Frequently Asked Questions
What is Secret Escapes?
So how does Secret Escapes actually work?
At Secret Escapes, we think booking a holiday should be a fun, enjoyable and stress-free experience, so we decided to create a website where we hand-pick the best hotels and holidays and curate exclusive offers available only to our members. Our rates are the best you'll find online during our sale, that's our guarantee.
Every week we'll run short 'flash sales' lasting around ten days each - the time left is indicated on each individual sale. There may be as many as 30 sales going on at any one time, but we'll email you to let you know what's coming up during the week.
It's worth noting that, although all of our prices are better than anywhere else online during a flash sale, the availability of our lowest advertised rates may be limited.
By hand-picking hotels and holidays for members, Secret Escapes acts as an agent for the suppliers, tour operators and hotels featured on the site.
Why book with us?
Our ethos from day one has been to offer luxury hotels and holidays, at home and abroad, at prices better than anywhere else online - guaranteed.
As a member of Secret Escapes, you can rest assured that our rates are exclusive to you and cannot be beaten while our sale is live, leaving you safe in the knowledge that you needn't shop around once you've found your perfect getaway. In fact, if you look elsewhere online for the best price, we’re certain to beat it. There's no fuss - you pick the dates you stay before you pay.
We also try to make sure that all of our members see the value of booking with us. All of our offers are hand-picked by our team of travel experts, and we always try and secure little extras, like room upgrades, spa treatments or discounts, welcome gifts or even evening meals and cream teas - anything to make your stay extra special.
The Secret Escapes Price Guarantee
Guaranteed best rates online
What is the Secret Escapes Price Guarantee?
Our contracting team works hard hand-picking some fabulous deals, and our flash sale offers beat the best price you will find on the open market during our period of sale. We scour the internet far and wide to make sure we offer the lowest rates available. You shouldn't have to shop around - we guarantee our exclusive rates are not bettered elsewhere.
If we were to ever see a lower price for one of our flash sales, we'd immediately cancel the sale and either push for better discounts and extras for our members (like champagne on arrival, a room upgrade or a three-course meal) if we were to feature that hotel or holiday again, or just drop the deal altogether.
Flash sales is what we do, and we hope you agree we do it well. We'll do our best to inspire you to try something, or somewhere, different. But, we also know that you may come to our site already with an idea of where and when to go away. If you search for a specific destination, with dates, and we have none – or a limited number – of flash sales available, we may show you hotels from our collection – these hotels are marked in teal colour displayed underneath our flash sales, and are price-matched against the best price online. They're not flash sales, but recommended hotels that we don't have a flash sale for right now. These hotels – though displayed at the best online price, are not as discounted as our flash sales, which are better than the best online price. We just want to make sure you get what you need at the best price possible.
What happens if I find one of your flash sales cheaper elsewhere?
It's up to us to make sure that this never happens - and luckily it hasn't, so far. But, should you find a price elsewhere that has sneaked under our radar, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll remove the offer from our site and renegotiate with our supplier.
How do you calculate the price and the discounts?
All of our flash sales are sold at exclusive members-only rates, cheaper than anywhere else online. The top rate advertised is the highest possible saving you can achieve with a particular offer and usually - but not always - represents the lowest price you could pay. Sometimes you may end up paying even less than the rate advertised, but there may only be a few available dates at these super low prices. The 'up to' price reductions are valid when the sale is set live.
We advertise the price after checking and re-checking the rates numerous times before setting a sale live. When a sale is set live on our site, we always ensure that our 'lead-in' rate - the price advertised at the top of the offer page - constitutes at least 10% of our total number of available dates for that sale.
Naturally, this leading 'best' rate advertised is usually the most popular, and often sells out before the remaining dates. Therefore, you may notice that a few days after the sale goes live, we're advertising a slightly higher 'lead' rate. This is only when the original rates have sold out and, if this happens, we will inform you of this change next to the new price. Full details of how our prices are calculated are available in the 'more details' section of each individual offer.
You should note that packages - offers that include travel - are priced per person, not per room.
What is a Smart Stay?
Some days you fancy a Michelin star dinner, others, a sandwich in the park is just what you need. Hotel stays are the same. Sure, you love a log fire, a copper bath and toiletries that cost more than your car, but sometimes the hotel isn't the focus, because the destination itself is so exciting or beautiful.
With this in mind we've launched Smart Stays: a collection of simple, purse-friendly stays that may not have the bells, whistles and pillow menus of our core product. Instead, they offer a clean, smart base for the savvy traveller who wants to experience an incredible new destination without blowing the budget on an opulent hotel that they'll spend very little time in.
Are Smart Stays hotels guaranteed to be rated four and five-star? No, but they're still hand-picked by us with the same level of care and consideration that we pay to our core hotels and holidays. The hotels and destinations featured in our Smart Stays collection have been chosen to make that dream destination an affordable reality.
What do I get?
What do I get when I join?
We offer our members discounts of up to 70% on hand-picked boutique hotels and luxury holidays. If it's on flash sale on Secret Escapes, you won't find it cheaper anywhere else while we sell it - that’s our guarantee.
Who can join?
Everyone, we love you all.
How often will you send me emails?
