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How to book a hotel in May when the cheap travel can't be booked that far ahead?

How to book a hotel in May when the cheap travel can't be booked that far ahead?

Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 12:56 PM
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How to book a hotel in May when the cheap travel can't be booked that far ahead?

I'm arranging a short break in France in May 2005 (See thread - Hotel Les Relais des Cinq Chateaux). My dilemma is how do I book a hotel now before they all get booked up when the cheap flights and Eurostar bookings for May have not yet been released?
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 12:59 PM
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As long as you're booking on a rate that can be cancelled for minimal costs or no costs at all then you should have no problems.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 12:59 PM
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As long as you're booking on a rate that can be cancelled for minimal costs or no costs at all then you shouldn't have any problems.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 05:18 PM
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Good luck. I'm trying to do the same and keep finding hotels that say they won't release their rates until Jan '05. Yet, these are the same places everyone told me I had to book several months ahead.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 06:32 PM
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Why don't you just book directly with the hotel itself? I've usually gotten better rates that way than on any internet site.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 06:45 PM
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I don't think there is any easy solution to booking a hotel before you know the dates you want to be in a place. However, I don't think there is any need to worry about booking a hotel this far ahead of time. I never would nor have. I always try to reserve ahead as I pick particular places I want to stay, but I wouldn't start thinking about that until the beginning of the year for May. There are over a thousand hotels in Paris, if my memory is correct (around 1500), so I think you'll be able to find a room. If you want one particular very popular small place, I could understand that, but maybe that idea won't work with the idea of waiting until late to find bargain fares. I'm sure there are lots of hotels that would be adequate for a short break in Paris. I think I'm fairly picky about hotels, but I don't even care that much if it's just for a couple nights. There are so many hotels that would be okay for that time within whatever price and star level you are considering, even in a particular area (which I'm thinking might be a few arrondisements you want).
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 12:14 AM
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Here's my own recent example that may, or may not, be of help to you:

I wanted to book a room at a hotel in Amboise for next July. On the hotel's website which allows you to book directly, the response was that I could only book through this coming December.

I e-mailed the hotel directly as I always do when this sort of thing happens, told them my desired dates, and asked "how soon" I could book.

I got an immediate response saying I could book now and I did so, again by e-mail.

I did the same thing with a different hotel in a different city, and was told, also by immediate return e-mail, that rates would be determined on September 1st.

I sent an e-mail on 1 September and am now booked there as well for next July.

Bottom line: e-mail the hotel directly and ask about specific timeframes.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 04:54 AM
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Hi Bruce,

I suggest that you FAX or write the Hotel Les Relais des Cinq Chateaux (often small hotels don't read their email) asking for reservations now.

They will tell you the earliest that you can book.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 05:07 AM
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The problem I've run into in years past is booking the hotel/villa ok but not have a firm flight at the time. If we're using frequent flyer points for flights, there are never any FF seats available on the direct flights for the days that correspond with the hotel/villa reservations. If we're buying tickets, the ticket prices for May/June timeframe don't start going down until the first of April.

What I've done is book the hotel/villa that I want for the bulk of the time there. Then, when I'm finally able to buy the airline tickets, I usually have to fly in several days before my reservations start and/or depart days after my reservations end. Once I have the flights, I fill in the extra time with side trips to other locations on the way to, or on the way back from my main locations during the trip.

If I'm using FF miles, I'm usually talking to Delta twice a day up as it gets closer to the departure day trying to figure out the best way to get where I want to go. Once I lock in to a specific date and route, again, I fill in. This approach has worked out well and has take us to Spoleto, Lake Como, Zurich for a one- or two-night layover.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 06:16 AM
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I think Christina may be the only one on this thread so far who understood the question Bruce was asking.

It's not "How do I book a hotel so far in advance?" It's "How do I choose which dates to book the hotel for when I cannot yet get good prices on airfare?"

Bruce - You can take your best shot at dates and reserve a cancellable room now, or you can wait, as Christina suggested, until a bit closer to your travel dates when you might be able to get good transportation costs and then choose a hotel. Certainly you will find something that meets your needs if you wait, but if you have your heart set on one specific hotel, reserve now with the option to cancel later.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 07:18 AM
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And my reply was supposed to get across the fact that it really doesn't matter because you can usually get a flight that will include the dates of your hotel reservation if you're willing to add on a couple of days before and/or a couple of days after.
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