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Are the booking websites playing around with me ??

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Oct 26th, 2015, 03:08 PM
  #1
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Are the booking websites playing around with me ??

For the past couple of days, I have been trying to book two rooms in the Gorge du Verdon area, specifically near La Palud. It seems everything for the dates of June 20-26 are fully booked or only have one room left. A couple of months ago, I was looking at possibilities and even then the site was saying the place I wanted to stay was fully booked. Ten months in advance?? I was suspicious since the tourist season doesn't even start in this area until April and many places are closed until then. So I put in dates the last of April and it still came up fully booked. Didn't believe that.

I had a similar situation in Cassis. I tried to book a hotel there for one night in June, and this was some 9/10 months in advance, but it was apparently fully booked. I tried again just a couple of weeks ago ( same dates) and got exactly what I wanted.

I have run into this once before where hotels either don't or are unable to accept bookings more than 6 months or so in advance and the room availability comes up negative. The websites make it appear as if there is nothing available for your dates…fully booked/no rooms etc. for your dates. Thinking I'll go ahead and book something ( with free cancellation ) even if it's not what we want and hope something opens up later.

Anyone run into this problem?
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Oct 26th, 2015, 03:11 PM
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some hotels may not have prices published for next year.If not they show up as not available. Just wait until after Christmas they will certainly be released then.
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Oct 26th, 2015, 03:12 PM
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Either they are on to you, or they're not available for booking yet. The latter is more likely.

Airlines book 330 days out; hotels - not usually and if you're not dealing with a major international chain, not likely.
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Oct 26th, 2015, 03:13 PM
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One point on what Ribe said: hotels often change their rates on 1-1, thus releasing the availability beyond the immediate new year in January.
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Oct 26th, 2015, 03:36 PM
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Some places really don't release hotel rooms until 6 months out or less. We ran into that in Japan. My advice: be patient.
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Oct 26th, 2015, 03:50 PM
  #6
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Thanks all, that's pretty much what I thought. Guess I just needed some reassurance. Sometimes I go into my type A personality mode especially when planning a family trip. Solo travel is so much easier.
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Oct 26th, 2015, 05:14 PM
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In most cases the rates have already been set for next year, they just haven't published them yet.

You can often book far in advance if you deal directly with the hotel (front desk, client relations, marketing manager, etc.).
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Oct 26th, 2015, 10:32 PM
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I usually send the hotel a direct email, with my specific date request, in these situations. The booking sites are subject to the vagaries as noted above, and the third party commission-based sites (eg Booking.com etc) will often tell you a place is fully booked, when what they really mean is just that their quota of rooms to sell has been reached.
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Oct 26th, 2015, 10:58 PM
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Small places in the provinces do not book that far ahead.
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Oct 27th, 2015, 01:31 AM
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In the past when I have had this issue I have emailed the hotel directly and booked ahead that way. Even that method is not 100% reliable. Some hotels close completely and don't answer email enquiries.
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Oct 27th, 2015, 01:47 AM
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I'd say it was unlikely that hotels are booked out so far in advance and that the reasons are what is listed above. I'd say some hotels are booked by big tour companies though (but considering they are hardly every city centre - consider yourself lucky)
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Oct 27th, 2015, 02:48 AM
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Also note that sometimes the sites have no more rooms to sell but the hotel still has.
I don't suppose it is the case here, but it might be of interest to some.

I just booked a room for one next month in Paris, paid 105 €, booking.com and hotels.com showed availability only for rooms for 2 people at 230 €.

Mvg.
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Oct 27th, 2015, 07:15 AM
  #13
 
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That's true, but it happens on a hotel's own website, also. Most hotels just don't book that far in advance, too much trouble, I imagine, and too many cancellations.

The general booking software most hotels use doesn't seem to be able to give you a proper note as to the issue, and does sometimes just say not available.
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Oct 27th, 2015, 07:37 AM
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I think having a fully-refundable backup hotel is a very good idea. And if you are really anxious about booking now, you should just call the hotel directly.

Call during the daytime - reservation clerks speak English - it won't cost much at all and you'll get it over with. Emails often go unanswered for several days in France, but a phone call will give you the information you're looking for.

Make certain to confirm your booking directly with the hotel, a few months before your arrival, whether you use a booking site or not. In this case, having an email reply is a good idea.
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Oct 27th, 2015, 07:53 AM
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I had this exact issue trying to reserve rooms in small towns in Spain for next April, last April!! I emailed the desired hotel directly with a request for rates and availability and in every case was able to book directly and with great rates. Just to further check, now that some of the places are open through booking.com and hotel.com, I double checked the rates I had received through the hotel....rates are quite a bit less directly through the hotel (NOT the hotel booking website...an email directly to the hotel!) Try doing that!
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Oct 27th, 2015, 08:38 AM
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I am in the process of making reservations directly with hotels in Italy for September 2016. In two cases, hotels had not set their rates for September at the time of my initial inquiries. To date, I have 4 out of 5 hotels confirmed & secured by our credit card. They all have reasonable cancellation policies. About 3-4 weeks ahead of our arrival, I will email the hotels to re-confirm our reservations. Smaller hotels and B&B's seem to appreciate this and it is reassuring for me that the hotel is expecting us!

Good luck!
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