Booking Hotel Rooms via internet

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Jan 15th, 2001, 01:30 PM
  #1
Stacey
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Booking Hotel Rooms via internet

This is my first trip to Europe. We have already reserved plane tickets via Expedia on the internet to Madrid. I am now researching hotels and modes of transport between Madrid, Granada and the Costa del Sol. I am thinking of visiting a travel agent for help. I am wary of interenet booking when it involves travel abroad although it seems very easy. Where do you find the best rates? Any recommendations.
 
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Jan 15th, 2001, 01:34 PM
  #2
Al
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We booked hotel accommodations in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands last year via the internet (even a B&B in the Ardennes) without a hitch. Paris hotels were particularly easy to research, contact, and query. Try it, you'll like it.
 
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Jan 15th, 2001, 02:18 PM
  #3
Patrick
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I do a lot of European travel, mainly staying in 3 star moderate hotels and generally book them on the internet directly with the hotel. If the hotel does not have a web site or email, then I usually fax them. In the US we are used to pulling all kinds of gimmicks to get all kinds of special deals, but in Europe most small hotels have fixed rates and that's pretty much it (other than specials for out of season). Large hotels and those which are part of American chains may or may not have better deals by booking with their US agency. Best Western for example which includes a huge group of independent European hotels sometimes gives a better rate on their 800 number and sometimes a higher one than dealing with hotel direct. On the other hand, you can usually expect to pay slightly more for any given hotel by booking through a travel agency or an internet booking agency. Your best bet is to deal directly with the hotels themselves. Finding their web sites or email addresses is not always so easy, but if you come up with some specific hotels, post on here and someone is likely to help you with direct contact.
 
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Jan 15th, 2001, 02:20 PM
  #4
elvira
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In total agreement with Al - accommodations, restaurant reservations, even theater tickets - never had a problem.
For hotels, I go to the web page for the tourist bureau of the city. There is usually an accommodations section, or links to hotel web pages. Along with a good guidebook that will give me costs vs amenities (a $100 hotel in London is a lot different than a $100 hotel in Athens), you can get the hotel or b&b that suits your needs.
Travel agencies have good selections, but usually the larger, more 'American' style hotels - and often more expensive than the smaller, independent hotels that you find on your own.
 
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Jan 15th, 2001, 03:14 PM
  #5
Stacey
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Patrick, Al and Elvira- Thanks for the comments. I have gone directly to the websites for the Crowne Plaza and the Palace in Madrid. Sometimes they don't give a room price though and just ask for reservation information. I will keep working away on this one.
 
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Jan 15th, 2001, 03:34 PM
  #6
Thyra
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I also always book online. However I don't send Visa info over the Internet. I always fax it and also, be sure and print up any documents that contain reservation comfirmation and take them with you on your trip, be sure they include the dates and specifications/rates for your trip.. of course you should do this no matter how you book a room. I should say that I have never experienced a problem booking over the Internet. Usually however I contact the hotels directly, since I don't care to pay booking fees and some agencies do charge them. Good luck.
 
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Jan 15th, 2001, 03:41 PM
  #7
Bebe
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I am trying to book rooms in Italy via the internet. The problem I am running into is getting confirmations back. For example I made a reservation at one hotel and asked for confirmation. They E-mailed back basically thanks for your reservation but no dates, rates, or confirmation number. Not much help. Subsequent E-mails asking for better confirmation have not been answered. Is this normal or have most of you been able to get useful confirmations from your hotels?
 
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Jan 15th, 2001, 06:38 PM
  #8
carole
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Stacey,

I have ONLY booked all of my European trips via the internet. Never have I had a problem. I just bring a printed copy of my confirmation numbers. Thankfully, I have never had to pull them out. My family is travelling to Europe in May and everything is booked without even picking up the telephone.
 
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Jan 15th, 2001, 07:34 PM
  #9
Danna
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OK so I'm paranoid. 2 years ago I reserved rooms on th internet to a hotel in Winnepeg, when I called to confirm, no reservations, no room. Ended up in a really cheesy dive. NO FUN

For our Europe trip I got the info off the net, and called for the reservations in Amsterdam and Dublin (first and last nights)in person. I felt better talking to real persons. I booked our DFDS Ferry reservations on the net and felt ok about that and it worked. Didn't make any reservations ahead of time for the time in between other than through the tourist offices which were great. Have Fun!
 
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Jan 15th, 2001, 07:38 PM
  #10
steve
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I'm in agreement with most of the previous posters. I have booked hotels, tours, theatre tickets etc on the web and have never had the slightest problem. I like to see where I'm going to stay and have found that even most small hotels have websites with pictures. Travel agents can be helpful and a good one can often give you good advise, but I would not hesitate from booking via the internet.
 
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Jan 15th, 2001, 09:05 PM
  #11
Sue
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I agree with the others--have had no trouble booking via internet or e-mail. And I always get a very official confirmation letter back. If you don't get that, then I would call. The one problem I had was with the Grand Hotel des Balcons in Paris--the confirmation was in an e-mail attachment that I couldn't open, so I called them to confirm and they mailed a confirmation letter.
 
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Jan 29th, 2001, 01:30 PM
  #12
Paul Wade
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Agree with most of the above. We always use the internet - for 'package holidays'; flights; car rental or hotels. Have never had any problems, which is more than you can say for other products we have ordered online (books,office supplies, cd's) which never turned up or were delivered late.

We use OneClickTravel.com a lot, we found that they were very helpful with advice when we e-mailed them with queries and they went out of their way to help on hotel bookings. For air tickets we usually go direct to the airlines own web site or use Travelocity.com or HotWire.com. For hotels though, OneClickTravel.com has been excellent. If you want a very small hotel or bed and breakfast, then I would also recommend contacting directly - so it depends what you want.
Fodors.com is also very useful for advice in these forums of course!

Paul.
 
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Jan 29th, 2001, 01:38 PM
  #13
Thyra
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To the person who has had difficulty getting a more detailed confirmation, don't start a new email thread, just keep adding to the old and save the emails you have SENT to the hotel. At least then you will have some record of what has been established.
 
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