There are websites out there that offer deals on hotels, but if you want to try and get even lower, the New York Times recommends starting a "bidding war" between nearby hotels.
Photo by Kevin Dooley.
The New York Times explains:
Though many hotels say that they offer their best rates online, it pays to ask the front desk for a lower rate. My colleague Seth Kugel regularly uses this tactic, as he pointed out in a column last summer: "I arrive with a solid reservation but then check out five or six other hotels and go back and forth between them in an attempt to set off a price war." The strategy saved him $US20 a night in León, Nicaragua. I have had similar success over the phone with reservation agents at New York hotels like the Ritz-Carlton New York and 60 Thompson.
If you're worried about running into a hotel's cancellation fee, you might be able to just do this over the phone, after you've gotten your reservation, but before the late cancellation fee would go into effect. Have you ever tried something like this? Let us know how it worked for you in the comments.