Book Hotel Online or Over the Phone?

Apr 24th, 2007, 07:07 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 28
Book Hotel Online or Over the Phone?

First of all, I'd like to say thank you to all of you for the information you provide on this site. Although I've hardly posted, I have definitely taken advantage of everyone's tips as I plan my trip to Italy this fall. With that said, I am in the process of booking hotels and was wondering if you have found that you get a better rate if you book online or over the phone? Also, are hotel prices negotiable? If so, if you could please share some tips, I would really appreciate it.
Bunny1 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 08:43 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
There's no hard and fast rule. In general, chain hotels may be cheaper if booked online directly or through a third-party site. Independent hotels may be cheaper if phoned, if booked online directly, or through a third-party site.

You just have to explore all the options.

I haven't successfully negotiated hotel prices, but I know it has happened. One thing you can do is offer to pay cash in exchange for a discount, particularly in Italy.
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 09:02 AM
  #3  
MaureenB
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I think you get the best rate if you book directly with the hotel, whether you use the 'net or the phone probably doesn't matter. Except phone calls can get expensive, and I'd prefer a written trail like in e-mails for documentation to take with.

If you go through a booking agency, like venere.com, you might pay more and you lose the opportunity to get a discount for cash, use a coupon, or to negotiate. At least that was my experience last May.
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Apr 24th, 2007, 09:32 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
One strategy: e-mail the hotel directly and ask them to give you their best rate.

I would cross check beforehand using a site such as Venere (assuming that Venere offers the hotel you are interested in..not all hotels participate in booking agency discounts, etc.)

The advantage of e-mail is you have something in writing.

If you do use the phone definitely ask for a confirming e-mail
Dukey is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 09:50 AM
  #5  
 
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I agree with contacting the hotel directly, either through phone, email, or their website (many hotels have cheaper "internet rates" if you can locate their official website). I usually use something like venere.com to locate/review hotels, then try to find the hotel's official website to book.
djman102 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 09:53 AM
  #6  
 
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I'm with Maureen in that I prefer e-mail so that I can print out a written confirmation of both the reservation and the rate.
CAPH52 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 10:01 AM
  #7  
 
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I agree with the others about e-mail - it's nice to have stuff in writing. In fact, I just finished printing out a load of e-mails for our trip next week!

WillTravel mentioned a discount for paying in cash - I have found the same to be true for all of the hotels we'll be staying at in Greece and Turkey. Each has offered a 10% discount for paying in cash. (As a side note, we've opted to skip the discount and put everything on our credit card for the convenience and the good exchange rate. Not sure how much extra we'll really be spending by not taking the discount, but we knew we didn't want to have to take out loads of cash from the ATM every couple of days.)
Meredith is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 02:57 PM
  #8  
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Thank you everyone for your help! I think I'll stick with emailing the hotels that way I have record.
Bunny1 is offline  
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