Pre-booking hotels via the Internet

Jan 25th, 2006, 09:10 AM
  #1  
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Pre-booking hotels via the Internet

My husband and I are traveling to Italy in March. We have been comparing hotel prices on internet discount sites such as expedia, travelocity, and priceline. Has anyone used these pre-paid booking services when traveling to Italy? Has anyone had problems at check-in/out with the pre-payment etc? I am concerned that if we pre-pay that when we arrive that the hotels may not accept the computer printed receipt as proof of payment. Any thoughts??
eno5 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 09:55 AM
  #2  
jay
 
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We have used Expedia and Travelocity many times and have never had a problem. We do bring the info with us but it has never been needed. This includes Italy, France and England.
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Jan 25th, 2006, 10:11 AM
  #3  
 
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You might also want to try Venere.com. They seem to have better prices on some of the European hotels than the normal US sites. Good luck!
gstove is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 10:18 AM
  #4  
 
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I always find that by contacting a hotel myself they will match any rate I've found elsewhere. That way the hotel knows me, I don't have to pre-pay for my entire stay, and I can cancel within the hotel's policy, or change my dates.
Julienas is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 10:41 AM
  #5  
 
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One thing to look out for on those sites is added fees. I was going to pre-book a hotel in Rome on expedia because it was cheaper than the price quoted by the hotel, but when I began the booking process, expedia added $30 per day for various fees, which bumped the expedia price to a higher price than that quoted by the hotel.

That said, I got a great deal on expedia on a hotel in Dublin last December -- it was siginificantly lower than the price quoted by the hotel, and the hotel would not match it when asked. I didn't have any problems with the hotel honoring the booking.
abby97 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 11:22 AM
  #6  
 
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My wife and I have planned a few trips to Europe entirely on the internet... have rented car, contacted hotels, etc and never have had a problem. Usually send the hotel a "heads up" that we are on our way and get an email back.
oberost is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 01:06 PM
  #7  
ira
 
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Hi en,

It's always a good idea to contact the hotel to see if they will beat the internet price.

If you do go through an online agency, contact the hotel to make sure that they have your confirmation.

Do check www.venere.com

ira is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 02:09 PM
  #8  
 
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I research on the net but always book directly with the hotel front desk, thru phone, fax, or email. I'm not sure if I save or lose a few cents but I feel more in control of the arrangements without a middle-man.
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Jan 25th, 2006, 04:12 PM
  #9  
 
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The thing I really like about venere.com is that you don't prepay...you give your card info to assure the room, but you don't pay until you check out, so you don't worry about getting credit.
I also think venere has much better selection in Italy, and their prices are sometimes better.
I strongly recommend them.
rexmor is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 04:35 PM
  #10  
 
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Another plug for venere.com when making hotel reservations in Italy. They have extensive customer reviews too. I found it helpful when trying to locate a family room for 4. There is a feature where you can search availability for 1 room for 4 people by date desired. There is also a map feature which shows the various sections of a city, so you can choose which areas to look in.
travelgirl2 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 05:22 PM
  #11  
 
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Hi, I would never want to prepay a hotel stay. If you have to cancel it sometimes become hard to get your money refunded. I prefer to book directly with the hotel. However, some sites like venere.com you deal with the hotels direcctly too.
francophile03 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 05:53 PM
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Sometimes, if you inquire via a booking site, it says the hotel is booked. Whereas if you go directly to the hotel, there are rooms available. I think they don't want to pay the booking site.
Mimar is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 08:57 PM
  #13  
Zakochaney
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We have traveled to Denmark, Poland and Italy and all hotels, cars were booked online. Since I pay by credit card I can always refuse to pay the bill when it arrives and contest the charges if uphappy. So far that has not been a problem. We used Expedia in Nov. 2005 for our trip to Rome. Great prices for air & hotel - no car.
It was great at checkout to only pay the 25E for the in-room bar expenses.
Once we confirmed with Expedia, we sent a fax to the hotel to reconfirm and they replied immediately. Very agreeable - they even booked a limo service to pick us up at the airport and got us a discount rate in the process.
 
Jan 25th, 2006, 09:46 PM
  #14  
 
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I really like Venere for all the reasons mentioned above. Newbies, however, should be aware that the price shown on the initial screen of hotel listings is the lowest possible rate, not necessarily the rate for the dates you're requesting.

When you get to the booking screen or click the details button, you will be quoted the correct price for your dates.

I usually just use the intial prices to mentally rank the pricing, knowing that's probably not what I'll pay.

All of that said, I've found Venere is usually right on the money or a little lower than Expedia, etc., in same-hotel, same-date comparions.

Happy travels.
Worktowander is offline  
Jan 26th, 2006, 04:20 AM
  #15  
 
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I've also used a sight called italyby.com to make reservations, however, I haven't traveled yet. Has anyone else used this sight? The service connects you directly with the hotel and the prices quoted include taxes and all fees.
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Jan 26th, 2006, 09:55 AM
  #16  
 
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I've booked via hotels.com for a luxury hotel in Venice and had no problem.
Margaretlb is offline  
Feb 4th, 2006, 08:49 PM
  #17  
Zakochaney
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We used Hotels.com actually HotelsPoland.com their Polish division and got some really good rates back in 1999 & 2000. We couldn't find anyone to compare. Our trip to Italy we use Expedia.com, they ended up being the best.
 
Feb 5th, 2006, 05:29 AM
  #18  
 
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Another good site which doesn't require prepayment is www.bookings.org

I have used them on a couple of ocassions without any problems - including one when I ended up cancelling the reservation.

Jim
JJBhoy is offline  
Feb 6th, 2006, 05:07 AM
  #19  
 
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We contact the hotel itself and communicate via email to book the room, ask questions prior to the trip, etc. It's always worked out well.

The problem with hotels.com, in particular, is they charge you in advance and the cancellation policy is very strict. If you deal with the hotel directly, you usually don't have to pay in advance and you have until 6:00 pm the day of or the day prior to your check-in to cancel without penalty. That's been our experience, anyway.
CheBird is offline  
Feb 6th, 2006, 07:58 AM
  #20  
PBH
 
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I always used booking services for hotels for years until I found out that the hotels themselves will usually meet or beat the price of the booking service because they do not have to pay the large commission (as much as 30%). It has also been my experience that I am usually treated better when I book directly with the hotel.
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