Book hotel directly or booking.com ?

Old Jan 24th, 2023, 07:33 AM
  #21  
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Last October I stayed at the hotel in Madrid that charged my CC for the total amount when I checked in….which
was new since I stayed there in the past. ( booked on b.com)
The hotel in Paris I booked direct charged the first night at the booking time …( it was returnable if canceled) .
Another hotel I booked with b.com ,a few weeks ago) asked for 30% payment right away , also returnable if canceled. I though it strange and canceled the booking. Booked another hotel.
Perhaps I didn’t notice before, but it seems to me there has been a slight change in the industry . ( Europe )
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 07:58 AM
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danon -They may be asking for a deposit or the full amount due too many people making multiple bookings and not cancelling on time or just not turning up. A lot of restaurants also now have a booking fee, deductible from your final bill, after too many no-shows.
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 08:04 AM
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What I have noticed, at least from planning European trips in the past two years, is that Booking now offers many "rooms" and apartments and far fewer hotels than in the past. Has anyone else noticed this? I'm really wondering what has happened to many hotels that I was familiar with in the past.

About 6 or 7 years ago, I stayed at a lovely, historic B&B in Rhinebeck, NY. The owner mentioned to me that she expected to be run out of business in the near future b/c of things like Air B&B, etc., which were already cutting into her business. This seems to be a trend everywhere. While some apartments/rooms can be quite lovely and the hosts quite accessible, I really prefer to stay in full service hotels or small, boutique family run hotels where there is always someone around if you need them, or at small, charming B&B's.
I don't care for "contactless" check in and limited communications with the host. Just my preference.

As for payment, every place I have booked for my upcoming trip offers the option of "Pay Now", Pay on a date a week or two before arrival, or "Pay at the Property on checkout".


Last edited by panecott; Jan 24th, 2023 at 08:09 AM.
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 08:16 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by hetismij2
danon -They may be asking for a deposit or the full amount due too many people making multiple bookings and not cancelling on time or just not turning up. A lot of restaurants also now have a booking fee, deductible from your final bill, after too many no-shows.
.

Probably, but I didn’t see why I should let them have hundreds of my dollars for several months. Those transactions also involve currency exchange to euros. and back , if canceled. I understand their concerns, though.




Last edited by danon; Jan 24th, 2023 at 08:21 AM.
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 08:31 AM
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It depends on my time

If I havn't got time I just use Booking
If I have time I'll use the hotel's system

I'm seeing more special deals from hotels now and if I'm passing through a hotel on the way out I might ask at reception for a price on the way back. This often leads to upgrades on both visits.
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 09:31 AM
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I have always booked directly with hotels. I have never used a middleman site like booking, hotels, etc. No idea if this is right or wrong, but my feeling was always that I have more control over things by dealing with the property directly.
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 11:36 AM
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I have occasionally traveled alone, but more than ever in the last five/ six years
( golf. 😾 )
I have notice that if you book for one person the rate is sometimes higher and often includes breakfast.
Well, I don’t need hotel’s breakfast .
…I just book the room for two. Hotels don’t care.

If you are a solo traveler, what is your approach ?

Last edited by danon; Jan 24th, 2023 at 11:51 AM.
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 10:02 PM
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Hi All,

One thing I really like about booking dot com is that all the hotel amenities, facilities, and room types are presented uniformy. It's so easy to see which rooms have that view of the lake I want, if there is a shuttle, if there is a minibar, etc. I usually also check the hotel's website, but some of the information isn't given, and sometimes the room categories, amenities, and options are not intuitive.

danon, I'm a single traveller and often book a double because I want a larger room, or sometimes the singles don't have the view I want. But I try to get breakfast included and try to be careful about choosing the one-person icon -- that's one way they can estimate how much stuff they need for breakfast.

s
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by shelemm
Some platforms offer better rates than booking.com, so I am not sure why the choice is just between the two. Agoda is sometimes less expensive. But I do check with a property directly if possible.
Agoda is part of booking.com. It's the Asian branch. The prepaid offers booking.com offers are often from Agoda.
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Old Jan 24th, 2023, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by danon
I have occasionally traveled alone, but more than ever in the last five/ six years
( golf. 😾 )
I have notice that if you book for one person the rate is sometimes higher and often includes breakfast.
Well, I don’t need hotel’s breakfast .
…I just book the room for two. Hotels don’t care.

