It can be fun to go on a trip and enjoy staying in an upscale hotel room. Yet many people can't take advantage of that option and go for a more moderate hotel because of the expense involved.
There are techniques available to allow you to get those nice rooms at affordable rates. All it takes is some upfront planning and research to get it done.
Regardless of the hotel, you are looking at, weekends are generally their busiest time. This means planning your stay for weekdays will allow you to save money. You also need to do research to find out the slowest time of year for that given hotel. They will offer lower prices during that time period so that they can sell rooms rather than leaving them empty.
Call the hotel and ask them what discounts they offer. In fact, while you have them on the phone ask them for the lowest price they can offer you. Then compare this price to different online sites.
Results vary but sometimes you will find the best prices online and sometimes you will get it by contacting the hotel directly.
If you are more comfortable booking with the hotel directly, ask them to honor a price you found somewhere online. You should also keep in mind that a lot of hotels offer discounts for frequent stayers or even free upgrades and days of stay for those that have stayed in their hotel a set number of times.