package (which can mean more than one available date at a property).
- Community credit is only valid until someone buys one deal. It then resets to full retail (minus your earning and referral credit). Earning credit is attached to that package till it ends.
- Referral credit is good until you spend it, but if you get to 1,000 Euro it will stay there until you spend some.
- THIS IS IMPORTANT: Do not perform any of the “general tasks” (updating your profile, liking HIP Escapes or HIP Hotels on Facebook or Twitter, getting the newsletter) until you have located a deal you want to try to buy. You can only get credit for each task once!
- Deals are non-refundable.
- Don’t panic if you don’t get a confirmation right away. My latest one took two days. Some properties aren’t open for the season yet so owners aren’t checking bookings as often.
How HIP Escapes works in real life
- I found a deal that looked good at Agnata di De Andrea in Sardinia. The hotel listed its rate at 219 Euros a night.
- Between community and referral credits the rate showed up for me as 21.60 Euros. I had enough credit to get six nights at that rate so booked six nights for a total of 131.39 Euros.
- As soon as I booked it, the price went back up to 219 Euro.
- At first I only received a booking request from HIP Escapes, but two days later I got a proper receipt and the charge went through.
- Success! Time to book flights to Sardinia.
Please let me know your HIP Escapes deals in the comments. I know it takes work, but this site is tailor made for people like us.