If you are a solo traveler, what is your approach ?
No real plan. Some hotels offer single rooms . Some don't. Some charge more if you don't take breakfast. Never understood that.
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by danon
I have occasionally traveled alone, but more than ever in the last five/ six years
( golf. 😾 )
I have notice that if you book for one person the rate is sometimes higher and often includes breakfast.
Well, I don’t need hotel’s breakfast .
…I just book the room for two. Hotels don’t care.

If you are a solo traveler, what is your approach ?
It is a sad fact that when it comes to accommodation singles almost always pay more than half a couple.

I have done a great deal of solo travel (mostly not in the US) and I prefer to stay in B&Bs (real ones, not Air ones), pensions and small local hotels. Almost always breakfast is included in the rate. When I do stay in bigger hotels, and breakfast is an expensive extra, there is usually a mini-bar, aka fridge, in the room, along with a coffee maker or kettle, and I pick up OJ and yogurt and eat breakfast in my room. I mostly rent singles, not doubles, I sleep cheap so I can eat well, and in any case I don't expect to be in the room much.
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2
I used to use Booking.com but now I try to avoid it, and all it's associated sites as much as possible. Sometimes it is hard to avoid it though.

They used to force hoteliers to accept their lowest price exclusively, so the hoteliers could not offer to match or offer a lower price and they couldn't offer the same room on other sites at the same price as Booking.com. In Europe that changed when the EU threatened action against Booking.com.
I went right off them during Covid when they took millions in state support from the Dutch government and a few months later still sacked a third of their workforce in Amsterdam, whilst giving the managers millions in bonuses and building a mega new HQ in Amsterdam.
It started as a Dutch company but now is owned by Priceline and has a poor reputation here, poor service, poor working conditions, failure to pay taxes etc etc.

I may look at the site t see what is available but I try hard not to use it if I can find details of the hotel/B&B/accommodation somewhere else. If I can't I find somewhere else to stay.

Good to know, hetis.

I prefer to book directly, but will use sites like booking to research.

Last edited by stokebailey; Jan 25th, 2023 at 05:31 AM.
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd
It is a sad fact that when it comes to accommodation singles almost always pay more than half a couple.

I have done a great deal of solo travel (mostly not in the US) and I prefer to stay in B&Bs (real ones, not Air ones), pensions and small local hotels. Almost always breakfast is included in the rate. When I do stay in bigger hotels, and breakfast is an expensive extra, there is usually a mini-bar, aka fridge, in the room, along with a coffee maker or kettle, and I pick up OJ and yogurt and eat breakfast in my room. I mostly rent singles, not doubles, I sleep cheap so I can eat well, and in any case I don't expect to be in the room much.
Me, too, thursdays. How do you research those places?
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by suze
I have always booked directly with hotels. I have never used a middleman site like booking, hotels, etc. No idea if this is right or wrong, but my feeling was always that I have more control over things by dealing with the property directly.
I sometimes book with a property directly but more often these days on booking.com. I’ve found from experience that this particular agency serves as backup or as an advocate for me in the case of a “misunderstanding.” I’m thinking of a hotel in Mexico that on arrival wanted to charge a surcharge for use of a credit card & mentioning it was reserved on booking.com, no surcharge, ended that. And when I left a day early a refund was facilitated by the site.

In the Bangkok hotel where I am now I was told on check-in yesterday that the promised late check-out next week on the day I have an evening flight was not possible because they’re now fully booked. But later, after checking her booking.com records of the reservation, found that they had indeed promised it & it was reinstated. So these are 2 cases I recall where having the support of the site did effectively give me more control than if I’d booked directly.


