The previous article on New Years Eve rates left out the Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa, as there is no availability for that date whatsoever. But, if it does open up again, what will the rates be?
Of course, there’s a Stupid Hyatt Website Trick for that.
The trick is that we must first look for a date that we know plenty of availability. Let’s go back about 2 weeks before that.
On this date, a Twin Room is going for 36600 yen at the Hyatt Daily Rate (unlike the other Tokyo Hyatt hotels, there are very few extra fees on top of this rate, just a 150 yen per person hot springs fee as mandated by the city of Hakone) From this same screen (i.e., do not go back to the top page), let’s check on the status of New Year’s Eve:
As expected, we get a notice that the hotel is fully booked:
The site implores us to click the “Go back” link, but let’s do what most normal people would do instead and hit the back button on the browser. When we do this, we find that something most unusual happens…
According to the website, New Years Eve rates are now available, and for the same price that we saw for December 16th! But it’s only when we click the SELECT button for the Twin Room at the Hyatt Daily Rate (just as an example…any rate and room we select will do) that things get really trippy!
On the bottom of the page, we see the room rate charges as it would be for a December 16th reservation. But in the left side of the middle of the page, under the Selected Rate and Room area, we see a completely different rate of 68300 yen!
It turns out that hitting the back button from the Sold Out screen creates a “Frankenpage”, where the date information is from the previous request, but the rate information is from the request before that. And when you try to make a booking, the bottom part of the page uses the previously cached booking information from December 16th, the Selected Rate and Room area grabs the information from the most recently entered December 31st date.
In other words, the Selected Rate and Room section tells us the real rate price of the room for the sold out inventory!
Now I know what you’re thinking, “So what happens if you actually try to book this room?” Well, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news…
The booking engine looks at the real availability for December 31st, and even though this technique lets you “try” to make the booking, ultimately, the attempt will fail. So this trick merely lets you look at some information that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see.
Doing it that way only works if there is absolutely no availability at the hotel; if there is any availability at all, a rate will display and the browser back button bug doesn’t occur. But we can combine this with the technique we learned in our previous Stupid Hyatt Website Trick to open up information on limited availability as well.
When they’re not completely shutting down reservations, another thing that the Hyatt Regency Hakone is notorious for is making rooms available only under one ridiculously high rate. For example, on December 27th, the last Saturday of the year, only this exorbitant Bed, Breakfast, and Dining Rate is available for booking:
But what would this room cost for the Hyatt Daily Rate? Let’s bring up the December 16th rate once more, but this time, when we change to the December 27th rate, we will also add the special 58872 code to the Group or Corporate Code box:
Because there will never be any availability with this code, we can get to the sold out error screen once more:
Click the back button to bring up the “fake” availability for the Hyatt Daily Rate…
And when we click SELECT, we see that this room really should be going for 68300 yen.
I’d love to hear if someone could come up with a practical application for this trick!