Paris Hotels and online booking

Old May 6th, 2002, 06:38 PM
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Paris Hotels and online booking

I am planning a trip to my favorite city in late September and have done an exhaustive search for a hotel based on the comments in this forum - thanks to all the regular contributors.

Since we're on a budget, I am deciding among the Muguet in the 7th, the Les Degres des Notre Dame in the 5th or the Danube. All are around 90-110E. I have stayed at the Muguet and it was a fine value, but I would prefer the 5th or 6th.

I also discovered that I am visiting during the car exhibition which will limit my ability to change hotels once I get there if I make a poor choice now.

Question--am I better off contacting the hotels directly or using an online booking service to make my reservations? I notice differences in the prices advertised and wonder if using an online service will relegate me to the least desirable rooms.

If you recommend an online service, which do you prefer?

Thanks in advance

Old May 6th, 2002, 10:48 PM
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I use mainly because I like their format a lot; you usually find out instant availability for your dates and can book on the spot. Plus customer comments are listed and you get a specific choice of rooms for a specific price. Try Le Clement in the 6th--about the same price range, close to Mabillon metro stop, just off St. Germain, within walking distance to the 5th.
Old May 7th, 2002, 05:41 AM
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I always recommend calling and making personal contact. Many times people have reported while the agencies said hotels were booked, when they called directly they got one. If you do use a service, after receiving your confirmation call the hotel directly and confirm the reservation. Every now and then people arrive, confirmation from an agency in hand, and there's no record of them at the hotel. For more Paris information e-mail me: [email protected]
Old May 7th, 2002, 05:45 AM
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depending on the agency you use, you may get a confirmation directly from the hotel itself. If you get confirmation from the agency , call. I use and and on both the confirmation came from the hotel itself.
Old May 7th, 2002, 06:00 AM
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I always prefer dealing directly with the hotel. After all I want to be the HOTEL's customer, they're the ones I have to deal with when I arrive.
I have never had a hotel refuse to honor the booking service's rate if that is lower than the one the hotel posts.
All three of the hotels you've mentioned have been often-praised here as you know. The comments in the past might give you clues as to what kind of room to ask for (e.g., facing the back).

I personally don't like the idea of staying in the 7th, I just don't think it offers as many choices for strolling and stumbling onto little cafes at night. I vote for the Danube, I haven't stayed at any of the three. I've never read one negative comment on the Danube, but I've read a caveat or two about the Muguet.
Old May 7th, 2002, 06:07 AM
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I prefer dealing with the hotel directly. Almost all of them have an email making it very easy to contact them. You can ask specifically for what you need or any other information. They respond within 24 hours most of the time. Booking agencies usually add on a surcharge because if you check the rates they offer and the rates directly from the hotel, many times it's higher at the booking agency. Also many require payment in full before your arrival; the hotel asks for a credit card guarantee but you pay at the hotel.
Old May 7th, 2002, 12:12 PM
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I would also deal directly with the hotel. I have rarely seen a cheaper rate on a booking site for Paris hotels. For one thing, prices are regulated a lot more in France so you just don't see wide variations in pricing--in fact, I wonder if that's even legal to charge less on a certain booking site. For example, even French online bookstores will have the exact same price (list), you don't see discounts like you do in the US--actually, I think they can give up to 5 pct off. (guess what, they have an Amazon in France now!).

I'm digressing, but I think if you see price differences it is most likely because the web site hasn't updated their prices or because they are quoting the lowest quality rooms (many Parisian hotels have a range of prices based on size and quality of room).

Once I saw a web site that did have a discount for July/August in a hotel where I wanted to stay, and after I verified it was a real discount from list price by checking their own URL, I contacted the hotel directly and subtly quoted that rate when requesting room rates and availability, letting them know I knew of it without threats, and they offered me that rate without my even asking directly. I think I did say I preferred to deal with them even though I'd seen a certain rate elsewhere. I don't think hotels prefer dealing with those booking sites, either.

Believe me, you are right in thinking you will have no ability to get other rooms in Paris during the auto show.
Old May 8th, 2002, 07:27 PM
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I was just in Paris in April; the prices listed on were exactly the same prices listed at the hotels. The desk people at Le Clement and the Relais Bosquet were extremely gracious (the RB even found me a room that was ready at 11:00 AM so I could take a shower and dump my stuff), and the rooms I got were superior, which I booked. I suppose the next time I might call to spare the hotels whatever commission they pay, but I tend to panic on the phone when given a choice, etc., so I just like to book on the net.
Old May 9th, 2002, 09:46 AM
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I booked my hotel for Sept.on for 142 euro. Just looked that same room up on and it was 117 euro.
Wish I had heard of this website sooner.
Old May 15th, 2002, 02:42 AM
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If there is such a price difference between the 2 web sites, this cannot be for the same room category. Some places chose to "advertise" only some of their room categories depending on the web site.

You might want to check on it with your hotel but you can be pretty sure that the cheaper room rate is for a smaller/more basic room.

Bon voyage!
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