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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by stokebailey
Me, too, thursdays. How do you research those places?
I haven't traveled since 2018 (ill-health and Covid), but I was still using guidebooks and hope to continue doing so. (Mostly but not exclusively Lonely Planet, plus Rick Steves for Europe although he has gone up-market. Fodors is too into bigger hotels.) Local tourist information places can sometimes have lists. I also use booking.com, although I don't always book through them, and usually check tripadvisor, although I never book through them.
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Traveler_Nick
Agoda is part of booking.com. It's the Asian branch. The prepaid offers booking.com offers are often from Agoda.
I wan pointing out that there are other choices aside form booking.com, Agoda being one of them, and sometimes there is a difference. When I search for hotels, I first go to Google Maps, and they will list many booking sites, including info on contacting the lodging directly. Some places are not on any website.
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by shelemm
I wan pointing out that there are other choices aside form booking.com, Agoda being one of them, and sometimes there is a difference. When I search for hotels, I first go to Google Maps, and they will list many booking sites, including info on contacting the lodging directly. Some places are not on any website.
Perhaps my question was too “ eurocentric “ 😺 since I mostly travel to big European cities .
I have no experience booking in Asia. or for small outfits like B&Bs.

Most hotels now have Nespresso in the room..which is ok for me to start the day. I prefer late breakfast/ lunch
outside the hotel .
I understand for many travellers a hotel breakfast is more convenient.

Last edited by danon; Jan 25th, 2023 at 09:04 AM.
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 09:52 AM
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It isn't a "sad fact" that singles pay more than half a couple, that's just common sense and reality unless you are staying in some group hostel dorm room. You are obviously taking up an entire room yourself, I don't know why anyone would expect otherwise. I've rarely booked a hotel that showed rates that differed by 1 or 2 people in the same room. Very rarely I have, and then the single occupancy of a double room is cheaper by just a bit as there is less work, I think, for the cleaning staff. Not cheaper than half, of course, but cheaper than paying as if booking for two people (say 110 euro for the double room versus 120 euro for a couple).

I have rarely used booking.com, but sometimes if the rare is cheaper than the hotel's own website. This is quite rare (it used to be more common maybe a decade or more ago), but it has happened. I have also once had the case where the booking.com rate was refundable but the hotel's own website was not. So I booked it.

I don't know about the idea that hotels prefer you book directly, no one is forcing them to use booking.com, they do it because it makes business sense. I have never had a hotel offer me a cheaper rate than their own website offered if I threatened them with using booking.com. Frankly, I wouldn't think much of a hotel playing games like that which is somewhat unethical because they are getting something out of using booking.com, which is a huge worldwide booking website and marketing presence. I don't have time to play games with hotels like that, nor to make phone calls to hotels (I hate making phone calls when you can do it online). If you just called up and asked in person what the rate was, ok, but not if it involves bargaining and booking.com threats or mentions. In fact, once I called a hotel in Paris as the booking software was giving me a cheaper rate than their own website, and they said they couldn't give me that rate, I would have to book through the software to get it. I can't remember what it was, but I know the hotel was the Bastille Speria in Paris.

I really do not understand the comment made by the OP that using booking.com makes cancellations easier.
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Old Jan 25th, 2023, 10:31 AM
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“It isn't a "sad fact" that singles pay more than half a couple, that's just common sense and reality unless you are staying in some group hostel dorm room. You are obviously taking up an entire room yourself, I don't know why anyone would expect otherwise”
What does it matter to the hotel if one or two people stay in the room ? If I am paying around €300 euros, I want a good size room, a big bed and no breakfast included. .No hotel has ever rejected me because I booked a room for 2 and showed up alone.
Canceling on b. com takes just a click on the confirmation email. Works for me.

Last edited by danon; Jan 25th, 2023 at 11:05 AM.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by danon
Perhaps my question was too “ eurocentric “ 😺 since I mostly travel to big European cities .
I have no experience booking in Asia. or for small outfits like B&Bs.
Agoda, as well as many other websites, have rooms all around the globe. I used Agoda to book rooms recently in Athens, Montreal, and Toronto.
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