Book hotel directly or booking.com ?

Old Jan 26th, 2023, 07:37 AM
  #41  
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I used booking.com all the time. So far, we have never had any issues. It is my go to for Europe, and then I use it in conjunction with Airbnb here in the states. I used it recently for a nonrefundable stay, and of course all of our plans changed and I had to cancel. I was ready to eat the cost of it, but when I cancelled with booking.com a box popped up and said something like if you explain your circumstances the hotel may refund the cost. I did just that and sure enough the hotel refunded the cost in full, just over $500.

This past year alone I used them for stays in Iceland, Austria and Germany as well as stateside. No issues. For me, I like their website and I can easily find all the information I am looking for.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 11:31 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by mms View Post
I used booking.com all the time. So far, we have never had any issues. It is my go to for Europe, and then I use it in conjunction with Airbnb here in the states. I used it recently for a nonrefundable stay, and of course all of our plans changed and I had to cancel. I was ready to eat the cost of it, but when I cancelled with booking.com a box popped up and said something like if you explain your circumstances the hotel may refund the cost. I did just that and sure enough the hotel refunded the cost in full, just over $500.

This past year alone I used them for stays in Iceland, Austria and Germany as well as stateside. No issues. For me, I like their website and I can easily find all the information I am looking for.
Good to know about refunds !
I haven’t had issues with b.com..I used it for Europe, Mexico , US , and even Russia .
It was a surprise that ,for the first time, I I found a lower rate for the hotel I wanted if booked direct.
I stayed at the same hotel in 2021 , b.com and their rates was identical then.



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Last edited by danon; Jan 26th, 2023 at 12:15 PM.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 11:40 AM
  #43  
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I use Booking.com all the time and I agree that it is often the easiest way to cancel a booking but trying to modify a booking is not often that easy if you want to do something like turn a 7 night stay into something like two 3 night stays with a space in between when there are no rooms available. Also sometimes you can get an extra benefit like free parking if you book directly.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by danon View Post
Good to know about refunds !
I havenít had issues with b.com..I used it for Europe, Mexico , US , and even Russia .
It was a surprise that ,for the first time, I I found a lower rate for the hotel I wanted if booked direct.
I stayed at the same hotel in 2021 , b.com and their rates was identical then.
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I have been told by staff from various hotels throughout Europe that booking directly with the hotel will usually get you the cheapest rates. Hotels need to pay a fee to booking.com for their services and by booking direct, the hotels save money.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 12:15 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by kleeblatt View Post
I have been told by staff from various hotels throughout Europe that booking directly with the hotel will usually get you the cheapest rates. Hotels need to pay a fee to booking.com for their services and by booking direct, the hotels save money.
Sorry, it was 2019..
before Covid .I was wondering if there has been an increased effort in the industry to encourage more direct bookings because of losses during the pandemic.
Not only by lower rates, but also by. “ saving” certain rooms ( better view or balcony or..)
for direct booking.

Last edited by danon; Jan 26th, 2023 at 12:21 PM.
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Old Jan 28th, 2023, 04:37 AM
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>>> I use Booking.com all the time and I agree that it is often the easiest way to cancel a booking but trying to modify a booking is not often that easy if you want to do something like turn a 7 night stay into something like two 3 night stays with a space in between when there are no rooms available. >>>

Yes, I have noticed that changes/modifications are not always as easy as cancellations on Booking. Based on my very recent experiences as I'm planning a trip to Italy in May, sometimes changes are easy and sometimes they are not. When they're not possible I just cancel the original reservation and rebook when the room is back on the site. It usually takes about a minute for that to happen so I just cross my fingers until I can rebook. When canceling, I usually include a note to the hotel telling them what I'm doing and why so that they will be aware. This has worked well for me.
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Old Jan 28th, 2023, 04:56 AM
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>>> I have notice that if you book for one person the rate is sometimes higher and often includes breakfast.
Well, I donít need hotelís breakfast .
ÖI just book the room for two. Hotels donít care.

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

danon, I have noticed that some hotels on Booking show different rates for the same room depending on the number of occupants, and the room rate for a single occupant is somewhat less than for two. Some places don't show a special price for singles. I attribute the difference in price to breakfast and/or possibly room maintenance. I appreciate the little difference in price and I rather enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

I often travel to New England where charming old B&B's are very popular and the room rate includes a huge breakfast. I stayed at only one place - in Maine - where the owner offered a considerable (unsolicited by me) discount on the breakfast b/c I was alone. In fact it was listed on the website. After that experience I occasionally inquired at other places if they offered a single's discount but none did. They said they charge the standard rate for a room and that's it.

At traditional B&B's, breakfast is a big part of the experience and probably a big part of the room price. At the place in Maine it was $30 per night, which can certainly add up. I sometimes resent having to pay for two big breakfasts when I'm only eating one but that's the price of traveling solo.
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Old Jan 28th, 2023, 08:45 AM
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“At traditional B&B's, breakfast is a big part of the experience and probably a big part of the room price. At the place in Maine it was $30 per night, which can certainly add up. I sometimes resent having to pay for two big breakfasts when I'm only eating one but that's the price of traveling solo.”

I don’t know much about staying in B&Bs..they are small outfits with, probably, limited revenues.
Some European hotels offer buffet breakfast which many travellers like…I don’t .

