Hotel Booking Sites in 2012

Jun 14th, 2012, 04:59 PM
  #1  
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Hotel Booking Sites in 2012

We have not travelled in Europe since 2009.

Since then it seems that the hotel booking internet site market has expanded significantly.

As a generalisation, we often found that we had more control of our destiny and genorosity extended by hotel reservations staff if we booked directly with a hotel.

It seems that has changed somewhat and now booking sites also are able to exert some influence by submitting our requests.

Which of the hotel booking sites do you presently prefer when arranging European itineraries ?

Thank you for your thoughts and advice on this subject.
Good_Will is offline  
Jun 14th, 2012, 06:33 PM
  #2  
 
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I still prefer going direct to the hotels.
If you want a 3rd party, I suggest www.venere.com
bobthenavigator is online now  
Jun 14th, 2012, 06:48 PM
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Prices quoted by Hotels themselves, by Venere, or by Booking.com may be similar, but sometimes one of those shows "sold out" and others not. I guess each booking site gets a finite number of rooms. I like Booking.com because they're good both on web and phone, and they seem to have no-charge cancellation fees. But the sites differ in the way one searches, and to find a hotel in a particular location, I had to use Google map first, before going to Booking.com. Finally, I liked TripAdvisor for the travelers' reviews.
vputin is offline  
Jun 14th, 2012, 07:44 PM
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My favorite is www.hrs.com
Mainhattengirl is offline  
Jun 15th, 2012, 12:11 AM
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We have used booking.com in seven or eight countries now and with great success.

I discount Trip Advisors reviews. They are nefarious for not only being inaccurate but for not ferreting false complaints by the competition or paid reviews that are supposed to look like real visitors.

Also there restaurant reviews are often beyond stupid. More than half the people do not know from whence they speak.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2012, 12:42 AM
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For the UK and Europe, try

www.lastminute.com
www.laterooms.com
www.trivago.com
Rubicund is offline  
Jun 15th, 2012, 01:41 AM
  #7  
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Thank you for your comments.

The way I am going about it this time is to take a look at Tripadvisor rankings but look a little deeper into comments posted there.

Then my preference remains with a direct booking with a hotel.

If I see a signigficant discount through a hotel booking site then I proceed to ask the hotel for a better deal.

I guess this all points to the importance of considering the valuable information that is found and shared here.
Good_Will is offline  
Jun 15th, 2012, 02:58 AM
  #8  
 
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I agree with most of what vputin and Good_will said.

Sometimes I book with booking.com and at other times directly with hotel. But I check rates with both, and if I see that rates are cheaper by booking directly with hotel or the same price, I book directly through the hotel site.

There were few occasions when I found out that there are better rates on booking sites - this happened to me in 2010 - then I told the owners of this apartment hotel (after they had emailed me a rate) - and they responded that it was cheaper at booking.com as they gave me the rate of a more superior apartment - then I downgraded, they met the rate, and still booked directly with hotel. You simply inform them that you found rate cheaper from booking online with an agent - you needn't be embarrased about it, especially since they were going to charge you a higher rate.

I also sometimes book from an online booking agent if I book a holiday last minute, and find an affordable rate, since I would immediately know if there is availability in that particular accommodation, and would also not have to waste time emailing, getting confirmations etc. I always check the owners have the same rates listed of course.

Alternatively sometimes hotels give you a special offer (I ask specifically for it when making my queries regarding rates with them - even though rates would be listed on their sites) which might not be found through an online booking site - especially for instance if you are a family that needs two rooms, as is in my case, or if you book on half board basis, or if you booked last-minute. They might even give you free accomodation and even sometimes dinner (I have found so many accomodations of all types that were kind enough to give free half board/or reduced rates to my daughter who is disabled). If you don't ask for it you won't get it - and one thing I NEVER do is to book for a family of four when we are five.

Also booking directly yourself on their site might give you the opportunity to choose any particular room at a hotel/ Agriturismo/B&B/ or an Apartment, as sometimes they are described and photographed in detail (you can't do that with an online booking agent) - or like in a hotel, inform them on what level you prefer your room - they would be even more willing to oblige if you didn't booked already with an agent. .

To research about a hotel I always read reviews both on booking.com, on tripadvisor, and any other reviews I come across in other sites - I am so picky when I choose my hotels - I want them brand new but still have very high reviews. Only very occasionally do I book hotels/B&Bs/Agriturismos that have been open to visitors for quite a number of years - only when they are given full score by reviewers and they are really praiseed for their level of comfort, cleanliness, locality etc, and when they offer excellent breakfasts/dinners.

Then I do my homework on that particular locality and choose from my shortlist what I would conclude is the best from the best. I just love browsing around for accomodation - even more than the actual localities lol.

Also you might also come across a hotel/B&B that interests you and is not on booking on-line agents - I am sure not all are registered with them - or have just opened. So by browsing around you might find that particular accomodation which is not yet discovered by tourists.
Anna_Galea is offline  

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