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Is hotel.com an advantage or disadvantage when you're booking a room?

Is hotel.com an advantage or disadvantage when you're booking a room?

Old May 10th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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Is hotel.com an advantage or disadvantage when you're booking a room?

We are going to Madrid and Barcelona etc. in Sept. and I decided to use hotel.com for our first two nights in Madrid. I requested a high floor at the Ritz through hotel,.com and was told by hotel.com that the hotel will be more apt to give me a high floor ( if there is one available) because I have gone through hotel.com than if I had made the reservation myself. Have any of you had experience with with that website? Do the rooms they book tend to be more inferior because they're cheaper? By the way, I'm hoping for a high floor because I keep reading about garbage pick-up in the middle of the night in Madrid making it hard to sleep. I don't even know if this is accurate. Thanks for your input. Karen
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Old May 10th, 2009, 03:08 PM
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That's pure bull - you get better service dealing directly with the hotel. The only advantage to one of the third party booking sites is that they sometimes buy blocks of rooms and sell them at rates lower than the hotel offers - though these days most hotels will match or even beat such deals if you contact them directly.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 04:23 PM
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The response from hotel.com regarding the higher floor available to you by booking through their web site, seems to me simply a ploy to convince you to do so. In my experience I've received better service by booking directly with the hotel or with a local agency that deals frequently and has a preferential relationship with that hotel.

If the rate that hotel.com offers you, once all the taxes/extra fees have been added, is still *significantly* lower than the online rates with the Ritz, you could book with them.
But once your reservation is made, you should email the Ritz directly regarding your preference for a high floor.

I've stayed at the Ritz. I did book my room through a voucher program at a last minute, low season "too-good-to- be-true" rate that the hotel did not offer online, but,,,,
I emailed the Ritz to confirm my reservation, the tariff and hour of arrival, to give more particulars about the reason for my visit and to express a room preference (6th floor, facing the interior courtyard rather than street side).
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Old May 10th, 2009, 04:43 PM
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I have used www.hotel(s).com, but not for the reason noted. I have requested and gotten quiet rooms with or without using the hotels.com.

I use hotels.com when booking through them meets my objectives. For example, I wanted to book a room in Milan, but the hotel's own reservation web site was not yet accepting reservations for that time period. I made a reservation through hotels.com.

As a market based service, hotels.com prices are not necessarily higher or lower than other booking sites.

The major disadvantage is that most of the time, I need to prepay for my entire stay.

The advantage is that when I feel like playing a currency exchange game, I can lock in the price at today's exchange rate. Also, when I don't want to get hit with all the travel expenses in the same billing period, I have used hotels.com to spread the charges.

I had a one incomplete reservation experience with hotels.com. It did not lead to a problem because regardless of how I booked accommodations, I always called hotels directly to make sure my reservations were on their books. Last year, I had hotels.com agent resend my reservation to complete my reservation hotels.com claimed was made but did not exist on the hotel's reservation system.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 04:55 PM
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I wouldn;t buy that in a moment. An Independent traveler will always get a better choice of room if there are options - EXCEPT for travelers booked by premium travel agents who have relationships with the hotel or chain. These are NOT discounters, but either large corporations or agents that book upscale hotels regularly - they can sometimes get you either better rates or freebies (ie free spa packages or similar).

As for Madrid, don;t know about garbage collections, but nightlife end very late - 4 or 5 am - and the parties sometimes continue out into the street. I've been awakened by singing and shouting around that time.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 02:52 AM
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yep we had to pay in advance when booking with hotel.com
nice to know it is paid for before we go
but if anything had to be cancelled then theres always that headache of getting the refund

it may not be an actual headache but just a perceived one, if you know what i mean lol !

in the past i have got rooms cheaper - not necessarily with hotel.com but with other booking agents
one such case was at home - on an island holiday
the hotel couldnt match the agents rate - i was amazed
i got the agent to cancel my booking with that hotel and rebook through their own means
saved us about 30 dollars a night
wouldnt have believed it had i not experienced it firsthand
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