On my last trip to Madrid ( in October) I noticed some restaurants didn’t have booking for one person as an option on line. This is a bit easier to understand ,especially for peak dining hours But a hotel room is a room, one or two guests.
I traveled solo in the past. , but now it is most of the time. Travel is expensive enough, one should not have to pay an
additional. “ price” for doing it alone.

Last edited by danon; Jan 28th, 2023 at 08:49 AM.
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 04:57 AM
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This summer we are going to Germany . We are staying in AirBNB. I have stayed in AirBNB in the USA and had good experience with them. Is the AirBNB in Europe about the same as the USA? Or is hotels better to stay at in Europe. I know everyone has their preference. For me I'm just looking for a place to sleep and shower. In a safe neighborhood and isn't overly expensive.
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 06:38 AM
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we do both airbnb, b&b and hotels in Europe. airbnb gets you a washing machine and more complicated checking in times. For me those are the only real differences
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
we do both airbnb, b&b and hotels in Europe. airbnb gets you a washing machine and more complicated checking in times. For me those are the only real differences
AirBnB is not a lot cheaper if any than many hotels, and it can be complicated. As you say it (sometimes) gives you a washing machine, and usually some sort of cooking facilities. We have stayed in a couple of unusual ones but I don't think they saved us money over a hotel, just gave as an usual place to stay a couple of nights. I find hotels and "normal" B&Bs are expensive in NL anyway.
Since we no longer have the camper we also book places on campsites - mobile homes or wooden cabins with private facilities. They are fine as a base in the countryside, and generally a good price. Off season they are happy to let for a few days. Many do deals for cyclists such as yourself bilbo.
Hostels often offer private rooms and private facilities as well as dorms and shared loos/showers nowadays.
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 08:14 AM
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I am avoiding AirBnB. I would not want an AirBnB in my apartment block, or next door to my house. Plus they have had deleterious effects on several European cities. If all you need is an en-suite room there is no reason to use AirBnB.

I did use AirBnB a few times several years back. My advice is to read the information and reviews very carefully, bearing in mind that the European fourth floor is the American fifth, and not to rent from single men (problems with only one towel, crammed closets and no outlets near a mirror.). Also, please try to avoid outfits renting more than one unit.
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 09:35 AM
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I agree with you thursdaysd. If there is an alternative we use it, and we have only stayed in two airbnbs. One was in France on the way home, a glorified garden shed in someone's back garden but completely private and self contained for less than half of the price of a hotel, and a converted chapel only an hour or so from us, which we took over when my son was unable to go, rather than him losing his money. That was owned by a young couple on the farm next door, who took the chapel on rather than see it knocked down. Before it was a chapel it was the buttery and cheese making building for the farm.
I would not stay in airbnb in a city, nor anywhere we could find an affordable alternative, hence the campsites.
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 06:00 PM
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Do you mean 'not book an apartment' rather than not book an airbnb? Airbnb, while one of the biggest, is not the only service advertising apartments for tourists. There are heaps on all the aggregators. If I want an apartment in a city I will try to choose one which does not appear to be displacing locals (but it's often really hard to tell) and these are usually where the whole building is apartments for tourists.

I recently booked a place with booking.com and then tried to shorten my stay by 1 night. It wouldn't let me, telling me it was already booked - well, yes, by me. It didn't matter, in the end, but it was weird.

I also had a recent experience with booking.com where I found a place I liked but when I came back a minute or two later to book and opened the page in a new browser tab, the price had gone up. I wouldn't have had a problem paying the higher price if it had been the original price but I felt like I'd been played and decided to not book that place after all, even though it's possibly booking.com doing this, not the hotel. This has happened before but this time I chose to be really annoyed.
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 06:44 PM
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While I do use Booking.com I tend to use Hotel.com more because at one point I heard Booking.com was having financial trouble.

But regardless of which one I use, the main reason I use them is the ease of finding a room that will accommodate 4 people. I know there are more family type rooms than there used to be...but it's still a pain to search them hotel by hotel, when a website can line them all up for me to choose from.
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 07:47 PM
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The various filters do make searching much easier. I've done road trips from central Italy to Spain. Obviously I needed parking and a few other things. Using the filters made finding choices along the way much easier than randomly checking hotel websites. You still need to confirm but it's a much better starting point.
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Old Jan 30th, 2023, 05:00 AM
  #57  
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I have had to modify reservations that I have made on Booking.com and it is a bit cumbersome, but doable. I did this for our trip last month. We booked for 2 nights and ended up just needing one night. Booking had me send a message to the hotel with the explanation and they wrote back that it was fine. My confirmation from booking did say note that the reservation was modified. I had no issues with it.

We use Airbnb a lot here in the states, but overseas we just use booking.com for whatever reason. We mostly do cottages in Iceland and booking.com has been excellent for that.
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Old Jan 30th, 2023, 12:55 PM
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I always go to Trivago and Hotelscombined for hotels and Skyscanner and Kayak for airfares, these websites trawl through numerous websites to find the best price, you can see that prices can fluctuate wildly between different websites.

For example, I have just booked a ski trip to Japan and for the hotel through Agoda it was half the price of booking.com for the same room despite being part of the same group, yet a few weeks back I booked through booking.com for the UK as they were the cheapest.

I booked both flights directly through the airlines website as the they were roughly the same price as the consolidators which has certainly not been my experience in the past.
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Old Jan 30th, 2023, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2 View Post
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.i avoid companies who think this sort of behaviour is ok .
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Old Jan 31st, 2023, 03:18 AM
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The above post: +1
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