We'll be sending a weekly summary (on Monday) of all the sales that are coming up during the next seven days, as well as reminders when the new sales start - just so you don’t miss out. You can opt out of any of the emails at any time, and we’ve recently launched a new contact preferences selector, where you can take a break from our daily emails and just receive our weekly summary.
Making a purchase
Why can’t I see your prices?
You’re probably not logged in yet. Once you're logged in and have selected an offer that appeals to you, the price should now appear with full offer details to the right of the picture gallery.
How do I buy?
You can buy just as you would on any other travel website, or you can pay S$50 to hold a room while you decide.
What’s a ‘hold’?
Our members can ‘hold’ a date until the end of the sale by paying S$50. Organising a holiday takes time, we know that. Especially when you’re travelling with others, organising several trips or just need time to plan - we understand that you may not be able to commit to a booking straight away.
To give you a bit more time to ponder, you can pay S$50 to reserve a date in the calendar while you decide, meaning that no-one else will be able to book the date you hold (which will remain held until the offer expires). If you decide to book your trip, the S$50 will automatically come off the total price and, if not, no problem - we'll credit the money back to your Secret Escapes account.
Important - a hold is NOT a deposit on a booking and is not a guaranteed, completed or confirmed booking. It's just a handy feature to prevent other members from pipping you to the post and booking this date.
Unfortunately, because the hotels and holidays that we feature are available to buy elsewhere (albeit not at the exclusive rates our members enjoy), the supplier may occasionally sell out while you're deciding. If that does happen, the date will be closed to sale and all holds will automatically be cancelled and the money refunded as credit on your Secret Escapes account. We will, of course, notify you if this should happen.
Please see our terms and conditions for more information.
Invitations and credits
How do I share Secret Escapes with my friends?
We love it when people share - in fact, we’ve total incentivised it. You receive credit when the friends you invite (using your very own referral link) join Secret Escapes. S$10 when five of your friends join, S$50 when 25 join and S$100 when 50 of your friends have joined using your link. You also get S$50 credit for each purchase your friends make with us.
What happens if more than one person recommends Secret Escapes to someone, who gets the S$50 credit?
The person eligible for the S$50 credit would be the one whose email the user clicked on.
Will there be a cash alternative to S$50 credit for recommending a friend?
No. The S$50 credit can only be used against purchases on Secret Escapes.
Our offers - the small print…
What is my relationship as a customer with Secret Escapes once I’ve booked?
Secret Escapes is a travel agent, hand-picking and showcasing unbeatable and exclusive deals for its members. Once a customer has made a booking on Secret Escapes, the customer has effectively entered a contract with the hotel or supplier with which the booking was made. Why? Well, Secret Escapes is selling the hotel or tour operator’s product, and therefore it is up to the hotel, tour operator or supplier in question to ensure the customer gets what they paid for.
Where do you get your star ratings from?
We hand-pick the hotels and holidays we offer to you guys - our members. The star rating is a useful classification of the accommodation and reflects the standard of the establishment in its own country. A five-star London hotel may feel different to a five-star hotel in Athens or Istanbul, but we go to great lengths to ensure that each hotel we sell reaches and exceeds OUR standards, which we feel are far more important than an arbitrary star rating.
What if I have a complaint while I’m away?
If you’re unhappy with any aspect of your hotel or holiday and you feel the experience you bought is/was not up to scratch - be it your room, the service, the food or the cleanliness - please take this issue up with the hotel management, your tour operator or resort representative. They will be able to deal with any issue you may have there and then, and we will assist you as much as possible in getting a resolution.
In massively rare cases, a customer may feel that the hotel or holiday is/was not as advertised by us - essentially, you didn’t feel you received what you bought - again, immediately notify the hotel management, your tour operator or resort representative in the first instance for a speedy resolution. However, please also contact us on email@example.com We’re here to make booking luxury travel a truly enjoyable experience, but we also need to know if things aren’t as they should be. Your feedback is incredibly important to us.
What if my booking is changed or cancelled?
We take immense care in making sure all details, prices and information we provide is correct. Very occasionally, we may have to correct an error in a deal we’ve advertised - this may take place before you book or just after. If we have to make a change to your booking after it has been made, we will do so having informed you as soon as possible, in line with our terms and conditions. Again - this is very rare.
In very rare cases (we’re talking yeti-spotting, and the like), a supplier, tour operator or hotel may cancel a booking after it has been made on our site. This is completely out of our control, as the provider may have sold out of rooms or seats without updating us and is therefore unable to honour the booking. As we’re an agent, and your contract once you’ve booked is with the provider, we’ll support you in getting a refund or changing your dates. We (Secret Escapes) are not responsible for costs associated with a cancellation by the provider (for instance, you may have booked a hotel in Spain and immediately booked separate flights only for the hotel to cancel the booking) - this is why we always recommend that you buy travel insurance to cover against cancellations.
For further information about changes and cancellations, please see our terms and conditions.
The boring, but VERY important stuff
What is End Supplier Failure Cover?
More and more people are now booking parts of their trips separately, rather than choosing to buy a package holiday. End Supplier Failure occurs when an independent supplier, such as an airline or hotel, goes bankrupt. Cover for this is usually only part of a comprehensive insurance policy, so be sure to select one that includes it before you travel - ideally immediately after you've paid for your hotel or holiday with us.