westjet has a bit of a seat sale right now - I was booking for feb 26 - mar 8 and yesterday fare was $650 Canadian, more than i'd ever paid. least i'd ever paid was about 535 for non-stop - this morning fares dropped and I have it for 550 pp. so-while watching carefully I have the exact room at the exact hotel for the right time period for about what the on-line travel sites were posting about a month ago. I have found the variable is the cost of the fare, the hotel price doesn't change; some hotels are almost fully booked now.
so - book with a travel agent or manage yourself? I've been making my own arrangements for years (once I discovered agents charged and mostly screwed things up, and some online sites add a booking charge). I book the hotel before I leave or as soon as I have dates and start watching fares. I call bestday about two weeks in advance for the transfer and call or email the hotel to confirm my room choice. always works out great.