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Is it better to contact hotel directly or book online with expedia, etc.

Is it better to contact hotel directly or book online with expedia, etc.

Old Feb 15th, 2005, 05:29 PM
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Is it better to contact hotel directly or book online with expedia, etc.

For a hotel in Rouen I see lots of nice prices with other agencies like venere, expedia, etc. Some have some caveats re facilities etc. and none talk about cancellation etc.

Am I better just faxing the hotel directly?..But what if the price is better on these other sites? One said something aout no changes allowed. (whatever that means)

Thanks..

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Old Feb 15th, 2005, 05:33 PM
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Only once have I had a hotel not willing to match a price I'd found at one of the booking sites. If you book directly with the hotel, you are their direct customer, you can make any changes you like within the confines of their policies. And you rarely have to pay for the whole thing in advance.
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Old Feb 15th, 2005, 05:34 PM
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We have always dealt directly with our hotels. We find that it is simpler without the middleman. But, sometimes you don't get a choice -- some hotels don't have their own website, although this seems to be less and less the case.

Why not contact the hotel directly, ask for their best price, and compare it to the Venere, Expedia, etc. prices?

Good luck.
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Old Feb 15th, 2005, 05:44 PM
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I always call the hote directly and try to negotiate the best price. Then I fax them my credit card info and ask for a return fax confirmation. I bring that with me on the trip, just in case I arrive at a hotel and they say "we don't have a reservation for you," which has happened to me once in a zillion years of traveling.
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Old Feb 15th, 2005, 06:56 PM
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I recently booked a hotel via an expedia package, and was very glad that I paid for the change insurance...I booked the hotel to get the good price (a paris hotel for $92/night!), but in subsequent days discovered that the hotel was totally misrepresented through expedia...expedia's description called it a 3 star within 1/2 mile of Notre Dame. it was actually a 2 star dive 3 miles from Notre Dame (a bit of a hike if you like to walk the city, as we do), and had nothing but terrible reviews (including one reviewer who said that when it rained and their room leaked, the front desk told them that if they didn't like rain in Paris they should talk to God about it).

So, I would go direct. We found an excellent hotel in Paris via a friend and reviews at tripadvisor.com, and we were totally satisfied. And as another reviewer said, although we had to secure the reservation with a credit card, we paid at checkout rather than in advance.

Hope that helps -
--jg
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Old Feb 16th, 2005, 07:49 AM
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Hi lois,

I also suggest calling or faxing the hotel, telling them the price that you found online, and asking if they will honor the price.

They usually do, because they save the commission to the booking agent.


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Old Feb 16th, 2005, 07:52 AM
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I believe you must do your research.

I booked a hotel in Rome that was 171 USD on Expedia (prepay rate incl. breakfast). I emailed the hotel directly and was quoted 220 Euros. It was even higher on the other booking sites.

It pays to check all sources. We saved a bunch. This was 3 weeks ago.
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Old Feb 16th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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You do not, IMO, have to limit your communication with a hotel to the telephone or faxes (Ira and I disagree on this issue)...I have NEVER had a problem communicating with any European hotel using e-mail, in English, and it gives you a WRITTEN record of THEIR response without paying for phone calls either voice or fax...OK, off the soapbox now...

I would communicate with the hotel and ask them for their BEST rate..you can always ask about specific room types, ask for a rate that includes breakfast, etc. Expedia is getting a hefty "cut" out of that "rate" you pay them..the hotel will never see all of that money so it is usually to the hotel's advantage to deal directly with a potential customer.

GO for it and cut out the middleman.
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Old Feb 16th, 2005, 09:08 AM
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My experience is that if you have to cancel the hotel will typically refund your entire deposit, while both expedia and orbitz have charged me a cancellation fee. From here on I will always try to book directly with the hotel.
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Old Feb 16th, 2005, 09:14 AM
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. I guess calling here from San Diego.I will have to find a good time. France I think is 9 hours ahead. I could call late at night here. I do want to thank you all for the information. It's most helpful.
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