Booking through otel.com

Old Nov 13th, 2010, 12:05 PM
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Booking through otel.com

We want to book a room in Verona for next May and the hotel we want is available on otel.com but not on other search engines or the hotel's website. Since we would have to pay the one-night room in advance we're concerned if the vacancy truly exists. Your thoughts?
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 12:28 PM
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I'd call the hotel directly. Some (many really) don't update their websites/booking forms until Dec/Jan-ish. It is very possible they just haven't done that yet.

So phone - it doesn't cost much and you'll hear from the horse's mouth as they say . . . .
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 12:31 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion, janisj.
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Old Nov 14th, 2010, 02:23 PM
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I have used otel.com for booking hotels in Europe and never had a problem. These companies often contract for blocks of rooms and then resell them so inventory may indeed not match other sites. I have also found them to have hotels not offered on sites such as expedia, etc.
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Old Nov 14th, 2010, 02:48 PM
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Yes, you are right, kfusto. I took janisj's suggestion one step further and emailed the hotel directly, not using the booking part of their own website. They did confirm that they had a room for the date we wanted, but at $50 USD a night more than otel.com charged. We're going with otel.com.
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Old Nov 14th, 2010, 04:12 PM
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If you do use otel.com to book your room, just call the hotel to confirm they have your reservation before arriving. I know this should always be done but I forgot to do so before arriving at my hotel in Glasgow, that was booked through them. We had two rooms booked, one in my name and another in my mom's name, since there were 4 of us. When we checked in they said my room was canceled by otel.com the day before. I never canceled it. I'm lucky they had a room available or I should say they only had a handicap room available. It was a little strange but we took it anyway.
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Old Nov 14th, 2010, 06:02 PM
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I used otel.com to book Stemples in Haarlem. The rate was excellent, the confirmation instantaneous and there were absolutely no problems with the booking. I would not hesitate to use them again.
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Old Nov 14th, 2010, 11:24 PM
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Do realize that many times the hotels themselves do not receive your third party booking until a few days ahead of time.
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Old Nov 15th, 2010, 01:44 AM
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"Do realize that many times the hotels themselves do not receive your third party booking until a few days ahead of time."

I have never had that happen. I often use third party booking sites and always email the hotel within a few days of booking. I provide the details of the booking and have never had an issue with the hotel being unaware of the booking in literally dozens of reservations. I do this to confirm my bedding type and other special requests have been properly noted.
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Old Nov 15th, 2010, 06:12 AM
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Be sure to check the details of the reservation. Some hotels will add complimentary breakfast or wi-fi or something through a search engine or leave it off of a search engine. In other words, the reservation may include more or less than booking directly and each hotel does it differently. Recently when comparing direct booking versus a booking agency, we paid close to the same rate but the wi-fi was free, making it a better deal through the agency, but that is not always the case.
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Old Nov 15th, 2010, 06:31 AM
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Good suggestion, Cynthia. I'd never thought to notice if the search engine site had a different offer for the hotel such as no breakfast. In this case, we were lucky because it does include the buffet breakfast on the otel.com confirmation. I've noticed this morning, though, the hotel is no longer on otel.com website for the date we wanted. But we had to pay up front and have the prepaid voucher so, hopefully, it won't be a problem. I will confirm it with the hotel directly, later.
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Old Nov 15th, 2010, 09:37 AM
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The reason it is no longer available is usually because they have sold out the rooms in their contracted allotment.

We generally do get breakfast with Otel bookings and at the better hotels this can be a significant savings.

Make sure you have the hotel's booking number when you email the hotel, and not just Otel's.
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Old Nov 15th, 2010, 11:18 AM
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This is the first time ever that I did better on several nights of my last trip (Portugal) by booking directly with the hotel. I used to think otel.com or Expedia or something like that would have the best rate, but it's not always true. And I read about it here in Fodorville. Best travel tip I've had in a while.
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Old Nov 15th, 2010, 01:17 PM
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My technique is to use the various booking sites to narrow the list, then use the individual web-sites for the hotels on the short-list to check their rates; sometimes they also have unique discounts. I only call if they are in Oz. For overseas I make the booking based on the best web price but immediately follow that with an email requesting confirmation of the booking and noting my special requests, such as non-smoking.

That email is critical. Occasionally, I've discovered that hotels won on "blind" sites like Hotmail or Priceline have mixed reports on Tripadvisor or other review sites, so I mention that and ask that the room I get does not lead to a negative review It seems to work. Of the hundreds of rooms I've booked via the web over the past few years, only a couple have responded with no knowledge of the booking. Those were clarifed by contacting the booking site.

You can still get caught; here was my most recent horror stay: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...e_Janeiro.html
There will always be sharp operators who mis-report their quality, but the good 4* and above hotels I've stayed in very cheaply make up for that minority.
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Old Nov 15th, 2010, 01:33 PM
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kfusto.. it just happened agn to a booking i made for some friends through LMT.. the hyatt said they would not be receiving the name of the client until a few days before. We kept calling and finally, a few day before, the reservation was there.

Just passing on info but it can be unnerving. This has only happened to me a couple times in several years, but thought it worth mentioning.
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Old Nov 16th, 2010, 02:05 AM
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casanova, I understand how that can happen. If the agency has a block of rooms under deposit, they do not have to notify the hotel of specific names until they choose to, and often submit blocks of names at a time for efficiency.

I request my individual hotel confirmation number so I have it for my records.

I have used Priceline in Europe a number of times and saved a lot of money. I do my research and mostly stick to 5 and 4 star hotels in areas that I know. Sometimes my room has been wonderful (I do email my preferences and include my guest account number as these are most often large chains IME) and sometimes I am given a lousy room but I get what I pay for so don't complain unless there is really something wrong with it.
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Old Nov 18th, 2010, 05:51 AM
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Hi jrj,

We recently booked through otel.com.

Everything went swimmingly.

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Old Nov 11th, 2012, 08:13 PM
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I booked with Otel but only to find "on request' in my account not even an email to confirm booking, so I sent them an email, messages (Otel is in Turkey) even sent messages to Otel USA yet no replies. I sent message to Otel Staff in Tripadvisor still no reply after 1 week! Otel Staff is in Fodor's also.
Ok so I send email to Hotel Le Meridien India (5 Star) and they reply saying no booking was made by Otel in name/ ref no: etc.
I booked tonight with another web (Hotels.com) and got confirmation email 5 seconds after booking. Do not book with Otel. Also remember cancellation dates after booking or you will get hit with a cancellation fee. I think that's what Otel was waiting for with me.
BTW Otel's online booking payment system is slow and I see many complaints from people being charged twice.
Best link is Hotelscombined.com & check the one's with "free cancellation"
If any booking agent doesn't send you a confirmation within 10minutes of booking cancel it and go to another.
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