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Accommodation - Internet Booking Websites OK?

Accommodation - Internet Booking Websites OK?

Old Dec 6th, 2004, 12:50 PM
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Accommodation - Internet Booking Websites OK?

Has anyone used any of the Internet Accommodation booking websites, eg. Venere.com, HotelClub online, etc.? Would appreciate your comments re: Were the rooms available when you reached your hotel, were credit card transactions safe, etc?
aussie_travellers is offline  
Old Dec 6th, 2004, 01:22 PM
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I think you will find that most of the Fodor regulars have used some of the booking websites for hotels as well as the hotel websites themselves. I have used londontown.com with good results but almost always book rooms directly with the hotel, either on their own website or by email/fax. I think you really need to check each to find the best price. Also, if using a booking website, be sure you know and are comfortable with their cancellation policy and if you have to prepay your room with a credit card.
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Old Dec 6th, 2004, 02:44 PM
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Most of the booking services such as Venere, Utell, etc., are legit and offer decent service or they wouldn;t remain in business long I suspect.

Another thing to consider: when you go to a particular hotel's website you'll often have the opportunity to book "on line" and various prices are offered, etc. I STRONGLY advise you to e-mail the hotel directly, tell them what kind of accommodations you are interested in, the number of people, and ASK them to quote you their best rate. Sometimes that quote will be better than what is offered on the hotel's own website and sometimes you'll get breakfast inclusive even though it was not offered on the hotel's webiste.

Booking services often have a hotel's "standard" room available only and sometimes not. Sometimes hotels allot a certain number of rooms to a booking service so that even if the booking service says there is no availability, there may actually BE availability if you contact the hotel directly, and vice versa.

Good luck.
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Old Dec 6th, 2004, 03:20 PM
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A caution. I don't remember the name of the site, but I booked a hotel in Paris this fall according to its proximity to the Louvre on the site's map. Afterward gaining further knowledge of Paris street names, locations, etc, I discerned the hotel was the other side of the Arc de Triumph (sp?). Map was wrong. I booked an alternative hotel near the Louvre, and the site refunded my deposit on the first one. Lesson: if location is critical, verify.
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Old Dec 6th, 2004, 03:26 PM
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I haven't heard of any of these sites being an outright scam. Most of the times they work exactly as they should. What you can do is check with the hotel a few days after you make the reservation through the site. They will confirm whether the booking agency has indeed made the reservation. In the unlikly case that the hotel tells you there is no reservation, then you can pursue the problem. People have had reservation problems with all sorts of services, including by booking directly with hotels, but most of these problems could be avoided with a followup or confirmation call.

Sometimes the hotel has the rooms cheaper directly, but often it does not.
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